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setts, and by others who fled to his asylum. great eloquence and ability and a devoted He gave a share of land to all who came to republican, who had been pastor to a church settle, and admitted them to an equality with of exiles at Rotterdam, and Henry Vane the himself in the political administration of the younger, "a man of the purest mind; a colony. The government was administered statesman of spotless integrity; whose name by the whole people. The voice of the the progress of intelligence and liberty will majority decided all public measures; but in erase from the rubic of fanatics and traitors, matters of conscience every man was left an- and insert high among the aspirants after swerable to God alone. All forms of relig- truth and the martyrs for liberty." ious belief were tolerated and protected. In the following spring (1636) Vane was Even infidelity was safe here from punish- elected governor of the colony. The people ment by the civil or ecclesiastical power. were dazzled by his high birth and pleasing
qualities, and committed an error in choosPraiseworthy Charity.
ing him, for neither his age nor his experiWilliams was anxious to establish friendly ence fitted him for the distinguished position relations with the Massachusetts colony · for conferred upon him. The arrival of Vane though he felt keenly the injustice of his per- seemed to promise an emigration of a numsecutors, he cherished no bitterness or resent- ber of the English nobility, and an effort was ment towards them. He condemned only made by several of them in England to prowhat he considered the delusions of the cure the division of the general court into magistrates of Massachusetts, but never at- two branches, and the establishment of an tacked his persecutors. “I did ever froni hereditary nobility in the colony which my soul,” he wrote with simple magnanimity, should possess a right to seats in the upper “honor and love them, even when their judg- branch of the court. The magistrates of the ment led them to afflict me.” Winslow, colony were anxious to conciliate these valtouched with his true Christian forbearance, uable friends, but they firmly refused to came from Plymouth to visit him, and left establish hereditary nobility in their new with his wife some money for their support; state. and some of the leaders of the Bay colony
Trouble in the Church. began to bear tardy witness to his virtues. The settlement at Providence continued to
Religious discussions formed a large part
of the life of the colony. Meetings were grow slowly, and was blessed with peace and an increasing prosperity.
held by the men, and passages of Scripture Massachusetts in the meantime continued
were discussed, and the sermons of the minto receive numerous additions to her popula- isters made the subject of searching criticism. tion by emigration from England. In the
The women might attend these meetings, but autumn of 1635, twelve families left Boston,
were not allowed to take part in the discusand journeying into the interior, founded the sions. Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, a woman of town of Concord. They had a hard struggle talent and eloquence, claimed for her sex the to establish their little settlement, but per- right to participate equally with the men in severed, and at length their labors were
these meetings; but as this was not possible, crowned with success. Three thousand
she began to hold meetings for the benefit of people came over to Massachusetts this year.
the women at her own house. At these, Among them were Hugh Peters, a man of * Bancroft,
religious doctrines were discussed and advo- The church party being now in power cated, which were at variance with the prin- resolved to silence Mrs. Hutchinson. She ciples of the magistrates.
was admonished to cease her teachings, and Mrs. Hutchinson and her followers held upon her refusal to obey this order, she and that the authority of private judgment was her followers were exiled from the colony. superior to that of the church, and con- Wheelwright and a number of his friends demned the efforts of the colony to enforce went to New Hampshire, and founded the conformity to the established system as viola- town of Exeter, at the head of tide-water on tive of the inherent rights of Christians. the Piscataqua. Mrs. Hutchinson and the She was encouraged by John Wheelwright, majority of her followers removed, in the a silenced minister, who had married her spring of 1638, to the southward, intending sister, and by Governor Vane, and her to settle on Long Island or on the Delaware. opinions were adopted by a large number of Roger Williams induced them to remain the people, and by members of the general near his plantation, and obtained for them court and some of the magistrates.
from Miantonomoh, the chief of the NarraThe ministers saw their authority menaced gansett tribe, the gift of the beautiful island by the new belief, and made common cause in the lower part of Narragansett Bay, which against Mrs. Hutchinson and her protector, they called the island of Rhodes, or Rhode Governor Vane. The colony was divided
Island, into two parties, and the religious question
Sad Fate of Mrs. Hutchinson. became a matter of great political import- The number of settlers was scarcely more
Under the established system the than twenty, but they proceeded to form a ministers formed almost a distinct estate government upon a plan agreeable to the of the government, and political privileges principles they professed. It was a pure were entirely dependent upon theological democracy, founded upon the universal conformity.
consent of the people, who signed a social Feeling sure that they would not receive compact pledging themselves to obey the justice at the hands of their opponents, the laws made by the majority, and to respect friends of Mrs. Hutchinson declared their the rights of conscience. William Coddingintention to appeal to the king. This aroused ton, who had been a magistrate in the Bay a storm of indignation in the colony, and colony, was elected judge or ruler, and three "it was accounted perjury and treason to elders were chosen as his assistants. The speak of appeals to the king.” This threat settlement grew rapidly, and by 1641 the changed the whole character of the question, population had become so numerous as to and was fatal to the party which made it require a written constitution. The Puritans had come to Massachusetts to Mrs. Hutchinson remained in Rhode escape the interference of the crown with their Island for several years; but fearing that religious belief, and to appeal to the king in the hostility of the magistrates of Massathis case would be simply to place the liber- chusetts would reach her even there, removed ties of the colony at his mercy. When the beyond New Haven into the territory of the elections were held, in the spring of 1637, Dutch, where, in 1643, she and all her family Governor Winthrop and the old magistrates who were with her, except one child, who were chosen by a large majority. Vane soon was taken prisoner, were murdered by the after returned to England.
1 he Dutch Claim the Connecticut Valley—They Build a Fort at Hartford-Governor Winslow Makes a Lodgment ir
Connecticut for the English-Withdrawal of the Dutch—The First Efforts of the English to Settle Connecticut-Emigration of Hooker and His Congregation—They Settle at Hartford—Winthrop Builds a Fort at Saybrooke-Hostility of the Indians—Visit of Roger Williams to Miantonomoh—A Brave Deed—The Pequod War-Capture of the Indian Fort-Destruction of the Pequod Tribe-Effect of This War Upon the Other Tribes-Connecticut Adopts a Constitution-Its Peculiar Features-Settlement of New Haven.
HE fertile region of the Connecticut Connecticut with a sloop and a number of had attracted the attention of the men to make a settlement. Upon ascending English at an early day; but before the river to the site of Hartford, Holmes they could make any effort to
any effort to found his progress barred by the Dutch fort, occupy it the Dutch sent an exploring party the commander of which threatened to fire from Manhattan Island, in 1614, and exam- upon him if he attempted to continue his ined the river and the country through voyage. Undaunted by this threat, Holmes which it flowed. They built and fortified a passed by the fort without harm, and trading-post on the site of the present city of ascended the stream to Windsor, where he Hartford, but soon excited the ill-will of the erected a fortified post. In 1634, the Dutch Indians by their cruel treatment of them. made an unsuccessful attempt to drive him The Dutch found themselves unable to away. Failing in this, and seeing that it was occupy the country, and, being unwilling to the deliberate purpose of the English to lose it, endeavored, but without success, to occupy the Connecticut valley, the Dutch induce the Pilgrims to
from relinquished all claim to that region, and a Plymouth to the Connecticut, and settle in boundary line was arranged between their that region under their protection.
possessions and those of the English, corIn 1630 the council of Plymouth granted responding very nearly to that between the the Connecticut region to the Earl of War- states of Connecticut and New York. wick, who, in 1631, assigned his claim to In 1635, the Pilgrims determined to make Lords Say and Brooke, John Hampden, and settlements in this inviting region, and late others. As soon as this grant was known in the fall of that year a company of sixty to the Dutch they sent a party to the site of persons, men, women and children, set out Hartford and re-established their trading from Plymouth by land, sending a sloop post, and began a profitable trade with the laden with provisions and their household Indians. They mounted two cannon on goods around by sea, with orders to join their fort for the purpose of preventing the them upon the Connecticut River. They English from ascending the river. Towards began their journey too late in the season, the latter part of the year 1633, Governor and their sufferings were very great in conWinslow, of Plymouth, in order to secure a sequence. Upon reaching the river they foothold for the English in this valuable found the ground covered with snow, and region, sent Captain William Holmes to the I their sloop was delayed by storms and ice. Their cattle died from cold and exposure, reached by the first of July. The greater and but for a little corn which they obtained number remained there; some went higher from the Indians, and such acorns as they up the river and founded Springfield, and could gather, the whole company must have the rest went to Wethersfield, where there starved to death. Many of them abandoned was already a sn:all se tlement. their new home and returned by land to the In the same year the younger John Winsettlements on the coast.
throp arrived from England, with orders from The Puritans were resolved to continue. Lords Say and Brooke to establish a fort at the effort to settle Connecticut, and in the the mouth of the Connecticut River. This spring of 1636 several companies emigrated to that region. The principal party set out in June, led by the Rev. Thomas Hooker. It comprised about one hundred persons, and consisted principally of Hooker's congregation, who followed their pastor with enthusiasm. They drove before them a considerable number of cattle, which furnished them with milk on the march.
The emigrants were largely made up of persons of refinement and culture, and comprised many of the oldest and most valued citizens of the Bay colony. They were attracted to the valley of the Connecticut by the superior advantages which it offered for the prosecution of the fur trade, and by the great fertility of its soil. They had no guide but a compass, and their route lay through
JOHN HAMPDEN. an unbroken wilderness. The journey was he accomplished, naming the new settlement long and fatiguing. The emigrants accom- 'Saybrooke, in honor of the proprietors. plished scarcely more than ten miles a day, The settlements in Connecticut grew rapidly, carrying their sick on litters, and making the excellent soil and pleasant climate attractthe forests ring with their holy hymns. At ing many emigrants to them. length the site of Hartford, where it was pro- The existence of these settlements was posed to establish the settlement, was precarious, however.
precarious, however. The region in which
they liad been planted was the country of the of their villages. This made open hostilities Pequods, who inhabited it in large numbers. | inevitable. The Pequods began to hang They were the most powerful and warlike around the Connecticut settlements and cut tribe in New England, and could bring nearly off stragglers from them. By the close of two thousand warriors into the field. They the winter more than thirty persons had occupied the southwestern part of Connect- fallen victims to their vengeance. icut, and their territory extended almost to the Hudson on the west, where it joined that
A Dangerous Mission. of the Mohegans. On the east their territory The settlements in the Connecticut valley bordered that of the Narragansetts. Both of were now greatly alarmed. They could not these tribes were the enemies of the Pequods muster over two hundred fighting men, and and the friends of the English. This friend the Indians in their immediate vicinity could ship was resented by the Pequods, who were bring into the field at least seven hundred already jealous of the English because of their warriors. War was certain, and it was not occupation of the lands along the Connecticut. known at what moment the savages would The tribe bore a bad name, and had already attack the settlements in overwhelming manifested their hostility by murdering, a few force. Connecticut called upon Massachuyears before, a Virginia trader named Stone, setts for aid, but only twenty men under together with the crew of his vessel, who Captain Underhill, were sent to their aid. were engaged in a trading expedition on the The energies and attention of the Bay Connecticut River.
colony were engrossed by the Hutchinson
quarrel. Blood Shed on Both Sides.
The Pequods, notwithstanding their imSomewhat later Captain Oldham and his mense numerical superiority, were unwilling crew, while exploring the river, were also to make war upon the English without the murdered by Indians living on Block Island. support of another tribe. They accordingly The Pequods justified the murder of Stone
sent envoys to Miantonomoh, the chief of by alleging that he had attacked them. the Narragansetts, to endeavor to engage Wishing to make a treaty with the English, that tribe in the effort against the whites. they sent their chiefs to Boston for that pur- Such a union would have menaced all New pose, and promised—as the magistrates England, and as soon as the news of the understood them—to deliver up the two men negotiation reached Boston the government who had killed Stone. Captain John Endicott of the Bay colony prepared to prevent the was sent with a vessel, in 1636, to punish the alliance. Governor Vane at once wrote to Block Island Indians for the murder of Old Roger Williams, the friend of Miantonomoh, ham, and was ordered to call on his return at urging him to seek that chieftain and prevent the Pequod town, and demand the surrender him from joining the Pequods. of the murderers of Stone. The Pequods It was a dangerous mission, and certainly declined to surrender these men, but offered a great service for the magistrates of Massato ransom them. This was in accordance chusetts to ask of the man whom they had with their customs. But Endicott refused to driven into exile. They did not ask in vain, accept any compensation for the crime that however. All of Williams' generous nature had been committed, and to punish the was aroused by the danger which threatened Indians destroyed their corn and burned two his brethren, and he embarked in a frail