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chapTER saic code, provides that “there shall never be any bondslavery, villanage, nor captivity among us, unless it be 1641. lawful captives taken in just wars, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold unto us, and these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law of God established in Israel requires. This exempts none from servitude who shall be judged thereto by authority.” This article gives express sanction to the slave trade, and the practice of holding negroes and Indians in perpetual bondage, anticipating by many years any thing of the sort to be found in the statutes of Virginia or Maryland. Two articles “of the brute creature” forbid cruelty to domestic animals, and secure the right of pasturage in uninclosed lands to all persons driving cattle. “Capital laws” inflict the punishment of death on twelve offenses—idolatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, premeditated murder, sudden or passionate murder, poisoning or other guileful murder, two crimes of uncleanness, adultery, man-stealing, perjury in a capital case, and “the treacherously or perfidiously attempting the alter- . ation or subversion” of the fundamental frame of polity adopted by the colony. Each infliction of death is backed by references to the law of Moses. Some of the deputies were very earnest for specific punishments for all minor offenses; but this was zealously, and, for the present, successfully opposed by the magistrates, who insisted upon a discretion on those points. The fundamentals conclude with a declaration of “the liberties which the Lord Jesus has given to the churches.” But the strict union between church and state, and the despotic authority assumed by the aggregate of the church members, as represented by the magistrates and deputies, reduced the liberties of the individual churches

within very narrow limits. Almost every clause in chAPTER this section is burdened with a qualification which destroys its force... “Every church hath free liberty of 1641. election and ordination of all their officers, provided they be able, pious, and orthodox.” “We allow private meetings for edification in religion among Christians of all sorts of people, so it be without just offense for number, time, place, and other circumstances.” The polity of Massachusetts conferred, in fact, unlimited power in matters of religion, as in every thing else, upon the majority of the church members, as represented by the magistrates and General Court. Those in the minority, whether churches or individuals, had no rights and no alternative but silence and submission, or withdrawal from the colony. Bellingham's administration was a good deal disturbed by contentions between him and the other magistrates. He got into difficulty, also, with the deputies, who gave him a “solemn admonition” for having presumed to alter, without authority from the court, the amount of a fine which had been imposed. The curious circumstances of his second marriage brought him also into collision with the law. The bride was a young lady about to be engaged to a young friend of the governor, who had promoted the match; but all of a sudden overcome, as he alleged, by “the strength of his affection,” Bellingham proposed on his own account. The lady accepted, and, without waiting to conform to the publishment law, the governor, by virtue of his authority as a magistrate, performed the marriage ceremony himself! At the next election Winthrop was again chosen gov- 1642. ernor, notwithstanding the efforts of Speaker Hathorne May. to have him left out of the magistracy altogether, under pretense of the poverty to which his recent losses had

chapTER reduced him. Bellingham, however, was rechosen a X

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1643.

magistrate, and was sitting on the bench as such when
the indictment which the grand jury had found against
him for violation of the publishment law came up for
trial. He did not leave the bench ; and, as but one or
two other magistrates were present, the secretary, not
thinking it proper that he should sit on the trial of his
own case, passed it by ; and so the matter seems to have
dropped. -
Dudley was so much mortified at the repeated prefer-
ences given to Winthrop as governor, that he threaten-
ed to leave the colony, and was with great difficulty pre-
vailed on to retain his place as a magistrate. The spirit
of emigration, coeval with the planting of New England,
and parallel with its growth, had received a new impulse
from the late decline in the value of property. Unde-
terred by the “meager, unhealthful countenances” of
Virginia and the West Indies, many were so taken with

the supposed ease and plenty of those countries as to pro

pose removing thither. Migration to Long Island was
already begun, of which we shall have occasion to speak
further in another chapter. Thomas Mayhew having
purchased Martha's Vineyard of an agent of Lord Ster-
ling, presently, with a colony from Watertown, com-
menced a settlement there. Lord Say was engaged in
a new project for a colony at New Providence, one of the
Bahamas; he also had a settlement on foot at Trinidad;
and some people of Massachusetts, through the impor-
tunities of Humphrey, his agent, were persuaded to re-
move thither. It was vainly attempted to quiet Hum-
phrey by choosing him major general of the Massachu-
setts militia, an office he was the first to hold.
Jealous of these migrations, Winthrop wrote to Lord
Say, showing him “how evident it was that God had

chosen New England to plant his people in, and there- chapter fore how displeasing it would be to the Lord, and dangerous to himself, to hinder this work.” The Spaniards, 1642. who claimed the Bahamas, attacked New Providence, and the settlement was broken up. Nor did that at Trinidad succeed any better. “Much disputation there was,” says the patriotic Winthrop, “about liberty of removing for outward advantages, and all ways were sought for an open door to get out at; but it is to be feared many crept out at a broken wall. For such as come together into a wilderness where are nothing but wild beasts and beast-like men, and there confederate together in civil and church estate, whereby they do, implicitly at least, bind themselves to support each other, and that society, whether civil or sacred, of which they are members, how they can break from this without free consent is hard to find, so as may satisfy a tender or good conscience in time of trial.” To remain in Massachusetts was to submit, however, to a pretty strict regimen, of which some curious instances presently appeared. The young Richard Saltonstall, lately elected a magistrate, had written a treatise against the Standing Council for Life, which he had delivered to Hathorne, a sort of leader of the deputies, to lay before the General Court. But Hathorne, with the fate of Stoughton before him, hesitated to do it. The existence of this treatise presently leaked out, and an order was passed to bring it into court. Some passages appeared to Winthrop “very of. fensive and unwarrantable;” yet the deputies resisted all attempts to censure the author. He was very roughly answered, however, in two counter treatises, one by Dudley, the other by one of the ministers. The elders, to whom Saltonstall's book was referred by the General Court, made an elaborate report upon it, lenient, indeed,

chapTER toward Saltonstall, but justifying the Council for Life X.

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1645.

against his censures.
Briscoe, “a rich man, a tanner,” but not a church

member, and, of course, not a freeman, who “published
underhand” a treatise against taxation for the support of
the ministers, did not escape so easily. He was fined ten
pounds, and one of the publishers forty shillings.
A transaction, some two or three years afterward, in
which Saltonstall was concerned, has been magnified by
too precipitate an admiration into a protest on the part
of Massachusetts against the African slave trade. So
far, however, from any such protest being made, at the
very birth of the foreign commerce of New England the
African slave trade became a regular business. The
ships which took cargoes of staves and fish to Madeira
and the Canaries were accustomed to touch on the
coast of Guinea “to trade for negroes,” who were car-
ried generally to Barbadoes or the other English islands
in the West Indies, the demand for them at home being
but small. In the case above referred to, instead of buy-
ing negroes in the regular course of traffic, which, un-
der a fundamental law of Massachusetts already quot-
ed, would have been perfectly legal, the crew of a Bos-
ton ship joined with some London vessels on the coast,
and, on pretense of some quarrel with the natives, landed
a “murderer”—the expressive name of a small piece of
cannon—attacked a negro village on Sunday, killed many
of the inhabitants, and made a few prisoners, two of
whom fell to the share of the Boston ship. In the course
of a lawsuit between the master, mate, and owners, all
this story came out, and Saltonstall, who sat as one of
the magistrates, thereupon presented a petition to the
court, in which he charged the master and mate with a
threefold offense, murder, man-stealing, and Sabbath-

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