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1643.

1641.

1643.

point, selected in the terms of the charter, three miles south of the southernmost part of Charles River; but, instead of running due west, as it should have done, it deviated so far to the south as to include the present towns of Enfield and Suffield, reckoned at that time a part of Springfield, and for a century afterward attached to Massachusetts. Gorges's province of Maine was not received into the New England alliance, “because the people there ran a different course both in their ministry and civil administration.” The same objection applied with still greater force to Aquiday and Providence. By omitting to excommunicate its exiled members, except in the case of Mrs. Hutchinson, the Boston Church still claimed a sort of spiritual authority over them, and had been not a little piqued at their repeated refusals to submit to it. A son and son-in-law of Mrs. Hutchinson, the latter a young minister from the West Indies, whom she was suspected of having fascinated by witchcraft, were arrested at Boston while on a visit there, and heavily fined and imprisoned on account of a letter which one of them had written, in which the Massachusetts churches were spoken of as “anti-Christian.” Communications were on foot between Coddington and the Massachusetts magistrates, and, hardly thinking herself safe at Aquiday, Mrs. Hutchinson and her family, her husband being dead, presently removed to Greenwich, beyond New Haven, and under the jurisdiction of the Dutch. A war soon after broke out between the Dutch and the Indians, during which these unfortunate exiles, to the number of eighteen, were massacred, except one young daughter, who was carried off a prisoner. “God’s hand is apparently seen herein, to pick out this woeful woman, to make her, and those belonging to her, an unheard-of heavy ex

ample!” Such was the exultation of the pious Welde chapter

over Mrs. Hutchinson's tragical end. She left a son at

Boston who did not share her exile, and whose posterity 1643.

became distinguished in the history of the colony.
Roger Williams and the settlers at Providence were
even more obnoxious than those of Rhode Island. In-
deed, it was some movement at Aquiday toward a recon-
ciliation with Massachusetts that had precipitated the
flight of Mrs. Hutchinson. Williams, on the other hand,
had embraced the doctrines of the Anabaptists, and being
first dipped by one of the brethren, and then himself dip-
ping the others, had become the founder and teacher of
the first Baptist Church in America. But he soon left it,
became a “seeker,” and, after many doubts as to au-
thority for any ecclesiastical organization, finally con-
cluded that none was lawful, or, at least, necessary.
Though he continued to employ the phraseology of the
Puritans, he seems ultimately to have renounced all
formalities of worship, having adopted the opinion that
Christianity was but another name for humanity. “To
be content with food and raiment; to mind, not our
own, but every man the things of another; yea, and to
suffer wrong, and to part with what we judge to be right,
yea, our own lives, and, as poor women martyrs have
said, as many as there be hairs upon our heads, for the
name of God and the Son of God's sake—this is human-
ity, yea, this is Christianity; the rest is but formality
and picture-courteous idolatry, and Jewish and popish
blasphemy against the Christian religion.” So Williams
expressed himself many years afterward, toward the end
of his life, in a letter to Mason, hero of the Pequod war,
and chief military officer of Connecticut.
But, though Williams abandoned his Baptist opinions,
others took them up. The Lady Moody, “a wise and

1639.

chapTER anciently religious woman,” who had purchased HumX.

phrey's plantation at Lynn, being dealt with by the

1643. church at Salem for errors of this sort, to avoid further

1644. Nov. 13.

trouble removed to Long Island, where she settled, with
her son Sir Henry, under the jurisdiction of the Dutch.
Others infected with the same opinions removed, some to
Providence, and some to New Netherland.
Not content with these voluntary departures, a law
was presently published in Massachusetts inflicting ban-
ishment upon all such as, after “due time and means
of conviction, continue obstinate” in opposing infant bap-
tism. At Aquiday, also, a Baptist church was estab-
lished—the second in America—at the head of which
was John Clarke. These Anabaptists appear to have re-
moved to the lower end of the island, and to have formed
a settlement there, which they called Newport, Codding-
ton's original settlement at the upper end of the island
being known as Portsmouth.
Samuel Gorton was inferior to Roger Williams and
Mrs. Hutchinson, in talent and acquirements, but as an
heresiarch he was hardly less to be dreaded. Originally
a London clothier, he had made himself obnoxious to the
magistrates of Massachusetts and Plymouth by preten-
sions to a sort of transcendental enlightenment in spirit-
ual matters. He called himself “professor of the mys-
teries of Christ,” taught that in himself and other true
believers “the child is born, the son is given,” and blessed
God that he was not brought up “in the schools of hu-
man learning.” Ejected from Plymouth with much hard
usage, as he alleged, being turned out of his house in the
midst of a snow-storm, with his wife and infant child, the
child sick of the measles, the wife “as tenderly brought
up as any man's wife in that town;” expelled even from
Aquiday, where he was publicly flogged on a charge of

disrespect toward the magistrates, he took refuge at last chgren in the south part of Providence. Here, too, he made ". himself obnoxious to some of the settlers, and a disturb- 1641. ance arose which Williams was with difficulty able to appease. Some of the inhabitants, headed by one Benedict Arnold, even went so far as to invite the interference of Massachusetts, which was promised if they would submit to her jurisdiction, or, if they preferred it, to that of Plymouth. Several of them accordingly went to Boston and submitted; and a warrant was presently sent to 1642. Gorton, citing him to answer to their complaint. For the sake of peace, and to escape this threatened danger, after returning a rude answer addressed to the “great idol general of Massachusetts,” Gorton, with a number of followers, removed southerly across the Pawtuxet, and, hav- 1643. ing purchased of Miantonimoh, for one hundred and forty- * four fathoms of wampum, a tract called Shawomet, they commenced an independent settlement there, the third within the limits of the present state of Rhode Island. Alarmed at the threatened interference of Massachusetts, and the danger that her spiritual despotism might be extended over all her neighbors, Roger Williams resolved to proceed to England, there to solicit a charter— a step suggested the year before by the people of Aqui- day. Not being allowed to visit Boston, he went to Man- March. hattan, and obtained passage there by way of Holland. Not long after the departure of Williams, two inferior sachems from the neighborhood of Shawomet complained June. to the magistrates of Massachusetts, through Benedict Arnold, their agent and interpreter, one of those inhabitants of Providence who had lately submitted to the Massachusetts jurisdiction, that Gorton had wrongfully dispossessed them of their lands. One of them had signed the deed of conveyance; but he alleged having done so through

chapTER the compulsion of Miantonimoh. The Massachusetts mag

1643.

July

August.

Sept.

istrates entered very zealously into the matter. They sent for Miantonimoh; adjudged him to have no title to the land, or power over the sachems—wrongfully, as Williams alleges; and, having made this decision, they received from those same sachems a submission of themselves and their territory to the authority of Massachusetts, with a promise, on their part, to obey the ten commandments. This submission, though vaunted by Winthrop as “the fruits of our prayers, the first fruits of our hopes,” a proof that “the Lord was about to bring the Indians to civility, and so to conversion,” seems, however, to have been but a mere contrivance for obtaining some pretense to dispossess Gorton, or to compel him and his followers to submit to the authority of Massachusetts. Arnold was allowed four pounds for his services in this business. Miantonimoh, it is possible, might not have quietly submitted to this interference, but that unfortunate chief was, shortly after, effectually disposed of His virulent enemy, Uncas, attacked one of his subordinate chiefs, of which he complained to the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, requesting liberty to make war in return. He was told, if Uncas had injured him and would not give satisfaction, “to take his own course;” and, accordingly, he invaded the Mohegan territories, but was defeated, betrayed, and taken prisoner. A present of wampum, sent by the Narraganset chiefs, and an urgent and threatening message from Gorton, prevailed on Uncas to spare the captive's life, and to carry him prisoner to Hartford. His fate presently became a principal subject of discussion in the second meeting of the Commissioners for the United Colonies, held at Boston. His enterprise and sagacity were dreaded, and, perhaps, his friendship for Williams and Gorton weighed in the bal.

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