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To support them under these trials, they had need of all the aids and comforts which christianity affords; and these were sufficient. The free and unmolested enjoyment of their religion, reconciled them to their humble and lonely situation--they bore their hardships with unexampled patience, and persevered in their pilgrimage of almost unparalleled trials, with such refignation and calmness, as gave proof of great picty and unconquerable virtue.
On the 3d of November, 1620, king James signed a patent incorporating the duke of Lenox, the marquifles of Buckingham and Hamilton, the earls of Arundel and Warwick, Sir Francis Gorges, with thirty-four others, and their successors, styling them, · The council established at Plymouth in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, and governing of New-England in America.' To this council he granted all that part of America which lies between the 40th and 48th degrees of north latitude. This patent is the great civil basis of all the grants and patents by which New-England was afterwards divided.
The Plymouth council retained the power vested in them by the crown until the year 1635, when they resigned their charter. Previous to this, however, the council had made several grants of land to adventurers, who proposed to settle in New-England. They granted New Hampshire to Capt. John Mafon, in 1621-the Province of Main, to Sir R. Gorges, in 1622, and Massachusetts Bay to Sir Henry Rofwell and five others, in 1627,
As early as March, 1621, Mafafsoit *, one of the most powerful Sagamores of the neighbouring Indians, with fixty attendants, made a visit to the Plymouth lettlers, and entered into a formal and very friendly treaty with them, wherein they agreed to avoid injuries on both sides—to punish of fenders—to restore stolen goods—to altist each other in all justifiable wars to promote peace among their neighbours, &c, Mafafsoit and his fuc, ceffors, for fifty years, inviolably observed this treaty. The English are much indebted to him for his friendship, and his memory will ever be respected in New England.
The Narraganfetrs, difiking the conduct of Mafafsoit, declared war against him, which occasioned much confusion and fighting among the Indians. The Plymouth colony interposed in favour of Mafafsoit, their good ally, and terminated the dispute, to the terror of their enemies. Even CANONICUS himself, the terrific Sachem of the Narragansetts, sued for peace.
The prudent, friendly, and upright conduct of the Plymouth colony toward their neighbours, the Indians, secured their friendship and alliance, On the 13th of September, 1621, no less than nine Sachems declared allegiance to king James; and Mafafsoit, with many of his Sub-Sachems, who lived around the bays of Paruxent and Massachusetts, subscribed a writing acknowledging the king of England their master. These transactions are fo many proofs of the peaceful and benevolent disposition of the Plymouth settlers;
for had they been otherwise disposed they never could have introduced and maintained a friendly intercourse with the natives.
* The feat of Mafafsoit was at Pakarokit, on Namasket river, which empties into Narraganjett Bay.
On the roth of Sept. this year, the king granted to Sir William Alexander a patent of all the tract of country bounded by a line drawn from Cape Sables to the Bay of St. Mary; thence to the river St. Croix, thence north to Canada river—down the river to Gachepe; thence fouth-eaft to Cape-Breton IIand and Cape-Breton ; thence round to Cape Sables; with all seas and ilands within fix leagues of the western and eaftern parts, and within forty leagues southward of Cape-Breton and Cape-Sables; to be called Nova Scotia.
The first duel in New-England, was fought with sword and dagger between two servants. Neither of them were killed, but both were wounded, For this disgraceful offence, they were formally tried before the whole company, and sentenced to have their heads and feet tied together, and fo to be twenty-four hours without meat or drink.' Such, however, was the painfulness of their situation, and their piteous intreaties to be released, that, upon promise of better behaviour in future, they were soon released by the governor. Such was the origin, and fuch, I may almost venture to add, was the termination of the odious practice of duelling in New-England, for there have been very few duels fought there fince. The true method of preventing crimes is to render them disgraceful. Upon this principle, can there be invented a punishment better calculated to exterminate this criminal practice, than the one already mentioned ?
In 1622, Mr. Weston sent over a colony, which attempted a settlement at Weymouth. But they being a set of rude, profane fellows, regardless of justice, provoked the Indians by stealing their corn, and other abuses, to become their enemies, and occafioned much trouble both to themselves and the Plymouth settlers. At length the Indians entered into a conspiracy to deftroy the settlement, and would have effected it, had it not been for the interposition of their Plymouth friends. Such, however, was the reduced state of the colony, and their danger from the natives, that they thought it prudent to break up the settlement; which they did in March 1623, and afterwards returned to England.
This year (1622) died Squanto the friend of the English, who merits to have his name perpetuated in history. Squanto was one of the twenty Indians whom Hunt perfidiously carried to Spain*; whence he came to London, and afterwards to his native country with the Plymouth colony. Forgetting the perfidy of those who made him a captive, he became a warın friend to the English, and continued so to the day of his death. A few days before he died, he desired the governor pray that he might go to the Englishman's God in heaven. He gave the few articles he potsessed to several of his English friends as remembrances of his love. : We have already mentioned that Mr. Carver was elected governor of the colony immediately after their arrival. He died the 5th of April following. His loss was most sensibly felt, and sincerely lamented. He was a man of great piety, and indefatigable in his endeavours to advance the interest and happiness of the colony. Mr. William Bradford was soon after chosen to succeed him in office. This gentleman, by renewed elections, was continued in office until he died in 1657, except in 1633, 1636 and 1644, when Edward Winslow was chosen, and 1634, wlren Thomas Prince * Set Page 28.
was elected, who also succeeded Governor Bradford, and was annually elected, until his death in 1673, when Josias Winslow succeeded and continued until he died in 1680, and was succeeded by Thomas Hinkley, who held the place, except in the interruption by Sir Edmund Androls, until the junction with the Massachusetts in 1692.
In March 1624 Mr. Winslow, agent for the colony, arrived in the ship Charity, and, together with a good supply of clothing, brought a bull and three heifers, which were the firit cattle of the kind in this part of America. From these, and others that were afterwards brought over from England, sprang the present multitudes of cattle in the northern states. None of the domestic animals were found in America by the first European settlers.
This year Lyford and Oldham, two treacherous intriguing characters, influenced the factious part of the adventurers, to join them in opposing the church and government of the colony. Their artful designs got vent, and occasioned much disturbance. Oldham was detected and banished. Lyford, who afterwards proved to be a villain, was, upon apparent repentance, pardoned and received.
At the close of this year, (1624) the plantation at New-Piymouth, confifted of 180 persons, who lived in thirty-two dwelling houses. Their ftock was a few cattle and goats, and a plenty of swine and poultry, Their town was impaled about half a mile in compass. On a high mount in the town, they had erected a fort of wood, lime and stone, and a handfome watch-tower. This year they were able to freight a ship of 189 tons. Such was the healthfulness of the place, or of the seasons, that, notwithstanding their frequent deftitution of the necessaries of life, not one of the first planters died for three years.
However rigid the New Plymouth colonists may have been at their first separation from the church of England, yet they never discovered that persecuting spirit which we have seen in Maflachusetts. When Mrs. Hutchinson and her adherents were banished from that colony, they applied to the colony of Plymouth, for leave to settle upon Aquidnick or Rhode-Iland, which was then acknowleged to be within Plymouth patent, and it was readily granted, although their tenets were no more approved by Plymouth than by the Massachusetts. Some of the Quakers alio fled to Plymouth bounds, and probably saved their lives; for although they made laws severe enough against erroneous opinions, yet in no cafe capital ; and the Baptists were itill more favourably received, the town of Swanzey being principally fettled by Baptist refugees from the Massachuferts colony, and when one of their ministers fettled in the church of Plymouch, they were content that he should baptize by immersion or dipping any who desired it, provided he took no exception to the other mi. niiter's (prinkling such for whom immersion was not judged necessary.
About this time several ineffectual attempts were made to settle Weymouth, Dorchester, Cape Ann and Nantaiket.
The year 1625 is diftinguished by the death of the Rev, Mr. Robinfon. He died at Leyden in March, in the goth year of his age. He was truly a great and good man, and lived in great love and harmony with his people. He was held in high eftimation by all his acquaintance, for hiş learning, piety, moderation and excellent accomplishments. His death was lamented as a public loss, and felt by none more than by his beloved
and far diftant people at Plymouth. His son Ifaac came over to Plymouth, where he lived to the age of 90 years. His descendants ftill live in Barnstable county in Massachusetts.
After the death of Mr. Robinson, the remaining part of his congrega. tion were extremely desirous of coming over to their friends at Plymouth, and measures were taken for the purpose; yet it was not until several years after, that they effected their design.
In August, 1629, thirty-five of the Leyden congregation, with their families, and many more pious people from England, arrived in a ship from London, to the great joy of their friends at Plymouth. The next spring, another company of Leydeners came over. Whether these were the whole that remained, or whether others came over after them, is not certain.
From this time New-England began to flourish. Sir Henty Roswell and others, had received a patent of Massachusetts from the Council of New England. Settlements were successfully enterprized at Salem, Charleston, Boston, Dorchester and other places, so that in forty years from this time (1629) 120 towns were settled, and forty churches were gathered.
The Laudian persecution was conducted with unrelenting severity; and while it caused the destruction of thousands in England, proved to be a principle of life and vigor to the infant settlements in America. Several men of eminence in England, who were the friends and protectors of the Puritans, entertained a design of settling in New-England, if they should fail in the measures they were pursuing for the establishment of the liberty, and the reformation of the religion of their own country. They solicited and obtained grants in New England, and were at great pains in settling them. Among these patentees were the Lords Brook, Say and Seal, the Pelhams, the Hampdens and the Pyms; names which afterwards appeared with great eclat. Sir Matthew Boynton, Sir Wil. liam Constable, Sir Arthur Halerig, and Oliver Cromwell, were actual. ly upon the point of embarking for New England, when Archbishop Laud, unwilling that so many objects of his hatred Mould be removed out of the reach of his power, applied for, and obtained, an order from the court to put a stop to these transportations. However, he was not able to prevail so far as to hinder New-England from receiving vast additions, as well of the clergy, who were silenced and deprived of their living, and for non-conformity, as of the laity who adhered to their opinions.
New-Plymouth, until this time, had remained without a patent, Several attempts were made, agents were fent, and much money was expended, with a view to obtain one, but all hitherto had proved abortive. On the 13th of January, 1630, the council of New-England fealed a patent to William Bradford, Efq; and his heirs, of all that part of New-England lying between Cohaflet rivulet towards the north, and Narragansett river towards the south, the western ocean towards the east, and between and within a strait line directly extending up the main land towards the west from the mouth of Narragansett river, to the utmost bound of a country in New-England, called Pokanokett, alias Sawamsett, westward, and another like a strait line extending directly from the mouth of Cohasset river to
ward the west so far up into the main land as the utmost limits of the faid Pokanoket extend: Also, all that part of New-England between the utmost limits of Caperlecont which adjoineth to the river Kennebeck, and the falls of Negumke, with the said river itself, and the space of fifteen miles on each lide between the bounds above-said,' with all the rights, jurisdictions, privileges, &c. &c. usual and neceffary.
This patent passed the king's hand, and would no doubt have now been finished, had not the agents, without the notice or advice of the colony, inserted a claufe to free the colony from customs seven years inward, and twenty-one outward. But in consequence of this clause the patent was never finished, and they remained without a charter, until they were incorporated with Mafsachusetts in 1691 or 1692. Notwithstanding this, New-Plymouth was a government de facto, and considered as such by king Charles, in his letters and orders which were sent them at various times previous to their incorporation with Massachusetts.
It was in the spring of 1630, that the GREAT CONSPIRACY was entered into by the Indians in all parts, from the Narragansetts round to the eastward, to extirpate the English. The colony at Plymouth was the principal object of this conspiracy. They well knew that if they could effect the destruction of Plymouth, the infant settlement at Massachusetts would fall an easy sacrifice. They laid their plan with much art. Under colour of having some diversion at Plymouth, they intended to have fallen upon the inhabitants, and thus to have effected their design. But their plot was disclosed to the people at Charleston, by John Sagamore, an Indian, who had always been a great friend to the English. This treacherous design of the Indians alarmed the English, and induced them to erect forts and maintain guards, to prevent any such fatal surprize in future. These preparations, and the firing of the great guns, so terrified the Indians that they dispersed, relinquished their design,
and declared themselves the friends of the Englih.
Such was the vast increase of inhabitants in New England by natural population, and particularly by emigrations from Great Britain, that in a few years, besides the settlements in Plymouth and Massachusetts, very flourishing colonies were planted in Rhode INand, Connecticut, New Haven and New Hampthire. The dangers to which these colonies were exposed from the surrounding Indians, as well as from the Dutch, who, alihough very friendly to the infant colony at Plymouth, were now likely to prove troublesome neighbours, first induced them to think of an alliance and confederacy for their mutual defence. Accordingly in 1643, the four colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New. Haven, agreed upon articles of confederation, whereby a congress was formed, consisting of two commissioners from each colony, who were chosen annually, and when met were considered as the representatives of “ The united colonies of New England.' The powers delegated to the commissioners were much the same as those reited in Congress by the articles of confederation, agreed upon by the United States in 1778.' The colony of Rhode Itland would gladly have joined in this confederacy, but Massachusetts, for particular reasons, refused to admit their commiffioners. This union fùbfifted, with some few alterations, until the year