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by the plantation, and written downe and passe without exception unlesse they had given publique scandall or offence, yett so as in case of publique scandall or offence, every one should have liberty to propound their exception att thatt time publiquely against any man that should be nominated when all their names should be writt downe, butt if the offence were private, thatt mens names might be tendered, so many as were offended were intreated to deale with the offender privately, and if he gave nott satisfaction, to bring the matter to the twelve thatt they might consider of itt impartially and in the feare of God. The names of the persons nominated and agreed upon were Mr. Theoph. Eaton, Mr. John Davenport, Mr. Robert Newman, Mr. Math. Gilbert, Mr. Richard Malbon, Mr. Nath: Turner, Eze: Chevers, Thomas Fugill, John Ponderson, William Andrewes, and Jer. Dixon. Noe exception was brought against any of those in publique, except one about takeing an excessive rate for meale which he sould to one of Pequanack in his need, which he confessed with griefe and declared thatt haveing beene smitten in heart and troubled in his conscience, he restored such a part of the price back againe with confession of his sin to the party as he thought himselfe bound to doe. And it being feared thatt the report of the sin was heard farther th[an] the report of his satisfaction, a, course was concluded on to make the satisfaction known to as many as heard of the sinn. . .

No. II.

Patent of Providence Plantations

March 14/24, 1643

IN 1636 Roger Williams, lately banished from Massachusetts, established himself at Providence. A settlement was made at Portsmouth, under William Coddington, in March, 1637/8, and another at Newport in 1639. Warwick was planted in 1642/3, by Samuel Gorton and others. In 1643 Williams, through the influence of the Earl of Warwick, obtained a patent uniting the settlements at Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport, under the name of Providence Plantations. A government under the patent was not organized until May, 1647, at which time Warwick was admitted. The patent conferred liberal rights of self-government, but made no grant of land.

REFERENCES.-Text in Rhode Island Colonial Records, I., 143-146. The

laws passed in 1647 are in ib., I., 147-208. See also Early Records of the Town of Providence, I.; Staples's Annals of the Town of Providence; and bibliographical notes in Winsor's Narr. and Crit. Hist., III., 376-380.


Whereas ...there is a Tract of Land . . . called by the Name of the Narraganset-Bay; bordering Northward and Northeast on the Patent of the Massachusetts, East and Southeast on Plymouth Patent, South on the Ocean, and on the West and Northwest by the Indians called Nahigganneucks, alias Narragansets; the whole Tract extending about Twenty-five English Miles unto the Pequot River and Country.

And whereas divers well affected and industrious English Inhabitants, of the Towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport in the tract aforesaid, have adventured to make a nearer neighborhood and Society with the great Body of the Narragansets, which may in Time by the blessing of God upon their Endeavours, lay a sure Foundation of Happiness to all America. And have also purchased, and are purchasing of and amongst the said Natives, some other Places, which may be convenient both for Plantations, and also for building of Ships, Supply of Pipe Staves and other Merchandize. And whereas the said English, have represented their Desire . . . to have their hopeful Beginnings approved and confirmed, by granting unto them a Free Charter of Civil Incorporation and Government; . . . In due Consideration of the said Premises, the said Robert Earl of Warwick, . . . and the greater Number of the said Commissioners, ... out of a Desire to encourage the good Beginnings of the said Planters, Do, by the Authority of the aforesaid Ordinance of the Lords and Commons, . . . grant . . . to the aforesaid Inhabitants of the Towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport, a free and absolute Charter of Incorporation, to be known by the Name of the Incorporation of Providence Plantations, in the Narraganset-Bay, in New England. - Together with full Power and Authority to rule themselves, and such others as shall hereafter inhabit within any Part of the said Tract of land, by such a Form of Civil Government, as by voluntary consent of all, or the greater Part of them, they shall find most suitable to their Estate and Condition; and, for that End, to make and ordain such Civil Laws and Constitutions, and to inflict such


punishments upon Transgressors, and for Execution thereof, so to place, and displace Officers of Justice, as they, or the greatest Part of them, shall by free Consent agree unto. Provided nevertheless, that the said Laws, Constitutions, and Punishments, for the Civil Government of the said Plantations, be conformable to the Laws of England, so far as the Nature and Constitution of the place will admit. And always reserving to the said Earl, and Commissioners, and their Successors, Power and Authority for to dispose the general Government of that, as it stands in Relation to the rest of the Plantations in America as they shall conceive from Time to Time, most conducing to the general Good of the said Plantations, the Honour of his Majesty, and the Service of the State. . . .

No. 12.

New England Confederation

May 19/29, 1643

THE first definite suggestion of a confederation of the New England colonies appears to have been made in 1637, when certain magistrates and ministers from Connecticut held a conference on the subject with the Massachusetts authorities at Boston. A notice of this meeting was sent to Plymouth, but too late for that colony to be represented. A counter proposition from Massachusetts, in 1638, failed because of the refusal of Connecticut to allow the decision of a majority of the commissioners, in cases of dispute, to be final. The matter was again urged by Connecticut in 1639, in view of threatening reports from New Netherland; but, although favorably considered by Massachusetts, nothing came of it. Fear of an Indian war led to a joint proposal to Massachusetts, in 1640, from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Haven; but Massachusetts refused to treat with Rhode Island. Finally, in 1642, moved by the "sad distractions in England" and the renewed danger of an Indian war, the Massachusetts General Court appointed a committee to treat with the other colonies in regard to union. In May, 1643, the commissioners met at Boston, and agreed upon the articles following; but the representatives of Plymouth not having authority to conclude the negotiations at that time, the ratification of that colony was delayed until the first meeting of the commissioners, Sept. 4/14. Rhode Island was not a member of the confederation, and applications for admission, in 1644 and 1648, were refused, unless the Rhode Island settlements would acknowledge the jurisdiction of either Massachusetts or Plymouth. The importance of the confederation practi

cally ceased after 1662, when New Haven was united with Connecticut; but the commissioners continued to hold occasional meetings until 1684.

REFERENCES. Text in New Haven Colonial Records, 1653-1665, pp. 562-566. The records of the commissioners are in Plymouth Colony Records, IX., X. Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, 63, n. 2, gives a list of the meetings. See also Winthrop's New England, passim; Hubbard's History of Massachusetts (Mass. Hist. Coll., Second Series, VI.), chap. 52.

Whereas we all came into these parts of America, with one and the same end and ayme, namely, to advance the Kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel, in purity with peace; and whereas in our settling (by a wise providence of God) we are further dispersed upon the Sea-Coasts, and Rivers, then was at first intended, so that we cannot (according to our desire) with convenience communicate in one Government, and Jurisdiction; and whereas we live encompassed with people of severall Nations, and strange languages, which hereafter may prove injurious to us, and our posterity: And forasmuch as the Natives have formerly committed sundry insolencies and outrages upon severall Plantations of the English, and have of late combined against us. And seeing by reason of the sad distractions in England, which they have heard of, and by which they know we are hindred both from that humble way of seeking advice, and reaping those comfortable fruits of protection which, at other times, we might well expect; we therefore doe conceive it our bounden duty, without delay, to enter into a present Consotiation amongst our selves, for mutuall help and strength in all our future concernments, that, as in Nation, and Religion, so, in other respects, we be, and continue, One, according to the tenour and true meaning of the ensuing Articles.

I. Wherefore it is fully Agreed and Concluded by and between the parties, or Jurisdictions [of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven] That they all be, and henceforth be called by the name of, The United Colonies of New-England.

II. The said United Colonies for themselves, and their posterities doe joyntly and severally hereby enter into a firm and perpetuall league of friendship and amity, for offence and defence, mutuall advice and succour, upon all just occasions, both for preserving and propagating the truth, and liberties of the Gospel, and for their own mutuall safety, and wellfare.

III. It is further agreed, That the Plantations which at present are, or hereafter shall be settled within the limits of the Massachusets, shall be forever under the Government of the Massachusets. And shall have peculiar Jurisdiction amongst themselves, as an intire body; and that Plimouth, Connecticut, and NewHaven, shall each of them, in all respects, have the like peculiar Jurisdiction, and Government within their limits. And in reference to the Plantations which already are setled, or shall hereafter be erected and shall settle within any of their limits respectively, provided that no other Jurisdiction shall hereafter be taken in, as a distinct head, or Member of this Confederation, nor shall any other either Plantation, or Jurisdiction in present being, and not already in combination, or under the Jurisdiction of any of these Confederates, be received by any of them, nor shall any two of these Confederates, joyne in one Jurisdiction, without consent of the rest. . . .

IV. It is also by these Confederates agreed, That the charge of all just Wars, whether offensive, or defensive, upon what part or Member of this Confederation soever they fall, shall both in men, provisions, and all other disbursements, be born by all the parts of this Confederation, in different proportions, according to their different abilities, in manner following, namely, That the Commissioners for each Jurisdiction, from time to time, as there shall be occasion, bring a true account and number of all the Males in each Plantation, or any way belonging to, or under their severall Jurisdictions, of what quality, or condition soever they be from sixteen years old, to threescore, being inhabitants there. And that according to the different numbers, which from time to time shall be found in each Jurisdiction, upon a true, and just account, the service of men, and all charges of the war, be born by the poll: Each Jurisdiction, or Plantation, being left to their own just course, and custome, of rating themselves, and people, according to their different estates, with due respect to their qualities and exemptions among themselves, though the Confederation take no notice of any such priviledge. And that, according to the different charge of each Jurisdiction, and Plantation, the whole advantage of the War (if it please God so to blesse their endeavours) whether it be in Lands, Goods, or persons, shall be proportionably divided among the said Confederates.

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