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credited before any court; the like punishment in cases of forgery, and both criminals to be stigmatized.
XXII. Fourteen years quiet possession shall give an unquestionable right, except in cases of infants, lunaticks or married women, or persons beyond sea or in prison. And whoever forfeits his estate to the government by committing treason against the Crown of England, or in this Province, or by any other capital crime, the nearest of kin may redeem it within two months after the criminals death, by paying to the public treasury not above one hundred pounds, and not under five pounds sterling, which proportion the common Council shall determine, according to the value of the criminals estate, and to the nature of the offence; reparation to any who have suffered by him, and payment of all just debts being always allowed.
XXIII. For avoiding innumerable multitude of statutes, no act to be made by the great Council shall be in force above fifty years after it is enacted; but as it is then de novo confirmed, allways excepting these four and twenty fundamental articles, which, as the primitive charter, is forever to remain in force, not to be repealed at any time by the great Council, tho' two parts of the Council should agree to it, unless two and twenty of the four and twenty Proprietors do expressly also agree, and sixty six of seventy two freemen; and when they are one hundred forty four, one hundred thirty two of them; and also this assent of the Proprietors must be either by their being present in their own persons, or giving actually their votes under their hands and seals (if elsewhere) and not by proxies; which solemn and express assent must also be had in the opening of mines of gold and silver; and if
such be opened, one third part of the profit is to go to the publick Treasury; one third to be divided among the four and twenty Proprietors, and one third to Proprietor or planter in whose ground it is; the charges by each proportionably borne.
XXIV. It is finally agreed, that both the Governor and the members of the great and common Council, the great officers, judges, sheriffs and justices of the peace, and all other persons of public trust, shall before they enter actually upon the exercise of any of the employs of the province, solemnly promise and subscribe to be true and faithful to the king of England, his heirs and successors, and to the Proprietors, and he shall well and faithfully discharge his office in all things according to his commission, as by these fundamental constitutions is confirmed, the true right of liberty and property, as well as the just ballance both of the Proprietors among themselves, and betwixt them and the people: it's therefore understood, that here is included whatever is necessary to be retained in the first Concessions, so that henceforward there is nothing further to be proceeded upon from them, that which relates to the securing of every man's land taken up upon them, being allways excepted. And provided also, that all judicial and legal proceedings heretofore done according to them, be held, approved and confirmed.
Drummond. Robert Burnet. Bar. Gibson.
CONDITION OF THE COLONIES.
NEW ENGLAND DURING THE COMMONWEALTH.
Condition of the Colonies in 1640 — The “Fundamentals ” or “Body of Liberties "— Its provisions tion of New Hampshire — The articles of confederation of the United Colonies of New England — Religious troubles in Massachusetts- Gorton's heresy - The death of Miantonimoh-Sympathy with the Parliament Party Resistance to interference-Roger Williams goes to England - Obtains a charter - Providence Plantations - Provisions of the Providence charter- Intolerant spirit of the theocratic party Death of Winthrop — Affairs in Maine — The Plough patent to Lygonia - Government established in Maine Yorkshire county established Massachusetts asserts dominion over territory - Mint erectedTrouble with New Netherlands - Rise of the Quakers - Persecution and execution - Defense of the magistrates - End of the troubles - The labors of John Eliot - Progress of the colonies. Appendix to Chapter X.- Articles of Confederation of the United Colonies of New England, 1643.
Emigration to America had been stopped by the political changes in England during 1640, consequent upon the success of Parliament in its contest with Charles I., and this had a serious effect upon the fortunes of the New England colonies.* The prices of the staples upon which the colonists depended, especially cattle and corn, had experienced a great fall, and consequently there was great
"Now that fountain began to be dried, and the stream turned another way, and many that intended to have followed their neighbors and friends into a land not sown, hoping by the turn of the times, and the great changes that were afoot, to enjoy that at their own doors and homes, which the other had travelled so far to seek abroad, there happened a total cessation of any passengers coming over; yea, rather, as at the turn of the tide, many came back with the help of the same stream, or sea, that carried them thither; insomuch that now the country of New England was to seek of a way to provide themselves of clothing, which they could not attain by selling of their cattle as before; which now were fallen from that huge price forementioned, £25, first to £14, and £10, an head, and presently, after (at least within a year) to £5 a piece; nor was there at that rate ready vent for them neither."- Hubbard, p. 238.
difficulty in settling accounts and defraying debts. In order to meet the emergency, the authorities made a number of provisions such as allowing the use of beaver skins, wampum, etc., as currency instead of coin.* They also attempted to establish several new industries, such as shipbuilding, the manufacture of linen, cotton and woolen cloths, and the cultivation of hemp and flax, etc.†
The freemen had become jealous of the arbitrary, undefined powers and prerogatives of the magistrates, and in 1641 a convention of the freemen was called at which a collection of laws was prepared, known as the "Fundamentals " or " Body of Liberties." After the rough draft of these had been prepared by the council, it was at first submitted to the local magistrates and elders, and
Wampum: the wampum, or peage, consisted of cylindrical beads half an inch long, of two colors, white and bluish black, made by the Indians from parts of certain sea shells.
See Hildreth, vol. i., pp. 268–270.
then sent to the freemen at large for consideration and improvement; having thus undergone considerable revision, the proposed laws were at length formally adopted with the provision that after three years' trial they were to be revised and then become finally established. These laws were about one hundred in number. The church members were still vested with the supreme power, and while universal suffrage was not conceded, every citizen was granted a certain share in the business of any public meeting. The supreme council still possessed the power of veto. Some certain degree of liberty was granted to private churches and assemblies. of different Christians, but the council had power to arbitrarily put down any proceedings which they deemed dangerous or or heterodox, heterodox, and to punish or expel their authors. Such Such strangers and refugees as might profess the true Christian religion were to be received and sheltered. Death was to be the punishment for idolatry, witchcraft, and blasphemy, or the wilful disturbing of the established order of the state. These laws abolished slavery, villanage, or captivity, except in the case of lawful captives taken in war, or any case where slaves might be sold by others or should sell themselves. Injurious monopolies were not to be allowed. All torture was abolished, except whipping, ear-cropping and the pillory, which were retained as being necessary and wholesome. The liber
ties of women, children and servants were defined in a more benevolent spirit, in harmony with the Mosaic code.*
On April 14, 1642, New Hampshire, which was still in its infancy, was annexed to Massachusetts on most favorable terms.+ In 1643 the various settlements and colonies in New England, for the purpose of mutual aid and support, entered into an agreement by which this end could be effectually attained, and in May of that year formed a confederation under the name of "The United Colonies of New England. The confederation consisted of the colonies of Massachusetts, New Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven.‡ The delegates from New Haven, Connecticut and Massachusetts signed the articles on May 19, but the Plymouth delegates were not authorized to sign until the articles had been reported to the Plymouth General Court and submitted to the towns for action and then ratified by the people, a method of procedure which formed an interesting precedent in our political history. tory. This ratification having been given, the seal of the colony was affixed to the articles.|| According to
* Palfrey, History of New England, vol. i., pp. croft, vol. i., p. 282 et seq. 229-282; Hildreth, vol. i., p. 273 et seq.; Ban
For the various proceedings leading up to this see Palfrey, vol. i., pp. 215-220; Bancroft, vol. i., pp. 286–287.
‡ Trumbull, History of Connecticut, vol. i., p. 98 et seq.
Frothingham, Rise of the Republic, p. 39. See Appendix 1. at the end of the present chapter.
1. SEWALL'S BRIDGE AND COUNTRY CLUB HOUSE, YORK RIVER, MAINE. (The first pile bridge built in the United States.) 2. THE CRADDOCK HOUSE, MEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS. (Built in 1634. The oldest building in New England, if not in
the United States, retaining its original form.)