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But the peace of the colony did not remain long uninterrupted. The following year, Coddington, as the head of a faction of the inhabitants, secured a new charter for Portsmouth and Newport, and for several years a bitter fight was maintained between the two factions. In May, 1654, however, Williams succeeded in restoring affairs to their normal condition, and in the following August the towns were again united under the general charter of 1644, with Williams as president.* In 1656 Coddington submitted to the authorities, resigned his Indian deeds and other records into the keeping of the Rhode Island settlers, and took his seat in the council as commissioner from Newport. A letter was also sent to England at this time recommending that the charges which had previously been filed against him be dismissed.†
During this time, the opponents of theocratic government in Massachusetts had been endeavoring to obtain a relaxation of its severity. It therefore became necessary for the authorities to choose between yielding or proceeding to even greater lengths in support of their claims to virtual. infallibility. Toleration was not to be thought of; antinomian and ana
* For the details see Palfrey, vol. i., pp. 381390; Turner, William Coddington in Colonial Affairs, Rhode Island Historical Tracts, no. 4; Rhode Island Colonial Records, vol. i., pp. 233273, 305, 316, 318; Hildreth, vol. i., p. 394 et seq., Richman, Rhode Island, pp. 35-41.
R. I Col. Recs., vol. i., pp. 327-328, 382; Arnold, vol. i., p. 259.
baptist notions were to be crushed unrelentingly; and instant punishment to be meted out to latitudinarianism.* Dudley, the governor, who died in 1650, left behind him some verses which fairly well express the stern Puritan principles:
"Let men of God, in courts and churches watch
On March 26, 1649, Winthrop died. He was then in his tenth term of office and during his long administration had constantly put forth his best efforts in behalf of the colony. As he died poor, the General Court voted £200 to the support of his family. He left behind him a journal of such events as had transpired during his connection with the colony, and it is an invaluable document for the study of our early history.†
Meanwhile affairs in Maine had taken a turn highly favorable to Massachusetts, which ultimately brought a large tract of territory under its power. In 1643 George Cleeve of Casco succeeded in buying thePlough Patent" to Lygonia,‡
At this time, the first execution for witchcraft took place (in 1648), the victim being a woman by the name of Margaret Jones, who was charged with having "a malignant touch." Fiske, New France and New England, p. 145; Winthrop, vol. ii., p. 326; W. F. Poole, in North American Review, April, 1869, pp. 343-344.
For the events of his last years of office, see Palfrey, History of New England, vol. i., pp. 352362.
This was a patent issued by the Council for New England earlier in date than that of 1639
MASSACHUSETTS ASSUMES CONTROL OVER MAINE.
through the agency of Alexander Rigby, and in securing a commission to take possession of the territory and govern it. Repairing to Maine, Cleeve proceeded to oust Vines, but the colonists appealed to Massachusetts. Receiving no aid from that source, they appealed to the Commission for Foreign Plantations in England, but the Puritan Parliament saw an opportunity for undermining the power of Gorges and therefore decided in favor of Rigby and Cleeve.* In 1646 the province of Lygonia, extending along the coast for 30 miles from Cape Porpoise to Cape Elizabeth, was taken away from Gorges and thus his province was split in half, the western part of it now extending from Cape Porpoise to the Piscataqua and the eastern part from Casco to the Kennebec.
Godfrey as their leader, but the new government was short-lived.* The Massachusetts Puritans now began to assume parental powers over the Kennebec territory of the New Plymouth colony, and bought from Thomas Purchase a share which he held in a patent to a tract two miles broad along the Bishopscote or Pejebscot River (now the Androscoggin). In 1649 the Puritan colony claimed that their northern boundary extended three miles north of the farthest point touched by the Merrimac or its tributaries, but the people of Maine protested against the encroachment. Their protests, however, availed little, as the home government favored the Puritans, and gradually, one by one, Kittery, Agamenticus (or Gorgeana), and the other Gorges settlements, with the Isles of
But in May, 1647, Gorges died, and Shoales, submitted to annexation to
the settlements in Maine were left alone to fight their battles as best they could. In 1649 the inhabitants of Kittery Mills and Gorgeana formed a government for the "province of Maine," choosing Edward
given to Gorges, and covering much the same territory. It received its name from the ship in which it was brought to New England. It represented what was characterized as a "broken tytle" and had been buried and forgotten until
Massachusetts, the territory being erected into a separate county named Yorkshire.
In 1650 Rigby died, and though Lygonia did not suffer because of this event, her settlements, like those of Gorges, gradually came under the control of Massachusetts. In 1652 Saco and Cape Porpoise submitted, and by 1658 all the other settlements. had followed suit- Black Point,
resurrected by Cleeve. See Baxter, George Cleve, Spurwick, Blue Point (Scarborough)
pp. 116-120; Banks, Sir Alexander Rigby, pp. 27-39; Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, vol. iii., pp. 322-323.
*See Baxter, George Cleve, in Publications of Gorges Society; Williamson, History of Maine, vol. i.; Adams, Three Episodes of Massachusetts History, vol. i., pp. 314–315.
and Falmouth (as Casco was now named). Thus the whole settled territory north of Plymouth came under
* Bancroft, vol. i., pp. 299-300.
the dominion of Massachusetts, and continued so for the remaining seven years of the Commonwealth. Several attempts were made by Massachusetts to annex territory to the southward, but these were unsuccessful.*
At this time the first mint erected in Massachusetts was established. Increasing trade with the West Indies had brought a considerable quantity of bullion into the country, and in order to stop its exportation to England in payment for goods, Massachusetts, in June, 1652, passed an act for establishing a mint to coin the bullion. The mint was set up at Boston, and in it were coined " shillings, sixpences, and threepences, with a pine tree on one side, and New England on the other. These pieces were alloyed one-fourth below the British standard-an experiment often tried elsewhere, under the fallacious idea that, thus debased, they would not be exported. Thus it happened that the pound currency of New England came to be one-fourth less valuable than the pound sterling of the mother country- a standard aftera standard afterwards adopted by the English Parliament for all the North American colonies." +
Holland and England, and as we have noted in a previous chapter, attempts were made to reduce New Netherland, but on April 5, 1654, peace was proclaimed, and the troops were disbanded.* The fleet, however, having no chance to invade the Dutch territory, turned their attention to Acadia, of which they took possession, notwithstanding the fact that France and England were at peace.
In 1655 another execution for witchcraft took place, the victim being Anne Hibbins, sister of Bellingham. She had become offensive and troublesome to her neighbors because of her losses and disappointments. Notwithstanding her influential connections, she was quickly and easily disposed of as guilty of witchcraft.
Despite the remonstrances of Sir Richard Salstonstall and others in England, the magistrates continued upon their offensive course in the colonies, and they were now called upon to carry out their ideas of religious tolerance to an extent which even they themselves had not contemplated. This was due to the advent of the Quakers in the colony. This sect had taken its rise in England about 1644, under the preach
In 1651 war was declared between ing of George Fox, and their tenets
Doyle, English Colonies in America, vol. ii., p. 306 et seq.; Bancroft, vol. i., pp. 298-299, 378380; Palfrey, History of New England, vol. i., pp. 402-403; Osgood, American Colonies, vol. i., pp. 371-391; Hildreth, vol. i., p. 374 et seq.
Hildreth, History of the United States, vol. i., p. 385. See also Fiske, Beginnings of New Englana, p. 192; Palfrey, pp. 407-408.
and practices were both peculiar and novel at that age. Their fundamental principle was that of an inward revelation of God to man, and
For the details of this see Fiske, Dutch and Quaker Colonies, vol. i., pp. 243-251; Hildreth, vol. i., pp. 385-389.
TENETS OF THE QUAKERS; PUNISHMENTS PROVIDED.
an indwelling of the Divine Spirit in the human soul, and by this unerring voice and not by the creeds and formularies of man, the Holy Scriptures were to be interpreted to every individual believer. They denounced any interference with the consciences of men as being anti-Christian and intolerable. Though Cromwell had declared that "he that prays best will fight best," the Quakers did not believe even in defensive warfare and refused to bear arms when they were
Early in 1656, two women, by name Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, arrived from Barbadoes, but as they were supposed to be possessed of the devil, they were speedily arrested, imprisoned for a period of five weeks, and after their trunks had been rifled and their books burned, they were banished from the colony.*
Several laws were passed to deal with this situation. Whoever should introduce a Quaker into the colony or spread abroad Quaker tracts and
ordered to do so by the civil magis- books, was to be severely fined. Whip
trate. Their "" yea was yea, and their nay was nay," and as they believed that "whatsoever was more than this cometh of evil," they insisted upon observing the letter of the Scripture, which commands the believer to swear not at all," and refused to take oaths when required to do so by authority. They believed that all persons were at liberty to preach whenever they felt moved thereto; and regarded a settled ministry as wolves amid the flock. They abhorred titles, denounced the most simple and innocent pleasures, and especially the tyranny of rulers in high places, whether temporal or spiritual. As they were particularly zealous, they carried on their work everywhere, and seemed to delight in courting persecution and outrage. Such being the case, they coveted a contest with the New England theocracy.
ping, was to be the punishment for such as should harbor a Quaker no matter what their pretence; females coming under the provision equally with males. The first offence was to be punished with the loss of one ear, the second with the loss of the other ear, and although the law prohibited torture, on the third conviction the offenders were to have their tongues bored through with hot irons.† Nevertheless, the sect seemed to thrive on persecution. They defied the magistrates, disturbed public worship and did everything in their power to bring their tenets before the public.
Many of them had gone to Rhode Island, where Williams' doctrine of
* Fiske, Beginnings of New England, pp. 179183; Bancroft, vol. i., p. 312 et seq.
† Massachusetts Colonial Records, vol. iv., p. 277 et seq.; George Bishop, New England Judged by the Spirit of the Lord, p. 7 (ed. of 1703). For laws passed by other colonies see Connecticut Records, vol. i., p. 283; Plymouth Records, vol. xi., pp. 64, 177, 120, 205; New Haven Records, vol. ii., p. 217.
free worship to all, indiscriminately, his influence to have the anti-Quaker
allowed them to preach and propagate their tenets undisturbed.* they were not content with this; they preferred persecution to everything else; so they went to Boston where it was war to the knife between ecclesiastical bigotry and insane fanaticism. The Puritans not only did not wish to adopt the doctrines of the Quakers, but would not allow anyone else to adopt them if it were possible to prevent it. Fines, whippings, croppings and imprisonments, however, had been in vain, and in 1658, as a last resource, the council passed a decree of banishment, under pain of death, against such as should support the Quaker doctrines. This was not done, however, without the strenuous resistance of a portion of the deputies.† Still the indomitable Quakers did not desist from their practices, but gloried in the opportunity to suffer martyrdom. William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, and Mary Dyer persisted in braving the penalty denounced against them and were tried and condemned. The younger Winthrop earnestly sought to prevent their execution, and Colonel Temple offered to carry them away, and if they returned, fetch them off a second time. Winthrop used all of
* Rhode Island refused to prosecute them for their religious opinions but promised to stop any disorders. See Rhode Island Records, vol. i., p. 376 et seq.; Bates, Rhode Island and the Formation of the Union, pp. 27-28.
Mass. Col. Recs., vol. iv., p. 345.
laws made less severe, and in this he was largely successful.* In the council, many of the members regarded the Quakers as mere lunatics, and being such, that it would be foolish to proceed against them, but the majority prevailed, and on October 27, 1659, Stephenson and Robinson were brought to the scaffold. "I die for Christ," said Robinson. "We suffer not as evildoers, but for conscience sake," said Stephenson.† After Mary Dyer had witnessed the execution of her two companions, she exclaimed, "Let me suffer as my brethren, unless you will annul your wicked law.” But her son interceded in her behalf, and forced her from the scaffold. Her life was spared on condition that she leave the colony within forty-eight hours. This, however, did not satisfy the wretched woman, who had been excited almost to insanity by inward enthusiasm and the horrible scenes she had witnessed, and while in prison she addressed an energetic remonstrance against the cruelty of the council. "Woe is me for you! ye are disobedient and deceived. You will not repent that you were kept from shedding blood, though it was by a woman." Working herself up into a frenzy, she later returned to the bloody town," to defy the
*See Bishop, New England Judged by the Spirit of the Lord, p. 157.
Bishop, pp. 122-126, describes the execution in detail.
Mass. Col. Recs., vol. vi., p. 384.