Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Wissagusset was then speedily aban- the expelled colonists formed a new doned.

settlement at that point. The energetic Sir Ferdinando Gorges, The colony of New Plymouth, though in connection with an able partner still feeble, gave encouraging signs of named Mason, had obtained a grant of life and energy, for though there were territory from Naumkeag, now Salem, no luxuries as yet to be met with, there to the Kennebec, and thence to Canada. was wholesome food and a good supply This grant was named Laconia. Ports- of pure water to drink. “The nonmouth and Dover, in New Hamp- existence of private property, the dis

shire, were now founded; but content and unwillingness to labor

the “Company of Laconia" did thence arising, and the exorbitant not prosper, and these towns long re- interest, as high as forty-five per cent. mained mere fishing stations. Robert paid for money borrowed in London, Gorges, son of Sir Ferdinando, obtained were, however, serious drawbacks to at this time a grant of ten miles on the prosperity of the colony. It was the northern shore of Massachusetts found necessary, indeed, to enter into Bay; he was also appointed lieuten- an agreement that each family should ant-general of New England, Francis plant for itself; and an acre of land West being the admiral sent out to was accordingly assigned to each perprohibit disorderly trading within the son in fee. Under this stimulus, the limits of the patent held by the Coun- production of corn soon became so cil for New England. Gorges brought great, that, from buyers, the colonists with him a clergyman of the Church became sellers to the Indians. At the of England, named Morrell, who was end of the fourth year after its settleappointed, by the archbishop of Can- ment, Plymouth had thirty-two dwellterbury, commissary of ecclesiastical af- ing houses, and a hundred and eightyfairs. His mission was looked on with four inhabitants. The general stock, no favor by the stern Puritans, and in or whole amount of the investment, the course of a year or so he returned personal services included, amounted to to England without having attempted £7,000, or $34,000. The London partany interference with the colonists or ners were very unwilling to make any their religious views and practices. further advances. John Robinson died

The following year, another in Holland, and several years elapsed

clergyman, by name Lyford, before his family, and the rest of the was recommended by the partners in Leyden congregation could find means London, to supply the pastoral office to transport themselves to New Plymvacant at New Plymouth: he was as outh. Those already there-passengers little acceptable as Morrell, and soon by the Mayflower, the Fortune, the after, under charge of practising against Anne, and the Little James—were afterthe colony, he and a few adherents ward distinguished as the Cold comers, were expelled. Migrating to Nantas-or forefathers.'

Six or seven years ket, at the entrance of Boston harbor, elapsed before the colony received any

1624.

CA. VI.)

MASSACHUSETTS BAY COMPANY.

59

162.

1628.

1630.

considerable addition to its numbers." refuge from trial and persecution. A

In 1627, at which date the agree-grant was obtained from the New ment between the Plymouth colonists England Company of Plymouth, em

and the London merchants bracing Massachusetts Bay and the

came to an end, the latter agreed country to the westward. John Ento sell out their interest for $9,000. dicott, a Puritan of the sternest and The joint-stock principle was aban- severest sort, first established himself doned, and some twenty acres of land at Naumkeag, and soon after, a nearest the town, were donated to each strong body, chiefly from Boscolonist.

ton, in Lincolnshire, followed. A paAlthough the number of the colonists tent was obtained, but not without at New Plymouth in 1630, did not considerable difficulty, from Charles I.,

amount to three hundred, yet incorporating the adventurers as the

they considered themselves per- “ Governor and Company of Massamanently established. “It was not chusetts Bay in New England,” the with them as with other men,” was stockholders to elect annually a govtheir language, “whom small things ernor, deputy-governor, and eighteen could discourage, or small discontents assistants, who were to administer the cause to wish themselves at home affairs of the colony in monthly court again. By degrees, too, as distance meetings. Four great and general from the mother country favored the courts of the whole body of freemen assumption of responsibility, they ex- were to be held for the transaction of ercised all the prerogatives of govern- public affairs. Nothing was to be enment, even to capital punishment. All acted contrary to the rights of Englishlaws were enacted in a general assem- men, but the supreme power resided bly of the colonists; and in religious with the Company in England. It was matters the same freedom of speech regarded as a patent for a trading corprevailed. Every one who chose, ad- poration, and no specific provision was dressed the congregation on Sundays, made on the subject of religion. A and for many years they had no settled large number of the proprietors were pastor or minister among them.

attached to the Church of England ; The settlement at New Plymouth Endicott, however, having visited Plywas soon after followed by another mouth, desired to establish an Indeand more extensive one of the Puri- pendent church, and to renounce the tans on the shores of Massachusetts use of the Liturgy; hence he became Bay. Their position at home was be involved in a dispute with two brothers coming less and less satisfactory, and of the name of Browne—who were it was but natural that their minds among the original patentees, and who should turn to America as a place of desired to have the services of the

Church of England fully carHildreth’s “ History of the United States," vol. ried out in the colony—and he i., p. 171.

shipped them off to England as “fac

11629.

9)

1630.

tious and evil conditioned." Endicott desired to see reformed upon what the was reprimanded by the Company for Puritans deemed the pure basis of this stretch of authority, but the com- Scripture. The emigrants included plaints of the Brownes were unheeded. many persons of high character, wealth, “This transaction,” as Mr. Bartlett re

as Mr. Bartlett re- and learning. Their attachment to the marks, in his “ Pilgrim Fathers," “not mother country was manifested in a merely illustrates the character of En- protestation against certain calumnious dicott, but exposes the secret principle reports which had gone forth against upon which the new commonwealth was them, wherein they declare their unfounded, the open avowal of which would dying attachment, both to the Church have certainly prevented the concession that had nursed them in her bosom, of a royal charter. It was, while nomi- and to the land, from which they were nally subject to the authority of the now voluntarily expatriating themChurch of England, to establish a totally selves.* The expedition was different system, in which all that was by far the most important that really vital to that system, such as its had ever left the shores of England for Episcopal government and appointed the wilds of America, consisting of fifformularies, should be entirely set aside teen ships conveying about a thousand and no toleration granted to any other emigrants, among whom were four form of worship but that agreed upon by themselves. The expulsion of the

* We quote a striking paragraph from the letter adBrownes was only the first of that dressed by them to the rest of their brethren in and

of the Church of England.” It was dated from Yarseries of oppressive actions which

mouth, aboard the Arbella, April 7th, 1630. ended in the judicial murder of the desire you would be pleased to take notice of the prinquakers."

cipals and body of our company, as those who esteem

it our honor to call the Church of England, from A plan to transfer the charter and

whence we rise, our dear mother; and cannot part the Company from England to the

from our native country, where she specially resideth, colony itself was next formed, which without much sadness of heart, and many tears in led to a very important increase in the our eyes; ever acknowledging that such hope and

part as we have obtained in the common salvation, number and distinction of the emigrants. The principal of these were, her breasts. We leave it not, therefore, as loathing Sir Richard Saltonstall, Isaac Johnson, blessing God for the parentage and education, as

that milk wherewith, we were nourished there, but, (brother-in-law of the Earl of Lincoln,) members of the same body, shall always rejoice in Thomas Dudley, and John Winthrop. her good, and unfeignedly grieve for any sorrow that Winthrop was chosen governor, and, shall ever betide her; and while we have breath,

sincerely desire and endeavor the continuance and by his admirable conduct, fully justi- abundance of her welfare, with the enlargement of fied the general confidence. He was her bounds in the kingdom of Christ Jesus.” They indeed a noble specimen of the Eng- England, that they may not be despised nor deserted lish gentleman-loyal, yet no less firm

-loyal, yet no less firm- " in their prayers and affections." —See Hubbard's ly bent upon the assertion of public New England, pp. 126, 7. Consult

, also, the famous liberty, and, by old association, attached Dr. Cotton Mather's “ Magnalia," vol. i., pp. 74, 5,

for some curious and edifying remarks on this letter to the Church, which he nevertheless and its purport.

[ocr errors]

ܪ

we have received in her bosom, and sucked it from

also ask, further on in the letter, of their brethren in

CH. VI.]

COMPANY TRANSFERRED TO NEW ENGLAND.

61

non-conformist ministers. Every neces- united together by voluntary associasary for the foundation of a permanent tion, possessing the natural right of colony was carried out by the settlers. men who form a society, to adopt what

In regard to this important move- mode of government, and to enact what ment of transferring the government laws, they deemed most conducive to of the colony from England to Amer- the general felicity. Upon this prinica, the observations of Dr. Robert-ciple of being entitled to judge and son are worthy attention: “In this decide for themselves, they established singular transaction," he says, “to their church in Salem, without regard which there is nothing similar in the to the institutions of the Church of history of English colonization, two England, of which the charter supcircumstances merit particular atten- posed them to be members, and bound, tion: one is the power of the Com- of consequence, to conformity with its pany to make this transference; the ritual. Suitably to the same ideas, we other is the silent acquiescence with shall observe them framing all their fuwhich the king permitted it to take ture plans of civil and ecclesiastical place. If the validity of this deter- policy. The king, though abundantly mination of the Company be tried by vigilant in observing and checking the charter which constituted it a body slighter encroachments on his preropolitic, and conveyed to it all the cor- gative, was either so much occupied porate powers with which it was in- with other cares, occasioned by his vested, it is evident that it could neither fatal breach with his parliament, that exercise those powers in any mode differ- he could not attend to the proceedings ent from what the charter prescribed, of the Company, or he was so much nor alienate them in such a manner pleased with the proposal of removing as to convert the jurisdiction of a trad- a body of turbulent subjects to a dising corporation in England into a pro- tant country, where they might be usevincial government in America. But ful, and could not prove dangerous, that from the first institution of the Com- he was disposed to connive at the irrepany of Massachusetts Bay, its mem- gularity of a measure which facilitated bers seem to have been animated with their departure."* a spirit of innovation in civil policy, as Winthrop, Dudley, and others had well as in religion; and by the habit embarked on board the Arbella, so of rejecting established usages in the named after the Lady Arbella Johnsong one, they were prepared for deviating who, with her husband, was also a pasfrom them in the other. They had ap- senger. They arrived in the Bay in plied for a royal charter in order to June, and found Endicott at Charlesgive legal effect to their operations in town, where, at first, they contemplated England as acts of a body politic ; but forming a settlement. The opposite the persons whom they sent out to America, as soon as they landed there, 230.–See also, Chalmers's “ Introduction to History

* Robertson's History of America,” book X., p. considered themselves as individuals of Revolt of American Colonies,” vol. i., pp. 42, 3.

TON.

1630.

tribute to their character.

peninsula, however, as was natural, according to their own views of right speedily attracted their attention: it and propriety; but, as they were inwas then in a state of nature, and in clined to a temporizing policy, at least the undisturbed possession of the soli- for the present, they acted prudently, tary occupant, by name Blackstone. so as not needlessly to provoke collision Here Winthrop and his people deter- on such nice points as the value and nemined to fix themselves, and begin a cessity of Episcopal ordination, the obsettlement, which, after the English ligation of ceremonies, and the like. town in Lincolnshire, they called Bos- Although the new settlers were not

Other parties of emigrants, as subjected to hardships so severe as they arrived, settled at various points those which had fallen upon the New in the vicinity of Boston, and gave Plymouth colony, yet owing to various names to the various towns and villages circumstances of an unfavorable chawhich they then and there founded. racter, shortness of provision, debility,

“Each settlement,” says Mr. Hil- severity of the winter, etc., more than dreth, “at once assumed that township two hundred died before Deauthority which has ever formed so cember, among them the Lady marked a feature in the political or Arbella Johnson and her husband.* ganization of New England. The peo

* Cotton Mather bestows this somewhat quaint ple assembled in town meeting, voted

66 Of those who soon dyed taxes for local purposes, and chose after their first arrival, not the least considerable was three, five, or seven of the principal the Lady Arbella, who left an earthly paradise in the inhabitants, at first under other names, wilderness, for the entertainments of a pure worship

family of an Earldom, to encounter the sorrows of a but early known as 'selectmen, who in the house of God; and then immediately left that had the expenditure of this money, and wilderness for the Heavenly paradise, whereto the the executive management of town af- compassionate Jesus, of whom she was a follower,

called her. We have read concerning a noble wofairs. A treasurer and a town clerk

man of Bohemia, who forsook her friends, her plate, were also chosen, and a constable was her house, and all ; and because the gates of the soon added for the service of civil and city were guarded, crept through the common sewer,

that she might enjoy the institutions of our Lord at criminal processes. Each town consti- another place where they might be had. The spirit tuted, in fact, a little republic, almost which acted that noble woman, we may suppose,

carried this blessed lady thus to and through the complete in itself.

hardships of an American desert. But as for her The warmth of their attachment to

virtuous husband, Isaac Johnson, Esq., home had led to the expression of strong feeling of affection for their

His mourning for the death of his honorable consort “ dear mother," the Church of Eng- was too bitter to be extended a year ; about a month land; but when they set foot on the after her death, his ensued, unto the extream loss of soil of the New World, they did not hesi- the whole plantation. But at the end of this perfect

He try'd
To live without her, lik'd it not, and dy'd.

[ocr errors]

and upright man, there was not only peace, but joy; tate to arrange and organize churches and his joy particularly expressed itself

, that God had kept his eyes open so long as to see one church of

the Lord Jesus Christ gathered in these ends of the Hildreth's "History of the United States," vol. i., earth, before his own going away to Heaven.”—Ma

ther's “ Magnalia," vol. i., p. 77.

P. 186.

TYYZAT

« PředchozíPokračovat »