ALTHOUGH the conquest of the Pequots extended the claim of Connecticut to a great proportion of the lands in the settled part of the colony, yet, to remove all grounds of complaint or uneasiness, the English planters made fair purchases of almost the whole tract of country within the settled part of Connecticut.
After the conquest of the Pequots, in consequence of the covenant made with Uncas, in 1638, and the gift of a hundred Pequots to him, he became important. A considerable number of Indians collected to him, so that he became one of the principal sachems in Connecticut, and even in New-England. At some times he was able to raise four or five hundred warriors. As the Pequots were now conquered, and as he assisted in the conquest, and was a Pequot himself, he laid claim to all that extensive tract called the Moheagan or Pequot country. Indeed, it seems he claimed, and was allowed to sell some part of that tract which was the principal seat of the Pequots. The sachems in other parts of Connecticut, who had been conquered by the Pequots, and made their allies, or tributaries, considered themselves, by the conquest of this haughty nation, as restored to their former rights. They claimed to be independent sovereigns, and to have a title to all the lands which they had at any time before possessed. The planters therefore, to show their justice to the heathen, and to maintain the peace of the country, from time to time, purchased of the respective sachems and their Indians, all the lands which they settled, excepting the towns of New-London, Groton and Stonington, which were considered as the peculiar seat of the Pequot nation. The inhabitants of Windsor, Hartford, and Weathersfield, either at the time of their settlement, or soon after, bought all those extensive tracts, which they settled, of the native, original proprietors of the country. Indeed, Connecticut planters generally made repeated purchases of their lands. The colony not only bought the Moheagan country of Uncas, but afterwards all the particular towns were purchased again, either of him or his successors, when the settlements in them commenced. Besides, the colony was often obliged to renew its leagues with Uncas and his successors, the Moheagan sachems; and to make new presents and take new deeds, to keep friendship with the Indians and preserve the peace of the country. The colony was obliged to defend Uncas from his enemies, which was an occasion of no small trouble and expense. The laws obliged the inhabitants of the several towns to reserve unto the natives a sufficient quantity of planting ground. They were allowed to hunt and fish upon all the lands no less than the English.
The colonies made laws for their protection from insult, fraud and violence.1 The inhabitants suffered them to erect wigwams, and to live on the very lands which they had purchased of them; and to cut their fire wood on their uninclosed lands, for more than a whole century, after the settlements began. The lands, therefore, though really worth nothing at that time, cost the planters very considerable sums, besides the purchase of their patents and the right of pre-emption.
In purchasing the lands and making settlements, in a wilderness, the first planters of Connecticut expended great estates. It has been the opinion of the best judges, who have had the most perfect acquaintance with the ancient affairs of the colony, that many of the adventurers expended more, in making settlements in Connecticut, than all the lands and buildings were worth, after all the improvements which they had made upon them.2
At the general election in Connecticut, this year, Mr. Hopkins was chosen governor, and Mr. Haynes deputy governor. Mr. Ludlow was chosen magistrate in the place of Mr. Hopkins. The other magistrates were the same who were elected the last year. The same governor, deputy governor and magistrates, who were in office, at New-Haven, the last year, were re-elected for this.
As the colonists, both in Connecticut and New-Haven, were the patentees of Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook and the other gentlemen interested in the old Connecticut patent,3 and as that patent covered a large tract of country, both colonies were desirous of securing the native title to the lands, with all convenient dispatch. Several large purchases were made this year both by Connecticut and New-Haven.
Connecticut made presents to Uncas, the Moheagan sachem, to his satisfaction, and on the 1st of September 1640, obtained of him a clear and ample deed of all his lands in Connecticut, except the lands which were then planted. These he reserved for himself and the Moheagans.
The same year, governor Haynes, in behalf of Hartford, made a purchase of Tunxis, including the towns of Farmington and Southington, and extending westward as far as the Mohawk country.
The people of Connecticut, about the same time, purchased Waranoke and soon began a plantation there, since called Westfield. Governor Hopkins erected a trading house and had a considerable interest in the plantation.
1 These facts are fully ascertained by the records of the colonies, and of the respective towns.
9 This was the general opinion amnng men of extensive knowledge, in Massachusetts, as well as in Connecticut. Governor Hutchinson, in a manuscript which he wrote against the stamp act, observed, that land in New-England, at the time of its settlement, was of no value.
3 See note, p. 10.
Mr. Ludlow made a purchase of the eastern part of Norwalk, between Saugatuck and Norwalk rivers. Captain Patrick bought the middle part of the town. A few families seem to have planted themselves in the town about the time of these purchases, but it was not properly settled until about the year 1651. The planters then made a purchase of the western part of the town.1
About the same time Robert Feaks and Daniel Patrick bought Greenwich. The purchase was made in behalf of New-Haven, but through the intrigue of the Dutch governor, and the treachery of the purchasers, the first inhabitants revolted to the Dutch. They were incorporated and vested with town privileges by Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New-Netherlands. The inhabitants were driven off by the Indians, in their war with the Dutch; and made no great progress in the settlement until after Connecticut obtained the charter, and they were taken under the jurisdiction of this colony.
Captain Howe and other Englishmen, in behalf of Connecticut,2 purchased a large tract of the Indians, the original proprietors, on Long-Island. This tract extended from the eastern part of Oyster bay to the western part of Howe's or Holmes's bay to the middle of the great plain. It lay on the northern part of the island and extended southward about half its breadth. Settlements were immediately begun upon the lands; and by the year 1642, had made considerable advancement.
New-Haven made a purchase of all the lands at Rippowams. This purchase was made of Ponus and Toquamske, the two sachems of that tract, which contained the whole town of Stamford. A reservation of planting ground was made for the Indians.8
Another large purchase, sufficient for a number of plantations, was made by captain Turner, agent for New-Haven, on both sides of Delaware bay or river. This purchase was made with a view to trade, and for the settlement of churches in gospel order and purity. The colony of New-Haven erected trading houses upon the lands, and sent nearly fifty families to make settlements upon them. The settlements were made under the jurisdiction of NewHaven, and in close combination with that colony in all their fundamental articles.
It also appears, that New-Haven, or their confederates, purchased and settled Yennycock, Southhold, on Long-Island. Mr. John Youngs, who had been a minister at Hingham in England,
1 The first purchases were of the sachem, Mamechimoh. Mr. Ludlow's deed bears date Feb. 26th, 1640, and Capt. Patrick's April 20th, 1640. The western purchase was of a sachem called Buckingheage. It hence appears that there were two sachems in this town.
5 Savage takes occasion to call this statement inaccurate, inasmuch as the settlement was made by an agent of Lord Sterling, from Lynn, Mass. The main facts as stated by Trumbull follow Winthrop's Journal closely J. T.
3 The purchase was made by captain Nathaniel Turner, agent for New-Haven. It cost about thirty pounds sterling.
came over, with a considerable part of his church, and here fixed his residence. He gathered his church anew, on the 21st of October, and the planters united themselves with New-Haven. However, they soon departed from the rule of appointing none to office, or of admitting none to be freemen, but members of the church. New-Haven insisted on this as a fundamental article of their constitution. They were, therefore, for a number of years, obliged to conform to this law of the jurisdiction. Some of the principal men were the Reverend Mr. Youngs, Mr. William Wells, Mr. Barnabas Horton, Thomas Mapes, John Tuthill and Matthias Corwin.
Laws were enacted, both by Connecticut and New-Haven, prohibiting all purchases of the Indians, by private persons, or companies, without the consent of their respective general courts. These were to authorize and direct the manner of every purchase.
The general court, at New-Haven, this year, made a grant of Totoket to Mr. Samuel Eaton, brother of governor Eaton, upon condition of his procuring a number of his friends, from England, to make a settlement in that tract of country.
At this court it was decreed, that the plantation at Quinnipiack should be called New-Haven.
At the general election, April 6,1641, at Hartford, John Haynes, Esq. was chosen governor, and George Wyllys, Esq. deputy governor. Mr. Hopkins was chosen magistrate, and the other principal officers were re-elected.
The brethren of the church at Weathersfield removed without their pastor, the Rev. Mr. Phillips; and, having no settled minister at first, fell into unhappy contentions and animosities. These continued for a number of years, and divided the inhabitants of the town, as well as the brethren of the church. They were the means of scattering the inhabitants, and of the formation of new settlements and churches in other places. Great pains were taken, by the ministers on the river, to compose the differences and unite the church and town; but they were unable to effect an union. Mr. Davenport and some of the brethren of the church at New-Haven were sent for, to advise and attempt a reconciliation. Mr. Davenport and his brethren gave advice somewhat different from that which had been given by the ministers and churches on the river; and, it seems, suggested the expediency of one of the parties removing and making a new settlement, if they could not by any means be united among themselves. Some were pleased with the advice, others disliked it, and the parties could not agree which of them should remove. The church, which consisted of seven members only, was divided three against four. The three claimed to be the church, and therefore pleaded, that they ought not to remove. The four, as they were the majority, insisted that it was their right to stay.
The church at Watertown, as they had not dismissed their brethren, at Weathersfield, from their watch, judged it their duty to make them a visit, and to attempt to heal the divisions which had sprung up among them. For this benevolent purpose, several of the brethren made a journey to Connecticut; but they succeeded no better in their endeavours, than those who had been before them. It now appeared to be the opinion, that it was expedient for one of the parties to remove, but it could not be agreed which of them should be obliged again to make a new settlement. At length a number of principal men, who were the most pleased with the advice of Mr. Davenport and the New-Haven brethren, and to whom the government of that colony was most agreeable, determined to remove, and settle in combination with NewHaven.
Therefore, on the 30th of October, 1640, Mr. Andrew Ward and Mr. Robert Coe of Weathersfield, in behalf of themselves and about twenty other planters, purchased Rippowams of NewHaven. The whole number obliged themselves to remove, with their families, the next year, before the last of November. This spring the settlement commenced. The principal planters were the Rev. Mr. Richard Denton, Mr. Matthew Mitchel, Mr. Thurston Rayner, Mr. Andrew Ward, Mr. Robert Coe, and Mr. Richard Gildersleve. Mr. Denton was among the first planters of the town, and continued their minister about three or four years. After that time he removed with part of his church and congregation to Hempsted. They settled that town about the year 1643 or 1644.
At the general election, October 27, 1641, in New-Haven, Theophilus Eaton, Esq. was chosen governor, and Mr. Stephen Goodyear, deputy governor. The magistrates were Mr. Gregson, Mr. Robert Newman, Mr. Matthew Gilbert and Mr. Wakeman. Thomas Fugill was appointed secretary, and Mr. Gregson treasurer.
Upon the general election, this year, at Hartford, there was a considerable change, with respect to civil officers. George Wyllys, Esq. was elected governor, and Roger Ludlow, Esq. deputy governor. Eight magistrates were chosen for Connecticut. This is the first instance of more than six. The magistrates were John Haynes.Esq. Mr. Phelps, Mr. Webster, captain Mason, Mr. Wells, Mr. Whiting, Edward Hopkins, Esq. and Mr. William Hopkins.
The Indians were exceedingly troublesome this year. It was suspected, that they were forming a combination for a general war. All trading with them, in arms or any instruments of iron, was expressly prohibited, both by Connecticut and New-Haven. Each colony concerted all measures of defence. A constant watch was kept in all the plantations. Upon the sabbath a strong guard was set at the places of public worship.
At this court, the magistrates were desired to write to the Dutch, and, as far as possible, to prevent their vending arms and ammunition to the natives, and to settle all disputes between them and the colony with respect to claims. But notwithstanding all their endeavours, the Dutch behaved with great insolence, and did much damage to both the English colonies.
The Dutch, at Hartford, gave entertainment to fugitives from the English; helped them when confined to file off their irons; and persuaded servants to run from their masters and then gave them entertainment. They purchased goods which had been stolen from the English, and would not return them. They also assisted criminals in breaking gaol.
Besides these misdemeanors, at Hartford, the Dutch governor, William Kieft, caused the English setdements on Long-Island, which had now advanced, on the lands purchased by captain Howe, as far as Oyster bay, to be broken up. Some of the English planters were forcibly seized and imprisoned, and others driven from their settlements. These were injuries done to Connecticut.
To the colony of New-Haven the Dutch were still more hostile and injurious. Notwithstanding the fair purchases which that colony had made, by their agents at Delaware, governor Kieft, without any legal protest or warning, dispatched an armed force, and with great hostility, burned the English trading houses, violently seized and for a time detained their goods, and would not give them time to take an inventory of them. The Dutch also took the company's boat, and a number of the English planters, and kept them as prisoners. The damages done the English at Delaware, were estimated at a thousand pounds sterling.1
The same year the Swedish governor 2 and Dutch agent uniting in a crafty design against Mr. Lamberton, a principal gentleman of New-Haven, made an injurious attempt upon his life. They accused him of having joined in a plot with the Indians to cut off the Swedes and Dutch. They attempted, by giving his men strong drink, and by threatenings and allurements, to influence them to bear testimony against him. They proceeded so far as to imprison and try him for treason. When, notwithstanding these unfair means, and that they were both his accusers and judges, they could not find any evidence against him, they arbitrarily imposed a fine upon him, for trading at Delaware, though within the limits of the purchase and jurisdiction of New-Haven.
At another time, when Mr. Lamberton was occasionally at Manhatoes, in the capacity of an agent for New-Haven, the Dutch
1 Records of the united colonies, and Smith's history of New-York, p. 4.
'John Printz. The plot against Lamberton must have been in 1643, a year later than our author places it. See deposition of John Thickpenny, in New-Haren Colonial Records, 1:97. From this it appears that the Dutch agent was not an accomplice in this plot.J. T.
governor, Kieft, by force and threatenings, compelled him to give an account of all his beaver, within the limits of New-Haven, at Delaware, and to pay an impost upon the whole. The Dutch did other damages, and insulted the English in various other instances. Both Connecticut and New-Haven, from year to year, complained and remonstrated against them, but could obtain no redress.
While the colonies were increasing in numbers and settlements, progress in law and jurisprudence, in the regular establishment of courts and the times of their sessions, was also necessary, for the advancement, order and happiness of the respective jurisdictions.
This, so far as the numerous affairs of the colonies would permit, was an object of special attention. The capital laws of Connecticut were, this year, nearly completed, and put upon record. The several passages of scripture on which they were founded were particularly noticed in the statute. They were twelve in number, and to the following effect.
If any man or woman shall have or worship any God, but the true God, he shall be put to death. Deut. xiii. 6. xvii. 21. Exodus xxii. 2.
If any person in this colony shall blaspheme the name of God the Father, Son or Holy Ghost, with direct, express, presumptuous or high-handed blasphemy, or shall curse in like manner, he shall be put to death. Levit. xxiv. 15, 16.
If any man or woman be a witch, that is, hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit, they shall be put to death. Exodus xxii. 18. Levit. xx. 22. Deut. xviii. 10, n.
If any person shall commit wilful murder, upon malice, hatred or cruelty, not in a man's own defence, nor by casualty against his will, he shall be put to death. Exodus xxi. 12, 13, 14. Numb, xxxv. 30, 31.
If any person shall slay another through guile, either by poisoning, or other such devilish practices, he shall be put to death. Exodus xxi. 14.
If any man or woman shall lie with any beast or brute creature, by carnal copulation, they shall surely be put to death, and the beast shall be slain and buried. Leviticus xx. 15, 16.
If any man lieth with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed abomination; they both shall surely be put to death, except it appear that one of the parties was forced, or under fifteen years of age. Levit. xx. 13.
If any man lie with his mother, or father's wife, or wife's mother, his daughter, or daughter in law, having carnal copulation with them, both of them have committed abomination; they shall be put to death, except it appear, that the woman was forced, or under fourteen years of age. Levit. xx. n, 12, 14, and xviii. 7, 8.
If any man shall forcibly ravish any maid, or woman, by carnal copulation, against her consent, he shall be put to death, provided prosecution and complaint be made forthwith upon the rape. Deut. xxii. 25.
If any man steal a man, or mankind, and selleth him, or he be found in his hand, he shall be put to death. Exodus xxi. 16.
If any person rise up by false witness, wittingly, and of purpose, to take away man's life, he or she shall be put to death. Deut. xix. 16, 18, 19.
It was also enacted, that if any person should conspire against the commonwealth, attempt an insurrection, invasion, or rebellion against it, he should be put to death.
Wilful arson, the cursing and smiting of father or mother, and notorious stubbornness in children, after a certain age, were, soon after, made capital offences, by the laws of the colony, and added to the list of the capital laws.1
Before this time, unchastity between single persons, and wanton behaviour, had been punished with whipping at the tail of the cart, by fining, or obliging the delinquents to marry, at the discretion of the particular courts.
The general court approved of what the particular courts had done, in these cases, and authorised them, in future, to punish such delinquents by fines, by committing them to the house of correction, or by corporal punishment, at the discretion of the court.
As some loose persons deserted the English settlements, and lived in a profane, heathenish manner, a law was enacted, that all persons who should be convicted of this crime, should be punished with three years imprisonment, at least, in the house of correction, with fine, or corporal punishment, as the particular court should direct.2
At a general court in New-Haven, April 5, 1643, considerable progress was made in the laws and government of that colony. Deputies were admitted to the court, and an addition was made to the number of magistrates. Stamford, for the first time, sent captain John Underhill, and Mr. Richard Gildersleve, to represent the town. Mr. Mitchel and Mr. Rayner were nominated for magistrates in Stamford. Mr. Rayner was appointed by the court. Captain Underhill, Mr. Mitchel, Mr. Andrew Ward, and Mr. Robert Coe were appointed assistant judges to Mr. Rayner. This court was vested with the same powers as the court at NewHaven, and was the first instituted in Stamford. Mr. William Leet and Mr. Desborough were admitted magistrates for Menunkatuck, and that plantation was named Guilford.
1 Records of Connecticut, and the old Connecticut code.
'Records of Connecticut. When the Connecticut laws were printed, in 1672, this law was altered, and the term reduced from three, to one year's imprisonment.
This year John Haynes, Esq. was elected governor, and Mr. Hopkins deputy governor. Mr. Wolcott and Mr. Swain were chosen magistrates; and Mr. Phelps and Mr. William Hopkins" were not elected.1 Mr. Whiting was chosen treasurer and Mr. Wells secretary. It appears to have been customary, for a number of years, to choose the secretary and treasurer among the magistrates.
Juries appear to have attended the particular courts, in Connecticut, from their first institution. They seem to have been regularly enrolled about the year 1641, or 1642. But the particular courts found great difficulties with respect to their proceedings. There were no printed laws for the inhabitants to study, and many of the common people had attended very little to law and evidence. The jury therefore, very often, would be so divided, that they could not agree upon any verdict; and when they were agreed, it did not always appear to the court that they brought in a just one. A pretty extraordinary law therefore passed this court, regulating the juries. The court decreed, that the jury should attend diligently to the case, and to the evidence, and if they could not all agree in a verdict, they should offer their reasons upon the case to the court, and the court should answer them, and send out the jury again. If, after deliberating Upon the case, they could not bring in a joint verdict, it was decreed, that it should be determined by a major vote; and that this should, to all intents and purposes, be deemed a full and sufficient verdict; upon which judgment should be entered, and execution, and all other proceedings should be as though there had been a joint verdict of the jury. It was also provided, that if the jury should be equally divided, six and six, they should represent the case to the court, with their reasons, and a special verdict should be drawn, and a major vote of the court, or magistrates, should determine the cause, and all matters respecting it should be as though there had been a joint verdict of the jury.2
At this court, it was ordained, that a grand jury of twelve men should attend the particular courts, annually, in May and September, and as often as the governor and court should judge expedient. It was also enacted, that the grand jury should be warned to give their attendance. This is the first notice of a grand jury, at any court.
A general confederation of the New-England colonies, had been proposed, and in agitation for several years. In 1638, articles of union, for amity, offence and defence, mutual advice and assistance, upon all necessary occasions, were drawn, and for
1 Mr. Phelps, I suppose, was now dead, as he appears no more upon the records. He was one of the principal planters of Windsor, and chosen into the magistracy from the first settlement of Connecticut He appears to have been the ancestor of the Phelpses in this state.
3 Records of Connecticut.
further consideration, referred to 1639. Connecticut and Mr. Fenwick agreed to confederate for these purposes. From this time, Connecticut had annually appointed some of her principal men, to go into the Massachusetts, to complete the designed confederacy. Governor Haynes and Mr. Hooker, in 1639, were nearly a month in Massachusetts, laboring to carry it into effect. New-Haven paid equal attention to an affair so important to the colonies. The circumstances of the English nation, and the state of the colonies in New-England, at this time, made it a matter of urgent necessity. For the accommodation of particular companies, the colonies had extended their settlements upon the rivers and sea coasts much farther, and had made them in a more scattering manner, than was at first designed. No aid could be expected from the parent country, let emergencies be ever so pressing. The Dutch had so extended their claims, and were so powerful and hostile, as to afford a just ground of general alarm. All the plantations were compassed with numerous tribes of savage men. The Narragansets appeared hostile, and there were the appearances of a general combination, among the Indians, in New-England, to extirpate the English colonies. There were, notwithstanding, impediments in the way of effecting even so necessary and important an union. The Massachusetts was much more numerous and powerful, than the other colonies. It was in various respects more respectable and important. It was, therefore, a matter of difficulty, to form an union upon equal terms. The other colonies were not willing to unite upon such as were unequal. There were also disputes between Connecticut and Massachusetts. The colony of Massachusetts claimed part of the Pequot country, on the account of the assistance which they afforded in the Pequot war. There was also a difference with respect to the boundary line between Massachusetts and Connecticut. Both colonies claimed the towns of Springfield and Westfield. These difficulties retarded the union.
However, Connecticut, New-Haven, and Plymouth, all dispatched commissioners to Boston, in May, at the time of the session of the General Court. The commissioners from Connecticut were, Governor Haynes and Mr. Hopkins; Mr. Fenwick, from Saybrook; Governor Eaton and Mr. Gregson, from NewHaven; Mr. Winslow and Mr. Collier, from Plymouth. The general court of Massachusetts appointed Governor Winthrop, Mr. Dudley, and Mr. Bradstreet, of the magistrates, and of the deputies, Mr. Hawthorne, Mr. Gibbons, and Mr. Tyng. There appeared, at this time, a spirit of harmony and mutual condescension among the commissioners, and on the 19th of May, 1643, the articles were completed and signed. The commissioners were unanimous in adopting them; but those from Plymouth did not sign them, as they had not been authorised by the court. At the
meeting of the commissioners in September, they came vested with plenary powers, and signed them.
The commissioners, in the introductory part, declare, with respect to the four colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New-Haven, and the plantations under their respective jurisdictions, that, as they all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity and peace, they conceived it their bounden duty to enter into a present confederation among themselves, for mutual help and strength in all future concernments; that, as in nation and religion, so in other respects they be and continue one, and henceforth be called by the name of The Un1ted Colon1es Of NewEngland.
They declare, that the said united colonies, for themselves and their posterity, did, jointly and severally, enter into a firm and perpetual league of friendship and amity, of offence and defence, mutual aid and succour, upon all just occasions, both for preserving and propagating the truth and liberty of the gospel, and for their own mutual safety and welfare.
The articles reserved to each colony an entire and distinct jurisdiction. By them, no two colonies might be united in one, nor any other colony be received into the confederacy, without the consent of the whole.
Each colony was authorised to send two commissioners annually, always to be church members, to meet on the first Monday in September, first at Boston, then at Hartford, New-Haven, and Plymouth. This was to be the annual order, except that two meetings successively were always to be at Boston.
The commissioners, when met, were authorised to choose a president from among themselves, for the preservation of order. They were vested with plenary powers for making war and peace, laws and rules of a civil nature and of general concern. Especially, to regulate the conduct of the inhabitants towards the Indians, towards fugitives, for the general defence of the country, and for the encouragement and support of religion.
The expense of all wars, offensive or defensive, was to be borne in proportion to the number of the male inhabitants in each colony, between sixteen and sixty years of age.
Upon notice from three magistrates of any of the colonies of an invasion, the colonies were immediately to send assistance, the Massachusetts a hundred, and each of the other colonies forty-five men. If a greater number was necessary, the commissioners were to meet and determine the number.
All determinations of the commissioners, in which six were agreed, were binding upon the whole. If there were a majority, yet under six, the affair was to be referred to the general court of each colony, and could not be obligatory, unless the courts unanimously concurred.
No colony might engage in a war, without the consent of the whole union, unless upon some urgent and sudden occasion. Even in such case, it was to be avoided as far as possible, consistent with the general safety.
If a meeting were summoned, upon any extraordinary occasion, and the whole number of commissioners did not attend, any four who were met, might, in cases which admitted of no delay, determine upon a war, and send to each colony for its proportion of men. A number, however, less than six could not determine the justice of a war, nor have power to settle a bill of charges, nor make levies.
If either of the confederates should break any article of the confederation, or injure one of the other colonies, the affair was to be determined by the commissioners of the three other confederates.
The articles also made provision, that all servants running from their masters, and criminals flying from justice, from one colony to another, should, upon demand, and proper evidence of their character, as fugitives, be returned to their masters, and to the colonies whence they had made their escape; that, in all cases, law and justice might have their course.
This was an union of the highest consequence to the New-England colonies. It made them formidable to the Dutch and Indians, and respectable among their French neighbours. It was happily adapted to maintain a general harmony among themselves, and to secure the peace and rights of the country. It was one of the principal means of the preservation of the colonies, during the civil wars and unsettled state of affairs in England. It was the grand source of mutual defence in Philip's war, and of the most eminent service in civilizing the Indians, and propagating the gospel among them. The union subsisted more than forty years, until the abrogation of the charters of the New-England colonies, by king James the second.
This union was very seasonable. The Indians were so tumultuous and hostile, that its whole influence was necessary to prevent a general war. The troubles originated in the ambitious and perfidious conduct of Miantonimoh, chief sachem of the Narragansets. After the Pequot war, he attempted to set himself up as universal sachem over all the Indians in New-England. The old grudge and hatred which had subsisted between him and the Pequots, he now suffered to embitter and inflame his rancorous heart against Uncas and the Moheagans. Without any regard to the league made between him, the English, and the Moheagans, at Hartford, in 1638, when the Pequots were divided between hini and Uncas, he practised murder and war against him. At the same time, he used all the arts of which he was master, by presents and intrigue, to inflame the Indians, and excite a general insurrection against the English plantations. The Indians, through his influence, had been collecting arms and ammunition. There appeared among them a general preparation for war. The colonists were obliged to keep guards and watch every night, from the setting to the rising of the sun, and to guard their inhabitants from town to town, and from one place to another.
Connecticut was for making war immediately, and sent pressing letters to the court at Boston, urging that a hundred men might be sent to Saybrook fort, to assist against the enemy, as circumstances might require. But the court of Massachusetts pretended to doubt of the facts alleged, and would not consent.
In the mean time Miantonimoh, in prosecution of his bloody designs, hired a Pequot, one of Uncas's men, to kill him. He made an attempt, in the spring, and shot Uncas through his arm. He then ran off to the Narragansets, reporting, through the Indian towns, that he had killed Uncas. But when it was known that Uncas was not dead, though wounded, Miantonimoh and the Pequot contrived together, and reported that Uncas had cut through his arm with a flint, and then charged the Pequot with shooting him. However, Miantonimoh soon after going to Boston, in company with the Pequot who had wounded Uncas, the governor and magistrates, upon examination, found clear evidence, that the Pequot was guilty of the crime, with which he had been charged. They had designs of apprehending him and sending him to Uncas, that he might be punished; but Miantonimoh pleaded, that he might be suffered to return with him, and promised that he would send him to Uncas. Indeed, he so exculpated himself, and made such fair promises, that they gave up their designs, and permitted them to depart in peace. About two days after, Miantonimoh murdered the Pequot, on his return, that he might make no further discovery of his treacherous conduct.
About the same time much trouble arose from Sequassen, a sachem upon Connecticut river. Several of his men killed a principal Indian belonging to Uncas. He, or some of his warriors, had also waylaid Uncas himself, as he was going down the said river, and shot several arrows at him. Uncas made complaint to the governor and court at Connecticut, of these outrages. Governor Haynes and the court took great pains to make peace between Uncas and Sequassen. Upon hearing their several stories it appeared, that Uncas required, that six of Sequassen's men should be delivered to him, for the murder of his man, because he was a great man. Governor Haynes and the court laboured to dissuade Uncas from his demand of six men for one; and urged him to be satisfied upon Sequassen's delivering up the murderer. At length, with much persuasion and difficulty, Uncas consented to accept of the murderer only. But Sequassen would not agree to deliver him. He was nearly allied to Miantonimoh, and one of his peculiar favorites. Sequassen chose rather to fight, than to make Uncas any compensation, expressing, at the same time, his dependence on Miantonimoh for assistance. It is not improbable, that it was through the influence of Miantonimoh, that he came to this resolution. Uncas and Sequassen fought. Sequassen was overcome. Uncas killed a number of his men and burned his wigwams.
Miantonimoh, without consulting the English, according to agreement, without proclaiming war, or giving Uncas the least information, raised an army of nine hundred, or a thousand men, and marched against him. Uncas's spies discovered the army at some distance and gave him intelligence. He was unprepared, but rallying between four and five hundred of his bravest men,1 he told them they must by no means suffer Miantonimoh to come into their town; but must go and fight him on his way. Having marched three or four miles, the armies met upon a large plain. When they had advanced within fair bow shot of each other, Uncas had recourse to a stratagem, with which he had previously acquainted his warriors. He desired a parley, and both armies halted in the face of each other. Uncas, gallantly advancing in the front of his men, addressed Miantonimoh to this effect. " You have a number of stout men with you, and so have I with me. It is a great pity that such brave warriors should be killed in a private quarrel between us only. Come like a man, as you profess to be, and let us fight it out. If you kill me, my men shall be yours; but if I kill you, your men shall be mine." Miantonimoh replied, "My men came to fight, and they shall fight." Uncas falling instantly upon the ground, his men discharged a shower of arrows upon the Narragansets; and, without a moment's interval, rushing upon them, in the most furious manner, with their hideous Indian yell, put them immediately to flight. The Moheagans pursued the enemy with the same fury and eagerness with which they commenced the action. The Narragansets were driven down rocks and precipices, and chased like a doe by the huntsman. Among others, Miantonimoh was exceedingly pressed. Some of Uncas's bravest men, who were most light of foot, coming up with him, twitched him back, impeding his flight, and passed him, that Uncas might take him. Uncas was a stout man, and rushing forward, like a lion greedy of his prey, seized him by his shoulder. He knew Uncas, and saw that he was now in the power of the
1 Miss Caulkins, in her history of Norwich, insists that this is a large overestimate of the forces on both sides, and that an inquiry into the effective force of each tribe will show that one-half the number named above would be more nearly correct . Winthrop is the authority followed by Trumbull and others; and no other authority seems available.J. T.
man whom he had hated, and by all means attempted to destroy; but he sat down sullen and spake not a word. Uncas gave the Indian whoop and called up his men, who were behind, to his assistance. The victory was complete. About thirty of the Narragansets were slain, and a much greater number wounded. Among the latter was a brother of Miantonimoh and two sons of Canonicus, a chief sachem of the Narraganset Indians. The brother of Miantonimoh was not only wounded, but armed with a coat of mail, both which retarded his flight. Two of Miantonimoh's captains, who formerly were Uncas's men, but had treacherously deserted him, discovering his situation, took him and carried him to Uncas, expecting in this way to reconcile themselves to their sachem. But Uncas and his men slew them. Miantonimoh made no request, either for himself or his men; but continued in the same sullen, speechless mood. Uncas, therefore, demanded of him why he would not speak. Said he, "Had you taken me, I should have besought you for my life." Uncas, for the present, spared his life, though he would not ask it, and returned with great triumph to Moheagan, carrying the Narraganset Sachem, as an illustrious trophy of his victory.1
The famous Samuel Gorton and his company had purchased lands of Miantonimoh, under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts and Plymouth; and expected to be vindicated in their claims, by him, against those colonies, and against the Massachusetts and Plymouth sachems, who were the original proprietors. Therefore, when the news of Uncas' victory, and of the capture of Miantonimoh, arrived at Providence, they sent to Uncas to deliver Miantonimoh, threatening him that the power of the English should be employed against him, if he refused a compliance. Uncas, therefore, carried his prisoner to Hartford, to advise with the governor and magistrates, with respect to his conduct in such a situation.
The governor and magistrates were of the opinion that, as there was no open war between them and the Narragansets, it was not prudent for them to intermeddle with the quarrel; but advised, that the whole affair should be referred to the commissioners of the united colonies at their meeting in September.
How long Miantonimoh continued speechless, does not appear; but it is certain, that when he came to Hartford, his mouth was opened. He most earnestly pleaded to be left in the custody of the English. He probably expected more safety and better treatment with them, than with Uncas. Uncas consented to leave him
1 This account is taken from a manuscript of Mr. Hyde, of Norwich, from governor Winthrop's Journal, and from the records of the united colonies, in one or other of which, all the facts are ascertained. The manuscript represents Miantonimoh as having 900, and Uncas 600 men. The records of the united colonies represent, that Miantonimoh had 900, or 1000 men, and that Uncas had not half so many. Governor Winthrop's account is essentially the same.
at Hartford, but insisted that he should be kept as his prisoner. He was, therefore, kept under guard at Hartford, until the meeting of the commissioners.
On the 7th of September, the commissioners met at Boston. Governor Winthrop and Thomas Dudley, Esquires, were commissioners for Massachusetts; George Fenwick and Edward Hopkins, Esquires, for Connecticut; and Theophilus Eaton and Thomas Gregson, Esquires, for New-Haven.1 Governor Winthrop was chosen President. The whole affair of Uncas and Miantonimoh was laid before the commissioners, and the facts already related were, in their opinion, fully proved; not only his attempts upon the life of Uncas, but that he had been the principal author of inflaming and stirring up the Indians to a general confederacy against all the English plantations. It also appeared that, instead of delivering the Pequot, who had shot Uncas, as he promised in open court, he had murdered him on the road from Boston to Narraganset. It was also affirmed to the commissioners, that the Narragansets had sent for the Mohawks, and that they were come within a day's journey of the English settlements, and were kept back only by the capture of Miantonimoh: That they were waiting for his release, and then would prosecute their designs against the English, or Uncas, or against both, as the Indians should determine. The commissioners, having fully considered the premises, laid the affair before five or six of the principal ministers in Massachusetts, and took their advice relative to the lawfulness and justice of putting him to death. They gave it as their opinion, that he ought to be put to death. The commissioners finally resolved, "That as it was evident that Uncas could not be safe, while Miantonimoh lived; but that, either bysecret treachery or open force, his life would be continually in danger, he might justly put such a false and blood-thirsty enemy to death." They determined Uncas should not do it in any of the English plantations, but in his own jurisdiction. At the same time, they advised, that no torture or cruelty, but all mercy and moderation be exercised in the manner of his execution.
The commissioners also determined, that if the Narragansets, or any other Indians, should unjustly assault Uncas, on the account of the execution of Miantonimoh, the English should, upon his desire, assist him against such violence.2
Governor Winthrop writes, "It was clearly discovered to us, that there was a general conspiracy among the Indians, to cut off all the English; and that Miantonimoh was the head and contriver of it: That he was of a turbulent and proud spirit, and
1 The commissioners for Plymouth are not upon record this year. It is probable that they did not arrive until after the commissioners had formed. * Records of the united colonies.
would never be at rest: and that he had killed the Pequot contrary to his promise.1
The commissioners had received intimations, that the Narragansets had it in contemplation to capture one or more of them, with a view to the redemption of Miantonimoh. Their determination respecting his execution, was therefore kept as a profound secret, until after the return of the commissioners of Connecticut and New-Haven, lest it should inflame and engage them, in earnest, to make the attempt.
Previously to the meeting of the commissioners, the Dutch governor had written a letter to governor Winthrop, containing high congratulations on the union of the colonies, and at the same time making grievous complaints of Connecticut and New-Haven, as having committed unsufferable injuries against the Dutch, and as having given misinformation respecting them to their agent in Europe. He desired a categorical answer from governor Winthrop, whether he would aid or desert them, that he might know who were his friends, and who were his enemies. The governor, after consulting with some few of his council, who were at hand, wrote an answer, in part, to the Dutch governor, reserving to himself one more full, at the session of the general court. He represented his sorrow for the differences which had arisen between the Dutch and his brethren at Hartford, suggesting that they might be settled by arbitrators, either in England, Holland, or America. He observed, that by the articles of confederation, each colony was obliged to seek the safety and welfare of the other colonies, no less than its own. He hoped however, that this would not interrupt the friendship which had subsisted between them and the Dutch. The governor observed, that the controversy at Hartford was for a small piece of land only, which, in so vast a continent as this, was of too little value to make a breach between protestants so related in profession and religion, as the Dutch and English were. He therefore earnestly desired, that each party would carefully avoid all injuries, until the differences between them should be amicably accommodated, by an impartial hearing and adjudication, either in Europe or America.2
The affair was now brought before the commissioners. Governor Eaton and Mr. Gregson complained of the outrages which the Dutch had committed against the persons and property of the English, within the limits of New-Haven, at Delaware, and in other places, and made proof of the injuries of which they complained. The conduct of the Dutch towards Connecticut was also laid before the commissioners, by governor Hopkins and Mr. Fenwick.
Upon which the president was directed to write a letter, in the name of the commissioners, to the Dutch governor, stating
1 Winthrop's Journal, p. 305, 306. 1 Ibid., p 303, 304, 305.
the particular injuries which the Dutch had done the English colonies, and to demand satisfaction. It was also directed, that, as governor Winthrop had, in part answered the Dutch governor's letter respecting Connecticut, he would now, in further answer to it, particularize the injuries done, both to Connecticut and New-Haven, and demand an answer. He was also authorised to assure the Dutch, that as they would not wrong others, so neither would they desert their confederates in a just cause.1
The Indians, at this period were beginning to acquire the use of fire arms. The French, Dutch and others, for the sake of gain, were vending them arms and ammunition. The Indians were in such a tumultuous and hostile state, as had the appearance of a general war. The commissioners therefore gave orders, that the militia, in the several colonies, should be frequently trained, and completely furnished with arms and ammunition. All the companies were to be mustered and reviewed four times in a year. It was ordered, that all the towns should prepare magazines, in proportion to the number of their militia.
The commissioners, having given the necessary directions for the execution of Miantonimoh, and for the general safety of the country, dispersed and returned to their respective colonies.
Immediately, upon the return of the commissioners of Connecticut and New-Haven, Uncas, with a competent number of his most trusty men, was ordered to repair forthwith to Hartford. He was made acquainted with the determination of the commissioners, and, receiving his prisoner, marched with him to the spot where he had been taken. At the instant they arrived on the ground, one of Uncas's men, who marched behind Miantonimoh, split his head with a hatchet, killing him at a single stroke. He was probably unacquainted with his fate, and knew not by what means he fell. Uncas cut out a large piece of his shoulder, and ate it in savage triumph. He said, " it was the sweetest meat he ever ate, it made his heart strong."
The Moheagans, by the order of Uncas, buried him at the place of his execution, and erected a great heap, or pillar, upon his grave. This memorable event gave the place the name of Sachem's Plain.2 Two Englishmen were sent with Uncas, to witness that the execution was done, and to prevent all torture and cruelty in the manner of its performance. Connecticut and NewHaven, agreeably to the direction of the commissioners, sent a party of soldiers to Moheagan, to defend Uncas against any as
1 Records of the united colonies.
* Manuscript of Mr. Hyde. This plain is in the eastern part of the town of Norwich.
Note.The manuscript of Richard Hyde here and previously referred to is dated October 9,1769, and therefore is presumably a record of traditions which had existed 126 years regarding incidents which would naturally gather dramatic features during such a period. It appears incredible to Miss Caulkins that the execution should have taken place here. Winthrop's Journal places it between Hartford and Windsor.J. T.
sault which might be made upon him by the Narragansets, in consequence of the execution of their sachem.
Governor Winthrop, at the same time, according to the orders which he had received from the commissioners, dispatched messengers to Canonicus, the Narraganset sachem, and the Narraganset Indians, to certify them, that the English had noticed their perfidy, in violating the league between them and the English, from time to time, notwithstanding the English had treated them with love and integrity. They assured them, that they had discovered their mischievous plots, in joining with Miantonimoh, in purchasing aid of the Indians, and, by gifts, threats, and allurements, exciting them to a confederacy to root out the whole body of the English. They represented to them their treachery in waging war with Uncas, contrary to their express covenant with him, and with the English. They justified the execution of Miantonimoh, by Uncas, as he was his lawful captive, and as he had practised treachery and murder against him and his subjects. They insisted, that it was both just and agreeable to the practice of the Indians in similar cases. It was declared to be necessary for the safety of Uncas, the peace of the country, and even of the Narragansets themselves. While they firmly and fully represented these facts to them, they, in the name of the united colonies, tendered them peace and safety. They assured them, that they would defend Uncas and all their allies, whether English or Indians, in their just rights: that if they desired peace, they would exercise equal care and friendship towards them.1
The commissioners gave orders, that Connecticut should provide for the defence of Uncas against any assault or fury of the Narragansets, or any other Indians.
Upon the general election at New-Haven in October, governor Eaton and Mr. Stephen Goodyear, were re-elected governor and deputy-governor. Mr. William Fowler and Mr. Edward Tapp were elected magistrates for Milford, and Thurston Rayner for Stamford. This year, for the first time, the general court at NewHaven, are distinctly recorded and distinguished by the names of governor, deputy-governor, magistrates, and deputies.
It appears that the plantation at Yennycock had not fully attended to the fundamental article of admitting none to be free burgesses, but members of the church. It was, therefore, at this general court, decreed, " That none should be admitted free burgesses in any of the plantations, but such as were members of some approved church in New-England: that such only should have any vote in elections; and that no power for ordering any civil affairs, should be put into the hands of any but such."
It was enacted, that each town in the jurisdiction should choose their own judges, in ordinary cases. They were authorised to 1 Records of the United Colonies.
judge in civil cases, not exceeding twenty shillings, and in criminal cases, in which the punishment did not exceed setting the delinquent in the stocks, whipping him, or fining not exceeding five pounds. If there were a magistrate, or magistrates, in the towns in which these town courts were holden, then the magistrate, or magistrates, were to sit in the court, and judgment was to be given with a due respect to their advice. From these courts, there was liberty of appeal to the court of magistrates.
It was granted, that all the free burgesses in the plantations, should vote in the choice of governors, magistrates, secretary, and treasurer. It was also granted, that each town should have a magistrate, if they desired it, chosen from among their own free burgesses.
At this general court, a court of magistrates was appointed, consisting of all the magistrates in the jurisdiction. They were to meet twice, annually, at New-Haven, on the Mondays preceding the general courts in April and October. This court was authorised to receive appeals from the plantation courts, and to try all important causes, civil and criminal. Every magistrate was obliged, on penalty of a fine, to give his attendance. Four magistrates constituted a quorum. All judgments of the court were to be determined by a major vote. All trials were decided by the bench. It does not appear that juries were ever used in the colony of New-Haven.
The court enacted, that there should be two general courts for this colony, to meet at New-Haven, on the first Wednesday in April, and the last in October, annually. It was decreed, that the general court should consist of a deputy-governor, magistrates, and two deputies from each town. In the last of these general courts, a governor, deputy-governor, magistrates, secretary, treasurer, and marshal, or high sheriff, were to be annually chosen. The governor, or, in his absence, the deputy-governor, had power to call a general court, upon pressing emergencies, and whenever it might be necessary. All the members were obliged to attend, upon penalty of twenty shillings fine, in case of default. It was ordained, that in this court should subsist the supreme power of the commonwealth.
It was particularly ordained that the general court should, with all care and diligence, endeavour to maintain the purity of religion, and to suppress all irreligion, according to the best light they could obtain from the divine oracles, and by the advice of the elders and churches in the jurisdiction, so far as it might concern the civil power.1
The Dutch were this year exceedingly harassed and distressed by the Indians, and made application to governor Eaton and the general court, soliciting that a hundred men might be raised in
Records of New-Haven, fol. vol. i. p. 73, 74, 75.
the plantations, for their assistance against such barbarous enemies.
The war between the Dutch and Indians began in this manner. A drunken Indian, in his intoxication, killed a Dutchman. The Dutch demanded the murderer, but he was not to be found. They then made application to their governor to avenge the murder. He, judging it would be unjust or unsafe, considering the numbers of the Indians, and the weak and scattered state of the Dutch settlements, neglected to comply with their repeated solicitations. In the mean time the Mohawks, as the report was, excited by the Dutch, fell suddenly on the Indians, in the vicinity of the Dutch settlements, and killed nearly thirty of them. Others fled to the Dutch for protection. One Marine, a Dutch captain, getting intelligence of their state, made application to the Dutch governor, and obtained a commission to kill as many of them as it should be in his power. Collecting a company of armed men, he fell suddenly upon the Indians, while they were unapprehensive of danger, and made a promiscuous slaughter of men, women and children, to the number of seventy or eighty. This instantly roused the Indians, in that part of the country, to a furious, obstinate and bloody war. In the spring, and beginning of the summer, they burnt the Dutch out-houses; and driving their cattle into their barns, they burned the barns and cattle together. They killed twenty or more of the Dutch people, and pressed so hard upon them that they were obliged to take refuge in their fort, and to seek help of the English. The Indians upon Long-Island united in the war with those on the main, and burned the Dutch houses and barns. The Dutch governor in this situation, invited captain Underhill from Stamford to assist him in the war. Marine, the Dutch captain, was so exasperated with this proceeding that he presented his pistol at the governor, and would have shot him, but was prevented by one who stood by him. Upon this one of Marine's tenants discharged his musket at the governor, and the ball but just missed him. The governor's sentinel shot the tenant and killed him on the spot. The Dutch, who at first were so forward for a war with the Indians, were now, when they experienced the loss and dangers of it, so irritated at the governor, for the orders which he had given, that he could not trust himself among them. He was obliged to keep a constant guard of fifty Englishmen about his person.1 In the summer and fall the Indians killed fifteen more of the Dutch people, and drove in all the inhabitants of the English and Dutch settlements, west of Stamford.
In prosecution of their works of destruction, they made a visit
1 Brodhead, in his History of N. Y., citing documentary authorities, insists that this is an error of Winthrop's, which Trumbull follows, and that these fifty Englishmen under Underhill were among the regularly enrolled forces for the defence of the Dutch.J. T.
to the neighbourhood where Mrs. Hutchinson, who had been so famous, at Boston, for her Antinomian and familistical tenets, had made a settlement. The Indians, at first, appeared with the same friendship with which they used to frequent her house; but they murdered her and all her family, Mr. Collins, her son in law, and several other persons, belonging to other families in the neighbourhood. Eighteen persons were killed in the whole. The Indians, with an implacable fury, prosecuted the destruction of the Dutch, and of their property, in all that part of the country. They killed and burned their cattle, horses and barns without resistance. Having destroyed the settlements in the country, they passed over to the Dutch plantations on Long-Island, doing all the mischief of which they were capable. The Dutch, who escaped, were confined to their fort, and were obliged to kill and eat their cattle, for their subsistence. Their case was truly distressing.1 It demanded succour as far as it could have been consistently given.
Governor Eaton and the general court, having maturely considered the purport of the Dutch governor's letter, rejected the proposal for raising men and assisting in the war against the Indians. Their principal reasons were, that joining separately in war, was prohibited by the articles of confederation; and that they were not satisfied that the Dutch war with the Indians was just.
Nevertheless it was determined, that if the Dutch needed corn and provisions for men or cattle, by reason of the destruction which the Indians had made, the court would give them all the assistance in its power.2
The war continued several years, and was bloody and destructive both to the Dutch and Indians. Captain Underhill had the principal management of it, and was of great service to the Dutch. He collected a flying army of a hundred and twenty, and sometimes of a hundred and fifty men, English and Dutch, by which he preserved the Dutch settlements from total destruction. It was supposed, that, upon Long-Island and on the main, he killed between four and five hundred Indians.3
The Indians at Stamford too much caught the spirit of the western Indians in their vicinity, who were at war with the Dutch. They appeared so tumultuous and hostile, that the people at Stamford were in great fear, that they should soon share the fate of the settlements at the westward of them. They wrote to the general court at New-Haven, that in their apprehensions there were just grounds of a war with those Indians, and that if their houses should be burned, because the other plantations would not consent to war, they ought to bear the damage.
The Narraganset Indians were enraged at the death of their sachem. The English were universally armed. The strictest
'Winthrop's Journal, p. 272, 273 and 308. * Records of New-Haven. 3 Dr. Belknap's Hist rol. i. p. 50.
watch and guard was kept in all the plantations. In Connecticut, every family, in which there was a man capable of bearing arms, was obliged to send one complete in arms, every Lord's day, to defend the places of public worship. Indeed all places wore the aspect of a general war.
THE affairs both of Old and New-England, wore so gloomy , an aspect, at this time, that the pious people, in the colonies, judged extraordinary fasting and prayer to be their indispensable duty. The flames of civil discord were kindled in England, and the tumultuous and hostile state of the natives in the united colonies, threatened them with a bloody and merciless Indian war. The general court of Connecticut therefore ordained a monthly fast, through the colony, to begin on Wednesday, the 6th of January. New-Haven had before appointed a fast, at the same time, in all the plantations in that jurisdiction. Indeed, this was practised, throughout the united colonies, during the civil wars in England. The colonists sympathized with their brethren, in their native country, and conformed to them in their days of humiliation and prayer.
The freemen of Connecticut and New-Haven, exhibited a remarkable example of steadiness in the election of civil officers. Nearly the same persons were chosen annually into places of principal trust as long as they lived. This year Edward Hopkins, Esq. was chosen governor, and John Haynes, Esquire, deputy-governor. The other magistrates were the same as they had been the last year, except Mr. William Swain, who was chosen into the magistracy. Mr. Haynes and Mr. Hopkins were generally elected, alternately governor and deputy-governor, during their respective lives. The reason of this annual change of them, from governor to deputy-governor, was because the constitution prohibited the choice of any man governor, more than once in two years.
At New-Haven, governor Eaton was annually elected to the office of governor, during his life; and Mr. Stephen Goodyear was generally chosen deputy-governor.
The Indians were no more peaceable this year, than they were the last. Those in the western part of Connecticut, still conducted themselves in a hostile manner. In the spring, they murdered a man belonging to Massachusetts, between Fairfield and Stamford. About six or eight weeks after the murder was discovered, the Indians promised to deliver the murderer, at Uncoway, if Mr. Ludlow would appoint men to receive him. Mr. Ludlow sent ten men for that purpose; but as soon as the Indians came within sight of the town, they, by general consent, unbound the prisoner and suffered him to escape. The English were so exasperated at this insult, that they immediately seized on eight or ten of the Indians, and committed them to prison. There was among them not less than one or two sachems. Upon this, the Indians arose in great numbers about the town, and exceedingly alarmed the people, both at Fairfield and Stamford. Mr. Ludlow wrote to NewHaven for advice. The court desired him to keep the Indians in durance, and assured him of immediate assistance, should it be necessary and desired. A party of twenty men were draughted forthwith, and prepared to march to Stamford upon the shortest notice. The Indians were held in custody, until four sachems, in those parts, appeared and interceded for them, promising, that if the English would release them, they would, within a month, deliver the murderer to justice.
Not more than a month after their release, an Indian went boldly into the town of Stamford, and made a murderous assault upon a woman, in her house. Finding no man at home, he took up a lathing hammer, and approached her as though he were about to put it into her hand; but, as she was stooping down to take her child from the cradle, he struck her upon the head. She fell instantly with the blow; he then struck her twice, with the sharp part of the hammer, which penetrated her skull. Supposing her to be dead, he plundered the house, and made his escape. Soon after, the woman so far recovered, as to describe the Indian, and his manner of dress. 'Her wounds, which at first appeared to be mortal, were finally healed; but her brain was so affected, that she lost her reason.
At the same time, the Indians rose in those parts, with the most tumultuous and hostile appearances. They refused to come to the English, or to have any treaty with them. They appeared, in a very alarming manner, about several of the plantations, firing their pieces, and exceedingly terrifying the inhabitants. They deserted their wigwams, and neglected to weed their corn. The English had intelligence that the Indians designed to cut them off. Most of the English judged it unsafe to travel by land, and some of the plantations were obliged to keep a strong guard and watch, night and day. And as they had not numbers sufficient to defend themselves, they made application to Hartford and New-Haven for assistance. They both sent aid to the weaker parts of their respective colonies. New-Haven sent help to Fairfield and Stamford, as they were much nearer to them, than to Connecticut.
After a great deal of alarm and trouble, the Indian, who had attempted the murder of the woman, was delivered up, and condemned to death. He was executed at New-Haven. The executioner cut off his head with a falchion: but it was cruelly done. He gave the Indian eight blows, before he effected the execution. The Indian sat erect and motionless, until his head was severed from his body.1
Both the colonies of Connecticut and New-Haven, were put to great expense, this year, in defending themselves, and they were obliged to bear the whole charge, as the measures adopted for their defence, were taken by the order of their respective legislatures, and not by the direction of the commissioners.
The unhappy divisions which continued at Weathersfield, occasioned another settlement under the jurisdiction of New-Haven. As Mr. Eaton, to whom Totoket had been granted, in 1640, had not performed the conditions of the grant, New-Haven, for the accommodation of a number of people at Weathersfield, made a sale of it to Mr. William Swain, and others of that town. They sold it at the price which it cost them, stipulating with Mr. Swain and his company, that they should unite with that colony, in all the fundamental articles of government. The settlement of the town immediately commenced. At the same time, Mr. Abraham Pierson, with a part of his church and congregation, from Southampton, on Long-Island, removed and united with the people of Weathersfield, in the settlement of the town. A regular church was soon formed, and Mr. Pierson was chosen pastor. The town was named Branford. Mr. Swain was the principal planter, and, a few years after, was chosen one of the magistrates of the colony of New-Haven, as he had previously been of the colony of Connecticut.
The meeting of the commissioners, September 5th, was at Hartford. Mr. Simon Bradstreet and Mr. William Hawthorne were commissioners from the Massachusetts; Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. William Brown, from Plymouth; Governor Hopkins and Mr. George Fenwick, for Connecticut; and Governor Eaton and Mr. Thomas Gregson, from New-Haven.
No sooner was the meeting opened, than a proposal was made by the commissioners from Massachusetts, directed by their general court, that the commissioners from that colony should always have preference to the commissioners of the other colonies, and be allowed to subscribe first, in the same order in which the articles of confederation had been signed.
Upon consideration of the proposal, the commissioners were unanimously of the opinion, that no such thing had either been proposed, granted, or practised, by the commissioners of the other jurisdictions, in any of their former meetings, though the articles had been subscribed in the presence of the general court of the Massachusetts. They resolved, that the commission was free, and might not receive any thing, but what was expressed by the articles of confederation, as imposed by any general court. 1 Records of the colonies, and Winthrop's Journal, p. 352.
Nevertheless, they determined, that, on account of their respect to the Massachusetts, they willingly granted, that their commissioners in that, and in all future meetings, should subscribe first, after the president, and the commissioners of the other colonies in such order as they were named in the articles; viz. Plymouth, Connecticut, and New-Haven.
The Indians were, this year, almost every where troublesome, and, in some places, in a high state of hostility. In Virginia they generally rose, and made a most horrible massacre of the English,1 and it was imagined, that there was a general combination among the southern and New England Indians, to destroy ail the colonies. The Narraganset Indians, regardless of all their covenants with the English and with Uncas, continued in acts of constant hostility against the latter, and so oppressed the sachems and Indians under the protection of the Massachusetts, that they were obliged to dispatch a party of men for their defence and assistance, in fortifying against these oppressors.
The commissioners immediately sent Thomas Stanton, their interpreter, and Nathaniel Willet, into the Narraganset and Moheagan countries, with particular instructions to their respective sachems. They were instructed to acquaint the sachems, that the commissioners were then met at Hartford; and that, if they would appear and lay their respective grievances before them, they would judge impartially between them: that the commissioners had heard the report which they had spread abroad concerning Uncas, that he had taken a ransom, in part, for Miantonimoh, and afterwards had put him to death; and that he refused to return the ransom. They were directed to assure them, that Uncas utterly denied the charge: that nevertheless, if they would go themselves, or send some of their principal men to Hartford, the commissioners would impartially hear this, and all other differences subsisting between them and the Moheagans, and assist them in the settlement of an amicable correspondence between the two nations; and that the parties should have a safe passage to and from Hartford, without any injury from the English. According to their instructions, they demanded of both parties, that they should commit no acts of hostility against each other in their travels to Hartford, nor on their return to their respective countries; and that all hostilities against each other's plantations should cease, during the hearing and treaty proposed. If either of the parties should refuse to go or send to Hartford, the treaty made in 1638 was to be urged against them, and their engagements not to go to war with each other, until they had acquainted the English with their grievances, and taken their advice. Di
'In two days they massacred about 300 Virginians. Many of them were killed so suddenly and unexpectedly, that they knew neither the hand nor weapon by which they fell.
rections were given, that it should be demanded of the party refusing, what their designs were? Whether they were for peace or war? Whether they designed to perform their treaties made with the English of Massachusetts and Connecticut? Or whether they considered them as all broken and void? The interpreter was charged fully to state all these articles to the Indians, and, having taken their answers in writing, to read them to the sachems, that they might understand and acknowledge them to be the very answers which they had given.
In consequence of this message, the Narraganset Indians sent one of their sachems, with other chief men, to prove their charge against Uncas, and to treat with the English. They, also, bound themselves to confirm what their deputies should do in their name. Uncas, also, made his appearance, and the commissioners went into a full hearing of all differences between the parties. Upon hearing the case, the commissioners found, that there never had been any agreement between the Narragansets and Uncas, for the redemption of Miantonimoh, nor any thing paid, in whole or in part, for his ransom. Notwithstanding, they declared, that if the Narragansets should hereafter be able to prove what they had alleged against Uncas, that they would order him to make full satisfaction. They also resolved, that neither the Narragansets nor Nehanticks should make any war or assault upon Uncas, or any of his men, until they should make proof of the pretended ransom, and that Uncas had refused to make them satisfaction.
The Narraganset sachem and his counsellors, upon consultation together, stipulated, in behalf of the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians, that no hostility should be committed against Uncas, or any of his Indians, until after the next year's time of planting corn. They also covenanted, that, before they began war, they would give thirty days' notice, either to the governor of Massachusetts or Connecticut. Thus, for the present, by the vigorous and prudent exertions of the colonies and their commissioners, an Indian war was prevented.
Yoncho, Wiantanse, Moughmatow, and Weenaganinim, sachems of Monhauset and its vicinity, on Long-Island, with their companies, appeared before the commissioners, and represented, that they, and the Long-Island Indians, had been tributaries to the English ever since the Pequot war, and that they had never injured the English nor the Dutch, but had been friendly to both. They, therefore, desired a certificate of their relation to the English, and to be taken under the protection of the united colonies. Upon this representation, the commissioners gave them a certificate, and declared, that it was their desire, while they continued peaceable, and did not intermeddle with the quarrels of other Indians, they and their companies might enjoy ample peace, without any disturbance from the English, or any in connection or friendship with them.
In this meeting, the commissioners of Massachusetts laid claim to part of the Pequot country, on the footing of joint conquest. They desired, that a division of the country might be made, or some way prescribed, by which the affair might be compromised.
Mr. Fenwick, in behalf of himself, and the noblemen and gentlemen in England, particularly interested in the lands in question, pleaded, that nothing in their absence might be determined against their title. He insisted, that Pequot harbour, and the lands in the adjacent country, were of great consequence to the gentlemen interested in the Connecticut patent. He said they had a special respect to them, in their consultations, relative to a plantation in these parts.
The commissioners judged, that a convenient time ought to be given to those noble personages to plead their right, and that all patents, of equal authority, ought to have the same construction, both with reference to propriety and jurisdiction.
The commissioners of Massachusetts also made claim to Waranoke, now Westfield, as lying within the limits of their patent. Mr. Fenwick, at the same time, claimed it as covered by the patent of Connecticut. However, as it appeared to the commissioners, that Mr. Fenwick had promised, before this meeting, either to clear his title to Waranoke, or submit to the government of Massachusetts, they determined, that Waranoke, with Mr. Hopkins's trading house, and the other houses and lands in that plantation, should be under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, until it should be made evident to which colony they belonged; but that the propriety of the land should belong to the purchasers, provided it should not exceed two thousand acres.
The reverend Mr. Shepard wrote to the commissioners, representing the necessity of further assistance for the support of scholars at Cambridge, whose parents were needy, and desired them to encourage a general contribution through the colonies. The commissioners approved the motion; and, for the encouragement of literature, recommended it to the general courts in the respective colonies, to take it into their consideration, and to give it general encouragement. The general courts adopted the recommendation, and contributions of grain and provisions were annually made, through the united colonies, for the charitable end proposed.
At this meeting a plan was concerted by the commissioners, for a general trade with the Indians, by a joint stock. It was proposed to begin the trade with a stock of five or six thousand pounds, and to increase it to twenty thousand or more. It was designed, that each general court should approve and establish the trade, with peculiar privileges, for the term of twenty years: but it was never adopted. It seems it did not comport with the views of the general court of Massachusetts; and this, notwithstanding the confederation, rendered all the determinations of the commissioners void, which were not agreeable to their views and interests.
As the Indians were numerous, and began to learn the use of fire arms, all trading with them, in any of the united colonies, in guns, ammunition, swords, or any warlike instruments, directly or indirectly, was prohibited, upon the penalty of a fine of twenty times the value of the articles thus unlawfully sold. It was also recommended to the several courts, to prohibit all vending of arms and ammunition to the French or Dutch, because they immediately disposed of them to the Indians. Every smith was forbidden to mend a gun or any warlike instrument for an Indian, upon a severe penalty.1
South-Hampton, on Long-Island, was, by the advice of the commissioners, taken under the jurisdiction of Connecticut. This town was settled in 1640. The inhabitants of Lynn, in Massachusetts, became so straitened at home, that, about the year 1639, they contracted with the agent of Lord Sterling, for a tract of land on the west end of Long-Island. They also made a treaty with the Indians, and began a settlement, but the Dutch gave them so much trouble, that they were obliged to desert it, and remove further eastward. They collected nearly a hundred families and made a permanent settlement at South-Hampton. By the advice of the general court of Massachusetts, they entered into a combination among themselves, to maintain civil government. A number of them regularly formed themselves into church state, before they removed to the Island, and called Mr. Abraham Pierson to be their pastor. He had been a minister in Yorkshire, in England. Upon his arrival in New-England, he became a member of the church at Boston, whence he was called to the work of the ministry at South-Hampton.2 This year he removed with part of his church to Branford. It seems that they were not pleased that the town had put itself under the jurisdiction of Connecticut.
This year a committee, consisting of the governor, deputy-governor, and several other gentlemen, were appointed by the general court of Connecticut, to treat with George Fenwick, Esquire, relative to the purchase of Saybrook fort, and of all guns, buildings and lands in the colony, which he, and the lords and gentlemen interested in the patent of Connecticut, might claim. The next December they came to an agreement with Mr. Fenwick, to the following effect:
"Articles of agreement made and concluded betwixt George Fenwick, Esquire, of Saybrook fort, on the one part, and Edward Hopkins, John Haynes, John Mason, John Steele, and James
1 Records of the united colonies. 2 Magnalia, b. iii. p. 95.
Boosy, for, and on the behalf of the jurisdiction of Connecticut river, on the other part, the 5th of December, 1644.
"The said George Fenwick, Esq. doth make over to the use and behoof of the jurisdiction of Connecticut river, to be enjoyed by them forever, the fort at Saybrook, with the appurtenances: all the land upon the river Connecticut; and such lands as are yet undisposed of, shall be ordered and given out by a committee of five, whereof George Fenwick, Esq. is always to be one. The said George Fenwick doth also promise, that all the lands from Narraganset river, to the fort of Saybrook, mentioned in a patent granted by the earl of Warwick, to certain nobles, and gentlemen, shall fall in under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, if it come into his power." 1
On the part of Connecticut it was stipulated, "That the said George Fenwick, Esq. should enjoy all the housing,2 belonging to the fort for the space of ten years. And that a certain duty on corn, biscuit, beaver and cattle, which should be exported from the river's mouth, should be paid to him during the said term."
Upon the 4th of February, 1645, the general court of Connecticut confirmed this agreement with Mr. Fenwick, and passed an act imposing a duty of two pence per bushel upon all grain, six pence upon every hundred weight of biscuit, and a small duty upon all beaver exported from the mouth of the river, during the
1 About this time died George Wyllys, Esq. the venerable ancestor of the Wyllyses in Connecticut. He was possessed of a fair estate, at Knapton, in the county of Warwick, worth ^500 a year. In 1636, he sent over William Gibbons, the steward of his house, with twenty men, to prepare him a seat at Hartford. They purchased, and took possession of a fine tract of land, erected buildings, and planted a garden upon that pleasant plat, which has ever since been the principal seat of the family. In 1638 he came over with his household; and, at the election in 1639, was chosen into the magistracy, in which he continued about five years, until his death. In 1641, he was chosen deputy-governor, and in 1642, governor of the colony. It appears from the manuscripts of the family, that both he and Mrs. Wyllys were eminently pious, living with all the exactness of the Puritans of that day. From love to undefiled religion, and purity in divine ordinances and worship, they exchanged their pleasant seat and easy circumstances in England, for the dangers and hardships of a wilderness in America. He left one son, Samuel, about twelve years of age. He was educated at Cambridge, where he was graduated 1653 ; and the next year was chosen one of the magistrates for Connecticut, at about twenty-two years of age. It appears by his manuscripts, that he became deeply impressed with the truths and importance of religion, at college, under the ministry of Mr. Shepard ; and the spirit of his pious parents descended upon him. He married a daughter of governor Haynes, who appeared equally to have imbibed the spirit of her Saviour. In his manuscripts, he describes the excellent examples which their parents had exhibited, and the pious pains they employed in their education; teaching them, from childhood, to pray always in secret, private and public; to venerate the sabbath, and the divine word ; and to attend all christian institutions and duties.
After bearing testimony to the great advantages of such an education, and to the comfort which they had experienced in the duties, in which they had been educated, he warmly recommends them to his children, and their posterity.
The family is ancient, and may be traced back to the reign of Edward the IV. more than three centuries. It has well supported its dignity to the present time. Some of the family have been magistrates or secretaries of the colony for more than a century and a half. May the descendants ever inherit its virtues and honors 1
3 An old word, meaning the quantity of inhabited buildings.
term of ten years, from the first day of March ensuing. It was also enacted, that an entry should be made of all grain laden on board any vessel, of the number of bushels, and of the weight of biscuit, and that a note of the same be delivered to Mr. Fenwick, upon the penalty of forfeiting the one half of all such grain and biscuit as should be put on board and not thus certified. The colony, on the whole, paid Mr. Fenwick 1,600 pounds sterling, merely for the jurisdiction right, or for the old patent of Connecticut.1 The general court, July 19th, ordered that a tax of two hundred pounds should be levied on the plantations in the colony, to defray the charge of advancing the fortifications at Saybrook fort. A committee was appointed, at the same time, to bargain with Mr. Griffin for that purpose, and to make provision for the immediate completion of the fortifications in view. A letter was also dispatched, from the court, to Mr. Fenwick, desiring him, if his circumstances would permit, to make a voyage to England, to obtain an enlargement of the patent, and to promote other interests of the colony.
Notwithstanding the unwearied pains the commissioners of the colonies, and the colonies themselves, had taken to prevent hostilities among the Indians, and to preserve the peace of the country, the perfidious Narragansets were continually waging war. Pessacus and the Narraganset Indians, in violation of all their treaties, had repeatedly invaded the Moheagan country and assaulted Uncas in his fort. They had killed and taken numbers of his men, and so pressed him, that both Connecticut and NewHaven were obliged to dispatch parties of men to his assistance, to prevent the enemy from completely conquering him and his country.
Governor Winthrop therefore called a special meeting of the commissioners, at Boston, on the 28th of June, 1645. Governor Winthrop and Mr. Herbert Pelham, were commissioners for Massachusetts, Mr. Thomas Prince and Mr. John Brown for Plymouth, Edward Hopkins and George Fenwick, Esquires, for Connecticut, governor Eaton and Mr. Stephen Goodyear for New-Haven.
Immediately on the meeting of the commissioners, they dispatched messengers into the Narraganset and Moheagan countries. They were charged to acquaint the sachems and Indians of the respective tribes, that if they would go to Boston, the commissioners would impartially hear and determine all their differences; and that, however the treaty might end, they should be allowed to go and return in safety. The sachems, at first, seemed to give some fair speeches; but finally determined, that they would
1 No jurisdiction right or patent appears to have been obtained from Fenwick, although the agreement with him stipulates that he should obtain this right "if it come into his power." His failure to do this was evidently the basis for the claim against his heirs. See note, p. 196.J. T.
neither go nor send to Boston. The Narragansets insulted and abused the messengers, and uttered haughty and threatening speeches against the English. One of the sachems declared, that he would kill their cattle and pile them in heaps; and that an Englishman should no sooner step out at his doors than the Indians would kill him. He declared that,'whoever began the war, he would continue it; and that nothing should satisfy him but the head of Uncas. On the whole, the messengers were obliged to return without effecting any good purpose. By them Mr. Williams wrote to the commissioners, assuring them that an Indian war would soon break out; and that, as a preparative, the Narragansets had concluded a neutrality with Providence and the towns upon Aquidney island.
These reports roused the English spirit. The commissioners, considering that the Narragansets had violated all their treaties, killed a number of the Moheagans, taken others captive, destroyed their corn, and, with great armies, besieged Uncas in his fort; and besides, that they had highly insulted the united colonies and abused their messengers, determined that an immediate war with them was both justifiable and necessary.
However, as they wished to act with prudence as well as spirit, and to give general satisfaction in an affair of such moment, they desired the advice of the magistrates, elders, and a number of the principal military officers in the Massachusetts. These assembled, and were unanimously of the opinion, that their engagements obliged them to defend Uncas and the Moheagans: that the defence which they were obliged to give, according to the common acceptation of such engagements, extended not barely to the defence of Uncas and his men in their fort, but to his estate and liberties; and that the aid to be given must be immediate, or he would be totally ruined.
It was therefore determined, that a war with the Indians was just, that the case should be stated in short, and war, with the reasons of it, be proclaimed. A day of fasting and prayer was appointed on the fourth of September. It was resolved, That three hundred men should be forthwith raised, and sent against the enemy. Massachusetts were to furnish 190, Plymouth and Connecticut 40 each, and New-Haven 30. As the troops from Connecticut and New-Haven, who had assisted in defending Uncas, the former part of the summer, were about to return to their respective colonies, forty men were impressed in the Massachusetts, and marched in three days, completely armed and victualled. These were commanded by Humphry Atherton. Orders were dispatched to the troops to be raised in Connecticut and New-Haven, to join them at Moheagan. A commission was forwarded to captain Mason to take the command of all the troops, until the whole army should form a junction. The chief command of the army was given to major Edward Gibbons, of Massachusetts. He was instructed not only to defend Uncas, but to invade and distress the Narragansets and Nehanticks, with their confederates. He had instructions to offer them peace. If th'ey would receive it upon honorable terms, he, with his officers, had power to make a treaty with them. If the enemy should flee from the army, and would neither fight nor make peace, the commander had orders to build forts in the Nehantick and Narraganset country; to which he might gather the enemy's corn and goods, as far as it should be in his power.
The Narragansets had sent a present to governor Winthrop, of Boston, desiring that they might have peace with the English, but wage war with Uncas, and avenge the death of Miantonimoh. The governor refused to receive the present upon such terms: but the messengers, by whom it was carried, urging that they might leave it until they could consult their sachems, he suffered it to be left with him. The commissioners ordered, that it should be immediately returned. Captain Hurding, Mr. Wilbore, and Benedict Arnold, were sent into the Narraganset country, to return the present, and to assure Pessacus, Canonicus, Janimo, and the other sachems of the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians, that they would neither receive their presents, nor give them peace, until they should make satisfaction for past injuries, and give security for their peaceable conduct for the future. They were to certify the Indians, that the English were ready for war; and that if war was their choice, they would direct their affairs for that purpose. At the same time, they had orders to assure them, that if they would make satisfaction for the damages which they had done, and give security for their peaceable conduct, in time to come, they should know, that the English were as desirous of the peace, and as tender of the blood of the Narragansets, as they had ever been.
The messengers prosecuted their journey with great dispatch, and brought back word, that Pessacus, chief sachem of the Narragansets, and others, were coming to Boston forthwith, vested with full powers to treat with the commissioners. The messengers, though sent on purpose to carry back the present, and to assure the Indians that the English would not receive it, returned with it to Boston. They also wrote to captain Mason, acquainting him that there were hopes of peace with the Indians.
The commissioners, therefore, while they acknowledged the pains and expedition with which they had accomplished their journey, censured them, for not attending to their instructions. Especially, they judged them worthy of censure, for bringing back the present, and for writing to captain Mason. The latter, they imagined, could have no other effect than to retard his operations.
The Indians, finding that an army was coming into the heart of their country, made haste to meet the commissioners, and ward off the impending blow. A few days after the return of their messengers, Pessacus, Meeksamo, the eldest son of Canonicus, and Wytowash, three principal sachems of the Narragansets, and Awashequen, deputy of the Nehanticks, with a large train, arrived at Boston.
They, at first, denied and excused many particulars which the commissioners charged upon them. They insisted on the old story of the ransom, and proposed to make a truce with Uncas, until the next planting time, or for a year. The commissioners assured them, that matters were now come to a crisis, and that they would accept of no such terms. They charged the Indian sachems with their perfidious breach of treaties, with the injuries they had done to Uncas, with their insults of the English, and with the great trouble and expense to which they had put them, to defend Uncas, and maintain the peace of the country. The Indians, finally, though with great reluctance, acknowledged their breach of treaties. One of the sachems presented the commissioners with a stick, signifying, by that token, that he submitted the terms of war and peace into their hands, and wished to know what they required of the Indians.
The commissioners represented to them, that the charge and trouble which they had brought on the colonies was very great, besides all the loss and damages which Uncas had sustained. They charged all these, upon their infraction of the treaties which they had made with the colonies, and with Uncas. They assured the Indians, that though two thousand fathom of white wampum would, by no means, be equal to the expense to which they had put the colonies, entirely by their violation of their treaties; yet, to show their moderation, they would accept of that sum for all past damages. It was required, that they should restore to Uncas all the captives and canoes which they had taken from him; that they should submit all matters of controversy, between them and Uncas, to the commissioners, at their next meeting; and that they should maintain perpetual peace with the English, and all their subjects and allies. Finally, hostages were demanded, as a security for the performance of the treaty.1 These, indeed, were hard terms. The Indians made many exceptions to them; but as they knew the English were gone into their country, and were fearful that hostilities would be commenced, even while the treaty was pending, they submitted to them. Some abatement was made, as to the times of payment at first proposed, and it was agreed that Uncas should restore to the Narragansets all captives and canoes which he had taken from them. This gave the Narragansets and Nehanticks some ease; but it was with great reluctance, that they 1 Records of the united colonies.
finally signed the articles. Nothing but the necessity of the case, could have been a sufficient inducement.
On the 30th of August, the articles were signed, and the Indians left several of their number, as hostages, until the children, who had been agreed upon for a permanent security, should be delivered.
The troops which had been raised were disbanded, and the day appointed for a general fast was celebrated as a day of general thanksgiving.
New-Haven, this year, appointed Mr. Gregson their agent to the parliament in England, to procure a patent for the colony. The court at New-Haven, voted, that it was a proper time to join with Connecticut, in procuring a patent from parliament, for these parts.1 It appears, that both Connecticut and New-Haven, at this time, had it in contemplation to obtain charters from parliament, for their respective jurisdictions; but Mr. Fenwick, who had been desired to undertake a voyage, for this purpose, in behalf of Connecticut, did not accept the appointment, and Mr. Gregson was lost at sea. In consequence of these circumstances, and the state of affairs in England afterwards, the business rested until after the restoration.
This year Tunxis was named Farmington. At this time, there were in the colony of Connecticut eight taxable towns; Hartford, Windsor, Weathersfield, Stratford, Fairfield, Saybrook, SouthHampton and Farmington. In the colony of New-Haven were six; New-Haven, Milford, Guilford, Southhold, Stamford and Branford.
In 1646 there was an alteration in the act respecting juries. In 1644, an act passed authorizing the court of magistrates to increase or mitigate the damages given by verdict of the jury. It was now enacted, that whatever alterations should be made of this kind, at any time, should be made in open court, in the presence both of the plaintiff and defendant, or upon affidavit made, that they had been summoned to appear.
At this court the town of Fairfield made objections to that part of the act passed in 1644, which admitted of a jury of six. They insisted on twelve jurymen in all cases triable by a jury; but consented, that eight out of twelve should bring in a verdict. It does not appear, that a jury of six was ever empanelled, after this time. The laws were soon after revised, and ordained a jury of twelve in all cases which required a jury.
The commissioners of the united colonies met, this year, at New-Haven. The Dutch continuing their injurious conduct against the English, complaints were made to the commissioners, of the recent and repeated insults and damages which they had received from them. Instead of making them the least satisfac1 Records of New-Haven.
tion for past injuries, they proceeded to new instances of insolence and abuse. Kieft wrote a most imperious letter to governor Eaton, charging him, and the people at New-Haven, with an unsatiable desire of possessing that which belonged to the Dutch nation. He affirmed, that contrary to ancient leagues, between the kings of England and the States General, contrary to the law of nations, and his protestations, they had, indirectly, entered upon the limits of New-Netherlands. He therefore protested against them, as breakers of the peace and disturbers of the public tranquillity. Indeed he proceeded so far as to threaten, that if the English, at New-Haven, did not restore the places which they had usurped, and repair the losses which the Dutch had sustained, that they would, by such means as God should afford, recover them. He affirmed, that the Dutch would not view it as inconsistent with the public peace, but should impute all the evils, which might ensue, to the English.1
Governor Eaton replied to this letter, that the colony under his government had never entered upon any land, to which the Dutch had any known title: That, notwithstanding all the injuries received from the Dutch, and the very unsatisfying answers which their governor had given, from time to time, the colony, in his apprehensions, had done nothing inconsistent with the law of God, the law of nations, nor with the ancient leagues subsisting between England and Holland. He therefore assured him, that the colony would cheerfully submit all differences, between them and the Dutch, to an impartial hearing and adjudication, either in Europe or America.
The Dutch, at Hartford, maintained a distinct and independent government. They resisted the laws of the colony, and counteracted the natural rights of men. They inveigled an Indian woman who, having been liable to public punishment, fled from her master. It was supposed, that the Dutch kept her for the purpose of wantonness. Though her master demanded her, as his property, and the magistrates, as a criminal, on whom the law ought to have its course, yet they would not restore her. The Dutch agent at Hartford, in the height of disorder, resisted the guard. He drew his rapier upon the soldiers, and broke it upon their arms. He then escaped to the fort, and there defended himself with impunity.
The commissioners of Connecticut and New-Haven made complaint of these insults and misdemeanors to the commissioners of the united colonies, and laid open the whole conduct of the Dutch towards them. They represented, that in answer to their complaints of past injuries, they had, instead of satisfaction, received nothing but injury and abuse.
The commissioners, upon a deliberate view of the case, wrote 1 Kieft's letter to governor Eaton, on the records of the united colonies.
to the Dutch governor, stating how they had written to him from time to time; and, in consideration of the great worth of peace, had attempted to compromise the differences which had so long subsisted between the Dutch and their confederates. They observed to the governor, that he had returned nothing but an ignoramus, with an offensive addition, which they left to his review and better consideration. They stated the affair at Hartford, and observed, that had the Dutch agent been slain, in the haughty affront which he had given, his blood would have been upon his own head. They assured him, that his agent and the company at Hartford, had proceeded to an intolerable state of conduct: that they had forcibly taken away their cattle from authority, and made an assault upon a man, who had legally sought justice for damages which he had sustained: that they struck him, and, in a hostile manner, took his team and loading from him. The commissioners noticed the letter of the Dutch governor to the colony of New-Haven, and manifested their approbation of the answer which governor Eaton had given. They expressed their hopes, that it would give satisfaction. They concluded by observing, that, to prevent all inconveniences which might arise from any part of the premises, they had sent an express, by whom they wished to receive such an answer as might satisfy them of his concurrence with them, to embrace and pursue righteousness and peace.
Several of the English who had traded with the Dutch, had not been able to recover their just debts, and governor Kieft would not afford them that assistance which was necessary for the obtaining of justice. Mr. Whiting, of Connecticut, complained, that an action had been carried against him at Manhatoes, in his absence, and when he had no agent to exhibit his evidence, or plead his cause. He also made complaint, that, upon demanding a just debt, long since due from the Dutch, the governor neglected to give him that assistance which was necessary for the recovery of his right.
The commissioners wrote also to governor Kieft on this subject. They desired him to grant Mr. Whiting a review in the case specified, and proper assistance in the recovery of his debts from the Dutch. They assured him, that all the colonies would grant similar favours to the Dutch in all their courts.
By their express, the commissioners received two letters from the Dutch governor, in answer to what they had written, expressed in the same haughty and offensive strain, as his former letters. He denied that the woman, who had been detained by the Dutch at Hartford, was a servant, with many other facts which had been stated by the commissioners. Instead of submitting the affairs in dispute to a legal decision, either in Europe or America, he still threatened to avenge the injuries of which he complained, by force of arms. With respect to other matters of special importance, he passed them without the least notice. He compared the commissioners to eagles which soar aloft, and always despise the little fly; but he assured them, that the Dutch, by their arms, would manfully pursue their rights. He then finished his letters in this remarkable manner:" We protest against all you commissioners, met at the red mount,1 as against breakers of the common league, and, also, infringers of the rights of the lords, the states, our superiors, in that you have dared, without our express and special consent, to hold your general meeting within the limits of New Netherlands."
The commissioners made a short reply, assuring the Dutch governor, that they could prove the facts which they had stated to him in their letters; and that the woman whom the Dutch had detained, was a servant, and an important part of her master's property: that she had fled from civil justice, and, by the confession of Mr. David Provost, Dutch agent at Hartford, had been defiled. They insisted, that the conduct of the Dutch at Hartford, was intolerable, and complained, that he had given no orders to redress the grievances which they had mentioned. They also complained, that he had made no reply to so many important articles, concerning which they had written to him. With respect to the protest, with which he had closed his letter, they observed, that, though it was offensive, yet it agreed with the general strain of his writing; and that he had no more reason to protest against their boldness in holding their session at New-Haven, than they had to protest against his boldness in the protest which he had sent them. After all the insult which the commissioners received from the Dutch governor, their replies were cool and without threatening.2
This year a horrid plot was concerted among the Indians, for the destruction of a number of the principal inhabitants of Hartford. Sequassen, a petty sachem upon the river, hired one of the Waranoke Indians to kill governor Hopkins and governor Haynes, with Mr. Whiting, one of the magistrates. Sequassen's hatred of Uncas was insatiable, and, probably, was directed against these gentlemen, on account of the just and faithful protection which they had afforded him. The plan was, that the Waranoke Indian should kill them, and charge the murder upon Uncas, and by that means engage the English against him to his ruin. After the massacre of these gentlemen, Sequassen and the murderer were to make their escape to the Mohawks. Watohibrough, the Indian hired to perpetrate the murder, after he had received several girdles of wampum, as part of his reward, considering how
1 The Dutch called New-Haven the Red Mount, and the Red Hills, from the appearance of the rocks west and north of the town. s Records of the United Colonies.
Bushheag, the Indian who attempted to kill the woman at Stamford, had been apprehended and executed at New-Haven, conceived that it would be dangerous to murder English sachems. He also revolved in his mind, that if the English should not apprehend and kill him, he should always be afraid of them, and have no comfort in his life. He also recollected, that the English gave a reward to the Indians who discovered and brought in Bushheag. He therefore determined, it would be better to discover the plot, than to be guilty of so bloody and dangerous an action. In this mind he came to Hartford, a few days after he had received the girdles, and made known the plot. Nearly at the same time the Waranoke Indians did much damage to the people at Windsor, burning up their tar and turpentine, and destroying their tools and instruments, to the value of a hundred pounds or more. The magistrates at Hartford issued a warrant, and apprehended the Indian whom they supposed to be guilty; but the Indians rose and made an assault upon the officers, and rescued the criminal from justice.
Upon complaint and evidence of these misdemeanors, the commissioners sent messengers to Sequassen, demanding his appearance at New-Haven, and they ordered, that if he would not voluntarily appear, all means, consistent with the preservation of his life, should be used to take him. Messengers were also sent to Waranoke, to the Indians who had done the mischief at Windsor, with orders to seize the delinquents, and bring them off, if they judged they could do it with safety. Sequassen had art enough to keep out of their hands, and those who had done the damage could not be found. The messengers were insulted at Waranoke. The Indians boasted of their arms, primed and cocked their pieces in their presence, and threatened that if a man should be carried away, the Indians would generally rise and fight.
The commissioners, on the whole, judged it not expedient, in the state in which the Indians then were, to proceed any further than to resolve, that if any Indian or Indians, of what plantation soever, should do any damage to the English colonies, or to any of their inhabitants, that, upon due proof of it, they would, in a peaceable manner, demand satisfaction. But if any sagamore, or plantation of Indians, should hide, convey away, entertain, or protect such offender or offenders, that then the English would demand satisfaction of such Indian sagamore or plantation, and do themselves justice, as they might, upon all such offenders. At the same time, they declared, that they would keep peace and amity with all other Indians. This resolution was to be made known to the Waranoke Indians in particular.
The Indians, at particular times, were very mischievous, and gave much trouble to all the plantations. Sometime after the settlement of Milford, the Indians there set all the adjacent country on fire. It was supposed that their design was to burn the town: but the inhabitants were so fortunate as to stop the fires at the swamps and brooks which surround it on the west and north. By this means the town was preserved.
The Mohawks, though not hostile to the English, by coming down and murdering the Connecticut Indians, put the plantations in fear, and gave them not a little trouble. Some years after the settlement of Milford, they came into the town, and secreted themselves in a swamp,1 about half a mile east of Stratford ferry, with a view to surprise the Indians at the fort. The English accidentally discovering them, gave notice of it to the Milford Indians. They at once set up the war whoop, and collected such numbers that they ventured to attack them. The Mohawks were overpowered, and several of them taken. One stout captive, the Milford Indians determined to kill, by famine and torture. They stripped him naked and tied him up in the salt meadows for the mosquitoes to eat and torment to death. An Englishman, one Hine, finding him in this piteous condition, loosed and fed him, and enabled him to make his escape. This very much conciliated the Mohawks towards the English, and especially towards the family of the Hines, whom, it is said, they ever afterwards particularly noticed, and treated with uncommon friendship.
The Narraganset and Nehantick Indians neglected to perform any part of the treaty which they had made the last year. They neither paid the wampum stipulated, nor met the commissioners, at New-Haven, to settle the differences between them and Uncas. They neither restored the captives nor canoes taken from him, nor made him any compensation for the damages which they had done him. They had attempted to deceive the English with respect to the hostages. Instead of the children of their sachems and chief men, whom they agreed to deliver, they made an attempt to impose upon them children of the lowest rank. Even to this time, they had not brought those whom they had promised. They were still intriguing with the Mohawks; and, by presents and various arts, attempting to engage them against the English colonies. The commissioners judged, that they had just occasion to avenge the injuries which they had received, and to seek a recompence by force of arms. However, that they might show their love of peace, and their forbearance towards these barbarians, they dispatched another message to them. In this a full representation was made of these particulars. They were assured, that the commissioners were apprised of their intrigues, and that, in the eyes of all the colonics, they had rendered themselves a perfidious people.
The war between the Dutch and Indians continuing, a great and general battle was fought between them in that part of Horse
1 This is known by the name of Mohawk swamp to the present time.
neck commonly known"by the name of Strickland's plain. The action was long and severe, both parties fighting with firmness and obstinacy. The Dutch, with much difficulty, kept the field, and the Indians withdrew. Great numbers were slain on both sides, and the graves of the dead, for a century or more, appeared like a number of small hills.1
New-Haven having been exceedingly disappointed in trade, and sustained great damages at Delaware, and the large estates which they brought into New-England rapidly declining, this year, made uncommon exertions, as far as possible, to retrieve their former losses. Combining their money and labors, they built a ship, at Rhode-Island, of 150 tons; and freighted her, for England, with the best part of their commercial estates. Mr. Gregson, captain Turner, Mr. Lamberton and five or six of their principal men embarked on board. They sailed from New-Haven in January, 1647. They were obliged to cut through the ice to get out of the harbour. The ship foundered at sea, and was never heard of after she sailed. The loss of this ship, with the former losses which the company had sustained, broke up all their expectations with respect to trade, and as they conceived themselves disadvantageously situated for husbandry, they adopted the design of leaving the country. They were invited to Jamaica, in the West-Indies. They had also an invitation to Ireland. It seems they entered into treaties for the city of Galloway, which they designed to have settled, as a small province for themselves.2 Nevertheless they were disappointed with respect to all these designs. Their posterity, who they feared would be reduced to beggary, made respectable farmers, and flourished, with respect to worldly circumstances, no less than their neighbours.
At the election, this year, at Hartford, nine magistrates were chosen. Mr. Cosmore and Mr. Howe were elected for the first time. The other magistrates were the same as in the preceding years.
At this session of the general court, an explanation or addition was made to the tenth fundamental article. By this article, as it stood, it was the opinion of some, that no particular court could be holden, unless the governor and four magistrates were present. It was therefore decreed,3 that the governor, or deputy governor, with two magistrates, should have power to keep a particular court, according to the laws established; and, that in case neither the governor, nor deputy governor should be present, or able to sit, if three magistrates should meet, and choose one of themselves moderator, they might keep a particular court, which to all intents and purposes, should be deemed as legal, as if the governor
1 Manuscripts of the Rev. Stephen Monson. Magnalia, B. I. p. 25, 26.
3 The enacting style, before the charter, was, It is ordered, sentenced, and decreed. Sometimes one of the words only was used.
or deputy governor were present. All orders contrary to this were repealed.1
As tobacco, about this time, was coming into use, in the colony, a very curious law was made for its regulation, or suppression. It was ordered, that no person under twenty years of age, nor any other, who had not already accustomed himself to the use of it, should take any tobacco until he had obtained a certificate from under the hand of an approved physician, that it was useful for him, and until he had also obtained a license from the court. All others, who had addicted themselves to the use of it, were prohibited from taking it, in any company, or at their labors, or in travelling, unless ten miles, at least, from any company; and though not in company, not more than once a day, upon pain of a fine of sixpence for every such offence. One substantial witness was to be a sufficient proof of the crime. The constables of the several towns were to make presentment to the particular courts, and it was ordered, that the fine should be paid without gainsaying.2
At a court in June, it was ordered, that the fort and guns at Saybrook, should be delivered to captain John Mason, and that he should give Mr. Fenwick a receipt for the premises. At the desire of the people there, captain Mason was appointed to the chief command of the fort; and was authorized to govern all the soldiers and inhabitants of the town; to call them forth and put them in such array as might be necessary for the general defence of the country. Orders were given, that the fortifications should be repaired, and that the country rate of Saybrook should be appropriated to that purpose.
This court granted to the soldiers of the respective train bands in the colony, the privilege of choosing their own officers, to be commissioned by the court.
The conduct of the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians was so treacherous and hostile that, in midsummer, an extraordinary meeting of the commissioners was called at Boston. The commissioners were, Thomas Dudley and John Endicot, Esquires, from Massachusetts; Mr. William Bradford and Mr. John Brown, from Plymouth; governor Hopkins and captain John Mason, from Connecticut; governor Eaton and Mr. Goodyear, from NewHaven. Thomas Dudley was chosen president.
The Narraganset and Nehantick Indians, had not only neglected the performance of every part of their treaties with the English, but were, by all their arts, plotting against them. By their wampum they were hiring all the Indian nations round about them to combine against the colonies. They had sent messengers and presents to the Mohawks, to engage them in the general con
1 Records of Connecticut, folio, vol.
i. p. 162, 163.
'Records of Connecticut.
federacy. As this faithless conduct was the occasion of the meeting, the commissioners immediately dispatched messengers to Pessacus, Ninigrate, Webetomaug, and all their confederates, to declare to them their breach of covenant, and to demand their attendance at Boston. The messengers were instructed to assure them, that if they did not appear, they would send to them no more. Pessacus owned, that he had broken covenant, and said it was the constant grief of his spirit. He pretended he would gladly go to Boston, but he was unwell, and could not travel. This was a mere pretence, as there was no appearance of indisposition upon him. He excused himself for not keeping the treaty, because he was frighted into it by the sight of the English army, which was about to invade his country. He represented, that he was in fear, if he did not make it, the English would follow him home and kill him. He declared, however, that he would send his whole mind by Ninigrate, and that he would abide by whatever he should transact in the affair.
On the 3d of August, Ninigrate, with two of Pessacus's men, and a number of the Nehantick Indians, arrived at Boston. When Ninigrate came before the commissioners, he pretended great ignorance of the treaties between the English and the Indians. He declared, that he knew no cause why the Narragansets should pay so much wampum. He said they owed nothing to the English. The commissioners acquainted him, that it was on account of their breach of treaty, and the great charge which, by that means, they had brought on the colonies, that the Narragansets engaged to pay such a quantity. Well knowing his deceit, they charged him as being the very man, who had been the principal cause of all their trouble and expense, relative to the Indians. They declared to him, that he was the sachem who had threatened to pile their cattle in heaps, and to kill every Englishman who should step out at his doors. At so home a charge, which he could not deny, he was not a little chagrined. However, he excused the matter with as much art as possible. With respect to the wampum, he declared, that the Narragansets had not a sufficiency to pay the sum required. The commissioners knew that the Narragansets were a great nation, and that they could, at any time, upon short notice, pay a greater amount than they demanded. They considered the demand, not only as their just due, but as matter of policy, as far as was consistent with justice, to strip them of their wampum, to prevent their hiring the Mohawks, and other Indians, to join with them, in a general war against the colonies. They, therefore, insisted that the whole sum should be paid. They declared to him, that they were not satisfied with his answers. Ninigrate, after he had taken time to consult with his council, the other deputies, who were with him, answered, that he was determined to give the colonies full satisfaction. He desired ten days to send messengers to Narraganset, to collect the wampum due, and offered himself as hostage until their return. The messengers returned with no more than two hundred fathoms. Ninigrate imputed this to his absence. He desired liberty to return, promising, that if the whole sum should not be paid by the next spring, the commissioners might take his head, and seize his country. The commissioners agreed with him, that if within twenty days, he would deliver a thousand fathoms of wampum, and the remainder which was due by the next planting time, they would dismiss him. They also, for his encouragement, acquainted him, that although they might justly put the hostages to death, for their delays and breach of covenant, yet they would forthwith deliver them to him; and if they should find him punctual to his engagements, they would charge former defects to Pessacus. These terms he gladly accepted.
The commissioners from Connecticut, the last year, made complaint, that Mr. Pyncheon and the inhabitants at Springfield, refused to pay the impost which had been imposed by Connecticut for the maintenance of the fort at Saybrook. The commissioners judged, that the fort was of great consequence to the towns on the river; but, as the affair of the impost had not been laid before the general court of Massachusetts, and as the commissioners of that colony had no instructions respecting it, a full hearing had been deferred to this meeting.
Meanwhile, the general court of the Massachusetts had taken up the affair, and passed a number of resolutions respecting the impost. These are a curiosity, exhibiting a lively picture of human nature, and, in the course of conduct consequent upon them, will afford a general specimen of the manner in which the Massachusetts anciently treated her sister colonies. The resolutions were, at this meeting, laid before the commissioners, and were to the following effect.
1. That the jurisdiction at Hartford had not a legal power to force any inhabitant of another jurisdiction, to purchase any fort or lands out of their jurisdiction.
2. That it was injurious to require custom for the maintenance of a fort which is not useful to those of whom it was demanded.
3. That it was unequal for Connecticut to impose a custom upon their friends and confederates, who have no more benefit of the river, by the exporting or importing of goods, than strangers of another nation, who, though they lived in Hartford, paid none.
4. That the propounding and standing upon an imposition of custom, to be paid at the river's mouth, by such as were of our jurisdiction, hindered our confederation ten years, and there was never any paid to this day; and that now to impose it upon them, after their confederation, would put them upon new thoughts.
5. That it appeared to them very hard, that any of their jurisdiction should be forced to such a disadvantage, as would necessarily enslave their posterity, by imposing such rates and customs, as would either constrain them to depart from their habitations, or weaken their estates; especially as they were with the first who took possession of the river, and were at great charge of building, &c. which if they had foreseen, they would not have made a plantation at that place.
6. If Hartford jurisdiction shall make use of their power over any of ours, we have the same power to imitate them in the like kind, which they desired might be forborne on both sides. These resolutions were signed by the secretary of the colony.
Mr. Hopkins replied, in behalf of Connecticut, that the first article laboured under a great mistake: that the imposition was neither to buy lands nor the fort. He observed also, that it was not material to what purpose an impost was applied, if it were lawful in itself, and did not exceed the bounds of moderation. With respect to the second article, he said, that it impeached all states and nations of injustice, no less than Connecticut: that their practice, in all similar cases, warranted the impost. He urged, that, for twelve years, the fort at Saybrook had been of special service to Springfield; and that it was so still, and might be for a number of years to come. He therefore insisted, that it was strictly just, that the inhabitants of that town should pay the impost. He said he was willing to risk the case, and have it decided on the principles of strict justice. The third article, he observed, was a mere presumption, and had no just foundation; besides, if it were founded, he argued, that the comparison was not equal. The whole of the fourth article, he said, was a mistake: that the confederation was completed in about five years from the first mentioning of it, and that it was not retarded by the means suggested, nor were they ever mentioned. With reference to the fifth article, he replied, that all taxes weakened estates, and if this were a ground of objection against the impost, then no tax or impost could ever be laid. He insisted, that the impost was just and moderate, and, therefore, could not enslave the inhabitants of Springfield. The towns in Connecticut, he observed, were settled before Springfield, and that town had been at no expense in making settlements, more than the towns in Connecticut. He said, if Connecticut, at any time, should become exorbitant in its impositions upon any of the colonies, they would find a remedy in the confederation. With reference to the last article, he declared his willingness, in all similar cases, to submit to the like imposition.
The commissioners, upon a full hearing, determined, that it was of weighty consideration to all the plantations upon the river, that the mouth of it should be secured, and a safe passage for goods, up and down the river, be maintained, though at some
expense; and, that as Springfield enjoyed the benefit, the inhabitants should pay the impost of two pence per bushel for com, and a penny on the pound for beaver, or twenty shillings upon every hogshead. Nevertheless, out of respect and tenderness to the Massachusetts, it was resolved, that Springfield, or the general court, might have the liberty of exhibiting further reasons against the impost, if any should occur.
At this meeting, Mr. John Winthrop, of Pequot, laid claim to the whole country of the western Nehanticks, including a considerable part of the town of Lyme. He represented, that he obtained the title to this large tract partly by purchase, and partly by deed of gift, before the Pequot war. He petitioned the commissioners to this effect: "Whereas I had the land at Nehantick by deed of gift and purchase from the sachem, before the Pequot war, I desire the commissioners would confirm it unto me, and clear it of all claims of English and Indians, according to the equity of the case." As he had no deed nor writing respecting the land, he produced the testimony of three Nehantick Indians. They testified, that before the Pequot war, Sashions, their sachem, called all his men together, and told them, that he was determined to give his country to the governor's son, who lived at Pattaquasset.1 and that his men gave their consent: that afterwards he went to Mr. Winthrop, at Pattaquasset, and when he came back, said that he had granted all his country to the governor's son; and also, that he had received coats for it, which they saw him bring home. Three Englishmen also testified, that they had heard the Indians report the same concerning the grant of the Nehantick2 country to Mr. Winthrop. Thomas Stanton deposed, that he remembered Sashions, sachem of the Nehanticks, did give his country to Mr. John Winthrop, before the Pequot war, and that he was interpreter in that business.
The commissioners of Connecticut pleaded against the claim of Mr. Winthrop, that his purchase bore no date; that the tract pretended to be purchased or given, was not circumscribed within any limits; and that it did not appear, that the Indian, who granted the lands, had any right in them: that the grant was verbal, and, at most, could be but a vague business. They also urged, that it did not appear, but that Mr. Winthrop purchased the lands for the noblemen and gentlemen, in whose service he was, at that time, employed; and that, as the lands had been conquered, at the hazard and expense of Connecticut, before Mr. Winthrop made known his claim, whatever it was, it was then dormant, and of no validity. They further insisted, that, as they were not prepared to give a full answer, no decision might be made,
1 This is sometimes spelt Pamaquasset, and was, I suppose, the Indian name of Saybrook.
'Some spelt it Neanticnt.
until Connecticut should be fully heard with respect to the premises.
The commissioners declined any decision of the controversy; but it does not appear that Mr. Winthrop ever after prosecuted his claim. As it seems Mr. Winthrop, about this time, had a design of purchasing Long-Island, the commissioners took occasion to premonish him, that the Island was already under engagements for considerable sums of money, to a number of persons in Connecticut and New-Haven. They represented to him, that any title which might be derived from Mr. Cope, would be very precarious, as he had confessed a short time before his death.1
The commissioners, this year, brought in the number of polls in the several colonies, and made a settlement of their accounts. The whole expenditure of the confederates was 1043 pounds: 10 :o. There was due to Connecticut, 155 pounds: 17 :7, which the colony had expended in the general defence, more than its proportion. New-Haven had expended 7 pounds: 0:0 more than its proportion. This was exclusive of all the expense which these two colonies had borne in defending themselves against the Indians at Stamford and its vicinity, and in attempting to bring the murderers of the English to condign punishment. Massachusetts and Plymouth paid the balance to Connecticut and NewHaven.
On the 27th of May, Peter Stuyvesant, who, the last year, had been appointed governor of New-Netherlands, arrived at Manhadoes, and commenced his government of the Dutch settlements. The commissioners wrote him a long letter of congratulation. They complained also, that the Dutch sold arms and ammunition to the Indians, and even in the English plantations. They desired that an immediate stop might be put to so dangerous a trade. They made complaint also, that the Dutch had laid so severe an impost upon all goods, as greatly discouraged trading with them, while all the harbors in the united colonies were open and free to them. As the Dutch also imposed heavy fines or forfeitures for misentries, or defect in commissions, the commissioners desired to be made particularly acquainted with their customs.
This winter, the fort and buildings at Saybrook unaccountably took fire, and, with some goods, were destroyed. Captain Mason, with his wife and child, narrowly escaped the conflagration. The damage was estimated at more than a thousand pounds.
1 Records of the united colonies.
THE last year several persons began settlements at Pequot harbour. Lots were laid out to them, but part of them were soon discouraged, and left the plantation. This year Mr. Richard Blinman,1 who had been a minister in England, removed from Gloucester to this new settlement; in consequence of which a considerable addition was made to the number who had kept their station. By the next year, 1648, there was such an accession, that the inhabitants consisted of more than forty families. Some of the principal men were John Winthrop, Esq. the Rev. Mr. Blinman, Thomas Minot, Samuel Lothrop, Robert Allyn and James Avery. For their encouragement, the general court granted them a three years exemption from all colonial taxation. Mr. Winthrop was authorized to superintend the affairs of the plantation. The next year a court was appointed for the trial of small causes. The judges were Mr. Winthrop, Thomas Minot and Samuel Lothrop. The Indian name of the place was Nameaug, alias Towawog. In 1654, the whole tract, now comprised within the towns of NewLondon and Groton, was called Pequot, from the name of the harbour and original inhabitants. By this it was known for about four years. On the 24th of March, 1658, the assembly passed an act respecting it, which is so curious, and expressive of the feelings of our ancestors towards their native country, as to render it worthy of publication.
"Whereas, it hath been the commendable practice of the inhabitants of all the colonies of these parts, that as this country hath its denomination from our dear native country of England, and thence is called New-England; so the planters, in their first settling of most new plantations, have given names to those plantations of some cities and towns in England, thereby intending to keep up, and leave to posterity, the memorial of several places of note there, as Boston, Hartford, Windsor, York, Ipswich, Braintree, Exeter; this court considering, that there hath yet no place in any of the colonies been named in memory of the city of London, there being a new plantation within this jurisdiction of Connecticut, settled upon that fair river Moheagan, in the Pequot country, being an excellent harbour and a fit and convenient place for future trade, it being also the only place which the
1 Mr. Blinman or Blynman is first mentioned in Miss Caulkins' History of NewLondon as being at that town in 1650.
There is no evidence to show that Richard Blinman was established at New London until 1650, which is the date of the first recorded grant made to him. Miss Caulkins says, "A comparison of the records of Gloucester with those of New London show that he did not remove till 1650."J. T.
English in these parts have possessed by conquest, and that upon a very just war, upon that great and warlike people, the Pequots, we therefore that we might thereby leave to posterity that we memory of that renowned city of London, from whence we had our transportation, have thought fit, in honor to that famous city, to call the said plantation New-London." The name of the river was also changed and called the Thames.1
Until this time the governors and magistrates appear to have served the people for the honor of it, and the public good. The general court took the affair into their consideration, and granted the governor 30 pounds annually. The same sum was also voted for the deputy governor, who had presided the preceding year. These appear to have been the first salaries given to any civil officers in the colony, and to have been a compensation for the expense of the office, rather than for the service performed.2 Upon the election at Hartford, May 18th, Mr. Hopkins was chosen governor, and Mr. Ludlow deputy governor. Mr. Haynes supplied the vacancy made by the advancement of Mr. Ludlow, and Mr. Cullick was elected magistrate and secretary in the place of Mr. Whiting.
In September the commissioners of the united colonies convened at Plymouth. They were John Endicot and Simon Bradstreet, from Massachusetts; William Bradford and John Brown from Plymouth; governor Hopkins and Roger Ludlow, from Connecticut; governor Eaton and John Astwood, from NewHaven.
The Indians, both in the Nehantick and Narraganset country, and in the Western parts of Connecticut, had been more perfidious and outrageous this year than at any time since the Pequot war. The Narragansets and Nehanticks, instead of performing the fair promises which they had made, the last year, and of paying the wampum, which had been so long due, hired the Mohawk and Pocomtock Indians to unite with them in an expedition for the total destruction of Uncas and the Moheagans. The Pocomtocks made preparations and assembled for the purpose. They waited several days for the arrival of the Mohawks, who were to have joined them at that place. The Narragansets and Nehanticks removed their old men, women and children into swamps and fastnesses, and prepared an army of 800 men, who were to form a junction with the Mohawk and Pocomtock Indians, in Connecticut, near the Moheagans.
The governor and council, apprised of their designs, dispatched Thomas Stanton, their interpreter, and others to Pocomtock.
1 Records of Connecticut and New London.
3 On November 9, 1641, or seven years before this, the General Court voted to grant to the governor 160 bushels of corn (about £24) ; and September 11, 1645. it was voted that "30/ in wheat and pease be paid to the Gou', and Indean corn." Colonial Records, 1 : 69, 131.J. T.
They found the Pocomtocks actually met in arms, and waiting for the arrival of the Mohawks. It was represented that the Mohawks had four hundred fire arms, and a plenty of ammunition. The Pocomtocks acknowledged that they had been hired by the Narragansets. Such a confederacy was alarming to the colony. What such an army of savages might effect could not be determined. It was dangerous to suffer them to march through the colony, and form a junction near the plantations. Several happy circumstances united their influence to frustrate this formidable combination. The early discovery of the designs of the enemy, by the people of Connecticut, and the precautions which were taken, had a great effect. The Pocomtocks and Mohawks were assured, that the English would defend Uncas against all his enemies, and would avenge all injuries which they should do him. The Mohawks had one or two of their sachems and a number of their men killed by the French. They therefore did not come on. The Pocomtock Indians did not choose to march without them; and the Narragansets, thus deserted, were afraid to proceed. Thus the expedition failed.
The Narragansets not only plotted against the united colonies, but committed many outrages against the people of RhodeIsland. They made forcible entries into their houses, struck and abused the owners, stole and purloined their goods. At Warwick especially, they were exceedingly troublesome. They killed, in that plantation, about a hundred cattle, exclusive of other injuries which they did to the inhabitants. Indeed, the RhodeIslanders were so harassed, that they made application, by their representatives, to the commissioners, to be admitted to the confederation of the united colonies.
The commissioners replied, that they found their present state to be full of confusion and danger, and that they were desirous of giving them both advice and help. They however observed, that as the plantation made at Rhode-Island, fell within the limits of the ancient patent granted to the colony of New-Plymouth, they could not receive them as a distinct confederate. They represented, that it was the design of the honourable committee of parliament, that the limits of that colony should not be abridged or infringed. They proposed, that if the Rhode-Islanders would acknowledge themselves to be within the limits of Plymouth colony, they would advise how they might be received on equitable terms, with a tender regard for their convenience; and that they would afford them the same advice and protection, which they did the other plantations within the united colonies.
The commissioners sent messengers again to the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians, to charge their treachery upon them, remonstrate against their conduct, and demand the arrearages of wampum which were yet unpaid. Their outrages against the in
habitants of Rhode-Island were particularly noticed, and the sachems were peremptorily charged to keep their men under better government. The colonies wished to exhibit all forbearance towards the Indians, and, if possible, to preserve the peace of the country. They chose rather to restrain the natives by policy and the arts of peace, than by the sword.
The general court of Massachusetts was, by no means, pleased with the determination of the commissioners, the last year, relative to the impost to be paid at Saybrook. A committee was, therefore, appointed to draft an answer to the observations and pleadings of governor Hopkins before the commissioners, at their former sessions.
The committee introduced their answer with a number of questions relative to the articles of confederation. Some were calculated to make nothing of them, and exhibit them in a point of light entirely contemptible. Others related to the power of the commissioners, and to the degree in which obedience was due to their determinations. They inquired whether a non-compliance with the orders of the commissioners would be a breach of the articles of confederation? They complained, that they had not a greater number of commissioners, as Massachusetts was much larger than the other colonies. They proposed, that they should have the privilege of sending three commissioners, and that the meetings of the confederates should be triennial. They then proceeded to a large reply to the arguments of governor Hopkins; and attempted to vindicate the reasons which they had given before against the impost. In addition to what they had formerly offered, they endeavoured to show, that if Springfield was benefitted by the fort at Saybrook, and ought to pay the impost on that account, that New-Haven, Stamford, and all the towns on that side of the river, ought to pay it no less; because they had been already benefitted, and might be hereafter. Since this was the case, as they pleaded, they objected against the commissioners of New-Haven, as disqualified to judge in the case. They, also, objected against the decision of the commissioners, because it was made, as they said, without a sight of the Connecticut patent. They insisted, that if the patent had been produced, there might have been some clause which would have helped their case. The committee pleaded a priority of possession. They affirmed, that the first possession of Saybrook fort was taken by Mr. John Winthrop, in November, 1635; and our possession was before that: for those who went from Watertown, Cambridge, Roxbury, and Dorchester, the summer before, took possession in our name and right; and had a commission of government from us, and some ordnance for their defence. And in this state they remained a good space. In fine they urged, that if the impost were lawful, it was not expedient; that they could view it in no other light than as a bone of contention, to interrupt their happy union and brotherly love. Indeed, they represented, that it laid them under temptations to help themselves in some other way. This was adopted by the general court.
Governor Hopkins and Mr. Ludlow insisted on the answers which had been given the last year, to the arguments of the general court of the Massachusetts. They attempted to show, that, notwithstanding all which had been urged, the arguments in favour of the impost remained unanswered, and in their full force. They observed, that whatever propositions might have been made by the Massachusetts, in 1638, with respect to the exemption of plantations under their government from an impost, nothing was ever granted upon that head: that affairs were now in a very different state from what they were at the time of the confederation. They urged, that now the charge of the fort and garrison at Saybrook, lay upon the colony; which was not the case at that time; and that nothing could be fairly pleaded from the circumstances in which the colonies confederated.
With respect to priority of right, and the commission which had been mentioned, they observed, that the commission of government was taken, salvo jure, of the interest of the gentlemen who had the patent of Connecticut, this commission taking rise from the desire of the people that removed, who judged it inexpedient to go away without any frame of government, not from any claim of the Massachusetts jurisdiction over them by virtue of patent.
With reference to the decision of the commissioners, without seeing the Connecticut patent, they observed, that a copy of it was exhibited at the time of the confederation; that it had been well known to many; and that the Massachusetts in particular knew, that it had recently been owned by the honourable committee of parliament; and that equal respect and power had been given by it to all within its limits, as had been either to Massachusetts or Plymouth, within the limits of their respective patents.
As to the inexpediency of the impost, as tending to disturb the peace and brotherly love subsisting between the colonies, they replied, that it was their hope and earnest desire, that in all the proceedings of the confederation, truth and peace might embrace each other. But they insisted, that pleading for truth and righteousness ought, by no means, to disturb peace or brotherly affection. Indeed, they maintained, that things which were rational, and consistent with truth and righteousness, should never be an occasion of offence to any.
The commissioners of Connecticut, at this time, produced an authentic copy of their patent, and governor Hopkins offered to attest it upon oath. As this was the third year since the affair of the impost had been litigated before the commissioners, it was urged, that it might have a final issue, agreeable to truth and righteousness. Governor Hopkins and Mr. Ludlow disputed the southern boundary of Massachusetts, and claimed Springfield as lying within the limits described in the patent of Connecticut.
The commissioners judged, that the objections offered against the gentlemen from New-Haven, were insufficient, and the commissioners from Massachusetts gave them up. Upon the whole, after a full hearing and mature deliberation, the former order, in favour of Connecticut, was confirmed.1
Notwithstanding the congratulatory letter, which the commissioners addressed to Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor, at their last session, he proved not the most comfortable neighbour. He gave no answer to the complaints which had been stated to him, in their letter. He transmitted no account of the customs laid upon the English merchants, nor of the cases in which the Dutch made seizures, so that it was extremely difficult to know on what terms they could trade, or how to escape fines, seizures, and confiscations.
By Stuyvesant's order, the Dutch seized a vessel of Mr. Westerhouse, a Dutch merchant and planter at New-Haven, while riding at anchor within the harbour. He preferred a complaint to the commissioners. He came in from Virginia, and gave evidence, that, when he sailed thence, he made a full payment of all the customs. The commissioners wrote to the Dutch governor on the subject, and remonstrated against such a flagrant insult to the united colonies, and against the injustice done to Mr. Westerhouse. They protested against the Dutch claim to all the lands, rivers, and streams, from Cape Henlopen to Cape Cod; and asserted their claim to all the lands and plantations in the united colonies, as anciently granted by the kings of England to their subjects, and since purchased by them of the Indians, the original proprietors.
At the same time, they assured him, that they expected satisfaction, both for the injury and affront, in taking a ship out of one of their harbours, upon such a challenge and title to the place, unjustly claimed without purchase, possession, or any other considerable ground. They represented to him in strong terms, the absolute necessity of a meeting for the adjustment of the differences between the Dutch and the united colonies. They professed themselves to be inclined to pursue all proper counsels for that purpose. As his letters to them, as well as to the governors of Massachusetts and New-Haven, had been expressed in such indeterminate language on the subject, they wished him to be more explicit. They avowed their determination, that, until such time as the Dutch should come to an amicable settlement of the points 1 Records of the united colonies.
in controversy, neither their merchants nor mariners should enjoy any privilege, in any of the English plantations or harbours, either of anchoring, searching, or seizing, more than the English did at the Manhadoes. They declared, that if, upon search, they should find arms and ammunition on board any of the Dutch ships, for the mischievous purpose of vending them within the limits of the united colonies, to the Indians, they would seize them, until further inquiry and satisfaction should be made. In short, they avowed their purpose of treating the Dutch mariners and merchants in the English harbours and plantations, in the same manner in which they treated the English. They declared, that, if the Dutch should proceed to seize any vessel or goods, within any of the harbours of the united colonies, whether of English, Dutch, or any other nation, admitted to be planters in any of the said colonies, they should be necessitated to vindicate their rights, and to repair the damages by all just means.1
Soon after the meeting of the commissioners, Mr. John Whitmore, of Stamford, was murdered by the Indians. He was a peaceable, worthy man, and one of the representatives of the town in the general court at New-Haven. He fell as he was seeking cattle in the woods. The sachem's son first carried the news into town, and reported that one Toquattoes had killed him, and had some of his clothes, of which he gave a particular description. From this circumstance, it was suspected, that he was either a principal or an accomplice in the crime. No such evidence, however, could be obtained as would warrant the apprehending him. The English took great pains to find the remains of Mr. Whitmore, but could make no discovery at that time. About two months after, Uncas, with several of his Indians, went to Stamford, and making inquiry concerning Mr. Whitmore's body, the sachem's son and one Kehoran, another of the natives who had been suspected, led Uncas, with his men, and a number of the English, directly to the place of his remains. Upon carrying them into town, the sachem's son and Kehoran fell a-trembling, and manifested such signs of guilt, that the Moheagans declared that they were guilty. But before they could be apprehended, they made their escape. The Indians at Stamford and its vicinity, either through fear of their sachem, or favour to his son, or from some other cause, charged the murder upon Toquattoes. But neither he, nor the other suspected persons, were delivered up, nor could the English bring them to any examination respecting the subject.
About the same time it was reported, that the Indians upon Long-Island had, some years before, murdered a number of Englishmen, who were part of the crew of a vessel of one Mr. Cope, which had been cast away near the island. These instances of bloodshed gave great alarm to Connecticut and New-Haven, es1 Records of the united colonies.
pecially to Stamford, and the towns in that vicinity. Mrs. Whitmore, by letters and messengers, sued for justice against the murderers of her husband. The Indians grew haughty and insolent, and censured the conduct of the English. It was dangerous to suffer such crimes to be unpunished, as it would embolden the natives to be constantly massacreing the English. But as nothing could be done, in this case, except by an armed force, it was deferred to the consideration of the commissioners of the united colonies.
At the general election in Connecticut, May 17th, 1649, Mr. Haynes was chosen governor, and Mr. Hopkins deputy-governor. Mr. Ludlow took his place again among the magistrates. The other officers were as they had been the preceding year.
In consequence of the burning of the old fort at Saybrook, a new one was begun the last year, at a place called the new fort hill. At this session of the assembly, orders were given for the erecting of a new dwelling-house in the fort, and for completing the works and buildings at Saybrook. The magistrates were empowered to impress suitable hands for carrying the business into effect, and appropriations were made for that purpose.
Whereas the commissioners of Massachusetts, in their pleadings before the commissioners of the united colonies, at their last session, had expressed their doubts, whether the act of Connecticut, imposing a duty upon certain articles exported from Connecticut river, had any respect to the inhabitants of Springfield, the general court declared, that they had particular respect to them, as under the government of the Massachusetts. They also resolved, that, in their best apprehensions, nothing was imposed on them more than was strictly just, or than had been imposed on themselves; and that they ought to submit to the impost. They declared, that the execution of the act, with respect to their brethren at Springfield, had been deferred, only that the judgment of the commissioners of the other colonies might be had on the premises. The assembly also resolved, that they were wholly unsatisfied that Springfield did fall within the true limits of the Massachusetts patent. They also expressed their earnest wishes, that the line might be speedily and fully settled, in righteousness and peace. It was ordered, that these resolutions should be laid before the commissioners at their next meeting.
Mr. Ludlow had, for several years successively, been desired by the general court to make a collection of the laws which had been enacted, and to revise, digest, and prepare a body of laws for the colony. He had now finished the work, and at this session a code was established.
Until this time, punishments, in many instances, had been uncertain and arbitrary. They had been left wholly to the discretion of the court. Defamation had, in some instances, been punished
by fine, repeated scourging, and imprisonment.1 For violation of the sabbath, there is an instance of imprisonment during the pleasure of the court. Unchastity between single persons was, sometimes, punished by setting the delinquent in the pillory, and by whipping him from one town to another. But, from this time, the laws, in general, became fixed, and the punishment of particular crimes was specified, so that delinquents might know what to expect, when they had the temerity to transgress.
The statute now required a jury of twelve men: that in cases in which they were doubtful with respect to law, they should bring in a non liquet, or special verdict; and that matter of law should be determined by the bench, as it is at the present time. But if, after the jury had been sent out repeatedly, the court judged they had mistaken the evidence, and brought in a wrong verdict, they were authorized, in civil cases, to impannel a new jury. The court, also, retained the power of lessening and increasing the damages given by the jury, as they judged most equitable.2 All cases of life, limb, or banishment, were determined by a special jury of twelve able men, and a verdict could not be accepted unless the whole jury were agreed. Connecticut now had the appearance of a well regulated commonwealth.
An extraordinary meeting of the commissioners was holden July 23, at Boston. The members were Thomas Dudley, Esq'r. Mr. Simon Bradstreet, William Bradford, Esq'r. Mr. John Brown, Edward Hopkins, Esq'r. Mr. Thomas Wells, Governor Eaton, and Mr. John Astwood.
Governor Eaton, in behalf of the colony of New-Haven, proposed that effectual measures might be immediately adopted for the settlement of Delaware bay. The title which a number of merchants, at New-Haven, had to extensive tracts on both sides of the river, by virtue of fair purchases from the Indians, was laid before the commissioners. The fertility of the soil, the healthfulness of the country, the convenience of the several rivers, the great advantages of settlements, and a well regulated trade there, not only to New-Haven, but to all the New-England colonies, were strongly represented.
The commissioners, after a full hearing and mature deliberation, were of the opinion, that the circumstances of the colonies were such, that it would not be prudent, at that time, by any public act, to encourage the settlement of those tracts. Besides the contest with the Dutch and the danger of involving the colonies in war, it was observed, that they had scarcely sufficient numbers
1 In 1646, one Robert Bartlett, for defamation, was sentenced to stand in the pillory during the public lecture, then to be whipped, pay and suffer six months imprisonment. This year one Daniel Turner, for the same crime, was sentenced to be whipped, and then be imprisoned a month ; at the month's end to go to the post again, and then to be bound to his good behaviour.
5 Old Connecticut code, p. 37.
of men at home for their own defence, and the prosecution of the necessary affairs of their respective plantations.
It was therefore recommended to the merchants and gentlemen at New-Haven, either to settle or make sale of the lands which they had, as should appear most expedient. The commissioners resolved, that if any persons in the united colonies should attempt, without their consent, to make settlements on the lands, or to do any thing injurious to the rights of the purchasers, that they would neither own nor protect them in their unjust attempts.1
The murder of Mr. Whitmore, and the other murders which the Indians had committed against the English, were fully considered. The commissioners therefore resolved, that the guilty should be delivered up; and if they were not, that the sachem, at Stamford, or his son, should be apprehended and kept in durance, until they should be secured, and justice have its course. They ordered, that search should be made with respect to the murders, said to be committed, at Long-Island, and, if evidence could be obtained, to apprehend the delinquents and bring them to justice.
Some time before the meeting of the commissioners, the Indians upon Long-Island perpetrated murder at Southhold. They rose, in a hostile manner, for several days round the town. The inhabitants were obliged to arm and stand upon their defence against them for a considerable time; and afterwards to keep a strong and vigilant guard by night. The town was not only exceedingly alarmed and distressed, but put to great expense. They therefore made application to the commissioners for relief. But they would not consent, that the colonies in general should bear any of the charge, in such instances. They determined in this case, as they had done before with respect to other towns in the jurisdictions of Connecticut and New-Haven. The colonies and towns, which had suffered, had been obliged to bear all the expense of defending Stamford and other places, Uncas and the Moheagans, in all instances in which they had not been warranted, by the particular directions of the commissioners.
The Narraganset and Nehantick Indians still persisted in their murderous designs against Uncas, and in their perfidious conduct towards the colonies. The alarming aspect of affairs, with respect to them, was the occasion of this extraordinary meeting.
An Indian, hired by the Narraganset and Nehantick sachems to kill Uncas, going on board a vessel in the Thames, where he was, ran him through the breast with a sword. The wound, at first, was judged to be mortal; Uncas however finally recovered. At this meeting, he presented himself before the commissioners, and complained of the assault made upon him; and affirmed, that these sachems had hired the Mohawks and other Indians against him, as well as an assassin to kill him secretly. He complained 1 Records of the united colonies.
also, that the Narragansets had neither restored his canoes nor his captives, as had been expressly demanded and stipulated. He prayed, that, as he had ever been friendly and faithful to the colonies, they would provide for his safety, avenge these outrages, and do him justice.
Ninigrate was examined before the commissioners on these points; and it was proved, by the confession of the Mohawks themselves, that the Narragansets had hired them against Uncas. The Indian, who had wounded Uncas, declared, that he had been hired by Pessacus and Ninigrate. Ninigrate made but a poor defence, either of himself or Pessacus. The commissioners dismissed him, entirely unsatisfied, and assured him, that unless he immediately complied with the terms on which they had formerly agreed, they should leave him to his own counsels.
The colonies were alarmed with the report, that one of the brothers of Sassacus, or his son, was about to marry the daughter of Ninigrate: and it was conjectured, that the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians were concerting a plan to collect the scattered remains of the Pequots, and to set them up as a distinct nation with the son, or brother of Sassacus, at their head. The commissioners viewed the colonies as upon the commencement of an Indian war, and gave directions, that they should be immediately prepared for any emergency.
The Pequots, who had been given to Uncas, had now for more than two years revolted from him, and lived separately, as a distinct clan. In 1647, they complained to the commissioners, that Uncas and the Moheagans had abused them. They represented, that, though they had submitted and been faithful to him, assisted him in his wars, been esteemed as his men, and paid him tribute, he had nevertheless grossly injured them. They said, that he had required tribute of them, from time to time, upon mere pretences; and that since they had been put under him, they paid him wampum forty times. They alleged, that upon the death of one of his children, he gave his squaw presents and ordered them to comfort her in the same way; and that they presented her with a hundred fathom of wampum: That Uncas was pleased, and promised that, for the future, he would esteem and treat them as Moheagans. They affirmed, that notwithstanding this engagement, the Moheagans wronged them in their plays, and deprived them of their just rights. Obachickquid, one of their chief men, complained that Uncas had taken away his wife and used her as his own. They proved, that Uncas had wounded some of them, and plundered the whole company. They prayed, that the English would interpose for their relief, and take them under their protection. The petition was presented in the behalf of more than sixty.
The commissioners found these charges so well supported, that they ordered Uncas to be reproved, and decreed, that he should restore Obachickquid his wife, and pay damages for the injuries he had done the Pequots. They also fined him a hundred fathom of wampum. Nevertheless, as it had been determined, by Connecticut, that the name of the Pequots should be extinguished, and that they should not dwell in their own country, it was resolved that they should return, and be in subjection to Uncas. He was directed to receive them without revenge, and to govern them with moderation, in all respects, as he did the Moheagans. They did not however return to Uncas; but annually presented their petition to the commissioners to be taken under the protection of the English, and to become their subjects. They pleaded, that though their tribe had done wrong, and were justly conquered, yet that they had killed no English people; and that Wequash had promised them, if they would flee their country, and not injure the colonies, that they would do them no harm. To ease them, as far as might be consistent with former determinations, the commissioners recommended it to Connecticut to provide some place for them, which might not injure any particular town, where they might plant and dwell together. At the same time, they were directed to be in subjection to Uncas; and it was again enjoined on him to govern them with impartiality and kindness.
Mr. Westerhouse renewed his complaint respecting the seizure of his vessel, in the harbour of New-Haven. He alleged, that besides the loss of his vessel, and the advantages of trading, the prime cost of his goods was 2,000 pounds; and that, after repeated application to the Dutch governor, he had not been able to obtain the least compensation. He had therefore petitioned the government of New-Haven, that some Dutch vessel might be taken by way of reprisal. He now petitioned the commissioners for liberty to make reprisals, by way of indemnification, until he should obtain satisfaction.
Though the commissioners declared against the injustice of the seizure, and regretted both the insult done to the united colonies, and the damages sustained by Mr. Westerhouse, yet they declined granting him a commission to make reprisals. They judged it expedient first to negotiate.
They therefore wrote to the Dutch governor, that Mr. Westerhouse had applied to them for a commission to make reprisals, and that they had not granted his petition, as they wished first to acquaint him with the motion, and to represent to him the equity of making reprisals, unless justice should be done him some other way. They again avowed their claim to all parts of the united colonies. They asserted the right of New-Haven to Delaware bay, and assured him, that it would not be given up. They complained of his letter, the last year, that it was, in various respects, unsatisfying; and that with regard to that dangerous trade of arms and ammunition carried on with the Indians, at fort Aurania and in the English plantations, it was wholly silent. They observed, that all differences, between them and the Dutch, might have been amicably settled, had it pleased him to attend the meeting of the commissioners, at Boston, according to the invitation which they had given him. As that was not agreeable to him, they avowed their designs of making provision for their own safety.
To prevent the vending of arms and ammunition to the Indians in the united colonies, they passed the following resolve: "That after due application hereof, it shall not be lawful for any Frenchman, Dutchman, or person of any foreign nation, or any Englishman living among them, or under the government of any of them, to trade with any Indian or Indians within this jurisdiction, either directly or indirectly, by themselves or others, under the penalty of confiscation of all such goods and vessels as shall be found so trading, or the true value thereof, upon just proof of any goods or vessels so traded or trading."
The gentlemen from Massachusetts, at this meeting, again brought on the dispute between them and Connecticut relative to the impost. They pretended, that Mr. Fenwick, some years before, had promised to join with them, in running the line, but that as he had not done it, and it had now been done by them, at their own expense, and to their satisfaction, it ought to be satisfactory to all others, who could make no legal claim to the adjacent lands. This they insisted that Connecticut could not, because they had no patent.
The commissioners from Connecticut denied the facts which had been stated. They insisted, that Mr. Fenwick never had agreed to run the line with them; and that their running the line, at their own expense, was not owing to any defect of his, nor on the part of Connecticut; for they ran the line a year before the dispute with Mr. Fenwick respecting Waranoke. Besides, they said, what he promised at that time, was not to run the line, but to clear his claim to that plantation. With respect to the patent, they acknowledged, they had not indeed exhibited the original, but a true copy, to the authenticity of which Mr. Hopkins could give oath. They observed, it was well known that they had a patent; that the original was in England, and could not then be exhibited; and that the Massachusetts insisting on this point was an entire bar to the amicable settlement of the line between the colonies. Mr. Hopkins insisted, that the southerly extent of the Massachusetts patent ought first to be mutually settled; then he proposed, that the line should be run by skilful men, mutually chosen, and at the mutual expense of the colonies. The commissioners from Connecticut indeed declared, that it was evident,
beyond all doubt, that Springfield, at first, was settled in combination with Connecticut; and, that it had been acknowledged to be so even by the colony of Massachusetts. They affirmed, that when propositions were sent, by governor Winthrop, to the plantations upon the river, in 1637, relative to a confederation of the NewEngland colonies, Mr. Pyncheon, in prosecution of that design, was, in 1638, chosen and sent as a commissioner from Connecticut, to act in their behalf: That it was at this time, and never before, he suggested his apprehensions, that Springfield would fall within the limits of Massachusetts; and that this was received as a fact without any evidence of what had been alleged. They expressed it, as their full persuasion, that Mr. Pyncheon's representations and motion, at that time, originated from a pang of discontent which had overtaken him, in consequence of a censure laid upon him, by the general court of Connecticut.1 They concluded by expressing their earnest wishes, that both the government of the Massachusetts and their commissioners would consider, that they did not comply with the advice of the commissioners relative to the present dispute; and that they insisted upon what they knew could not, at that time, be obtained. They charged them, with an unwillingness to submit the differences, subsisting between them and Connecticut, to the mature and impartial judgment of the commissioners of the other colonies, according to the true intent of the confederation. In a very modest and respectful manner, they referred it to the serious consideration of their brethren of the Massachusetts, whether their conduct was not directly contrary to the articles and design of the confederates, to which they all ought to pay a conscientious regard.2
The commissioners finally decided the controversy in favor of Connecticut. Upon this the gentlemen from Massachusetts produced an order of their general court, passed by way of retaliation, imposing a duty upon all goods belonging to any of the inhabitants of Plymouth, Connecticut or New-Haven, imported within the castle, or exported from any part of the bay.3
This was very extraordinary indeed, as it was contrary to all the arguments from justice, liberty, expediency, or brotherly love, which they had pleaded against their sister colony. It was extravagant and unreasonable, as it respected Connecticut; as the impost at Saybrook affected the inhabitants of one of their towns only; and that solely upon the export of two or three articles: whereas their impost was upon the inhabitants of all the plantations in the colony; and upon all their imports, as well as exports. With respect to the other colonies, who had laid no kind of im
1 It seems the court had blamed him for a particular instance of his conduct in trading with the Indians.
Records of the united colonies.
5 Hutchinson, voL i. p. 154, 155.
position on any of the inhabitants of Massachusetts, it was still more unjust and cruel.
The commissioners from Plymouth, Connecticut and NewHaven, in consequence of this extraordinary act, drew up the following declaration and remonstrance, addressed to the general court of Massachusetts.
"A difference between the Massachusetts and Connecticut, concerning an impost at Saybrook, required of Springfield, having long depended, the commissioners hoped, according to the advice at Plymouth, might, at this meeting, have been satisfyingly issued: but upon the perusal of some late orders made by the general court of the Massachusetts, they find, that the line on the south side of the Massachusetts jurisdiction is neither run, nor the place whence it should be run agreed: That the original patent for Connecticut, or an authentic exemplification thereof, (though Mr. Hopkins hath offered upon oath to assert the truth of the copy by himself presented,) is now required; and that a burthensome custom, is, by the Massachusetts, lately imposed not only upon Connecticut, interested in the impost at Saybrook, but upon Plymouth and New-Haven colonies, whose commissioners, as arbitrators, according to an article in the confederation, have been only exercised in the question, and that upon the desire of the Massachusetts, and have impartially, according to their best light, declared their apprehensions; which custom and burthen, (grievous in itself) seems the more unsatisfying and heavy, because divers of the Massachusetts deputies, who had a hand in making the law, acknowledge, and the preface imports it, that it is a return, or retaliation upon the three colonies for Saybrook: ami the law requires it of no other English, nor of any stranger of what nation soever. How far the premises agree with the law of love, and with the tenor and import of the articles of confederation, the commissioners tender and recommend to the serious consideration of the general court for the Massachusetts. And in the mean time desire to be spared in all future agitations respecting Springfield." 1
Governor Hutchinson observes, that this law was produced to the dishonor of the colony: That had the Massachusetts imposed a duty upon goods from Connecticut only, they might, at least, have had a colour to justify them; but that extending their resentment to the other colonies, because their commissioners had given judgment against them, admitted of no excuse. It was a mere exertion of power, and a proof of their great superiority, which enabled them, in effect, to depart from the union, whenever they found it to be for their interest. If it had been done by a single magistrate, it would have been pronounced tyrannical and oppressive. He observes that, in all ages and countries, communi1 Records of the united colonies.
ties of men have done that, of which most of the individuals, of whom they consisted, would, acting separately, have been ashamed.1
The Massachusetts treated Connecticut in the same ungenerous manner, with respect to the line between the colonies. In 1642, they employed one Nathaniel Woodward and Solomon Saffery, whom Douglass calls two obscure sailors, to run the line between them and Connecticut. They arbitrarily fixed a boundary, as the exact point to which three miles south of every part of Charles river would carry them. Thence by water they proceeded up Connecticut river, and setting up their compass in the same latitude, as they supposed, declared, that the line struck the chimney of one Bissell's house, the most northern building then in the town of Windsor. This was a whole range of towns south of the true line between the colonies. Connecticut considered the boundary fixed as entirely arbitrary, and six or eight miles further south than it ought to have been. They imagined, that the error at Windsor was still greater, as no proper allowance had been made for the variation of the needle. They viewed the manner in which this had been effected, as contrary to all the rules of justice, and to the modes in which differences of that magnitude ought to be accommodated. The utmost extent of Narraganset river was their north line, and they were persuaded, that this would run so far north as to comprehend the town of Springfield, and other towns in the same latitude. Therefore, neither Connecticut, nor the commissioners of the united colonies, considered any boundary as properly settled, whence the line should be run, nor any line run between the colonies.
Connecticut wished to have the southern boundary of Massachusetts mutually settled and the line run, at the joint expense of the two colonies; but Massachusetts would neither consent to this, nor even allow that the copy of the Connecticut patent was authentic. For nearly seventy years they encroached upon this colony, and settled whole towns within its proper limits.
The general court of Connecticut adopted the recommendation of the commissioners, with respect to the prohibition of all trading of foreigners among the Indians of the united colonies. They made the penalty to be the confiscation of all vessels and goods employed in such trade.
The court also, after conferring with New-Haven, determined to avenge the blood of John Whitmore, of Stamford; and, considering all its circumstances, and the conduct of the Indians in the town, and bordering upon it, resolved, that it was lawful to make war upon them. It was ordered, that fifty men should be immediately drafted, armed, and victualled, for the purpose of bringing the murderers to condign punishment, or of arresting 1 Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 155, 156.
other Indians, until the delinquents should be delivered to justice.1 These spirited measures appear to have had the desired effect. The Indians at Stamford, it seems, became peaceable, and there is nothing further upon the records respecting any trouble with them.
UPON the election at Hartford, May 16th, Mr. Hopkins was chosen governor, and Mr. Haynes deputy governor. Mr. Clark was added to the magistrates. The court consisted of thirty-two members; the governors, ten assistants, and twenty deputies.
The court had granted a thousand acres of land to captain Mason, for his good services in the Pequot war; five hundred to himself, and five hundred to be given to his five best officers and soldiers. It was now ordered, that the five hundred acres granted to the"soldiers, should be laid out for them at Pequot, or in the Neanticut country. The next year the court made a grant of Chippachauge island, in Mystic bay, and a hundred and ten acres of land at Mystic, to the captain.
The commissioners met September 5th at Hartford. The meeting consisted of Mr. Simon Bradstreet and Mr. William Hawthorne, Mr. Thomas Prince and Mr. John Brown, and of Governors Hopkins and Haynes, Eaton and Goodyear. Governor Hopkins was chosen president.
As the Narragansets still neglected to pay the tribute which had been so many years due, the commissioners dispatched captain Atherton, of Massachusetts, with twenty men, to demand and collect the arrearages. He was authorised, if they should not be paid, upon demand, to seize on the best articles he could find, to the full amount of what was due; or on Pessacus, the chief sachem, or any of his children, and carry them off. Upon his arrival among the Narragansets, he found the sachem recurring to his former arts, putting him off with deceitful and dilatory answers, and not suffering him to approach his presence. In the mean time, he was collecting his warriors about him. The captain, therefore, marched directly to the door of his wigwam, where posting his men, he entered himself with his pistol in his hand, and seizing Pessacus by the hair of his head, drew him from the midst of his attendants, declaring, that if they should make the least resistance, he would dispatch him in an instant. This bold stroke gave him such an alarm, that he at once paid all the arrearages.
1 Records of Connecticut.
Ninigrate, sachem of the Nehanticks, continuing his perfidious practices, began to lay claim to the Pequot country, and appeared to be concerting a plan to recover it from the English. Captain Atherton, therefore, made him a visit, and, according to his instructions, assured him, that the commissioners were no stranger? to his intrigues, in marrying his daughter to the brother of Sassacus; in collecting the Pequots under him, as though he designed to become their head; and in his claims and attempts respecting the Pequot country. He remonstrated against his conduct, as directly opposite to all the covenants subsisting between him and the English colonies. He protested to him, that the colonies would never suffer him to accomplish his designs; either to possess any part of the country which they had conquered, or even to hunt within its limits. He demanded where the brother of Sassacus was? What numbers he had with him? And what were his designs? He insisted upon categorical answers, that the commissioners might order their affairs accordingly. Having, in this spirited manner, accomplished his business, he returned in safety.
Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor, arrived at Hartford September 1 ith. He had been often invited to attend the meeting of the commissioners, with a view to the accommodation of the difficulties subsisting between him and the English colonies. He chose 10 treat by writing, and on the 13th 1 day of September, he introduced his correspondence with the commissioners. In his letter he complained of the encroachments made upon the West India company, and the injuries done them, both by Connecticut and New-Haven. He pretended, that the Dutch, in behalf of said company, had purchased the lands upon the river, of the native Americans, before any other nation had bought them, or laid any claim to them. He, therefore, demanded a full surrender of said lands, and such compensation as the nature of the case required. He also complained of the act prohibiting all foreigners to trade in the English colonies, and that the English sold goods so cheap to the natives, as to ruin the trade for other nations. He concluded with intimations of his willingness to settle a general provisional line, between the Dutch and English plantations, by a joint writing to their superiors in England and Holland, or by the decision of agents, mutually chosen and empowered for that purpose.
The commissioners, observing that his letter was dated at NewNetherlands, replied, that they would not treat, unless he would alter the name of the place where he wrote. He answered, that if they would not date at Hartford, he would not at New-Netherlands, but at Connecticut. They consented, that he should date at Connecticut, but claimed a right for themselves to date at Hart1 23d old style, as he dated.
ford. He gave up the right of dating at the Netherlands, and the treaty proceeded.
The commissioners replied to his complaints, to this effect: That their title to Connecticut river, and the adjacent country, had been often asserted, and made sufficiently evident, both to the Dutch and English; and that they hoped amply to prove their title to what they enjoyed, by patent, purchase, and possession. Consequently, they insisted, that they had made no encroachments on the honorable West India company, nor done them the least injury. They affirmed, that they knew not what the Dutch claimed, nor upon what grounds: That at some times they claimed all the lands upon the river, and at others, a part only: That their claim was founded sometimes upon one thing, and at other times upon another; and that it had been so various and uncertain, as to involve the whole affair in obscurity.
With respect to trade, they observed, that they had the same right to regulate it, within their jurisdiction, which the Dutch, French, and other nations had to regulate it, within their respective dominions: That their merchants had a right to deal with the natives on such terms as they pleased; and that they presumed they did not trade to their own disadvantage. They gave intimations that, if the then present treaty should succeed agreeably to their wishes, they might reconsider the act of trade, and repeal the prohibition respecting foreigners.
They then proceeded to a large and particular statement of the grievances they suffered from the Dutch; particularly representing those which have been already noticed in this history, with several other more recent injuries. Especially, that the Dutch agents had gone off from Hartford, without paying for the goods which they had taken up: That their successors had refused to make any settlement of their accounts; and that the Dutch governor had not obliged them to make payment: That the Dutch bought stolen goods, and would make no compensation to the English, whose property they were: And that they had, not only formerly, helped criminals to file off their irons and make their escape; but that they had been guilty of a recent instance of similar conduct. They alleged, that a Dutch servant had, lately, assisted a criminal, committed for a capital offence, to break gaol and make his escape; and that the Dutch called him to no account, for so gross a misdemeanor.
Various letters passed, and several days were spent, in these altercations. At length, the commissioners chose Mr. Bradstreet, of Massachusetts, and Mr. Prince, of Plymouth, as arbitrators, to hear and compose all differences with respect to injury and damages; to make provisional boundaries, in all places where their respective limits were controverted, and to settle a just and free correspondence between the parties. The Dutch governor chose Thomas Willet and George Baxter for the same purpose. Both parties, in the most ample manner, authorised the arbitrators to hear and determine, in the most full and absolute manner, all differences between the two nations in this country.
The arbitrators, after a full hearing of the parties, came to the following determination, which they drew up in the form of an agreement.
"Articles of an agreement, made and concluded at Hartford, upon Connecticut river, September 19th, 1650, betwixt the delegates of the honored commissioners of the united English colonies, and the delegates of Peter Stuyvesant, governor general of New-Netherlands.
I. "Upon a serious consideration of the differences and grievances propounded by the two English colonies of Connecticut and New-Haven, and the answer made by the Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant, Esq. according to the trust and power committed to us, as arbitrators, and delegates betwixt the said parties: We find that most of the offences or grievances were things done in the time, or by the order and command of Mons. Kieft, the former governor, and that the present honorable governor is not prepared to make answer to them; we therefore think meet to respite the full consideration and judgment concerning them, till the present governor may acquaint the H. M.1 States and West India company with the particulars, that so due reparation may accordingly be made."
II. "The commissioners, for New-Haven, complained of several high and hostile injuries which they, and others of that jurisdiction, have received from and by order of the aforesaid Mons. Kieft, in Delaware bay and river, and in their return thence, as by their former propositions and complaints may more fully appear; and besides the English right, claimed by patent, presented and showed several purchases they have made, on both sides the river and bay of Delaware, of several large tracts of land unto, and somewhat above the Dutch house or fort there, with the consideration given to the said sachems and their companies for the same, acknowledged and cleared by the hands of the Indians, who they affirmed were the true proprietors; and testified by many witnesses. They also affirmed, that, according to the best of their apprehensions, they have sustained 1000 pounds damage there, partly by the Swedish governor, but chiefly by order from Mons. Kieft. And therefore required due satisfaction, and a peaceable possession of the aforesaid lands, to enjoy and improve according to their just rights. The Dutch governor, by way of answer, affirmed and insisted on the title and right to Delaware, or the south river, as they call it, and to the lands there, as belonging to the H. M. States and West-India company; and professed he
1 H. M. High and Mighty.
must protest against any other claim; but is not provided to make any such proof, as in such a treaty might be expected, nor had he commission to treat or conclude any thing therein. Upon consideration whereof, we, the said arbitrators or delegates, wanting sufficient light to issue or determine any thing in the premises, are necessitated to leave both parties in statu quo prius, to plead and improve their just interest, at Delaware, for planting or trading, as they shall see cause: Only we desire, that all proceedings there, as in other places, may be carried on in love and peace, till the right may be further considered and justly issued, either in Europe or here, by the two states of England and Holland."
III. "Concerning the seizing of Mr. Westerhouse's ship and goods, about three years since, in New-Haven harbour, upon a claim to the place, the honored governor Peter Stuyvesant, Esq. professed, that what passed in writing that way was through error of his secretary, his intent not being to lay any claim to the place, and with all affirming, that he had orders to seize any Dutch ship, or vessel, in any of the English colonies or harbours, which should trade there without express license or commission. We therefore think it meet, that the commissioners of New-Haven accept and acquiesce in this answer."
"Concerning the bounds and limits betwixt the English United colonies, and the Dutch province of New-Netherlands, we agree as followeth."
I. "That upon Long-Island, a line run from the westernmost part of Oyster-Bay, and so a straight and direct line to the sea, shall be the bounds betwixt the English and Dutch there, the easterly part to belong to the English, and the westernmost to the Dutch."
II. "The bounds upon the main to begin at the west side of Greenwich bay, being about four miles from Stamford, and so to run a northerly line, twenty miles up into the country, and after, as it shall be agreed, by the two governments of the Dutch and New-Haven, provided the said line come not within ten miles of Hudson's river. And it is agreed, that the Dutch shall not, at any time hereafter, build any house or habitation within six miles of the said line; the inhabitants of Greenwich to remain (till further consideration thereof be had) under the government of the Dutch."
III. "The Dutch shall hold and enjoy all the lands in Hartford, that they are actually possessed of, known and set out by certain marks and bounds, and all the remainder of the said land, on both sides of Connecticut river, to be and remain to the English there."
"And it is agreed, that the aforesaid bounds and limits, both upon the island and main, shall be observed and kept inviolable, both by the English of the united colonies, and all the Dutch nation, without any encroachment or molestation, until a full and final determination be agreed upon, in Europe, by the mutual consent of the two states of England and Holland."
"And in testimony of our joint consent to the several foregoing conclusions, we have hereunto set our hands this 19th day of September, Anno Dom. 1650."
The Dutch governor promised also, and his agents, Messrs. Willet and Baxter, engaged for him, that Greenwich should be put under the government of New-Haven, to whom it originally belonged. It was also agreed, that the same line of conduct which had been adopted, with respect to fugitives, by the united colonies, in the eighth article of confederation, should be strictly observed between them and the Dutch, in the province of New-Netherlands. The Dutch governor also acquainted the commissioners, that he had orders from Europe to maintain peace and good neighbourhood with the English in America; and he proceeded so far as to make proposals of a nearer union and friendship, between the Dutch and the united colonies. The commissioners declined acting upon these proposals, without consulting their constituents; and recommended the consideration of them to their respective general courts.
While this settlement with the Dutch seemed to give a favorable aspect to the affairs of the colonies, there arose a great and general uneasiness in Connecticut, relative to the agreements which had been made with Mr. Fen wick, and to the state of the accounts between him and the colony. By the first agreement, besides the impost on several articles exported from the mouth of the river, for ten years, the people were obliged to pay one shilling annually for every milch cow and mare in the colony, and the same sum for every swine killed either for market or private use. Springfield refused to pay the impost; and it seems that Connecticut was obliged, by the conduct of Massachusetts, to repeal the act relating to the imposition. By reason of the controversy which arose between Connecticut and Massachusetts, and some other circumstances, several of the towns, during the two first years, paid but a small proportion of what had been stipulated. The colony therefore, on the 17th of February, 1646, made a new agreement with Mr. Fenwick. This was to the following effect:
That, instead of all former grants, he should receive from the colony, annually, one hundred and eighty pounds, for ten years. He was to collect what was due from Springfield, and to enjoy certain profits arising from the beaver trade. A hundred and seventy or eighty pounds was also to be paid to him from Saybrook and one or two newly settled towns. The whole amount appears to have been more than 2,000 pounds, which the colony paid for the right of jurisdiction, the ordnance, arms and stores at the fort.1 As different apprehensions had arisen, respecting these agreements, and the state of affairs between Mr. Fenwick and the colony, the general court appointed committees to meet at Saybrook to ascertain them. To quiet the minds of the people, notice was given to every town of the time and place of the meeting of the committees, and each was authorized to send representatives to hear the disputes and report the issue, with the reasons of it, to their constituents. By these means the inhabitants obtained general satisfaction.
Mr. John Winthrop, at the election May 15, 1651, was chosen into the magistracy. The assembly consisted of thirty four members; twelve magistrates and twenty two deputies.
The colony of Rhode-Island gave great trouble to her neighbours, by giving entertainment to criminals and fugitives. Connecticut found it so prejudicial to the course of justice and to the rights of individuals, that the court resolved to recommend the consideration of the affair to the commissioners of the united colonies.2
Mr. Winthrop imagined, that Connecticut contained mines and minerals, which might be improved to great advantage to individuals, as well as to the public emolument. Upon a motion of his, the assembly passed the following act.
"Whereas, in this rocky country, among these mountains and rocky hills, there are probabilities of mines of metals, the discovery of which may be of great advantage to the country, in raising a staple commodity; and whereas John Winthrop, Esquire, doth intend to be at charges and adventure, for the search and discovery of such mines and minerals; for the encouragement thereof, and of any that shall adventure with the said John Winthrop, Esquire, in the said business, it is therefore ordered by the court, that if the said John Winthrop, Esquire, shall discover, set upon, and maintain such mines of lead, copper or tin; or any minerals, as antimony, vitriol, black lead, alum, stone salt, salt springs, or any other the like, within this jurisdiction; and shall set up any work for the digging, washing and melting, or any other operation about the said mines or minerals, as the nature thereof requireth; that then the said John Winthrop, Esquire, his heirs, associates, partners or assigns, shall enjoy forever, said mines, with the lands, wood, timber and water, within two or three miles of said mines,
1 See the agreements. Numbers V and VI.
5 Augustus Hantaan, a Dutch trader, with his vessel, was seized by the people of Saybrook for illicit trade with the Indians. The court fined him 40 pounds and confiscated his vessel and cargo. They also made him give it in writing, under his hand, that he had been well treated.
for the necessary carrying on of the works, and maintaining of the workmen, and provision of coal for the same: provided it be not within the bounds of any town already settled, or any particular person's property; and provided it be not in, or bordering upon any place, that shall, or may, by the court, be judged fit to make a plantation of."
Though the eastern and middle parts of Norvvalk had been purchased more than ten years, yet there had been only a few scattering inhabitants within its limits. But the last year, upon the petition of Nathan Ely and Richard Olmstead, the court gave liberty for its settlement, and ordained that it should be a town by the name of Norwalk. The western part of it was purchased on the 15th of February. The inhabitants, at this time, consisted of about twenty families. About four years after, the general court vested them with town privileges. The situation of the place is very agreeable; the harbor is pleasant and safe, and the lands rich, yielding plenteously. The air is uncommonly healthful and salubrious.1
The settlement of Mattabeseck commenced about the same time. The principal planters were from England, Hartford, and Weathersfield. The greatest number were from Hartford. There was a considerable accession from Rowley, Chelmsford, and Woburn, in Massachusetts. By the close of this year it became considerably settled. In November, 1653, the general court gave it the name of Middletown. Twenty years after, the number of shares was fixed at fifty-two. This was the whole number of the householders, at that period, within the town.
The agreement, made the last year, with the Dutch governor, and his professions of amity, encouraged the English to prosecute the settlement of the lands, which they had purchased in the vicinity of the Dutch.
Fifty men from New-Haven and Totoket, made preparations to settle their lands at Delaware. This spring, they hired a vessel to transport themselves and their effects into those parts. They had a commission from governor Eaton; and he wrote an amicable letter to the Dutch governor, acquainting him with their design; assuring him, that, according to the agreement at Hartford, they would settle upon their own lands, and give no disturbance to their neighbours. A letter, of the same import, was also addressed to him from the governor of Massachusetts. But no sooner had governor Stuyvesant received the letters, than he arrested the bearers, and committed them close prisoners, under
1 From the first settlement of the town, to 1732, a term of more than 80 years, there was no general sickness, except the measles, in the town. From 1715, to 1719, there died in that large town, twelve persons only. Out of one train band, consisting of a hundred men, there died not one person, from 1716, to 1730, during the term of fourteen years. Mrs. Hanford, relict of the first minister of the town, died September 12th, 1730, aged 100 years. Manuscripts of the Rev. Moses Dickinson.
guard. Then sending for the master of the vessel to come on shore, that he might speak with him, he arrested and committed him. Others, as they came on shore, to visit and assist their neighbours, were confined with them. The Dutch governor desired to see their commission, promising it should be returned when he had taken a copy. But when it was demanded of him, he would not return it to them. Nor would he release the men from confinement, until he had forced them to give it under their hands, that they would not prosecute their voyage; but, without loss of time, return to New-Haven. He threatened, that, if he should afterwards find any of them at Delaware, he would not only seize their goods, but send them prisoners into Holland. He also caused a considerable part of the estate of the inhabitants of Southampton to be attached, and would not suffer them to remove it within the jurisdiction of the English. Captain Tapping, Mr. Fordham, and others, therefore complained, and petitioned to the commissioners for redress.
They met this year at New-Haven, September 14th. The members were Mr. Bradstreet and captain John Hawthorne, Mr. John Brown and Mr. Timothy Hatherly, governor Hopkins and Mr. Ludlow, governors Eaton and Goodyear. Governor Eaton was chosen president.
Jasper Crane and William Tuttle, in behalf of themselves, and many others, inhabitants of New-Haven and Totoket, presented a petition to the commissioners, complaining of the treatment which they had received from the Dutch governor, and representing, that they had sustained more than three hundred pounds damage, besides the insult and injury done to the united colonies. They showed, that the Dutch had seized, and were about to fortify, upon the very lands which they had bought of the original proprietors at Delaware: That, had it not been for the injustice and violence of the Dutch, the New-England colonies might have been greatly enlarged, by settlements in those parts; that the gospel might have been published to the natives, and much good done, not only to the colonies, at present, but to posterity. They also represented, that the Dutch were, by gifts and art, enticing the English to make settlements under their jurisdiction. They insisted, that suffering them thus to insult the English, and to seize on lands to which they could shew no just claim, would encourage them to drive them from their other settlements, and to seize on their lands and property, whenever they pleased; and that it would make them contemptible among the natives, as well as among all other nations. They pressed the commissioners, therefore, to act with spirit, and immediately to redress the injuries which had been done to them and the colonies.
The commissioners nevertheless, declined acting against the Dutch, without previously writing, and attempting to obtain redress by negotiation. They wrote to Stuyvesant, insisting that he had acted in direct contravention of the agreement at Hartford, and noticed that, in a letter to governor Eaton, he had threatened force of arms, and bloodshed, to any who should go to make settlements upon their lands, at Delaware, to which he was unable to show any claim. They represented to him, how deficient it appeared at Hartford, not only to the commissioners, but even to the arbitrators of his own choosing. They charged him with a breach of the engagement of Mr. Willet and Mr. Baxter, in his behalf, with respect to the restoration of Greenwich to the government of New-Haven. They remonstrated against his conduct, in imprisoning the people of New-Haven and Totoket, in detaining their commission, and frustrating their voyage; and also in beginning to erect fortifications upon the lands of the New-Haven people, at Delaware. They affirmed, that they had as good a right to the Manhadoes, as the Dutch had to those lands. They declared that the colonies had just cause to vindicate and promote their interests, and to redress the injuries which had been done to their confederates. They protested, that whatever inconveniences or mischief might arise upon it would be wholly chargeable to his unneighbourly and unjust conduct.
At the same time, for the encouragement of the petitioners, they resolved, that if, at any time, within twelve months, they should attempt the settlement of their lands, at Delaware, and, at their own charge, transport a hundred and fifty, or at least a hundred men, well armed, with a good vessel or vessels for such an enterprise, with a sufficient quantity of ammunition; and warranted by a commission from the authority at New-Haven, that then, if they should meet with any opposition from the Dutch or Swedes, they would afford them a sufficient force for their defence. They also resolved, that all English planters, at Delaware, either from NewHaven, or any other of the united colonies, should be under the jurisdiction of New-Haven.
The Pequots among the Moheagans and Narragansets, and those who had removed to Long-Island, had, to this time, neglected to pay any part of the tribute, which had been stipulated, at Hartford, in 1638, upon condition, that the English would spare their lives and defend them from their enemies. The general court had given orders, that it should be collected forthwith, and had appointed captain Mason to go to Long-Island, and demand it of the Pequots there, as well as of those in other places.
Uncas, with a number of the Moheagans, and of Ninigrate's men, therefore presented himself before the commissioners; and, in behalf of the Pequots, paid a tribute of about three hundred fathoms of wampum. He then, in their name, demanded, why this tribute was required? How long it was to continue? And whether it must be paid by the children yet unborn?
The commissioners answered, that, by covenant, it had been annually due ever since the year 1638: That after a just war, in which the Pequots were conquered, the English, to spare, as far as might be, the blood of the guilty, accepted of a small tribute, as expressed in the covenant. They insisted, that they had a right to demand it as a just debt. They observed, that twelve years' tribute was now due, reckoning only to the year 1650; but that, to show their lenity, and encourage the Pequots, if they would behave themselves well, and pay the tribute agreed upon, for ten years, reckoning from 1650, they would give them all which was due for past years; and that, at the expiration of the ten years, they and their children should be free. This, it seems, they thankfully accepted, and afterwards became as faithful friends to the English as the Moheagans. They assisted them in their wars with other Indians; especially, in that against Philip and the Narragansets.
While the commissioners were at New-Haven, two French gentlemen, Monsieur Godfroy and Monsieur Gabriel Druillets, arrived in the capacity of commissioners from Canada. They had been sent by the French governor, Monsieur D'Aillebout, to treat with the united colonies. They presented three commissions, one from Monsieur D'Aillebout, another from the council of NewFrance, and a third to Monsieur Gabriel Druillets, who had been authorized to publish the doctrines and duties of christianity among the Indians.
In behalf of the French in Canada, and the christianized Indians in Acadia, they petitioned for aid against the Mohawks and warriors of the six nations. They urged, that the war was just, as the Mohawks had violated the most solemn leagues, and were perfidious and cruel: That it was a holy war, as the Acadians were converted Indians, and the Mohawks treated them barbarously, because of their christianity. They insisted, that it was a common concern to the French and English nations, as the war with the six nations interrupted the trade of both, with the Indians in general.
Monsieur Druillets appeared to be a man of address. He opened the case to the best advantage, displaying all his art, and employing his utmost ability to persuade the commissioners to engage in the war against the six nations. He urged, that, if they would not consent to join in the war, they would at least, permit the enlistment of volunteers, in the united colonies, for the French service; and grant them a free passage through the colonies, by land or water, as the case might require, to the Mohawk country. He also pleaded, that the christianized Indians might be taken under the protection of the united colonies. He made fair promises of the ample compensation which the French would make the colonies for these services. He represented, that, if these points could be gained, they would enter immediately upon a treaty, for the establishment of a free trade between the French and English in all parts of America.
The reply of the commissioners exhibits policy and prudence; showing, that they were not ignorant of men, nor of the arts of negotiation. They answered, that they looked upon such Indians, as had received the yoke of Christ, with another eye, than upon those who worshipped the devil: That they pitied the Acadians, but saw no way to help them, without exposing the English colonies, and their own neighbouring Indians, to war: and that some of those Indians professed christianity no less than the Acadians. They observed, that it was their desire, by all just means, to keep peace with all men, even with these barbarians; and that they had no occasion for war with the Mohawks, who, in the war with the Pequots, had shown a real respect to the English colonies, and had never since committed any hostility against them. They declared their readiness to perform all offices of righteousness, peace, and good neighbourhood towards the French colony; yet, that they could not permit the enlisting of volunteers, nor the marching of the French and their Indians through the colonies, without giving grounds of offence and war to the Mohawks, and exposing both themselves and the Indians, whom they ought to protect. They observed, that the English engaged in no war, until they were satisfied that it was just, nor until peace had been offered on reasonable terms, and had been refused: that the Mohawks were neither in subjection to the English, nor in league with them; so that they had no means of informing themselves what they could say in their own vindication. They, also, assured the French ambassadors, that they were exceedingly dissatisfied with that mischievous trade, which the French and Dutch had carried on, and still continued, with the Indians, in vending them arms and ammunition, by which they were encouraged, and made insolent, not only against the christian Indians and catechumens, but against all christians in Europe, as well as America. But if all other difficulties were removed, they represented, they had no such short and convenient passage, by land or water, as might be had by Hudson's river to fort Aurania and beyond, in the possession of the Dutch. They concluded, by observing, that the honoured French deputies, as they conceived, had full powers to settle a free trade between the English and French colonies; but if, for reasons best known to themselves, it was designed to limit the English, by the same restraints and prohibitions to which the unprivileged French were subjected, not suffering them to trade, until they had obtained a particular license from the governor and company of New France, they must wait a more favourable opportunity for negotiation. Such an opportunity, whenever it should offer, they intimated they should readily embrace.1
The commissioners, apprehending that there was little prospect of obtaining a redress of their grievances from the Dutch, by remonstrance and negotiation, wrote to Mr. Winslow, agent for Massachusetts in England, on the subject. They represented the claims and rights of the colonies, and the injuries which they suffered from the Dutch. They insisted, that their conduct was a high affront, not only to the colonies, but to the honour of the English nation. They desired Mr. Winslow to inquire how the parliament and council of state esteemed the ancient patents, and how any engagements of the colonies against the Dutch, for the defence of their rights, would be viewed by the parliament. It was desired, that he would give them the earliest information on the subject.
The people at New-Haven persisted in their purpose of making, if possible, a permanent settlement upon their lands at Delaware. They were sensible, that such was the situation of their affairs, that a leader, who was not only a politician, but a man of known courage, military skill and experience, would be of great importance to the enterprise. They, therefore, made application to captain Mason, to remove with them to Delaware, and take on him the management of the company. They made him such offers, that it seems he had a design of leaving the colony, and putting himself at the head of the English settlements in those parts. But the general court at Connecticut, would by no means consent. They unanimously desired him to entertain no thoughts of changing his situation. This appears to have prevented his going, and to have frustrated the design.
The grand list of the colony appears this year, for the first time, upon the records. There are the lists of seven towns only. The others either paid no taxes, or their lists were not completed and returned. The amount of the whole, was 75,4921. 10s. 6d. It appears that the towns, at this period, were not, upon an average, more than equal to our common parishes at this day.
At the general election in Connecticut, in 1652, the former magistrates were re-elected.
The commencement of hostilities, the last year, between England and Holland, the perfidious management of the Dutch governor, with apprehensions of the rising of the Indians, spread a general alarm through the colony.
The assembly convened on the 30th of June, and adopted several measures for the common safety. Orders were given, that the cannon at Saybrook should be well mounted on carriages; that the fort should be supplied with ammunition; and that the inhabitants, who were scattered abroad, should collect their families into it, and hold themselves in the best state of readiness for their common defence.
In April, 1653, the Indians in the vicinity of the several plantations, within the colony, were required to give testimony of their friendship and fidelity to the English, by delivering up their arms to the governor and magistrates. Those who refused, were to be considered as enemies.
Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor, made no satisfaction for past injuries; but added new insults and grievances to those which were past. He again revived the claims which he had renounced at Hartford; and though he restrained the Dutch from open hostility, yet he used all his arts with the Indians to engage them to massacre the English colonists.
A discovery was made in March, that he was confederate with the Indians, in a plot for the extirpation of the English colonies. An extraordinary meeting of the commissioners was called upon the occasion April 19th. It consisted of Governor Endicott, Mr. William Hawthorne, William Bradford, Esq'r. Mr. John Brown, Mr. Ludlow, Captain Cullick, Governor Eaton, and Captain John Astwood. Gov. Endicott was chosen president.
Upon a close attention to the reports which had been spread, and a critical examination of the evidence, all the commissioners, except those of the Massachusetts, were of the opinion, that there had been a horrid and execrable plot, concerted by the Dutch governor and the Indians, for the destruction of the English colonies. Ninigrate, it appeared, had spent the winter at the Manhadoes, with Stuyvesant, on the business. He had been over Hudson's river, among the western Indians; procured a meeting of the sachems; made ample declarations against the English; and solicited their aid against the colonies. He was brought back in the spring, in a Dutch sloop, with arms and ammunition from the Dutch governor. The Indians, for some hundreds of miles, appeared to be disaffected and hostile. Tribes, which before had been always friendly to the English, became inimical; and the Indians boasted, that they were to have goods from the Dutch, at half the price for which the English sold them, and powder as plenty as the sand. The Long-Island Indians testified to the plot. Nine sachems, who lived in the vicinity of the Dutch, sent their united testimony to Stamford, " that the Dutch governor had solicited them, by promising them guns, powder, swords, wampum, coats, and waistcoats, to cut off the English." The messengers who were sent, declared " they were as the mouth of the nine sagamores who all spake, they would not lie." One of the nine sachems, afterwards, came to Stamford, with other Indians, and testified the same. The plot was confessed by a Wampeag and a Narraganset Indian, and was confirmed by Indian test1monies from all quarters.1 It was expected, that a Dutch fleet would arrive, and that the Dutch and Indians would unite in the destruction of the English plantations. It was rumoured,
1 Records of the united colonies.
that the time for the massacre was fixed upon the day of the public election, when the freemen would be generally from home.
The country was exceedingly alarmed; especially Connecticut and New-Haven. They were greatly hindered in their ploughing, sowing, planting, and in all their affairs. They were worn down with constant watching and guarding, and put to great expense for the common safety.
Six of the commissioners were satisfied, that they had just grounds of war with the Dutch. They drew up a general declaration of their grievances, for the satisfaction of the people. They also stated the evidence they had of the conspiracy, which they supposed was then in hand. They determined, nevertheless, before they commenced hostilities against the Dutch, to acquaint the governor with the discovery which they had made, and to give him an opportunity of answering for himself.
In the mean time letters arrived from the Dutch governor, in which he appeared, with great confidence, absolutely to deny the plot which had been charged upon him. He offered to go or send to Boston to clear his innocence; or desired that some persons might be deputed and sent to the Manhadoes, to examine the charges and receive his answers. Other letters arrived at the same time confirming the evidence of the conspiracy, and representing, that the Indians were hastened to carry it into execution.
The commissioners determined to send agents to the governor; and with the utmost dispatch made choice of Francis Newman, one of the magistrates of New-Haven, captain John Leveret, afterwards governor of Massachusetts, and Mr. William Davis. They vested them with plenary powers to examine the whole affair, and to receive the governor's answer, according to his own proposals.
Stuyvesant, in his letters, pretended jto express his admiration, that the English should give credit to Indian testimony. The commissioners, therefore, in their reply, charged him with making use of heathen testimony against New-Haven: and observed, that Kieft, his predecessor, had used Indian testimonies against the English in a strange manner, in a case of treason, and life or death. They also acquainted him with the bloody use which the Dutch governor and his council had made of the confession of the Japanese, against captain Towerson and the English christians at Amboyna, though it was extorted by torture.
They wrote to Monsieur Montague and captain Newton, who were of the Dutch governor's council, that his protestations of innocence gave them no satisfaction. They charged the fiscal,1 as well as the governor, with the plot. They stated their grievances, demanded satisfaction for past injuries, and security for the future.
While their agents were employed at the Manhadoes, they determined on the number of men to be raised, in case of a war.
1 That is, the treasurer.
For the first expedition they resolved to send out five hundred; and appointed captain Leveret to the chief command. They also determined, that, should they engage in war with the Dutch, the commissioners of the united colonies should meet at New-Haven, to give all necessary directions respecting the expedition, and to order the war in general.
Notwithstanding the fair proposals which governor Stuyvesant had made, he would submit to no examination, by the agents, any further than a committee of his own appointing should consent. Two of the committee were persons who had been complained of for misdemeanors, at Hartford; and one of them had been laid under bonds for his crimes. The agents conceived, that the very proposal of such persons as a committee was a high affront to them, to the united colonies, and to the English nation. Besides, the Dutch governor would not suffer the witnesses to speak unless they were previously laid under such restraints as would prevent all benefit from their evidence. The agents not only objected to the committee, and declined all connection with them, but re- 1 monstrated against the restraints proposed to be laid on the witnesses. Finding that nothing could be effected with respect to the design of their agency, they, in a spirited manner, demanded satisfaction for insults and injuries past, and security against future abuse, and took leave of the Manhadoes.
As they returned, they took various testimonies respecting the plot; some from the Indians, and others from the English, sworn before proper authority. Before their return, the commissioners were dispersed, and the general elections were finished. The courts at Connecticut and New-Haven voted their respective quotas of men, appointed their officers, and gave orders, that all necessary preparations should be made for the designed expedition.
On the election at Hartford, the former officers were rechosen. The time of election, at New-Haven, had been changed from October to May; and this year was on the 25th of the month. The governors were the same as they had been for several years, Eaton and Goodyear. The magistrates were, Mr. William Fowler, Mr. John Astwood, William Leet, Esquire, Mr. Joshua Atwater, and Mr. Francis Newman. Mr. Atwater was treasurer, and Mr. Newman secretary.
Immediately, on the return of the agents, from the Manhadoes, the general court of Massachusetts summoned another extraordinary meeting of the commissioners, at Boston, about the last of May. The commissioners were all the same who composed the last meeting, except Mr. Bradstreet in the room of governor Endicott, who was obliged to attend the general court.
The agents made report of the treatment which they had received from the Dutch, and of such evidence as they had taken of the plot on their return. The commissioners were also certified, that the Indians, on Long-Island, had charged the fiscal with the plot; and that captain Underhill, having reported what the Indians declared, was seized and carried by a guard of soldiers, from Flushing to the Manhadoes, where he was confined by the fiscal, until what he had reported, was affirmed to his face; then he was dismissed, without trial, and all his charges borne. No sooner had the agents taken their departure from the Manhadoes, than the captain, because he had been active in exhibiting the evidence of the Dutch and Indian conspiracy, notwithstanding all the important services he had rendered the Dutch, was ordered to depart. The commissioners received a letter from him, May 24th, representing the extreme danger in which he and all the English were, assuring them, that as necessity had no law, he had, like Jepthah, put his life in his hand, to save English blood; and that he was waiting their orders, with loyalty to them and the parliament, to vindicate the rights of the nation. The Dutch demanded, that all the English among them should take an oath of fidelity to them. This, in case of war, might have induced them to fight against their own nation.
The people of Hampstead, at the same time, represented that they were in the utmost danger, and wrote, in the most pressing manner, for arms and ammunition, to defend themselves. Letters were also sent from Connecticut and New-Haven, with intelligence, that the Dutch governor, by presents of wampum, coats, and other articles, was exciting the Mohawks, and various Indian tribes, to rise and attack the English, both on Long-Island, and on the main.
A long letter from the Dutch governor was also received, in which, in general terms, he excused himself relative to the plot; but he gave no encouragement of the least satisfaction, in a single instance; or that the colonies should be more safe from injury and insult, for the future. Indeed, he still insulted them, renewing the claims, both to Connecticut and New-Haven, which he had given up at Hartford.
All the commissioners, excepting Mr. Bradstreet, voted for war against the Dutch. He was under the influence of the general court of Massachusetts, who were using all their arts to oppose the commissioners, and prevent open hostility. The commissioners, however, so strenuously urged the justice and necessity of an immediate war with the Dutch, and so spiritedly remonstrated against the conduct of the court, as violators of the articles of union, that they appointed a committee of conference with them. They desired, that a statement of the case might be made, and the advice of the elders taken on the subject. The committee of the court were major Denison and captain Leveret.
The commissioners replied, that their former declaration, their
letter to the Dutch governor, and the evidence before them, afforded clear and sufficient light in the affair. Nevertheless, they appointed captain Hawthorne, Mr. Bradford, and governor Eaton, a committee to confer with the gentlemen appointed by the court. Governor Eaton drew a statement of the case, in behalf of the committee of the commissioners. The committee from the general court would not consent to it, but drew a statement of their own. Under the influence of the general court, and the different representation which their committee had made, the elders gave their opinion:
"That the proofs and presumptions of the execrable plot, tending to the destruction of so many of the dear saints of God, imputed to the Dutch governor and the fiscal, were of such weight as to induce them to believe the reality of it; yet they were not so fully conclusive, as to clear up a present proceeding to war before the world; and to bear up their hearts with that fulness of persuasion, which was meet in commending the case to God, in prayer, and to the people in exhortations; and that it would be safest for the colonies to forbear the use of the sword; but advised to be in a posture of defence, and readiness for action, until the mind of God should be more clearly known, either for a more settled peace, or manifest grounds of war."
It seems, that the affair was very partially referred to the ministers, whether the evidence of the plot was so clear as to warrant a war; whereas, this was but one circumstance among many, which might render it just and necessary. These ought to have been considered, no less than the other. The deputies of the court concurred with the clergy.
In the mean time, all the commissioners, except Mr. Bradstreet, continued determined for war. Governor Eaton insisted, that the Dutch had, for many years, during a succession of governors, multiplied injuries and hostile affronts, with treachery and falsehood, against the English, to their very great damage: That these injuries had been fully and repeatedly represented to them, and satisfaction demanded; yet that nothing had been received in return, but dilatory, false, and offensive answers. He observed, that the governor and his associates had been formerly suspected and accused of instigating the Indians against the English; and that now a treacherous and bloody plot had been discovered, and charged upon him and his fiscal, by more witnesses than could have been expected; that by it the peace of the country had been disturbed, their own lives, the lives of their children, and all their connexions, had been in constant jeopardy: That though they had allowed the Dutch governor a fair opportunity of clearing himself, of making satisfaction, and securing the colonies for the future; yet that, by his conduct, he had increased the evidence of his guilt; and that he had given the colonies no security for their future peace and safety; nor had they the least reason to expect them. He insisted, that the English, under the jurisdiction of the Dutch, were in the most immed1ate danger, not only from them, but the Indians, through their instigation; because they would not submit to an oath to join with them in fighting against their own nation. He urged, that the insolence, treachery, and bitter enmity, which the Dutch had manifested against the nation of England, and all the English abroad, as they had opportunity, were sufficient to assure them that, as soon as the States General should be able to send a small fleet to the Manhadoes, the colonies could not be safe, either in their persons or property, by land or sea. He further insisted, that the state of the commonwealth of England, and of the colonies, was such as called for war; and that, if either of the colonies should refuse to join in it, against the common enemy, and if any of the plantations, through such refusal, should be destroyed, the guilt of such blood would lie upon them.1
Some faithful people in the Massachusetts were entirely opposed to the conduct of their general court, and ventured to express their opinion. The Rev. Mr. Norris, of Salem, sent a writing to the commissioners, representing the necessity of a war. He urged, that if the colonies, in their then present circumstances, should neglect to engage in it, it would be a declaration of their neutrality in the contest; might be viewed in that light by the parliament; and be of great and general disservice to their interests: That the spending of so much time in parleys and treaties, after all the injuries they had received, and while the enemy was insulting them, and fortifying against them, would make them contemptible among the Indians: That it was dishonoring God, in whom they professed to trust, and bringing a scandal among themselves. He insisted that, as their brethren had sent their moan to them, and desired their assistance, if they should refuse, the curse of the angel of the Lord against Meroz would come upon them. This, he said, he presented in the name of many pensive hearts.2
But nothing could induce the Massachusetts to unite with their brethren, in a war against the Dutch. The general court, in direct violation of the articles of confederation, resolved, that no determination of the commissioners, though they should all agree, should bind the general court to join in an offensive war, which should appear to such general court to be unjust. This declaration gave great uneasiness to the commissioners, and to the sister colonies. Indeed, it nearly effected a dissolution of their union.
The commissioners, finding that the Massachusetts would not submit to their determination, nor afford any assistance to her confederates, dissolved.
1 Records of the united colonies. 5 Records of the united colonies.
In this important crisis, governor Haynes called a special court, on the 25th of June. The court resolved, that the fears and distresses of the English, bordering upon the Dutch, and the damages which they had sustained, should be forthwith represented to the magistrates in Massachusetts: That the opinion of the court, respecting the power of the commissioners to make war, and the reasons of their opinion, should be communicated. They also determined, that their messengers should humbly pray, that war might be carried on against the Dutch, according to the determination of the commissioners. The messengers were instructed, to use their influence, that three magistrates might have power to call a meeting of the commissioners, at Hartford or New-Haven, to conduct the affairs of the war, as occasion might require. If this could not be obtained they were to desire that liberty might be given to enlist volunteers, in the Massachusetts, for the defence of the colonies.
Governor Haynes and Mr. Ludlow, were appointed to confer with governor Eaton and his council on the subject. The court at New-Haven were no less clear and unanimous, in the opinion of the power of the commissioners to declare war and make peace, than the general court at Connecticut; and that all the colonies were absolutely bound by their determination. Both colonies united in sending the messengers, and in the purport of their message. But nothing more could be obtained, than the calling of another meeting of the commissioners, at Boston.
They met on the nth of September. The resolutions of the general courts of Connecticut and New-Haven were produced, expressing their entire approbation of the determination of the commissioners, and remonstrating against the declaration of the general court of Massachusetts, and the sense which they had put on the articles of confederation.
The general court of Massachusetts returned an answer to this effect: that since their brethren of the other colonies had apprehensions different from theirs, they judged it might conduce most to peace to waive the point in controversy. At the same time, they intimated they had no occasion to answer them.
The commissioners refused to accept this as an answer. They insisted, that they had ample powers, from all the other colonies, to determine, in all affairs of peace and war; and that this was consistent with the grammatical, and true sense of the articles' of confederation. They insisted, that it was totally inconsistent, not only with the articles of union, but with the welfare of the colonies, that they should be at so much expense and trouble, to meet and deliberate on the general interests of the confederates, if their determinations were to be annulled by one court and another.
The general court, on their part, insisted, that the determinations of the commissioners, could not bind them to a war which they could not see to be just; and that it was inconsistent with the liberties of the colonies, that their decisions should compel them to action.
The commissioners replied, that no power could bind men to do that which was absolutely unlawful; but that their authority was as absolute, with respect to war and peace, as any authority could be; and that it was their province only to judge of the justice of the cause. They maintained, that it could be no infringement of the rights of the colonies, to be bound by the acts of their own agents, vested with plenary powers for those very acts. They represented the religious and solemn manner in which the confederation was made; that, by its express words, it was a perpetual league for them and their posterity, in which their eight commissioners, or any six of them, should have full power to determine all affairs of war and peace, leagues, aids, &c: That every article had been examined, not only by a committee of the four general courts, but by the whole court of Massachusetts, at the time when it was completed: That many prayers were addressed to heaven for its accomplishment, while it was under consideration; and that the carrying of it into execution, had been an occasion of abundant thanksgiving. They said, that after practising upon it for ten years, the colonies had experienced the most salutary effects, to the great and general advantage of all the confederates. In these views, they insisted, that the violation of it would be matter ol great sin in the presence of God, and of scandal before men. They referred it to the serious consideration of the general court, whether they would not, in his sight who knew all hearts, be guilty of this sin and scandal?
The general court earnestly requested, that they would drop the dispute, and enter upon business. Their commissioners also pressed the same. But, with a spirit of magnanimity and firmness, becoming their character, they utterly refused; determining, to a man, after drawing a remonstrance against the Massachusetts, to return to their respective colonies, and leave the event with the supreme ruler.
No sooner had the general court intelligence of what was transacting, than they dispatched a writing to the commissioners, apparently retracting all which they had before advanced in opposition to them. It was, however, expressed artfully in doubtful language. Upon the reception of this, they proceeded to business.
Ninigrate, ever since the Pequot war, had been the common pest of the colonies. He had violated all his contracts with them; had fallen on the Long-Island Indians, who were in alliance with the English, and slain many of them; and carried others, men, women, and children, into captivity. By his hostilities, he gave alarm and trouble to the English plantations, on the island, in the neighbourhood of the Indians. When messengers had been sent to him, demanding that he would return the captives, and desist from war, he absolutely refused; and would give no account of his conduct. He had now spent the winter with the Dutch governor, in concerting measures against the English colonies; and had been beyond Hudson's river, spiriting up the Indians there, as well as in other quarters, to a general rising against them. The commissioners therefore declared war against him, and appointed the number of men and officers for the service. They also again resolved upon war against the Dutch. All the commissioners joined in these resolutions, except Mr. Bradstreet. But they were to no purpose. The general court refused to bear any part in the war against either.
The commissioners protested against the members of the court of Massachusetts, as violators of the confederation. They pressed it as an indispensable duty, to avenge the blood of innocents, who had depended on them for safety, and had suffered on the account of their faithfulness to the colonies; to recover their wives and children from captivity; to protect their friends from the insults of barbarous and bloody men; and to vindicate the honor of themselves, and of the nation.1
The Massachusetts nevertheless persisted in their opposition to the commissioners, and would bear no part in the war. Their desertion of their confederates was matter of great injury and distress to them; especially to Connecticut and New-Haven. They were not only obliged to put up with all former insults and damages from the Dutch; but after they had been at great expense already, in fortifying and guarding against the Dutch and Indians, and had been worn down with anxiety and watching, from the very opening of the spring, they were still left to their fears, and obliged to combine together for mutual defence, in the best manner of which they were capable.
Few instances occur in history, of so flagrant and obstinate a violation of a covenant, so solemnly made, as this of the general court of Massachusetts; especially, of a covenant made between christians of the same nation, and all professed brethren of the same faith. What interest the Massachusetts made by thus favoring the Dutch, is not known; but surely it is painful to relate the indelible stain, which the legislature of so ancient and respectable a colony have left, by this conduct, upon their honor, as men, and upon their morals, as christians.
The general courts of Connecticut and New-Haven were convoked soon after the return of the commissioners. Thai at NewHaven convened on the 12th of October, and the court at Connecticut, on the 25th of November. Both considered the court of Massachusetts as having wilfully violated the articles of union. The general court at New-Haven expressly resolved, "that the 1 Records of the united colonies, in which this controversy is recorded at large
Massachusetts had broken their covenant with them, in acting directly contrary to the articles of confederation."
Both colonies therefore determined to seek redress from the commonwealth of England. Captain Astwood was appointed agent to the lord protector and parliament, to represent their state, and to solicit ships and men for the reduction of the Dutch. Connecticut and New-Haven conferred together, by their committees, and letters were sent, in the name of both the general courts, containing a complete statement of their circumstances. It was agreed, that the address to lord Cromwell should be concluded in the words following:
"That unless the Dutch be either removed, or so far, at least, subjected, that the colonies may be free from injurious affronts, and secured against the dangers and mischievous effects, which daily grow upon them, by their plotting with the Indians, and furnishing them with arms against the English; and that the league and confederation between the four united English colonies, be confirmed and settled according to the true sense, and, till this year, the continued interpretation of the articles, the peace and comfort of these smaller, western colonies, will be much hazarded, and more and more impaired. But as they conceive it their duty, thus fully to represent their afflicted condition to your excellency, so they humbly leave themselves, with the remedies, to your consideration and wisdom."
As governor Hopkins was now in England, he was desired to give all assistance in his power, to the agent whom they had agreed to send. Connecticut dispatched letters to the parliament, to general Monk, and Mr. Hopkins.
As Stamford was a frontier town, a guard of men was dispatched for its defence. Connecticut and New-Haven provided a frigate of ten or twelve guns, with forty men, to defend the coast against the Dutch, and to prevent Ninigrate and his Indians from crossing the sound, in prosecution of his hostile designs against the Indians in alliance with the colonies.1
The towns bordering upon the Dutch, on Long-Island, were in great distress and alarm. Captain Underhill sent to his friends at Rhode-Island, for assistance; and, with such Englishmen as he could obtain, made the best defence in his power. However, Hampstead and some other towns were continually harassed, and suffered much damage and insult from the Dutch.
Indeed, this was a year of uncommon alarm, expense, and distress to Connecticut and New-Haven. Early in the spring they were filled with the most terrible apprehensions of a sudden and general massacre. A great proportion of time was employed, by the magistrates and principal men, in meetings of the general courts, of the commissioners, of committees and officers to con1 Records of Connecticut and New-Haven.
suit and provide for the general safety; in raising men and making preparations for war. The common people, at the same time, were called off from their labors and worn down with watching and guarding by night and day.
The Dutch, at New-Netherlands, waited only for a reinforcement from Holland to attack and reduce the English colonies. Of this, both they and the English were in constant expectation. It was reported, and feared, that when the signals should be given from the Dutch ships, the Indians would rise, fire the English buildings, and begin their work of destruction.
Providence, however, combined a number of circumstances for the preservation of the exposed colonies. The defeat of the Dutch fleet by the English, and the spoil which they made upon their trade, prevented the arrival of the expected reinforcements; the Indians could not be united; many of the sachems said, the English had done them no injury, and they would not fight them. The early intelligence, received by the colonies, of the plans which they and the Dutch were concerting, and the constant watch and guard which the plantations maintained disconcerted them. By these means, a general attack upon them was prevented.
Another mischief however arose. Some of the towns, and many of the people, in the colonies of Connecticut and New-Haven, were so dissatisfied that the war was not prosecuted against the Dutch, according to the resolution of the commissioners, that they were with great difficulty restrained from open mutiny and rebellion. They imagined, that Connecticut and New-Haven were sufficient to subdue the Dutch, and ought to have undertaken an expedition against them.
Stamford and Fairfield, in particular, became very disorderly. The former complained, that the government was bad, and the charges unreasonable; and that they were neglected, and deprived of their just privileges. They pretended to set up for the government of England, for their liberties, as they called them, in opposition to the government of the colony. They sent to the general court at New-Haven desiring them to prosecute the war against the Dutch; resolved to raise a number of men among themselves; and prayed for permission to enlist volunteers in the several towns.
The town of Fairfield held a meeting on the subject, and determined to prosecute the war. They appointed Mr. Ludlow commander in chief. He was in the centre of the evidence against the Dutch; had been one of the commissioners, at the several meetings relative to the affair; had been zealous and active for the war; and conceiving himself and the town in imminent danger, unless the Dutch could be removed from the neighbourhood, too hastily accepted of the appointment. Robert Basset and John Chapman were the heads of this party. They attempted to foment insurrections, and, without any instructions from authority, to raise volunteers, for an expedition against the Netherlands.
The general court, at New-Haven, judged that the season was too far advanced to undertake the enterprise. They nevertheless determined to consult Connecticut, and to proceed or not, as the council there should judge most expedient.
It was now the latter part of November, and it was the general opinion, that ships and men could not be seasonably provided.
Deputy governor Goodyear and Mr. Newman were dispatched to Stamford to compose the minds of the people. They called a meeting of the town, and labored to quiet them; but could make no considerable impressions upon them, until they read an order of the committee of parliament, requiring, that the plantations should be in subjection to the authority of their respective jurisdictions. This appeared to have some good effect. But as the inhabitants had been at great expense, not only in watching and guarding the town, but in erecting fortifications about the meeting house, they insisted, that the colony should bear a part of the expense, and provide a guard during the winter.
The public burthens this year were great. The expenses of the colony of New-Haven were about 400 pounds. The court made some abatements in favour of Stamford; but Basset and Chapman were punished for attempting to make an insurrection in the colony, and others were bound, in large bonds, to their good behaviour.1
THE colony sustained a great loss this year, in the death of Governor Haynes. He had been a father to it from the beginning; employed his estate, counsels, and labours, for its emolument, and bore a large share in its hardships and dangers. He was a gentleman from the county of Essex, in England, where he had an elegant seat, called Copford Hall, worth a thousand pounds sterling a year. He came into New-England with the Rev. Mr. Hooker, in 1632, and settled with him, first at Cambridge, in Massachusetts. His distinguished abilities, prudence, and piety, so recommended him to the people, that, in 1635, he was chosen governor of Massachusetts. He was not considered, in any respect, inferior of Governor Winthrop. His growing popularity, and the fame of Mr. Hooker, who, as to strength of genius, and his lively and powerful manner of preaching, rivalled Mr. Cotton, were sup
1 Records of New-Haven. The general court of Connecticut, at their session in November, ordered that 20 pounds should be paid to the support of a fellowship in Cambridge College.
posed to have had no small influence upon the general court, in their granting liberty to Mr. Hooker and his company to remove to Connecticut. There, it was judged, they would not so much eclipse the fame, nor stand in the way of the promotion and honour of themselves or their friends. Upon his removal to Connecticut, he was chosen governor of this colony. He appeared to be a gentleman of eminent piety, strict morals, and sound judgment. He paid attention to family government, instruction, and religion. His great integrity, and wise management of all affairs, in private and public, so raised and fixed his character, in the esteem of the people, that they always, when the constitution would permit, placed him in the chief seat of government, and continued him in it until his death.1
Mr. Hopkins was in England, and the colony had neither governor nor deputy governor present, to act in its behalf. The freemen, therefore, in February, convened at Hartford, and elected Mr. Thomas Wells moderator of the general court, until a governor should be chosen.
About this time, there happened a great controversy between Uncas and the inhabitants of New-London, relative to their respective limits. It seems that the inhabitants carried the dispute so far, as to rise and take possession of his forts and many of his wigwams. The assembly interposed, and gave orders, that the Indians should not be injured, and that the people should be accountable for all damages which they had done them. A committee was appointed, March 1st, to fix the boundaries between New-London and Uncas, and to compose all differences between the parties.
Nearly at the same time, the colony received an order from the parliament, requiring that the Dutch should be treated, in all respects, as the declared enemies of the commonwealth of England. In conformity to this order, the general court was convened, and an act passed sequestering the Dutch house, lands, and property
1 The governor, by two wives, had eight children ; five sons and three daughter*. By hit first, he had Robert, Heiekiah, John, Roger, and Mary; and by his second, Joseph, Roth, and Mabel. When he came into New-England, he left his sons, Robert and Hezekiah, and his daughter Mary, at Copford Hall. Upon the commencement of the civil wars in England, Robert espoused the royal cause; but Hezekiah, declaring for the parliament, was, afterwards, promoted to the rank of major-general, under Cromwell. Upon the ruin of the Icing's affairs, Robert was put under confinement, and died without issue. Hezekiah enjoyed Copford Hall, under his father, until his decease. He then possessed it as a paternal inheritance, and it descended to his heirs. John and Roger, who came into this country with their father, some time before his death returned to England. Roger died on his passage, or soon after his arrival. John settled in the ministry, at or near Colchester, in the county of Essex, in England, where he left issue. Joseph was ordained pastor of the first church in Hartford. Mary married Mr. Joseph Cook, in England ; Ruth, Mr. Samuel Wyllys, of Hartford; and Mabel, Mr. James Russell, of Charlestown, in Massachusetts; and all had issue. The Rev. Mr. Haynes, of Hartford, had one son, John, a gentleman of reputation, for some years one of the magistrates of the colony. He had sons, bat they died without issue, and the name became extinct in this country.
of all kinds, at Hartford, for the benefit of the commonwealth; and the court, also, prohibited all persons whatsoever from improving the premises, by virtue of any former claim, or title, had, made, or given, by any of the Dutch nation, or any other person, without their approbation.
In the proclamation for a general fast, this spring, the great breach made in the colony, by the death of the governor; the alienation of the colonies, on account of the violation of the articles of confederation; the spreading of erroneous opinions in the churches; the mortality which had been among the people of Massachusetts; and the calamitous state of the English nation; were particularized as matters of humiliation.
The colony was, this year, deprived of Mr. Ludlow, one of its chief magistrates. He was one of the most zealous for prosecuting the war against the Dutch, and no man was more displeased, that the colonies did not follow the determinations of the commissioners. He might apprehend himself to be particularly in danger at Fairfield. Besides, he had taken a very hasty and unadvised step, in accepting the command of men to go against the Dutch, without any legal appointment. He had, doubtless, apprehensions of trouble on that account, or, at least, that the freemen would neglect him. For some, or all of these reasons, about this time, he removed with his family to Virginia.1 He was clerk of the town of Fairfield, and carried off their records, and other public writings. He came from the west of England, with Mr. Warham and his company. In 1630, he was chosen into the magistracy of the Massachusetts company; and in 1634, deputy governor of that colony. He was twice elected deputy governor of Connecticut, and was every year magistrate or deputy governor, from his first coming into the colony, in 1635, until the time of his departure. He appears to have been distinguished for his abilities, especially his knowledge of the law, and the rights of mankind. He rendered most essential services to this commonwealth; , was a principal in forming its original civil constitution, and the compiler of the first Connecticut code, printed at Cambridge, in 1672. For jurisprudence, he appears to have been second to none who came into New-England at that time. Had he possessed a happier temper, he would, probably, have been the idol of the people, and shared in all the honours which they could have given him.
Nearly at the same time, an affair happened, in which the people of Milford exhibited a noble spirit of zeal and enterprise. One captain Manning, master of a ten gun ship, had been apprehended for an unlawful trade with the Dutch, at the Manhadoes. While the affair was upon trial before the court at New-Haven, his men
1 By the records of New-Haven, it appears, that he was shipping his family and effects on the 26th of April.
ran off with the ship from Milford harbour. The people completely armed and manned a vessel, with so much dispatch, that they pressed hard upon the ship before she could reach the Dutch island. The men, perceiving they must be taken, unless they immediately abandoned the ship, made their escape in their boat. The ship, thus left adrift, was recovered, and brought into Milford harbour, and, with all her goods, condemned as a lawful prize.
At the general election, May 18th, Mr. Hopkins, though in England, was chosen governor. Mr. Wells was appointed deputy governor. Mr. Webster, Mr. Mason, Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Cullick, Mr. Wolcott, Mr. Clark, Mr. Wyllys, son of George Wyllys, and Mr. John Talcott, were elected magistrates. Mr. Cullick was secretary, and Mr. Talcott treasurer.
At this court, the freemen passed the following resolution, as an addition to the fundamentals of their constitution:" That the major part of the magistrates, in the absence of the governor and deputy governor, shall have power to call a general court; and that any general court, being legally called and met, the major part of the magistrates and deputies then met, in the absence of the governor and deputy governor, shall have power to choose unto, and from among themselves, a moderator, which being done, they shall be deemed as legal a general court, as if the governor, or deputy governor were present."
At the election in New-Haven, May 31st, the only alteration in public officers, was the addition of Mr. Samuel Eaton, of NewHaven, to the magistrates, and the choice of Mr. Benjamin Fenn, in the room of captain John Astwood.
About the same time, in answer to the petitions of Connecticut and New-Haven, major Sedgwick and captain Leveret arrived at Boston, with a fleet of three or four ships, and a small number of land forces, sent by Oliver Cromwell, lord protector, for the reduction of the Dutch. On the 8th of June, governor Eaton received a letter from his highness, certifying, that he had sent ships and ammunition for the assistance of the colonies. With this came a letter from major Sedgwick and captain Leveret, requesting, that commissioners might be sent immediately from each of the governments, to consult with them on the objects of the designed expedition. Mr. William Leet and Mr. Jordan were appointed commissioners for New-Haven. They were authorised to engage, in behalf of that jurisdiction, to furnish all the men and provisions which it could spare. An embargo was laid on all provisions, and every measure adopted, that the utmost assistance might be given, in the enterprise. Such was the zeal of the general court, that they instructed their commissioners to engage the assistance of that colony, though no other, except Connecticut, should join with them.
On the 13th of June, the general court of Connecticut convened, at Hartford, and appointed major John Mason and Mr. Cullick commissioners. They were directed to proceed with the utmost dispatch to Boston; and, in behalf of Connecticut, to engage any number of men, not exceeding two hundred, but rather than the expedition should fail, four or five hundred.
The general court of Massachusetts was convoked on the 9th of June, but did not agree to raise any men themselves. They granted liberty, nevertheless, for major Sedgwick and captain Leveret to raise five hundred volunteers. The commissioners finally agreed upon 800 men, as sufficient for the enterprise. The ships were to furnish two hundred soldiers; three hundred volunteers were to be raised in Massachusetts; two hundred men were to be sent from Connecticut; and a hundred and thirty three from New-Haven. But while preparations were making with vigor and dispatch, the news of peace, between England and Holland, prevented all further proceedings relative to the affair.
The total defeat of the Dutch fleet, the loss of admiral Tromp and a great number of their merchantmen, made the Dutch in earnest for peace; and it was expeditiously concluded, on the 5th of April. The news of it arrived in America, almost as soon as the fleet. The commander in chief therefore employed his forces, with the Massachusetts volunteers, in dispossessing the French from Penobscot, St. John's, and the adjacent coast. This was doubtless one object of the expedition, and not undertaken without orders from the protector.
It was not expected, that there would have been any meeting of the commissioners this year. Massachusetts had violated the articles of union, and the colonies had protested against them, as breakers of the most solemn confederation. The general court of Massachusetts had also represented, to the other colonies, that the articles needed explanation and emendation, that they might be consistent with the rights of the several general courts. Indeed, it had proposed a meeting of the commissioners for that purpose. The other colonies viewed the articles as perfectly intelligible, and consistent with the rights of the confederates. They therefore rejected the motion. The general court of New-Haven had voted, that there was no occasion for appointing commissioners that year.
But on the 5th of July, governor Eaton received a letter from the general court of the Massachusetts, waiving an answer to the letter jointly written from the general courts of Connecticut and New-Haven, and lamely excusing their non-compliance with the resolution of the commissioners, on the account of their not being able to apprehend the justice of the war with the Dutch and Ninigrate. They complained of the other colonies, for treating them as violators of the confederacy. They professed themselves to be passionately desirous of its continuance, according to the genuine construction of the articles. They gave information, that they had chosen commissioners, and had determined to empower them as had been usual
The general court, at New-Haven, replied, that they and the other colonies had justly charged them with a violation of their covenant, and urged, that, according to their own interpretation of the articles, they stood responsible to them for the infraction; and that, according to the eleventh article of the confederation, they were to be treated by them according to the magnitude of their fault . They observed, that her sister colonies had not only condemned their conduct, but had sent messengers and taken proper pains to inform them, and adjust the difference between them; but that they had treated them in a very disagreeable manner, and their endeavours had been to no good purpose. They declared, nevertheless, that, if the combination might be again firmly settled, according to the original intention and grammatical sense of the articles, they would, without further satisfaction, forgetting what was past, cheerfully renew their covenant, and send their commissioners to meet, at any time and place, for that end. This was subscribed by the secretary, and sent to Hartford, to be subscribed by the general court of Connecticut; and to be transmitted, in the name of each of the colonies, to the Massachusetts. This, it seems, was harmoniously done.
As the general court of the Massachusetts would not join with her confederates, against Ninigrate, he prosecuted the war against the Long-Island Indians, and it was supposed, that his design was to destroy, both those Indians and the Moheagans. For this purpose he had hired the Mohawks, Pocomtocks, and Wampanoags, afterwards called Philip's Indians, to assist him. By a collection of such numbers of Indians, from the westward, northward, and eastward, the general peace of the country would have been greatly endangered, and the Long-Island Indians, who had put themselves under the protection of the English, exposed to a total extirpation. They had been obliged, not only to fortify themselves, and to use every precaution for their own defence, but to suffer the loss of many of their people, who had been already either slain or captivated.
The deputy governor, and council, of Connecticut, judged it an affair of such importance, to defend their allies, and provide for their own safety, that they determined to dispatch major Mason, with ammunition, and a number of men, to the assistance of the Indians upon the Island. The deputy governor and Mr. Clark acquainted governor Eaton with their views and determination, and desired that the colony of New-Haven would send lieutenant Seely, with a detachment of men, and with supplies of ammunition, to second their design. The court of New-Haven complied with the desire of Connecticut. Lieutenant Seely had orders to join major Mason at Saybrook. They were instructed to acquaint the Montauket Indians, that the colonies made them that present of ammunition, wholly for their own defence, and not to enable them to injure Ninigrate, or any other Indians, unless they should make an attack upon them: and that, while they continued faithful to the English, they would be their friends. It was ordered that, if Ninigrate should invade the Long-Island Indians, the English officers should use their endeavours to persuade them to peace, and to refer their differences to the decision of the commissioners. But if he would fight, they were commanded to defend themselves, and the Indians in alliance with the colonies, in the best manner they could.1
On September 7th, the commissioners convened at Hartford. They consisted of the following gentlemen, Mr. Simon Bradstreet, major Denison, Mr. Thomas Prince, Mr. John Brown, major Mason, Mr. John Webster, governor Eaton, and Mr. Francis Newman. Governor Eaton was chosen president. They immediately dispatched messengers to Ninigrate, demanding his appearance at Hartford, and the payment of the tribute so long due for the Pequots under him. On the 18th, Mr. Jonathan Gilbert returned, and made a report of Ninigrate's answer, in the words following:
"Concerning the Long-Island Indians, he answered, wherefore should he acquaint the commissioners, as the Long-Island Indians began with him, and had slain a sachem's son, and sixty of his men; and therefore he will not make peace with the LongIslanders; but doth desire that the English will let him alone; and that the commissioners would not request him to go to Hartford; for he hath done no hurt. What should he do there? If our governor's son were slain, and several other men, would you ask counsel of another nation, how and when to right yourselves? And added, that he would neither go nor send to Hartford. Concerning the upland Indians,2 his answer was, that they were his friends, and came to help him against the Long-Islanders, who had killed several of his men. Wherefore should he acquaint the commissioners of it? He did but right his own quarrel, which the Long-Islanders began with him." With respect to the tribute due for the Pequots, though he had never paid it, yet he pretended there was none due.
The commissioners, considering his perfidious conduct, the last year, his present answer, and that lenity and forbearance had been an encouragement of his insolence and barbarity, ordered forty horsemen, and two hundred and seventy infantry to be raised, to chastise his haughtiness. The Massachusetts were to raise the forty horsemen, and a hundred and fifty-three footmen;
1 Records of Connecticut and New-Haven.
2 Thus he called the Pocomtocks and Wampanoags.
Connecticut forty-five, and New-Haven thirty-one. Orders were given, that twenty horse, from Massachusetts, twenty-four men from Connecticut, and sixteen from New-Haven, should be immediately dispatched into the Nehantick country. The commissioners nominated major Gibbons, major Denison, or captain Atherton, to the chief command; leaving it, in complaisance, to the general court of Massachusetts, to appoint which of the three should be most agreeable to them. But rejecting these, who were men of known spirit and enterprise, they appointed major Willard. The commissioners instructed him to proceed with such troops, as should be found at the place of general rendezvous, by the 13th of October, directly to Ninigrate's quarters, and demand of him the Pequots, who had been put under him, and the tribute which was due. If Ninigrate should not deliver them, and pay the tribute, he was required to take them by force. He was instructed to demand of Ninigrate, a cessation from all further hostilities against the Long-Islanders. If he would not comply with these demands, he had express orders to subdue him. If a greater number of men should be found necessary, his instructions were to send for such a number, as he should judge sufficient to carry the expedition into effect. The place of rendezvous was at Thomas Stanton's, in the Narraganset country. When he arrived at the place appointed, he found that Ninigrate had fled into a swamp, at fourteen or fifteen miles distance from the army. He had left his country, corn, and wigwams, without defence, and they might have been laid waste, without loss or danger. Nevertheless, he returned, without ever advancing from his head quarters, or doing the enemy the least damage.
About a hundred Pequots took this opportunity to renounce the government of Ninigrate, and come off with the army. They put themselves under the protection and government of the English.
The commander pleaded, in excuse, that his instructions were equivocal, and the season for marching unfavorable. The commissioners, however, were entirely unsatisfied. They observed to him, "That, while the army was in the Narraganset country, Ninigrate had his mouth in the dust; and that he would have submitted to any reasonable terms, which might have been imposed upon him." They charged the major with neglecting an opportunity of humbling his pride; and they referred it to his consideration, what satisfaction ought to be expected from him, and those of his council, who advised and joined with him in his measures.1
Governor Hutchinson has observed, that major Willard was a Massachusetts man, and although that colony had so far complied with the rest, as to join in sending out the forces, yet they were still desirous of avoiding an open war. This was the second time of their preventing a general war, contrary to the minds of six of the commissioners of the other colonies.2
1 Records of the united colonies. 'Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 186, 187.
The general court of Massachusetts had receded from their explanation of the articles of confederation, and the commissioners had a most amicable meeting. They were unanimous in the war against Ninigrate, and yet the Massachusetts, by private intrigue, defeated their designs. In which instance they acted the most honorable and consistent part, when, by an open infraction of the articles of union, they prevented a war, or when they supplanted their brethren, by secret treachery, the impartial world will judge.
The whole number of ratable persons, in the colony of Connecticut this year, was 775, and the grand list was 79,073 pounds.1
Upon the election at Hartford, May 17th, Thomas Wells, Esq'r. was chosen governor, and Mr. John Webster, deputy-governor. The magistrates elected were, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Mason, Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Wolcott, Mr. Cullick, Mr. Clark, Mr. Wyllys, Mr. Talcott, Mr. John Cosmore, and Mr. Thomas Tapping. Mr. Cullick was secretary, and Mr. Talcott treasurer.
At the general election in New-Haven, this year, there was no alteration of their officers.
The Pequots persevering, in their petitions, to be taken under the protection and government of the English, the commissioners, this year, granted their request. Places of residence were afterwards appointed for them, by the general court of Connecticut, about Pawcatuck and Mistic rivers. They were allowed to hunt on the lands west of the latter. They were collected together in these two places, and an Indian governor was appointed over them in each place. General laws were made for their government. Blasphemy, murder, witchcraft, and conspiracy against the colonies, were prohibited upon pain of death. Sabbath-breaking, adultery, and drunkenness, were prohibited under proper penalties. He who stole was required, on conviction, to pay doubie damages. They were prohibited to make war with other Indians, or to join with them in their wars, unless it were in their own just defence, without the consent of the commissioners of the united colonies. They were obliged to submit to the Indian governors, whom they should appoint over them, and pay them the same tribute which they had stipulated to pay to the English.*
'By the number of persons, and the amount of the lists in each town, an idea may be formed of their proportion to each other. Towns. Hartford, Windsor, Weathersfield, Fairfield, Saybrook, Stratford, Farmington, Middletown, Norwalk,
'Records of the colonies.
After the return of major Willard and the troops under his command, from the Narraganset country, Ninigrate assumed his former haughtiness, and continued the war against the Indians upon Long-Island. Mr. Thomas James, minister of Easthampton, captain Tapping of Southampton, captain Underhill and others, wrote to the commissioners, that both the English and Indians on the Island were in a calamitous and distracted condition; and in imminent danger, on the account of his constant hostilities. They assured them, that the Indians, upon the Island, could not hold out much longer, but must submit themselves and their country to the Narragansets, unless they should have some speedy assistance. They intreated them to consult some effectual measures to prevent such calamity.
In consequence of this intelligence, they ordered, that a vessel, well armed and manned, should lie in the road between Neanticut and the Island, to watch the motions of Ninigrate; and, if he should attempt to pass the sound, to stave and destroy his canoes, and to make all the slaughter and destruction upon him, which should be in their power. Captain John Youngs was appointed to command this vessel of observation. He was authorised to draught men from Saybrook and New-London, as emergencies might require. An encouraging message was sent to the Montauket sachem, acquainting him with the measures the English were taking for his defence. The commissioners sent him a supply of ammunition. Provision was also made, that South and East-Hampton, with all the adjacent towns, should be completely furnished with all articles necessary for war. Orders were given, that if the Indians could not maintain their ground, in any assault, they should flee towards some of the neighbouring towns; and that, if the enemy should pursue them within two miles of any of the settlements, the inhabitants should immediately repair to their assistance. Intelligence of these resolutions was dispatched to the Narragansets, as well as the Long-Islanders. All the united colonies were exceedingly offended at the conduct of major Willard, except the Massachusetts, under whose influence he was supposed to act. The general court at New-Haven, resolved, that he had not followed his instructions, in the expedition against Ninigrate; but that they were willing to suspend their judgment, with respect to the measures to be taken with him, until they should be certified of the opinions of the other confederates. Whatever their opinions or wishes were, major Willard was safe under the wing of the Massachusetts; and Connecticut and New-Haven had principally to bear the unhappy consequences of his perfidious conduct. They were obliged, the next year, at their own expense, to continue the commission of captain Youngs to cruise between the main and Long-Island, to prevent the designs of Ninigrate. They also found it necessary to furnish both men and provisions, for the defence of the Islanders.
Governor Eaton had been desired to perfect a code of laws for the colony of New-Haven. For his assistance in the compilation, he was requested, by the general court, to consult the Rev. Mr. Cotton's discourse on civil government in a new plantation, and the laws of Massachusetts. Having accomplished the work, and the laws having been examined and approved, by the elders of the jurisdiction, they were presented to the general court. They ordered that 500 copies should be printed. The copy was sent to England, that the impression might be made under the inspection of governor Hopkins. He procured the printing of the laws, at his own expense, and sent them the number proposed, with some other valuable books, as a present. The laws were distributed to the several towns in the jurisdiction.
This year, died Henry Wolcott, Esq'r. in the 78th year of his age. He was the owner of a good estate in Somersetshire, in England. His youth, it is said, was spent in gaiety and country pastimes; but afterwards, under the instructions of Mr. Edward Elton, his mind was entirely changed, and turned to the sincere love and practice of religion. As the puritans were then treated with great severity, he sold about 8,000 pounds worth of estate in England, and prepared for a removal into America. He came into New-England with Mr. Warham, in May, 1630, and settled first at Dorchester, in Massachusetts. In 1636, he removed to Windsor, and was one of the principal planters of that town. He was chosen into the magistracy in 1643, and continued in it until his death. He left an estate in England, which rented at about sixty pounds a year, which the family, for some time, enjoyed; but it was afterwards sold. After his decease, some one of his descendants was annually chosen into the magistracy, for a term of nearly eighty years, until the year 1754, when governor Wolcott left the chair.1
At the election in Connecticut, Mr. John Webster was chosen governor, and Mr. Wells deputy governor. This was the only alteration in the magistracy.
At New-Haven, in May, 1656, the former governors and magistrates were rechosen. Mr. John Wakeman was appointed treas
1 Manuscripts from Windsor, found in the collection of the Rev. Mr. Prince, it Boston.
The family have kept up the monument of their ancestor, and preserved their dignity to the present time. His Excellency, Oliver Wolcott, Esq'r. one of the sons of the former governor, Roger Wolcott, Esq|r. is the present governor of the state. His brother, the Hon. Erastus Wolcott, Esq'r. was, for some years, one of the magistrates of Connecticut, and, afterwards, one of the judges of the superior court. Oliver Wolcott, Esq'r. one of the sons of the present governor Wolcott, is secretary of the treasury of the United States. Some of the family have been members of the assembly, judges of the superior court, or magistrates, from the first settlement of the colony to this time, during the term of more than a century and a half. A. D. 1797.
urer. The general court at New-Haven, took great pains to put the colony in a state of defence. Orders were given for the raising of a troop of sixteen horse, in the five towns upon the sea coast, with complete arms and furniture. For their encouragement, they were exempted from taxation, and from training with the foot, and were to enjoy all the privileges of troopers in Massachusetts. This was the first troop in any part of Connecticut. It was ordered, that all the common soldiers should be trained to shootihg at a mark; that they should be furnished with ammunition for that purpose, at the public expense; and that prizes should be prepared for the best marksmen. The soldiers were directed to play at cudgels, and at the broad sword, that they might know how to defend themselves and their country.
The protector, Oliver Cromwell, having conquered Jamaica, made it a favourite object to remove the people of New-England to that island. He artfully represented, that they had as clear a call for transporting themselves from New-England to Jamaica, as they had for emigrating from Old England to New, for the advancement of their interests; as the Lord's people were to be the head, and not the tail. He likewise represented, that it would have a tendency to the destruction of the man of sin. He wrote particularly to New-Haven on the subject, and sent them a copy of his instructions relative to the affair. These he had given to one captain Gookins, whom he had employed in the several plantations, to promote this, his favourite design. He and major Sedgwick dispatched letters also to New-Haven, on the same business.
Governor Eaton had, some time before this, laid them before the general court. The several plantations in the colony had been made acquainted with their contents, and the deputies had been desired to return their opinion to the court. After a long and serious debate, the court resolved, " That, though they could not but acknowledge the love, care, and tender respect of his highness, the Lord Protector, to New-England in general, and to this colonv; in particular, yet, for divers reasons, they cannot conclude that God calls them to a present remove thither."
The governor was desired to write to the lord protector, acknowledging his great care and love towards the colony.
The commissioners of the united colonies, September 4th, held their meeting at Plymouth. They received a very plausible letter from Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor. He wrote with a great show of religion, expressing his joy that God had quenched the bloody war between the Dutch and the English, in Europe; and his warm desires, that it might redound to the great advantage of the subjects of the two nations, in these remote parts of the earth. He solicited a nearer union between the Dutch and the united colonies. At the same time, he certified them, that he had received a ratification of the agreement made at Hartford, in 1650, under the seal of the High and Mighty States of the United Belgick Provinces; and desired that time and place might be appointed for delivering and interchanging the ratifications.
The governor was so well known to the commissioners, that neither the plausibility of his letter, nor the very christian manner in which it was written, made any deep impressions upon them. They replied, in short, that the peace was matter of joy to them, and they wished the continuance of it in Europe, and in all the plantations abroad. They gave assurances, that the preservation of it should be their constant endeavour. Nevertheless, they gave no intimations that they desired a nearer union, or to ratify the agreement. The Dutch governor had not observed it himselt; they considered the Dutch as mere intruders, and were growing daily more able to defend themselves against their encroachments: they were, therefore, determined to do nothing further relative to the affair.
They observed to the governor, that he had made no reparation of the damages he had done the colonies, and that they had not heard that he designed to make any: that they heard he yet laid claim to Oyster bay, and that he had made no proper resignation of Greenwich. They desired him to be explicit on these points.1
The last year, complaints were made to the court at New-Haven, that the inhabitants of Greenwich were under little government, and demeaned themselves in a lawless manner. They admitted of drunkenness among themselves, and among the Indians, by reason of which, damages were done to themselves and to the towns in the vicinity, and the public peace was disturbed. They received children and servants, who fled from the correction of their parents and masters, and unlawfully joined persons in wedlock, with other misdemeanors.
Upon this, the general court asserted their right to Greenwich, and ordered the inhabitants to submit to their jurisdiction. But they continued much in the same state, and sent a letter to the court in May, denying their jurisdiction, and refusing any subjection to the colony, unless they should be compelled to it, by the parliament. The court, therefore, resolved, that, unless they should appear before the court, and make their submission, by the 25th of June, Richard Crab and others, who were the most stubborn among them, should be arrested and punished, according to law. They, therefore, some time after, subjected their persons and estates to the government of New-Haven.
Uncas, though friendly to the English, appears to have been a proud, mischievous sachem, who, by his haughty carriage and provoking language, was often embroiling the country, and bringing trouble upon himself and the colonies. He made an assault upon the Podunk Indians, at Hartford. He, or his brother, in1 Records of the united colonies.
vaded the Norwootucks. He upbraided the Narragansets of their dead sachems, and challenged them to fight. Among other instances of misconduct, he proved treacherous to the Montauket sachem, and joined with Ninigrate, in his perfidious practices. By these means, the country was so disquieted, that it was with . great difficulty the commissioners maintained the general peace. They interposed, and obliged Uncas to make restitution to the Indians, whom he had injured. They prohibited his making war, without their consent and advice. They endeavored to quiet and conciliate the natives; but they found them, whether they were friends or foes, to be a troublesome people. After all their precautions, the country was still more alarmed the next year.
In April, 1657, the Indians committed a horrid murder at Farmington, and besides Mesapano, who was the principal actor, the Norwootuck and Pocomtock Indians were supposed to be accomplices.
The Montaukets, after all the trouble and expense, which the English had been at for their defence, became tumultuous, and did great damage to the inhabitants of Southampton.
The general court at Hartford, April 9th, gave orders that the Indians, who perpetrated the murder at Farmington, should be apprehended, and that the sachems of the Pocomtock and Norwootuck Indians should deliver up the delinquents among them.
Major Mason was ordered, with a detachment, to Long-Island, to bring the Indians there to a just and peaceable conduct, and adjust affairs between them and the English.1
At the general election in Connecticut, May 21st, 1657, Mr. John Winthrop was elected governor, and Mr. Thomas Wells deputy-governor. Mr. Webster was chosen the first magistrate. The other officers were the same who had been appointed the last year. The freemen, at the election in New-Haven, May 27th, made no alteration in their magistrates.
The general court at Hartford, this year, was uncommonly thin, consisting of twenty-two members only. The danger of the plantations, and of particular families, from the hostile state of the Indians, appears to have been the reason. The Montaukets, Moheagans, Narragansets, and Norwootucks, engaged in implacable wars with each other. They would pursue one another into the English plantations, and even into their houses, and kill each other in the presence of the families, to their great alarm and astonishment. Uncas was so pressed by the Narragansets, that Connecticut was obliged to send men to his fortress, to assist him in defending himself against them. The Narragansets, in several instances, threatened and plundered the inhabitants of Connecticut.
Therefore, when the commissioners met, in September, they sent messengers to them, demanding that they should cease from : Records of Connecticut.
war, until their grievances, and the grounds of their contentions, should be heard. They assured them, that they would hear and determine impartially, without favoring any of the parties. They represented to them the covenants which they had made with the English, and the entire inconsistency of their conduct, with those engagements. They also prohibited all fighting in the English plantations.
This year, the colony of New-Haven, and indeed all the NewEngland colonies, sustained a heavy loss in the death of governor Eaton.1 He was a minister's son, born at Stony Stratford, in Oxfordshire; was educated an East India merchant, and was sometime deputy-governor of the company, trading to the East Indies.2 For several years, he was agent for the king of England at the court of Denmark. After his return, he was a merchant of great business and respectability, in the city of London.
Upon the Laudean persecution, he left his native country, and came into New-England with Mr. Davenport, his minister, in 1637. He was one of the original patentees of the Massachusetts, and soon after his arrival was chosen one of the magistrates of that colony. Upon the settlement of New-Haven, he was chosen governor of the colony, and was annually re-elected until his death. He is represented as comely and personable, and is said to have appeared upon the bench with a dignity and majesty, which admit of no description. The impartiality with which he administered justice, was most exemplary, and his authority was not to be opposed. The wisdom, gravity, and integrity of his administration, were viewed with universal admiration. In honor to his memory, and the good services which he had rendered the colony, his funeral charges were borne, and a handsome monument erected at the public expense.3
Nearly at the same time, died his son-in-law, Edward Hopkins, Esquire, for a number of years governor of Connecticut. He conducted the affairs of government with great wisdom and integrity, and was universally beloved. He was a gentleman of exemplary
1 He died January 7th, 1657,* in the 67th year of his age.
2 This statement is corrected by Savage (Winthrop, 1 1272), who explains the error by inferring that the term East country used by Mather referred at the time to countries bordering on the Baltic. This should also apply to the statement on p. 74 regarding Eaton.J. T.
8 His private was not less amiable than his public character. In conversation, he was affable, courteous, and generally pleasant; but always grave and cautious. He was pious and strictly moral. His meekness, patience, and fortitude, were singular.
In the conduct of his family, he was strict, prudent, and happy. Though it sometimes consisted of not less than thirty persons, yet they were under the most perfect order and government. They were all assembled morning and evening, and the governor, after reading the scriptures, and making devout and useful observations upon them, prayed with great reverence and pertinency. On the sabbath, and other days of public devotion, he spent an hour or two with his family, in instructing them in the duties of faith and practice; and in recommending to
* Old style. The date used in the official record makes this confusing, although it is correct.J. T. piety, righteousness, and charity. In his family and secret devotions, he followed the example of governor Eaton. His charity was great and extensive. Besides the relief he dispensed to the poor, with his own hands, he gave considerable sums of money to others, to be disposed of to charitable purposes. When he went into England, on the occasion of his brother's death, who had been warden of the English fleet, he designed to return again to his family and friends, in New-England; but he was very soon particularly noticed, and made first warden of the fleet, in the room of his brother. He was then chosen commissioner of the admiralty and navy; and finally member of parliament. These unexpected preferments altered his designs, and determined him to send over for his family, and to spend the remainder of his days in his native country. He had been a consumptive man, attended with a cough, and spitting of blood, for more than thirty years. His constitution was now entirely wasted, and he died in the 58th year of his age.
His last will was highly expressive of that public spirit and charity, which had so distinguished him in life. His whole estate, in New-England, was given away to charitable purposes. He manifested his peculiar friendship to the family of Mr. Hooker, his pastor, at Hartford, by giving his relict, Mrs. Hooker, all the debts due from the family, to him; by giving to Mrs. Wilson, of Boston, Mr. Hooker's eldest daughter, his farm at Farmington, with all the houses, out-houses, and buildings upon it; and by legacies to several others of his descendants. All the remainder of his estate, in New-England, he bequeathed to his " father, Theophilus Eaton, Esquire, master John Davenport, master John Cullick, and master William Goodwin, in full assurance of their trust and faithfulness, in disposing of it according to the true intent and purpose of him, the said Edward Hopkins, which was to give some encouragement, in those foreign plantations, for the breeding up of hopeful youths, in a way of learning, both at the grammar school and college, for the public service of the country, in future times." He also made a donation of five hundred pounds more, out of his estate in England, to the said trustees, in further prosecution of the same public ends, " for the upholding and promoting the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, in those parts of the earth." This last donation was considered as made to Har
them the reading and study of the scriptures, secret devotion, the sanctification of the sabbath, and a devout and constant attendance on all divine institutions. On these days he sang praises, as well as prayed with his family. He was greatly beloved by his domestics, as well as by the commonwealth. Indeed, there was no man, among the first planters of New-England, who had a more general acquaintance with public business, or who sustained a fairer character. His monument is kept up to the present time. Upon it are these expressive lines: "Eaton, so meek, so wise, so fam'd, so just. The Phcenix of our world here hides his dust: This name forget, New-England never must."
vard college, and, by virtue of a decree in chancery, was paid in 1710. The interest given in New-England, was estimated at about 1,cool, sterling; and was appropriated to the support of the grammar schools in New-Haven, Hartford, and Hadley. The money originally belonged to New-Haven and Hartford; but as a considerable number of the people of Hartford afterwards removed to Hadley, and were principal settlers of that town, they received their proportion of the donation.
At a general court in Hartford, March nth, 1658, a troop of thirty horsemen was established in Connecticut, and Richard Lord was appointed captain. This was the first in the colony.
May 20th there was a very considerable alteration with respect to governors and the council, both in Connecticut and NewHaven. At the election in Connecticut, Thomas Wells, Esquire, was elected governor, and John Winthrop, Esquire, deputy governor. To the magistrates last year, who were again re-chosen, there was an addition of Mr. Matthew Allen, Mr. Phelps, Mr. John Wells, Mr. Treat, Mr. Baker, Mr. Mulford, and Mr. Alexander Knowles. There appears to have been sixteen magistrates, and twenty-six deputies; in the whole, forty-two members.
On the election at New-Haven, Mr. Francis Newman was chosen governor, and William Leet, deputy governor.1 Mr. Jasper Crane was added to the magistrates, and Mr. William Gibbard was appointed secretary.
This year a considerable settlement was made between Mistic and Pawcatuck rivers. This tract was called Pequot, and originally belonged to New-London. The first man who settled upon this tract, was William Cheesebrough, from Rehoboth, in 1649. A complaint was exhibited against him for carrying on an illicit trade with the Indians, for repairing their arms, and endangering the public safety. The general court of Connecticut declared, that they had a clear title to those lands, and summoned him before them. They reprimanded him for settling upon them without their approbation; for withdrawing himself from Christian society and ordinances; and for unlawfully trading with and assisting the Indians. He confessed his faults;2 but pleaded, in excuse, that he had been encouraged by Mr. Winthrop, who claimed a right at Pawcatuck. He gave bonds for his good conduct, and was allowed to continue upon the land. The court promised him, that
1 Mr. Stephen Goodyear, who had been deputy governor, with governor Eaton, through almost his whole administration, died this year, in London, and was either there, or on his passage, at this election. He appea1s to have been a worthy man, and left a respectable family.
a Cheesebrough does not appear to have confessed to any illicit trade with the Indians at Pawcatuck. The official record says "he acknowledged his former transgression," which must have been some transactions with the Indians at Rehoboth, his former residence. After the jurisdiction of Connecticut was settled, Cheesebrough appears to have been a man of good standing, and a deputy to the general court.J. T.
if he would procure a sufficient number of planters, they would give them all proper encouragement, in making a permanent settlement. About ten or twelve families, this year, made settlements in that quarter; and, finding that there was a controversy between Connecticut and the Massachusetts, with respect both to title and jurisdiction, they, on the 30th of June, entered into a voluntary contract to govern themselves, and conduct their affairs in peace, until it should be determined to which colony they should submit. The principal planters were George Denison, Thomas Stanton, Thomas Shaw, William, Elisha, and Samuel Cheesebrough, and Moses and Walter Palmer. These, with some others, were signers of the voluntary compact.
At the meeting of the commissioners, the Massachusetts claimed that tract of country, by virtue of the assistance which they afforded Connecticut in the conquest of the Pequots. The commissioners resolved, "That the determination did arise only from the several rights of conquest, which were not greatly different; yet that being tender of any inconvenience which might arise to those who were already possessed, either by commission from Massachusetts or Connecticut, in any part thereof, should they be put off their improvements; also, upon inquiry, finding, that the Pequot country, which extented from Nehantick to Wekapaug, about ten miles eastward from Mistic river, may conveniently accommodate two plantations, did, respecting things as they then stood, conclude, that Mistic river be the bounds between them, as to propriety and jurisdiction, so far as conquest may give title. Always provided, that such as are already accommodated, by commission of either of the said governments, or have grants of any tracts of land, on either side of the Mystic river, be not molested in any of their possessions or rights, by any other grants."
Upon the petition of the planters, October 19th, the general court of the Massachusetts made them a grant of eight miles from the mouth of Mystic river towards Wekapaug, and eight miles northward into the country, and named the plantation Southerton. It continued under the government of Massachusetts until after Connecticut obtained a royal charter.
This was a year of great sickness and mortality in Connecticut, and in New-England in general. Religious controversies, at the same time, ran high, and gave great trouble to church and commonwealth. The Indians continued their wars with implacable animosity. The commissioners employed all their wisdom and influence to make peace; but they could not reconcile those bloodthirsty barbarians. The crops were light, and it was a year of fear, perplexity, and sorrow.1
1 la a proclamation for a general fast, the intemperate season, thin harvest, sore visitation by sickness, and the sad, prolonged differences in the churches, are particularized as matters of humiliation.