« PreviousContinue »
DEFENCE OF THE MAGISTRATES.
tyrants and to seal her testimony against them with her life.* She was consequently hanged on June 1, 1660, on Boston Common.† Meanwhile, the magistrates had entered a formal defence of their various actions.
"Although the justice of our proceedings against William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, and Mary Dyer supported by the authority of this Court, the laws of the country, and the law of God, may rather persuade us to expect encouragement and commendation from all prudent and pious men than convince us of any necessity to apologize for the same; yet, forasmuch as men of weaker parts, out of pity and commiseration a commendable and Christian virtue, yet easily abused, and susceptible of sinister and dangerous impressions ·for want of full information, may be less satisfied, and men of perverser principles may take occasion hereby to calumniate us and render us bloody persecutors to satisfy the one and stop the mouths of the other, we thought it requisite to declare, That about three years since, divers persons, professing themselves Quakers of whose pernicious opinions and practices we had received intelligence from good hands, both from Barbadoes and England - arrived at Boston, whose persons were only secured to be sent away by the first opportunity, without censure or punishment. Although their professed tenets, turbulent and contemptuous behavior to authority, would have justified a severer animadversion, yet the prudence of this Court was exercised only to make provision to secure the peace and order here established, against their attempts, whose design - we were well assured of by our own experience, as well as by the example of their predecessors in Munster was to undermine and ruin the same. And accordingly a law was made and published, prohibiting all masters of ships to bring any Quakers into this jurisdiction, and themselves from coming in, on penalty of the house of correction until they
* Mass. Col. Recs., vol. iv., p. 419.
Bishop, pp. 310-312; Fiske, Beginnings of England, p. 184 et seq.; Palfrey, History of New England, vol. ii., pp. 1-13; Sewell, History of the Quakers, vol. i., p. 303; Hildreth, vol. i., pp. 399-409; Adams, Three Episodes of Massachusetts History, vol. ii., pp. 54S-551.
should be sent away. Notwithstanding which, by a back door, they found entrance, and the penalty inflicted upon themselves, proving insufficient to restrain their impudent and insolent intrusions, was increased by the loss of the ears of those that offended the second time; which also being too weak a defence against their impetuous fanatic fury, necessitated us to endeavor our security; and upon serious consideration, after the former experiment, by their incessant assaults, a law was made, that such persons should be banished on pain of death, according to the example of England in their provision against Jesuits, which sentence being regularly pronounced at the last Court of assistants against the parties above named, and they wither returning or continuing presumptuously in this jurisdiction after the time limited, were apprehended, and owning themselves to be the persons banished, were sentenced by the Court to death, according to the law aforesaid, which hath been executed upon two of them. Mary Dyer, upon the petition of her son, and the mercy and clemency of this Court, had liberty to depart within two days, which she hath accepted of. The consideration of our gradual proceedings will vindicate us from the clamorous accusations of severity; our own just and necessary defence calling upon us - other means failing to offer the point which these persons have violently and wilfully rushed upon, and thereby become felones de se, which might have been prevented, and the sovereign law, salus populi, been preserved. Our former proceedings, as well as the sparing of Mary Dyer, upon an inconsiderable intercession, will manifestly evince we desire their lives, absent, rather than their deaths, present."
But matters had now gone too far for the magistrates to draw back. In 1661 William Leddra was placed on trial, convicted and sentenced. Although he was offered pardon on condition that he would leave the colony, he refused and was then put to death, he being the last victim.+ Another Quaker, Wenlock Christison, who had
For the entire matter see Osgood, American Colonies, vol. i., pp. 269-284.
Sewel, History of the Quakers, vol. i., p. 461; Bishop, pp. 315-329.
previously been banished, now returned and courted death, but public opinion had become so fully aroused that he was released soon after his arrest. He boldly scored the magistrates. "What do you gain by taking Quakers' lives? For the last man that ye put to death, here are five come in his room. If ye have power to take my life, God can raise up ten of his servants in my stead."† The tide of popular sympathy had now become so strong that the magistrates were not able to withstand it and they gave up all attempts to carry out their former plans. The persons arrested on these charges were released and ordered to be whipped beyond the bounds of the colony, if ever they returned. And so, the mania, in due time, died a natural death.||
On the entire situation see Humphrey Norton's pamphlet, New England's Ensign; New England a Degenerate Plant (a Quaker account); Doyle, English Colonies in America, vol. iii., pp. 98-114; The Popish Inquisition newly erected in New England (London, 1659); The Secret Works of a Cruel People made Manifest (1659); the pamphlet by Stephenson and Robinson entitled A Call from Death to Life (1660); John Norton, The Heart of New England Rent at the Blasphemies of the Present Generation (London, 1660); J. S. Pike, New Puritan (New York, 1879); Hallowell, Pioneer Quakers (Boston, 1887) and his Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts (Boston, 1883); Brooks Adams, The Emancipation of Massachusetts, chap v (Boston, 1887); Ellis, The Puritan Age and Rule (Boston, 1888).
serving the colonies according to their own peculiar methods, another servant of an entirely different sort had been carrying the Word to the natives in the interior. John Eliot, born in England in 1604, and educated at Cambridge, came to New England in 1631. Being desirous of improving the Indians in a spiritual sense, Eliot, while discharging the duties of minister of a church in Roxbury, took upon his shoulders the task of learning the dialect spoken by the New England Indians so as to translate the Bible in order that the Indians might be able to read and learn. He began his efforts as far back as 1645-preaching his first sermon to the Indians on October 18, 1646. In 1661 his labors being so successful, a large sum of money was sent to him from England to support and assist his work, and after a number of converts had been made, and churches founded, a sort of Indian school was established in 1663. Nevertheless, Eliot's labors seem to have made but little impression upon the savage mind. While he was present the Indians took very kindly to the doctrines he taught, but as soon as he had gone from their presence, they sank back into their old life. The greater part of the sterner Puritans looked coldly upon the project and thus Eliot labored under a double difficulty. As Graham says, "It was a remarkable feature in Eliot's long and arduous career that the energy by which he was actuated
PROGRESS OF NEW ENGLAND.
never sustained the slightest abatement, but, on the contrary, evinced a steady and vigorous increase. As his bodily strength decayed, the energy of his being seemed absorbed in holy love. Being asked, shortly before his departure, how he did, he replied, I have lost everything; my understanding leaves me, my memory fails me, my utterance fails me- but I thank God, my charity holds out still: I find that rather grows than fails.'"'*
* Cotton Mather, in his Life of the Renowned John Eliot, enters largely into the history of Eliot's labors among the Indians. See Mather's Magnalia, vol. i., pp. 526-583. See also the Life by Francis in Sparks, American Biography, 1st ser., vol. v. (1836); articles in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xvii. (1899), and Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. ii. (1887); The Day Breaking, if not the Sun rising,
of the Gospel, with the Indians in New England
(London, 1647); The Glorious Progress of the
Gospel amongst the Indians in New England
(1649); Shepard, Clear Sunshine of the Gospel Breaking forth upon the Indians (1648); Whitefield, Light Appearing More and More Towards the Perfect Day (1651).
While Cromwell was in power in England, the affairs in Massachusetts and her immediate neighbors had been on the whole very prosperous. Cromwell favored them all he could, and being free from outside interference, the New Englanders steadily advanced in wealth and power. Shipbuilding became active, commerce increased, and trades of various sorts. were extended rapidly along the coast. The Puritans frowned upon everything that tended to laxity of manners. Many and curious laws were enacted regarding marriage and marriage ceremonies. The male portion of the community were trained in the use of arms and a martial spirit was readily kept up. Several forts were erected, which were stocked with supplies and ammunition. Material prosperity was very much increased, and the colonists experienced no lack of comforts and enjoyments of the good things of life.
APPENDIX TO CHAPTER X.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION OF THE UNITED COLONIES OF NEW ENGLAND, 1643. Between the plantations vnder the Gouernment of the Massachusetts, the Plantacons vnder the Gouernment of New Plymouth, the Plantacons vnder the Gournment of Connectacutt, and the Gouernment of New Haven with the Plantacons in combinacon therewith.
Whereas wee all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and ayme, namely, to advaunce the kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospell in puritie with peace. And whereas in our settleinge (by a wise Providence of God) we are further dispersed vpon the Sea Coasts and Riuers than was at first intended, so that we cannot according to our desire, with convenience communicate in one Gouernment and
Jurisdiccon. And whereas we live encompassed with people of seuerall Nations and strang languages which heareafter may proue injurious to VS or our posteritie. And forasmuch as the Natives have formerly committed sondry insolences and outrages vpon seueral Plantacons of the English and have of late combined themselues against vs. And seing by reason of those sad Distraccons in England, which they have heard of, and by which they know we are hindred
338 ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION OF NEW ENGLAND COLONIES.
from that humble way of seeking advise or reapeing those comfortable fruits of protection which at other tymes we might well expecte. Wee therefore doe conceiue it our bounden Dutye without delay to enter into a present consotiation amongst our selues for mutual help and strength in all our future concernements: That is in Nation and Religion, so in other Respects we bee and continue one according to the tenor and true meaninge of the ensuing Articles: Wherefore it is fully agreed and concluded by and betweene the parties or Jurisdiccons aboue named, and they joyntly and seuerally doe by these presents agreed and concluded that they all bee, and henceforth bee called by the Name of the United Colonies of New-England.
II. The said United Colonies, for themselues and their posterities, do joyntly and seuerally, hereby enter into a firme and perpetuall league of friendship and amytie, for offence and defence, mutuall advise and succour, vpon all just occations, both for preserueing and propagateing the truth and liberties of the Gospel, and for their owne mutuall safety and wellfare.
III. It is further agreed That the Plantacons which at present are or hereafter shalbe settled within the limmetts of the Massachusetts, shalbe forever vnder the Massachusetts, and shall have peculiar Jurisdiccon among themselues in all cases as an entire Body, and that Plymouth, Connecktacutt, and New Haven shall eich of them haue like peculiar Jurisdiccon and Gouernment within their limmetts and in reference to the Plantacons which already are settled or shall hereafter be erected or shall settle within their limmetts respectiuely; prouided that no other Jurisdiccon shall hereafter be taken in as a distinct head or member of this Confederacon, nor shall any other Plantacon or Jurisdiccon in present being and not already in combynacon or vnder the Jurisdiccon of any of these Confederats joyne in one Jurisdiccon without consent of the rest, which consent to be interpreted as is expressed in the sixth Article ensuinge.
IV. It is by these Confederats agreed that the charge of all just warrs, whether offensiue or defensiue, upon what part or member of this Confederaccon soever they fall, shall both in men and provisions, and all other Disbursements, be borne by all the parts of this Confederaccon, in different proporcons according to their different abilitie, in manner following, namely, that the Commissioners for eich Jurisdiccon from tyme to tyme, as there shalbe occation, bring a true account and number of all the males in every Plantacon, or any way belonging to, or under
their seuerall Jurisdiccons, of what quality or condicion soeuer they bee, from sixteene yeares old to threescore, being Inhabitants there. And That according to the different numbers which from tyme to tyme shalbe found in eich Jurisdiccon, upon a true and just account, the service of men and all charges of the warr be borne by the Poll. Eich Jurisdiccon or Plantacon, being left to their owne just course and custome of rating themselues and people according to their different estates, with due respects to their qualites and exemptions among themselues, though the Confederacon take no notice of any such priv iledg: And that according to their differrent charge of eich Jurisdiccon and Plantacon, the whole advantage of the warr (if it please God to bless their Endeavours) whether it be in lands, goods or persons, shall be proportionably deuided among the said Confederats.
V. It is further agreed That if any of these Jurisdiccons, or any Plantacons vnder it, or in any combynacon with them be envaded by an enemie whomsoeuer, vpon notice and request of any three majestrats of that Jurisdiccon so invaded, the rest of the Confederates, without any further meeting or expostulacon, shall forthwith send ayde to the Confederate in danger, but in different proporcons; namely, The Massachusetts an hundred men sufficiently armed and provided for such a service and jorney, and eich of the rest fourty-fiue so armed and provided, or any lesse number, if lesse be required, according to this proporcon. But if such Confederate in danger may be supplyed by their next Confederate, not exceeding the number hereby agreed, they may craue help there, and seeke no further for the present. The charge to be borne as in this Article is exprest: And, at the returne, to be victualled and supplyed with poder and shott for their journey (if there be neede) by that Jurisdiccon which employed or sent for them: But none of the Jurisdiccons to exceed these numbers till by a meeting of the Commissioners for this Confederacon a greater ayd appeare necessary. And this proporcon to continue, till upon knowledge of greater numbers in eich Jurisdiccon which shalbe brought to the next meeting some other proporcon be ordered. But in any such case of sending men for the present ayd whether before or after such order or alteracon, it is agreed that at the meeting of the Commissioners for this confederacon, the cause of such warr or invasion be duly considered: And if it appeare that the fault lay in the parties so invaded, that then that Jurisdiccon or Plantacon make just Satisfaccon, both to the
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION OF NEW ENGLAND COLONIES. 339
Invaders whom they have injured, and beare all the charges of the warr themselves without requireing any allowance from the rest of the Confederats towards the same. And further, that if any Jurisdiccon see any danger of any Invasion approaching, and there be tyme for a meeting, that in such case three majestrats of that Jurisdiccon may summon a meeting at such convenyent place as themselues shall think meete, to consider and provide against the threatned danger, Provided when they are met they may remoue to what place they please, Onely whilst any of these foure Confederats have but three majestrats in their Jurisdiccon, their request or summons from any two of them shalbe accounted of equall force with the three mentoned in both the clauses of this Article, till there be an increase of majestrats there.
VI. It is also agreed that for the mannaging and concluding of all affairs proper and concerneing the whole Confederacon, two Commissioners shalbe chosen by and out of eich of these foure Jurisdiccons, namely, two for the Massachusetts, two for Plymouth, two for Connectacutt and two for New Haven; being all in Church fellowship with us, which shall bring full power from their seuerall generall Courts respectively to heare, examine, weigh and determine all affaires of our warr or peace, leagues, ayds, charges and numbers of men for warr, divission of spoyles and whatsoever is gotten by conquest, receiueing of more Confederats for plantacons into combinacon with any of the Confederates, and all things of like nature which are the proper concomitants or consequence of such a confederacon, for amytie, offence and defence, not intermeddleing with the gouernment of any of the Jurisdiccons which by the third Article is preserued entirely to themselues. But if these eight Commissioners, when they meete, shall not all agree, yet it is concluded that any six of the eight agreeing shall have power to settle and determine the business in question: But if six do agree, that then such proposicons with their reasons, so farr as they have beene debated, be sent and referred to the four generall Courts, vizt. the Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connectacutt, and New Haven: And if at all the said General Courts the businesse so referred be concluded, then to bee prosecuted by the Confederates and all their members. It is further agreed that these eight Commissioners shall meete once every yeare, besides extraordinary meetings (according to the fift Article) to consider, treate and conclude of all affaires belonging to this Confederacon, which meeting shall ever by the first Thurs
day in September. And that the next meeting after the date of these presents, which shalbe accounted the second meeting, shalbe at Bostone in the Massachusetts, the third at Hartford, the fourth at New Haven, the fift at Plymouth, the sixt and seaventh at Bostone. And then Hartford, New Haven and Plymouth, and so in course successiuely, if in the mean tyme some middle place be not found out and agreed on which may be commodious for all the jurisdiccons.
VII. It is further agreed that at eich meeting of these eight Comissioners, whether ordinary or extraordinary, they, or six of them agreeing, as before, may choose their President out of themselues, whose office and worke shallbe to take care and direct for order and a comely carrying on of all proceedings in the present meeting. But he shalbe invested with no such power or respect as by which he shall hinder the propounding or progresse of any business, or any way cast the Scales, otherwise then in the precedent Article is agreed.
VIJI. It is also agreed that the Commissioners for this Confederacon hereafter at their meetings, whether ordinary or extraordinary, as they may have commission or opertunitie, do endeavoure to frame and establish agreements and orders in generall cases of a civil nature wherein all the plantacons are interested for preserving peace among themselves, and preventing as much as may bee all occations of warr or difference with others, as about the free and speedy passage of Justice in every Jurisdiccon, to all the Confederates equally as their owne, receiving those that remoue from one plantacon to another without due certefycats; how all the Jurisdiccons may carry it towards the Indians, that they neither grow insolent nor be injured without due satisfaccon, lest warr break in vpon the Confederates through such miscarry age. It is also agreed that if any servant runn away from his master into any other of these confederated Jurisdiccons, That in such Case, vpon the Certyficate of one Majistrate in the Jurisdiccon out of which the said servant fled, or upon other due proofe, the said servant shalbe deliuered either to his Master or any other that pursues and brings such Certificate of proofe. And that vpon the escape of any prisoner whatsoever or fugitiue for any criminal cause, whether breaking prison or getting from the officer or otherwise escaping, upon the certificate of two Majistrats of the Jurisdiccon out of which the escape is made that he was a prisoner or such an offender at the tyme of the escape. The Majestrates or some of them of that Jurisdiccon where for the