Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. I., Chapter XIX.







New England and its Associations. – Arrival at Hartford. – Continuation of the Storm. – First Settlement at Hartford. – First Meeting-house in Connecticut. – Government organized. – Union of New England Colonies. – Conjunction of New Haven and Connecticut Colonies. – James II. – Quo Warranto. – Governor Andross. – The "Charter Oak." – Concealment of the Charter. – Expulsion of Andross. – Accident at Hartford. – Washington’s Conference with Rochambeau. – Conference at the Webb House. – Its Object. – Junction of the allied Armies. – Attempt on New York. – Windsor. – Connecticut Historical Society. – Dr. Robbins’s Library. – Brewster’s Chest. – The Pilgrim Covenant. – Names of the Pilgrims. – Hand-writing of the Pilgrims. – Robinson’s short Sword. – Ancient Chair. – Putnam’s Tavern Sign. – Other interesting Relics. – The Connecticut Charter. – Ride to Wethersfield. – Arrival at Boston. – The May Flower. – Rise of the Puritans. – Bishops Hooper and Rogers. – Henry VIII. – Elizabeth. – Puritan Boldness. – Position of Elizabeth. – The Separatists. – Puritans in Parliament. – James I. – Robinson. – Character of the Puritan Pilgrims. – Preparations to sail for America. – Departure from Delfthaven. – The May Flower. – Exploration of the Coast. – Attacked by Indians. – First Sabbath of the Pilgrims in New England. – Landing on Plymouth Rock. – Founding of Plymouth. – Destitution and Sickness. – Death of Carver. – Election of Bradford. – Defiance of the Indians. – Condition of the Colony. – Further Emigration from England. – Winslow. – Standish. – Settlement of Weymouth. – Shawmut. – Settlement of Endicott and others at Salem. – Arrival of Winthrop. – Founding of Boston. – Progress of free Principles. – The Puritan Character. – Witchcraft. – English Laws on the Subject. – The Delusion in New England. – Effects of the Delusion. – Religious Character of the Puritans. – Mildness of their Laws. – The representative System. – Influx of Immigrants. – Trade of the Colony. – First coined Money. – Marriage of the Mint-master’s Daughter. – The Quakers’ Conduct and Punishment. – Origin of the Quakers. – Their Peculiarities. – Sufferings in America of those calling themselves Quakers. – Arrival of Andross. – His Extortions. – Revolution in England. – Government of Massachusetts. – Hostilities with the French. – First American Paper money. – Prowess of Colonial Troops. – The French and Indian War. – The Revolutionary Era. – First Step toward Absolutism. – Democratic Colonies. – Board of Trade. – Courts of Vice-admiralty. – Commercial Restrictions. – First Act of Oppression. – Colonial Claims to the Right of Representation. – The Right acknowledged. – Governor Burnet. – Wisdom of Robert Walpole. – Restraining Acts. – Loyalty and Patriotism of the Colonies. – Heavy voluntary Taxation. – Designs of the British Ministry. – Expenditures of the British Government on Account of America. – Accession of George III.


"Land of the forest and the rock –

Of dark blue lake and mighty river –
Of mountains rear’d aloft to mock
The storm’s career, the lightning’s shock:
My own green land forever.
. . . . . . .
Oh! never may a son of thine,
Where’er his wandering steps incline,
Forget the sky which bent above
His childhood like a dream of love –
The stream beneath the green hill flowing –
The broad-armed trees above it growing –
The clear breeze through the foliage blowing;
Or hear, unmoved, the taunt of scorn
Breathed o’er the brave New England born."


Although much of the soil of New England is rough and sterile, and labor – hard and unceasing labor – is necessary to procure subsistence for its teeming population, in no part of our republic can be found stronger birthplace attachments. It is no sentiment of recent growth, springing up under the influence of the genial warmth of our free institutions, but ante-dates our Revolution, and was prominently manifest in colonial times. This sentiment, strong and vigorous, gave birth to that zealous patriotism which distinguished the people of the Eastern States during the ten years preceding the war for independence, and the seven years of that contest. Republicanism seemed to be indigenous to the soil, and the people appeared to inhale the air of freedom at every breath. Every where upon the Connecticut, and eastward, loyalty to the sovereign – a commendable virtue in a people governed by a righteous prince – was changed by kingly oppression into loyalty to a high and holy principle, and hallowed, for all time, the region where it flourished. To a pilgrim on an errand like mine the rough hills and smiling valleys of New England are sanctuaries for patriot worship; and as our long train swept over the sandy plain of New Haven, and coursed among the hills of Wallingford and Meriden, an emotion stirred the breast akin to that of the Jew of old when going up to Jerusalem to the Great Feast. A day’s journey before me was Boston – the city of the pilgrims, the nursery of liberty cradled in the May Flower, the first altar-place of freedom in the Western World.

The storm, which had abated for a few hours at mid-day, came down with increased violence, and the wind-eddies wrapped the cars in such wreaths of smoke from the engine, that only an occasional glimpse of the country could be obtained. It was almost dark when we reached Hartford [October 2, 1848.], upon the Connecticut River, thirty-six miles northward of New Haven; where, sick and weary from the effects of exposure and fatigue during the morning, a glowing grate and an "old arm-chair" in a snug room at the "United States" were, under the circumstances, comforts which a prince might covet. Let us close the shutters against the impotent gusts, and pass the evening with the chroniclers of Hartford and its vicinage.

Hartford (Suckiag), and Wethersfield, four miles distant, were the earliest settlements in Connecticut. In 1633 the Dutch from Nieu Amsterdam went up the Connecticut River, and established a trading-house and built a small fort on the south side of the Mill River, at its junction with the Connecticut, near the site of Hartford. The place is still known as Dutch Point. About the same time William Holmes and others of the Plymouth colony sailed up the Connecticut, in a vessel having the frame of a dwelling on board, and, landing on the west side, near the present Windsor, erected the first house built in Connecticut. The Dutch threatened to fire on them, but they were allowed to pass by. In 1635, John Steele and others, under the auspices of Rev. Thomas Hooker, of Cambridge, reached Holmes’s residence, and began a settlement near. Hooker and his wife, with about one hundred men, women, and children of his flock, left Cambridge the following year [June, 1636.], and marched through the wilderness westward to the pioneer settlement, subsisting, on the journey, upon the milk of a herd of cows which they drove before them. Over hills and mountains, through thickets and marshes, they made their way, with no guide but a compass, no shelter but the heavens and the trees, no bed save the bare earth, relying upon Divine Providence and their own indomitable perseverance for success. The first house of worship was erected the previous year, and on the 9th of July, 1636, Mr. Hooker first preached, and administered the holy communion there.


The Dutch looked upon the new comers as intruders while the English settlers in turn regarded the Dutch in that light, because the whole country north of 40° belonged, by chartered rights to the Plymouth and Massachusetts Companies. Much animosity existed for several years, the Dutch refusing to submit to the laws framed by the English colony, and often threatening hostilities against them. Finally, in 1654, an order arrived from Parliament requiring the English colony to regard the Dutch, in all respects, as enemies. In conformity to this order, the Dutch trading-house, fort, and all their lands were sequestered for the benefit of the commonwealth. The Dutch then withdrew.

The first court, or regularly organized government, in Connecticut, was held at Hartford in the spring of 1636. The people were under the general government of Massachusetts, but were allowed to have minor courts of their own, empowered to make war or peace, and form alliances with the natives within the colony. The English settlement was not fairly seated, before the Pequots, already mentioned, disturbed it with menaces of destruction. The Pequot war ensued in 1637, and, although it involved the colony in debt, and caused a present scarcity of provisions, it established peace for many years, and was ultimately beneficial.

In January, 1639, a convention of the free planters of Connecticut was held at Hartford, and a distinct commonwealth was formed. They adopted a constitution of civil government, which was organized in April following, by the election of John Haynes governor, and six magistrates. In 1642 their criminal code, founded upon Jewish laws as developed in the Scripture, was completed and entered on record. By this code the death penalty was incurred by those guilty of worshiping any but the one triune God; of witchcraft; blasphemy; willful murder, except in defense of life; man-stealing; false swearing, by which a man’s life might be forfeited; unchastity of various grades; cursing or smiting of parents by a child over sixteen years of age, except when it could be shown that the child’s training had been neglected or the parents were guilty of cruel treatment; and of a stubborn disobedience of parents by a son over sixteen years of age.

The following year [1643.] the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut (as Hartford was called), and New Haven confederated for their mutual safety and welfare, and called themselves the United Colonies of New England. 2 Each colony was authorized to send two commissioners to meet annually in September, first at Boston, and then at Hartford, New Haven, and Plymouth, with power to make war and peace, and enact federal laws for the general good. This union was productive of great benefit, for it made the united settlements formidable in opposition to their enemies, the Dutch and Indians.

In 1662, Charles II. granted a charter to the Connecticut colony, by which the New Haven colony was included within that of the former. At first there was much dissatisfaction, but in 1665 {original text has 1655.} the two colonies joined in an amicable election of officers, and chose John Winthrop for governor.

Charles was succeeded by his brother James, a bigoted, narrow-minded, and unjust prince. Many of his advisers were ambitious and unprincipled men, scheming for the consolidation of power in the person of the king. Immediately on the accession of James, they arranged a plan for procuring a surrender of all the patents of the New England colonies, and forming the whole northern part of America into twelve provinces, with a governor general over the whole. Writs of quo warranto were accordingly issued [July, 1685.], requiring the several colonies to appear, by representatives, before his majesty’s council, to show by what right they exercised certain powers and privileges. 3 The colony of Connecticut sent an agent to England with a petition and remonstrances to the king. The mission was vain, for already the decree had gone forth for annulling the charters. Sir Edmund Andross was appointed the first governor general, and arrived at Boston in December, 1686. He immediately demanded the surrender of the charter of Connecticut, and it was refused. Nearly a year elapsed, and meanwhile Andross began to play the tyrant. His first fair promises to the people were broken, and, supported by royal authority, he assumed a dignity and importance almost equal to his master’s, thoroughly disgusting the colonists.

In October, 1687, he went to Hartford with a company of soldiers while the Assembly was in session, and demanded an immediate surrender of their charter. Sir Edmund was received with apparent respect by the members, and in his presence the subject of his demand was calmly debated until evening. The charter was then brought forth and placed upon the table around which the members were sitting. Andross was about to seize it, when the lights were suddenly extinguished. A large concourse of people had assembled without, and the moment the lights disappeared they raised a loud huzza, and several entered the chamber. Captain Wadsworth, of Hartford, seized the charter, and, unobserved, carried it off and deposited it in the hollow trunk of a large oak-tree fronting the house of Hon. Samuel Wyllys, then one of the magistrates of that colony. The candles were relighted, quiet was restored, and Andross eagerly sought the coveted parchment. It was gone, and none could, or would, reveal its hiding-place. Sir Edmund stormed for a time, and threatened the colony with royal displeasure; then quietly taking possession of the government, he closed the records of the court, or Assembly, with a simple annunciation of the fact [October 31, 1687.].


The administration of Andross was short. His royal master was driven from his throne and country the next year [1688.], and his minion in America was arrested, and confined in the Castle, near Boston, until February, 1689, when he was sent to England for trial. Able jurists in England having decided that, as Connecticut had never given up her charter, it remained in full force, the former government was re-established. From that time until the Revolution no important events of general interest occurred at Hartford. A melancholy accident occurred there in May, 1766, on the occasion of rejoicings because of the repeal of the Stamp Act. The day had been spent in hilarity. Bells, cannons, and huzzas had testified the general and excessive joy, and great preparations were making for bonfires, fire-works, and a general illumination. In the chamber of a brick school-house that stood where the Hartford Hotel was afterward built, a number of young men were preparing fire-works in the evening. Under the house was a quantity of gunpowder, from which the militia had received supplies during the day. The powder had been scattered from the building to the street. Some boys accidentally set it on fire, and immediately the building was reduced to a ruin; several of the inmates were killed, and many badly wounded.

The most important occurrences of general interest at Hartford, during the Revolution, were the two conferences between Washington and the Count de Rochambeau, the commander of the French army in America. The first interview was on the 21st of September, 1780, the second on the 23d of May, 1781. The French fleet, under the command of the Chevalier de Ternay, conveying the troops sent to our shores by Louis XVI. of France to aid us, arrived at Newport in July, 1780; and the conference of Washington with Rochambeau and Ternay, in September following, was to consult upon future operations. 5 This interview resulted in the conclusion that the season was too far advanced for the allies to perform any thing of importance, and, after making some general arrangements for the next campaign, Washington returned to his camp at West Point, in the Hudson Highlands. It was during his absence at Hartford that Arnold attempted to surrender West Point and its subordinate posts into the hands of the enemy.


The second conference between Washington and Rochambeau was at Wethersfield, four miles below Hartford. Rochambeau and General the Marquis de Chastellux, with their suites, arrived at Hartford on the 21st of May [1781.], where they were met by Washington, and Generals Knox and Du Portail, and their suites. The meeting was celebrated by discharges of cannon; and, after partaking of refreshments, the officers, with several private gentlemen as an escort, rode to Wethersfield. Washington lodged at the house of Mr. Joseph Webb, 7 in Wethersfield, and there the conference was held. The object of the interview was to concert a plan of operations for the ensuing campaign. The minutes of the conference are in the form of queries by Rochambeau, which were answered by Washington. The conclusion of the matter was an arrangement for the French army to march as speedily as possible to the Hudson River, and form a junction with the American army encamped there, for the purpose of making a demonstration upon the city of New York, if practicable. An expedition southward seems to have been proposed by the French officers, but this idea was abandoned on account of the lateness of the season, and the danger to which northern troops would be exposed in the Southern States in summer. It was also agreed to send to the West Indies for the squadron, under Count de Grasse, to sail immediately to Sandy Hook, and, forming a junction with the fleet under Count de Barras, confine Admiral Arbuthnot to New York Bay, and act in concert with the combined armies in besieging the city, then the strong-hold of the enemy. The French troops consisted of about four thousand men, exclusive of two hundred that were to be left in charge of stores at Providence. A circular letter was sent by Washington to the Eastern Legislatures, and to that of New Jersey, requesting them to supply as large a quota of Continental troops as possible. Such a force as he felt sure could be mustered, Washington deemed adequate to undertake the siege of New York; and, on his return from Wethersfield, he began his arrangements for the enterprise. The two armies formed a junction near Dobbs’s Ferry, at the beginning of July. After several ineffectual attempts upon the upper end of York Island, circumstances caused Washington to abandon the enterprise. The arrival of a re-enforcement for Clinton in New York, the expressed determination of De Grasse to sail for the Chesapeake, and the peculiar situation of affairs in Virginia, where Cornwallis and La Fayette were operating against each other, induced Washington to march south with the combined armies. The result was the siege of Yorktown and capture of Cornwallis.

The storm was raging as furiously as ever on the morning after my arrival in Hartford, and I abandoned the idea of visiting Wethersfield and Windsor. 8 With a letter of introduction to the Rev. Thomas Robbins, the librarian of the Connecticut Historical Society, I visited the room of that institution, situated in a fine edifice called the Wadsworth Atheneum. This building stands upon the site of the old Wadsworth Mansion, the place of Washington’s first conference with Rochambeau. The cordial welcome with which I was received by Dr. Robbins was a prelude to many kind courtesies bestowed by him during a visit of three hours. He is a venerable bachelor of seventy-two years, and, habited in the style of a gentleman fifty years ago, his appearance carried the mind back to the time of Washington. The library of the society, valued at ten thousand dollars, is its property only in prospective; it belongs to Dr. Robbins, who has, by will, bequeathed it to the institution at his death. It contains many exceedingly rare books and MSS., collected by its intelligent owner during a long life devoted to the two-fold pursuits of a Christian pastor and a man of letters. There are many historical curiosities in the library-room, a few of which I sketched.

The one invested with the greatest interest was the chest of Elder Brewster, of the May Flower, brought from Holland in that Pilgrim ship. Near it stood a heavy iron pot that belonged to Miles Standish, the "hero of New England," one of the most celebrated of the Pilgrim passengers. The chest is of yellow Norway pine, stained with a color resembling London brown. Its dimensions are four feet two inches long, one foot eight inches broad, and two feet six inches high.

The key, in size, has more the appearance of one belonging to a prison than to a clothing receptacle. The chest is a relic of much interest per se, but a fact connected with its history makes it an object almost worthy of reverence to a New Englander, and, indeed, to every American. Well-established tradition asserts that the solemn written compact made by the passengers of the May Flower previous to the landing of the Pilgrims was drawn up and signed upon the lid of this chest, it being the most convenient article at hand for the purpose. That compact, brief and general, may be regarded as the foundation of civil and religious liberty in the Western World, and was the first instrument of civil government ever subscribed as the act of the whole people. 9 It was conceived in the following terms:

"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under written, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c., Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith, and honor of our King and country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God, and of one another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil body Politic, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by Virtue hereof, to enact, constitute, and frame just and equal laws, ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices from Time to Time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General Good of the Colony; unto which we Promise all due Submission and Obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our Names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November, in the year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland the Eighteenth, and of Scotland time Fifty-fourth, Anne Domini, 1620."


Another curious relic of the Pilgrims, preserved by Dr. Robbins, is a chopping-knife, made of the sword-blade that belonged to the Rev. Mr. Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrims, at Leyden. Mr. Robinson never came to New England, but remained at Leyden till his death in 1625.

His widow and family came over, bringing his effects, among which was his short sword, an article then generally worn by civilians as well as military men. His three sons were desirous of possessing this relic. It being impossible for each to have it entire, it was cut into three pieces, and the sons, true to the impulses of New England thrift, each had his piece made into the useful implement here represented.


Another interesting relic is a chair which was an heir-loom in the family of one of the earlier settlers of New Haven. It is made wholly of turned wood (except the board bottom), fastened together by wooden pegs, and is similar, in appearance, to Governor Carver’s chair, in the cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Its existence is traced back to the thirteenth century. The material is ash and its construction ingenious.


The tavern sign of General Putnam, which hung before his door in Brooklyn, Connecticut, about the year 1768, is also preserved. 11 It is made of yellow pine, painted alike on both sides. The device is a full-length portrait of Wolfe, dressed in scarlet uniform, and, as a work of art, possesses much merit. The portrait of the young hero is quite correct. The background is a faint miniature copy of West’s picture of The Death of Wolfe, painted by that artist during the first years of his residence in England. The sign-board is full of small punctures made by shot, the figure of Wolfe having been used as a target at some time.

A drum, used to call the people to worship; an ottoman, that belonged to Mrs. Washington; the vest, torn and bloodstained, worn by Ledyard when massacred at Groton, and the wooden case in which the celebrated charter of Connecticut was sent over and kept, are in the collection. The latter is about three and a half feet long and four inches wide and deep, lined with printed paper, apparently waste leaves of a history of the reign of Charles I. In the center is a circular projection for the great seal, which was attached. I saw the charter itself in the office of the Secretary of State. It is written upon fine vellum, and on one corner is a beautifully drawn portrait of Charles, executed in India ink.

The storm abating a little at about noon, I rode down to Wethersfield and sketched the Webb House, returning in time to make the drawing of the Charter Oak pictured on page 134, the rain pouring like a summer shower, and my umbrella, held by a young friend, scarcely protecting my paper from the deluge. Pocketing some of the acorns from the venerable tree, I hastened back to my lodgings, and at a little past five in the evening departed for Boston. I passed the night at Springfield, ninety-eight miles west of Boston, and reached the latter place at one o’clock the next day. The city was enveloped in a cold mist that hung upon the skirts of the receding storm; and, too ill to ramble for business or pleasure, even if fine weather had beckoned me out, I passed the afternoon and evening before a blazing fire at the Marlborough.

We are now upon the most interesting portion of the classic ground of the Revolution. Before noting my visit to places of interest in the vicinity, let us view the wide field of historic research here spread out, and study some of the causes which led to the wonderful effect of dismembering a powerful empire, and founding a republic, more glorious, because more beneficent, than any that preceded it.

I have just mentioned the May Flower, and the solemn compact for the founding of a commonwealth, with a government deriving its powers from the consent of a majority of the governed, which was drawn up and signed in its cabin. That vessel was truly the cradle of American liberty, rocked by the icy billows of Massachusetts Bay. A glance at antecedent events, in which were involved the causes that led to the emigration to America of that body of Puritans called THE PILGRIMS, is profitable in tracing the remote springs of our Revolutionary movements in New England, for they contain the germs of our institutions.

Just three hundred years ago, when the exiled Hooper was recalled, and appointed Bishop of Gloucester, the Puritans had their birth as a distinct and separate religious body. Henry VIII. quarreled with Pope Julius III. because he would not grant that licentious monarch a divorce from Catharine of Aragon, to allow him to marry the beautiful Anne Boleyn. Henry professed Protestantism, abolished the pope’s authority in England, and assumed to be himself the head of the Church. He retained the title, "Defender of the Faith," which the pope had previously bestowed upon him in gratitude for his championship of Rome, for he had even written a book against Luther. Thus, in seeking the gratification of his own unhallowed appetites, that monster in wickedness planted the seeds of the English Reformation. The accession of Edward VI., a son of Henry by Jane Seymour, one of his six wives, led the way to the firm establishment of Protestantism in England. The purity of life which the disciples of both Luther and Calvin exhibited won for them the esteem of the virtuous and good. Yet the followers of these two reformers differed materially in the matter of rituals, and somewhat in doctrine. Luther permitted the cross and taper, pictures and images, as things of indifference; Calvin demanded the purest spiritual worship. The reform having begun by decided opposition to the ceremonials as well as dogmas of the Papal Church, Calvin and his friends deemed it essential to the full completion of the work to make no concessions to papacy, even in non-essential matters. The austere principle was announced; and Puritanism, which then had birth, declared that not even a ceremony should be allowed, unless it was enjoined by the Word of God. Hooper, imbued with this spirit, refused for a time to be consecrated in the vestments required by law [1530.], and the Reformed Church of England was shaken to its center by conflicting views respecting ceremonials. Churchmen, or the Protestants who adhered to much of the Romish ceremonials, and the Puritans (first so called in derision) became bitter opponents. During the reign of Mary [1553-8.], a violent and bigoted papist, both parties were involved in danger. The Puritans were placed in the greatest peril, because they were most opposed to papacy, and Hooper and Rogers, both Puritans, were the first martyrs of Protestant England.

Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Henry VIII., succeeded Mary, and, though she professed Protestantism, long endeavored to retain in the Church of England the magnificent rituals of the Romish Liturgy. She had in her private chapel images, the crucifix, and tapers; she offered prayers to the Virgin; insisted upon the celibacy of the clergy; invoked the aid of saints, but left the doctrine of the real presence in the Eucharist, which some had been burned for denying, and some for asserting, as a question of national indifference. With such views, Elizabeth regarded the Puritans with little favor, while they, having nothing to fear from earthly power, valuing, as they did, their lives as nothing in comparison with the maintenance of their principles, were bold in the annunciation of their views. They claimed the right to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences, and denied the prerogative of the sovereign to interfere in matters of religious faith and practice. They claimed the free exercise of private judgment in such matters; and the Puritan preachers also promulgated the doctrine of civil liberty, that the sovereign was amenable to the tribunal of public opinion, and ought to conform in practice to the expressed will of the majority of the people. By degrees their pulpits became the tribunes of the common people, and their discourses assumed a latitude in discussion and rebuke which alarmed the queen and the great body of Churchmen, who saw therein elements of revolution that might overturn the throne and bury the favored hierarchy in its ruins. On all occasions the Puritan ministers were the bold asserters of that freedom which the American Revolution established.

Elizabeth had endeavored firmly to seat the national religion midway between the supremacy of Rome and the independence of Puritanism. She thus lost the confidence of both, and also soon learned herself to look upon both as enemies. Roman Catholic princes conspired against England, while Puritan divines were sapping the foundations of the royal prerogatives, and questioning the divine right of monarchs to govern. A convocation of the clergy was held; the "Thirty-nine Articles," which constitute the rule of faith of the English Church, were formed, and other methods were adopted, to give stability to the hierarchy but nearly nine years elapsed before Parliament confirmed the Articles by act, and then not without some limitations, which the Puritans regarded as concessions to them.

Rigorous orders for conformity were now issued. The Puritans, thoroughly imbued with an independent spirit, assumed an air of defiance. Thirty London ministers refused subscription to the Articles, and some talked openly of secession. A separate congregation was at length actually formed. The government was alarmed, and several of the leading men and women were imprisoned for a year. Persecution begat zeal, and a party of Independents, or Separatists, appeared, under a zealous but shallow advocate named Brown. The great body of the Puritans desired reform, but were unwilling to leave the Church. The Independents denounced the Church as idolatrous, and false to Christianity and truth. Bitter enmity soon grew up between them, the Puritans reproaching the Separatists with unwise precipitancy, and they in return were censured for cowardice and want of faith.

Persecution now began in earnest. A court of high commission was established [1583.], for the detection and punishment of Non-conformists. Its powers were almost as absolute as those of the Inquisition. Parliament, particularly the House of Commons, in which was the leaven of Puritanism, disapproved of the commission, and a feeling of general dissatisfaction prevailed. Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury, a man sincerely, but bigotedly, attached to the English Reformed Church, was at time head of the hierarchy, and assumed to control the entire body of the English Church. Conventicles were prohibited, yet, in a few years, it was asserted in Parliament that twenty thousand persons in England attended conventicles [1593.]. Some were banished, others imprisoned, a few were hanged. The Separatists were nearly extinguished, while the more loyal branch of the Puritans still suffered contumely and persecution.

Elizabeth died, and the Puritans hailed the accession of James of Scotland, where independence of thought and action had taken deepest root, as a favorable event [1603.]. It was thought that his education, the restraints from profligacy which the public morals of Scotland imposed, and his apparently sincere attachment to Protestantism, would guaranty to them fair toleration, if not actual power. But they were in error. He was thirty-six years old when he ascended the throne, and, in the freedom of self-indulgence which his new position afforded, exulted in gluttony, idleness, and licentiousness. Incapable of being a statesman, he aimed to be thought a scholar, and wrote books which courtiers lauded greatly, while wise men smiled and pitied. Bacon pronounced him incomparable for learning among kings; and Sully of France, who knew his worth, esteemed him "the wisest fool in Europe." A profligate dissembler and imbecile coward, he was governed entirely by self-interest, vanity, and artful men. He loved flattery and personal ease, and he had no fixed principles of conduct or belief. Such was the man upon whom the Puritans, for a moment, relied for countenance; but he had scarcely reached London before his conduct blighted their hopes. "No bishop, no king," was his favorite maxim; and in 1604 he said of the Puritans, "I will make them conform, or I will harrie them out of the land, or else worse; only hang them, that’s all." During that year three hundred Puritan ministers were silenced, imprisoned, or exiled.

Among the exiled ministers at this period was John Robinson. Eminent for piety and courage, his congregation was greatly attached to him, and they contrived to have secret meetings every Sunday. But the pressure of persecution finally determined them to seek an asylum in Holland, "where, they heard, was freedom of religion for all men." Thither Mr. Robinson and his little flock, among whom was William Brewster (who afterward became a ruling elder in the Church), went into voluntary exile in 1608. They landed at Amsterdam, and then journeyed to Leyden, feeling that they were but PILGRIMS, with no particular abiding-place on earth. They were joined by others who fled from persecution in England, and finally they established a prosperous church at Leyden.

While the Pilgrim Puritans were increasing in strength in Holland, and winning golden opinions from the Dutch on account of their purity of life and lofty independence of thought, companies were forming for settling the newly-discovered portions of America, north of the mouth of the Delaware. Toward the Western World the eyes and hearts of the PILGRIMS were turned, and John Carver and Robert Cushman repaired to England [1617.], to obtain the consent of the Virginia Company to make a distinct settlement in the northern part of their territory. Sandys, Southampton, and other liberal members of the House of Commons, prevailed upon the king to wink at their heresy. A patent was granted in 1619, and James promised, not to aid them, but to let them alone. This was all they required of his majesty. Now another difficulty was to be removed: capital was needed. Several London merchants advanced the necessary sums. The famous Captain John Smith offered his services, but his religious views did not suit them. His notions were too aristocratic, and he complained of their democracy – complained that they were determined "to be lords and kings of themselves." They were, therefore, left "to make trial of their own follies." In 1620 the PILGRIMS purchased two ships, the Speedwell, of sixty tons, and the May Flower, of one hundred and eighty tons; and as many of the congregation at Leyden as could be accommodated in them left Delfthaven for Southampton, England. There they were joined by a few others, and, with a fair wind, sailed for America [August 5, 1620.]. But the captain of the Speedwell and his company, becoming alarmed, and pretending that the ship was unseaworthy, put back to Plymouth, and the May Flower, bearing one hundred and one men, women, and children, the winnowed remnant of the passengers in the two vessels, again spread her sails to an eastern breeze [September 6, 1620.]. Their destination was the country near the Hudson, but adverse winds drove them upon the more northerly and barren coasts of Massachusetts Bay, after a boisterous voyage of sixty-three days. Land was espied on the 9th of November, and two days afterward the May Flower was safely moored in Cape Cod Bay. Before they landed, as we have already noticed, they formed themselves into a body politic by a solemn voluntary compact. "In the cabin of the May Flower humanity recovered its rights, and instituted government on the basis of ‘equal laws’ for the general good." John Carver was chosen governor for the year. Democratic liberty and independent Christian worship were at once established in America. 12

The ocean now lay between the PILGRIMS and the persecuting hierarchy, and the land of promise was before them. Yet perils greater than they had encountered hovered around that bleak shore, already white with the snow of early winter. But

"They sought not gold nor guilty ease

Upon this rock-bound shore –
They left such prizeless toys as these
To minds that loved them more.
They sought to breathe a freer air,
To worship God unchain’d;
They welcomed pain and danger here,
When rights like these were gain’d."

Inspired with such feelings, the Pilgrims prepared to land. The shallop was unshipped, but it needed great repairs. More than a fortnight was employed by the carpenter in making it ready for sea. Standish, Bradford, and others, impatient of the delay, determined to go ashore and explore the country. They encountered many difficulties, and returned to the ship. When the shallop was ready, the most bold and enterprising set out upon a cruise along the shore, to find a suitable place at which to land the whole company. They explored every bay and inlet, and made some discoveries of buried Indian corn, deserted wigwams, and an Indian cemetery. The voyage was fruitless of good, and they returned to the May Flower. Again Carver, Standish, Bradford, Winslow, and others, with eight or ten seamen, launched the shallop in the surf. The day [December 6, 1620.] was very cold, and the spray froze upon them and their clothes like iron mail. They passed that night at Billingsgate Point, at the bottom of Cape Cod Bay, on the western shore of Wellfleet Harbor. The company divided next morning, but united at evening, and encamped at Namskeket, or Great Meadow Creek. The next morning, as they arose from their knees in the deep snow, when their matin devotions were ended, a flight of arrows and a war-whoop announced the presence of savages. They were of the Nauset tribe, and regarded the white people as kidnappers. 13 But the Indians made no further attacks, and the boat proceeded along the coast a distance of some forty miles. Suddenly a storm arose. Snow and rain fell copiously; the heavy swells snapped the rudder, and with oars alone they guided the frail shallop. Darkness came on and the storm increased. As much sail as possible was used to reach the shore; it was too much; the mast broke in three pieces, and the fragments, with the sail, fell overboard. Breakers were just ahead, but, by diligent labor with the oars, they passed safely through the surf into a smooth harbor, landed, and lighted a fire. At dawn they discovered that they were upon an island, in a good harbor. 14 There they passed the day in drying their clothes, cleaning their arms, and repairing their shallop. Night approached; it was the eve of the Christian Sabbath. The storm had ceased, but snow nearly eighteen inches in depth lay upon the ground. They had no tent, no shelter but the rock. Their ship was more than fifteen leagues away, and winter, with all its terrors, had set in. Every personal consideration demanded haste. But the next day was the Sabbath, and they resolved to remain upon that bleak island and worship God, in accordance with their faith and obligations as Christians. In the deep snow they knelt in prayer; by the cold rock they read the Scriptures; upon the keen, wintery air they poured forth their hymns of thanksgiving and praise. In what bold relief does that single act present the Puritan character!

"And can we deem it strange

That from their planting such a branch should bloom
As nations envy?
. . . . . . .
Oh ye who boast
In your free veins the blood of sires like these,
Lose not their lineaments. Should Mammon cling
Too close around your heart, or wealth beget
That bloated luxury which eats the core
From manly virtue, or the tempting world
Make faint the Christian’s purpose in your soul,
Turn ye to Plymouth’s beach, and on that rock
Kneel in their footprints, and renew the vow
They breathed to God."

On Monday morning the exploring party pushed through the surf, and landed upon a rock on the main [December 22, 1620.]. 15 The neighborhood seemed inviting for a settlement, and in a few days the May Flower was brought around and moored in the harbor. The whole company landed near where the explorers stepped ashore: the spot was called New Plymouth, in memory of the hospitalities which they had received at Plymouth, in England, and in a few days they commenced the erection of dwellings. The exposure of the explorers, and of others who had reached the shore by wading, had brought on disease, and nearly one half of the company were sick when the first blow of the ax was struck in the primeval forest. Faith and hope nerved the arms of the healthy, and they began to build. "This was the origin of New England; it was the planting of the New England institutions. Inquisitive historians have loved to mark every vestige of the Pilgrims; poets of the purest minds have commemorated their virtues; the noblest genius has been called into exercise to display their merits worthily, and to trace the consequences of their daring enterprise." 16

The winter that succeeded the landing of the Pilgrims was terrible for the settlers. Many were sick with colds and consumptions, and want and exposure rapidly reduced the numbers of the colony. Governor Carver’s son died soon after landing, and himself and his wife passed into the grave the next spring. 17 William Bradford was elected to fill his place. The living were scarcely able to bury the dead, and at one time there were only seven men capable of rendering any assistance. Forty-six of the one hundred died before April, yet not a murmur against Providence was heard.

The colonists had been apprehensive of an attack from the Indians, but not one approached the settlement until March, when a chief named Samoset boldly entered the rude town, exclaiming, in broken English, which he had learned from fishermen on the coast of Maine, "Welcome, Englishmen! welcome, Englishmen!" He gave them much information, and told them of a pestilence that had swept off the inhabitants a few years before. This accounted for the deserted wigwams seen by the explorers. Samoset soon afterward visited the colony with Squanto, a chief who had been carried away by Hunt in 1614; and in April Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoags, was induced to make the English a friendly visit. Treaties of amity were made, and, until the breaking out of King Philip’s war, fifty years afterward, were kept inviolate. But Canonicus, a powerful chief of the Narragansets, who lived on the west side of the Narraganset Bay, regarded the English as intruders, and sent to them the ominous token of hostility, a bundle of arrows wrapped in a rattle-snake’s skin. Governor Bradford 18 at once sent the skin back to Canonicus, filled with powder and shot. The chief understood the symbol, and, afraid of the deadly weapons in which such materials were used, sent them back; the Narragansets were awed into submission. Massasoit, who lived at Warren, Rhode Island, remained the fast friend of the English, and his sons, Alexander and Philip (the celebrated King Philip), kept the bond of friendship unbroken until 1675.

After many difficulties, and receiving some accessions from immigration, the settlers purchased the rights of the London merchants who had aided them with funds, for nine thousand dollars, and the colony thus severed the last link of pecuniary interest that bound it to Old England, beyond the claims of commercial transactions. There was one drawback upon their prosperity – the non-existence of private property. There was a community of interest in all the land and its products. Thence arose, on the part of some, an unwillingness to labor, and of others the discontent which the industrious feel while viewing the idleness of the lazy, for whose benefit they are toiling. It was now found necessary to enter into an agreement that each family should plant for itself, and an acre of land was accordingly assigned to each person in fee. Under this stimulus, the production of corn became so great that from buyers the colonists became sellers to the Indians. 19


Civil government being fully established to the satisfaction of all, and news of the fertility of the soil and the beauty of the climate having reached England, in the following autumn other adventurers prepared to come to America. In the mean while Edward Winslow, one of the most accomplished of the colonists, made a journey to the residence of Massasoit to strengthen the friendship that existed, by presents, and by amicable agreements respecting future settlers that might come from England. 20 The visit was fruitful of good results. Soon afterward Captain Standish 21 marched against the village of Corbitant, one of Massasoit’s sachems, who held an interpreter in custody, and threatened the tribe with destruction. The whole country was alarmed at this movement, and on the 13th of September, 1621, ninety petty sachems came to Plymouth and signed a paper acknowledging themselves loyal subjects of King James.

New settlers now began to arrive, and new explorations of the coast were made. Sixty adventurers from London, under the auspices of a merchant named Weston, began a plantation in the autumn of 1622, at Weymouth, twelve miles southeast from the present city of Boston, and the whole coast of Massachusetts Bay was explored. They discovered a spacious harbor, studded with islands, and inclosing a peninsula remarkable for three hills, called by the natives Shawmut (sweet water). This was the harbor and site of the city of Boston. 22


In 1628 a company, under John Endicott, settled at Salem (Na-um-keag), and were joined by a few emigrants at Cape Ann, sixteen miles northward. They received a charter from the king, and were incorporated by the name of the "Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." In 1630 about three hundred Puritan families, under John Winthrop, arrived, and joined the Massachusetts Bay colony. They established themselves at Dorchester, Roxbury, Watertown, and Cambridge. A spring of pure and wholesome water induced some families, among whom was Mr. Winthrop, to settle upon Shawmut. Winthrop was the chosen Governor of the colony of Massachusetts Bay; the whole government, including Plymouth, was removed to the new settlement, and thenceforth Boston became the metropolis of New England.

I have thus traced, with almost chronological brevity, the rise of the Puritans in England, their emigration to America, and the progress of settlement, to the founding of Boston in 1630. It is not within the scope of this work to give a colonial history of New England in all its important details, and only so much of it will be developed as is necessary to present the links of connection between the early history and the story of our Revolution. That Revolution, being a conflict of principle, had its origin more remote even than the planting of the New England colonies. The seed germinated when the sun of the Reformation warmed the cold soil of society in Europe, over which the clouds of ignorance had so long brooded; and its blossoms were unfolded when the Puritans of England and the Huguenots of France boldly asserted, in the presence of kingly power, the grand postulate of freedom – the SOCIAL AND POLITICAL EQUALITY OF THE RACE. These two sections of independent thinkers brought the vigorous plant to America – the Puritans to New England, the Huguenots to the Carolinas. The Covenanters of Scotland, and other dissenting communities, watered it during the reigns of the Charleses and the bigot James II.; and when the tactics of British oppression had changed from religious persecution to commercial and political tyranny, it had grown a sturdy tree, firmly rooted in a genial soil, and overshadowing a prosperous people with its beautiful foliage. The fruit of that tree was the American Revolution – the fruit which still forms the nutriment that gives life and vigor to our free institutions.

"The Pilgrim spirit has not fled;

It walks in noon’s broad light,
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead,
With their holy stars, by night.
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,
And shall guard the ice-bound shore,
Till the waves of the bay, where the May Flower lay,
Shall foam and freeze no more."

The persecutions of the Quakers, the proceedings against persons accused of witchcraft, 24 the disfranchisement of those who were not church members, and many other enactments in their civil code, considered alone, mark the Puritan as bigoted, superstitious, intolerant, unlovely in every aspect, and practically evincing a spirit like that of Governor Dudley, expressed in some lines found in his pocket after his death.

"Let men of God in courts and churches watch
O’er such as do a toleration hatch,
Lest that ill egg bring forth a cocatrice,
To poison all with heresy and vice.
If men be left, and otherwise combine.
My epitaph’s, ‘I died no libertine!’ "

But when a broad survey is taken of the Puritan character, these things appear as mere blemishes – spots upon the sun – insects in the otherwise pure amber. In religion and morality they were sincerely devoted to right – "New England was the colony of conscience." 25 Their worship was spiritual, their religious observances were few and simple. To them the elements remained but wine and bread; they invoked no saints; they raised no altar; they adored no crucifix; they kissed no book; they asked no absolution; they paid no tithes; they saw in the priest nothing more than a man; ordination was no more than an approbation of the officers, which might be expressed by the brethren as well as by the ministers; the church, as a place of worship, was to them but a meeting-house; they dug no grave in consecrated earth; unlike their posterity, they married without a minister, and buried their dead without a prayer. Witchcraft had not been made the subject of skeptical consideration, and, in the years in which Scotland sacrificed hecatombs to the delusion, there were but three victims in New England.

Rigorous in their moral and religious code, the Puritans were mild in their legislation upon other subjects. For many crimes the death penalty was abolished, and the punishment for theft, burglary, and highway robbery was more mild than our laws inflict. Divorce from bed and board was recognized by their laws as a barely possible event, but, during the first fifty years after the founding of New England, no record of such an occurrence is given. 26 Adultery was punished by death, the wife and paramour both suffering for the crime; while the girl whom youth and affection betrayed was censured, but pitied and forgiven, and the seducer was compelled to marry his victim. Domestic discipline was highly valued, and the undutiful child and faithless parent were alike punished. Honest men were not imprisoned for debt until 1654; cruelty to animals was a civil offense, punishable by fine. The people, united in endurance of hardships during the first years of settlement, were equally united when prosperity blessed them. They were rich in affection for one another, and all around them were objects of love. Their land had become a paradise of beauty and repose, and, even when the fires of persecution went out in England, none could be tempted to return thither, for they had found a better heritage. Their morals were pure, and an old writer said, "As Ireland will not brook venomous beasts, so will not that land vile livers." Drunkenness was almost unknown, and universal health prevailed. The average duration of life in New England, as compared with Europe, was doubled, and no less than four in nineteen of all that were born attained the age of seventy years. Many lived beyond the age of ninety, and a man one hundred years old when our Revolution broke out was not considered a wonder of longevity.

Such were the people who fostered the living principles of our independence – the parents of nearly one third of the present white population of the United States. Within the first fifteen years – and there was never afterward any considerable increase from England – there came over twenty-one thousand two hundred souls. Their descendants are now not far from four millions. Each family has multiplied, on the average, to one thousand souls. To New York and Ohio, where they constitute half the population, they have carried the Puritan system of free schools, and their example is spreading it throughout the civilized world. 27

In 1634 the colony had become so populous that it was found inconvenient for all the freemen to assemble in one place to transact business. By the general consent of the towns, the representative system was introduced, and to twenty-four representatives was delegated the power granted to the whole body of freemen by charter. The appellation of general court was also applied to the representatives. It was about this time that Hugh Peters, afterward Cromwell’s secretary, and Henry Vane, afterward Sir Henry Vane, who was made governor, came to the colony, with a great number of immigrants. It was about this time, also, that Roger Williams occasioned disturbances, and was banished. These circumstances will be noticed hereafter.


In 1637 the Pequot war ensued; and about 1640, persecutions having ceased in England, emigration to the colonies also ceased. The Confederation was effected in 1643. From that time the permanent prosperity of the colonies may be dated. 29 Their commerce, which first extended only to the Indians, and to traffic among themselves, expanded, and considerable trade was carried on with the West Indies. Through this trade bullion was brought into New England, and "it was thought necessary, to prevent fraud in money," to establish a mint for coining shillings, sixpences, and threepences. On the first coins the only inscription on one side was N. E., and on the other, XII., VI., or III. In October, 1651, the court ordered that all pieces of money should have a double ring, with the inscription MASSACHUSETTS, and a tree in the center, on one side, and NEW ENGLAND, and the year of our Lord, on the other. The first money was coined in 1652, and the date was not altered for thirty years.

In the year 1656 a few fanatics in religion, calling themselves Quakers, began to disturb the public peace, revile magistrates, and interfere with the public worship of the people. They assumed the name and garb of Quakers, but had no more the spirit and consistency of life of that pure sect than any monomaniac that might declare himself such. The Quakers have ever been regarded, from their first appearance, as the most order-loving, peaceful citizens, cultivating genuine practical piety among themselves, and, with few exceptions, never interfering with the faith and practice of others, except by the reasonable efforts of persuasion. Quite different was the character of some of those who suffered from the persecution of the Puritans. They openly and in harsh language reviled the authorities in Church and State; entered houses of worship, and denounced the whole congregation as hypocrites and an "abomination to the Lord," very much after the fashion of the wall-placarding and itinerant prophets of our day; and shocked public morals by their indecencies. 30 They were first tenderly dealt with and kindly admonished. Penalties ensued, and life was finally taken, before some of them would cease interference with the popular ceremonials of religion. The exercise of power to maintain subordination finally grew to persecution, and the benevolent Puritan became, almost from necessity, a persecutor. Enactments for the preservation of good order were necessary, but the sanguinary laws against particular doctrines and tenets can not be defended.

The Quaker sect sprang up in England about 1646 {original text has 1756.}, under George Fox, and received their name from the peculiar shaking or quaking of their bodies and limbs while preaching. They went further than the straitest Puritans in disregarding human authority when opposed to the teachings of the Bible, yet they were allowed full liberty of action during the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. They denounced war, persecution for religious opinions, and, above all, the slavish idolatry demanded by rulers in Church and State of those under their control. They condemned all ordained and paid priesthoods, refused to take oaths, and thus struck a direct blow at the hierarchy. They differed from the Puritans in many things, and became noxious to them. They derived their system of morals and politics chiefly from the New Testament, while the Puritans took theirs from the more sanguinary and intolerant codes of the old dispensation. Laying aside the falsehoods of politeness and flattery, they renounced all titles, addressed all men, high or low, by the plain title of Friend, used the expressions yea and nay, and thee and thou; and offices of kindness and affection to their fellow-creatures, according to the injunction of the Apostle James, constituted their practical religion. "The Quakers might be regarded as representing that branch of the primitive Christians who esteemed Christianity an entirely new dispensation, world-wide in its objects; while the Puritans represented those Judaizing Christians who could not get rid of the idea of a peculiar chosen people, to wit, themselves." 31

The English Puritans had warned their brethren in America against these "children of hell," and the first appearance in the colony of Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, who came from Barbadoes, and professed the new doctrine, greatly alarmed the New England theocracy. A special law was enacted, by which to bring a "known Quaker" into the colony was punishable with a fine of five hundred dollars, and the exaction of bonds to carry him back again. The Quaker himself was to be whipped twenty stripes, sent to the House of Correction, and kept there until transported. The introduction of Quaker books was prohibited; defending Quaker opinions was punishable with fine, and finally banishment; and in 1657 it was enacted that for every hour’s entertainment given to a Quaker the entertainer should pay forty shillings. It was also enacted that every male Quaker should lose an ear on the first conviction, and the other on a second; and both males and females, on a third conviction, were to have their tongues bored through with a red-hot iron. In 1658 the death penalty was enacted. Under it those who should return to the colony a second time, after banishment, were to suffer death. From unwillingness to inflict death, it was provided by a new law, in 1658, that any person convicted of being a Quaker should be delivered to the constable of the town, "to be stripped naked from the middle upward, and tied to a cart’s tail, and whipped through the town, and thence be immediately conveyed to the constable of the next town toward the border of our jurisdiction, and so from constable to constable, to any the outermost town, and so to be whipped out of the colony." In case of return, this was to be twice repeated. The fourth time the convict was to be branded with a letter R on the left shoulder, and after that, if incorrigible, to incur the death penalty. Chiefly through the instrumentality of King William, these penal laws against the Quakers were abrogated by royal authority, and that sect became an important element in American society during the eighteenth century. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as we shall hereafter see, the Quakers had a strong controlling influence during the Revolution.

In 1675 King Philip’s war commenced, and almost all the Indians in New England were involved in it. This will be noticed when we are considering my visit to the neighborhood of Mount Hope, the residence of the great sachem. Upon the heels of this war, when the colonies were much distressed, the ministers of the second James conspired, as we have seen, to destroy popular government in America, and consolidate power in the throne. A decision was procured in the High Court of Chancery, declaring the American charters forfeited, because of the alleged exercise of powers, on the part of the colonial governments, not recognized by those charters. Sir Edmund Andross, who came with the title of governor general, and empowered to take away their charters from the colonists, made Boston his head-quarters [1687.]. He came with the fair mask of kindness, which was soon cast off. Fees of all officers were increased; public thanksgivings without royal permission were forbidden; the press was restrained; land titles were abrogated, and the people were obliged to petition for new patents, sometimes at great expense; and in various ways Andross and others managed to enrich themselves by oppressing and impoverishing the inhabitants. The free spirit of New England was aroused, and the people became very restive under the tyrant. Secret meetings were held, in which the propriety of open resistance was discussed; but before the people of Boston, afterward so famous for their bold opposition to imperial power, lifted the arm of defiance, the news came that James was an exile and that William and Mary were firmly seated on the throne of England [1688.]. Boston was in great commotion. People flocked in from the country, and cries of "Down with all tyrants" were mingled with the notes of joy rung out by the church-bells. Andross, alarmed, fled to the fort, 32 but was soon arrested, imprisoned, and, as already noticed, sent home for trial [1689.]. A new charter was received in 1692, when the territories of Plymouth, Maine, and Nova Scotia were added to Massachusetts. By that charter the governor was appointed by the crown, and a property qualification was necessary to procure the privilege of the elective franchise in choosing the members of the General Court or Assembly. Such was the government that existed when the Revolution broke out.


About this time the French, who had settled upon the St. Lawrence, began to excite the Northern and Eastern Indians against the English settlements in New England. Dover and Salmon Falls in New Hampshire, Casco in Maine, and Schenectady in New York were desolated. The colony fitted out a force, under General Winthrop, to attack Montreal, and a fleet, under Sir William Phipps, to besiege Quebec. The expedition was a failure, and for seven years, until the treaty of peace between France and England was concluded, the frontier was scourged by savage cruelties.


During this time [1690.] military operations exhausted the treasury of Massachusetts, and the government emitted bills of credit, the first paper money issued in the American colonies. From the beginning of the eighteenth century until the treaty of Paris, or, rather, of Fontainbleau, in 1763, the New England colonies were continually agitated by successive wars with the French and Indians, by jealousies concerning colonial rights, which acts of Parliament from time to time seemed to menace with subversion, and by the discontents arising from the avarice and misrule of royal governors sent over from England. For the wars they furnished full supplies of men and money, and it was chiefly by the prowess of colonial troops that French dominion in America was destroyed. During these wars the colonists discovered their own strength, and, doubtless, thoughts of independence often occupied the minds of many. The capture of Louisburg, the operations in Northern New York and upon Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, and the final passage of Quebec and Montreal into the hands of the English, have been noticed in former chapters. The campaign against the French posts on the Ohio and vicinity, when Washington first became distinguished as a military leader, will receive our attention hereafter.

We have now reached the borders of our Revolutionary era, and Boston, our point of view, where the first bold voice was heard and the first resolute arm uplifted against measures of the British Parliament that tended to abridge the liberties of the colonists, is a proper place whence to take a general survey of events immediately antecedent to, and connected with, that successful and righteous rebellion.

We have already observed, that after the expulsion of Andross a new charter was obtained by Massachusetts [1688.], but the governor thereafter was appointed by the crown. This was the first link forged for the chain of absolutism with which England for nearly a century endeavored to enslave her American colonies. Such was the condition of all the colonies, except Connecticut and Rhode Island, whose original charters had never been surrendered. The other chartered communities were governed by men appointed by the king, but Connecticut and Rhode Island always enjoyed the democratic privilege of electing their own chief magistrates. These royal governors, by their exactions and their haughty disregard of public opinion in America, were greatly instrumental, it will be seen, in arousing the people to rebellion. Discontents, however, arising from an interference of the imperial government with the commerce of the colonies, had already begun to excite suspicions unfavorable to the integrity of the home government.

Among the first acts of Parliament, after the restoration of Charles II. in 1660, was the establishment of a board of commissioners, to have the general supervision of the commerce of the American colonies. This commission was afterward remodeled, and the Board of Trade and Plantations, consisting of a president and seven members, known as LORDS OF TRADE, was established [1696.]. This board had the general oversight of the commerce of the realm; and, although its powers were subsequently somewhat curtailed, it exercised great influence, particularly in America, down to the time of the Revolution, and was the strong right arm of royalty here. It was the legalized spy upon all the movements of the people; it watched the operations of the colonial assemblies; and in every conceivable way it upheld the royal governors and the royal prerogatives. Under its auspices courts of vice-admiralty were established throughout the colonies, having powers similar to those of our United States District Courts, in which admiralty and revenue cases were tried without jury. These often exercised intolerable tyranny.

Previous to the establishment of the first commission, the acts of trade had so little affected the colonists that they were hardly a subject of controversy; but after the Restoration [1660.], the commercial restrictions, from which the New England colonies were exempt during the time of the commonwealth, were imposed with increased rigor. The harbors of the colonies were closed against all but English vessels; such articles of American produce as were in demand in England were forbidden to be shipped to foreign markets; the liberty of free trade among the colonies themselves was taken away, and they were forbidden to manufacture for their own use or for foreign markets those articles which would come in competition with English manufacturers. In addition to these oppressive commercial acts, a royal fleet arrived at Boston [1664.], bringing commissioners, who were instructed to hear and determine all complaints that might exist in New England; and they also had full power to take "such measures as they might deem expedient for settling the peace and security of the country on a solid foundation." The people justly regarded this commission as a prolific seed of tyranny planted among them. The colonists were alarmed, yet none but Massachusetts dared openly to complain. She alone, although professing the warmest loyalty to the king, openly asserted her chartered rights, and not only refused to acknowledge the authority of the commissioners, but protested against the exercise of their delegated powers within her domain. So noxious was the commission to the whole people, that it was soon abolished. In this boldness Massachusetts exhibited the germ of that opposition to royal authority for which she was afterward so conspicuous.

In 1672 the British Parliament enacted "that if any vessel which, by law, may trade in the plantations shall take on board any enumerated articles [mentioned in the act of 1660], and a bond shall not have been given with sufficient security to unlade them in England, there shall be rendered to his majesty, for sugars, tobacco, ginger, cocoa-nut, indigo, logwood, fustic, cotton, wool, the several duties mentioned in the law, to be paid in such places in the plantation, and to such officers as shall be appointed to collect the same; and, for their better collection, it is enacted that the whole business shall be managed and the imposts shall be levied by officers appointed by the commissioners of imposts in England." This was the first act that imposed customs on the colonies alone; this was the initial act of a series of like tenor, which drove them to rebellion. The people justly complained, and as justly disregarded the law. They saw in it a withering blight upon their infant commerce: they either openly disobeyed its injunctions, or eluded its provisions; Barbadoes, Virginia, and Maryland, in particular, trafficked without restraint.

The colonies in general now began to regard the home government as an oppressor, and acted with a corresponding degree of independence. Edward Randolph, afterward the surveyor general during the reign of William and Mary, writing to the commissioners of custom in 1676, iterated the declarations of the people that the law "made by Parliament obligeth them in nothing but what consists with the interests of the colonies; that the legislative power is and abides in them SOLELY." Governor Nicholson, of Maryland, writing in 1698 [August 16.], said, "I have observed that a great many people in all these colonies and provinces, especially those under proprietaries, and the two others under Connecticut and Rhode Island, think that no law of England ought to be in force and binding to them without their own consent; for they foolishly say they have no representative sent for themselves to the Parliaments of England; and they look upon all laws made in England, that put any restraint upon them, to be great hardships." Earlier than this the doctrine that the colonies should not be taxed without their consent was recognized by Lord Berkley and Sir George Carteret {original text has "Cartwright".}, and not questioned by the king. These distinguished men purchased New Jersey [1664.] of the Duke of York (afterward James II.), which he had taken from the Dutch by the authority of his brother Charles.

These "lords proprietors," for the better settlement of the pioneers, stipulated in their agreement with those who should commence plantations there that they (the proprietors) were "not to impose, or suffer to be imposed, any tax, custom, subsidy, tallage, assessment, or any other duty whatsoever, upon any color or pretense, upon the said province or inhabitants thereof, other than what shall be imposed by the authority and consent of the General Assembly." 33 In 1691 the New York General Assembly passed an act declaring "that no aid, tax, tallage, &c., whatsoever shall be laid, assessed, levied, or required of or on any of their majesties’ [William and Mary] subjects within the provinces, &c., or their estates, in any manner of color or pretense whatsoever, but by the act and consent of the governor and council, and representatives of the people in General Assembly met and convened." In 1692 the Massachusetts Legislature made a declaration in almost the same language, and almost all the colonies asserted, in some form, the same doctrine. Thus we see that, nearly one hundred years before the Revolution, the fundamental principle upon which the righteousness of that rebellion relied for vindication – TAXATION AND REPRESENTATION ARE INSEPARABLE – was boldly asserted by the governed, and tacitly admitted by the supreme power as correct.

As early as 1729 the conduct of Massachusetts caused a suggestion in the House of Commons that it was the design of that colony "to shake off its dependency." Governor Burnet, of New York, was appointed chief magistrate of the province in 1728. The display that attended his reception at Boston, and the appearance of general prosperity on every hand, determined him to demand a fixed and liberal salary from the Assembly, a demand which had involved Shute, his predecessor, in continual bickerings with that body. Burnet made the demand in his inaugural address, and the Assembly treated it in such a manner that immediately afterward the Council expressed their reprehension of the undutiful conduct of the members. So bold was the Assembly in denying royal prerogatives and refusing obedience to laws, that when Massachusetts petitioned the House of Commons [1731.], praying that they might be heard by counsel on the subject of grievances, that body resolved "That the petition was frivolous and groundless, a high insult upon his majesty’s [George I.] government, and tending to shake off the dependency of the said colony upon this kingdom, to which, in law and right, they ought to be subject." 34

In 1739 a proposition was made to Sir Robert Walpole to tax the American colonies, but that statesman took an enlightened and liberal view, and said, smiling, "I will leave that to some of my successors who have more courage than I have, and are less friends to commerce than I am. It has been a maxim with me, during my administration, to encourage the trade of the American colonies in the utmost latitude; nay, it has been necessary to pass over some irregularities in their trade with Europe; for, by encouraging them to an extensive growing commerce, if they gain five hundred thousand pounds, I am convinced that in two years afterward full two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of their gains will be in his majesty’s exchequer, by the labor and produce of this kingdom, as immense quantities of every kind of our manufactories go thither; and as they increase in their foreign American trade, more of our produce will be wanted. This is taxing them more agreeably to their own Constitution and ours." Had these views continued to prevail in the British cabinet, George III. might not have "lost the brightest jewel in his crown;" had Walpole yielded, the republic of the United States might have existed almost half a century earlier.

Walpole’s successors were "more courageous" than he, and "less friends to commerce," for in 1750 an act was passed, declaring "That from and after the 24th of June, 1750, no mill or other engine for slitting or rolling of iron, or any platting forge to work with a tilt-hammer, or any furnace for making steel, shall be erected, or, after such erection, continued, in any of his majesty’s colonies in America." The Navigation Act of 1660 was retained in full force. Hatters were forbidden to have, at one time, more than two apprentices; the importation of sugar, rum, and molasses was not allowed without the payment of considerable duties; and the felling of pitch-pine-trees not within inclosures was prohibited. True, these revenue laws were administered with much laxity, as Walpole acknowledged, and the colonies were not much oppressed by them, yet they practically asserted the right to tax the Americans – a right that was strenuously denied. These things were, therefore, real grievances, for they foreshadowed those intentions to enslave America which were afterward more boldly avowed.

I have noticed the Colonial Congress (page 303) held at Albany in 1754, when Dr. Franklin submitted a plan for the union of the colonies for the general good, and when Massachusetts, ever jealous of her rights, instructed her representatives to oppose any scheme for taxing them. The war that had then just commenced (the Seven Years’ War) soon diverted the attention of the colonists from the commercial grievances of which they complained, and as the common dangers multiplied, loyalty increased. Cheerfully did they tax themselves, and contribute men, money, and provisions, for that contest. They lost by the war twenty-five thousand of their robust young men, exclusive of sailors. Upon application of Admiral Saunders, the squadron employed against Louisburg and Quebec was supplied with five hundred seamen from Massachusetts, besides many who were impressed out of vessels on the fishing banks. During the whole war Massachusetts contributed its full quota of troops annually, and also, at times, furnished garrisons for Louisburg and Nova Scotia in addition. That colony alone contributed more than five millions of dollars, in which sum is not included the expense of forts and garrisons on the frontiers. Besides these public expenditures, there must have been almost an equal amount drawn from the people by extra private expenses and personal services. The taxes imposed to meet the pressing demands upon all sides were enormous, 35 and men of wealth gave freely toward encouraging the raising of new levies. This, it must be remembered, was the heavy burden laid upon one colony. Other provinces contributed largely, yet not so munificently as Massachusetts. Probably the Seven Years’ War cost the aggregate colonies twenty millions of dollars, besides the flower of their youth; and in return Parliament granted them, during the contest, at different periods, about five millions four hundred and nine thousand dollars. 36 Yet the British ministry, in 1760, while the colonies were so generously supporting the power and dignity of the realm, regarded their services as the mere exercise of a duty, and declared that, notwithstanding grants of money had been made to them, they expected to get it all back, by imposing a tax upon them after the war, in order to raise a revenue. Such was the language of Mr. Pitt in a letter to Lieutenant-governor Fauquier, of Virginia. The war ended favorably to Great Britain, and Massachusetts and other colonies looked forward with the full hope of uninterrupted prosperity. New men were at the helm of State. The old king was dead, and his grandson, the eldest son of the deceased Frederic, prince of Wales, had ascended the throne with the title of George III. [October 26, 1760.]. This was the prince who ruled Great Britain sixty years, in which time was included our war for independence.




1 This picture of the first house for Christian worship erected in Connecticut is copied from Barber’s Historical Collections. He obtained the drawing from an antiquary of Hartford, and believes it correct.

2 The term New England was first applied by Captain John Smith, according to the dedicatory epistle to the "First Sermon preached in New England" by Robert Cushman. "It was so called," says the address, "because of the resemblance that is in it of England, the native soil of Englishmen. It being much what the same for heat and cold in summer and winter, it being champaign ground, but no high mountains, some what like the soil in Kent and Essex; full of dales and meadow grounds, full of rivers and sweet springs, as England is. But principally, so far as we can yet find, it is an island, and near about the quantity of England, cut out from the main land in America, as England is from Europe, by a great arm of the sea, which entereth in 40°, and runneth up north and west by west, and goeth out either into the South Sea or else into the Bay of Canada. The certainty whereof and secrets of which we have not yet so found as that as eye-witnesses we can make narration thereof; but, if God give time and means, we shall, ere long, discover both the extent of that river, together with the secrets thereof, and so try what territories, habitations, or commodities may be found either in it or about it." This address was written, and the sermon preached at Plymouth, in December, 1621. By the Bay of Canada is meant the St. Lawrence, and by the "great arm of the sea," the Hudson River. The explorations of Hendrick Hudson in 1609 seem not to have been known to the worthy divine, and he imagined a connection between the Hudson and St. Lawrence, by which New England was made an island.

3 A writ of quo warranto issues against any person or corporation that usurps any franchise or liberty against the king without good title, and is brought against the usurpers to show by what right and title they hold and claim such franchise and liberty. – Law Dictionary.

4 This venerable relic is still vigorous, and is a "gnarled oak" indeed. It stands upon the northern slope of the Wyllys Hill, a beautiful elevation on the south side of Charter Street, a few rods east of Main Street. This engraving is from a sketch which I made of the tree from Charter Street, on the 3d of October, 1848. I omitted the picket fence in front, in order to show the appearance of the whole trunk. The opening of the cavity wherein the charter was concealed is seen near the roots. The heavy wind that had been blowing for thirty hours had stripped the tree of a large portion of its autumnal leaves, and strewn the ground with acorns. The trunk, near the roots, is twenty-five feet in circumference. A daughter of Secretary Wyllys, writing to Dr. Holmes about the year 1800, says of this oak, "The first inhabitant of that name [Wyllys] found it standing in the height of its glory. Age seems to have curtailed its branches, yet it is not exceeded in the height of its coloring or richness of its foliage. . . . . . . The cavity, which was the asylum of our charter, was near the roots, and large enough to admit a child. Within the space of eight years that cavity has closed, as if it had fulfilled the divine purpose for which it had been reared." The cavity within remains as large as anciently, but the orifice will hardly admit a hand.

5 At that time the French fleet was blockaded in Narraganset Bay by a superior English squadron. Ternay was quite dissatisfied with his situation, and wrote very discouraging letters to the Count de Vergennes, the French premier. In one (written September 10th, 1780), from Newport, he said, "We are actually compelled to remain on a very strict defensive. The English squadron is superior in number and in every other respect. The fate of North America is yet very uncertain, and the Revolution is not so far advanced as it has been believed in Europe." An account of the negotiations and other circumstances connected with the sending of troops from France to aid in the Revolution will be given in a future chapter, devoted to the subject of the diplomacy of the United States during the war for independence.

6 This house is still standing (1848), in the central part of Wethersfield, a few rods south of the Congregational Church.

7 "May 18th. Set out this day for the interview at Wethersfield with the Count de Rochambeau and Admiral Barras. Reached Morgan’s Tavern, forty-three miles from Fishkill Landing, after dining at Colonel Vanderburg’s. 19th. Breakfasted at Litchfield, dined at Farmington, and lodged at Wethersfield, at the house of Mr. Joseph Webb." – Washington’s Diary. The Count Barras was prevented from attending the meeting by the appearance of a large British fleet, under Admiral Arbuthnot, off Block Island. The residence of Colonel Vanderburg, where Washington dined, was at Poughquag, in Beckman, Dutchess county.

8 Windsor is situated upon the Connecticut, a little above Hartford, at the mouth of the Farmington River. Here was planted the first English settlement in Connecticut, for here the first house was built. It was the egg from which sprang Hartford and the Connecticut colony. East Windsor, on the east side of the Connecticut, has a notoriety in our Revolutionary annals, on account of its being, for a short time, the quarters of a portion of the British and Hessian troops of Burgoyne’s captured army, on their way to Boston; also as the quarters of Governor Franklin, of New Jersey, and General Prescott, captured on Rhode Island, while prisoners in the hands of the Americans. The events connected with the capture of these two persons will be noticed elsewhere. They were confined, under a strong guard, in the house of Captain Ebenezer Grant, which, I was told, is still standing, a few rods south of the Theological Seminary.

9 The harbor (Cape Cod) in which the May Flower anchored was ascertained to be north of the fortieth degree of latitude, consequently the proposed landing-place and settlement would be beyond the jurisdiction of the South Virginia Company, from whom these emigrants had received their charter. That instrument was, therefore, useless. Some of those who embarked from England had intimated that they would be under no law when ashore. The majority of the emigrants, concerned on account of this appearance of faction, thought proper to have recourse to natural law, and resolved that, before disembarkation, they should enter into an association, and bind themselves in a political body, to be governed by the majority. This was the origin of the compact. The following is a list of the signatures to the instrument: John Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, William Brewster, Isaac Allerton, Miles Standish, John Alden, Samuel Fuller, Christopher Martin, William Mullins, William White, * Richard Warren, John Howland, Stephen Hopkins, Edward Tilley, John Tilley, Francis Cook, Thomas Rogers, Thomas Tinker, John Ridgedale, Edward Fuller, John Turner, Francis Eaton, James Chilton, John Crackston, John Billington, Moses Fletcher, John Goodman, Degory Priest, Thomas Williams, Gilbert Winslow, Edward Margeson, Peter Brown, Richard Britteridge, George Soule, Richard Clarke, Richard Gardiner, John Allerton, Thomas English, Edward Doty, Edward Leister. There were forty-one subscribers to the compact, each one placing opposite his name the number of his family. The whole number of souls was one hundred and one. – See Moore’s Memoirs of American Governors, i., 25.

* Just previous to the landing of the Pilgrims, the wife of William White gave birth to a son, the first English child born in New England. From the circumstances of his birth he was named Peregrine. He died at Marshfield, July 22d, 1704, aged nearly eighty-four years. William White died soon after the seating of the colony, and his widow married Edward Winslow. This was the first English marriage in New England. It was a singular circumstance that Mrs. White was the first mother and the first bride in New England, and mother of the first native governor of the colony, who was also the sole bearer of the honor of commander-in-chief of the forces of the confederate colonies. – See Bayless, ii., 18.

10 These were copied from Russell’s "Recollections of the Pilgrims." He obtained them from old deeds and other documents. The writers were members of the first Plymouth Church, and some of them were passengers in the May Flower.

11 The following letter, in which Putnam alludes to the fact that he had kept tavern, I copied from the original in his hand-writing, now in possession of the Connecticut Historical Society:


"Brooklyn, Feb’y 18, 1782.

"GENTLEMEN – Being an Enemy to Idleness, Dissipation, and Intemperance, I would object against any measure that may be conducive thereto; and as the multiplying of public houses where the public good does not require it has a direct tendency to ruin the morals of the youth, and promote idleness and intemperance among all ranks of people, especially as the grand object of those candidates for license is money, and where that is the case, men are not apt to be over-tender of people’s morals or purses. The authority of this town, I think, have run into a great error in approbating an additional number of public houses, especially in this parish. They have approbated two houses in the center, where there never was custom (I mean traveling custom) enough for one. The other custom (or domestic), I have been informed, has of late years increased, and the licensing of another house, I fear, would increase it more. As I kept a public house here myself a number of years before the war, I had an opportunity of knowing, and certainly do know, that the traveling custom is too trifling for a man to lay himself out so as to keep such a house as travelers have a right to expect; therefore I hope your honors will consult the good of this parish, so as only to license one of the two houses. I shall not undertake to say which ought to be licensed; your honors will act according to your best information.

I am, with esteem, your honors’ humble servant,


"To the Hon’ble County Court, to be held at Windham on the 19th inst."


12 Baem, Barlow, Hume, Hallam, Bancroft.

13 The Indians of Cape Cod and the vicinity had experienced the treachery of the whites, for it must be remembered that the Pilgrims were not the discoverers of that region. Both French and English ships had visited the coast. Six years before the landing of the Pilgrims, an Englishman named Hunt had inveigled several Indians on board a ship, and carried them to England.

14 This island, within the entrance of Plymouth Harbor, has been called Clarke’s Island ever since. It was so named from Clarke, the first man who stepped ashore from the shallop. The cove in which they were in such danger lies between the Gurnet Head and Saguish Point, at the entrance of Plymouth Bay. – Moore, i., 35.

15 A portion of this rock was conveyed to a square in the center of the town of Plymouth in 1774, where it still remains, and is known as The Forefathers’ Rock.

16 Bancroft, i., 313.

17 John Carver was among the English emigrants to Leyden. He was chosen the first governor of the colony, by a majority of the forty-one male adults that sailed in the May Flower. There were twelve other candidates for the honor. On the 23d of March, 1621, a few laws were enacted, and Carver was regularly inaugurated governor of the new colony. He was taken suddenly ill in the fields, while laboring, on the 3d of April. A violent pain in his head ensued, and in a few hours he was deprived of the use of his senses. He lived but a few days, and his wife, overcome by grief, followed him to the grave in about six weeks. He was buried with all the honors the people could bestow. His broad-sword is preserved in the cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

18 William Bradford, the second Governor of Plymouth Colony, was born at Ansterfield. in the north of England, in 1588. The first Puritan principles were instilled into his young mind by a minister named Richard Clifton, and when he was of legal age he was denounced as a Separatist. He followed Mr. Robinson to Holland, and came to America in the May Flower. While he was absent, with others, searching for a spot on which to land, his wife fell into the sea and was drowned. He was appointed governor on the death of Carver, being then only thirty-three years of age. His energy was of great value to the colony, and so much was he esteemed, that he was annually elected governor as long as he lived, except occasionally, when, "by importuning, he got off" as Winslow says, and another took his place pro tempore. His idea of public office was, "that if it was of any honor or benefit, others besides himself should enjoy it; if it was a burden, others besides himself should help him to bear it." Present politicians consider such doctrine a "barbarous relic." Governor Bradford died in May, 1657, having served the colony as chief magistrate twenty-five years of the thirty of his residence in America.

19 Hildreth, i., 171.

20 Edward Winslow was born in Worcestershire, England, in 1594. While traveling on the Continent, he became acquainted with Mr. Robinson at Leyden, joined his congregation, sailed to America in the May Flower, and was one of the party that first landed on Plymouth Rock. He made Massasoit a second visit, and found the sachem very sick, but by means of medicine restored him to health. Grateful for his services, the chief revealed to Winslow a plot of some savages to destroy a small English settlement at Weymouth. Winslow went to England that fall, and in the spring brought over the first cattle introduced into the colony. He was appointed governor in 1633. He was very active in the colony, and made several voyages to England in its behalf. In 1655 he was appointed one of the commissioners to superintend the expedition against the Spaniards in the West Indies. He died of fever on his passage, between Jamaica and Hispaniola, May 8th, 1655, aged sixty years. His body was cast into the ocean.

21 Miles Standish is called the "Hero of New England." He served for some time in the English army in the Netherlands, and settled with Robinson’s congregation at Leyden. He was not a member of the Church – "never entered the school of Christ, or of John the Baptist." He came to America in the May Flower, and was appointed military commander-in-chief at Plymouth. His bold enterprises spread terror among the Indians, and secured peace to the colony. In allusion to his exploit in killing Pecksuot, a bold chief, with his own hand, Mr. Robinson wrote to the governor, "O that you had converted some before you killed any!" Standish was one of the magistrates of the colony as long as he lived. He died at Duxbury in 1656, aged about seventy-two years.

22 The Peninsula of Shawmut included between six and seven hundred acres of land sparsely covered by trees, and nearly divided by two creeks into three islands when the creeks were filled by the tides. From the circumstance of the three hills, the English called the peninsula Tri-mountain, the modern Tremont. These three eminences have since been named Copp’s, Fort, and Beacon Hills. The name of Tri-mountain was changed to Boston, as a compliment to the Rev. John Cotton, who emigrated from Boston, in Lincolnshire, England.

23 This is a fac-simile of a map of Boston Harbor and adjacent settlements in 1667, and is believed to be a specimen of the first engraving executed in America. Instead of the top of the map being north, according to the present method of drawing maps, the right hand of this is north.

24 A belief in witchcraft, or the direct agency of evil spirits through human instrumentality, was prevalent among all classes of Europe toward the close of the seventeenth century, and this superstition had a strong hold upon the metaphysical Puritans in America. A statute, enacted in the reign of Henry VIII., made it a capital offense for a person to practice the arts of witchcraft. The first James was a firm believer in witchcraft, and sanctioned some severe laws against its practitioners. Pretenders, called Witch-detectors, arose, and, during the commonwealth, traveled from county to county, in England, making accusations, in consequence of which many persons suffered death. The "Fundamentals" of Massachusetts contained a capital law against such offenses, founded upon the Scripture injunction, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." – Exodus, xxii., 18. Increase Mather, father of the celebrated Cotton Mather, in a work called "Remarkable Providences," enumerated all the supposed cases of witchcraft that had occurred in New England. The high standing of the author turned public attention to the subject, and it was not long before a real witch was discovered in the person of an old woman at Newbury, whose house was alleged to be haunted. This was in 1686, and from that time until 1693, when King William’s veto on the Witchcraft Act prevented any further trials, and all accused persons were released, the colonies were greatly agitated. Chief-justice Hale had given the weight of his opinion in England in favor of the delusion, and the Mathers, father and son, of Boston, eminent for their piety and learning, had written, and preached, and talked, and acted much under the belief in the reality of witchcraft. Cotton Mather published a book in 1692, called the "Wonders of the Invisible World," giving a full account of all the cases and trials, and stimulating the authorities to further proceedings. The delusion was now at its height, and no class of society was exempt from suspicion. The wife of Hale, minister of Beverly, was accused, at the very time when he was most active against others, and almost every ill-favored old woman was regarded as a servant of the devil. A son of Governor Bradstreet was accused, and had to flee for his life; and even Lady Phipps, the wife of the Admiral Sir William, the newly-appointed Governor of Massachusetts, was suspected. When royal authority broke the spell, practical witchcraft ceased to act, and the people of Massachusetts recovered their senses. Mather, in his "Magnolia," confessed that things were carried a little too far in Salem, but never positively renounced his belief in the reality of witchcraft. His credulity had been thoroughly exposed by a writer named Calef, who addressed a series of letters to the Boston ministers on the subject. At first Mather sneered at him as a "weaver who pretended to be a merchant;" but Calef laid his truths and sarcasms so strongly over the shoulders of Mather, that the latter called him a "coal from hell," to blacken his character, and afterward commenced a prosecution against him for slander.

The mischief wrought by this delusion was wide-spread and terrible. Society was paralyzed with alarm; evil spirits were thought to overshadow the land; every nervous influence, even every ordinary symptom of disease, was ascribed to demoniac power. When the royal veto arrived, twenty persons had been executed, among whom was a minister of Danvers named George Burroughs; fifty-five had been tortured or terrified into a confession of witchcraft, one hundred and fifty were in prison, and two hundred more had been accused.

25 John Quincy Adams.

26 Trumbull’s History of Connecticut, i., 283; Bancroft’s United States, i., 465.

27 Bancroft, i., 467-8.

28 This is a fac-simile of the first money coined in America. The mint-master, who was allowed to take fifteen pence out of every twenty shillings, for his trouble in coining, made a large fortune by it. Henry Sewall, the founder of Newbury, in Massachusetts, married his only daughter, a plump girl of eighteen years. When the wedding ceremony was ended, a large pair of scales was brought out and suspended. In one disk the blushing bride was placed, and "pine tree shillings," as the coin was called, were poured into the other until there was an equipoise. The money was then handed to Mr. Sewall as his wife’s dowry, amounting to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. There are a few pieces of this money still in existence. One which I saw in the possession of a gentleman in New York was not as much worn as many of the Spanish quarters now in circulation among us. The silver appeared to be very pure.

29 Captain Edward Johnson, in his "Wonder-working Providence of Zion’s Savior in New England," writing in 1650, seven-years after the union, says, "Good white and wheaten bread is no dainty, but every ordinary man hath his choice, if gay clothing and a liquorish tooth after sack, sugar, and plums lick not away his bread too fast, all which are but ordinary among those that were not able to bring their own person over at their first coming. There are not many towns in the country but the poorest person in them hath a house and land of his own, and bread of his own growing, if not some cattle. Flesh is now no rare food, beef, pork, and mutton being frequent in many houses; so that this poor wilderness hath not only equalized England in food, but goes beyond it in some places for the great plenty of wine and sugar which is ordinarily used, and apples, pears, and quince tarts, instead of their former pumpkin pies. Poultry they have plenty." At that time thirty-two trades were carried on in the colony, and shoes were manufactured for exportation.

30 Hutchinson mentions many instances of fanaticism on the part of the so-called Quakers. Some at Salem, Hampton, Newbury, and other places, went into the meeting-houses in time of worship, called the ministers vile hirelings, and the people an abomination. Thomas Newhouse went into the meeting-house at Boston with two glass bottles, and, breaking them in the presence of the whole congregation, exclaimed, "Thus will the Lord break you in pieces." Mary Brewster went into meeting, having her face smeared with soot and grease; another young married woman, Deborah Wilson, went through the streets of Salem perfectly naked, in emulation of the Prophet Ezekiel, as a sign of the nakedness of the land. They were whipped through the streets at the tail of a cart. Ann Hartley declared herself a prophetess, and had many followers who seceded from the congregation of Boston, and zealously propagated schism. A Quaker woman entered a church in Boston, while the congregation were worshiping, clothed in sackcloth, with ashes on her head, her feet bare, and her face blackened so as to personify small-pox, the punishment with which she threatened the colony. – See Hutchinson’s History of Massachusetts, i., 202-4.

Whipping was the usual punishment. Marmaduke Stephenson, William Robinson, Mary Dyer, and William Leddra were hanged. Mary Dyer was publicly whipped through the streets of Boston. Dorothy Waugh was three times imprisoned, three times banished, and once whipped, and her clothes sold. William Brand was four times imprisoned, four times banished, twice whipped, and branded. John Copeland was seven times imprisoned, seven times banished, three times whipped, and had his ears cut off. Christopher Holden was five times banished, five times imprisoned, twice whipped, and had his ears cut off. These four were the leading characters who suffered in one year – New England’s Ensigne, p. 105.

31 Hildreth, i., 404.

32 The first fort was upon one of the three eminences in Boston, called Cornhill, from the circumstance that the first explorers found corn buried there. The fort was completed in 1634. It had complete command of the harbor. It is now a green plat, two hundred feet in diameter, and called Washington Place. The eminence is called Fort Hill.

Another of the eminences is called Beacon Hill, from the circumstance that on the top of it was a beacon pole, with a tar barrel at its apex, erected in 1635, which was to be fired, to give an alarm in the country, if Boston should be attacked by savages. Upon a crane was suspended a basket containing some combustibles for firing the barrel. This beacon was blown down in 1789, and the next year a plain Doric column of brick and stone, incrusted with cement, was erected. It was about sixty feet high, on an eight feet pedestal. On the tablets of the pedestal were inscriptions commemorating the most important events from the passage of the Stamp Act until 1790. This pedestal is preserved in the State House of Boston. The monument stood a little north of the site of the present State House. A view of the old beacon is given above.

33 Smith’s History of New Jersey, p. 517.

34 Smith’s History of New York, p. 75.

35 Such was the assessment in Boston one year during the war, that, if a man’s income was three hundred dollars, he had to pay two thirds, or two hundred dollars, and in that proportion. If his house was valued at one thousand dollars, he was obliged to pay three hundred and sixty dollars. He had also to pay a poll tax for himself, and for every male member of his family over sixteen years of age, at the rate of nearly four dollars each. In addition to all this, he paid his proportion of excise on tea, coffee, rum, and wine, if he used them. – Gordon.

36 Parliament subsequently voted one million of dollars to the colonies, but, on account of the troubles arising from the Stamp Act and kindred measures, ministers withheld the sum. – Pictorial History of the Reign of George III., i., 36.

The following is a list of "The grants in Parliament for Rewards, Encouragement, and Indemnification to the Provinces in North America, for their Services and Expenses during the last [seven years] War:

"On the 3d of February, 1756, as a free gift and reward to the colonies of New England, New York, and Jersey, for their past services, and as an encouragement to continue to exert themselves with vigor, voted $575,000.

"May 19th, 1757. For the use and relief of the provinces of North arid South Carolina, and Virginia, in recompense for services performed and to be performed, $250,000.

"June 1st, 1758. To reimburse the province of Massachusetts Bay their expenses in furnishing provisions and stores to the troops raised by them in 1756, $136,900. To reimburse the province of Connecticut their expenses for ditto, $68,680.

"April 30th, 1759. As a compensation to the respective colonies for the expenses of clothing, pay of troops, &c., $1,000,000.

"March 31st, 1760. For the same, $1,000,000. For the colony of New York, to reimburse their expenses in furnishing provisions and stores to the troops in 1756, $14,885.

"January 20th, 1761. As a compensation to the respective colonies for clothing, pay of troops, &c., $1,000,000.

"January 26th, 1762. Ditto, $666,666.

"March 15th, 1763. Ditto, $666,666.

"April 22d, 1770. To reimburse the province of New Hampshire their expenses in furnishing provisions and stores to the troops in the campaign of 1756, $30,045. Total, $5,408,842."

In a pamphlet entitled The Rights of BRITAIN and Claims of AMERICA, an answer to the Declaration of the Continental Congress, setting forth the causes and the necessity of their taking up arms, printed in 1776, I find a table showing the annual expenditures of the British government in support of the civil and military powers of the American colonies, from the accession of the family of Hanover, in 1714, until 1775. The expression of the writer is, "Employed in the defense of America." This is incorrect, for the wars with the French on this continent, which cost the greatest amount of money, were wars for conquest and territory, though ostensibly for the defense of the Anglo-American colonies against the encroachments of their Gallic neighbors. During the period alluded to (sixty years) the sums granted for the army amounted to $43,899,625; for the navy, $50,000,000; money laid out in Indian presents, in holding Congresses, and purchasing cessions of land, $30,500,000; making a total of $123,899,625. Within that period the following bounties on American commodities were paid: On indigo, $725,110; on hemp and flax, $27,800; on naval stores imported in Great Britain from America, $7,293,810; making the total sum paid on account of bounties $8,047,320. The total amount of money expended in sixty years on account of America, $131,946,945.



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