Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

CI. II.

SUPPRESSION OF PIRACY.

169

1916.

as were possessed of real estates, but stances he was bought off for about had little or no ready money at com- $5,000, and Colonel Shute, who had mand, or men of no substance at all; served under Marlborough, was made and we may well enough suppose the governor. Shute arrived in Massachuparty to be very numerous.

setts in October 1716, and imA third party, though opposed to mediately took the side of the the plan just stated, yet were no ene- party in favor of the public bank. Of mies to bills of credit. They were in course the other party opposed his favor of a loan of bills from the govern- measures, Elisha Cooke acting as their ment to any of the inhabitants who leader. Cooke was elected speaker by would mortgage their estates as a secu- the House in 1720; but the governor rity for the repayment of the bills with vetoed the choice and dissolved the interest, in a term of years, the interest Court. Embittered feeling on both to be paid annually, and applied to the sides was the consequence; and Shute, support of government. The principal disgusted with his post, suddenly left men of the Council were in favor of it, the province in 1722, Dummer, the and it being thought by the first par- lieutenant governor, taking the guidty the less of the two evils, they fell ance of affairs for the next six years. in with the scheme, and, after that, Piracy having again become troublethe question was between a public or some in the American waters, it was a private bank. The legislature was determined to make a vigorous effort nearly equally divided, but rather fa- effectually to suppress it. Bellamy, one vored a private bank, from the great of the most noted of the pirates, was influence of the Boston members in the wrecked

on Cape Cod, where he House, and a great number of persons perished with a hundred of his men. of the town, out of it. The controversy A few who escaped were seized and spread widely, and divided towns, hung at Boston. The famous “Blackparishes, and private families.

beard,” or John Theach, who In 1714, after an exhausting struggle, used to lurk about Pamlico the public bank gained the majority, River, was taken after a desperate re

"and £50,000 in provincial bills sistance ; and Steed Bonnet, the chief

of credit were issued on that of a band of pirates who sought refuge scheme, and distributed among the on the coast about Cape Fear, was counties in the ratio of their taxes, to be taken, and with forty or more put into the hands of trustees, and lent of his men, was executed. In out in sums from £50, to £500, on 1723, a commission of admiralty in mortgages, reimbursable in five annual session at Newport condemned to death installments."

nearly thirty more of these lawless Queen Anne's death, August 1, 1714, depredators. Thus, by the vigor of the led to a change in the governorship. colonists, piracy soon lost its terror to A certain Colonel Burgess was appoint- those honestly engaged in the pursuits ed, but being in rather needy circum- of commerce.

[ocr errors]

1714.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

VOL. 1.-24

1721.

Towards the close of the year 1721, vice would in all probability be better the small-pox broke out in Boston answered” than in the town of Boston.

and caused wide spread alarm. With a dry sort of humor, which helps

Through the influence of Cot- to relieve such contentions as these ton Mather, Dr. Boylston of that city of their tediousness, Burnet remarked, was prevailed upon to try the process that very possibly there might be a of inoculation. It was violently op- charm in the names of places; and that posed, and every species of abuse was really, with gentlemen of their stamp, he resorted to in order to put a stop to was at a loss whether to carry them to the new practice. The Mathers took Salem or to Concord. As there seemed a noble stand against the ignorant to be a fixed determination on the part prejudice of the community, and the of the governor, despite their remonsuccess of inoculation ere long silenced strances, to keep them in session antil opposition. It was at this very date they yielded, the House resolved to prethat Lady Mary Wortley Montague sent a memorial to the king, setting introduced the same practice into Eng- forth the reasons of their conduct in land, having learned its value among relation to the salary. They informed the Turks.

his majesty, that “it is, and has been William Burnet, an amiable and cor- very well known in this, as well as rect man, came from New York in July, other nations and ages, that governors, ,

1728, as the successor of Shute at a distance from the prince, or seat

in the chief magistracy. In of government, have great opportunihis opening speech he informed the ties, and sometimes too prevailing inHouse that he was directed to insist clinations, to oppress the people; and upon their fixing a permanent salary it is almost impossible for the prince, for the governor. This renewed the who is the most careful father of his old contest. The House was not at all subjects, to have such matters set in a unwilling to vote money, but they true light.” This address was referred were resolute on the point of yielding to the Board of Trade, before whom a fixed salary. They appropriated there was

there was a hearing in behalf of the £1,700, of which £1,400 was for sal- crown, as well as on the part of the ary, and £300 for the expenses of the House. The Board condemned the congovernor's journey. Burnet accepted duct of the latter, in refusing to comthe latter, but declared positively that ply with the royal instructions; and he could not, and would not, accept in the conclusion of the report to the the grant on account of salary. Per- king and council, manifested an exsisting in their refusal to accede to his treme jealousy of the growing power demands, the governor, on the 24th of and wealth of Massachusetts, and of October, adjourned the Assembly to the possible, or even probable, deterthe 31st, to meet at Salem, “where mination of its inhabitants to become prejudices had not taken root, and independent of the crown.

4 The inwhere of consequence his majesty's ser- habitants," say the Board, “ far from

128.

CH. II.)

DISPUTES ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S SALARY.

171

1732.

making suitable returns to his majesty was laid upon him to arrange for a perfor the extraordinary privileges they manent salary; but he met with no enjoy, are daily endeavoring to wrest more success than his predecessor; and the small remains of power out of the not long after he accepted the annual hands of the crown, and to become grants which the House was wilindependent of the mother kingdom. ling to make. Thus the unfalterThe nature of the soil and products are ing firmness of the colonists triumphed much the same with those of Great over all attempts to coerce them into Britain, the inhabitants upwards of submission on this point. ninety-four thousand, and their militia, While these disputes between the consisting of sixteen regiments of foot governor and the people were in proand fifteen troops of horse, in the year gress, fresh troubles arose on the east1718, fifteen thousand men; and by a ern frontier.

As was natural, the medium taken from the naval officers' question of the boundary between the accounts for three years, from the 24th English and French territory was fruitof June, 1714, to the 24th of June, ful in trouble. The Massachusetts peo1717, for the ports of Boston and Sa- ple looked with no pleasant feelings lem only, it appears that the trade of upon the Jesuit mission on the Penobthis country employs continually no scot, and were ready to make encroachless than three thousand four hundred ments upon the Indian lands whenever and ninety-three sailors, and four hun opportunity offered. It was determined dred and ninety-two ships, making to seize Rasles, the Jesuit missionary at twenty-five thousand four hundred and Norridgewock, on the plea of his excitsix tons. Hence your excellencies will ing the Indians to hostility. The expebe apprised of what importance it is to dition was partially successful: his majesty's service that so powerful a Rasles escaped capture at the colony should be restrained within due time; but two years later, in a sudden bounds of obedience to the crown, and attack, he was killed, with some thirty more firmly attached to the interests Indians, and both the chapel and the of Great Britain than they now seem village were burned and completely broto be, which, we conceive, cannot effec- ken up. Following the example of the tually be done without the interposi- French, the government offered a large tion of the British legislature, wherein, premium for scalps. This excited the in our humble opinion, no time should cupidity of John Lovewell, a noted be lost."

partisan of that day, to raise a Fretted and worried by this contro- company of hunters. He carversy, Governor Burnet was seized with ried on his operations with success,

a fever which terminated fatally surprised and killed ten Indians near

on the 7th of September, 1729. the head of Salmon Falls River, and Jonathan Belcher, at the time agent entered Dover in triumph, with the for the colony in England, was ap- scalps hooped and elevated on poles. pointed his successor. The same charge A few months later he met his death

122.

1725.

1929.

[ocr errors]

110.

on a second expedition. Near the Governor Belcher's enemies succeedhead of the Saco he fell into an am- ed in effecting his displacement bush, and was shot on the first fire in 1740. William Shirley, a lawwith eight of his men; the survivors yer of Boston, was appointed his sucfought bravely through the whole day, cessor. Governor Belcher, in accordrepulsed the Indians, and at length ance with his instructions, had resisted made good their retreat. The Indians new issues of paper money, which had retaliated by burning frontier villages added very much to his troubles and and farms. At the Gut of Canso they roused the ire of many against him. seized seventeen fishing vessels, belong- “The operation of the Massachusetts ing to Massachusetts; but they were banks was cut short by an act of Parspeedily compelled to relinquish them liament extending to the colonies that with severe loss to the Indian captors. act of the previous reign occasioned This dispute, which had well nigh in- by the South Sea and other bubble volved all the northern colonies and schemes, which prohibited the formaIndians in a fresh war of mutual exter- tion of unincorporated joint stock commination, was at length found to be so panies with more than six partners. unprofitable to both parties that they The companies were compelled to gladly agreed to a peace. Every such wind up; and the partners were held . struggle, however, had but the same individually liable for the notes. result, that of the gradual extermina- Shirley, who knew the people he had tion of the weaker party, and opening to govern, found it not difficult to attheir country to the further advance of tain popularity; and a new issue of the white men.

paper money was made in order to It was at this period, in 1722, that meet the expenses of the war just broJames Franklin started the New Eng- ken out. By tacit consent, the General

land Courant, and had for a Court made Shirley an annual allow

contributor Benjamin Franklin, ance of £1,000 sterling for salary. a youth of sixteen at the time. The In 1737, a controversy, which had Courant aspiring to what was consid- long subsisted between the two coloered too great freedom in uttering nies of Massachusetts Bay and opinions, the younger Franklin was New Hampshire, was heard by admonished by the authorities, and commissioners for that purpose aphis brother was forbidden to publish pointed by the crown. Various atwithout license. The paper soon after tempts had been made to settle this lost support and was discontinued. dispute, and it had been often recomThe Philadelphia Mercury, the only mended by the crown to the Assemnewspaper in the colonies out of Bos- blies of the two provinces to agree ton, though it had no great liberty al- upon arbitrators from neighboring lowed to it, commented severely upon the course of the authorities towards

且 1722.

Hildreth's “ History of the United States," vol. the Courant.

ii., p. 380.

1737.

CH. II.]

EXPEDITION AGAINST LOUISBURG.

173

143.

governments, and to pass acts which English ships engaged in lawful traffic, should bind each province to be subject and had committed several instances of to their determinations; but the sug- barbarity, which had greatly moved gestion had not been acted upon. This the popular indignation, and excited a year, however, commissioners were ap- clamor for war, to which Walpole the pointed, with Philip Livingston, of New minister was reluctantly obliged to conYork, as president, to settle the dispute. sent. Soon after, a general European Greatly to the mortification of Massa- war broke out, under George II., and chusetts, it was decided against her, and the colonies in America were of course the result was, New Hampshire gained involved in new struggles. several hundred thousand acres more The first intimation which New Engthan she had ever claimed. In 1741, land had of the actual state of things, Benning Wentworth was appointed was in May, 1743, when an exgovernor, an office which he filled for pedition crossed over from Cape the next twenty years. Massachusetts Breton, broke up the fishery, and atwas equally unsuccessful in the matter tacked and captured Fort Canso, in of disputed boundaries as respected Nova Scotia. Annapolis was twice beMaine and Rhode Island. The west- sieged by Indians and Canadians, but ern boundary of Maine was fixed as it obtained seasonable relief from Massanow runs, which was according to the chusetts. Privateers issuing from Louisclaims of New Hampshire. Rhode burg did great damage to the Island also obtained a decision in her New England fisheries and comfaror for all that tract which Massa- merce, and the eastern Indians renewed chusetts claimed to be within the old their ravages on the frontiers of Maine. Plymouth patent.

The French had expended large sums The third intercolonial war took its in erecting the fortress of Louisburg, on rise from the effort, on the part of the island of Cape Breton. To effect Spain, to maintain that jealous system its reduction was therefore of the most

of colonial monopoly which she vital importance; yet the attempt might

had adopted in its utmost rigor, well have appeared all but desperate. and in which she was imitated, with The walls of the fortress, surrounded less stringency, by the French and with a moat, were prodigiously strong, English. The latter had acquired, by and furnished with nearly two hundred the treaty of Utrecht, the privilege of pieces of cannon. A body of prisoners, transporting a certain number of slaves however, who, having been seized at annually to the Spanish colonies, under the English settlement of Canso and cover of which a wide-spread system carried to Louisburg, were allowed to of smuggling had been introduced, return to Boston on parole, disclosed against which the Spaniards vainly the important fact that the garrison was sought to protect themselves by the es- both weak and disaffected. Shirley, tablishment of revenue cruisers. Some the governor, proposed to the legislaof these Spanish vessels had attacked | ture of Massachusetts to attempt its re

11744.

« PředchozíPokračovat »