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the settlement had been made. A favorable impulse CHAP. was thus given to the little colonies; and houses now began to be built on the “Strawberry Bank” of the Piscataqua. But the progress of the town was slow; Josselyno described the whole coast as a mere wilderness, with here and there a few huts 1638. scattered by the sea-side; and thirty years after 1653. its settlement, Portsmouth made only the moderate boast of containing “ between fifty and sixty

“ families."

When the grand charter, which had established 1635. the council of Plymouth, was about to be revoked, Mason extended his pretensions to the Salem river, the southern boundary of his first territory; and obtained of the expiring corporation a corresponding April patent. There is room to believe, that the king would, without scruple, have confirmed the grant, and conferred upon him the

government, as absolute lord and proprietary ; but the death of Mason cut off all the hopes, which his family might Nov. have cherished of territorial aggrandizement and feudal supremacy. His widow in vain attempted 1638. to manage the colonial domains; the costs exceeded the revenue; the servants were ordered to provide for their own welfare; the property of the great landed proprietor was divided among them for the payment of arrears; and Mason's American estate was completely ruined. Neither king nor proprietary troubled the few inhabitants of New Hampshire;


powers of


1 Adams' Annals of Portsmouth,

p. 17-19.

3 Farmer's Belknap, p. 434.
4 Ibid, p. 431.
5 Belknap, c. ii.

2 Josselyn's Voyages, p. 20.


CHAP. they were left to take care of themselves; the best

dependence for states, as well as for individuals.

The enterprize of Sir Ferdinand Gorges, though sustained by stronger expressions of royal favor, and continued with indefatigable perseverance, was not followed by much greater success.

We have seen a 1606. colony established, though but for a single winter,

on the shores which Pring had discovered, and Wey

mouth had been the first to explore. After the bays 1615. of New-England had been more carefully examined

by the same daring adventurer, who sketched the first map of the Chesapeake, the coast was regularly visited by fishermen and traders. A special account of the country was one of the fruits of Hakluyt's inquiries, and was published in the collections of Purchas. At Winter Harbor, near the mouth of Saco river,

Englishmen, under Richard Vines, again encoun1616-7 tered the severities of the inclement season; and

not long afterwards, the mutineers of the crew of 1618-9 Rocraft lived from autumn till spring on Monhegan

island. The earliest navigators, intent only on their immediate objects, neither desired nor merited glory,

and have left few memorials of their presence in 1623, Maine ; it is not, perhaps, possible to ascertain the 1628. precise time, when the rude shelters of the fishermen

on the sea-coast began to be tenanted by permanent inmates, and the fishing stages of a summer to be transformed into the regular establishments of trade.'


1 For the early bistory of Maine, the Narration, which Gorges himthe original authorities are in Pur- self composed in his old age. Machas, v. iv.; the Relation of the terials may be found also in SulliPresident and Council for New- van's History; and far better in the England; Josselyn's Voyages; and elaborate and most minute work




The first observers could not but admire the noble CHAP. rivers and secure bays, which invited commerce, and gave the promise of future opulence; but if hamlets were soon planted near the mouths of the streams; if forts were erected to protect the merchant and the mariner, agriculture received no encouragement; and so many causes combined to check the growth of the country, that, notwithstanding its natural advantages, nearly two centuries glided away, before the scattered settlements along the sea-side rose into a succession of busy marts, sustained and enriched by the thriving villages of a fertile interior.

The settlement at Piscataqua could not quiet the ambition of Gorges. As a protestant and an Englishman, he was almost a bigot, both in patriotism and in religion. Unwilling to behold the Roman Catholic church and the French monarch obtain

possession of the eastern coast of North America, his first act with reference to the territory of the present state of Maine was, to invite the Scottish nation to become the guardians of its frontier. Sir William Alexander, a man of influence with King James, and already filled with the desire of engaging in colonial adventure, seconded a design, which promised to establish his personal dignity and interest; and he obtained, without difficulty, a patent for all the terri- 1621.

Sept. tory east of the river St. Croix, and south of the St. Lawrence. The whole region, which constituted


of Will mson. I have also de- a permanent settle

ent in 1623; rived advantage from Geo. Fol. I incline rather to the opinion of som's Saco and Biddeford, and Willis and Folsom. W. Willis's Portland. William- 1 The patent is in Hazard v. i. son, v. i. p. 227, describes Saco as p. 134—145, in Purchas, v. iv. p.




CHAP. but a fragment of what the French had already

called Acadia, was designated in English geography by the name of Nova Scotia. Thus were the seeds of future wars scattered broadcast by the unreason

able pretensions of England; for James now gave 1603. away lands, which, already and with a better title

on the ground of discovery, had been granted by Henry IV. of France, and which had been immediately occupied by his subjects; nor could it be

supposed, that the reigning French monarch would esteem his rights to his rising colonies invalidated by a parchment under the Scottish seal, or prove himself so forgetful of honor, as to discontinue the protection of the emigrants, who had planted themselves in America on the faith of the crown.

Yet immediate attempts were made to effect a 1622. Scottish settlement. One ship, despatched for the

purpose, did but come in sight of land, and then declining the perilous glory of colonization, returned

to the permanent fishing station on Newfoundland. 1623. The next spring, a second ship arrived; but the two

vessels in company, hardly possessed courage to sail to and fro along the coast, and make a partial survey of the harbors and the adjacent lands. The formation of a colony was postponed; and a brilliant eulogy of the soil, climate and productions of Nova Scotia, was the only compensation for the delay.”

The marriage of Charles I. with Henrietta Maria, May. promised between the rival claimants of the wilds of


1871. See, also, Sir Ferdinand
Gorges' Narration, c. xxiv.

1 Chalmers, p. 92.

2 Purchas' Pilgrims, v. iv. p. 1872; Charlevoix, v.'i. p. 274 ; De Laet, p. 62.





Acadia such friendly relations, as would lead to a Chap. peaceful adjustment of jarring pretensions. Yet

1625. even at that period the claims of France were not

July recognized by England; and a new patent confirmed to Sir William Alexander all the prerogatives, with which he had been lavishly invested.

The citizens of a republic are so accustomed to see the legislation and the destinies of their country controlled only by public opinion, as formed and expressed in masses, that they can hardly believe the extent, in which the fortunes of European nations have been moulded by the caprices of individuals; how often the wounded vanity of a courtier, or an unsuccessful passion of a powerful minister, has changed the foreign relations of a kingdom. The feeble monarch of England, having twice abruptly dissolved parliament, and having vainly resorted to illegal modes of taxation, had forfeited the confidence of his people, and while engaged in a war with Spain, was destitute of money and of credit. It was at such a moment, that the precipitate gal- 1627. lantry of the favorite Buckingham, eager to thwart the jealous Richelieu, to whom he was as far inferior in the qualities of a statesman, as he was superior in youth, manners, and personal beauty, hurried England into an unnecessary and disastrous conflict with France. The siege of Rochelle invited the presence of an English fleet; but the expedition was fatal to the honor and the objects of Buckingham.

Hostilities were no where successfully attempted,

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