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in his theological views. Bellingham had a more cultivated mind, and much legal information ; but he, too, was rigid and exclusive in his opinions, according to the spirit of the times. Winthrop was passed by, not from any disesteem, or want of confidence of the people; but to relieve him of the cares of government, and probably, in accordance with the republican maxim, of rotation in office. The towns were now restricted to two deputies, an order to that effect having been passed in 1639. There were some objections to this restriction, but they were not available.
The colony was not much increased this year, by emigration from England. The state of the kingdom was such, as to engage the attention of the opposers of arbitrary power, and to excite a hope that they should soon enjoy civil and religious liberty in their own country. The estimate of the number of people in Massachusetts, at this time, (or in 1641,) was 21,000. The number of ships, in which they were transported, has been differently stated; it could not have been less than two hundred, which would require only one hundred in a ship; and some brought a greater number. The condition of the colony was now very prosperous; and those who had known it in the first three or four years after the settlements began, called it the golden age of New England. The land was cultivated to advantage, cattle much increased, and were purchased at reduced prices. The people were industrious, and of great sobriety of manners. Produce was sent to the West Indies, and trade extended to the Wine Islands : fish, lumber, and furs, were the articles exported; and the proceeds carried to England to purchase manufactures wanted in the colony. Protection was granted to the fisheries, by exemption from taxes, and military trainings.
In 1641, Mr. Bellingham was elected governor, and Mr. Endicot, the deputy. The same assistants, with few changes, were chosen for many years. It is an honorable record to the character of Bellingham, “that he was one who hated bribes." But this testimony was not given, to distinguish him from many others in this respect. None of the public men in the colony were then charged with dishonesty or selfishness. Winthrop always proved himself to be upright and faithful, as well in public as private life. For some years, when the colony was small and poor, he had no salary granted for his support; and it was the practice to make him, as well as the clergymen, presents. But he soon declined receiving them, through a fear, that he might possibly be influenced by them, in his official conduct.
On account of regulations on trade, which extended to, or were particularly designed for the colonies, and which operated heavily on the
merchants, agents were sent to England, to obtain relief. The friends of the crown were not disposed to favor the colonies, by remitting the customs or duties : but the parliament, then opposed to the measures of the king, were more ready to grant indulgence; especially, as the settlements had been made
without expense to the government of England, and the colonists were desirous of spreading the gospel among the heathen: another reason might be, that the political opinions of the rulers in Massachusetts were agreeable to most members of parliament. A resolve passed the House of Commons favorable to the petition from the colony, and granting an exemption from the former duties, which was transmitted to Governor Winthrop; but it does not appear, that the House of Lords concurred in it.
The north line of Massachusetts was ordered to be run, in 1641, and the construction put on the words of the patent was such, that the river Merrimac was followed up to its source, and thence a line drawn easterly, which included all the northern and eastern part of New Hampshire, and part of Maine, within its jurisdiction. And thereupon, Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover, put themselves under the government of Massachusetts. This construction of the charter was decided, afterward, to be erroneous.
The increase of the anti-episcopal party in England, led to a convocation or assembly of divines, at Westminster, in 1642, to agree on a creed and a form of church government. Rev. Messrs. Cotton, of Boston, Hooker, of Hartford, and Davenport, of New Haven, were invited to attend as representatives of the churches in New England. Cotton and Davenport were disposed to accept the invitation, but Hooker declined; and the others were persuaded from attending. Hooker was decidedly in favor of independency, or congregationalism, and he feared that the presbyterian form of government might be adopted by the assembly in England.
Some serious disputes between the inhabitants of Hartford and New Haven, and the Dutch about Hudson River, together with the hostile movements and reported designs of the Narragansett and Niantick tribes of Indians, against the English, induced the four colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven, (the two latter being then distinct jurisdictions,) to form a confederacy, in 1643, for mutual defence, and for the protection and defence of all. The people in Rhode Island were then in such an unsettled state, as not to
be invited or allowed to belong to the union. A proposition was made, three years previously, for such a confederacy, by the people of Hartford ; and now the measure was adopted through the urgent request of that colony and New Haven, who were the most exposed, both to the Dutch and to the Indians. Massachusetts was reluctant in joining the confederation, as it felt able to protect itself; and as its authority and influence, in all matters, to be decided by the united council thus formed, would be on a level with the other colonies, which were all far less populous and powerful. And in some of the proceedings, under the confederacy, complaints were made, “that Massachusetts grasped at an undue share of power.' provided that every colony might have two commissioners in the general meetings, or congress; and that the charges of war, and other expenses, for the protection of the whole, should be levied on the colonies according to their respective population. In many emergencies which arose, this union was found beneficial; and it served to keep up a spirit of harmony between all the English in New England. The meetings of the commissioners were held in rotation in each of the colonies thus united, and were continued, with little interruption, till 1686. The object was similar to that of a temporary congress in 1754, and of the more memorable one of 1774. The colonies respectively retained and exercised all the power of making internal laws and regulations, as before the union. At that period, Massachusetts contained about as many inhabitants as all the other colonies. It was to furnish one hundred men, in the event of a war; and the others forty-five each. The settlements had been so much extended in Massachusetts, that the following year four counties were formed, viz. Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, and Norfolk, which contained the towns on the north of Merrimac River. Besides Springfield, the inland towns settled, at this period, (1613) were Concord, Sudbury, Woburn, Dedham, and Reading.
Treatment of the Indians-Gorton-Episcopalians-French in Acadie-
Shipping—Militia-Slavery--Baptists and Quakers persecuted—Iron Works–Magistrates direct in Religion-Economy and Sobriety--Troubles in England-Synod-Publication of Laws_Witchcraft-Death of Gov. Winthrop-Maine-State of Plymouth Colony-Great Powers exercised by the Colony-Dispute with Connecticut about duties-Canada proposes an Alliance-Disputes in Great Britain-Gov. Winslow AgentDutch at New York troublesome-Mrs. Hibbins executed for a WitchMaine--Trade of Massachusetts-Cromwell proposes a removal of the People of New England to Jamaica-Leverett Agent in England— Treatment of Quakers and Baptists-Government of England forbid their persecution-Efforts to improve Indians-Ecclesiastical Affairs in hands of Magistrates as well as Clergy-Pynchon-Dr. Owen-Youth of Massachusetts-Number of Towns and Churches-- Population-College.
In the early disputes and wars with the Indian tribes, the government of Massachusetts was charged, in some instances, with severity and injustice. The plea of the colony was, that it acted on the defensive; and that it never adopted measures of hostility, but on proof of combinations forming against it, or repeated acts of savage cruelty. The union of the colonies was owing to similar considerations; and the conduct of the confederated commissioners afforded a full vindication of the policy of Massachusetts. At the time this confederacy was formed, the Narragansett tribe, (with the Nianticks adjoining, and which was in subjection to it) the most formidable in New England, after the conquest of the Pequots, discovered a dangerous spirit of enmity, both by conspiracies and overt acts of hostility. They made frequent" attacks on the Mohegan tribe, which was in peace with the English, and which the colonies were bound to protect. Warnings and remonstrances had no effect on the Narragansett sachem. He sought to take the life of the Mohegan chief in secret; and the latter afterwards challenged him to single combat, which was declined. During the contest, the sachem of Narragansett fell into the hands of the Mohegans; and after consulting the commissioners of the united colonies, was put to death by Uncas, the Mohegan chief. He had fufcited liis life to 'Uncas, by the rules of Indian warfare. But it was made a question, whether the commissioners could be excused in advising or consenting to the act. By some writers it has been confidently asserted, that their conduct in this case, was altogether unjustifiable, while others have found an apology for it, in the repeated instances of treachery proved against the Narragansett chief, and in his attempts to take the life of the Mohegan sachem, who was under the protection of the English. It might savor of undue partiality, to justify the first and early settlers of New England in all the measures they pursued towards the natives of the country; but their general character for justice, humanity and religion, will be a shield against the charge of any acts of deliberate cruelty or oppression. They were in a condition of imminent exposure from the savages, and the great law of nature would lead them to measures of protection and defence. Mr. Williams, of Providence, justified the united colonies for the war against the Narragansetts.
The treatment of Samuel Gorton, who resided chiefly in Rhode Island, but was frequently in Massachusetts, a man of very fanatical and turbulent character, has also been severely censured. But he disregarded the lawful authority of the government, and endeavored to cast contempt on their institutions and forms of worship ; and also instigated the savage chief of Narragansett to acts of hostility towards other Indians under the protection of the colony. These petty sachers were, moreover, oppressed by Gorton and his adhérents, and their lands taken by him, by fraud and injustice. His conduct was too extravagant and lawless to escape even the censures of the tolerent and indulgent people of Rhode Island. The reasons given by those in the government of Massachusetts, in the early and critical period of their settlement, for what has been considered unreasonable and severe treatment of a portion of the Anabaptists and the Quakers, were, that the conduct, as well as the opinions, of these individuals and sects, was in defiance of legitimate authority, and that it tended not only to weaken the power of the church, but to disturb the public peace. They were punished and banished, not merely for the erroneous opinions they advanced, but for insubordination and disobedience, when in the colony, to the express orders of the legislature. The confinement of Gorton may appear harsh and unnecessary, to those who consider the present state of opinion respecting fanatics or levelers; but the extravagant tenets they advanced and published, were in derogation of the just authority of the civil government, and would have soon prostrated the religious institutions, which it cost so much to establish and maintain. In a society, very enlightened and long established, it
may be good policy to permit the expression of all opinions, hot of direct and immediate dangerous tendency; but when