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CH. VI.

BASIS OF GOVERNMENT.

63

11.631.

Before winter was over, the infant established order, so the Puritan setcolony was threatened with famine; tlers were persuaded that it was a duty but the seasonable return of a vessel to enforce their regulations by aid of from England with provisions revived the civil magistrate. The same experitheir drooping spirits, and instead of ment of a theocratic form of governthe fast, they observed a day of thanks- ment was tried at a later date in Enggiving. Many of the emigrants, dis- land, with what result every reader of couraged, and in some degree terrified, history knows. returned home and spread various re- Not only were a larger proportion ports injurious to the colony.

of the people deprived of political The second General Court, held in rights, under this arbitrary system, but May, 1631, enacted a remarkable law, the legislation of this self-constituted

which clearly points out the body was characterized by a spirit of

basis on which, for the next puritanical severity within themselves, half century, the government of Mas- and a harsh and rigid exclusiveness sachusetts continued to rest. “To the towards those without, which were not end that the body of commons may be long in producing the same bitter fruits preserved of good and honest men, it of persecution by which they had themis ordered and agreed, that, for the selves suffered. The ministers acquired time to come, no man shall be admitted an undue degree of influence; minute to the freedom of the body politic, but enactments interfered with individual such as are members of some of the freedom of action; amusements, which, churches within the limits of the same.” | though innocent in themselves, were This enactment narrowed down the supposed to be inconsistent with the number of citizens and voters very gravity of professing Christians, were materially, since, in consequence of the studiously discouraged, and devotional difficulties attendant on becoming a exercises substituted in their room. “It member of one of the churches, not was attempted, in fact,” to use Mr. Hilone fourth of the adult population dreth's words, “ to make the colony, as ever church

members. It was it were, a convent of Puritan devotees an attempt to establish a theocracy, a -except in the allowance of marriage reign of the saints on the earth, and as and money-making-subjected to all every religious party in power thought the rules of the stricter monastic orit right to require conformity to the ders.

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Emigration in 1632 Question of levying taxes — Arrivals in 1633 -- Rights of the freemen under the charter

Dudley governor -- Progress of the colony under Winthrop's four years' administration - Royal colonial com. mission · Alarm in Massachusetts — Measures taken Case of Roger Williams --- His sentiments and character - Flight to Providence — Mrs. Hutchinson's heresies Vane's course Sad fate of Mrs. Hutchinson Settlements in Connecticut - Pequod war Origin and result — Extermination of the Pequod tribe - Emigration in consequence of religious dissensions Coast of Maine Nova Scotia and Canada Progress of the colony in strength and extent --- Estimated cost of colonization up to 1640.

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1631.

1633.

1634.

1632.

THE unfavorable report carried back rived; among them were John Haynes, by those who returned from the first and those ministers so distinguished in

emigration, operated for a while New England history, Cotton,

greatly to discourage others. Hooker, and Stone. Cotton The number of new-comers consequent- settled in Boston, as colleague with ly, in 1632, was comparatively small. Wilson, and Hooker and Stone settled Among them, however, was the son at Newtown. of Winthrop the governor, and John Difficulties having occurred in con Eliot, afterwards the celebrated mis- sequence of some stringent acts of the sionary to the Indians.

magistrates, two delegates from In virtue of the authority which they each town met and requested supposed was vested in them, the magis a sight of the charter, on examining

trates had, on several occasions, which they concluded, that the legisla

levied taxes. This soon excited | tive authority rested with the freemen, attention and complaint, and the next and not with the magistrates. When General Court, in May, 1632, took the the General Court met, in May, 1634, matter in hand. Two deputies were

Two deputies were that body claimed for itself, under chosen from each plantation to agree the charter, the admission of freemen, upon “raising a common stock.” The choosing officers, raising money, tenure of office of the assistants was Notwithstanding a pulpit appeal from expressly limited to one year, and the Cotton against the rash changing of choice of governor and deputy-gov- those in office, Dudley was chosen governor was reassumed by the freemen. ernor, in place of Winthrop, though Boston was determined to be the best this latter was retained as an assistant. place for public meetings of the colo- During Winthrop's four years' adminnists, and a fort and house of correc-istration, the infant colony had taken tion were ordered to be built there. firm root. There were already seven

In 1633, several hundred settlers ar- | churches, eight principal plantations,

etc.

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1634.

and some smaller ones. Ferries had minister very early gave trouble to the been established between Boston and Massachusetts brethren, by setting forth Charlestown; a fort had been built ; novelties and heresies, as they esteemed water and wind-mills had been brought them, which led to his removal to Plyinto use; a flourishing trade with the mouth, where he remained two years. Virginians, and the Dutch had gradu- On returning to Massachusetts, he soon ally grown up, etc.

became involved in trouble, not only While the Court was in session, six by denying the validity of royal palarge vessels arrived with a large num- tents to give title to land in America, ber of passengers and a goodly supply but also by a fantastical scruple of cattle; and about a month later, as to the red cross in the Engfifteen more vessels entered the harbor. lish colors, which cross, being a relic John Humphrey came out in one of of popery and abomination, he got these ships, and brought with him a Endicott, the commander at Salem, to supply of ordnance, muskets, powder, cut out from the national flag. Beside and other things of value to the col- this, denying the lawfulness of an oath ony. He brought, also, propositions imposed on the non-freemen, and the from some "persons of great quality enactment compelling attendance on and estate,” to join the Massachusetts public worship, he gave great offence colonists if certain points could be con- to the magistrates and ministers. Amid ceded to them.

all his vagaries, and what we can not but In consequence of complaints made deem puerile seizing upon trifles, in England against Massachusetts, a he appears to have grasped firmRoyal Colonial Commission was ap- ly one grand idea, and to have held pointed with full power over the Amer- and acted upon it at all times with enican plantations to revise the laws, regu- tire sincerity: this was what he called late the Church, and revoke charters. “soul-liberty," meaning by the expresThe news of this measure produced sion, the most perfect and complete great alarm in Massachusetts, and steps right of every man to enjoy freedom were directly taken to provide for the of opinion on the subject of religion. defence of Boston harbor. Dudley, The idea, however familiar to us at the Winthrop, Haynes, Humphrey, and present day, was then wholly new, and Endicott were appointed commission- startling indeed in a colony like Massaers “to consult, direct, and give com- chusetts, and no wonder that it seemed mand for the managing and ordering to those in authority as a most alarmof any war that might befall for the ing heresy. For, in truth, these princispace of a year next ensuing."

ples struck at the very root of the In the midst of these difficulties, the theocracy which had become estabcourse pursued by the celebrated Roger lished in the colony. Alarmed by Williams was not calculated to render their dangerous tendency, the Court at matters more easy of adjustment. This Boston was led earnestly to desire the active and energetic young Puritan removal of one whom they regarded as

1635.

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unsettled in judgment, and a troubler ter on sending him back to England. of the public peace. It was certainly In the depth of a New England unfortunate that the scruples of Wil- winter, Williams fled into the wilderliams were such as tended to divide ness, and took refuge among the Narand weaken the colony, struggling as ragansett Indians, with whom he had it was for independent existence, amid become acquainted at Plymouth. He all the difficulties by which it was en- wandered for fourteen weeks through compassed. His agitations even served the snow-buried forests, before he to paralyse resistance against aggres- reached their wigwams, where he was sions which they were calculated to received and sheltered with the utmost bring about: and it must be confessed kindness. In the spring he departed that, however excellent the principles in quest of some spot where he could he had espoused, his conduct bears found an asylum for those who, like some tinge of factious opposition, or, himself, were persecuted for conscience' to say the least, of an ill-timed and sake. He first attempted a settlement narrow-minded scrupulosity. But his at Seekonk, but afterwards, at the piety was so genuine, and his character friendly suggestion of Winslow, so noble and disinterested, that the the governor of Plymouth, repeople of Salem, who knew and loved moved to Narragansett Bay, where he him, reëlected him for their pastor, in received from the Indians a free grant spite of the censure of his doctrines by of a considerable tract of country, and the Court at Boston, an act of contu- in June, 1636, fixed upon the site of a macy for which they were reprimanded town, which he named “PROVIDENCE," and punished by the withholding a as being a refuge from persecution and certain portion of lands. Such harsh- wanderings. Many of his friends from ness aroused Williams to retort by a Salem joined him here, and he freely spirited protest, and he engaged the distributed his lands among them. Salem church to join with him in a This was the beginning of the State of general appeal to the other churches Rhode Island, one of the most free and against the injustice of which the ma- liberal in its institutions of any ever gistrates had been guilty—a daring founded in America. proceeding, for which the council sus- It was not long before fresh troubles pended their franchise, and they shrunk sprang up, in great measure, having from their leader, who was thus left their origin in the same claim to the absolutely alone. Upon this he openly right of private judgment in all matrenounced allegiance to what he deemed ters of religious truth and obligation. a persecuting church. His opinions Hugh Peters, chaplain to Oliver Cromand conduct were condemned by the well, and Henry Vane, a young man council, who pronounced against him a of superior ability and acquirements, sentence of banishment, but on account came over to join the Massachusetts of the dangerous feeling of sympa- colony. The emigration of a man of thy it awakened, decided shortly af- / Vane's distinction and family created

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1637.

considerable stir, and it was even pro- and that such as inculcated the necesposed, to meet the desires of those sity of manifesting the reality of our among the aristocracy who might be faith by obedience, preached only a expected to make New England their covenant of works; she contended that home, to establish an order of heredi- the Spirit of God dwelt personally in tary magistracy, but the proposition good men, and by inward revelations was never carried into effect. Soon af- and impressions they received the full

ter, Vane was elected chief ma- est discoveries of the Divine will. The

gistrate of the colony, and on fluency and confidence with which she the occasion of a new religious fermen- delivered these notions, gained her tation arising, he became a prominent many admirers and proselytes, not only actor in it. We can not do better, in among speaking of this matter, than use the cipal inhabitants. The whole colony language of Dr. Robertson :

was interested and agitated. Vane, “It was the custom at that time in whose sagacity and acuteness New England, among the chief men in seemed to forsake him whenevery congregation, to meet once a ever they were turned towards religion, week, in order to repeat the sermons espoused and defended her wildest which they had heard, and to hold re- tenets. Many conferences were held, ligious conference with respect to the days of fasting and humiliation were doctrines contained in them. Mrs. appointed, a general synod was called ; Anne Hutchinson, whose husband was and, after dissensions which threatened among the most respectable members the dissolution of the colony, Mrs. of the colony, regretting that persons Hutchinson's opinions were condemned of her sex were excluded from the as erroneous, and she herself banished. benefit of those meetings, assembled Several of her disciples withdrew from statedly in her house a number of the province of their own accord. . women, who employed themselves in Vane quitted America in disgust, unpious exercises similar to those of the lamented even by those who had latemen. At first she satisfied herself with ly admired him; some of whom now repeating what she could recollect of regarded him as a mere visionary, and the discourses delivered by their teach others, as one of those dark, turbulent

She began afterwards to add il- spirits doomed to embroil every society lustrations, and at length proceeded to into which they enter."* censure some of the clergy as unsound, The fate of Mrs. Hutchinson was as and to vent opinions and fancies of her unhappy as her life was restless. Afown. These were all founded on the ter her retirement to Aquiday, or the system which is denominated Antino- Isle of Rhodes, where she participated mian by divines, and tinged with the in all the toils and privations of a new deepest enthusiasm. She taught that sanctity of life is no evidence of justifi

History Of America," book ix., cation, or of a state of favor with God; p. 239.

ers.

* Robertson's

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