« PředchozíPokračovat »
THE DUTCH AT HARTFORD.
exercise her “gift of discussing,” even if she did say they CHAP were under a covenant of works !"
Roger Williams invited the exiles to settle in his vicin- 1638. ity. By his influence they obtained from Miantonomoh, the nephew and prospective successor of Canonicus, a beautiful island, which they named the Isle of Rhodes. Here this little company of not more than twenty persons, formed a settlement. William Coddington, who had been a magistrate in the Bay Colony, was elected judge or ruler. They, too, covenanted with each other to obey the laws made by the majority, and to respect the rights of con Oct. science. Mrs. Hutchinson and her family remained here several years, and then removed farther west beyond New Haven, into the territory of the Dutch; there she and all her family who were with her, with the exception of one daughter, who was taken captive, were murdered by the Indians.
The Dutch from Manhattan explored the Connecticut
1614, river six years before the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. They erected a fortified trading-house near where Hartford now stands, but by ill-treating the Indians they excited their hostility, and lost a trade that might have been valuable.
Unable to occupy the territory, and unwilling to lose its advantages, they invited the Pilgrims to leave the 1627. sterile soil of Plymouth and remove to the fertile vales of the Connecticut, and live under their protection. The invitation was not accepted ; but as the Pilgrims were convinced that a change to more fertile lands was desirable, Governor Winslow went on an exploring tour to that region; having found the soil as fertile as had been repre- 1632. sented he promoted emigration.
The Council of Plymouth had given a grant of Connec- 1630. ticut to the Earl of Warwick, who the next year transferred his claim or patent to Lords Say and Brooke, John
CHAP. Hampden, and others. The eastern boundary of this grant
was the Narraganset river, and the western the Pacific 1633. ocean.
When the Dutch learned of this grant, they purchased of the Indians the tract of land in the vicinity of Hartford, on which stood their trading-house, and prepared to defend their rights; they erected a fort and mounted two cannons, to prevent the English from ascending the river. In the latter part of the year Captain William Holmes, who was sent by Governor Winslow, arrived in a sloop, with a company, and prepared to make a settlement. The Dutch commandant threatened him with destruction if he should attempt to pass his fort. The undaunted Holmes passed by uninjured, and put up a fortified house at Windsor. He was not permitted to enjoy his place in peace ; the next year the Dutch made an effort to drive him away, but not succeeding they compromised the matter by relinquishing all claim to the valley. The parties agreed upon a dividing line, very nearly the same as that existing at this day between the States of New York and Connecticut. As the natural meadows on the Connecticut would furnish much more grass and hay for their cattle than the region nearer the sea-shore, many
of the Pilgrims determined to remove thither. 1635. The following autumn, a party of sixty persons, men,
women, and children, undertook the desperate work of going through the woods and swamps from Plymouth to Connecticut. The journey was laborious and the suffering great. When they arrived at the river the ground
was covered with snow, the precursor of an unusually severe Nov. winter. A sloop from Plymouth, laden with provisions
and their household furniture, failed to reach them on account of storms and ice. Their cattle all perished ; a little corn obtained from the Indians, and acorns, were their only food ; they barely escaped starvation.
During this year three thousand persons came to Boston from England. Among these was the Reverend
JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS.
Thomas Hooker, who has been called “ The Light of the CHLAP. Western Churches." He was a man of great eloquence, and of humble piety ; his talents, of a high order, com- 1635 manded universal respect, while his modesty won him ardent friends. When he was silenced for non-conformity in England, great numbers of the clergy of the Established Church petitioned that he might be restored. But in those days to be a Non-Conformist was an unpardonable offence.
A portion of his congregation had emigrated the year before. · When he arrived at Boston with the remainder of his flock, the colony was in a ferment--the Williams controversy was going on ; his people were wearied with the turmoil. John Haynes, who was a member of his congregation in England, and who had been Governor of Massachusetts, determined, with others, to remove to Connecticut. In the spring, a company, under the lead of Mar. Hooker and Haynes, set out from the vicinity of Boston 1636. for the pleasant valley. They numbered about one hundred persons, some of whom had been accustomed to the luxuries of life in England. With no guide but a compass they entered the untrodden wilderness ; toiled on foot over hills and valleys ; waded through swamps and forded streams. They subsisted principally on the milk of the kine that they drove before them, and which browsed on the tender leaves and grass. They moved but slowly. Their sick they carried on litters. The trustful spirit of piety and faith was present, and the silence of the forest was broken for the first time by Christian songs of praise. The man whose eloquence in his native land attracted crowds of the educated and refined, now, in the wilderness, comforted and cherished the humble exiles for religion's sake. The first of July brought an end to their laborious journey. The greater part of the company remained at Hartford ; some went up the river and founded Springfield ; some went down and joined those at Wethersfield.
John Winthrop, the younger, who had been sent to
England on business for the colony, returned as agent for 1636. Lords Say and Brooke. He was directed to build a fort
at the mouth of the Connecticut river ; it was named 1035. Saybrooke.
These settlements were now threatened with destruction. The valley of the river and the region adjoining were more densely populated with Indians than any portion of New England. The powerful Pequods, the most warlike tribe in the country, numbered almost two thousand warriors, and ruled over a number of smaller tribes; they inhabited the south-eastern part of Connecticut, and the shore of Long Island Sound to the mouth of Connecticut river, and west almost to the Hudson. The Mohegans, who dwelt in the north-eastern part of Connecticut, and the Narragansets, who lived around Narraganset bay, were the enemies of the Pequods and
the friends of the English. The Pequods were jealous of 1636. the English, not merely because they had settled near
them, but because they were friendly to their enemies. These Pequods were charged with murdering, some years before, a Virginia trader, named Stone, with his crew, on the Connecticut river. Stone had the reputation of being intemperate and quarrelsome; the Pequods said that he had attacked them and they killed him in self-defence. Captain Oldham, who was exploring the Connecticut, was murdered, with his crew, by the Indians living on Block Island. Captain John Endicott was sent to punish the murderers. Previous to this the Pequods had sent chiefs to Boston to make an alliance, and explain the difficulty in relation to the Virginia trader. They promised to deliver up—so the magistrates understood them—the two men who had killed him. Endicott was ordered to call, on his way home from Block Island, at the Pequod town, and demand the promised satisfaction. The Indians, according to their custom, offered a ransom for the two men,
THE PEQUOD WAR.
but refused to give them up to certain death. Endicott CHAP had no respect for their customs; he must have blood for blood. Angry at their refusal, he burned two of their vil- 1636 lages and destroyed their corn. It was after this that the Pequods began to prowl about the settlements, and pick off stragglers, until they had, during the winter, killed more than thirty persons.
The people in the Connecticut valley were in great alarm ; they knew not at what moment nor at what point the storm would burst. They called upon Massachusetts for aid ; only twenty men were sent under Captain Underhill. The whole community were so much absorbed in discussing theological questions with Mrs. Hutchinson that every other consideration was overlooked.
Although the Pequods were more warlike and more numerous than any other tribe, they were not willing to enter upon the war single-handed. They sent a deputation to Miantonomoh, the chief of the Narragansets, to enlist him against the common enemy. Governor Vane wrote to Roger Williams, urging him, if possible, to prevent the alliance, Williams hastened to visit Miantonomoh; he found the Pequod chiefs already there, urging their ancient enemy to join them and externinate the white intruders—the Narragansets were wavering. At the risk of his life, Williams labored for three days to prevent these tribes uniting their forces against the colonists. The disappointed and angry Pequods threatened him with death. He not only prevented the alliance, but obtained the promise of the Narragansets to aid the English. Oct. Meantime, he sent a messenger to Boston to warn them of the impending danger. At length the infant settlements of Connecticut in
May convention at Hartford declared war against the Pequods. 10, The little army of not more than eighty men, including those sent from Massachusetts, assembled at Hartford : the pious Hooker exhorted them, and gave the staff of com