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proprietors of Connecticut. The places which they va- chAgren cated were filled up at once by new comers, and new IX. churches were organized at Newtown and Dorchester, 1636. the one under Shepherd, the other under Richard Mather, whose son and grandson were afterward so distinguished in the history of the colony. About the time of this migration the government of Massachusetts was brought nearly into the shape in which it remained for the next fifty years. The regular sessions of the General Court were reduced to two in a year; one to follow the Court of Elections, the other in the autumn. The deputies were limited to two for the larger towns, and one for the smaller, chosen by ballot, at first, for each separate court, but afterward for a year. They were not required to be residents of the towns for which they sat, though usually they were so, but might be chosen from the colony at large. The governor and assistants, who had all along acted as a court of justice, were required to hold four great quarter courts yearly, at Boston, for the trial of more considerable cases. Smaller cases were to be disposed of by inferior courts, composed of five judges, of whom one at least was to be an assistant, the others to be selected by the General Court from a nomination made by the several towns; but only the assistants were to have authority to issue process. These inferior courts were to be held quarterly at Ipswich, Salem, Newtown, and Boston—the rudiments of a division into counties. An appeal lay from their decision to the quarter courts, and thence to the General Court. As a step toward meeting the views of those “persons of quality” desirous, on account of the disastrous state of political affairs in England, to remove to America, it was resolved to establish a standing council for life, of which the governor for the time being was to be
chapTER president. To the propositions heretofore mentioned,
brought out by Humphrey, a detailed answer was now returned. It had been suggested in those propositions that the Commonwealth should consist of two ranks: “hereditary gentlemen,” to sit in their own right as an upper house of legislation, and “freeholders,” to be represented by their deputies in a lower house. To this close imitation of the English Constitution there was no objection, so far as related to the two ranks, at least on the part of the magistrates and elders, who readily acknowledged the propriety of such a distinction “from the light of nature and Scripture.” But the plan of hereditary legislators, and the proposal to admit all freeholders to the rights of citizenship, were irreconcilable with that theocratic scheme to which the Massachusetts leaders were so zealously attached. In a letter which Cotton wrote on this occasion to Lord Say, democracy is denounced as “not a fit government either for church or state.” “If the people are governors, who shall be governed ?” He admits that monarchy and aristocracy are “approved and directed in Scripture,” “but only as a theocracy is set up in both.” It was hoped to satisfy the aristocratic predilections of the proposed immigrants by establishing a magistracy for life; but for the church members to abandon the theocratic principle, and to yield their monopoly of power by admitting all free. holders to the rights of freemen, was not to be thought of The existing system was even strengthened by an enactment that no new church should be gathered without the express sanction of the magistrates and elders. At the ensuing Court of Elections, Winthrop and Dudley were chosen members of the newly-established Standing Council for Life; and to that council were presently transferred the extensive powers of the military commis. sion. In the choice of governor, the rotation principle chosen
was still followed up by electing the youthful Henry
Vane; and, “because he was son and heir to a privy 1636.
counselor in England,” the ships in the harbor, fifteen in number, lately arrived with passengers and goods, congratulated his election by a volley of great guns. But the new governor soon found himself in trouble with these same complimentary shipmasters. They readily assented, indeed, to a regulation for anchoring below the new fort, and not coming up to the town without the governor's pass; but the neglect of the fort to display the king's colors, laid aside, as we have seen, by order of the military commissioners, on account of scruples about the red cross, excited the ire of the English sailors, who did not hesitate to accuse the colonists of treason and rebellion. A mate of one of the ships, who had spoken freely upon this subject, was arrested and compelled to sign a retraction; but the shipmasters, intimating that they might be questioned on their return to England, requested the magistrates to remove all grounds of suspicion by ordering the king's colors to be spread at the fort. Here was a dilemma. All the magistrates were fully persuaded that the cross was idolatrous. In this emergency Vane practiced a little dissimulation, of which, indeed, during his term of office, he exhibited, according to Winthrop, more than one instance. He pretended that he had no colors. But the shipmasters very promptly offered to lend. Driven thus into a corner, after consultation with the elders, Vane, Dudley, and a majority of the magistrates so far compromised matters with their consciences as to accept the proffered flag. Since the fort was the king's-a proposition which, on some other occasions, they might not have been so ready to admit—the king's colors, they thought, might be spread there, at the king's
charter own personal peril—an ingenious piece of casuistry, from
— which, however, Winthrop and others dissented.
The alarm of interference from England had partially subsided; but the colony, under Vane's administration, became involved in new troubles—a violent internal controversy, and a dangerous Indian war. The most powerful native tribes of New England were concentrated in the neighborhood of Narraganset Bay. We have already had occasion to mention the Wampanoags or Pocanokets, on the east side of that bay, within the limits of the Plymouth patent; also the Narragansets, a more powerful confederacy, on the west side. Still more numerous and more powerful were the Pequods, whose chief seats were on or near Pequod River, now the Thames, but whose authority extended over twenty-six petty tribes, along both shores of the Sound to Connecticut River, and even beyond it, almost or quite to the Hudson. In what is now the northeast corner of the State of Connecticut dwelt a smaller tribe, the enemies, perhaps the revolted subjects of the Pequods, known to the colonists as Mohegans—an appropriation of a general name properly including all the Indians along the shores of Long Island Sound as far west as the Hudson, and even the tribes beyond that river, known afterward to the English as the Delawares. The Indians about Massachusetts Bay, supposed to have been formerly quite numerous, had almost died out before the arrival of the colonists, and the small-pox had since proved very fatal among the few that remained. Some tribes of no great consideration—the Nipmucks, the Wachusetts, the Nashaways— dwelt among the interior, hills, and others, known collectively to the colonists as the River Indians, fished at the falls of the Connecticut, and cultivated little patches of its rich alluvial meadows. The lower Merrimac, the Piscataqua, and their branches, were occupied by the chose
tribes of a considerable confederacy, that of Pemacook or
Pawtucket, whose chief sachem, Passaconaway, was re- 1636.
ported to be a great magician. The interior of New
ginia, whom the Plymouth people charged with having 14,2 been engaged at Manhattan in a piratical plot to seize * .