Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

chapTER setts as to the true interpretation of the articles of union.

1653.

Sept.

At the regular annual meeting of the commissioners this
controversy was renewed. The commission seemed to
be just on the point of breaking up forever, when the
Massachusetts Court, by an ambiguous sort of conces-
sion, induced the commissioners to proceed to business.
The tributary Indians at the east end of Long Island
had complained of hostilities commenced against them
by the Niantics. Ninigret, being sent for by order of the
commissioners, had returned a “proud, presumptuous,
and offensive answer.” The commissioners thereupon
conceived themselves “called by God to make a present
war against Ninigret,” and they ordered two hundred
and fifty men to be raised for that purpose. Bradstreet,
one of the Massachusetts commissioners, dissented from
this vote. In his opinion, the United Colonies were un-
der no obligation to protect the Long Island Indians, nor
to engage in Indian quarrels, “the grounds whereof they
can not well understand.” The Massachusetts Court sus-
tained this sensible objection; and as they saw no suffi-
cient ground for war, they “dared not exercise authority
to levy men.” Thus a second time, by the opposition of
Massachusetts, were the commissioners' warlike inten-
tions defeated. -
The solicitations addressed to Cromwell were not al-
together without success. Robert Sedgwick and John
Leverett, the latter son of the ruling elder in the Bos-
ton Church, and late a captain in the Parliamentary
army, the former recently chosen to succeed Gibbons as

... major general of Massachusetts, were authorized to un

dertake an expedition against New Netherland, toward which Cromwell, now Lord Protector, furnished two or three ships, with a small body of troops, authority being given to the commissioners to raise more in New En

gland. Roger Williams entertained grateful feelings to- chores

ward the Dutch of New Netherland, and by his inter

ference the sailing of this expedition was a little delayed. 1654.

When the armament arrived in New England the Dutch war was already over; and before the New England contingents could be raised, news of the peace reached Boston.

Instead of proceeding against New Netherland, Acadie became the object of attack. It was a time of peace between France and England; but Cromwell alleged that a sum of money, promised by France in consideration of the cession of Acadie, had never been paid, and that the cession, in consequence, was not binding. D'Aulney was dead, and La Tour, lately returned from Hudson's Bay, having married the widow of his old enemy

and rival, had thus recovered possession of Port Royal,

St. John's, Penobscot, and the other Acadien trading posts. But D’Aulney's principal creditor in France had renewed the old complaints against La Tour, had obtained an order to take possession of all D'Aulney's American property, and for that purpose had just arrived, when both he and La Tour found themselves obliged to surrender to Leverett and Sedgwick. The dexterous La Tour now revived his claims under the old grant to his father from Sir William Alexander; and, two years after, Cromwell made a new grant of Nova Scotia to La Tour, Crowne, and Thomas Temple, brother of the celebrated Sir William Temple, and soon sole proprietor. Some three years previous to the present time, the bankrupt. Gibbons had removed to Maryland, being appointed by the proprietary admiral of that colony and one of the council. He built a wind-mill at St. Mary's; but, dying there this year, his widow transferred the mill to Lord Baltimore in payment of a debt of £100 due by her late husband to his lordship. Previous to the

July.

charter surrender of Acadie he had twice sent to La Tour to

demand payment of his old debt, now swelled by inter

1654, est and charges to more than £4000, but it does not

Sept.

appear that he met with any success.
At the next annual meeting of the Commissioners for
the United Colonies, Bellingham having been this year
chosen governor in Endicott's place, and the New Neth-
erland question being now out of the way, Massachusetts
yielded the disputed point of interpretation, and war was
declared against Ninigret. Two hundred and seventy
men were voted for an expedition against him, the choice
of commander being left to Massachusetts, which was to
furnish the greater part of the troops. Major Willard,
appointed upon this service, marched with orders to com.
pel Ninigret to give up those Pequod subjects of his for
whom the tribute was in arrear; to give satisfaction for
his past misconduct; to leave the Long Islanders in peace;
and to pay the expenses of the present expedition. But
Ninigret “swamped himself,” and the troops presently
returned, upon the strength of an illusive stipulation on
his part to give up the Pequods. This bootless result
gave great dissatisfaction in the other colonies, where it
was even alleged that Massachusetts, by the choice of an
incapable commander, if not, indeed, by secret instruc-
tions, had purposely defeated the object of the expedition.
The Lord Protector Cromwell had no sooner made
peace with the Dutch than he declared war against
Spain, and dispatched a fleet and army under Penn and
Venables to attack the Spanish West Indies. Winslow,
who had hitherto remained in England as agent for Mas-
sachusetts, in which office he was presently succeeded by
Leverett, went in this fleet as one of Cromwell's com-
missioners to superintend the conquered countries. By
volunteers from Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, the

army was raised to ten thousand men, the first of those corn great armaments, so many of which were subsequently sent from Europe to perish in the West Indies from the 1654. effects of the climate. St. Domingo was the object aimed at ; but from that island the expedition was repulsed with disgrace. The fleet then proceeded to Jamaica, of which possession was taken. At the date of its conquest that island contained but a few thousand inhabitants, partly enervated descendants of the old Spanish colonists, partly negro slaves, who took that opportunity to escape into the interior, and to establish there an independent community, conspicuous afterward in the history of the island. Sedgwick, appointed by Cromwell to succeed Winslow, who had died shortly after the repulse from St. Domingo, found things, on his arrival at Jamaica, “in a sad, de- Oct. plorable, and distracted condition;” the soldiers, a large part of them from the English West India settlements, “so lazy and idle as it can not enter into the heart of any Englishman that such blood should run in the veins of any born in England.” As the other commissioners were dead, in conjunction with the principal military of. ficers, Sedgwick framed an instrument of government, constituting a Supreme Executive Council, with himself at the head. Cromwell was very anxious to people the island, possession of which he was determined to retain. A thousand girls and young men were ordered to be listed in Ireland and sent over. The administrators of the Scottish government were directed to apprehend all “known idle, masterless robbers and vagabonds, male and female,” for transportation thither; and that there might be a due admixture of religion and energy, agents were dispatched to New England for emigrants. The people of New Haven, disappointed and unsuccessful in their mercantile undertakings, were impoverished, uneasy, and

chors disposed to remove. They had entertained thoughts of

1654.

1655. Sept.

transferring themselves to Ireland, where Cromwell had made extensive confiscations. The Protector was anxious they should remove to Jamaica; and, with his usual art, employed for that purpose arguments addressed to their peculiar religious ideas. But the magistrates opposed this

migration, and very few went. Sedgwick was raised by

Cromwell to the rank of major general, with the supreme
command of the island, but died shortly after receiving
the appointment. Vassall presently migrated thither,
and established several valuable plantations.
As the incursions of the Niantics into Long Island
still continued, a vessel was fitted out by the Commis-
sioners for the United Colonies to cruise in the Sound,
to intercept their canoes. Uncas, presuming on the
protection of his white allies, grew more turbulent and
overbearing than ever. He soon became involved in
quarrels with his neighbors, in which he strove to en-
gage the colonists also ; but this time they resolved to
let the Indians fight it out. The Pequods who had been
placed under Uncas's authority had repeatedly complain-
ed of his oppressions. At first these complaints had been
very coldly received; but the misbehavior of Uncas be-
came now so notorious, that the remnants of the Pe-
quods, relieved from his yoke, were allowed to settle in
two villages, in what is now the southwest corner of
Rhode Island, under rulers appointed for them by the
magistrates of Massachusetts. Humphrey Atherton,
Sedgwick's successor as major general of Massachusetts,
was appointed superintendent of all the subject Indians,
in which office he was presently succeeded by Daniel
Gookin, whose emigration from Virginia has been former-
ly mentioned. The sale of horses or boats to the Indians
was strictly prohibited, and the Commissioners for the

« ПредишнаНапред »