The interest of the public in Virginia remained suspended till the year 1602, when Captain Bartholomew Gosnold undertook a voyage thither, and brought back such brilliant reports of the beauty and fertility of the country, that the dormant attention of the English toward this part of the world was again aroused. In 1606, Arundel, Lord Wardour, sent out a vessel under the command of Captain Weymouth, to make further discoveries. The report of this voyage more than confirmed that of the preceding.
The English nation were now at length prepared to make an efficient attempt to colonize the New World. In London, and at Plymouth and Bristol, the principal maritime cities of the kingdom, the scheme found numerous and ardent supporters. James I., however, only granted such powers to the adventurers as suited his own narrow and arbitrary views: he refused to sanction any sort of representative government in the colony, and vested all power in a council appointed by himself. Virginia was, about that time, divided somewhat capriciously into two parts: the southern portion was givens to a merchant company of London, the northern to a merchant company of Bristol and Plymouth.
The southern, or London Company, were the first to commence the work of colonization with energy. On the 19th of December, 1606, they dispatched an expedition of three vessels, commanded by Captain Newport, comprising a number of people of rank and distinction. Among these was Captain John Smith, whose admirable qualities were afterward so conspicuously and usefully displayed. The expedition met with such delays and difficulties that it was at one time on the point of returning to England. At length, however, they descried an unknown cape, and soon afterward entered Chesapeake Bay, where the beauty and fertility of the shores even surpassed their expectations. On first landing, they met the determined hostility of the savages, but when the fleet proceeded to Cape Comfort, they there received a more friendly reception, and were invited ashore. The Indians spread their simple stores of dainties before the strangers, smoked with them the calumet of peace, and entertained them with songs and dances. As the expedition moved higher up the bay, where no English had been before seen, it met with a still more cordial welcome.
Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement established in America, although it has not since risen to very great importance. The site was chosen by this expedition about forty miles above the entrance, upon the banks of James River, where the emigrants at once proceeded to establish themselves. They suffered great distress from the commencement on account of the bad quality of the provisions, furnished under contract by Sir Thomas Smith, one of the leading members of the company. Disease soon followed want, and in a short time fifty of the settlers died. Under these difficult circumstances, the energy and ability of Captain John Smith pointed him out as the only person to command, and by the consent of all he was invested with absolute authority. He arranged the internal affairs of the colony as he best could, and then set out to collect supplies in the neighboring country. The Indians met him with derision, and refused to trade with him; he therefore, urged by necessity, drove them away, and took possession of a village well stocked with provisions. The Indians soon returned in force and attacked him furiously, but were easily repulsed. After their defeat they opened a friendly intercourse, and furnished the required supplies. Smith made several further excursions. On returning to the colony, he found that a conspiracy had been formed among his turbulent followers to break up the settlement and sail for England; this he managed to suppress, and soon again started to explore the country. In this expedition he rashly exposed himself unprotected to the assaults of the Indians, and was taken prisoner after a most gallant attempt at escape. He was led about in triumph for some time from village to village, and at length sentenced to die. His head was laid upon a stone, and the executioner stood over him with a club, awaiting the signal to slay, when Pocahontas, daughter of the Indian chief, implored her father's mercy for the white man. He was inexorable, and ordered the execution to proceed; but the generous girl laid her head upon that of the intended victim, and vowed that the death blow should strike her first. The savage chief moved by his daughter's devotion, spared the prisoner's life. Smith was soon afterward escorted in safety to Jamestown, and given up on a small ransom being paid to the Indians. (1608.)
Smith found, on his arrival, that the colonists were fitting out a pinnace to return to England. He, with ready decision, declared that the preparations should be discontinued immediately, or he would sink the little vessel. His prompt determination was successful, and the people agreed to remain. Through the generous kindness of Pocahontas, supplies of provisions were furnished to the settlement, till the arrival of a vessel from England, replenished its stores. Soon after his happy escape from the hands of the savages, Smith again started fearlessly upon an expedition to explore the remainder of Chesapeake Bay. He sailed in a small barge, accompanied only by twelve men, and with this slender force completed a voyage of 3000 miles along an unknown coast, among a fierce and generally hostile people, and depending on accident and his own ingenuity for supplies. During several years Pocahontas continued to visit the English, but her father was still hostile, and once endeavored to surprise Smith and slay him in the woods; but again the generous Indian girl saved his life at the hazard of her own: in a dark night she ran for many miles through the forest, evading the vigilance of her fierce countrymen, and warned him of the threatened danger. An open war now ensued between the English and the Indians, and was continued with great mutual injury, till a worthy gentleman named Thomas Rolfe, deeply interested by the person and character of Pocahontas, made her his wife; a treaty was then concluded with the Indian chief, which was henceforth religiously observed. (1613.)
The colony meanwhile proceeded with varied fortunes. The emigrants had been very badly selected for their task: "poor gentlemen, tradesmen, serving-men, libertines, and such like, ten times more fit to spoil a commonwealth than either to begin or maintain one." These men were tempted into the undertaking by hopes of sudden wealth, and were altogether disinclined to even the slight labor of tilling that exuberant soil, when only a subsistence was to be their reward. In 1619 James commenced the system of transporting malefactors, by sending 100 "dissolute persons" to Virginia. These men were used as laborers, or rather slaves, but tended seriously to lower the character of the voluntary emigration. In 1625 only 1800 convicts remained alive out of 9000 who had been transported at a cost of L15,000. The contracted and arbitrary system of the exclusive company was felt as a great evil in the colony. This body was at length superseded by the forfeiture of its charter, and the crown assumed the direction of affairs. Many years of alternate anarchy and tyranny followed. During the rebellion of Bacon in 1676, the most remarkable event in this early period of Virginian history, English troops were first introduced into the American colonies. Sir William Berkeley, who was appointed governor in 1642, visited the insurrectionists with a terrible vengeance, when the death of the leader, Bacon, left them defenseless. "The old fool," said Charles II. (with truth), "has taken away more lives in that naked country than I for the murder of my father." But, though the complaints of the oppressed were heard in England with impartiality, and Berkeley was hunted to death by public opinion on his return there to defend himself, the permanent results of Bacon's rebellion were disastrous to Virginia: all the measures of reform which had been attempted during its brief success were held void, and every restrictive feature that had been introduced into legislation by the detested governor was perpetuated.
Among the first settlers in Virginia, gold was the great object, it was every where eagerly sought, but in vain. Several ships were loaded with a sort of yellow clay, and sent to England under the belief that it contained the most precious of metals, but it was found to be utterly worthless. The colonists next turned their attention to the cultivation of tobacco. This speedily became so profitable that it was pursued even to the exclusion of all other industry.
There yet remains to be told one terrible incident in the earlier story of Virginia, an incident that resulted in the total destruction of the Indian race. The successor to the father of Pocahontas had conceived a deadly enmity against the English: this was embittered from day to day, as he saw the hated white men multiplying and spreading over the hunting grounds of his fathers. Then a fierce determination took possession of his savage heart. For years he matured his plans, and watched the favorable moment to crush every living stranger at a blow. He took all his people into counsel, and such was their fidelity, and so deep the wile of the Indian chief, that, during four years of preparation, no warning reached the intended victims. To the last fatal moment, a studied semblance of cordial friendship was observed; some Englishmen, who had lost their way in the woods were kindly and carefully guided back again.
One Friday morning (March 22d, 1622) the Indians came to the town in great numbers, bearing presents, and finding their way into every house. Suddenly the fierce shout of the savages broke the peaceful silence, and the death-shriek of their victims followed. In little more than a minute, three hundred and forty-seven, of all ages and sexes, were struck down in this horrid massacre. The warning of an Indian converted to Christianity saved Jamestown. The surviving English assembled there, and began a war of extermination against the savages. By united force, superior arms, and, it must be added, by treachery as black as that of their enemies, the white men soon swept away the Indian race forever from the Virginian, soil.
As has been before mentioned, the northern part of Virginia was bestowed by royal grant upon a Merchant Company of Plymouth, and other southern and western sea-ports. The first effort to take possession of the new territory was feeble and disastrous. Twenty-nine Englishmen and two Indians were sent out in a little bark of only fifty-five tons burden (1606); they were taken by the Spaniards off the coast of Hispaniola, who treated them with great cruelty. Some time after this ill-fated expedition had failed, another colony of 100 men, led by Captains Popham and Gilbert, settled on the River Sagadahock, and built a fort called by them St. George. (1607.) They abandoned the settlement, however, the following year, and returned to England. The next project of British North American colonization was set on foot by Captain John Smith, already so highly distinguished in transatlantic history. (1614.) After much difficulty, he effected the equipment of two vessels, and sailed for the Virginian shore; but, although successful as a trading speculation, the only permanent fruits of the voyage was a map of the coast, which he presented to Charles I. The king, always interested in maritime affairs, listened favorably to Smith's accounts of the New World, but proved either unable or unwilling to render him any useful assistance. The next year this brave adventurer again crossed the seas in a small vessel containing only sixteen emigrants. The little expedition was captured by the French, and the leader, with great difficulty, effected his return to England.
Meanwhile, a man named Hunt, who had been left in charge of one of the ships in Smith's first expedition, committed an outrage upon the natives that led to deplorable results (1616); he inveigled thirty of them on board, carried them suddenly away, and sold them into slavery. The savages rose against the next English party that landed upon their coast, and killed and wounded several in revenge. Captain Dormer, a prudent and conciliatory person, with one of the betrayed natives, was sent by the company to explain to the furious Indians that Hunt's crime was the act of an individual, and not of the nation: this commission was well and wisely executed. For about two years Dormer frequently repeated his visits with advantage to his employers, but finally was attacked by strange savages and wounded fatally.
But still, through all these difficulties and disasters, adventurers pressed on to the fertile Western desert, allured by liberal grants of land from the chartered companies. The undefined limits of these concessions led to constant and mischievous quarrels among the settlers, often attended with violence and bloodshed; from these causes the early progress of the colony was very slow. One hundred and twenty years after England had discovered North America, she only possessed a few scattered fishing huts along the shore. But events were now at hand which at once stamped a peculiar character upon the colonization of this part of the New World, and which were destined to exercise an influence upon the human race of an importance even yet incalculable.
[Footnote 288: See Preface to Bancroft's History of the United States.]
[Footnote 289: "Sir Humphrey had published, in 1576, a treatise concerning a northwest passage to the East Indies, which, although tinctured with the pedantry of the age, is full of practical sense and judicious argument."—P.F. Tytler's Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, p. 26.]
[Footnote 290: "Sir Walter Raleigh, step-brother to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, was one of his companions in this enterprise, and, although it proved unsuccessful, the instructions of Sir Humphrey could not fail to be of service to Raleigh, who at this time was not much above twenty-five, while the admiral must have been in the maturity of his years and abilities."—Tytler, p. 27.]
[Footnote 291: "On its homeward passage, the small squadron of Gilbert was dispersed and disabled by a Spanish fleet, and many of the company were slain; but, perhaps owing to the disastrous issue of the fight, it has been slightly noticed by the English historians."—Oldy's Life of Raleigh, p. 28, 29.]
[Footnote 292: Raleigh, who had by this time risen into favor with the queen, did not embark on the expedition, but he induced his royal mistress to take so deep an interest in its success, that, on the eve of its sailing from Plymouth, she commissioned him to convey to Sir H. Gilbert her earnest wishes for his success, with a special token of regard—a little trinket representing an anchor guided by a lady. The following was Raleigh's letter, written from the court: "Brother—I have sent you a token from her majesty, an anchor guided by a lady, as you see; and, further, her highness willed me to send you word that she wished you as great good hap and safety to your ship as if she herself were there in person, desiring you to have care of yourself as of that which she tendereth; and therefore, for her sake, you must provide for it accordingly. Farther, she commandeth that you leave your picture with me. For the rest, I leave till our meeting, or to the report of this bearer, who would needs be the messenger of this good news. So I commit you to the will and protection of God, who sends us such life and death as he shall please or hath appointed. Richmond, this Friday morning. Your true brother, WALTER RALEIGH."—This letter is indorsed as having been received March 18, 1582-3, and it may be remarked that it settles the doubt as to the truth of Prince's story of the golden anchor, questioned by Campbell in his Lives of the Admirals. In the Heroologia Angliae, p. 65, there is a fine print of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, taken evidently from an original picture; but, unlike the portrait mentioned by Granger, it does not bear the device mentioned in the text. Raleigh's letter explains this difference. When Sir Humphrey was at Plymouth, on the eve of sailing, the queen commands him, we see, to leave his picture with Raleigh. This must allude to a portrait already painted; and, of course, the golden anchor then sent could not be seen in it. Now, he perished on the voyage. The picture at Devonshire House, mentioned by Granger, which bears this honorable badge, must, therefore have been painted after his death.—Tytler's Raleigh, p. 45; Granger's Biographical History, vol. i., p. 246; Cayley, vol. i., p. 31; Prince's Worthies of Devonshire.]
[Footnote 293: "This ship was of 200 tons burden: it had been built under Raleigh's own eye, equipped at his expense, and commanded by Captain Butler, her master being Thomas Davis, of Bristol."—Tytler, p. 44.]
[Footnote 294: The Delight. The Swallow had, a short time before, been sent home with some of the crew, who were sick. The remaining barks were the Golden Hind and the Squirrel, the first of forty, the last of ten tons burden. For what reason does not appear, the admiral insisted, against the remonstrances of his officers and crew, in having his flag in the Squirrel. It was a fatal resolution. The larger vessel, the Golden Hind, arrived at Falmouth on the 22d September, 1583.]
[Footnote 295: See Captain Edward Haies's Narrative of the Expedition of Sir Humphrey Gilbert; Hakluyt, vol. iii., p. 143-159.]
[Footnote 296: Oldy's Life of Raleigh, p. 58. The description given of Virginia by the two captains in command of the expedition (Captains Philip Amadas and Walter Barlow) was, that "the soil is the most plentiful, sweet, fruitful, and wholesome of all the world. We found the people most gentle, loving, faithful, void of all guile and treason, and such as lived after the manner of the Golden Age."]
[Footnote 297: Unfortunately, on White's arrival in England, the nation was wholly engrossed by the expected invasion of the Spanish Armada, and Sir Richard Greenville, who was preparing to sail for Virginia, received notice that his services were wanted at home. Raleigh, however, contrived to send out White with two more vessels; but they were attacked by a Spanish ship of war, and so severely shattered that they were obliged to return. Another expedition could not be undertaken until 1590; and no trace could then, or ever after, be found of the unfortunate colony left by White.
"Robertson reproaches Raleigh with levity in now throwing up his scheme of a Virginian colony. But, really, when we consider that in the course of four years he had sent out seven successive expeditions, each more unfortunate than the other, and had spent L40,000—nearly his whole fortune—without the least prospect of a return, it can not be viewed as a very unaccountable caprice that he should get sick of the business, and be glad to transfer it into other hands."—Murray, vol. i., p. 254.]
[Footnote 298: For an account of Sir Richard Greenville's death, see Appendix, No. LX. (see Vol II)]
[Footnote 299: "The fundamental idea, of the older British colonial policy appears to have been, that wherever a man went, he carried with him the rights of an Englishman, whatever these were supposed to be. In the reign of James I., the state doctrine was, that most popular rights were usurpations; and the colonists of Virginia, sent out under the protection of government, were therefore placed under that degree of control which the state believed itself authorized to exercise at home. The Puritans exalted civil franchise to a republican pitch: their colonies were therefore republican; there was no such notion as that of an intermediate state of tutelage or semi-liberty. Hence the entire absence of solicitude on the part of the mother country to interfere with the internal government of the colonies arose not altogether from neglect, but partly from principle. This is remarkably proved by the fact that representative government was seldom expressly granted in the early charters; it was assumed by the colonists as a matter of right. Thus, to use the odd expression of the historian of Massachusetts, 'A house of burgesses broke out in Virginia,' in 1619, almost immediately after its second settlement; and although the constitution of James contained no such element, it was at once acceded to by the mother country as a thing of course. No thought was ever seriously entertained of supplying the colonies with the elements of an aristocracy. Virginia was the only province of old foundation in which the Church of England was established; and there it was abandoned, with very little help, to the caprice or prejudices of the colonists, under which it speedily decayed. The Puritans enjoyed, undisturbed, their peculiar notions of ecclesiastical government. 'It concerned New England always to remember that they were originally a plantation religious, not a plantation of trade. And if any man among us make religion as twelve, and the world as thirteen, such an one hath not the spirit of a true New Englandman.' And when they chose to illustrate this noble principle by decimating their own numbers by persecution, and expelling from their limits all dissenters from their own establishment, the mother country never exerted herself to protect or prohibit. The only ambition of the state was to regulate the trade of its colonies: in this respect, and this only, they were fenced round with restrictions, and watched with the most diligent jealousy. They had a right to self-government and self-taxation; a right to religious freedom, in the sense which they chose themselves to put upon the word; a right to construct their municipal polity as they pleased; but no right to control or amend the slightest fiscal regulation of the imperial authority, however oppressively it might bear upon them.
"Such, I say, were the general notions prevailing in England on the subject of colonial government during the period of the foundation and early development of our transatlantic colonies—the notions by which the practice of government was regulated—although I do not assert that they were framed into a consistent and logical theory. Perhaps we shall not be far wrong in regarding Lord Chatham as the last distinguished assertor of these principles, in an age when they had begun to be partially superseded by newer speculations."—Merivale On Colonization, vol. i., p. 102.]
[Footnote 300: Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, p. 94.]
[Footnote 301: "In the spring of 1606, James I. by patent divided Virginia into two colonies. The southern included all lands between the 34th and 41st degrees of north latitude. This was granted to the London Company. The northern included all lands between the 38th and 45th degrees of north latitude, and was granted to the Plymouth Company. To prevent disputes about territory, the colonies were forbidden to plant within a hundred miles of each other. There appears an inconsistency in these grants, as the lands lying between the 38th and 41st degrees are covered by both patents.
"In the month of August, 1615, Captain John Smith arrived in England, where he drew a map of the northern part of Virginia, and called it New England. From this time the name of Virginia was confined to the southern part of the colony."—Winterbottom's History of America, vol. iv., p. 165. See Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 120.]
[Footnote 302: Percy, in Purchas, iv., 1687.]
[Footnote 303: "This celebrated scene is preserved in a beautiful piece of sculpture over the western door of the Rotundo of the Capitol at Washington. The group consists of five figures, representing the precise moment when Pocahontas, by her interposition, saved Smith from being executed. It is the work of Capellano, a pupil of Canova's."—Thatcher's Indian Biography, vol. i., p. 22. See Appendix, No. LXI., (see Vol II) for the History of Pocahontas.]
[Footnote 304: Smith, in Pinkerton, xiii., 51-55. "The account is fully contained in the oldest book printed in Virginia, in our Cambridge library. It is a thin quarto, in black letter, by John Smith, printed in 1608."—Bancroft's Hist. of the United States, vol. i., p. 132.]
[Footnote 305: In the year 1610, the South Virginian or London Company sealed a patent to Lord Delawarr, constituting him Governor and Captain-General of South Virginia. His name was given to a bay and river, and to the Indians who dwelt in the surrounding country, called in their own tongue Lenni-Lenape, which name signifies THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE. Lord Delawarr's health was ruined by the hardships and anxieties he was exposed to in Virginia, and he was obliged to return to England in little more than a year.]
[Footnote 306: Captain Smith says of Virginia, "that the number of felons and vagabonds did bring such evil character on the place, that some did choose to be hanged rather than go there, and were."—Graham's Rise and Progress of the United States, vol. i., p. 71
"England adopted in the seventeenth century the system of transportation to her North American plantations, and the example was propagated by Cromwell, who introduced the practice of selling his political captives as slaves to the West Indians. But the number of regular convicts was too small, and that of free laborers too large, in the old provinces of North America, to have allowed this infusion of a convict population to produce much effect on the development of those communities, either in respect of their morals or their health. Our own times are the first which have witnessed the phenomena of communities, in which the bulk of the working people consists of felons serving out the period of their punishment."—Merrivale, vol. ii., p. 3.]
[Footnote 307: It must be remembered that the crimes of the convicts were chiefly political. The number transported to Virginia for social crimes was never considerable—scarcely enough to sustain the sentiment of pride in its scorn of the laboring population—certainly not enough to affect its character.—Bancroft, vol. ii., p. 191.]
[Footnote 308: Stith's Hist. of Virginia, p. 167, 168; Chalmers's Annals of the United Colonies, p. 69.]
[Footnote 309: Stith's Hist. of Virginia, p. 307.]
[Footnote 310: It is asserted by Camden that tobacco was first brought into England by Mr. Ralph Lane, who went out as chief governor of Virginia in the first expedition commanded by Sir Richard Greenville. There can be little doubt that Lane was desired to import it by his master, Sir Walter Raleigh, who had seen it used in France during his residence there.—Camden, in Kennet, vol. ii., p. 509.
"There is a well-known tradition that Sir Walter first began to smoke it privately in his study, and the servant coming in with his tankard of ale and nutmeg, as he was intent upon his book, seeing the smoke issuing from his mouth, threw all the liquor in his face by way of extinguishing the fire, and, running down stairs, alarmed the family with piercing cries that his master, before they could get up, would be burned to ashes."—Oldy's Life of Raleigh, p. 74.
"King James declared himself the enemy of tobacco, and drew against it his royal pen. In the work which he entitled 'Counterblast to Tobacco,' he poured the most bitter reproaches on this 'vile and nauseous weed.' He followed it up by a proclamation to restrain 'the disorderly trading in tobacco,' as tending to a general and new corruption of both men's bodies and minds. Parliament also took the fate of this weed into their most solemn deliberation. Various members inveighed against it, as a mania which infested the whole nation; that plowmen took it at the plow; that it 'hindered' the health of the whole nation, and that thousands had died of it. Its warmest friends ventured only to plead that, before the final anathema was pronounced against it, a little pause might be granted to the inhabitants of Virginia and the Somer's Isles to find some other means of existence and trade. James's enmity did not prevent him from endeavoring to fill his coffers by the most enormous imposts laid upon tobacco, insomuch that the colonists were obliged for some time to send the whole into the ports of Holland. The government of New England, more consistently, passed a complete interdict against tobacco, the smoke of which they compared to that of the bottomless pit. Yet tobacco, like other proscribed objects, throve under persecution, and achieved a final triumph over all its enemies. Indeed, the enmity against it was in some respects beneficial to Virginia, as drawing forth the most strict prohibitions against 'abusing and misemploying the soil of this fruitful kingdom' to the production of so odious an article. After all, as the impost for an average of seven years did not reach a hundred and fifty thousand pounds, it could not have that mighty influence, either for good or evil, which was ascribed to it by the fears and passions of the age."—Chalmers. b. i., ch. iii., with notes. Massaire, p. 210. Wives, p. 197, quoted by Murray.
"Frenchmen they call those tobacco plants whose leaves do not spread and grow large, but rather spire upward and grow tall; these plants they do not tend, not being worth their labor."—Mr. Clayton's Letter to the Royal Society, 1688. Miscellanea Curiosa, vol. iii., p. 303-310.]
[Footnote 311: The colonists of Virginia, in a kind of manifesto published in 1622, expressed their satisfaction at some late warlike excursions of the Indians as a pretext for robbing and subjugating them. "Now these cleared grounds in all their villages, which live situated in the fruitfullest parts of the land, shall be inhabited by us, whereas heretofore the grubbing of woods was the greatest labor. The way of conquering them is much more easy than that of civilizing them by fair means; for they are a rude, barbarous, and naked people, scattered in small companies, which are helps to victory, but hinderances to civility."—Tracts relating to Virginia in the British Museum, quoted by Merrivale. See Appendix, No. LXII. (see Vol II)]
[Footnote 312: "Il faut envisager surtout l'influence qu'a exercee le Nouveau Continent sur les destinees du genre humain sous le rapport des institutions sociales. La tourmente religieuse du seizieme siecle, en favorisant l'essor d'une libre reflexion, a prelude a la tourmente politique des temps dans lesquels nous vivons. Le premier de ces mouvemens a coincide avec l'epoque de l'etablissement des colonies Europeennes en Amerique; le second s'est fait sentir vers la fin du dix-huitieme siecle, et a fini par briser les liens de dependance qui unissaient les deux mondes. Une circonstance sur laquelle on n'a peut-etre pas assez fixe l'attention publique et qui tient a ces causes mysterieuses dont a dependu la distribution inegale du genre humain sur le globe, a favorisee, on pourrait dire, a rendre possible l'influence politique que je viens de signaler. Une moitie du globe est restee si faiblement peuple que, malgre le long travail d'une civilisation indigene, qui a eu lieu entre les decouvertes de Lief et de Colomb, sur les cotes Americaines opposees a l'Asie, d'immenses pays dans la partie orientale n'offroient au quinzieme siecle que des tribus eparses de peuples chasseurs. Cet etat de depopulation dans des pays fertiles et eminemment aptes a la culture de nos cereales, a permis aux Europeens d'y fonder des etablissemens sur une echelle qu'aucune colonisation de l'Asie et de l'Afrique n'a pu atteindre. Les peuples chasseurs ont ete refoules des cotes orientales vers l'interieur, et dans le nord de l'Amerique, sous des climats et des aspects de vegetation tres analogues a ceux des iles Britanniques, il s'est forme par emigration, des la fin de l'annee 1620, des communautes dont les institutions se presentent comme le reflet des institutions libres de la mere patrie. La Nouvelle Angleterre n'etoit pas primitivement un etablissement d'industrie et de commerce, comme le sont encore les factoreries de l'Afrique; ce n'etoit pas une domination sur les peuples agricoles d'une race differente, comme l'empire Britannique dans l'Inde, et pendant longtemps, l'empire Espagnole au Mexique et au Perou. La Nouvelle Angleterre, qui a recu une premiere colonisation de quatre mille familles de puritains, dont descend aujourd'hui un tiers de la population blanche des Etats Unis, etoit un etablissement religieux. La liberte civile s'y montrait des l'origine inseparable de la liberte du culte. Or l'histoire nous revele que les institutions libres de l'Angleterre, de la Hollande, et de la Suisse, malgre leur proximite, n'ont pas reagi sur les peuples de l'Europe latine, comme ce reflet de formes de gouvernemens entierement democratiques qui, loin de tout ennemi exterieur, favorises par une tendance uniforme et constante de souvenirs et de vielles moeurs, ont pris dans un calme longtemps prolonge, des developpemens inconnus aux temps modernes. C'est ainsi que le manque de population dans des regions des Nouveau Continent opposees a l'Europe, et le libre et prodigieux accroissement d'une colonisation Anglaise audela de la grande vallee de l'Atlantique, a puissamment contribue a changer la face politique et les destinees de l'ancien continent. On a affirme que si Colomb n'avoit pas change, selon les conseils d'Alonzo Pinzon, le 7 Octobre, 1492, la direction de sa route, qui etoit de l'est a l'ouest, et gouverne vers le sud-ouest, il seroit entre dans le courant d'eau chaude ou Gulf Stream, et auroit ete porte vers la Floride, et de la peut-etre vers le cap Hatteras et la Virginie, incident d'une immense importance, puisqu'il auroit pu donner aux Etats Unis, en lieu d'une population Protestante Anglaise, une population Catholique Espagnole."—Humboldt's Geog. du Nouveau Continent, tom. iii., p. 163.]
[Footnote 313: Alonzo s'etoit ecrie "que son coeur lui disoit que pour trouver la terre, il falloit gouverner vers le sud-ouest." L'inspiration d'Alonzo etoit moins mysteriuse qu'elle peut le paraitre au premier abord. Pinzon avoit vu dans la soiree passer des perroquets, et il savoit que ces oiseaux n'alloient pas sans motif du cote du sud. Jamais vol d'oiseau n'a eu des suites plus graves.]
The Protestant Reformation was eminently suited to the spirit of the English people, although forced upon them in the first instance by the absolute power of a capricious king, and unaccompanied by any acknowledgment of those rights of toleration and individual judgment upon which its strength seemed mainly to depend. The monarch, when constituted the head of the Church, exacted the same spiritual obedience from his subjects as they had formerly rendered to the Pope of Rome. Queen Elizabeth adopted her father's principles: she favored the power of the hierarchy, and the pomp and ceremony of external religious observances. But the English people, shocked by the horrors of Mary's reign, and terrified by the papal persecutions on the Continent, were generally inclined to favor the extremes of Calvinistic simplicity, as a supposed security against another reaction to the Romish faith. The stern and despotic queen, encouraged by the counsels of Archbishop Whitgift, assumed the groundless right of putting down the opinions of the Puritans by force. (1583.) Various severities were exercised against those who held the obnoxious doctrines; but, despite the storm of persecution, the spirit of religious independence spread rapidly among the sturdy people of England. At length a statute was passed of a nature now almost incredible—secession from the Church was punishable by banishment, and by death in case of refusal on return. (1593.)
The Puritans were thus driven to extremity. The followers of an enthusiastic seceder named Brown formed the first example of an independent system: each congregation was in itself a Church, and the spiritual power was wholly vested in its members. This sect was persecuted to the uttermost: the leader was imprisoned in no less than thirty-two different places, and many of his followers suffered death itself for conscience' sake. Some of the Brownists took refuge in Holland (1598); but, impelled by a longing for an independent home, or perhaps urged by the mysterious impulse of their great destiny, they cast their eyes upon that stern Western shore, where the untrodden wilderness offered them at least the "freedom to worship God." They applied to the London Company for a grant of land, declaring that they were "weaned from the delicate milk of their native country, and knit together in a strict and sacred band, whom small things could not discourage, nor small discontents cause to wish themselves home again." After some delay they accomplished their object; however, the only security they could obtain for religious independence was a promise that, as long they demeaned themselves quietly, no inquiry should be made.
Much of the history of nations may be traced through the foundation and progress of their colonies. Each particular era has shown, in the settlements of the time, types of the several mother countries, examples of their systems, and the results of their exigencies. At one time this type is of an adventurous, at another of a religious character; now formed by political, again by social influences. The depth and durability of this impress may be measured by the strength of the first motives, and the genius of the people from whom the emigration flows. The ancient colonies of Asia Minor displayed the original characteristics of the mother country long after her states had become utterly changed. The Roman settlements in Italy raised upon the ruins of a subjugated nation a fabric of civilization and power that can never be forgotten. The proud and adventurous, but ruthless spirit that distinguished the Spanish nation at the time of their wonderful conquests in the New World, is still exhibited in the haughty tyranny of Cuba, and the sanguinary struggles of the South American republics. The French Canadian of to-day retains most or many of the national sentiments of those who crossed the Atlantic to extend the power of France and of her proudest king. And still, in that great Anglo-Saxon nation of the West, through the strife of democratic ambition, and amid the toils and successes of an enormous commerce, we trace the foundations, overgrown perhaps, but all unshaken, of that stern edifice of civil and religious liberty which the Pilgrim fathers raised with their untiring labor, and cemented with their blood.
The peculiar nature of the first New England emigration was the result of those strong tendencies of the British people soon afterward strengthened into a determination sufficiently powerful to sacrifice the monarch and subvert the Church and State.
The Brownists, or, as they are more happily called, the Pilgrim fathers, set sail on the 12th of July, 1620, in two small vessels. There were in all 120 souls, with a moderate supply of provisions and goods. On the 9th of November they reached Cape Cod, after a rough voyage; they had been obliged to send one of their ships back to England. From ignorance of the coast and from the lateness of the season, they could not find any very advantageous place of settlement; they finally fixed upon New Plymouth, where they landed on the 21st of December. During the remainder of the winter they suffered terribly from cold, want, and sickness; no more than fifty remained alive when spring came to mitigate their sufferings. The after progress of the little colony was for some time slow and painful. The system of common property had excited grievous discontent; this tended to create an aversion to labor that was to be productive of no more benefit to the industrious than to the idle; in a short time it became necessary to enforce a certain degree of exertion by the punishment of whipping. They intrusted all religious matters to the gifted among their brethren, and would not allow of the formation of any regular ministry. However, the unsuitableness of these systems to men subject to the usual impulses and weakness of human nature soon became obvious, and the first errors were gradually corrected. In the course of ten years the population reached to 300, and the settlement prospered considerably.
King James was not satisfied with the slow progress of American colonization. (1620.) In the same year that the Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth, he formed a new company under the title of the Grand Council of Plymouth, and appointed many people of rank and influence to its direction. Little good, however, resulted from this step. Though the council itself was incapable of the generous project of planting colonies, it was ever ready to make sale of patents, which sales, owing to Parliamentary opposition to their claims, soon became their only source of revenue. They sold to some gentlemen of Dorchester a belt of land stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and extending three miles south of the River Charles, and three miles north of every part of the River Merrimac. Other associates in the enterprise were sought and found in and about London: Winthrop, Johnson, Pinchon, Eaton, Saltonstall, Billingham, famous in colonial annals. Endicott, the first governor of the new colony, was one of the original purchasers of the patent. They were all kindred spirits, men of religious fervor, uniting the emotions of enthusiasm with unbending resolution in action.
The first winter brought to these colonists the usual privation, suffering, and death, but a now rapidly-increasing emigration more than filled up the places of all casualties. From this period, many men of respectability and talent, especially ministers of the Gospel, sought that religious freedom in America which was denied them at home. A general impulse was given among the commercial and industrious classes; vessels constantly crowded from the English ports across the Atlantic, till at length the court took the alarm. A proclamation was issued "to restrain the disorderly transportation of his majesty's subjects, because of the many idle and refractory humors, 'whose only or principal end is to live beyond the reach of authority.'" It has long been a popular story that eight emigrant ships were seized when on the point of sailing for America, and the passengers forced to land; among whom were John Hampden, Sir Arthur Hazlerig, and Oliver Cromwell. This tale has, however, been proved untrue by modern historians.
Notwithstanding these unjust and mischievous prohibitions, a considerable number of emigrants still found their way across the Atlantic. But when the outburst of popular indignation swept away all the barriers raised by a short-sighted tyranny against English freedom, many flocked hack again to their native country to enjoy its newly-acquired liberty. (1648.) The odious and iniquitous persecution of the Puritans resulted in a great benefit to the human race, and gave the first strong impulse to the spirit of resistance that ultimately overthrew oppression. It caused, also, the colonization of New England to be effected by a class of men far superior in industry, energy, principle, and character to those who usually left their English homes to seek their fortunes in new countries. That religion, for which they had made so great a sacrifice, was the main-spring of all their social and political systems. They were, however, too blindly zealous to discriminate between the peculiar administration of a theocracy and the catholic and abiding principles of the Gospel. If they did not openly profess that the judicial law of Moses was still in force, they at any rate openly practiced its stern enactments.
The intolerance of these martyrs of intolerance is a sad example of human waywardness. In their little commonwealth, seceders from the established forms of faith were persecuted with an unholy zeal. Imprisonment, banishment, and even death itself, were inflicted for that free exercise of religious opinions which the Pilgrim fathers had sacrificed all earthly interests to win for themselves. In those dark days of fanatic faith or vicious skepticism, the softening influence of true Christianity was but little felt. The stern denunciations and terrible punishments of the Old Testament were more suited to the iron temper of the age than the gentle dispensations of the New—the fiery zeal of Joshua than the loving persuasiveness of St. John.
As the tenets of each successive sect rose into popularity and influenced the majority, they became state questions, distracted the Church, and threatened the very existence of the colony. The first schism that disturbed the peace of the settlements was raised by Roger Williams at Salem. (1635.) This worthy and sincere enthusiast held many just and sound views among others that were wild and injurious: he stoutly upheld freedom of conscience, and inconveniently contested the right of the British crown to bestow Indian lands upon Englishmen. On the other hand, he contrived to raise a storm of fanatic hatred against the red cross in the banner of St. George, which seriously disturbed the state, and led to violent writings and altercations. At length Williams was banished as a distractor of the public peace, but a popular uproar attended his departure, and the greater part of the inhabitants were with difficulty dissuaded from following him. He retired to Providence, Rhode Island (1636), where a little colony soon settled round him, and he there lived and died in general esteem and regard.
The Antinomian sect shortly after excited a still more dangerous commotion in the colony. (1637.) Mrs. Hutchinson, a Lincolnshire lady of great zeal and determination, joined by nearly the whole female population, adopted these views in the strongest manner. The ministers of the church, although decided Calvinists, and firmly opposed to the Romish doctrines of salvation by works, earnestly pressed the reformation of heart and conduct as a test of religion. Mrs. Hutchinson and her followers held that to inculcate any rule of life or manners was a crime against the Holy Spirit; in their actual deportment, however, it must be confessed that their bitterest enemies could not find grounds of censure. With the powerful advocacy of female zeal, these doctrines spread rapidly, and the whole colony was soon divided between "the covenant of works and the covenant of grace;" the ardor and obstinacy of the disputants being by no means proportioned to their full understanding of the point in dispute. Sir Harry Vane, whose rank and character had caused him to be elected governor in spite of his youth, zealously adopted Antinomian opinions, and, in consequence, was ejected from office by the opposite party at the ensuing election, Mrs. Hutchinson having failed to secure in the country districts that superiority which she possessed in the town of Boston. After some ineffectual efforts to reconcile the seceders to the Church, the new governor and the ministers summoned a general synod of the colonial clergy to meet at Cambridge, where, after some very turbulent proceedings, the whole of the Antinomian doctrines were condemned.
As might have been supposed, this condemnation had but little effect. The obnoxious principles were preached as widely and zealously as before, till the civil authority resorted to the rude argument of force, banished Mr. Wheelwright, one of the leaders, with two of his followers, from the colony, and fined and disfranchised others. Mrs. Hutchinson was ultimately accused, condemned, and ordered to leave the colony in six months. Although she made a sort of recantation of her errors, her inexorable judges insisted in carrying out the sentence. The unhappy lady removed to Rhode Island, where her husband, through her influence, was elected governor, and where she was followed by many of her devoted adherents. (1638.) Thus the persecutions in the old settlement of Massachusetts had the same effect as those in England—of elevating a few stubborn recusants into the founders of states and nations. After her husband's death Mrs. Hutchinson removed into a neighboring Dutch settlement, where she and all her family met with a dreadful fate; they were surprised by the Indians, and every one destroyed. (1643.)
Although by these violent and unjust punishments, and by disarming the disaffected, the Antinomian spirit was for a time put down, unity was by no means restored. Pride and the love of novelty continually gave birth to new sects. Ministers, who had possessed the highest reputation in England, saw with sorrow that their colonial churches were neglected for the sake of ignorant and mischievous enthusiasts. Even common profligates and rogues, when other lesser villainies had failed, assumed the hypocritical semblance of some peculiar religion, and enjoyed their day of popularity.
The Anabaptists next carried away the fickle affections of the multitude, and excited the enmity of their rulers. (1643.) This schism first became perceptible by people leaving the church when the rites of baptism were being administered; but at length private meetings for worship were held, attended by large congregations. The magistrates, as usual, practiced great severities against these seceders, first by fine, imprisonment, and even whipping; finally by banishment. The Anabaptists were, however, not put down by the arm of power, but were speedily forgotten in the sudden appearance of a stranger sect than any that had hitherto appeared even in New England.
The people called Quakers had lately made their appearance in the north of England. (1648.) They soon found their way to America, where they were received with bitter hostility from the commencement. (1656.) The dangerous enthusiasts who first went forth to preach the doctrines of this strange sect were very different men from those who now command the respect and good will of all classes by their industry, benevolence, and love of order. The original propagandists believed that the divine government was still administered on earth by direct and special communication, as in the times chronicled by Holy Writ: they therefore despised and disregarded all human authorities. To actual force, indeed, they only opposed a passive resistance; and their patience and obstinacy in carrying out this principle must excite astonishment, if not admiration. But their language was most violent and abusive against all priests and ministers, governors and magistrates. The women of this novel persuasion were even more fanatic than the men. Several leaving their husbands and children in England, crossed the seas to bear witness to their inspiration at Boston. They were, however, rudely received, their books burned, and themselves either imprisoned or scourged and banished. Nowise intimidated by these severities, several other women brought upon themselves the vengeance of the law by frantic and almost incredible demonstrations; and a man named Faubord endeavored to sacrifice his first-born son under a supposed command from Heaven.
The ministers and magistrates came to the conclusion that the colony could never enjoy peace while the Quakers continued among them. These sectarians were altogether unmanageable by the means of ordinary power or reason; they would neither pay fines nor work in prison, nor, when liberated, promise to amend their conduct. The government now enacted still more violent laws against them, one, among others, rendering them liable to have their ears cut off for obstinacy; and yet this strange fanaticism increased from day to day. At length the Quakers were banished from the colony, under the threat of death in case of return. They were, however, scarcely beyond the borders when a supposed inspiration prompted them to retrace their steps to Boston: scarcely had their absence been observed, when their solemn voices were again heard denouncing the city of their persecutors.
The horrible law decreeing the punishment of death against the Quakers had only been carried by a majority of thirteen to twelve in the Colonial Court of Deputies, and after a strong opposition; but, to the eternal disgrace of the local government, its atrocious provisions were carried into effect, and four of the unhappy fanatics were judicially murdered. The tidings of these executions filled England with horror. Even Charles II. was moved to interpose the royal power for the protection of at least the lives of the obnoxious sectarians. He issued a warrant on the 9th of September, 1661, absolutely prohibiting the punishment of death against Quakers, and directing that they should be sent to England for trial. In consequence of this interference, no more executions took place, but other penalties were continued with unabated severity.
While the persecution of the Quakers and Anabaptists raged in New England, an important addition to the numbers of the colonists was gained, a large body of Nonconformists having fled across the Atlantic from a fresh assault commenced against their liberties by Charles II. This Puritan emigration was regarded with great displeasure by the king. He speedily took an opportunity of arbitrarily depriving the colony of its charter, and sent out Sir Edmund Andros to administrate as absolute governor. The country soon felt painfully the despotic tyranny of their new ruler; and the establishment of an English Church, with the usual ritual, spread general consternation. When James ascended the throne, a proclamation of tolerance somewhat allayed the fears of the settlers; but the administration of temporal affairs became ruinously oppressive. On the pretense that the titles of all land obtained under the old charter had become void by its abrogation, new and exorbitant fees were exacted, heavy and injudicious taxes arbitrarily imposed, and all right of representation denied to the colonists. At length, in the year 1689, a man, named Winslow, brought from Virginia the joyful news of the Prince of Orange's proclamation; he was immediately arrested for treason; but the people rose tumultuously, imprisoned the governor, and re-established the authority of their old magistrates. On the 26th of May, a vessel arrived with the intelligence that William and Mary had been proclaimed in England. Although the new monarch declared himself favorably disposed toward the colonists, he did not restore their beloved charter. He, however, granted them a Constitution nearly similar to that of the mother country, which rendered the people of New England tolerably contented.
The colony was now fated to suffer from a delusion more frantic and insane than any it had hitherto admitted, and which compromised its very existence. The New Englanders had brought with them the belief in witchcraft prevalent among the early reformers, and the wild and savage wilderness where their lot was now cast tended to deepen the impressions of superstition upon their minds. Two young girls, of the family of Mr. Paris, minister of Salem, were suddenly afflicted with a singular complaint, probably of an hysterical character, which baffled the united skill of the neighboring physicians; till one, more decided than the rest, declared that the sufferers were bewitched. From this time prayers and fasting were the remedies adopted, and the whole town of Salem at length joined in a day of humiliation. The patients, however, did not improve, till an Indian servingwoman denounced another, named Tituba, as the author of the evil. Mr. Paris assailed the accused, and tortured her in the view of extracting a confession of guilt, which she at length made, with many absurd particulars, hoping to appease her persecutor. From this time the mischievous folly spread wider; a respectable clergyman, Mr. Burroughs, was tried for witchcraft on the evidence of five women, and condemned to death, his only defense being that he was accused of that which had no existence, and was impossible. New charges multiplied daily; the jails of Salem were full of the accused, and prisoners were transferred to other towns, where the silly infection spread, and filled the whole colony with alarm.
Nothing could afford stronger proof of the hold which this sad delusion had taken of the popular mind than the readiness so constantly displayed by the accused to confess the monstrous imputation, whose punishment was infamy and death. Many detailed long consultations held with Satan for the purpose of overthrowing the kingdom of heaven. In some cases these confessions were the result of distempered understandings; but, generally, they may be attributed to the hope of respite and ultimate reprieve, as none but the supposed impenitent sorcerers were executed. Thus only the truthful and conscientious suffered from the effects of this odious insanity. Some among the wretched people who had confessed witchcraft showed a subsequent disposition to retract. A man named Samuel Wardmell, having solemnly recanted his former statement, was tried, condemned, and executed. Despite this terrible warning, a few others followed the conscientious but fatal example. Every one of the sufferers during this dreadful period protested their innocence to the last. It seems difficult to discover any adequate motives for these atrocious and constant accusations. There is too much reason to believe that the confiscation of the condemned persons' property, malice against the accused, a desire to excite the public mind, and gain the notice and favor of those in power, were generally the objects of the witnesses.
The evil at length attained such a frightful magnitude that the firmest believers in witchcraft began to waver. In two months nineteen unhappy victims had been executed, eight more remained under sentence of death, 150 accused were still in prison, and there was no more room for the crowds daily brought in. No character or position was a shield against these absurd imputations; all lay at the mercy of a few mad or malignant beings. The first mitigation of the mischief was effected by the governor assembling the ministers to discuss whether what was called specter evidence should be held sufficient for the condemnation of the accused. The assembly decided against that particular sort of evidence being conclusive; but, at the same time, exhorted the governor to persevere in the vigorous prosecution of witchcraft, "according to the wholesome statutes of the English nation." Public opinion, however, soon began to run strongly against those proceedings, and finally the governor took the bold step of pardoning all these under sentence for witchcraft, throwing open all the prisons, and turning a deaf ear to every accusation (January, 1693). From that time the troubles of the afflicted were heard of no more. Those who had confessed came forward to retract or disclaim their former statements, and the most active judges and persecutors publicly expressed contrition for the part they had taken in the fatal and almost incredible insanity. In the reaction that ensued, many urged strict inquiry into the fearful prejudices that had sacrificed innocent lives; but so general had been the crime, that it was deemed wisest to throw a vail of oblivion over the whole dreadful scene.
While the settlers of New England were distracted by their own madness and intolerance, they had to contend with great external difficulties from the animosity of the Indians. The native races in this part of the continent appear to have been in some respects superior to those dwelling by the shores of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lake. They acknowledged the absolute power of a sachem or king, which gave a dangerous vigor and unity to their actions. They at first received the English with hospitality and kindness, and the colonists, on their part, passed laws to protect not only the persons of the natives, but to insure them an equitable price for their lands. The narrowed limits of their hunting-grounds, however, and the rapid advance of the white men, soon began to alarm the Indians. When their jealousy was thus aroused, occasions of quarrel speedily presented themselves; the baneful influence of strong liquors, largely furnished in spite of the strictest prohibitions, increased their excitement. Some Englishmen were slain; the murderers were seized, tried, and executed by the colonial government, according to British law. These proceedings kindled a deep resentment among the savages, and led to measures of retaliation at their hands.
It has been an unfortunate feature of European settlement in America, that the border population, those most in contact with the natives, have been visually men of wild and desperate character, the tainted foam of the advancing tide of civilization. Those reckless adventurers were little scrupulous in their dealings with the simple savage; they utterly disregarded those rights which his weakness could not defend, and by intolerable provocation excited him to a bloody but futile resistance. The Indians naturally confounded the whole English race with these contemptuous oppressors, and commenced a war that resulted in their own extermination. They did not face the English in the field, but hovered round the border, and, with sudden surprise, overwhelmed detached posts and settlements in a horrible destruction. The astute colonists soon adopted the policy of forming alliances, and taking advantage of ancient enmities to stir up hostilities among them. By this means they accomplished the destruction of the warlike Pequods, their bitterest foes. Other enemies, however, soon came into the field, and at length, the original allies of the English, jealous of the encroaching power of the white strangers, also took arms against them. The Indian chiefs, after a time, began to adopt European tactics of war, and for many years kept the colony in alarm by their formidable attacks: they were, however, finally driven altogether from the field.
The New England settlers showed more sincerity than other adventurers in endeavoring to accomplish their principal professed object of colonization, that of teaching Christianity to the Indians. They appointed zealous and pious ministers for the mission, and established a seminary for the education of the natives, whence some scholars were to be selected to preach the Gospel among their savage countrymen. Great obstacles were encountered in this good work; the Indians showed a bigoted attachment to their own strange religious conceits, and their priests and conjurers used all their powerful influence against Christianity, denouncing in furious terms all who forsook their creed for the English God. Despite these difficulties, a number of savages were induced to form themselves in villages, and lead a civilized and Christian life, under the guidance of ministers of their own race. In a few years thirty congregations of "praying Indians," their numbers amounting to 3000, were established in Massachusetts.
[Footnote 314: 35 Eliz., c. 1, stat. 4, p. 841-843; Parl. Hist., p. 863; Strype's Whitgift, p. 414, &c.; Neale's Puritans, vol. i., p. 526, 527, quoted by Bancroft, vol. i., p. 290.]
[Footnote 315: "The Gospel Advocate asserts that 'the judicial law of Moses being still in force, no prince or law ought to save the lives of (inter alios) heretics, willful breakers of the Sabbath, neglecters of the sacrament without just reason.' Well may the historian of the Puritans (Neale) say, 'Both parties agreed in asserting the necessity of a uniformity of public worship, and of using the sword of the magistrate in support of their respective principles.' It should never be forgotten by those who are inclined to blame the severe laws passed against these Nonconformists, that the English government was dealing with men whose avowed wish and object it was not simply to be tolerated, but to subvert existing institutions in Church and State, and set up in their place those approved by themselves."—Godley's Letters from America, vol. ii., p. 135.]
[Footnote 316: "The most noisy advocate of the new opinions was Brown, a man of rashness, possessing neither true courage nor constancy. He has acquired historical notoriety because his hot-headed indiscretion urged him to undertake the defense of separation.... Brown eventually purchased a living in the English Church by conformity."—Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 287.]
[Footnote 317: "But, although Holland is a country of the greatest religious freedom, they were not better satisfied there than in England. They were tolerated, indeed, but watched. Their zeal began to have dangerous languor for want of opposition, and being without power and influence, they grew tired of the indolent security of their sanctuary. They were desirous of removing to a country where they should see no superior."—Russell's Modern Europe, vol. ii., p. 427.
"They were restless from the consciousness of ability to act a more important part on the theater of the world ... they were moved by an enlightened desire of improving their condition ... the honorable ambition of becoming the founders of a state."—Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 303.]
[Footnote 318: This was a promise from James I., who had now succeeded to the throne of England.]
[Footnote 319: "A strongly-marked distinction exists between the Southern and Northern Americans. The two extremes are formed by the New Englanders and the Virginians. The former are certainly the more respectable. They are industrious, frugal, enterprising, regular in their habits, pure in their manners, and strongly impressed with sentiments of religion. The name Yankee, which we apply as one of reproach and derision to Americans in general, is assumed by them as their natural and appropriate designation. It is a common proverb in America, that a Yankee will live where another would starve. Their very prosperity, however, with a certain reserve in their character, and supposed steady attention to small gains, renders them not excessively popular with those among whom they settle. They are charged with a peculiar species of finesse, called 'Yankee tricks,' and the character of being 'up to every thing' is applied to them, we know not exactly how, in a sense of reproach. The Virginian planter, on the contrary, is lax in principle, destitute of industry, eager in the pursuit of rough pleasures, and demoralized by the system of negro slavery, which exists in almost a West Indian form. Yet, with all the Americans who attempt to draw the parallel, he seems rather the favorite. He is frank, open-hearted, and exercising a splendid hospitality. Both Cooper and Judge Hall report him as a complete gentleman; by which they evidently mean, not the finished courtier, but the English country gentleman or squire, though the opening afforded by the political constitution of his country causes him to cultivate his mind more by reading and inquiry. A large proportion of the most eminent and ruling statesmen in America—Washington, Jefferson, Madison—were Virginians. Surrounded from their infancy with ease and wealth, accustomed to despise, and to see despised, money on a small scale, and no laborious exertions made for its attainment, they imbibe from youth the habits and ideas of the higher classes. Luxurious living, gaming, horse-racing, cock-fighting, and other rough, turbulent amusements, absorb a great portion of their life. Although, therefore, the leisure enjoyed by them, when well improved, may have produced some very elevated and accomplished characters, they can not, taken at the highest, be considered so respectable a class as their somewhat despised northern brethren; and the lower ranks are decidedly in a state of comparative moral debasement."—Murray, vol. ii., p. 394.]
[Footnote 320: Descendants of the Puritans.]
[Footnote 321: "The word Yankees (which is the Indian corruption of English Yengeese) is both offensive and incorrect as applied to any but New Englanders."—Godley's Letters from America.]
[Footnote 322: "James I. ranked among their party, as much as he was able by severe usage, all those who stood up in defense even of civil liberty."—Bolingbroke's Remarks upon English History, p. 283.]
[Footnote 323: "In memory of the hospitalities which the company had received at the last English port from which they had sailed, this oldest New England colony obtained the name of Plymouth. The two vessels which conveyed the Pilgrim fathers from Delft Haven were the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Mayflower alone proceeded to America."—Bancroft, vol. i., p. 313.]
[Footnote 324: "Under the influence of this wild notion, the colonists of New Plymouth, in imitation of the primitive Christians, threw all their property into a common stock."—Robertson's America, book x. One of the many errors with which the volume of Robertson teems. There was no attempt at imitating the primitive Christians; the partnership was a consequence of negotiation with British merchants; the colonists preferred the system of private property, and acted upon it, as far and as soon as was possible.—Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 306.]
[Footnote 325: "The remonstrances of the Virginia corporation and a transient regard for the rights of the country could delay, but could not defeat, a measure that was sustained by the personal favorites of the monarch. King James issued to forty of his subjects, some of them members of his household and his government, the most wealthy and powerful of the English nobility, a patent, which in American annals, and even in the history of the world, has but one parallel. The territory conferred on the patentees in absolute property, with unlimited jurisdiction, the sole powers of legislation, the appointment of all officers and all forms of government, comprised, and at the time was believed to comprise, much more than a million of square miles: it was, by a single signature of King James, given away to a corporation within the realm, composed of but forty individuals."—Bancroft, vol. i., p. 273.]
[Footnote 326: "The very extent of the grant rendered it of little value. The results which grew out of the concession of this charter form a new proof, if any were wanting, of that mysterious connection of events by which Providence leads to ends that human councils had not conceived."—Bancroft, vol. i., p. 273.
The Grand Council of Plymouth resigned their charter in 1635.]
[Footnote 327: "The circumstance which threw a greater luster on the colony than any other was the arrival of Mr. John Cotton, the most esteemed of all the Puritan ministers in England. He was equally distinguished for his learning, and for a brilliant and figurative eloquence. He was so generally beloved that his nonconformity to the ritual of the Established Church, of which he was a minister, was for a considerable time disregarded. At last, however, he was called before the ecclesiastical commission, and he determined upon emigration, 'Some reverend and renowned ministers of our Lord' endeavored to persuade him that the forms to which he refused obedience were 'sufferable trifles,' and did not actually amount to a breach of the second commandment. Mr. Cotton, however, argued so forcibly on the opposite side, that several of the most eminent became all that he was, and afterward followed his example. There went out with him Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone, who were esteemed to make 'a glorious triumvirate,' and were received in New England with the utmost exultation. It was doubtless a severe trial to these ministers, who appear really to have been, as they say, 'faithful, watchful, painful, serving their flock daily with prayers and tears,' who possessed such a reputation at home and over Europe, to find that no sooner did any half-crazed enthusiast spring up or arrive in the colony, that the people could be prevented only by the most odious compulsion from deserting their churches and flocking to him in a mass. Vainly did Mr. John Cotton strive to persuade Roger Williams, the sectary, that the red cross on the English banner, or his wife's being in the room while he said grace, were 'sufferable trifles,' and 'Mrs. Hutchinson and her ladies' treated his advice and exhortations with equal disregard and contempt. One of them sent him a pound of candles to intimate his need of more spiritual light. This was then the freedom for which his church and his country had been deserted."—Mather; Neale; Hutchinson.]
[Footnote 328: "Robertson is astonished that Neale (see Neale, p. 56) should assert that freedom of religious worship was granted, when the charter expressly asserts the king's supremacy. But this, in fact, was never the article at which they demurred; for the spirit of loyalty was still very strong. It seems quite clear, from the confidence with which they went, and the manner in which they acted when there, that, though there was no formal or written stipulation, the most full understanding existed that very ample latitude was to be allowed in this respect. We have seen on every occasion the vast sacrifices which kings were willing to make in order to people their distant possessions; and the necessity was increased by the backwardness hitherto visible."—Murray's America, vol. i., p. 249.]
[Footnote 329: During the year 1635 we find the name of John Hampden joined with those of six other gentlemen of family and fortune, who united with the Lords Say and Brooke in making a purchase from the Earl of Warwick of an extensive grant of land in a wide wilderness then called Virginia, but which now forms a part of the State of Connecticut. That these transatlantic possessions were designed by the associates ultimately, or under certain contingencies, to serve as an asylum to themselves and a home to their posterity, there is no room to doubt; but it is evident that nothing short of circumstances constituting a moral necessity would have urged persons of their rank, fortunes, and habits of life to encounter the perils, privations, and hardships attendant upon the pioneers of civilization in that inhospitable clime. Accordingly, they for the present contented themselves with sending out an agent to take possession of these territories and to build a fort. This was done, and the town called Saybrook, from the united names of the two noble proprietors, still preserves the memory of the enterprise. They finally abandoned the whole design, and sold the land in 1636, probably.—Miss Aikin's Life of Charles I., p. 471. Bancroft, vol. i., p. 384.]
[Footnote 330: "In one of these embargoed ships had actually embarked for their voyage across the Atlantic two no less considerable personages than John Hampden and his kinsman, Oliver Cromwell."—Life of Hampden, by Lord Nugent, vol. i., p. 254. London, 1832.
Lord Nugent has fallen into the vulgar error, an invention, probably, of the Puritan historian, and unanswerably disproved by a reference to Parliamentary records. See Miss Aikin's Life of Charles I., vol. i., p. 472; Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 411. The exultation of the Puritan writers on the subject is excessive. They ascribe all the subsequent misfortunes of Charles I. in connection with the scheme of Providence to this tyrannical edict, as they call it.—Russell's Modern Europe, vol. ii., p. 237. See Bancroft's History of the United States, vol. i., p. 412.
"Nothing could be more barbarous than this! To impose laws on men which in conscience they thought they could not comply with, to punish them for their noncompliance, and continually revile them as undutiful and disobedient subjects by reason thereof, and yet not permit them peaceably to depart and enjoy their own opinions in a distant part of the world, yet dependent on the sovereign: to do all this was base, barbarous, and inhuman. But persecutors of all ages and nations are near the same; they are without the feelings and the understandings of men. Cromwell or Hampden could have given little opposition to the measures of Charles in the wilds of North America. In England they engaged with spirit against him, and he had reason to repent his hindering their voyage. May such at all times be the reward of those who attempt to rule over their fellow-men with rigor: may they find that they will not be slaves to kings or priests, but that they know the rights by nature conferred on them, and will assert them! This will make princes cautious how they give themselves up to arbitrary counsels, and dread the consequences of them."—Harris's Life of Cromwell, p. 56.]
[Footnote 331: "Mr. Dudley, one of the most respectable of the governors, was found, at his death, with a copy of verses in his pocket, which included the following couplet:
"'Let men of God in court and churches watch O'er such as do a toleration hatch'"—CHALMERS.]
[Footnote 332: "The cutting the hair very close, which seemed supported by St. Paul's authority, was the chief outward symbol of a Puritan. In the case of a minister, it was considered essential that the ear should be thoroughly uncovered. Even after the example of Dr. Owen and other eminent divines had given a sanction to letting the hair grow, and even to periwigs, a numerous association was formed at Boston (where Mr. John Cotton was pastor), with Mr. Endicot, the governor, at their head, the members of which bound themselves to stand by each other in resisting long hair to the last extremity. Vane, a young man of birth and fashion, continued for some time a recusant against the uncouth test of his principles, but at last we find a letter congratulating him on having 'glorified God by cutting his hair.'"—Hutchinson's Massachusetts, quoted by Murray.]
[Footnote 333: One of Williams's disciples, who held some command, cut the cross out, and trampled it under foot. This red cross had nearly subverted the colony. One part of the trained bands would not march with, another would not march without it.—Mather, Neale, &c., quoted by Murray.]
[Footnote 334: The town of Providence, now the capital of Rhode Island, was founded by Williams. The Indian name was Mooshausick, but he changed it to Providence in commemoration of his wonderful escape from persecution.—Arfwedson, vol. i., p. 224.]
[Footnote 335: Mather, vol. vii., ch. ii.; Neale, ch. i., p. 138; Hutchinson, p. 37, 39.]
[Footnote 336: Ibid.]
[Footnote 337: "Mr. Controller, Sir Harry Vane's eldest son, hath left his father, his mother, his country, and that fortune which his father would have left him here, and is for conscience' sake gone into New England, there to lead the rest of his days, being about twenty years of age. He had abstained two years from taking the sacrament in England, because he could get nobody to administer it to him standing."—Strafford Letters, September, 1635, quoted by Miss Aikin, Life of Charles I., vol. i., p. 479.
"Sir Harry Vane returned to England immediately after the loss of his election. His personal experience of the uncharitableness and intolerance exercised upon one another by men who had themselves been the victims of a similar spirit at home, seems to have produced for some time a tranquilizing effect upon the mind of Vane. He was reconciled to his father, married by his direction a lady of family, obtained the place of joint treasurer of the navy, and exhibited for some time no hostility to the measures of the government. But his fire was smothered only, not extinguished."—Miss Aikin's Life of Charles I., vol. i., p. 481.
"After the Restoration of Charles II., Sir Harry Vane suffered death upon the block. (See Hallam, vol. ii., p. 443.) The manner of his death was the admiration of his times."—Bancroft, vol. ii., p. 40.]
[Footnote 338: Boston was the capital of Massachusetts, and the center of the most fervent Puritanism.
"Boston may be ranked as the seat of the Unitarians, as Baltimore is that of the Roman Catholics, and Philadelphia that of the Quakers.... No axiom is more applicable to the pensive, serious, scrutinizing inhabitant of the New England States than this: 'What I do not understand, I reject as worthless and false;' so said one of the most learned men of Boston to me. 'Why occupy the mind with that which is incomprehensible? Have we not enough of that which appears clear and plain around us?' ... The greater part of the Bostonians, including every one of wealth, talents, and learning, have adopted this doctrine."—Arfwedson, vol. i., p. 179.
"In Boston all the leading men are Unitarians, a creed peculiarly acceptable to the pride and self-sufficiency of our nature, asserting, as it does, the independence and perfectibility of man, and denying the necessity of atonement or sanctification by supernatural influences.
"Though every where in New England the greatest possible decency and respect with regard to morals and religion is still observed, I have no hesitation in saying that I do not think the New Englanders a religious people. The assertion, I know, is paradoxical, but it is nevertheless true, that is, if a strong and earnest belief be a necessary element in a religious character: to me it seems to be its very essence and foundation. I am not now speaking of belief in the truth, but belief in something or any thing which is removed from the action of the senses.... I am not trusting to my own limited observation in arriving at this conclusion; I find in M. de Tocqueville's work an assertion of the same fact. He accounts for it, indeed, in a different way.... What I complain of is, not the absence of nominal, but of real, heartfelt, unearthly religion, such as led the Puritan Nonconformists to sacrifice country and kindred, and brave the dangers of the ocean and the wilderness for the sake of what they believed God's truth. In my opinion, those men were prejudiced and mistaken, and committed great and grievous faults; but there was, at least, a redeeming element in their character—that of high conscientiousness. There was no compromise of truth, no sacrifice to expediency about them; they believed in the invisible, and they acted on that belief. Every where the tone of religious feeling, since that time, has been altered and relaxed, but perhaps nowhere so much as in the land where the descendants of those Pilgrims lived."—Godley's Letters from America, vol. ii., p. 90, 133.]
[Footnote 339: "The arbitrary will of the single tyrant, the excesses of the prerogative, seem light when compared with their (the Puritans') more intolerant, more arbitrary, and more absolute power."—Commentaries on the Life and Reign of Charles I., vol. iii., p. 28, by I. D'Israeli. London, 1830.]
[Footnote 340: Mather affirms that the Quakers used to go about saying, "We deny thy Christ: we deny thy God, whom thou callest Father, Son, and Spirit; thy Bible is the word of the devil." They used to rise up suddenly in the midst of a sermon, and call upon the preacher to cease his abomination. One writer says, "For hellish reviling of the painful ministers of Christ, I know no people can match them." The following epithets bestowed by Fisher on Dr. Owen are said to be fair specimens of their usual addresses: "Thou green-headed trumpeter! thou hedgehog and grinning dog! thou tinker! thou lizard! thou whirligig! thou firebrand! thou louse! thou mooncalf! thou ragged tatterdemalion! thou livest in philosophy and logic, which are of the devil." Even Penn is said to have addressed the same respected divine as, "Thou bane of reason and beast of the earth." When the governor or any magistrate came in sight, they would call out, "Woe to thee, thou oppressor," and in the language of Scripture prophecy would announce the judgments that were about to fall upon their head.—Neale, cap. i., p. 341-345. Mather, b. vii., cap. iv. Hutchinson, p. 196-205.]
[Footnote 341: "Sir Matthew Hale burned two persons for witchcraft in 1664. Three thousand were executed in England during the Long Parliament. Two pretended witches were executed at Northampton in 1705. In 1716, Mrs. Hicks and her daughter, aged nine, were hanged at Huntingdon. The last sufferer in Scotland was in 1722, at Dornoch. The laws against witchcraft had lain dormant for many years, when an ignorant person attempting to revive them by finding a bill against a poor old woman in Surrey for the practice of witchcraft, they were repealed, 10 George II., 1736."—Viner's Abridgement.]
[Footnote 342: Neale, vol. ii., p. 164-170. Mather, vol. ii., p. 62-64.
Arfwedson says, "Close to the town of Salem is Beverley, a small, insignificant place, remarkable only in the annals of history as having formerly contained a superstitious population. Many lives have here been cruelly sacrificed, and the barren hill is still in existence where persons accused of witchcraft were hung upon tall trees. Tradition points out the place where the witches of old resided. Cotton Mather records in a work, truly original for that age, that the good people who lived near Massachusetts Bay were every night roused from their slumbers by the sound of a trumpet, summoning all the witches and demons."—Cotton Mather's Magnalia; Arfwedson, vol. i., p. 186.
"And thrice that night the trumpet rang, And rock and hill replied; And down the glen strange shadows sprang— Mortal and fiend—a wizard gang, Seen dimly, side by side.
"They gathered there from every land That sleepeth in the sun; They came with spell and charm in hand, Waiting their master's high command— Slaves to the Evil One."—Legends of New England.]
[Footnote 343: "During the war with Philip, the Indians took some English alive, and set them upright in the ground, with this sarcasm: 'You English, since you came into this country, have grown considerably above ground; let us now see how you will grow when planted into the ground.'"—Narrative of the Wars in New England, 1675.-Harleian Miscellany, vol. v., p. 400.]
[Footnote 344: "The Pequods were a powerful nation on the Connecticut border, who could muster a thousand warriors. The English might have found it difficult to withstand them but for an alliance with the second most powerful people, the Narragansets, whose ancient enmity to the Pequods for a time prevailed over their jealousy of the foreigners. But at length, when the Pequods were nearly exterminated, the Narragansets, seeing the power of the strangers paramount, began to side with their enemies. The Indian chiefs began to imitate the English mode of fighting, and even to assume English names, with some characteristic epithet. One-eyed John, Stone-wall John, and Sagamore Sam, kept the colony in perpetual alarm. But their most deadly and formidable enemy was Philip, sachem of the Wampanoags. No Indian was ever more dreaded by civilized man. A century and a half has now elapsed since this hero of Pokanoket fell a victim to his own race, but even to this day his name is respected, and the last object supposed to have been touched by him in his lifetime is considered by every American as a valuable relic. This extraordinary man, whose real name was Metacom, succeeded his brother in the government of the Wampanoags. The wrongs and grievances suffered by this brother, added to those which he had himself experienced from the English colonists, induced him to engage in a war against them. The issue might, perhaps, have been less doubtful, had not one of his followers defeated his plans by a premature explosion before he had time to summon and concentrate his warriors and allies. From this time no smiles were seen on his face. But though he soon perceived that the great enterprise he had formed was likely to be frustrated, he never lost that elevation of soul which distinguished him to the last moments of his life. By his exertions and energy, all the Indian nations occupying the territory between Maine and the River Connecticut, a distance of nearly 200 miles, took up arms. Every where the name of King Philip was the signal for massacre and flames. But fraud and treason soon accomplished what open warfare could not effect; his followers gave way to numbers; his nearest relations and friends forsook him, and a treacherous ball at last struck his heart. His head was carried round the country in triumph, and exposed as that of a traitor; but posterity has done him justice. Patriotism was his only crime, and his death was that of a hero."—Arfwedson, vol. i., p. 229.]
[Footnote 345: "This was not the case in the earlier and more northern settlements, where Mather mentions a clergyman who, from the pulpit, alluded to this as the main object of his flock's coming out, when one of the principal members rose and said, 'Sir, you are mistaken; our main object was to catch fish.'"—Murray's America.
"To this day the Council of Massachusets, in the impress of their public seal, have an Indian engraven, with these words: 'Come over and help us,' alluding to Acts, xv., 9."—Narrative of the Wars in New England, 1675. Harleian Miscellany, vol. v., p. 400.]
[Footnote 346: "Among these was the celebrated Eliot. Notwithstanding the almost incredible hardships endured by Eliot during his missionary labors, he lived to the age of eighty-six. He expired in 1690, and has ever since been known by the well-earned title of Apostle to the Indians."—Missionary Records, p. 34.
Dr. Dwight says of him, "He was naturally qualified beyond almost any other man for the business of a missionary. In promoting among the Indians agriculture, health, morals, and religion, this great and good man labored with constancy, faithfulness, and benevolence which place his name not unworthily among those who are arranged immediately after the apostles of our Divine Redeemer." Eliot translated the Holy Scriptures into the Indian language. In 1661, the New Testament, dedicated to Charles II., was printed at Cambridge, in New England, and about three years afterward, it was followed by the Old Testament. This was the first Bible ever printed in America; and, though the impression consisted of 2000 copies, a second edition was required in 1685.—Ibid., p. 27.
"When at Harvard College, a copy of the Bible was shown me by Mr. Jared Sparks, translated by the missionary, Father Eliot, into the Indian tongue. It is now a dead language, although preached for several generations to crowded congregations."—Lyell's America, vol. i., p. 260.
"Eliot had become an acute grammarian by his studies at the English university of Cambridge. Having finished his laborious and difficult work, the Indian grammar, at the close of it, under a full sense of the difficulties he had encountered, and the acquisition he had made, he said, 'Prayers and pains, through faith in Christ Jesus, do any thing.'"—Life of Eliot, p. 55.
"The Honorable Robert Boyle often strengthened Eliot's hands and encouraged him in his work—he who was not more admirable among philosophers for his discoveries in science, than he was beloved by Christians for his active kindness and his pious spirit."—Ibid., p. 64.
"Nor was Eliot alone. In the islands round Massachusetts, and within the limits of the Plymouth patent, missionary zeal and missionary enterprise were active; and the gentle Mayhew, forgetting the pride of learning, endeavored to win the natives to a new religion. At a later day, he took passage for New England to awaken interest there, and the ship in which he sailed was never more heard of. But such had been the force of his example, that his father, though bowed down with the weight of seventy years, resolved on assuming the office of the son whom he had lost, and till beyond the age of fourscore years and twelve, continued to instruct the natives, and with the happiest results. The Indians within his influence, though twenty times more numerous than the whites in their immediate neighborhood, preserved an immutable friendship with Massachusetts."—Bancroft's Hist of the United States, vol. ii., p. 97. See Missionary Records; Life of Eliot; Mayhew's Indian Converts; T. Prince's Account of English Ministers.]
[Footnote 347: "History has no example to offer of any successful attempt, however slight, to introduce civilization among savage tribes in colonies or in their vicinity, except through the influence of religious missionaries. This is no question of a balance of advantages—no matter of comparison between opposite systems. I repeat that no instance can be shown of the reclaiming of savages by any other influence than that of religion. There are two obvious reasons why such should be the case: the first, that religion only can supply a motive to the governors, placed in obscure situations, and without the reach of responsibility, to act with zeal, perseverance, and charity; the other, that it alone can supply a motive to the governed to undergo that alteration of habits through which the reclaimed savage must pass, and to which the hope of mere temporal advantage will very rarely induce him to consent." This position is well stated in the words of Southey: 'The wealth and power of governments may be vainly employed in the endeavor to conciliate and reclaim brute man, if religious zeal and Christian charity, in the true import of the word, be wanting.'—Merivale on Colonization, vol. i., p. 289.]
[Footnote 348: "The attempt to organize an Indian priesthood at this period failed altogether, the converts possessing neither the steadiness nor the sobriety requisite for the holy office. The duty, therefore, devolved upon European teachers, who in many cases scarcely obtained the wages of a day laborer, and that very precariously. The formation, however, of a society in England for the propagation of the Gospel in this settlement, and pretty liberal contributions raised in the principal towns, in some degree remedied these evils. After the lapse of a few more generations, the Indian character, in its slow but steady upward progress under the teaching of devoted and enlightened Christian ministers, underwent a change so effectual, that the native teachers and preachers of the present day may well bear comparison in zeal, piety, and eloquence with their European colleagues."—Catlin's American Indians; Cotton's American Lakes.]
[Footnote 349: "The Indians about this time (1653) obtained the appellation of 'Praying Indians,' and the court appointed Major Daniel Gookin their ruler."—Life of Eliot, p. 53.]
The principal characteristics of that colonization by which the vast republic of the West was formed, have been exhibited in the settlement of Virginia and Massachusetts. The other states were stamped with the impress of the two first, and in a great measure peopled from them. Rhode Island and the rest of the New England states were founded by those who had fled from the religious persecutions of Massachusetts, with the exception of Connecticut, which owes its origin chiefly to the spirit of adventure and the search for unoccupied lands. The first settlers divided this last-named state among themselves without the sanction of any authority, and then proceeded to form a constitution of unexampled liberality. They had to bear the chief burden in the Indian war, on account of their advanced and exposed position; but Connecticut prospered in spite of every obstacle. Several Puritans of distinction sought its shore from England. Charles II., on his restoration granted a most liberal charter, and it continued to enjoy the benefits of complete self-government till Massachusetts was deprived of her charter by James II., when Connecticut shared the same fate. At the Revolution, the younger state, more fortunate than her neighbor, was restored to all the privileges formerly enjoyed.
The states of New Hampshire and Maine were originally founded on Loyalist and Church of England principles. Sir Ferdinand Gorges and John Mason, the most energetic member of the Council of Plymouth, undertook the colonization of these districts, but their tyrannical and injudicious conduct stunted the growth of the infant colonies, and little progress was made till the religious dissensions of Boston swelled their population. Violent and even fatal dissensions, however, distracted this incongruous community, till the government of Massachusetts assumed the sway over it, and re-established order and prosperity. Gorges and Mason disputed for many years the rights of authority with the new rulers; nor was the question finally settled till Massachusetts was deprived of her charter, when a royal government was established in New Hampshire.
The important state of New York was founded under very different auspices from those of its neighbors. In 1609, Henry Hudson, while sailing in the service of the Dutch East India Company, discovered the magnificent stream which now bears his name. A small colony was soon sent out from Holland to settle the new country, and a trading post established at the mouth of the river. Sir Samuel Argall, governor of Virginia, conceived that this foreign settlement trenched upon the rights granted by the English crown to its subjects, and by a display of superior force constrained the Dutch colony to acknowledge British sovereignty (1613); but this submission became a dead letter some years later, when large bodies of emigrants arrived from the Low Countries (1620); the little trading post soon rose into a town, and a fort was erected for its defense. The site of this establishment was on the island of Manhattan; the founders called it New Amsterdam. When it fell into the possession of England, the name was changed to New York. Albany was next built, at some distance up the Hudson, as a post for the Indian trade, and thence a communication was opened for the first time with the Northern Indian confederacy of the Iroquois, or the Five Nations.