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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 fufficient. The free and unmolefted enjoyment of their religion, reconciled them to their humble and lonely fituation-they bore their hardships with unexampled patience, and perfevered in their pilgrimage of almost unparalleled trials, with fuch refignation and calmnefs, as gave proof of great piety and unconquer
On the 3d of November, 1620, king James figned a patent incorporating the duke of Lenox, the marquiffes of Buckingham and Hamilton, the earls of Arundel and Warwick, Sir Francis Gorges, with thirty-four others, and their fucceffors, ftyling 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 patents by which New-England was afterwards divided.
The Plymouth council retained the power vefted in them by the crown until the year 1635, when they refigned their charter. Previous to this, however, the council had made feveral grants of land to adventurers, who proposed to fettle 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, Mafaffoit, one of the moft powerful Sagamores of the neighbouring Indians, with fixty attendants, made a vifit to the Plymouth fettlers, and entered into a formal and very friendly treaty with them, wherein they agreed to avoid injuries on both fides-to punish offenders to restore ftolen goods-to affift each other in all justifiable wars
-to promote peace among their neighbours, &c, Mafaffoit and his fuc. ceffors, for fifty years, inviolably obferved this treaty. The English are much indebted to him for his friendship, and his memory will ever be refpected in New-England.
The Narragansetts, difliking the conduct of Mafaffoit, declared war against him, which occafioned much confufion and fighting among the Indians. The Plymouth colony interpofed in favour of Mafaffoit, their good ally, and terminated the difpute, to the terror of their enemies. Even CANONICUS himself, the terrific Sachem of the Narraganfetts, fued for peace.
The prudent, friendly, and upright conduct of the Plymouth colony toward their neighbours, the Indians, fecured their friendship and alliance. On the 13th of September, 1621, no lefs than nine Sachems declared allegiance to king James; and Mafaffoit, with many of his Sub-Sachems, who lived around the bays of Patuxent and Maffachusetts, fubfcribed a writing acknowledging the king of England their mafter. These transactions are fo many proofs of the peaceful and benevolent difpofition of the Plymouth fettlers; for had they been otherwife difpofed they never could have introduced and maintained a friendly intercourse with the natives.
*The feat of Mafafsoit was at Pakanokit, 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 Inland and Cape Breton; thence round to Cape Sables; with all feas and islands within fix leagues of the weftern and eastern parts, and within forty leagues fouthward of Cape-Breton and Cape-Sables; to be
The first duel in New-England, was fought with fword and dagger between two fervants. Neither of them were killed, but both were wounded. For this difgraceful offence, they were formally tried before the whole company, and fentenced to have their heads and feet tied together, and so to be twenty-four hours without meat or drink.' Such, however, was the painfulness of their fituation, and their piteous intreaties to be released, that, upon promise of better behaviour in future, they were foon 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 difgraceful. Upon this principle, can there be invented a punishment better calculated to exterminate this criminal practice, than the one already mentioned ?
In 1622, Mr. Wefton fent over a colony, which attempted a fettlement at Weymouth. But they being a fet of rude, profane fellows, regardless of justice, provoked the Indians by ftealing their corn, and other abuses, to become their enemies, and occafioned much trouble both to themselves and the Plymouth fettlers. At length the Indians entered into a confpiracy to deftroy the fettlement, and would have effected it, had it not been for the interpofition of their Plymouth friends. Such, however, was the reduced ftate of the colony, and their danger from the natives, that they thought it prudent to break up the fettlement; 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 hiftory. 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 thofe who made him a captive, he became a warin friend to the English, and continued fo to the day of his death. A few days before he died, he defired the governor to pray that he might go to the Englishman's God in heaven. He gave the few articles he poffeffed to feveral 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 lofs was most fenfibly felt, and fincerely lamented. He was a man of great piety, and indefatigable in his endeavours to advance the intereft and happinefs of the colony. Mr. William Bradford was foon after chofen to fucceed him in office. This gentleman, by renewed elections, was continued in office until he died in 1637, except in 1633, 1636 and 1644, when Edward Winflow was chofen, and 1634, whten Thomas Prince
* See Page 28.
was elected, who alfo fucceeded Governor Bradford, and was annually elected, until his death in 1673, when Jofias Winflow fucceeded and continued until he died in 1680, and was fucceeded by Thomas Hinkley, who held the place, except in the interruption by Sir Edmund Androfs, until the junction with the Maffachusetts in 1692.
In March 1624 Mr. Winflow, agent for the colony, arrived in the ship Charity, and, together with a good fupply of clothing, brought a bull and three heifers, which were the firit cattle of the kind in this part of America. From thefe, and others that were afterwards brought over from England, fprang the prefent multitudes of cattle in the northern ftates. None of the domestic animals were found in America by the first European fettlers.
This year Lyford and Oldham, two treacherous intriguing characters, influenced the factious part of the adventurers, to join them in oppofing the church and government of the colony. Their artful designs got vent, and occafioned much disturbance. Oldham was detected and banished. Lyford, who afterwards proved to be a villain, was, upon apparent repentance, pardoned and received.
At the clofe of this year, (1624) the plantation at New-Plymouth, confifted of 180 perfons, who lived in thirty-two dwelling houses. Their ftock was a few cattle and goats, and a plenty of fwine and poultry. Their town was impaled about half a mile in compafs. 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 fhip of 180 tons. Such was the healthfulnefs of the place, or of the seasons, that, notwithstanding their frequent deftitution of the neceffaries of life, not one of the first planters died for three years.
However rigid the New-Plymouth colonifts may have been at their first feparation from the church of England, yet they never difcovered that perfecuting fpirit which we have feen in Maffachusetts. When Mrs. Hutchinfon and her adherents were banished from that colony, they applied to the colony of Plymouth, for leave to fettle upon Aquidnick or Rhode-Inland, 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 Maffachusetts. Some of the Quakers alio fled to Plymouth bounds, and probably faved their lives; for although they made laws fevere enough against erroneous opinions, yet in no cafe capital; and the Baptifts were still more favourably received, the town of Swanzey being principally fettled by Baptift refugees from the Maffachufetts colony, and when one of their minifters fettled in the church of Plymouth, they were content that he should baptize by immersion or dipping any who defired it, provided he took no exception to the other miniiter's fprinkling fuch for whom immersion was not judged necessary.
About this time several ineffectual attempts were made to fettle Weymouth, Dorchester, Cape Ann and Nantasket.
The year 1625 is diftinguifhed by the death of the Rev. Mr. Robinson. He died at Leyden in March, in the 50th 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 his learning, piety, moderation and excellent accomplishments. His death was lamented as a public lofs, and felt by none more than by his beloved
and far diftant people at Plymouth. His fon Ifaac came over to Plymouth, where he lived to the age of 90 years. His defcendants ftill live in Barnstable county in Maffachusetts.
After the death of Mr. Robinson, the remaining part of his congrega tion were extremely defirous of coming over to their friends at Plymouth, and measures were taken for the purpofe; yet it was not until feveral years after, that they effected their defign.
In August, 1629, thirty-five of the Leyden congregation, with their families, and many more pious people from England, arrived in a fhip from London, to the great joy of their friends at Plymouth. The next fpring, 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 Henry Rofwell and others, had received a patent of Maffachusetts from the Council of New-England. Settlements were fuccefsfully enterprized at Salem, Charleston, Bofton, Dorchester and other places, fo that in forty years from this time (1629) 120 towns were fettled, and forty churches were gathered.
The Laudian perfecution was conducted with unrelenting feverity; and while it caufed the deftruction of thoufands in England, proved to be a principle of life and vigor to the infant fettlements in America. Several men of eminence in England, who were the friends and protec tors of the Puritans, entertained a defign of fettling in New-England, if they should fail in the measures they were purfuing for the establishment of the liberty, and the reformation of the religion of their own country. They folicited and obtained grants in New-England, and were at great pains in fettling them. Among thefe 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 Conftable, Sir Arthur Haflerig, and Oliver Cromwell, were actually upon the point of embarking for New-England, when Archbishop Laud, unwilling that fo many objects of his hatred fhould be removed out of the reach of his power, applied for, and obtained, an order from the court to put a stop to thefe tranfportations. However, he was not able to prevail fo far as to hinder New-England from receiving vaft additions, as well of the clergy, who were filenced 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 Cohaffet rivulet towards the north, and Narragansett river towards the fouth, the western ocean towards the east, and between and within a ftrait line directly extending up the main land towards the weft from the mouth of Narragansett river, to the utmost bound of a country in New-England, called Pokanokett, alias Sawamfett, weftward, and another like a ftrait line extending directly from the mouth of Cohaffet river to
ward the weft fo far up into the main land as the utmost limits of the faid Pokanoket extend: Alfo, all that part of New-England between the utmost limits of Caperfecont which adjoineth to the river Kennebeck, and the falls of Negumke, with the faid river itself, and the fpace of fifteen miles on each fide between the bounds above-faid,' with all the rights, jurifdictions, privileges, &c. &c. ufual and neceffary.
This patent paffed the king's hand, and would no doubt have now been finished, had not the agents, without the notice or advice of the colony, inferted a claufe to free the colony from customs seven years inward, and twenty-one outward. But in confequence of this claufe the patent was never finished, and they remained without a charter, until they were incorporated with Maffachusetts in 1691 or 1692. Notwithstanding this, New-Plymouth was a government de facto, and confidered as fuch by king Charles, in his letters and orders which were fent them at various times previous to their incorporation with Massachusetts.
It was in the fpring of 1630, that the GREAT CONSPIRACY was entered into by the Indians in all parts, from the Narraganfetts round to the eastward, to extirpate the English. The colony at Plymouth was the principal object of this confpiracy. They well knew that if they could effect the deftruction of Plymouth, the infant fettlement at Maffachusetts would fall an eafy facrifice. They laid their plan with much art. Under colour of having fome diverfion at Plymouth, they intended to have fallen upon the inhabitants, and thus to have effected their defign. But their plot was difclofed to the people at Charlefton, by John Sagamore, an Indian, who had always been a great friend to the English. This treacherous defign of the Indians alarmed the English, and induced them to erect forts and maintain guards, to prevent any fuch fatal furprize in future. Thefe preparations, and the firing of the great guns, fo terrified the Indians that they difperfed, relinquifhed their defign, and declared themselves the friends of the English.
Such was the vaft increase of inhabitants in New-England by natural population, and particularly by emigrations from Great-Britain, that in a few years, befides the fettlements in Plymouth and Maffachusetts, very flourishing colonies were planted in Rhode-Ifland, Connecticut, New-Haven and New-Hampshire. The dangers to which thefe colonies were expofed from the furrounding Indians, as well as from the Dutch, who, although very friendly to the infant colony at Plymouth, were now likely to prove troublesome neighbours, firit induced them to think of an alliance and confederacy for their mutual defence. Accordingly in 1643, the four colonies of Plymouth, Maffachusetts, Connecticut, and NewHaven, agreed upon articles of confederation, whereby a congrefs was formed, confifting of two commiffioners from each colony, who were chofen annually, and when met were confidered as the reprefentatives of The united colonies of New-England.' The powers delegated to the commiffioners were much the fame as thofe vefted in Congrefs by the articles of confederation, agreed upon by the United States in 1778. The colony of Rhode-Ifland would gladly have joined in this confederacy, but Maffachusetts, for particular reafons, refufed to admit their commif fioners. This union subsisted, with fome few alterations, until the year