Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

District of Maine planted. 119

The religious views and sentiments of Mason and Gorges, did not accord with those of the planters of Massachusetts; the objeft of the latter was to establish a christian community, for the preservation and spread of pure religion, and liberty of conscience; while that of the former was to plant colonies, which should yield them wealth and power. The enterprize of Mason and Gorges, was, however, at this period, exemplary and useful, as it served to excite a spirit of emulation in other adventurers, and their memory deserves respect. Capt. Mason died in the winter of 1635-6. Governor Winthrop in his journal makes the following remark on his death, evincive of the temper of those times. '' He was the chief mover in all attempts against us, (the Massachusetts colony) and was to have sent the general governor; and for this end was providing ships. But the Lord, in mercy, took him away, and all the business fell on sleep."

In April, 1639, Gorges obtained from Charles L a confirmation of his patent, and " his limits were now extended to one hundred miles from the rivers southwest ward into the desert.". This tra£t was called Maine. By this patent Gorges was invested7with all the royal rights of a Count palatinate, with greater powers, than had ever been granted by a sovereign to a subjed. Encouraged by these attentions, and invested with- authority, the following year he established civil govern. ment within the province, appointed Josselyn and 120 * Exeter settled.

others his counsellors, and transmitted to them (March, 1640) ordinances to regulate them in the administration of justice. But he possessed not the talents requisite to the government of a colony; the constitution he had formed for Maine, was merely executive, without any legislative powers, nor did it provide any assembly in which the people might be represented. Encouragement was not given to emigrants to purchase and culti-vate his lands. Agriculture was neglefled. Lands were granted,, not as freeholds, but by leases, subject to quit rents, and no provision was made for the regular support of the clergy. With such a 'government and such regulations, it could net be expected that the colony would flourish; on the contrary ** the province languished for years in hopeless imbecility; and its languors ceased> and a principle of life was infused, only when he ceased to be its proprietary mid lawgiver." The town of York, however, was incorporated by him, with <uty privileges, in 1641, though this circumstance seems to have added neither to its wealth nor importance.

The Rev. John Wheehvright, brother of the famous Ann Hutchinson, finding opposition too powerful, quitted Massachusetts, and with a num~ berofhis followers, planted the town of Exeter* Sensible of the necessity of government and laws, of which they were destitute, thirty-five persons, In Oftober, 1639, "combined themselves, in the name of Christ, to ere&such.a government as Settlement of New Hampshire. 121

should be agreeable to the will of God." They considered themselves as subjects of England, acknowledged the laws of the realm, and promised obedience to such laws as should be made by their own representatives, and chose a Mr. Underhill for their governor. Their situation, however, was neither happy nor prosperous.

Not long after, a small, but more respectable number of persons fromEngland, settled at Dover, and in Oftober, 1640, these people, and those who had planted themselvesatPortsmouth, under Williams, formed themselves each, into a body politic.

Four distinct governments, (including one at Kittery on the north side of the river) were now formed on the several branches of the Piscataqua. These combinations being only voluntary agreements, liable to be broken or subdivided on the first popular discontent, there could be no safety in the continuance of them. The distractions in England, at this time, had cut off all hope of the royal attention, and the people of the several settlements were too much divided in their opinions to form any general plan of government, which could afford a prospeft of permanent utility. The more considerate persons among them, therefore, thought it best to treat with Massachusetts, about taking them under their proteaion. That government was glad of an opportunity, to realize the constru&ion, which they had put upon the clause, of their charter, wherein their northern limits are defined * for n rrir r^-— -r <-->; .. -. *.„, TT, ,., ,,, . v

122 JV. Hampshire annexed to Massachusetts.

distance of " three miles to the northward of Merrimack river, and of any and every part thereof," which would take in the whole province of New Hampshire, and the greater part of the province of Maine, so that both Mason's and Gorges' patents must have been vacated. They had already intimated their intention to run this east and west line, and presuming on the justice of their claim, they readily entered into a negotiation with the principal settlers of Piscataqua respecting their incorporation with them. The affair was more than a year in agitation, and was at length concluded by an instrument subscribed in the presence of the general court, by George Wyllys, Robert Saltonstall, William Whiting, Edward Holiock, and Thomas Makepeace, in behalf of themselves and the other partners of the two patents; by which instrument they resigned the jurisdiction of the whole to Massachusetts, on condition that the inhabitants slibuld enjoy the same liberties with their own people, and have a^court of justice ereCted among them. The property of the whole patent of Portsmouth, and of one third part of that of Dover, and of all their improved lands was reserved to the lords and gentlemen proprietors, and to their heirs forever.*

Thus New Hampshire ceased to be a separate province. Each of the associations beforementioned dissolved their respective compacts, which had been productive of much contention and anarchy, and peaceably submitted to Massachusetts, C H A P. X.

* Belknap,

Settlement of Connecticut, character of Reverend Mr. Dacve?7port.

1 HE present territory of Connecticut, at the time of the first arrival of the English, was possessed by the Pequot, the Mohegan, Podunk, and many other smaller tribes of Indians.

The Pequots were numerous and warlike. Their country extended along the sea coast from Paukatuck to Connecticut river. About the year 1630, this powerful tribe extended their conquests over a considerable part of Connecticut, over all Long Island and apart of Narraganset. Sassacus, who was the grand monarch of the whole country, was king of this nation. The seat of his dominion was at New London; the ancient Indian name of which, was Pequot.

The Mohegans were a numerous tribe, and their territory extensive. Their ancient claim comprehended most of New London county, almost the whole of the county of Windham, wand a part of the counties of Tolland and Hartford. Uncus, distinguished for his friendship to.the English, was the sachem of this tribe.

The Podunks inhabited East Hartford, and the circumjacent country. The first sachem of this tribe, of whom the English had any knowledge^ was Tatanimoo. He was abte to bring into the, field more than 200 fighting men.

« PoprzedniaDalej »