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COLONIZATION OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. CHAP. and that John Smith of Virginia had examined and

ñ extolled the deep waters of the Piscataqua. Sir 1614. Ferdinand Gorges, the most energetic member of the 20. council of Plymouth, always ready to encounter risks

in the cause of colonizing America, had not allowed repeated ill success to chill his confidence and decision; and now he found in John Mason, “who had been

governor of a plantation in Newfoundland, a man of 1621. action," like himself. It was not difficult for Mason,

who had been elected an associate and secretary of the council, to obtain a grant of the lands between Salem River and the farthest head of the Merrimac;

but he did no more with his vast estate than give it a 1622. name. The passion for land increased ; and Gorges us and Mason next took a patent for Laconia, the whole

country between the sea, the St. Lawrence, the Merrimac, and the Kennebec; a company of English

merchants was formed; and under its auspices per1623. manent plantations were established on the banks of

the Piscataqua. Portsmouth and Dover are among the oldest towns in New England. Splendid as were the anticipations of the proprietaries, and lavish as was their enthusiasm in liberal expenditures, the immediate progress of the plantations was inconsiderable, and, even as fishing stations, they do not seem to have

prospered. 1628. When the country on Massachusetts Bay was


granted to a company, of which the zeal and success

were soon to overshadow all the efforts of proprietaries 1629. and merchants, it became expedient for Mason to

procure a new patent; and he now received a fresh


1 Gorges Narrative, c. xxiv. ff. Belknap's New Hampshire, c. i. Hubbard, 614–616. Prince, 215. -a truly valuable work, highly Adams's Annals of Portsmouth, 9, creditable to American literature. 10. Williamson's Maine, i. 222, and



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titie? to the territory between the Merrimac and CHAP. Piscataqua, in terms which, in some degree, interfered with the pretensions of his neighbors on the south. This was the patent for New Hampshire, and was pregnant with nothing so signally as suits at law. The country had been devastated by the mutual wars of the tribes, and the same wasting pestilence which left New Plymouth a desert; no notice seems to have been taken of the rights of the natives; nor did they now issue any deed of their lands ;? but the soil in the 1630. immediate vicinity of Dover, and afterwards of Portsmouth, was conveyed to the planters themselves, or to 1631 those at whose expense the settlement had been made. A favorable impulse was thus given to the little colonies; and houses now began to be built on the “ Strawberry Bank” of the Piscataqua. But the progress of the town was slow; Josselyno described the whole coast as a mere wilderness, with here and there a few huts scattered by the sea-side ; and 1638. thirty years after its settlement, Portsmouth made 1653 only the moderate boast of containing “ between fifty and sixty families.95

When the grand charter, which had established the 1635. council of Plymouth, was about to be revoked, Mason extended his pretensions to the Salem River, the southern boundary of his first territory, and obtained of the expiring corporation a corresponding patent. At There is room to believe, that the king would, without scruple, have confirmed the grant, and conferred upon him the powers of government, as absolute lord and proprietary ; but the death of Mason cut off all the


1 Hazard, i. 290—293.

2 Savage on Winthrop, i. 405, and ff. 3 Adams's Portsmouth, 17-19.

VOL. 1. 42

4 Josselyn's Voyages, 20.
5 Farmer's Belknap, 434.
6 Ibid. 431, and c. ii.



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chap. hopes which his family might have cherished of territoa rial aggrandizement and feudal supremacy. His widow 1638. in vain attempted to manage the colonia! domains;

the costs exceeded the revenue; the servants were ordered to provide for their own welfare; the property of the great landed proprietor was divided among them for the payment of arrears; and Mason's American estate was completely ruined. Neither king nor proprietary troubled the few inhabitants of New Hampshire ; they were left to take care of themselves—the best dependence for states, as well as for individuals.

The enterprise of Sir Ferdinand Gorges, though sustained by stronger expressions of royal favor, and continued with indefatigable perseverance, was not

followed by much greater success. We have seen a 1606. colony established, though but for a single winter, on

the shores which Pring had discovered, and Weymouth

had been the first to explore. After the bays of New 1615. England had been more carefully examined by the

same daring adventurer who sketched the first map of the Chesapeake, the coast was regularly visited by fishermen and traders. A special account of the country was one of the fruits of Hakluyt's inquiries, and was published in the collections of Purchas. At Winter Harbor, near the mouth of Saco River, Eng

lishmen, under Richard Vines, again encountered the 2616-7 severities of the inclement season; and not long after

wards, the mutineers of the crew of Rocraft lived from 1618-9 autumn till spring on Monhegan Island, where the 1607. colony of Popham had anchored, and the ships of John 1614. Smith had made their station during his visit to New

England. The earliest settlers, intent only on their immediate objects, hardly aspired after glory; from the COLLISION WITH FRANCE ON THE EASTERN FRONTIER.


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few memorials which they have left, it is not, perhaps, CHAP. possible to ascertain the precise time, when the rude an shelters of the fishermen on the sea-coast began to be 1623 tenanted by permanent inmates, and the fishing stages 1628 of a summer to be transformed into regular establishments of trade. The first settlement was probably 1626 made on the Maine," but a few miles from Monhegan, at the mouth of the Pemaquid. The first observers could not but admire the noble rivers and secure bays, which invited commerce, and gave the promise of future opulence; but if hamlets were soon planted near the mouths of the streams; if forts were erected to protect the merchant and the mariner,agriculture received no encouragement; and so many causes combined to check the growth of the country, that, notwithstanding its natural advantages, nearly two centuries glided away, before the scattered settlements along the sea-side rose into a succession of busy marts, sustained and enriched by the thriving villages of a fertile interior.

The settlement at Piscataqua could not quiet the ambition of Gorges. As a Protestant and an Englishman, he was almost a bigot, both in patriotism and in religion. Unwilling to behold the Roman Catholic church and the French monarch obtain possession of the eastern coast of North America, his first act with reference to the territory of the present state of Maine was, to invite the Scottish nation to become the


1 For the early history of Maine, elaborate and most minute work the original authorities are in Pur- of Williarason. I have also dechas, vol. iv.; the Relation of the rived advantage from Geo. Folsom's President and Council for New Saco and Biddeford, and W. WilEngland; Josselyn's Voyages; and lis's Portland. Williamson, i. 227, the Narration which Gorges him- describes Saco as a permanent setself composed in his old age. Ma- tlement in 1623 ; I incline rather to terials may be found also in Sulli- the opinion of Willis and Folsom. van's History; and far better in the

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CHAP. guardians of its frontier. Sir William Alexander, the

ambitious writer of turgid rhyming tragedies, a man of influence with King James, and already filled with the desire of engaging in colonial adventure, seconded a design, which promised to establish his personal

dignity and interest; and he obtained, without diffi1621. culty, a patent for all the territory east of the River Sid. St. Croix, and south of the St. Lawrence. The

whole region, which had already been included in the French provinces of Acadia and New France, was designated in English geography by the name of Nova Scotia. Thus were the seeds of future wars scattered broadcast by the unreasonable pretensions

of England ; for James now gave away lands, which, 1603. already and with a better title on the ground of dis

covery, had been granted by Henry IV. of France, and which had been immediately occupied by his subjects; nor could it be supposed, that the reigning French monarch would esteem his rights to his rising colonies invalidated by a parchment under the Scottish seal, or prove himself so forgetful of honor, as to discontinue the protection of the emigrants who had planted themselves in America on the faith of the crown.?

Yet immediate attempts were made to effect a 1622. Scottish settlement. One ship, despatched for the

purpose, did but come in sight of the shore, and then, declining the perilous glory of colonization, returned

to the permanent fishing station on Newfoundland. 1623. The next spring, a second ship arrived; but the two

vessels in company hardly possessed courage to sail to and fro along the coast, and make a partial survey of


The patent is in Hazard, v. i. tion, c. xxiv ; Laing's Scotland, ini p. 134–145; in Purchas, v. iv. p. 477. 1871. See, also, Gorges' Narra- 2 Chalmers, 92.

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