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NEW ENGLAND COLONIES UNITED
inhabitants of the former province not being required w qualify its freemen or deputies, for a participation in the business of legislation, by church membership,
As early as 1637, a union of the colonies of New Eng land had been proposed at a meeting of the leading magis trates and elders of Connecticut, held in Boston ; but it was not until 1643, that a confederation was effectech, embracing the separate governments of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven, under the title of the United Colonies of New England. Their declareil object was the protection of the lives, property, and liberties of the whole, against foreign or internal dangers. The local jurisdiction of the several states was carefully guarded. Two commissioners from each colony were to assemble annually to deliberate on the affairs of the confederacy. The measures which they determined were merely recommended to the several colonies, to be carried into effect by their local authorities.
Rhode Island was excluded from the union, because it declined to come under the jurisdiction of Plymouth; and the people of Providence Plantations and Maine were not admitted on account of the want of harmony between their religious views and those of the members of the confederacy.
In 1646, the people of Connecticut purchased the territory at the mouth of the river, from the assigns of the Earl of Warwick.
Rhode Island, having been excluded from the union of the colonies, sought the immediate protection of the mother country. For this purpose the government despatched Roger Williams himself, the founder of the colony, to England. He was warmly received by the republicans, who had then the controul of affairs, and found no difficulty in obtaining from parliament, a free and absolute charter of civil government.
On his return, he took letters of safe conduct from parliament, and landed at Boston, whence, it will be recollected, he had been banished with an ignominy as signal as his return was now triumphant. His return in his own state was marked with every demonstration of joy and welcome. On his arrival at Seekonk, he was
What was done in 1637 ?-In 1643 ?-What was the object of this union ?-What colonies were excluded ?-Why ?---What took place in 1646 ?-What is related of Roger Williams ?-How was he received or. his return?
met by a fleet of canoes, manned by the people of Prova dence, and conducted joyously to the opposite shore.
The affairs of Rhode Island were not yet finally settled. The executive council in England had granted to Coddington a separate jurisdiction of the islands. Justly apprehending that this would lead to the speedy dissolution of their little state, and the annexation of its ports to the neighbouring governments, the people sent Williams again to England, accompanied by John Clark; and the danger was removed by the rescinding of Coddington's commission, and the confirmation of the charter. (1652.)
The province of Maine had made but little progress under the auspices of Sir Ferdinand Gorges, as lord proprietary. He had granted a city charter to the town of York, which contained some 300 inhabitants, and sent out his cousin Thomas, to support the dignity of a deputy governor. He had expended much time and money on his favourite scheme of colonisation, but died at an advanced age, without realising any benefit from it.
After his death a dispute arose between the colonists who were settled under his charter, and those who had settled under Rigby's patent, for Lygonia. The magistrates of the neighbouring colony of Massachusetts were appealed to by both parties; and after a hearing, the litigants were informed that neither hau a clear right, and were recommended to live in peace. The heirs of Gorges seemed to have forgotten the care of his colony, and his agents withdrew. Under these circumstances, the inhabitants of Piscataqua, York, and Wells accepted the offer of Massachusetts to place themselves under her protection. The province was formally annexed to the Bay colony, and the towns, situated farther east, readily sent in their adhesion.
In 1655, Oliver Cromwell offered the people of New England a settlement in the Island of Jamaica, provided they would emigrate thither, and possess its fertile lands, and orange groves. But the people were too much attached to the country of their adoption to listen to such a proposal. They would have considered it a species of sacrilege, to abandon to the savages the consecrated asylum of their religion. The protector's offer was respectfully declined.
What was the occasion of his second visit to England ?- What wac the result ?--What is related of Gorges ?- What dispute arose after his death ?--How was it settled ?-To what colony was Maine annexed i What offer was made by Cromwell ?--Was it accepted ?
PERSECUTION OF QUAKERS.
The religious sentiments of the Puritan colonists gave a peculiar character to all their institutions. Religion was with them an affair of state ; and to preserve its purity was considered a paramount duty of the civil ma. gistrate. We have seen the effects of this principle in the history of the Antinomian controversy, which led to the expulsion of Anne Hutchinson, and her diss-ples. It was now applied to the Anabaptists and Quakers.
Clarke, a baptist of Rhode Island, of exemplary cha. racter, was fined for preaching at Lynn, andi Holmes, for refusing to pay a fine, inflicted for his religious opinions, was publicly whipped.
The union of church and state had become so intimate that offences against religion, as it was understood by the governing powers, were treated as civil crimes. Absence from public worship was punished by a fine. The utterance of certain opinions was denounced as blasphemy, and visited with fine, imprisonment, exile, or death. Ministers not ordained in the regular manner, were silenced by the public authorities; and the very men, who had fled from England to gain an asylum for religious freedom, were refusing the slightest toleration to any religious opinions but their own.
Such proceedings evince at once the peculiar delusion of the times, and the dangerous tendency of a union of church and state. It is fortunate that this delusion was temporary; and that the unnatural combination which led w it, was soon dissolved.
NEW ENGLAND AFTER TAE RESTORATION.
The restoration of Charles II could hardly be con sidered an auspicious event by the people of New
England. Oni tie contrary, it afforded them the
strongest reason to expect an abridgment of their commercial advarta gen, and an attack upon their religious and r.olitical privilyes. They were accordingly in no nastë to rreghisa ine royal authority. In July, 1660,
Bf ut"era cow persecuted ?-Why ?-What measures wer bor.'s user,mint?- What is observed of these proceedings : Odro y Pestoration ?
THE REGICIDES IN NEW ENGLAND.
Whaley and Goffe, two of the late king's judges, arrived in Boston, and announced the restoration of Charles Il, but represented the mother country as being in a very unsettled state. They were freely permitted to travel through New England, and received many attentions from the inhabitants.
When, at length, it was known that the king's autho rity was firmly established in England, and that complaints against the colony of Massachusetts had been presented to the privy council and both houses of parliament, by Quakers, royalists, and others adverse to its interests, the people became convinced of the necessity of decisive action. A general court was convened, and an address was voted to the king, vindicating the colony from the charges of its enemies, professing the most dutiful attachment to the sovereign, and soliciting protection for their civil and ecclesiastical institutions. A similar address was made to parliament, and the agent of the colony was instructed to exert himself to obtain a con tinuance of the commercial immunities which had been granted by the Long Parliament.
Before he had time to obey these instructions, a duty of five per cent. on exports and imports had already been imposed; and before the session closed, the famous navigation act was re-enacted. The king returned a grit cious answer to the colonial address, accompanied by an order for the apprehension of Goffe and Whaley.
This small measure of royal favour was joyfully received, and a day of thanksgiving was appointed, to acknowledge the favour of Heaven in disposing the king to clemency. A formal requisition for the regicide judges was sent to New Haven, whither they had gone; but matters were so arranged that they escaped from their pursuers, and lived in New England to the end of their days.
Apprehensions of danger to their civil and religious rights were still felt by the colonists, notwithstanding the bland professions of the king. Rumours of a meditated attack on their commercial privileges, and of the coming of a governor-general for all North America, were seriously believed. This led to the famous De claration of Rights on the part of Massachusetts, in which
What happen d in July, 1660 ?-What was at length done by the general court ?-By parliament ?--By the king ?-By the colonists ?What is said of 1 3 regicides ?–Of the declaration of rights ?
NEW CHARTERS GRANTED.
the powers and duties of the colony were very clearly and ably defined. Having thus declared the terms on which his authority should be recognised, the general court caused the king to be solemnly proclaimed as their undoubted prince and sovereign Jord.
Agents were then sent over to England to protect the interests of the colony, who were favourably received, ind soon returned to Boston, bringing a letter from the king confirming the colonial charter, and granting an amnesty to all political offenders who were not already attainted for high treason; but requiring that the oath of allegiance should be administered ; that justice should be distributed in the king's name; that the church of England should be tolerated; and that the qualification of church membership for civil officers should be dispensed with.
Of all these requisitions, the only one which was complied with was that which directed the judicial proceedings to be conducted in the king's name. The others were published, but reserved for deliberation.
Rhode Island was not backward in acknowledging the restored king. He was early proclaimed in the colony, and an agent, being despatched to England, soon succeeded in obtaining a charter which granted the most ample privileges.
Connecticut deputed John Winthrop, son of the cele brated governor of Massachusetts, as their agent at court, who had no difficulty in obtaining a charter in almost every respect the same with that which had been granted to Rhode Island. It differed from it, however, in requiring the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to be administered to the inhabitants. By the new charter New Haven was united with Connecticut; an arrangement which was for some time opposed by the people of the former colony, although they finally concurred in it. Winthrop, on his return, was cordially welcomed ; and was annually chosen governor of the colony during the remainder of his life.
The privileges confirmed by these charters were subsequently of immense importance to the cause of liberty.
s'he English government had always questioned the
What is said of the general court?-Of the agents sent to England?Whai terms were offered by the king ?--How were they alisposed of ?.Of Rhode Island and its
charter?-Connecticut ? Or John. Winthrop ?