Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

He was too young and too little acquainted with the country to ful/l with success the duties of so arduous an affice.

The arrival of Vane was followed by certain negotiations with other men of noble rank in England, who were desirous to emigrate to Massachusetts, provided they could continue there in the enjoyment of those hereditary powers and offices, which were guaranteed to them and their families by the British constitution. Their proposals were received and considered by the leaders and freemen of the colony; but, fortunately for their posterity, these sagacious republicans foresaw the evils which would result from such an arrangement, and the proposal was accordingly declined.

The colony was not so fortunate in respect to another source of disorder, religious dissensions. A controversy mose concerning faith and works, in which a Mrs. Anne Hutchinson and two clergymen, Mr. Wheelwright and Mr. Cotton, espoused one side of the question, and received the support of governor Vana, while the lieutenant governor Winthrop, and a majority of the ministers ana Aurches, contended as earnestly for the opposite opinions.

Mrs. Hutchinson held weekly conferences for persons of her own sex, and commented with great asperity on the sermons delivered by preachers of the opposite party, whom she pronounced to be under a covenant of works.

What proposal was made by certain English noblemen ?-How was # treated ?-What cause of disorder now began to operate ?-What is said of Mrs. Hutchinson ?

[ocr errors][merged small]

The number and quality of her adherents soon gave the affair a degree of political importance, which it could never have acquired in a community where the church and state were not intimately connected.

The general court took up the matter, and censured Wheelwright for sedition. This measure embroiled the parties still further; and the party question of the day was made the test of elections, and interfered with the discussion and decision of every public measure. The controversy lasted till 1637, when Anne Hutchinson, Wheelwright, and Aspinwall were banished the colony, and their adherents were required to deliver up their arms.

Many of the Antinomians, as the minority were called, emigrated to the neighbouring colonies. A considerable number found shelter with Roger Williams; and, by his influence and that of Vane, obtained from Miantonomol, the chief of the Narragansetts, a gift of the beautiful island of Rhode Island. Wheelwright and some of his friends removed to the Piscataqua, and founded the town of Exeter.

Vane, not being elected governor a second time, and having witnessed the persecution and exile of the party to which he had been conscientiously attached, soon after returned to England, became conspicuous in the civil wars, and suffered death for his attachment to the republican cause.

Peter became chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, and, after the Restoration, suffered the same fate.

The valley of the Connecticut had already attracted attention, by its fertility and its convenient location for an extensive internal trade in furs. The first proprietary under the Plymouth council, the Earl of Warwick, had assigned his grant to Lords Say and Seal, Lord Brook, and others, in 1631. The people of the old colony at Ply. mouth had built a trading house at Windsor (1631) for the purchase of furs; and the Dutch had settled Hartford, under the name of Good Hope, in 1633.

The proprietaries sent out John Winthrop, in 1635, who erected a fort at the mouth of the Connecticut, and founded Saybrook. Before his arrival, parties of emigrants from Massachusetts had already formed settlements at Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield. The settlers marched through the forest to their new abode, accom

How did the controversy end ?-Where did the exiles seille ?-What became of Vane ?-Of Péter ?What settlements had been made in Connecticui ?-By whom ?-When was Saybrok settled !--By whom 1

What other places had been settled ?

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed]

panied by their wives and children. This appears to have been the first example of western emigration,' which was conducted in this manner. The march of the vanguard of sixty Pilgrims, which took place late in autumn, was attended with much suffering and privation.

Next year a government was organised under a comnission from Massachusetts; and, in June, a company of one hundred new emigrants, under the direction of the Rev. Thomas Hooker, commenced its march from Massachusetts towards the new settlement on the Connecticut, travelling through the pathless woods at the slow rate of ten miles a day, encumbered with their families and flocks, and sleeping at night with scarce any shelter but what the woods afforded. This pilgrimage is not less remarkable for its romantic daring, than for the high character of its leaders. The new settlement was sur rounded with perils. The Dutch, who were established on the river, were anxious to exclude the English; and the natives, who were numerous and powerful in that neighbourhood, had begun to entertain hostile dispositions towards all European intruders.

The Pequods, residing in the vicinity of the Thames river, could bring seven hundred warriors into the field. They had already committed repeated aggressions on the whites, without suffering any chastisement, and they now proposed to the Narragansetts and Mohegans to unite in

Describe the pilgrimage of Mr. Hooker and his followers.—What Jangers did they encounter I-What is said of the Pequods ?--Who ieagued with them?

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

a league for the utter extermination of the race. Fortu nately this design became known to Roger Williams who communicated it to the governor of Massachusetts and having received, from the governor and council letters, requesting his personal exertions in dissolving the league, he went directly to the house of the sachem of the Narragansetts, and, although the Pequod chiefs were already there, he succeeded, at great hazard of his life, in breaking up the conspiracy. Such was the service which the persecuted man was able to render to those who had been his persecutors.

The Pequods, when the Narragansetts and Mohegang were detached from their alliance, foolishly resolved to prosecute the war alone. They commenced hostilities by murdering the white people on their borders; but the Connecticut settlers promptly raised a force of ninety men, who were placed under the command of John Mason. The Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies prom ceeded to furnish their contingent of troops ; but before they could arrive, the Connecticut party were on their way to the scene of action. By a rapid march they succeeded in surprising the Pequods, in their camp of palisades, before daybreak, and, but for the barking of a watch dog, would have destroyed them without resistance. The warriors rose at the alarm, and defended themselves with their bows and arrows. Their superiority of numbers gave them some chance of escape, until Mason cast firebrands upon the Indian cabins, and set the whole encampment in a blaze. The confusion that ensued gave the English an easy victory. Six hundred of the Indians, men, women, and children, perished; most of them by the fire. Only two of the assailants were killed.

The remnant of the tribe, two hundred in number, surrendered, and were either enslaved to the English, or mingled with the Mohegans and Narragansetts. The Pequods no longer existed as a distinct tribe.

The successful termination of the Pequod war, was followed by a long season of uninterrupted peace, during which the colonies of New England continued to flourish increasing in wealth and population.

Settlements were constantly forming, and fresh emi» grants arriving from England." In 1638, a Puritan colony

What did they design ?-Who broke up the league ?-Who remained hostile ?- Who marched against them? What was the result ?--What becane of the remnant of the Pequods ?-What tullowed the Pequod

THE THREE CONNECTICUT COLONIES.

65

was planted at New Haven, under the direction of John Davenport, its pastor, and Theophilus Eaton, who, for twenty years, sustained the office of governor. This was a separate jurisdiction from that in the interior, so that, at this time, there were no less than three distinct political communities in the territory now called Connecticut, viz, Saybrook, under the proprietaries, Connecticut colony, under a commission from Massachusetts, and New Haven colony, claiming its territory by purchase from the Indians, and governing itself by virtue of a social contract.

CHAPTER XII.

THE COLONIES OF NEW ENGLAND UNITED.

DURING the civil wars of England, the colonies were left in a state of peace and prosperity. Twenty-one thousand two hundred emigrants had arrived before the assembling of the Long Parliament, and a million of dollars had been expended on the plantations. Agriculture, ship building, the fisheries, and an extensive commerce in furs, lumber, grain, and fish were the chief pursuits of the inhabitants. Their institutions of religion and civil government were highly favourable to habits of industry and economy, labour rendered their soil productive, and the natural result was a rapid increase of wealth and population.

The members of the Long Parliament, being Puritang themselves, were disposed to extend every encouragement to the Puritan colonies. They freed the colonists

164. from all taxation on exports and iniports, and declared their approbation of the enterprise in which they were engaged. The colonists ac , 'ted the courtesy, but were careful to avoid too close a connection with these unsought friends.

In 1641, New Hampshire was annexed to Massachusetts, by request of the people, and on equal terms; the

When was New Haven settled ?-Enumerate the separate politica? communities existing in Connecticut.-- What is said of New England during the civil wars ?--The pursuits and institutions of the people ? Of the Long Parliament ?-Or'the colonisis ?--Of New Hampshire ?

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »