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DEMOCRATIC LIBERTY IN CONNECTICUT.

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CHAP. broken up, every cornfield laid waste. Sassacus, their

ar sachem, was murdered by the Mohawks, to whom he 1637. had fled for protection. The few that survived, about

two hundred, surrendering in despair, were enslaved by the English, or incorporated among the Mohegans and the Narragansetts. There remained not a sannup nor squaw, not a warrior nor child, of the Pequod name.

A nation had disappeared from the family of man. 1638. The vigor and courage displayed by the settlers on

the Connecticut, in this first Indian war in New England, struck terror into the savages, and secured a long succession of years of peace. The infant was safe in its cradle, the laborer in the fields, the solitary traveller during the night-watches in the forest; the houses needed no bolts, the settlements no palisades. Under the benignant auspices of peace, the citizens

of the western colony resolved to perfect its political 1639. institutions, and to form a body politic by a voluntary Jan. 14. association. The constitution which was thus framed

was of unexampled liberality. The elective franchise belonged to all the members of the towns who had taken tne oath of allegiance to the commonwealth ; the magistrates and legislature were chosen annually by ballot; and the representatives were apportioned among the towns according to population. More than two centuries have elapsed; the world has been made wiser by the most various experience; political institutions have become the theme on which the most powerful and cultivated minds have been employed; and so many constitutions have been framed or reformed, stifled or subverted, that memory may despair of a complete catalogue ;—but the people of Connecticut have found no reason to deviate essentially from the frame of government established by their fathers. No jurisdiction of the English monarch was recognized;

DEMOCRATIC LIBERTY IN CONNECTICUT.

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the laws of honest justice were the basis of their com- CHAP, monwealth ; and therefore its foundations were lasting. an These humble emigrants invented an admirable system ; for they were near to Nature, listened willingly to her voice, and easily copied her forms. No ancient usages, no hereditary differences of rank, no established interests, impeded the application of the principles of justice. Freedom springs spontaneously into life; the artificial distinctions of society require centuries to ripen. History has ever celebrated the heroes who have won laurels in scenes of carnage. Has it no place for the founders of states ; the wise legislators, who struck the rock in the wilderness, so that the waters of liberty gushed forth in copious and perennial fountains ? They who judge of men by their services to the human race, will never cease to honor the memory of Hooker and of Haynes.

In equal independence, a Puritan colony sprang up 1638 at New Haven, under the guidance of John Davenport as its pastor, and of the excellent Theophilus Eaton, who was annually elected its governor for twenty years till his death. Its forms were austere, unmixed Calvinism; but the spirit of humanity had sheltered itself under the rough exterior. The colonists held their April first gathering under a branching oak. It was a season of gloom. Spring had not yet revived the verdure of nature ; under the leafless tree the little flock were taught by Davenport, that, like the Son of man, they were led into the wilderness to be tempted. After a day of fasting and prayer, they rested their first frame of government on a simple plantation covenant, that "all of them would be ordered by the rules which the Scriptures held forth to them.” A title to lands was obtained by a treaty with the natives, whom they protected against the Mohawks. When, after more than a year,

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THE HOUSE OF WISDOM AT NEW HAVEN.

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June

CHAP. the free planters of the colony desired a more perfect

ar form of government, the followers of Him who was laid 1639. in a manger held their constituent assembly in

There, by the influence of Davenport, it was solemnly resolved, that the Scriptures are the perfect rule of a commonwealth; that the purity and peace of the ordinance to themselves and their posterity, were the great end of civil order; and that church members only should be free burgesses. A committee of twelve was selected to choose seven men, qualified for the foundation work of organizing the government. Eaton, Daven

port, and five others, were " the seven Pillars” for the Aug. new House of Wisdom, in the wilderness. In August,

1639, the seven pillars assembled, possessing for the
time absolute power. Having abrogated every previous
executive trust, they admitted to the court all church
members; the character of civil magistrates was next
expounded “ from the sacred oracles;" and the elec-
tion followed. Then Davenport, in the words of Mo-
ses to Israel in the wilderness, gave a charge to the
governor, to judge righteously; "the cause that is too
hard for you,”—such was part of the minister's text,-
6 bring it unto me, and I will hear it.” Annual elections
were ordered; and God's word established as the only
rule in public affairs. Thus New Haven made the Bible
its statute-book, and the elect its freemen. As neigh-
boring towns were planted, each was likewise a house
of wisdom, resting on its seven pillars, and aspiring to
be illumined by the Eternal Light. The colonists
prepared for the second coming of Christ, which they
confidently expected. Meantime their pleasant villages

spread along the Sound, and on the opposite shore of 1640 Long Island, and for years they nursed the hope of 1649. “ speedily planting Delaware.”

to

CHAPTER X.

THE UNITED COLONIES OF NEW ENGLAND.

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The English government was not indifferent to the CHAP. progress of the colonies of New England. The fate of the first emigrants had been watched by all parties with benevolent curiosity; nor was there any inducement to oppress the few sufferers, whom the hardships of their condition were so fast wasting away. The adventurers were encouraged by a proclamation,' 1630 which, with a view to their safety, prohibited the sales and of fire-arms to the savages.

The stern discipline exercised by the government at Salem, produced an early harvest of enemies: resentment long rankled in the minds of some, whom Endicott had perhaps too passionately punished; and when they returned to England, Mason and Gorges, the rivals of the Massachusetts company, willingly echoed their vindictive complaints. A petition even reached King Charles, complaining of distraction and disorder in the plantations ; but the issue was unexpected. Massachusetts was ably defended by Saltonstall, Humphrey, and Cradock, its friends in England; and the committee of the privy council reported in favor of the adventurers, who were ordered to continue 1633 their undertakings cheerfully, for the king did not

1 Hazard, i. 311, 312.

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MASSACHUSETTS HAS ENEMIES IN ENGLAND.

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CHAP. design to impose on the people of Massachusetts the

ceremonies which they had emigrated to avoid. The country, it was believed, would in time be very bene

ficial to England. 1634. Revenge did not slumber,2 because it had been once

defeated; and the triumphant success of the Puritans in America disposed the leaders of the high-church party to listen to the clamors of the malignant. Proof was produced of marriages celebrated by civil magistrates, and of the system of colonial church discipline-proceedings which were wholly at variance with the laws of England. « The departure of so many of THE BEST,” such “numbers of faithful and free-born Englishmen and good Christians,”—a more ill-boding sign to the nation than the portentous blaze of comets

and the impressions in the air, at which astrologers are 1634. dismayed,— began to be regarded by the archbishops Feb. 21. as an affair of state ; and ships bound with passengers

for New England were detained in the Thames by an order of the council. Burdett also in 1637 wrote from New England to Laud, that “the colonists aimed not at new discipline, but at sovereignty; that it was accounted treason in their general court to speak of appeals to the king ;»94 and the greatest apprehensions were raised by a requisition which commanded the letters patent of the company to be produced in England. To this requisition the emigrants returned no reply.

Still more menacing was the appointment of an

1 Winthrop and Savage, 1. 54- 3 Milton pleads for the Puritans 57, and 101-103. Prince, 430, 431. _Of Reformation, Book ii. Hutch. Coll. 52–54. Hubbard, 150 4 Hutchinson, i. 85. Hubbard,

-154. Chalmers, 154, 155. Haz- 354. ard, i. 234, 235.

5 Winthrop, i. 135. 137. Hub. Winthrop, ii. 190, 191; or Haz- bạrd, 153. Hazard, i. 341, 342. Qrd, i. 242, 243. Hubbard, 428-430.

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