Obrazy na stronie


Public ferment in Massachusetts, Dreadful mortality > Line established between Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Shirley governor, Louisbourgh taken, French invasion, Congress at Albany, Nova Scotia taken, Braddocfcs defeat.

W HILE these provinces were in a constant ferment by their contentions with their governors, Connedlicut and Rhode Island, under their ancient charters, enjoyed tranquillity, chose their own rulers, and ena£ted their own laws. The altercations of Massachusetts fanned the coals of independence, and finally produced the explosion which has forever separated the two countries.

In August, 1750, Mr. Belcher was received with great joy; like his predecessors, he proposed a fixed salary, like them, he saw his proposal repelled with violence. He saw the cause was desperate, and obtained leave from the British court, to receive such sums as should be granted him. So terminated the long, the tedious contest respefling the governor's salary.

In 1735, was the most extensive and fatal epidemic, which has been known in New England since its settlement by the English. It was called the throat distemper. The throat swelled with white or ash coloured specks, an efflorescence appeared on the skin; there was a great debility of Bd2

330 Throat Distemper.

the whole system, and a strong tendency,to putridity. Its first appearance was in May, 1735, at Kingston, in New Hampshire. The first person seized was a child, who died in three days. In about a week, it appeared four miles distant, three children died on the third day. During the summer, it spread through the town; of the first forty who had it, not one recovered. In August, it appeared in Exeter, an adjacent town, where 127 died; in September, at Boston, fifty miles south, where 114 died; at By field, fifteen miles south of Kingston, October 23d, nor was it known in Chester, an adjoining town, till this month. At Byfield, only one died in October,* in November two died, in December ten, in January seven, in February three, in March six, in April five, in May seven, iti June four, in July nine, in August twenty five, in September thirteen, in October eight, in November four: the last of which died on the 23d, so that in just thirteen months, 104 persons died, which was abotit the seventh part of the: population of the parish. Eight children were buried from one family; fbixr of them in the same grave; another family l8st five children. In other places, from three to six children were lost out of a family. In some towns one in three, and others one in four, who were sick, died. In Hampton Falls, 20 familiesburittl all their children; 27 persons were lost out'of fife Great Mortality. 331

* Church Records of -Byikld,

families, and more than a sixth part of the inhabitants * died. In the province of New Hampshire alone, which then had only fifteen towns,; not less ^thah'1000 persons, of whom nine hundred were under twenty years of age, fell victims to this terrible malady. *

It was not an enemy of any particular season or situation. It continued through the whole year. It appeared afterward in 1754 and 1755, spreading mortality -through New England. In some "places in 'Connecticut, it was quite as fatal as ill Massachusetts. It again alarmed New Hampshire and Massachusetts in 1784, 5,6 and 7 and 1802. It has of late been much more under the control of medicine; but still it is a formidable enemy, walking in darkness ;; appearing here today, and perhaps tomorrow in therremotest place in the neigh, bourhood, without any intercourse or similarity of situation; the distress and anguish it brings is often indescribable,; the.writhings and contortions of the patient, seem as, great as if he were on ia bed of biiruing coals.: -*•'•. ;;3

The divisional dine, in; 1740, was finally determined by the lords of the council, between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. New Hampshire obtained 14 miles in breadth, and aboiU 50 in length, more than they had claimed. A.party the following year opposed Mr. Belcher, and by their incessant applications to the ministry? by falsehood

f^-' Dr. Belknap. ',

332 Louisbourgh attacked and taken.

and forgery, they finally prevailed. He was succeeded in New Hampshire, by Benning Wentworth ; in Massachusetts by William Shirley. Mr. Belcher repaired to court; demonstrated his own integrity and the baseness of his enemies, was appointed governor of New Jersey, passed a quiet life, and his memory has been treated with merited respeft.

In 1744, news of war with France and Spain being received, forces were raised to attack Nova Scotia. Governor Shirley proje&ed an invasion of Louisbourgh, the Dunkirk of America. Its fortifications had employed French troops twenty five years, and cost 30,000,000 livres. A majority of one, in the general court, voted for the expedition. The land forces were commanded by colonel William Pepperell of Kittery; the English squadron by commodore Warren. The last of April, the following year, the troops, 3800 in number, landed at Chapeaurogue Bay. The transports had been discovered early in the morning from the town, which was the first notice they had of the design. In the night of May 2, 400 men burned the \yarehouses containing the naval stores. The French were alarmed, spiked their guns, flung their powder into a well, and abandoning the fort, fled to the city. The New England troops cheerfully submitted to extreme hardships ;, for fourteen nights successively, they were yoked togfe&elr like oxen, dragging cannon and mortars, through Remarkable Deliverance. 3;33^

a morass of two miles. The commanding artillery of the enemy forbade this toil in the day.. No people on earth, perhaps, are more capable of such, laborious and daring exploits, thai! the independf; ent; farmers ;of New England. On the 17th of June, the garrison capitulated,, but the flag of France was kept flying, which decoyed into the harbour, ships of the enemy,. to the value of, .£600*000 sterling. , The;;weather, durijig, the, siege, was'fine, bufctfre day following rains began£ whichicontinued ten days, arid must have prpved fatal to the provincial troops,]had not the capitulation prevented. ThQ good people; of New .England were deeply affe&edby this evident interposition of divine providence..! ;o>Vi ';.• i'^I'/r:.;;

The; iiext year, 1746, a French fleet sailed to pour j destruction on New England. Tw^pty men of war, an hundred transports, eight thou-: sand veteran troops made the country tremble,5 In their consternation, they were disappointed of a squadron of defence, from the mother country, God interposed. A mortal sickness spreiacl through the fleet; a tempest scattered them ;;t^e> commander, disappointed and mortified, poison^} himself; his successor fell on his sword.- > Never; was the hand of divine providence more visible; never was a disappointment more severe to the enemy; never a deliverance more complete with? out human aid, than this in favour pf New England. . -' /

« PoprzedniaDalej »