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AN ORIGINAL LETTER FROM GOVERNOUR DUDLEY, TO DR. INCREASE AND DR. COTTON MATHER.

Gentlemen,

YOURS

Roxbury, February 3, 1707-8.

OURS of the 20th instant I received; and the contents, both as to the matter and manner, astonish me to the last degree. I must think you have extremely forgot your own station, as well as my character; otherwise it had been impossible to have made such an open breach upon all the laws of decency, honour, justice, and christianity, as you have done in treating me with an air of superiority and contempt, which would have been greatly culpable towards a christian of the lowest order, and is insufferably rude towards one whom divine Providence has honoured with the character of your Governour. I charitably hoped your second thoughts, ere this, would have corrected your past errour, and would have given you a juster view of yourselves

and me.

I trust that I am not so lost to the spirit of christianity, but I am always ready to sustain, with thankfulness, all well designed reproofs, administered with a proper temper and spirit; and am disposed to take my reprover into my bosom : But I should be stupid not to distinguish between reproaches and christian admonitions.

I always thought that some of the laws of wise and christian reproof

were,

That the things reproved be as to fact notorious, and not bare matters of fears, jealousy, and evil surmisings: That these facts be evident breaches of some known laws of christianity: That the admonitions be not administered with bitterness, or vilifying ignominious language, but with a spirit of meekness. Gal. vi. 1: That a superiour be treated with a respectful distance; not reviled, not stigmatized as the most profligate, but entreated as a father. Job xxxiv. 1-8. 1 Tim. v. 1. That the admonition be seasonable, when the reprover as well as the reproved are in the best temper, and there is least reason to suspect him influenced by prejudice, wrath, and ill will. James i. 20.

How far these wise laws of christian reproof, as well as others that might be mentioned, have been observed, in your late pretended faithful and conscientious admonitions, I do seriously recommend to your thoughts, when you retire before the Searcher of hearts to prove these with your other works.

In many of the matters of fact, you labour of great mistakes, which have been taken up with great credulity; and indeed you have raked together whatever has been imputed to me these many years, either through prejudice or mistake-and seem to think the bruit of a town a sufficient foundation to build a charge on. As to some other things contained in your charge, I cannot esteem you competent judges; but that ye have gone out of your line to meddle with them; and have forgot the Apostle's wholesome advice, 1 Thes. iv. 11.

But I will suppose all the matters of fact were true, and that I were as a christian accountable to you for them; yet I cannot but think that your manner of treating me can be justified by no principles of reason, religion, nay, of common civility. The very spirit and temper of your letters will, I doubt not, appear to all indifferent persons to be the farthest from the spirit which is pure, peaceable, and gentle.

Why, gentlemen, have you been so long silent? and suffered sin to lie upon me years after years? You cannot pretend any new information as to the main of your charge; for you have privately given your tongues a loose upon these heads, I am well assured, when you thought you could serve yourselves by exposing me. Surely murder, robberies, and other such flaming immoralities were as reproveable then as now; and your consciences ought to have been as tender, and as sensible of those pressures, which you now pretend they are under, and your obligations to faithfulness to me and your country as strong as now.

Why then have you permitted me to go on in these evils, without admonition, till you tell me I have ruined myself, family, and country? And how can you clear yourselves from having a hand in so extensive desolations? Are bold threatenings essential to a christian reproof, or so much as reconcileable to them? Is it from a spirit of prophecy that you have a view of the judgments you denounce, or from a design of your own and concerted measures to introduce them? Can you think it the most proper season to do me good by your admonitions, when you have taken care to let the world know you are out of frame and filled with the last prejudice against my person and government? Surely you do but insult me, and take pains to weaken my hands; and how much it savours of a spirit of faction and sedition is easy to see. It is vain to pretend christian love and respect, or zeal for the honour of God, or publick good; vain to pretend pressures of conscience just at this season. Every one can see through the pretence, and is able to account for the spring of these letters, and how they would have been prevented, without easing any grievances you complain of. Really, gentlemen, conscience and religion are things too solemn, venerable, or sacred, to be played with, or made a covering for actions so disagreeable to the gospel, as these your endeavours to expose me and my most faithful services to contempt; nay, to unhinge the government, to withdraw the Queen's liege people from that duty and subjection which the laws of our holy religion do enjoin. I cannot but recommend to your serious thoughts these faithful admonitions. ix. Luke, 55. iv. Ephesians, 31. ii. Phil. 3, 4. 1 Sam. ii. 3. After all, though I have reason to complain to heaven and earth of your unchristian rashness, and wrath, and injustice, I would yet maintain a christian temper towards you. I do therefore now assure you, that I shall be ready to give you all the satisfaction christianity requires in these points, which are proper for you to seek or receive it in, when with a proper temper and spirit, giving me timely notice, you do see meet to

make me a visit for that end; and I expect the same satisfaction from you.

The articles are so many contained in your letters, that it would be endless to labour your satisfaction by writing, which you must not further expect from me. In the mean time, I expect you as subjects to the Queen, as christians, as messengers of the gospel of peace, to lay aside all methods that tend to blow up sedition, or abet such criminal reports of mal-administration, as tend to debauch the minds of her Majesty's good subjects of this province from their duty and allegi,

ance.

I desire you will keep your station, and let fifty or sixty good ministers, your equals in the province, have a share in the government of the college, and advise thereabouts as well as yourselves, and I hope all will be well.

I am an honest man, and have lived religiously these forty years to the satisfaction of the ministers in New England; and your wrath against me is cruel, and will not be justified. A few days before the fleet ar rived, by your conference and letters, I was, you told me, in favour of all good men, and might expect the consolation of a faithful stewardship; but now the letter in the Observator must be defended, and the college must be disposed against the opinion of all the ministers in New England, except yourselves, or the Governour torn in pieces. This is the view I have of your inclination.

1.7

I am your humble servant,

J. DUDLEY.

To the Reverend Doctors Mathers.

EXTRACT FROM DR. COTTON MATHER'S PRIVAte Diary.

"JUN

A. "Sir,

UNE 16, 1702. I received a visit from Governour Dudley. mong other things that I said to him, I used these words: you arrive to the government of a people, that have their various and their divided apprehensions about many things, and particularly about your own government over them. I am humbly of opinion, that it will be your wisdom to carry an indifferent hand toward all parties, if I may use so coarse a word as parties; and give occasion to none to say, that any have monopolized you, or that you take your measures from them alone. I will explain myself with the freedom and the justice, perhaps not with the prudence, that you may expect from me. I will do no otherwise than I would be done to. I should be content, I would approve it and commend it, if any one should say to your Excellency," By no means let any people have cause to say, that you take all your measures from the two Mr. Mathers." By the same rule I may say without offence," By no means let any people say, that you go by no measures in your conduct, but Mr. Byfield's and Mr. Lever$

Vol. III.

ett's. This I speak not from any personal prejudice against the gentlemen; but from a due consideration of the disposition of the people, and as a service to your Excellency."

"The WRETCH went unto those men and told them, that I had advised him to be no ways advised by them; and inflamed them into an implacable rage against me."

A TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF WELLS, IN THE COUNTY OF YORK. BY HON. NATHANIEL WELLS, ESQ.

TH

HE town of Wells is situated on the sea coast, in the district of Maine. It is about ten miles in length, and nearly seven miles in width, on an average. It is bounded on the south-east, by that part of the sea called Wells Bay; on the north-east, by Kennebunk river, which divides between Wells and Arundel; on the north-west, by Sanford and Coxhall; and on the south-west, by York and Berwick, formerly part of Kittery. Wells contains about forty-two thousand acres of land : one third of which is of a middling quality, including therein upwards of one thousand acres of salt marsh: one third part of it is very poor; consisting chiefly of pitchpine plains; and the residue is unimproveable, consisting of beaches, heath, ponds, and bogs.

It appears from the town records, that the township was first applied for by Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Needam, with others of Exeter in New Hampshire: that it was granted by Thomas Gorges, deputy governour, as agent to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, lord proprietor of the province of Maine, on the 14th of July, 1643, and was confirmed by a court, held at Saco on the 14th day of August, 1644. The confirmation was subscribed by Richard Vines, deputy governour, Henry Joceline, Richard Bonighton, Nicholas Shapleigh, Francis Robinson, and Roger Gard, who were probably members of the court, and perhaps the court did not consist of any other persons. The Rev. Mr. John Wheelwright, being banished from Massachusetts, on account of his religious principles, came to Exeter, and afterwards to Wells; and he with Mr. Henry Boad, and Mr. Edward Rishworth of Wells, were by the deputy governour, Thomas Gorges, appointed a committee to lay out lots of lands to such as might apply for the same, with an intention of becoming inhabitants. Five shillings was the price to be paid for every hundred acres. Mr. Wheelwright did not tarry long in town, but his son settled in it, and some of his descendants remain there at this time. The minister was a man of good sense and learning. From his family proceeded all the Wheelwrights in Massachusetts and New Hampshire; many of whom were men of considerable property and very respectable.

As to settled ministers, there were none in town until 1701; though they had a number of preachers before that time, some for longer and some for shorter periods.

The Rev. Samuel Emery, the first minister who settled in the town, was ordained in the year 1701.

The Rev. Samuel Jefferds was ordained in 1725.

In 1750, the town was divided into two parishes.

The Rev. Daniel Little was ordained in the second parish, called Kennebunk, in 1751.

The Rev. Gideon Richardson, minister of the first parish, was ordained in 1754.

The Rev. Dr. Moses Hemmenway succeeded Mr. Richardson, and was ordained in 1759.

At the time of Mr. Little's ordination, the town contained about one thousand inhabitants. It now contains about three thousand inhabitants.

The township of Wells was called by the Indians Webhannet. A river running from the mouth of the harhour, south-westerly, is now frequently called by that name.

The river now called Mousom, was formerly called Capeporpus river. It is a considerable river, proceeding from a pond in Shapleigh, and running through Sanford and Wells to the sea.

The town abounds with small rivers and brooks, there being but few if any places near the sea, more than half a mile distant, if so much, from a river or a considerable brook. The abundance of water may be the reason why it was first called Wells.

Iron ore has been discovered in several parts of the town, which is found to be of a middling quality.

Fresh cod and other fish are caught in Wells bay, at proper seasons of the year, in sufficient plenty to supply the inhabitants; and the creeks abound with clams.

The town of Wells was formerly much exposed to the ravages of the Indian enemy; and perhaps but few, if any, towns have been more harassed by them. Colonel Storer's garrison was attacked in 1692, by an army consisting of three or four hundred French and Indians, under the command of Labrocree, a Frenchman, assisted by Madochewando, and other noted Indian chiefs, who having no cannon, were repulsed by the people in the garrison. At the same time, two sloops, lying in a narrow river, were attacked, which were several times set on fire, and the fire was as often extinguished. The Indians attempted to burn the vessels with a fire raft, which fortunately, by the shifting of the wind, was driven ashore without doing any damage. The engagement continued forty eight hours, when the Indians being discouraged, having lost their chief commander, withdrew. In their retreat, they tortured one man, whom they captivated, and killed all the cattle they could find.

At the commencement of the next war, and on the day it began, the Indians burnt the dwelling house of Mr. Thomas Wells, killed his wife and all his children, he being absent from home. At the same

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