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merican History Leaflets
COLONIAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL.
ALBERT BUSHNELL HART and EDWARD CHANNING,
OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY.
A. LOVELL & CO.
Entered at the New York Postoffice as second-class matter.
The colonies of New Haven and Connecticut were hardly settled before a scheme was brought forward for a confederation between them and the older colonies on the Bay. As far back as 1637 the matter seems to have been agitated, and again in 1638, but it was not until 1643, when the Puritans had become very strong in England, and the colonists had been left in a great measure to their own resources, that the confederation was brought about. In 1643 committees from Massachusetts, New Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven met at Boston and drew up the following articles. These articles are here printed with the modern spelling, as the spelling in the original was so very bad that it seemed to the editors best in this case at least to put the words in modern dress. Otherwise the articles are printed word for word from the copy in the archives of Plymouth, which is printed in the Plymouth Colony Records, Volume IX., and which is also printed in Bradford's New Plymouth Plantation, page 416, and in other places. The copy in Winthrop's New England, Volume II., page 101, varies in many important respects iria the copy preserved in the are chives of Plymouth, which agrees substantially with that preserved in the Connecticut archives, and therefore we have used the Plymouth copy as the best text. As showing the reason for the drawing up of the articles, extracts from Bradford's New Plymouth Plantation and Winthrop's New England are printed before the articles. Following the articles are two votes of interest in connection with the articles.
By reason of the plottings of the Narigansets, (ever since the Pequents war,) the Indians were drawn into a general conspiracy against the English in all parts, as was in part discovered the year before; and now made more plain and evident by many discoveries and free-confessions of sundry Indians (upon several occasions) from divers places, concurring in one; with such other concurring circunstances as gave them sufficiently to understand the truth thereof, and to think of means how to prevent the same, and secure themselves. Which made them enter into this more near union and confederation following:
WINTHROP'S STATEMENT. At this Court came the Commissioners from Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven, viz. from Plymouth Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. Collier, from Connecticut Mr. Haynes and Mr. Hopkins, and whom Mr. Fenwick of Saybrook joined, from New Haven Mr. Theophilus Eaton and Mr. Grigson. Our Court chose a committee to treat with them, viz. the governor and Mr. Dudley and Mr. Bradstreet, being of the magistrates; and of the deputies, Captain Gibbons, Mr. Tyng the treasurer, and Mr. Hathorn. These coming to consultation encountered some difficulties, but being all desirous of union and studious of peace, they readily yielded each to other in such things as tended to common utility, &c., so as in some two or three meetings they lovingly accorded upon these ensuing articles, which, being allowed by our Court, and signed by all the Commissioners, were sent to be also ratified by the General Courts of other Jurisdictions; only Plymouth Com
* Bradford's New Plymouth Plantation, II, 416 (1643). + Winthrop's New England, 1!., 99 (March 3, 1643).
missioners, having power only to treat, but not to determine, deferred the signing of them till they came home, but soon after they were ratified by their General Court also.
Those of Sir Ferdinando Gorge his province, beyond Pascataquack, were not received nor called into the Confederation, because they ran a different course from us both in their ministry and civil administration; for they had lately made Acomenticus (a poor village) a corporation, and had made a tailor their mayor, and had entertained one Hull, an excommunicated person and very contentious, for their minister.
At this court of elections there arose a scruple about the oath which the governor and the rest of the magistrates were to take, viz. about the first part of it: “You shall bear true faith and allegiance to our sovereign Lord King Charles," seeing he had violated the privileges of parliament, and made war upon them, and thereby had lost much of his kingdom and many of his subjects; whereupon it was thought fit to omit that part of it for the present.
The Articles of Confederation between the Plantations under the Government of the Massachusetts, the Plantations under the Government of New Plymouth, the Plantations under the Government of Connecticut, and the Government of New Haven with the Plantations in Combination therewith :
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace; and whereas in our settling (by a wise providence of God) we are further dispersed upon the sea coasts and rivers than was at first intended, so that we can not according to our desire with convenience communicate in one government and jurisdiction; and whereas we live encompassed with people of several nations and strange languages which hereafter may prove injurious to us or our posterity. And forasmuch as the natives have formerly committed sundry insolences and outrages upon several Plantations of the English and have of late combined themselves against us: and seeing by reason of those sad distractions in England