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Manufacturing establishments within the state greatly increased, during the administration of Governor Brooks. The war of 1812 had been the occasion of establishing several large cotton factories, and of some manufactories of woollens, more extensive than had been previously erected. After the war, as many individuals of property considered these establishments favorable for lucrative investments, they were continued and enlarged. The policy of these establishments was approved generally, as favorable to the whole country. Governor Brooks was friendly to manufactures; but doubted the policy of protecting, or of favoring them to the extent which some portion of the citizens proposed and urged. He perceived the difficulty of framing laws for the benefit of a few, or for the particular advantage of any one course of business, which would be approved by the residue of the community. He would encourage and protect domestic manufactures, for the prosperity and benefit of the whole country; not merely to render the pursuits of one portion of the people more profitable than they would be when left to the natural course of trade, or the demands of the community. He also had apprehensions of the moral and political evils which would flow from very large manufacturing establishments in the country. But the consideration of the care taken to educate children, in New England, served to limit his fears in this respect. While only children of an education, such as the public school affords, are received into these factories, there is just cause to believe that the corruption and profligacy will never be known, which render most of the large establishments in England nurses of vice and pauperism.
A subject of particular interest which occupied the attention of Governor Brooks while he was chief magistrate, was the claim of the state on the general government, for a reimbursement of the expenses incurred by the commonwealth during the war of 1812-15. The sums expended by the state for the services of the militia, and other measures of defence, on that occasion, amounted to nearly a million of dollars. It was generally believed to furnish an equitable claim on the government of the United States, whose duty it was to afford protection; but which furnished neither troops nor money for the purpose, and left the state to its own resources for safety. The general
one years, to vote in the election of governor and representatives, after a residence in the state of one year, and of six months in the town where he lives, if he shall have paid a tax in the state within two years: without requiring any property or estate, as it did originally.
court requested the governor to present the claim to the consideration of congress, and to have an account of the expenses prepared to substantiate the claim. The account was duly prepared, and agents were appointed by the governor in 1817, to present it to the executive of the United States. Objections were made to its allowance by the administration, on the plea, that the services were not rendered in the manner and on the occasions, as requested by the military officers appointed by the president. It was not denied that the services were performed, nor that the state was protected when attacked or exposed, (except in the case of Castine;) nor that the expenses for the militia were extravagant or unreasonable. But it was contended by the administration, that as the militia were not called out by the governor and put under the control of a military officer of the United States army, as required, the commonwealth could have no just claim on the federal government, and must bear the burden of its own expenses.
The merits of the claim were, by the governor, made to rest on the consideration, already noticed; that the territory of the state was protected, when invaded or actually exposed, by the people, and at the expense of the commonwealth; that such service and measures of defence were regulated with due economy; and that the general government neglected to provide the necessary means of protection.
The discussion on the merits of the claim involved the important question of state rights, of the extent of the authority of the federal executive, and of the meaning of the constitution, as to the control of the militia in a time of war. The administration of the general government so construed the constitution relating to this subject, as to claim the entire direction and control of the militia of the several states, while the war continued; and that it was an unjustifiable and dangerous measure in the executive or legislature of a state to withhold them, when required. And as the government of Massachusetts had refused to place the militia at the disposal of officers of the United States army, its claim for expenses were rejected, when presented to the executive of the United States. But Governor Brooks, believing the claim to be equitable and just, and entrusted by the general court with the duty of urging its payment, employed agents to present it to the federal rulers. He was one of the executive counsel, or adjutant general of the state, during the war of 1812; and it was believed was of the same opinion with Governor Strong, in the measures adopted when the requisition was made for the militia. He contended
that the militia could be justly called for, only in case of invasion, or imminent danger of invasion: and that, when called into service for the defence of the state, they should be governed by their own officers, except that they might be directed by an officer of the continental army, and that within the limits of the state.
With these views, he made an arrangement with a federal officer for calling out the militia in 1814, and for placing them under his command. But a similar arrangement, proposed to be made with another officer of the United States, was not carried into effect, owing to new conditions required by that officer. The militia, however, were called into the service of the state, to defend the towns on the seaboard, in various places during the year 1814; and great expenses were thereby incurred by the commonwealth. The militia were called out, not to oppose or to embarrass the measures of the federal administration; but with an intent to maintain the rights of the citizens, and to defend the state when and where it was really exposed to the danger of an attack. Governor Brooks, therefore, made repeated attempts, while he was in the chair, to obtain a reimbursement for these expenses. And the last year he was chief magistrate, he caused a statement of the claim and of the circumstances under which the expenses were incurred, to be prepared by the secretary and adjutant general, which was laid before the president of the United States in 1822; and a further examination of the account was ordered. When it was suggested to Governor Brooks, that possibly an acknowledgment of error, on the part of Massachusetts, in withholding the militia, would have a favorable influence on the claim, he said, he believed the measures pursued, relating to the militia, were correct, and that he could not express the opinion proposed, for any considerations. All his efforts, therefore, for obtaining the amount expended and claimed by the state, were in vain; owing, in some measure, as was believed, to political prejudices, as well as to a different construction given to the constitution by the federal rulers. It was considered a singular course to leave it to the views or feelings of the administration, rather than to settle the principle for deciding on the merits of the claim, by a particular law of congress.
When Governor Brooks, after being seven years in the chair, announced his intention to retire from public life, it gave sincere regret to the people throughout the state. He had administered its concerns with perfect fidelity, and much ability; and the merit justly belongs to him, of softening the asperities of political parties, and breaking down the partition wall which had long separated them. His aid was most cheerfully given
in support of the ancient institutions of the commonwealth, civil, literary, and religious; and he had the satisfaction, in his latter years, to witness a period of public prosperity, of improvement, and of political liberty, in a good degree, equal to his former wishes and anticipations, when he engaged in the hazardous enterprise of defending his country with his sword.
See page 15. Speaking of the rise of the Plymouth planters, Governor Bradford says, "that several religious people near the borders of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire, finding the pious ministers urged with subscription, (to books of common prayer, ceremonies, &c.,) or silenced, and the people greatly vexed with the commissary courts, apparitors and pursuivants, which they bare sundry years with much patience, till they were led, by the continuance and increase of these troubles, and other means, to search and see further into these things through the light of God's word.-How that not only the ceremonies were unlawful, but also the lordly and tyrannical power of the prelates, who, contrary to the freedom of the gospel, would load the consciences of men; and, by their compulsive power, make a profane mixture of divine worship: that their offices, courts, and canons, were unlawful; being such as have no warrant in the Word of God, but the same which were used in popery, and still retained. Upon which these people shake off this yoke of anti-christian bondage, and, as the Lord's free people, join themselves by covenant into a church state, to walk in all his ways, made known, or to be made known to them, according to their best endeavors, whatever it might cost them."
The grounds of difference, between the puritans and the church of England, are generally well known. But it is best to let one speak in his own cause. The writer of this volume is in possession of an unpublished treatise by William Bradford, (many years governor of Plymouth colony,) on the reasons for opposing the church of Rome by the protestants; of the separation of the puritans from the episcopal church of England; and of the more strict conformity of independents or congregationalists to the directions of the New Testament than even the presbyterian churches. From that part of the manuscript, which refers to episcopacy, the following paragraphs are thought worthy of insertion in this place. The MSS. was written in 1652.