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TRIAL OF MRS. HUTCHINSON.
wright did not pacify dissension. The two parties were irreconcilable. Now the General Court began to deal with the principal offenders: some were disfranchised, Wheelwright was banished, and Mrs. Hutcheventually went to the Piscataqua. Mrs. Hutchinson was w Wheelbrought to trial for not discontinuing her meetings at the wright order of the late synod. It is probable that the agitations trial. of the years had affected her temper and somewhat impaired her judg
ment. She was intemperate enough to claim to be inspired, and that it had been revealed to her that she would come to New England to be
persecuted, but that God would ruin the colony for her sake. She narrowly escaped procuring the verification of her own prediction, for her quarrel of opinion rent the State when it divided the churches. So intense was the feeling aroused against her, that it was believed the Almighty testified His disapprobation of her heresies by producing monstrous births among women who had accepted her teachings; and even she herself was suspected of having been the subject of such a Her banish dispensation. The Court banished her, but considerately left her to stay out the bitter winter at a private house. Powder and arms were carried out of Boston, and the principal disaffected persons, to the number of seventy-six, were summoned to surrender their arms, which they did. Mrs. Hutchinson then removed to Rhode Island, and afterward to New York, where, as has already been told in a previous chapter, she was killed some years after by the Indians.1
One of the reasons which the General Court of Massachusetts had given for not acceding to the requests for permission to remove to the Connecticut Valley was the danger from the Indians. It was no doubt sincere, and it certainly was not without reason. The Indians were far more numerous in that part of the country than along the sea-coast, where the epidemic of years before had more than decimated them. They saw with jealousy and fear the whites intruding upon their territory. With the Dutch hitherto they had kept upon good terms, for the Dutch were traders only, and not settlers upon the Connecticut. But the English were evidently coming with another purpose than mere traffic, and the Indians were alarmed accordingly. Aggressions were begun, continued, and grew more frequent. What the Indians did we know; what was done to them we do not know. Sometimes they robbed the whites, and sometimes they murdered them; plunder, no doubt, was often their object; quite as often, perhaps, revenge. When, in 1634, they went on board the schooner of a Captain Stone, somewhere near Fort Good Hope, and murdered all hands, it was probably because there was much they wanted to steal on board the vessel, just in from the West Indies. But when, two years later, Captain Oldham met the same fate at their hands, it is not in the least improbable that there may have been some provocation which led to the deed.
John Oldham had been in New England from the first settlement of Plymouth. After his ignominious expulsion from that colony, we hear of his apparent restoration to favor among that people; of his attempts to found colonies of his own in Maine and Boston harbor, so far, at least, as to procure patents to that end; of his trading along the coast; of his disputing with the Council
Character of John Oldham.
1 See p. 457.
DEATH OF OLDHAM.
of the Massachusetts Bay Company their title to the lands which they held under the hand and seal of the king. Restless, energetic, always engaged in some enterprise, he certainly was; and there is no evidence that there was anything more amiss in him than belongs almost inevitably to a man of violent temper, removed in a great degree from the restraints of civilization, leading a life of adventure, associating and trading with the Indians till he had acquired, perhaps, as such men are apt to do, something of the habits and almost the nature of an Indian.
In 1636 he was trading in a vessel of his own, along the Connecti-. cut River. What encounter there may have been between him and the Indians, that led to the final catastrophe, is not known whether his vessel was boarded by them merely for plunder, or whether some aggression on his part provoked retaliation. But off Block Island, a Massachusetts fisherman, John Gallop, descried the vessel drifting
helplessly out to sea, crowded with Indians who could handle neither helm nor sail. Gallop, who had only one man and two boys with him, without hesitation attacked the vessel and then boarded her, assaulting the Indians with such weapons as he had at hand. It must have been a gallant naval battle, for the brave fisherman and his brave
companions drove the Indians before them, some diving into the hold for safety, some throwing themselves into the sea, till none were left upon the vessel but the dying and the dead. Upon the deck lay the body of Oldham, still bleeding from recent wounds where he had fallen with his crew in defence of his vessel.
This death of Oldham was the signal for war. The government of Massachusetts Bay, the people who had already come, and of the first the people who were coming into the Connecticut valley, saw that peace with the Pequots was no longer to be purchased by attempts at conciliation. Immediate measures were taken to punish this outrage; the Indians put themselves both on the defensive and the offensive, and the colonies of New England were for the first time engaged in serious war.
TABLE OF DATES.
499. Chinese claim to American discovery.
860. Iceland discovered by Naddod, the Northman. America seen by Bjarni Herjulfson.
Leif, son of Eric the Red, discovers America. 1002. Thorvald the Northman; voyage to America. 1004.
Thorvald's second voyage.
1005. Voyage of Thorstein of Ericsfiord.
1007. Expedition of Thorfinn Karlsefne; sails for America.
Birth of Snorri, first European child born on this continent.
1011. Colony of Freydis, daughter of Eric the Red.
1170. Alleged discovery of America by the Welsh.
1380. Voyage of Nicolo Zeno, a Venetian.
1467. Christopher Columbus sails to Iceland. 1477. Reputed voyage of John of Rolno. 1483.
Columbus leaves Portugal for Genoa.
1484. Alleged voyage of Alonzo Sanchez.
1488. Alleged voyage of Cousin of Dieppe.
1492. First voyage of Columbus; Discovery of West Indies.
1497. John and Sebastian Cabot discover North America.
1498. Third Voyage of Columbus; he discovers the continent of South America. Second voyage of Sebastian Cabot.
1499. First voyage of Amerigo Vespucci. 1500. Gaspar Cortereal goes to Labrador.
1501. Second voyage of Amerigo Vespucci.
1502. Voyage of Miguel Cortereal.
1504. Amerigo Vespucci's narrative published.
1506. Death of Christopher Columbus.
John Denys of Honfleur explores the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
1512. Discovery of Florida by Juan Ponce de Leon.
1513. Pacific Ocean discovered by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.
1516. Voyage of Diego Miruelo to Florida.
Lucas Vasquez De Ayllon's expedition to coasts of South Carolina.
A ship of Magellan's Expedition sails around the world.