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fore, is to be taken as the true date of the colonization of Massachusetts Bay. Settlements were made almost simultaneously at Charlestown, Boston, Roxbury, Cambridge, and Watertown, and, four years afterwards, at Dorchester. The fathers of the Bay Colony differed both in religious sentiments and social standing from the Pilgrims at Ply. mouth. With two or three exceptions, the Old Colony exiles were yeomen and Separatists, while the Massachusetts proprietors were gentlemen of landed estates, of some pretensions on the score of family descent and noble connections, and they retained their union with the Church of England, by communing with its members, though “they scrupled at first its ceremonies, and then its prelacy." The distinctions between the founders of the two colonies, though never causing animosity or strife, and very soon merged, were by no means trilling or overlooked in the first generation. It is a somewhat remarkable fact, that they adopted the same form of church polity. The boundary line between the two colonies is drawn upon the new State map.

The documents composing the Chronicles now before us are the records of an associated company and of individuals who were parties to its great enterprise. We have in them, therefore, abundant means of estimating the general and the particular characteristics of the founders of this colony. Brief as they are, and filled with references to very many matters and persons, they contain a connected history, and teach, after a plain way, the Puritan views of religion and policy. We have said, that their own records are the sources whence are gathered the facts, opinions, and incidents which are alleged against them. We believe that these records also afford to every judicious and moderate advocate of the Puritans the means of answering every charge against them which is mere slander, and of softening those censures to which individuals among them may be amenable. We are no indiscriminate eulogists of these men. We frankly confess, that, with our present opinions, views, and habits, we much prefer that they should have been our ancestors, to having them for contemporaries. In some respects they were sour and ungenial men. Their taste for an unintermitted and excessive ministration of preaching and prayer was morbid. Life in their households was not relieved by gentle graces, nor by wise relaxations, nor by humane indulgences. They dis

tressed themselves with superstitions. They made a great deal of mischief and unhappiness for each other by intermeddling with consciences and opinions. They doubled by their laws and institutions the number of the sins which

may

be committed against God and duty. But when the most is made of these just abatements of the high merit of the Puritans, one who has acquainted himself with their memorials and views will readily allow them, and still keep the balance of high esteem and renown upon their side.

We have already made a passing reference to that just point of view whence the fathers of Massachusetts are to be studied in their own light. They have been criticised as if they had before them an end very different from that which actually led them ; the true course would be to show that the object which Patriarch White proposed to them, and which they devotedly and faithfully pursued, was unworthy and sure to lead them astray. if this can be done, then may these Puritan exiles stand condemned for folly ; and their ardent desire for a Christian commonwealth across the seas, composed of willing members and governed by laws of their own making, will pass for the spirit which their adversaries attribute to them, - a spirit of obstinacy when under restraint, and of persecuting intolerance when in power. We recognize no slight difference in mind and temper between the original stock of exiles from England, and their children of the first and second generations born on this soil. We should not care to appear as champions of the latter in all their views or measures.

Yet for all the increase, rather than mitigation, of the Puritan harshness exhibited by them, they may find large excuses in their circumstances and education. They had not enjoyed the generous and expansive influences which Old England dispensed to her children ; they had not read her classics and poets, nor seen her venerable halls and libraries. They had been nurtured amid privations and hardships ; they had imbibed some little of moroseness with the poor fare which fed them; they had no milk in their infancy ; they had been reared under very grim religious teachings, and had not been educated for a state of much religious freedom. The dying warnings of their parents rang in their ears, bidding them beware of apostasy, or of falling from their first love.

We do not wish to pursue into particulars a theme which is

somewhat ungracious. We have dropped this hint merely to deprecate a too common perversion and confusion of facts, when the Puritan fathers of Massachusetts are not only judged by a standard of which they never dreamed, but are made answerable for the errors of their posterity. We would remind some rather careless readers and more ready contemners of their history, that one generation had passed away in Massachusetts before a Quaker was hung on Boston Common. We very much question whether Winthrop, or Cotton, or Saltonstall, or Higginson, or Johnson, or Shepard, would have been a party to that scene.

Yet it should also be stated, for the sake of the actual executioners, that no one was ever put to death even by them for being a Quaker, but for committing under that name outrages, indecencies, and provocations utterly inconsistent with the peace of any society, and punished at this day in prisons and madhouses. There are two sides to every story, and the judge in a civilized tribunal never dismisses a jury to make up their verdict till both parties have pleaded, and their testimony and pleas have been candidly reviewed. Let the authentic records now placed by Mr. Young within the reach of our schools and families be taken as the free-spoken witnesses for our fathers. Let the ages which have passed, the prosperity which smiles over their resting-places, and the fruits from the seeds of their planting, test the sincerity and the worth of their design ; their descendants may then be qualified to judge them. The bell, book, and candle, which are ominous symbols in the Roman Church, have another meaning among the Puritans.

These Chronicles of the Massachusetts fathers put into the hands of their descendants the means of answering three of the most aggravated and oft-repeated censures upon them. With a brief reference to each of them we shall conclude these remarks.

The first charge against the colonists of Massachusetts, covering, indeed, nearly all the colonists of North America, is that of injustice practised toward the native Indian tribes. In the romances and poems, and in some of the veritable histories most in circulation, this charge is brought against our fathers, that they seized upon the Indian's lands, or made at best but a Jew's bargain with him, and punished his untaught, savage instincts by the total extinction of his race. It is far from our purpose to array all the facts which bear upon this charge. We turn only to the precious Chronicles before us, and find abundant evidence of the most honorable and Chris, tian endeavours on the part of the colonists to treat the Indians in all respects as children of the same God as themselves. We omit, for want of space, the first beautiful and touching mention of them in Governor Cradock's letter to Captain Endicott, and turn to the first general instructions sent to him by authority of the whole court.

“ And above all, we pray you be careful that there be none in our precincts permitted to do any injury, in the least kind, to the heathen people ; and if any offend in that way, let them receive due correction. And we hold it fitting you publish a proclama. tion to that effect, by leaving it fixed under the Company's seal in some eminent place, for all to take notice at such time as both the heathen themselves, as well as our people, may take notice of it. And for the avoiding of the hurt that may follow through our much familiarity with the Indians, we conceive it fit that they be not permitted to come to your plantation, but at certain times and places to be appointed them. If any of the savages pretend right of inheritance to all or any part of the lands granted in our patent, we pray you endeavour to purchase their title, that we may avoid the least scruple of intrusion.” — p. 159.

In the second general letter of instructions sent by the court to Endicott, this injunction is twice repeated in the most express terms, and with an evident desire for Christian justice. Again, in the “General Considerations for planting New England,” with answers to objections, we find a full explanation and defence of the conduct of the colonists towards the Indians.

The explicit and reiterated commands of the court were obeyed most scrupulously by the authorities and the people here. The property and rights of the Indians were respected; they were honorably dealt by; and it is certain, that, if some parcels of land were held by the whites without a purchase, other portions were paid for more than once. The first President Adams asserted, that, in all his practice at the bar, he “never knew a contested title to lands, but what was traced up to the Indian title.” Our old records are filled with Indian deeds, and a fair equivalent was paid for them. We find in Dudley's Letter to the Countess of Lincoln, that Sagamore John and one of his subjects required satisfaction for the burning of two of their empty

wigwams, one of which was accidentally set on fire by a servant of Sir Richard Saltonstall, who had sought shelter in it. The court ordered full payment for both. Our records likewise abound in restitutive acts like this. The truth is, there were but very few Indians about the Bay, and the lands here were of little value to them, while their own claim was doubtful. No charge of injustice, we are satisfied, can be brought against the settlers on this score. We shall not meddle with their open wars.

A second matter of censure found against our fathers is drawn from the story of Roger Williams, as it has been of late frequently told. Of course, the volume before us contains no narrative of his controversy with Massachusetts, but it does contain nearly all the papers necessary for deciding the merits of that controversy. Roger Williams, a pure-minded, high-souled, and earnest man, came hither, not as one of the company, nor by their invitation, but as a refugee for conscience, and to exercise a mission of love. After some lesser troubles at Plymouth and Salem, he involved himself in a strife, on three important points, with the government. He objected to the validity of the charter, to the freeman's oath, and to the power of the magistrate in matters of religion. Now, by questioning the charter, either as given by the monarch, or as ratified in fact by rights purchased of the Indians, he struck at the very root of all government, and brought the colony into peril of anarchy, while he opposed the universally recognized and only possible rule of international relations, which allowed discovery to be the first, and purchase a second, condition for the possession of a savage region. By contesting the freeman's oath, he claimed that the private property and the institutions established by the Massachusetts Company should lie at the mercy of any one who chose to come hither and refuse to comply with the terms on which a freeman's or voter's privilege might be enjoyed. By resisting the civil support of religion and the compulsory maintenance of ministers, he attempted to break the contracts under which the mutually pledged ministers and people had sought these regions. The Chronicles will abundantly illustrate these three points of controversy. We may question the wisdom of our ancestors in either matter, but there can scarce be a question whether they were right or wrong in holding to their own.

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