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dared not proceed openly to violate his cor- resolved to take away the charters of all the onation oath, he hoped by this underhanded colonies and make them royal provinces. scheme to place his own religion upon such At the same time, being determined to curtail a footing in England that he would soon be the liberty of the press, the king appointed in a position to compel its adoption by his Edward Randolph its censor. Dudley was subjects. He had greatly mistaken the regarded by the people as the betrayer of temper of both England and America. the liberties of his country, and both he and
Joseph Dudley, who had been sent to Randolph were cordially despised by them. England as one of the agents of Massachu- | The king in appointing Dudley made no
provision for an assembly or general court, as he meant to govern the colonies without reference to the people.
He regarded the American provinces as so many possessions of the crown, possessed of no rights, and entitled to no privileges save what he chose to allow them.
In pursuance of this plan, Sir Edmund Andros, whom the king had appointed governor of New York, was made governor-general of all New England. He reached Boston in December, 1686. Dudley was made chief justice, and Randolph colonial secretary. The governor-general was empowered by the king to appoint his own council, impose such taxes as he should think fit, command the militia of the colonies, enforce the navigation acts, prohibit printing, and establish episcopacy in
New England; and in order setts in the last controversy between the to enable him to enforce his will, two colony and King Charles, now found it to companies of soldiers were sent over with his interest to become as ardent a defender him and quartered in Boston. Thus were as he had formerly been an opponent of the the liberties of New England placed at the royal prerogative, and James finding him a mercy of a tyrant, and thus was inauguwilling abettor of his designs, appointed him rated a despotism the most galling that president of Massachusetts until a royal was ever imposed upon men of English governor should arrive, for the king was descent.
SIR EDMUND ANDROS.
Andros promptly put in force a series of not to be sold as slaves." “ Do you think," the most arbitrary measures. The public asked one of the judges, “ that the laws of schools, which had been fostered with such England follow you to the ends of the care by the colonial governments, were earth ?" The iniquitous exactions of Andros allowed to fall into decay. The support and his associates threatened the country with which had been granted to the churches was ruin. When the magistrates mentioned this, withdrawn. The people were forbidden to they were told, “It is not for his majesty's assemble for the discussion of any public interest you should thrive.” “The governor matter, though they were allowed the poor invaded liberty and property after such a privilege of electing their town officers. The manner," wrote Increase Mather, "as no man form of oath in use in New England was an could say anything was his own." appeal to Heaven with uplifted hand. The governor now ordered the substitution of a
The Old “ Charter Oak." form which required the person to place his The other colonies came in for their share hand on the Bible. This was particularly of bad treatment. Soon after he reached repugnant to the Puritans, who regarded it Boston, Andros demanded of the authorities as a “ Popish practice.” Probate fees were of Rhode Island the surrender of their charincreased twenty-fold. The holders of lands ter. Governor Clarke declined to comply with were told that their titles were invalid this demand, and Andros went to Providence, because obtained under a charter which had broke the seal of the colony, and declared its been declared forfeited.
government dissolved. He appointed a com
mission irresponsible to the people for the Tyrannical Proceedings.
government of Rhode Island, and then had No person was allowed to leave the colony the effrontery to declare that the people of without a pass signed by the governor. The that colony were satisfied with what he had Puritan magistrates and ministers were done. refused authority to unite persons in mar
In October, Andros went to Connecticut riage. The clergyman of the Church of with an armed guard to take possession of England, stationed at Boston, was the only the government of that colony. He reached person in New England who could perform Hartford on the thirty-first of the month, a legal marriage. Episcopacy was formally and found the legislature in session, and deestablished, and the people were required to manded of that body the surrender of the build a church for its uses. At the com
charter. The discussion was prolonged until mand of the king, a tax of a penny in the evening, and then candles were brought, and pound, and a poll-tax of twenty pence, was the charter was placed on the table. Sudimposed upon every person in the colony. denly the lights were extinguished, and when
Some of the towns had the boldness to they were relighted the charter could not be refuse to pay this tax, and John Wise, the found. It had been secured by Joseph minister of Ipswich, advised his fellow- Wadsworth of Hartford, and carried to the townsmen to resist it. He and a number of southern part of the city, where it was conothers were arrested and fined. When they cealed in a hollow oak tree, which was afterpleaded their privileges under the laws of wards known as the “Charter Oak.” England, they were told by one of the coun- Andros, furious at the disappearance of the cil: “You have no privilege left you but charter, was not to be balked of his purpose of seizing the colonial government, and relief arrived from a most unexpected taking the record book of the assembly, quarter. he wrote the word Finis" at the end The efforts of James to bring about the of the last day's proceedings. He then re-establishment of the Roman Catholic declared the colonial government at an religion in England roused the whole Engend, and proceeded to administer the affairs lish nation against him, and in 1689 the of the province in the spirit in which he nation invited William, Prince of Orange, had governed Massachusetts and Rhode the husband of James' eldest daughter, Island.
Mary, to come over to England and assume The people of New England had borne the throne. James, left without any adherthese outrages with a patience which no one ents, fled to France, and William and Mary had expected of them. They were a law- were securely seated upon the throne. abiding people, and wished to exhaust all The news of the landing of William in legal means of redress before proceeding to England and the flight of King James extreme measures for their protection; but reached Boston on the fourth of April, 1689.
The messenger was at once imprisoned by Andros, but his tidings soon became known to the citizens. On the morning of the eighteenth the people of Boston took up arms, and having secured the person of the commander of the royal frigate in the harbor, seized the royalist sheriff.
THE CHARTER OAK.
Sent to England for Trial. The militia were assembled, and Andros and his companions were obliged to take refuge in the fort. Simon Bradstreet, the governor who had held office at the time of
the abrogation of the charter, was called the party in favor of driving Andros and his upon by the people to resume his post, and fellow-plunderers out of the country was the old magistrates were reinstated and rapidly growing stronger, and it was not organized as a council of safety. Andros certain how much longer the policy of for- and his creatures attempted to escape to the bearance would be continued. Increase frigate, but were prevented and were comMather was appointed to go to England pelled to surrender. The next day reinand endeavor to procure a redress of the forcements came pouring into Boston from grievances of the colonies. It was a danger- the other settlements, and the fort was taken ous mission, for the king was in full sympa- and the frigate mastered. Town meetings thy with the men whom he had placed over were now held throughout the colony, and it the liberties of New England. It was also was voted to resume' the former charter. difficult to leave America without the knowl- | The people were almost unanimous in favor edge of Andros and his colleagues, but of this course, but the counsels of a more Mather succeeded in escaping their vigilance, timid minority prevailed, and the council, and was on his way to the old world when | which had appointed itself to the control of affairs, decided to solicit a new charter from kinds, and which had enabled them in the William and Mary. A general court was face of every discouragement to lay the convened on the twenty-second of May. foundations of the great commonwealths The people of the colony were anxious that which to-day cherish their memories as Andros, Dudley and Randolph should receive their most precious legacies. The fathers of prompt punishment for their offences, but New England richly merited the honor che authorities wisely determined to send which succeeding generations have delighted them to England for trial.
to bestow upon their memories. However Plymouth, upon receipt of the news from they may have erred, they were men who Boston, seized the agent of Andros, impris- earnestly sought to do right in all things, oned him, and re-established the government and who did their duty fearlessly according which Andros had overthrown, under the to the light before them, constitution signed on board the “May- In the first generation we have noticed an flower.” There were none of the old Pil- extraordinary degree of influence exerted by grim fathers living to witness this event, but the ministers. This was due to no desire of their children were none the less determined the Puritans to connect church and state, to maintain unimpaired the liberties they but was owing to the fact that the ministers had inherited from them,
represented the best educated and most inThe Charter Safe.
tellectual class of that day, and the people Rhode Island promptly resumed her regarded them as the best qualified guides charter and reinstated the officers whom in the community. As New England adAndros had displaced. Connecticut, upon vanced in prosperity her schools and col. hearing of the downfall of the governoro | leges were able to turn out numbers of edugeneral, brought out her charter from its cated men, who embraced the other learned hiding place, and restored the old officers to professions, and divided the influence with their positions.
the ministers. New England always chose Thus the work of James II. was over- its leaders from among its most intelligent thrown, and the destinies of New England men, and its people always yielded a willing were once more in the hands of her own homage to the claims of intellect. people. The generation that had settled At the downfall of Andros there were New England had nearly all been gathered about two hundred thousand white inhabi- . to their rest, and their children were in some tants in the English colonies of North respects different from the fathers. They America. Of these, Massachusetts, includ. had learned lessons of toleration, and had ing Plymouth and Maine, had about forty. acquired many of the refining graces that the four thousand; New Hampshire and Rhode elder Puritans regarded as mere vanity. Island about six thousand each ; Connecticut They retained, however, the earnest and about twenty thousand; making the total lofty virtues which had made the first gen population of New England about seventyeration superior to hardships and trials of all six thousand.
Results of the Failure of Massachusetts to Resume her Charter_The New Charter-Loss of the Liberties of the Colony
Union of Plymouth with Massachusetts Bay-Belief in Witchcraft—The History of Witchcraft in Massachusetts The Case of the Goodwin Children-Cotton Mather Espouses the Cause of the Witches—Samuel Parris-He Origi nates the Salem Delusion-A Strange History—A Special Court Appointed for the Trial of the Witches—The Victims -Execution of the Rev. George Burroughs Cotton Mather's Part in the Tragedies—The General Court takes Action in Behalf of the People-- End of the Persecution-Failure of Cotton Mather's Attempt to Save his Credit.
HE decision of the magistrates of sent to England to solicit a restoration of the
Massachusetts to disregard the charter, and their appeal was supported by wishes of a majority of the people of the English Presbyterians with great unani
the colony, who desired an imme- mity. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury diate restoration of the government under urged the king "not to take away from the the old charter, and to wait for a new charter people of New England any of the privileges from William and Mary, gave great offence which Charles I. had granted them." to the popular party. Had the wish of this In spite of the pressure exerted upon him party been complied with, Massachusetts in behalf of the colony, King William might have recovered every liberty and priv- granted to Massachusetts a charter which ilege of which she had been deprived by King placed the liberties of the province so entirely James. Increase Mather distinctly declares at the mercy of the crown that the colonial that“ had they at that time entered upon the agent refused to accept it. There was no fult exercise of their charter government, as help for it, however, and the charter became their undoubted right, wise men in England the fundamental law of Massachusetts. were of opinion that they might have gone Ung
Under the old charter the governor of Mason without disturbance.” The self-constituted sachusetts had been elected annually by the government hesitated, however, and the op- votes of the freemen; he was now to be portunity was lost.
appointed by the king and to serve during When the convention of the people met, in the royal pleasure. He was given power to May, 1689, they refused to acknowledge the summon the general court, and to adjourn council that had taken charge of affairs upon or dissolve that body. the downfall of Andros, and demanded that The election of magistrates of all kinds, the governor, deputy governor and assist which had been confided to the people by ants elected in 1686 should be restored to the old charter, was taken from them, and office. The council refused to comply with henceforth these officials were to be appointed this demand, and the matter was referred to by the governor with the consent of the the people, who sustained their representa-council
. The old charter had made the tives. A compromise was effected, and the decision of the colonial courts final; the council agreed to permit the officers of 1686 new permitted appeals from these tribunals to resume their places until instructions could to the privy council in England. The old be received from England. Agents were charter had given to the general court full