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Title: The Beginnings of New England - Or the Puritan Theocracy in its Relations to Civil and Religious Liberty
Author: Fiske, John, 1842-1901
Language: English
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"The Lord Christ intends to achieve greater matters by this little
handful than the world is aware of." EDWARD JOHNSON, _Wonder-Working
Providence of Zion's Saviour in New England_ 1654










This book contains the substance of the lectures originally given at
the Washington University, St. Louis, in May, 1887, in the course of my
annual visit to that institution as University Professor of American
History. The lectures were repeated in the following month of June at
Portland, Oregon, and since then either the whole course, or one or more
of the lectures, have been given in Boston, Newton, Milton, Chelsea,
New Bedford, Lowell, Worcester, Springfield, and Pittsfield, Mass.;
Farmington, Middletown, and Stamford, Conn.; New York, Brooklyn, and
Tarrytown, N.Y.; Philadelphia and Ogontz, Pa.; Wilmington, Del.;
Chicago, 111.; San Francisco and Oakland, Cal.

In this sketch of the circumstances which attended the settlement of New
England, I have purposely omitted many details which in a formal history
of that period would need to be included. It has been my aim to give the
outline of such a narrative as to indicate the principles at work in
the history of New England down to the Revolution of 1689. When I was
writing the lectures I had just been reading, with much interest, the
work of my former pupil, Mr. Brooks Adams, entitled "The Emancipation of

With the specific conclusions set forth in that book I found myself
often agreeing, but it seemed to me that the general aspect of the case
would be considerably modified and perhaps somewhat more adequately
presented by enlarging the field of view. In forming historical
judgments a great deal depends upon our perspective. Out of the very
imperfect human nature which is so slowly and painfully casting off the
original sin of its inheritance from primeval savagery, it is scarcely
possible in any age to get a result which will look quite satisfactory
to the men of a riper and more enlightened age. Fortunately we can learn
something from the stumblings of our forefathers, and a good many
things seem quite clear to us to-day which two centuries ago were only
beginning to be dimly discerned by a few of the keenest and boldest
spirits. The faults of the Puritan theocracy, which found its most
complete development in Massachusetts, are so glaring that it is idle to
seek to palliate them or to explain them away. But if we would really
understand what was going on in the Puritan world of the seventeenth
century, and how a better state of things has grown out of it, we must
endeavour to distinguish and define the elements of wholesome strength
in that theocracy no less than its elements of crudity and weakness.

The first chapter, on "The Roman Idea and the English Idea," contains a
somewhat more developed statement of the points briefly indicated in the
thirteenth section (pp. 85-95) of "The Destiny of Man." As all of the
present book, except the first chapter, was written here under the
shadow of the Washington University, I take pleasure in dating it from
this charming and hospitable city where I have passed some of the most
delightful hours of my life.

St. Louis, April 15, 1889.




When did the Roman Empire come to an end? ... 1-3

Meaning of Odovakar's work ... 3

The Holy Roman Empire ... 4, 5

Gradual shifting of primacy from the men who spoke Latin, and their
descendants, to the men who speak English ... 6-8

Political history is the history of nation-making ... 8, 9

The ORIENTAL method of nation-making; _conquest without incorporation_
... 9

Illustrations from eastern despotisms ... 10

And from the Moors in Spain ... 11

The ROMAN method of nation-making; _conquest with incorporation, but
without representation_ ... 12

Its slow development ... 13

Vices in the Roman system. ... 14

Its fundamental defect ... 15

It knew nothing of political power delegated by the people to
representatives ... 16

And therefore the expansion of its dominion ended in a centralized
Despotism ... 16

Which entailed the danger that human life might come to stagnate in
Europe, as it had done in Asia ... 17

The danger was warded off by the Germanic invasions, which, however,
threatened to undo the work which the Empire had done in organizing
European society ... 17

But such disintegration was prevented by the sway which the Roman Church
had come to exercise over the European mind ... 18

The wonderful thirteenth century ... 19

The ENGLISH method of nation-making; _incorporation with representation_
... 20

Pacific tendencies of federalism ... 21

Failure of Greek attempts at federation ... 22

Fallacy of the notion that republics must be small ... 23

"It is not the business of a government to support its people, but of
the people to support their government" ... 24

Teutonic March-meetings and representative assemblies ... 25

Peculiarity of the Teutonic conquest of Britain ... 26, 27

Survival and development of the Teutonic representative assembly in
England ... 28

Primitive Teutonic institutions less modified in England than in Germany
... 29

Some effects of the Norman conquest of England ... 30

The Barons' War and the first House of Commons ... 31

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty ... 32

Conflict between Roman Idea and English Idea begins to become clearly
visible in the thirteenth century ... 33

Decline of mediaeval Empire and Church with the growth of modern
nationalities ... 34

Overthrow of feudalism, and increasing power of the crown ... 35

Formidable strength of the Roman Idea ... 36

Had it not been for the Puritans, political liberty would probably have
disappeared from the world ... 37

Beginnings of Protestantism in the thirteenth century ... 38

The Cathari, or Puritans of the Eastern Empire ... 39

The Albigenses ... 40

Effects of persecution; its feebleness in England ... 41

Wyclif and the Lollards ... 42

Political character of Henry VIII.'s revolt against Rome ... 43

The yeoman Hugh Latimer ... 44

The moment of Cromwell's triumph was the most critical moment in history
... 45

Contrast with France; fate of the Huguenots ... 46, 47

Victory of the English Idea ... 48

Significance of the Puritan Exodus ... 49



Influence of Puritanism upon modern Europe ... 50, 51

Work of the Lollards ... 52

They made the Bible the first truly popular literature in England ...
53, 54

The English version of the Bible ... 54, 55

Secret of Henry VIII.'s swift success in his revolt against Rome ... 56

Effects of the persecution under Mary ... 57

Calvin's theology in its political bearings ... 58, 59

Elizabeth's policy and its effects ... 60, 61

Puritan sea-rovers ... 61

Geographical distribution of Puritanism in England; it was strongest in
the eastern counties ... 62

Preponderance of East Anglia in the Puritan exodus ... 63

Familiar features of East Anglia to the visitor from New England ... 64

Puritanism was not intentionally allied with liberalism ... 65

Robert Brown and the Separatists ... 66

Persecution of the Separatists ... 67

Recantation of Brown; it was reserved for William Brewster to take the
lead in the Puritan exodus ... 68

James Stuart, and his encounter with Andrew Melville ... 69

What James intended to do when he became King of England ... 70

His view of the political situation, as declared in the conference at
Hampton Court ... 71

The congregation of Separatists at Scrooby ... 72

The flight to Holland, and settlement at Leyden in 1609 ... 73

Systematic legal toleration in Holland ... 74

Why the Pilgrims did not stay there; they wished to keep up their
distinct organization and found a state ... 74

And to do this they must cross the ocean, because European territory was
all preoccupied ... 75

The London and Plymouth companies ... 75

First explorations of the New England coast; Bartholomew Gosnold (1602),
and George Weymouth (1605) ... 76

The Popham colony (1607) ... 77

Captain John Smith gives to New England its name (1614) ... 78

The Pilgrims at Leyden decide to make a settlement near the Delaware
river ... 79

How King James regarded the enterprise ... 80

Voyage of the Mayflower; she goes astray and takes the Pilgrims to Cape
Cod bay ... 81

Founding of the Plymouth colony (1620) ... 82, 83

Why the Indians did not molest the settlers ... 84, 85

The chief interest of this beginning of the Puritan exodus lies not so
much in what it achieved as in what it suggested ... 86, 87



Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the Council for New England ... 88, 89

Wessagusset and Merrymount ... 90, 91

The Dorchester adventurers ... 92

John White wishes to raise a bulwark against the Kingdom of Antichrist
... 93

And John Endicott undertakes the work of building it ... 94

Conflicting grants sow seeds of trouble; the Gorges and Mason claims ...
94, 95

Endicott's arrival in New England, and the founding of Salem ... 95

The Company of Massachusetts Bay; Francis Higginson takes a powerful
reinforcement to Salem ... 96

The development of John White's enterprise into the Company of
Massachusetts Bay coincided with the first four years of the reign of
Charles I ... 97

Extraordinary scene in the House of Commons (June 5, 1628) ... 98, 99

The King turns Parliament out of doors (March 2, 1629) ... 100

Desperate nature of the crisis ... 100, 101

The meeting at Cambridge (Aug. 26, 1629), and decision to transfer the
charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and the government established
under it, to New England ... 102

Leaders of the great migration; John Winthrop ... 102

And Thomas Dudley ... 103

Founding of Massachusetts; the schemes of Gorges overwhelmed ... 104

Beginnings of American constitutional history; the question as to
self-government raised at Watertown ... 105

Representative system established ... 106

Bicameral assembly; story of the stray pig ... 107

Ecclesiastical polity; the triumph of Separatism ... 108

Restriction of the suffrage to members of the Puritan congregational
churches ... 109

Founding of Harvard College ... 110

Threefold danger to the New England settlers in 1636:--

  1. From the King, who prepares to attack the charter, but is foiled by
dissensions at home ... 111-113

  2. From religious dissensions; Roger Williams ... 114-116
     Henry Vane and Anne Hutchinson ... 116-119
     Beginnings of New Hampshire and Rhode Island ... 119-120

  3. From the Indians; the Pequot supremacy ... 121

First movements into the Connecticut valley, and disputes with the Dutch
settlers of New Amsterdam ... 122, 123

Restriction of the suffrage leads to disaffection in Massachusetts;
profoundly interesting opinions of Winthrop and Hooker ... 123, 124

Connecticut pioneers and their hardships ... 125

Thomas Hooker, and the founding of Connecticut ... 120

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut (Jan 14, 1639); the first written
constitution that created a government ... 127

Relations of Connecticut to the genesis of the Federal Union ... 128

Origin of the Pequot War; Sassacus tries to unite the Indian tribes in a
crusade against the English ... 129, 130

The schemes of Sassacus are foiled by Roger Williams ... 130

The Pequots take the war path alone ... 131

And are exterminated ... 132-134

John Davenport, and the founding of New Haven ... 135

New Haven legislation, and legend of the "Blue Laws" ... 136

With the meeting of the Long Parliament, in 1640, the Puritan exodus
comes to its end ... 137

What might have been ... 138, 391



The Puritan exodus was purely and exclusively English ... 140

And the settlers were all thrifty and prosperous; chiefly country
squires and yeomanry of the best and sturdiest type ... 141, 142

In all history there has been no other instance of colonization so
exclusively effected by picked and chosen men ... 143

What, then, was the principle of selection? The migration was not
intended to promote what we call religious liberty ... 144, 145

Theocratic ideal of the Puritans ... 146

The impulse which sought to realize itself in the Puritan ideal was an
ethical impulse ... 147

In interpreting Scripture, the Puritan appealed to his Reason ... 148,

Value of such perpetual theological discussion as was carried on in
early New England ... 150, 151

Comparison with the history of Scotland ... 152

Bearing of these considerations upon the history of the New England
confederacy ... 153

The existence of so many colonies (Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
New Haven, Rhode Island, the Piscataqua towns, etc.) was due to
differences of opinion on questions in which men's religious ideas were
involved ... 154

And this multiplication of colonies led to a notable and significant
attempt at confederation ... 155

Turbulence of dissent in Rhode Island ... 156

The Earl of Warwick, and his Board of Commissioners ... 157

Constitution of the Confederacy ... 158

It was only a league, not a federal union ... 159

Its formation involved a tacit assumption of sovereignty ... 160

The fall of Charles I. brought up, for a moment, the question as to the
supremacy of Parliament over the colonies ... 161

Some interesting questions ... 162

Genesis of the persecuting spirit ... 163

Samuel Gorton and his opinions ... 163-165

He flees to Aquedneck and is banished thence ... 166

Providence protests against him ... 167

He flees to Shawomet, where he buys land of the Indians ... 168

Miantonomo and Uncas ... 169, 170

Death of Miantonomo ... 171

Edward Johnson leads an expedition against Shawomet ... 172

Trial and sentence of the heretics ... 173

Winthrop declares himself in a prophetic opinion ... 174

The Presbyterian cabal ... 175-177

The Cambridge Platform; deaths of Winthrop and Cotton ... 177

Views of Winthrop and Cotton as to toleration in matters of Religion ...

After their death, the leadership in Massachusetts was in the hands of
Endicott and Norton ... 179

The Quakers; their opinions and behavior ... 179-181

Violent manifestations of dissent ... 182

Anne Austin and Mary Fisher; how they were received in Boston ... 183

The confederated colonies seek to expel the Quakers; noble attitude of
Rhode Island ... 184

Roger Williams appeals to his friend, Oliver Cromwell ... 185

The "heavenly speech" of Sir Harry Vane ... 185

Laws passed against the Quakers ... 186

How the death penalty was regarded at that time in New England ... 187

Executions of Quakers on Boston Common ... 188, 189

Wenlock Christison's defiance and victory ... 189, 190

The "King's Missive" ... 191

Why Charles II. interfered to protect the Quakers ... 191

His hostile feeling toward the New England governments ... 192

The regicide judges, Goffe and Whalley ... 193, 194

New Haven annexed to Connecticut ... 194, 195

Abraham Pierson, and the founding of Newark ... 196

Breaking-down of the theocratic policy ... 197

Weakening of the Confederacy ... 198



Relations between the Puritan settlers and the Indians ... 199

Trade with the Indians ... 200

Missionary work; Thomas Mayhew ... 201

John Eliot and his translation of the Bible ... 202

His preaching to the Indians ... 203

His villages of Christian Indians ... 204

The Puritan's intention was to deal gently and honourably with the red
men ... 205

Why Pennsylvania was so long unmolested by the Indians ... 205, 206

Difficulty of the situation in New England ... 207

It is hard for the savage and the civilized man to understand one
another ... 208

How Eliot's designs must inevitably have been misinterpreted by the
Indians ... 209

It is remarkable that peace should have been so long preserved ... 210

Deaths of Massasoit and his son Alexander ... 211

Very little is known about the nature of Philip's designs ... 212

The meeting at Taunton ... 213

Sausamon informs against Philip ... 213

And is murdered ... 214

Massacres at Swanzey and Dartmouth ... 214

Murder of Captain Hutchinson ... 215

Attack on Brookfield, which is relieved by Simon Willard ... 216

Fighting in the Connecticut valley; the mysterious stranger at Hadley
... 217, 218

Ambuscade at Bloody Brook ... 219

Popular excitement in Boston ... 220

The Narragansetts prepare to take the war-path ... 221

And Governor Winslow leads an army against them ... 222, 223

Storming of the great swamp fortress ... 224

Slaughter of the Indians ... 225

Effect of the blow ... 226

Growth of the humane sentiment in recent times, due to the fact that the
horrors of war are seldom brought home to everybody's door ... 227, 228

Warfare with savages is likely to be truculent in character ... 229

Attack upon Lancaster ... 230

Mrs. Rowlandson's narrative ... 231-233

Virtual extermination of the Indians (February to August, 1676) ... 233,

Death of Canonchet ... 234

Philip pursued by Captain Church ... 235

Death of Philip ... 236

Indians sold into slavery ... 237

Conduct of the Christian Indians ... 238

War with the Tarratines ... 239

Frightful destruction of life and property ... 240

Henceforth the red man figures no more in the history of New England,
except in frontier raids under French guidance ... 241



Romantic features in the early history of New England ... 242

Captain Edward Johnson, of Woburn, and his book on "The Wonder-working
Providence of Zion's Saviour in New England" ... 243,244

Acts of the Puritans often judged by an unreal and impossible standard
... 245

Spirit of the "Wonder-working Providence" ... 246

Merits and faults of the Puritan theocracy ... 247

Restriction of the suffrage to church members ... 248

It was a source of political discontent ... 249

Inquisitorial administration of justice ... 250

The "Half way Covenant" ... 251

Founding of the Old South church ... 252

Unfriendly relations between Charles II and Massachusetts ... 253

Complaints against Massachusetts ... 254

The Lords of Trade ... 255

Arrival of Edward Randolph in Boston ... 256

Joseph Dudley and the beginnings of Toryism in New England ... 257, 258

Charles II. erects the four Piscataqua towns into the royal province of
New Hampshire ... 259

And quarrels with Massachusetts over the settlement of the Gorges claim
to the Maine district ... 260

Simon Bradstreet and his verse-making wife ... 261

Massachusetts answers the king's peremptory message ... 262

Secret treaty between Charles II. and Louis XIV ... 263

Shameful proceedings in England ... 264

Massachusetts refuses to surrender her charter; and accordingly it is
annulled by decree of chancery, June 21, 1684 ... 265

Effect of annulling the charter ... 266

Death of Charles II, accession of James II., and appointment of Sir
Edmund Andros as viceroy over New England, with despotic powers ... 267

The charter oak ... 268

Episcopal services in Boston ... 268, 269

Founding of the King's Chapel ... 269

The tyranny ... 270

John Wise of Ipswich ... 271

Fall of James II ... 271

Insurrection in Boston, and overthrow of Andros ... 272

Effects of the Revolution of 1689 ... 273

Need for union among all the northern colonies ... 274

Plymouth, Maine, and Acadia annexed to Massachusetts ... 275

Which becomes a royal province ... 276

And is thus brought into political sympathy with Virginia ... 276

The seeds of the American Revolution were already sown, and the spirit
of 1776 was foreshadowed in 1689 ... 277, 278




It used to be the fashion of historians, looking superficially at the
facts presented in chronicles and tables of dates, without analyzing and
comparing vast groups of facts distributed through centuries, or even
suspecting the need for such analysis and comparison, to assign the date
476 A.D. as the moment at which the Roman Empire came to an end. It was
in that year that the soldier of fortune, Odovakar, commander of the
Herulian mercenaries in Italy, sent the handsome boy Romulus, son of
Orestes, better known as "little Augustus," from his imperial throne
to the splendid villa of Lucullus near Naples, and gave him a yearly
pension of $35,000 [6,000 solidi] to console him for the loss of a
world. As 324 years elapsed before another emperor was crowned at Rome,
and as the political headship of Europe after that happy restoration
remained upon the German soil to which the events of the eighth century
had shifted it, nothing could seem more natural than the habit which
historians once had, of saying that the mighty career of Rome had ended,
as it had begun, with a Romulus. Sometimes the date 476 was even set up
as a great landmark dividing modern from ancient history. For those,
however, who took such a view, it was impossible to see the events of
the Middle Ages in their true relations to what went before and what
came after. It was impossible to understand what went on in Italy in
the sixth century, or to explain the position of that great Roman power
which had its centre on the Bosphorus, which in the code of Justinian
left us our grandest monument of Roman law, and which for a thousand
years was the staunch bulwark of Europe against the successive
aggressions of Persian, Saracen, and Turk. It was equally impossible to
understand the rise of the Papal power, the all-important politics of
the great Saxon and Swabian emperors, the relations of mediaeval England
to the Continental powers, or the marvellously interesting growth of the
modern European system of nationalities. [Sidenote: When did the Roman
Empire come to an end?]

Since the middle of the nineteenth century the study of history has
undergone changes no less sweeping than those which have in the same
time affected the study of the physical sciences. Vast groups of facts
distributed through various ages and countries have been subjected to
comparison and analysis, with the result that they have not only thrown
fresh light upon one another, but have in many cases enabled us to
recover historic points of view that had long been buried in oblivion.
Such an instance was furnished about twenty-five years ago by Dr.
Bryce's epoch-making work on the Holy Roman Empire. Since then
historians still recognize the importance of the date 476 as that which
left the Bishop of Rome the dominant personage in Italy, and marked the
shifting of the political centre of gravity from the Palatine to the
Lateran. This was one of those subtle changes which escape notice until
after some of their effects have attracted attention. The most important
effect, in this instance, realized after three centuries, was not the
overthrow of Roman power in the West, but its indefinite extension and
expansion. The men of 476 not only had no idea that they were entering
upon a new era, but least of all did they dream that the Roman Empire
had come to an end, or was ever likely to. Its cities might be pillaged,
its provinces overrun, but the supreme imperial power itself was
something without which the men of those days could not imagine the
world as existing. It must have its divinely ordained representative in
one place if not in another. If the throne in Italy was vacant, it
was no more than had happened before; there was still a throne at
Constantinople, and to its occupant Zeno the Roman Senate sent a
message, saying that one emperor was enough for both ends of the earth,
and begging him to confer upon the gallant Odovakar the title of
patrician, and entrust the affairs of Italy to his care. So when
Sicambrian Chlodwig set up his Merovingian kingdom in northern Gaul, he
was glad to array himself in the robe of a Roman consul, and obtain from
the eastern emperor a formal ratification of his rule.

[Transcriber's note: page missing in original.] still survives in
political methods and habits of thought that will yet be long in dying
out. With great political systems, as with typical forms of organic
life, the processes of development and of extinction are exceedingly
slow, and it is seldom that the stages can be sharply marked by dates.
The processes which have gradually shifted the seat of empire until the
prominent part played nineteen centuries ago by Rome and Alexandria,
on opposite sides of the Mediterranean, has been at length assumed by
London and New York, on opposite sides of the Atlantic, form a most
interesting subject of study. But to understand them, one must do much
more than merely catalogue the facts of political history; one must
acquire a knowledge of the drifts and tendencies of human thought and
feeling and action from the earliest ages to the times in which we
live. In covering so wide a field we cannot of course expect to obtain
anything like complete results. In order to make a statement simple
enough to be generally intelligible, it is necessary to pass over many
circumstances and many considerations that might in one way and another
qualify what we have to say. Nevertheless it is quite possible for us to
discern, in their bold general outlines, some historic truths of supreme
importance. In contemplating the salient features of the change which
has now for a long time been making the world more English and less
Roman, we shall find not only intellectual pleasure and profit but
practical guidance. For in order to understand this slow but mighty
change, we must look a little into that process of nation-making which
has been going on since prehistoric ages and is going on here among us
to-day, and from the recorded experience of men in times long past
we may gather lessons of infinite value for ourselves and for our
children's children. As in all the achievements of mankind it is only
after much weary experiment and many a heart-sickening failure that
success is attained, so has it been especially with nation-making. Skill
in the political art is the fruit of ages of intellectual and moral
discipline; and just as picture-writing had to come before printing and
canoes before steamboats, so the cruder political methods had to be
tried and found wanting, amid the tears and groans of unnumbered
generations, before methods less crude could be put into operation. In
the historic survey upon which we are now to enter, we shall see that
the Roman Empire represented a crude method of nation-making which began
with a masterful career of triumph over earlier and cruder methods, but
has now for several centuries been giving way before a more potent and
satisfactory method. And just as the merest glance at the history of
Europe shows us Germanic peoples wresting the supremacy from Rome, so in
this deeper study we shall discover a grand and far-reaching Teutonic
Idea of political life overthrowing and supplanting the Roman Idea. Our
attention will be drawn toward England as the battle-ground and the
seventeenth century as the critical moment of the struggle; we shall see
in Puritanism the tremendous militant force that determined the issue;
and when our perspective has thus become properly adjusted, we shall
begin to realize for the first time how truly wonderful was the age that
witnessed the Beginnings of New England. We have long had before our
minds the colossal figure of Roman Julius as "the foremost man of all
this world," but as the seventeenth century recedes into the past
the figure of English Oliver begins to loom up as perhaps even more
colossal. In order to see these world-events in their true perspective,
and to make perfectly clear the manner in which we are to estimate them,
we must go a long distance away from them. We must even go back, as
nearly as may be, to the beginning of things. [Sidenote: Gradual
shifting of primacy from the men who spoke Latin, and their descendants,
to the men who speak English]

If we look back for a moment to the primitive stages of society, we may
picture to ourselves the surface of the earth sparsely and scantily
covered with wandering tribes of savages, rude in morals and manners,
narrow and monotonous in experience, sustaining life very much as lower
animals sustain it, by gathering wild fruits or slaying wild game, and
waging chronic warfare alike with powerful beasts and with rival tribes
of men. [Sidenote: Political history is the history of nation-making]

In the widest sense the subject of political history is the description
of the processes by which, under favourable circumstances, innumerable
such primitive tribes have become welded together into mighty nations,
with elevated standards of morals and manners, with wide and varied
experience, sustaining life and ministering to human happiness by
elaborate arts and sciences, and putting a curb upon warfare by limiting
its scope, diminishing its cruelty, and interrupting it by intervals of
peace. The story, as laid before us in the records of three thousand
years, is fascinating and absorbing in its human interest for those who
content themselves with the study of its countless personal incidents,
and neglect its profound philosophical lessons. But for those who study
it in the scientific spirit, the human interest of its details becomes
still more intensely fascinating and absorbing. Battles and coronations,
poems and inventions, migrations and martyrdoms, acquire new meanings
and awaken new emotions as we begin to discern their bearings upon the
solemn work of ages that is slowly winning for humanity a richer and
more perfect life. By such meditation upon men's thoughts and deeds is
the understanding purified, till we become better able to comprehend our
relations to the world and the duty that lies upon each of us to shape
his conduct rightly.

In the welding together of primitive shifting tribes into stable and
powerful nations, we can seem to discern three different methods that
have been followed at different times and places, with widely different
results. In all cases the fusion has been effected by war, but it has
gone on in three broadly contrasted ways. The first of these methods,
which has been followed from time immemorial in the Oriental world, may
be roughly described as _conquest without incorporation._ A tribe grows
to national dimensions by conquering and annexing its neighbours,
without admitting them to a share in its political life. Probably there
is always at first some incorporation, or even perhaps some crude germ
of federative alliance; but this goes very little way,--only far enough
to fuse together a few closely related tribes, agreeing in speech and
habits, into a single great tribe that can overwhelm its neighbours. In
early society this sort of incorporation cannot go far without being
stopped by some impassable barrier of language or religion. After
reaching that point, the conquering tribe simply annexes its neighbours
and makes them its slaves. It becomes a superior caste, ruling over
vanquished peoples, whom it oppresses with frightful cruelty, while
living on the fruits of their toil in what has been aptly termed
Oriental luxury. Such has been the origin of many eastern despotisms, in
the valleys of the Nile and Euphrates, and elsewhere. Such a political
structure admits of a very considerable development of material
civilization, in which gorgeous palaces and artistic temples may be
built, and perhaps even literature and scholarship rewarded, with money
wrung from millions of toiling wretches. There is that sort of brutal
strength in it, that it may endure for many long ages, until it comes
into collision with some higher civilization. Then it is likely to end
in sudden collapse, because the fighting quality of the people has
been destroyed. Populations that have lived for centuries in fear of
impalement or crucifixion, and have known no other destination for
the products of their labour than the clutches of the omnipresent
tax-gatherer, are not likely to furnish good soldiers. A handful of
freemen will scatter them like sheep, as the Greeks did twenty-three
centuries ago at Kynaxa, as the English did the other day at Tel
el-Kebir. On the other hand, where the manliness of the vanquished
people is not crushed, the sway of the conquerors who cannot enter into
political union with them is likely to be cast off, as in the case of
the Moors in Spain. There was a civilization in many respects admirable.
It was eminent for industry, science, art, and poetry; its annals are
full of romantic interest; it was in some respects superior to the
Christian system which supplanted it; in many ways it contributed
largely to the progress of the human race; and it was free from some
of the worst vices of Oriental civilizations. Yet because of the
fundamental defect that between the Christian Spaniard and his
Mussulman conqueror there could be no political fusion, this brilliant
civilization was doomed. During eight centuries of more or less
extensive rule in the Spanish peninsula, the Moor was from first to last
an alien, just as after four centuries the Turk is still an alien in
the Balkan peninsula. The natural result was a struggle that lasted
age after age till it ended in the utter extermination of one of the
parties, and left behind it a legacy of hatred and persecution that has
made the history of modern Spain a dismal record of shame and disaster.
[Sidenote: The Oriental method of nation-making]

In this first method of nation-making, then, which we may call the
Oriental method, one now sees but little to commend. It was better than
savagery, and for a long time no more efficient method was possible,
but the leading peoples of the world have long since outgrown it; and
although the resulting form of political government is the oldest we
know and is not yet extinct, it nevertheless has not the elements
of permanence. Sooner or later it will disappear, as savagery is
disappearing, as the rudest types of inchoate human society have

The second method by which nations have been made may be called
the Roman method; and we may briefly describe it as _conquest with
incorporation, but without representation_. The secret of Rome's
wonderful strength lay in the fact that she incorporated the vanquished
peoples into her own body politic. In the early time there was a fusion
of tribes going on in Latium, which, if it had gone no further, would
have been similar to the early fusion of Ionic tribes in Attika or of
Iranian tribes in Media. But whereas everywhere else this political
fusion soon stopped, in the Roman world it went on. One after another
Italian tribes and Italian towns were not merely overcome but admitted
to a share in the political rights and privileges of the victors. By the
time this had gone on until the whole Italian peninsula was consolidated
under the headship of Rome, the result was a power incomparably greater
than any other that the world had yet seen. Never before had so many
people been brought under one government without making slaves of most
of them. Liberty had existed before, whether in barbaric tribes or
in Greek cities. Union had existed before, in Assyrian or Persian
despotisms. Now liberty and union were for the first time joined
together, with consequences enduring and stupendous. The whole
Mediterranean world was brought under one government; ancient barriers
of religion, speech, and custom were overthrown in every direction; and
innumerable barbarian tribes, from the Alps to the wilds of northern
Britain, from the Bay of Biscay to the Carpathian mountains, were more
or less completely transformed into Roman citizens, protected by Roman
law, and sharing in the material and spiritual benefits of Roman
civilization. Gradually the whole vast structure became permeated by
Hellenic and Jewish thought, and thus were laid the lasting foundations
of modern society, of a common Christendom, furnished with a common
stock of ideas concerning man's relation to God and the world, and
acknowledging a common standard of right and wrong. This was a
prodigious work, which raised human life to a much higher plane than
that which it had formerly occupied, and endless gratitude is due to the
thousands of steadfast men who in one way or another devoted their lives
to its accomplishment. [Sidenote: The Roman method of nation-making]

This Roman method of nation-making had nevertheless its fatal
shortcomings, and it was only very slowly, moreover, that it wrought
out its own best results. It was but gradually that the rights and
privileges of Roman citizenship were extended over the whole Roman
world, and in the mean time there were numerous instances where
conquered provinces seemed destined to no better fate than had awaited
the victims of Egyptian or Assyrian conquest. The rapacity and cruelty
of Caius Verres could hardly have been outdone by the worst of Persian
satraps; but there was a difference. A moral sense and political sense
had been awakened which could see both the wickedness and the folly of
such conduct. The voice of a Cicero sounded with trumpet tones against
the oppressor, who was brought to trial and exiled for deeds which under
the Oriental system, from the days of Artaxerxes to those of the Grand
Turk, would scarcely have called forth a reproving word. It was by slow
degrees that the Roman came to understand the virtues of his own method,
and learned to apply it consistently until the people of all parts of
the empire were, in theory at least, equal before the law. In theory, I
say, for in point of fact there was enough of viciousness in the Roman
system to prevent it from achieving permanent success. Historians have
been fond of showing how the vitality of the whole system was impaired
by wholesale slave-labour, by the false political economy which taxes
all for the benefit of a few, by the debauching view of civil office
which regards it as private perquisite and not as public trust,
and--worst of all, perhaps--by the communistic practice of feeding an
idle proletariat out of the imperial treasury. The names of these deadly
social evils are not unfamiliar to American ears. Even of the last we
have heard ominous whispers in the shape of bills to promote mendicancy
under the specious guise of fostering education or rewarding military
services. And is it not a striking illustration of the slowness with
which mankind learns the plainest rudiments of wisdom and of justice,
that only in the full light of the nineteenth century, and at the cost
of a terrible war, should the most intelligent people on earth have got
rid of a system of labour devised in the crudest ages of antiquity and
fraught with misery to the employed, degradation to the employers, and
loss to everybody? [Sidenote: Its slow development]

These evils, we see, in one shape or another, have existed almost
everywhere; and the vice of the Roman system did not consist in the fact
that under it they were fully developed, but in the fact that it had no
adequate means of overcoming them. Unless helped by something supplied
from outside the Roman world, civilization must have succumbed to these
evils, the progress of mankind must have been stopped. What was needed
was the introduction of a fierce spirit of personal liberty and local
self-government. The essential vice of the Roman system was that it had
been unable to avoid weakening the spirit of personal independence and
crushing out local self-government among the peoples to whom it had been
applied. It owed its wonderful success to joining Liberty with Union,
but as it went on it found itself compelled gradually to sacrifice
Liberty to Union, strengthening the hands of the central government and
enlarging its functions more and more, until by and by the political
life of the several parts had so far died away that, under the pressure
of attack from without, the Union fell to pieces and the whole political
system had to be slowly and painfully reconstructed.

Now if we ask why the Roman government found itself thus obliged to
sacrifice personal liberty and local independence to the paramount
necessity of holding the empire together, the answer will point us to
the essential and fundamental vice of the Roman method of nation-making.
It lacked the principle of representation. The old Roman world knew
nothing of representative assemblies. [Sidenote: It knew nothing of

Its senates were assemblies of notables, constituting in the main an
aristocracy of men who had held high office; its popular assemblies were
primary assemblies,--town-meetings. There was no notion of such a thing
as political power delegated by the people to representatives who were
to wield it away from home and out of sight of their constituents. The
Roman's only notion of delegated power was that of authority delegated
by the government to its generals and prefects who discharged at a
distance its military and civil functions. When, therefore, the Roman
popular government, originally adapted to a single city, had come
to extend itself over a large part of the world, it lacked the one
institution by means of which government could be carried on over
so vast an area without degenerating into despotism. [Sidenote: And
therefore ended in despotism]

Even could the device of representation have occurred to the mind of
some statesman trained in Roman methods, it would probably have made no
difference. Nobody would have known how to use it. You cannot invent
an institution as you would invent a plough. Such a notion as that of
representative government must needs start from small beginnings and
grow in men's minds until it should become part and parcel of their
mental habits. For the want of it the home government at Rome became
more and more unmanageable until it fell into the hands of the army,
while at the same time the administration of the empire became more and
more centralized; the people of its various provinces, even while their
social condition was in some respects improved, had less and less
voice in the management of their local affairs, and thus the spirit of
personal independence was gradually weakened. This centralization was
greatly intensified by the perpetual danger of invasion on the northern
and eastern frontiers, all the way from the Rhine to the Euphrates.
Do what it would, the government must become more and more a military
despotism, must revert toward the Oriental type. The period extending
from the third century before Christ to the third century after was a
period of extraordinary intellectual expansion and moral awakening; but
when we observe the governmental changes introduced under the emperor
Diocletian at the very end of this period, we realize how serious had
been the political retrogression, how grave the danger that the stream
of human life might come to stagnate in Europe, as it had long since
stagnated in Asia.

Two mighty agents, cooperating in their opposite ways to prevent any
such disaster, were already entering upon the scene. The first was the
colonization of the empire by Germanic tribes already far advanced
beyond savagery, already somewhat tinctured with Roman civilization, yet
at the same time endowed with an intense spirit of personal and local
independence. With this wholesome spirit they were about to refresh and
revivify the empire, but at the risk of undoing its work of political
organization and reducing it to barbarism. The second was the
establishment of the Roman church, an institution capable of holding
European society together in spite of a political disintegration that
was widespread and long-continued. While wave after wave of Germanic
colonization poured over romanized Europe, breaking down old
boundary-lines and working sudden and astonishing changes on the map,
setting up in every quarter baronies, dukedoms, and kingdoms fermenting
with vigorous political life; while for twenty generations this salutary
but wild and dangerous work was going on, there was never a moment when
the imperial sway of Rome was quite set aside and forgotten, there was
never a time when union of some sort was not maintained through the
dominion which the church had established over the European mind. When
we duly consider this great fact in its relations to what went before
and what came after, it is hard to find words fit to express the debt of
gratitude which modern civilization owes to the Roman Catholic church.
When we think of all the work, big with promise of the future, that went
on in those centuries which modern writers in their ignorance used once
to set apart and stigmatize as the "Dark Ages"; when we consider how the
seeds of what is noblest in modern life were then painfully sown upon
the soil which imperial Rome had prepared; when we think of the various
work of a Gregory, a Benedict, a Boniface, an Alfred, a Charlemagne; we
feel that there is a sense in which the most brilliant achievements
of pagan antiquity are dwarfed in comparison with these. Until quite
lately, indeed, the student of history has had his attention too
narrowly confined to the ages that have been preeminent for literature
and art--the so-called classical ages--and thus his sense of historical
perspective has been impaired. When Mr. Freeman uses Gregory of Tours as
a text-book, he shows that he realizes how an epoch may be none the less
portentous though it has not had a Tacitus to describe it, and certainly
no part of history is more full of human interest than the troubled
period in which the powerful streams of Teutonic life pouring into Roman
Europe were curbed in their destructiveness and guided to noble ends by
the Catholic church. Out of the interaction between these two mighty
agents has come the political system of the modern world. The moment
when this interaction might have seemed on the point of reaching a
complete and harmonious result was the glorious thirteenth century, the
culminating moment of the Holy Roman Empire. Then, as in the times of
Caesar or Trajan, there might have seemed to be a union among civilized
men, in which the separate life of individuals and localities was not
submerged. In that golden age alike of feudal system, of empire, and of
church, there were to be seen the greatest monarchs, in fullest sympathy
with their peoples, that Christendom has known,--an Edward I., a St.
Louis, a Frederick II. Then when in the pontificates of Innocent III.
and his successors the Roman church reached its apogee, the religious
yearnings of men sought expression in the sublimest architecture the
world has seen. Then Aquinas summed up in his profound speculations the
substance of Catholic theology, and while the morning twilight of modern
science might be discerned in the treatises of Roger Bacon, while
wandering minstrelsy revealed the treasures of modern speech, soon to
be wrought under the hands of Dante and Chaucer into forms of exquisite
beauty, the sacred fervour of the apostolic ages found itself renewed in
the tender and mystic piety of St. Francis of Assisi. It was a wonderful
time, but after all less memorable as the culmination of mediaeval
empire and mediaeval church than as the dawning of the new era in which
we live to-day, and in which the development of human society proceeds
in accordance with more potent methods than those devised by the genius
of pagan or Christian Rome. [Sidenote: The German invaders and the Roman
church] [Sidenote: The wonderful thirteenth century]

For the origin of these more potent methods we must look back to the
early ages of the Teutonic people; for their development and application
on a grand scale we must look chiefly to the history of that most
Teutonic of peoples in its institutions, though perhaps not more than
half-Teutonic in blood, the English, with their descendants in the New
World. The third method of nation-making may be called the Teutonic or
preeminently the English method. It differs from the Oriental and Roman
methods which we have been considering in a feature of most profound
significance; it contains the principle of representation. For this
reason, though like all nation-making it was in its early stages
attended with war and conquest, it nevertheless does not necessarily
require war and conquest in order to be put into operation. Of the other
two methods war was an essential part. In the typical Oriental nation,
such as Assyria or Persia, we see a conquering tribe holding down a
number of vanquished peoples, and treating them like slaves: here the
nation is very imperfectly made, and its government is subject to sudden
and violent changes. In the Roman empire we see a conquering people hold
sway over a number of vanquished peoples, but instead of treating them
like slaves, it gradually makes them its equals before the law; here
the resulting political body is much more nearly a nation, and its
government is much more stable. A Lydian of the fifth century before
Christ felt no sense of allegiance to the Persian master who simply
robbed and abused him; but the Gaul of the fifth century after Christ
was proud of the name of Roman and ready to fight for the empire of
which he was a citizen. We have seen, nevertheless, that for want of
representation the Roman method failed when applied to an immense
territory, and the government tended to become more and more despotic,
to revert toward the Oriental type. Now of the English or Teutonic
method, I say, war is not an essential part; for where representative
government is once established, it is possible for a great nation to be
formed by the peaceful coalescence of neighbouring states, or by their
union into a federal body. An instance of the former was the coalescence
of England and Scotland effected early in the eighteenth century
after ages of mutual hostility; for instances of the latter we have
Switzerland and the United States. Now federalism, though its rise
and establishment may be incidentally accompanied by warfare, is
nevertheless in spirit pacific. Conquest in the Oriental sense is quite
incompatible with it; conquest in the Roman sense is hardly less so. At
the close of our Civil War there were now and then zealous people to
be found who thought that the southern states ought to be treated as
conquered territory, governed by prefects sent from Washington, and held
down by military force for a generation or so. Let us hope that there
are few to-day who can fail to see that such a course would have been
fraught with almost as much danger as the secession movement itself.
At least it would have been a hasty confession, quite uncalled for
and quite untrue, that American federalism had thus far proved itself
incompetent,--that we had indeed preserved our national unity, but only
at the frightful cost of sinking to a lower plane of national life.
[Sidenote: The English method of nation-making] [Sidenote: Pacific
tendencies of federalism]

But federalism, with its pacific implications, was not an invention of
the Teutonic mind. The idea was familiar to the city communities of
ancient Greece, which, along with their intense love of self-government,
felt the need of combined action for warding off external attack. In
their Achaian and Aitolian leagues the Greeks made brilliant attempts
toward founding a nation upon some higher principle than that of mere
conquest, and the history of these attempts is exceedingly
interesting and instructive. They failed for lack of the principle
of representation, which was practically unknown to the world until
introduced by the Teutonic colonizers of the Roman empire. Until the
idea of power delegated by the people had become familiar to men's minds
in its practical bearings, it was impossible to create a great nation
without crushing out the political life in some of its parts. Some
centre of power was sure to absorb all the political life, and grow at
the expense of the outlying parts, until the result was a centralized
despotism. Hence it came to be one of the commonplace assumptions of
political writers that republics must be small, that free government
is practicable only in a confined area, and that the only strong and
durable government, capable of maintaining order throughout a vast
territory, is some form of absolute monarchy. [Sidenote: Fallacy of the
notion that republics must be small]

It was quite natural that people should formerly have held this opinion,
and it is indeed not yet quite obsolete, but its fallaciousness will
become more and more apparent as American history is better understood.
Our experience has now so far widened that we can see that despotism
is not the strongest but wellnigh the weakest form of government; that
centralized administrations, like that of the Roman empire, have fallen
to pieces, not because of too much but because of too little freedom;
and that the only perdurable government must be that which succeeds in
achieving national unity on a grand scale, without weakening the sense
of personal and local independence. For in the body politic this spirit
of freedom is as the red corpuscles in the blood; it carries the life
with it. It makes the difference between a society of self-respecting
men and women and a society of puppets.

Your nation may have art, poetry, and science, all the refinements of
civilized life, all the comforts and safeguards that human ingenuity can
devise; but if it lose this spirit of personal and local independence,
it is doomed and deserves its doom. As President Cleveland has well
said, it is not the business of a government to support its people, but
of the people to support their government; and once to lose sight
of this vital truth is as dangerous as to trifle with some stealthy
narcotic poison. Of the two opposite perils which have perpetually
threatened the welfare of political society--anarchy on the one hand,
loss of self-government on the other--Jefferson was right in maintaining
that the latter is really the more to be dreaded because its beginnings
are so terribly insidious. Many will understand what is meant by a
threat of secession, where few take heed of the baneful principle
involved in a Texas Seed-bill.

That the American people are still fairly alive to the importance of
these considerations, is due to the weary ages of struggle in which our
forefathers have manfully contended for the right of self-government.
From the days of Arminius and Civilis in the wilds of lower Germany to
the days of Franklin and Jefferson in Independence Hall, we have been
engaged in this struggle, not without some toughening of our political
fibre, not without some refining of our moral sense. Not among our
English forefathers only, but among all the peoples of mediaeval and
modern Europe has the struggle gone on, with various and instructive
results. In all parts of romanized Europe invaded and colonized by
Teutonic tribes, self-government attempted to spring up. What may have
been the origin of the idea of representation we do not know; like most
origins, it seems lost in the prehistoric darkness. Wherever we find
Teutonic tribes settling down over a wide area, we find them holding
their primary assemblies, usually their annual March-meetings, like
those in which Mr. Hosea Biglow and others like him have figured.
Everywhere, too, we find some attempt at representative assemblies,
based on the principle of the three estates, clergy, nobles, and
commons. But nowhere save in England does the representative principle
become firmly established, at first in county-meetings, afterward in a
national parliament limiting the powers of the national monarch as the
primary tribal assembly had limited the powers of the tribal chief. It
is for this reason that we must call the method of nation-making by
means of a representative assembly the English method. While the idea of
representation was perhaps the common property of the Teutonic tribes,
it was only in England that it was successfully put into practice and
became the dominant political idea. We may therefore agree with Dr.
Stubbs that in its political development England is the most Teutonic of
all European countries,--the country which in becoming a great nation
has most fully preserved the local independence so characteristic of the
ancient Germans. The reasons for this are complicated, and to try to
assign them all would needlessly encumber our exposition. But there is
one that is apparent and extremely instructive. There is sometimes a
great advantage in being able to plant political institutions in a
virgin soil, where they run no risk of being modified or perhaps
metamorphosed through contact with rival institutions. In America the
Teutonic idea has been worked out even more completely than in Britain;
and so far as institutions are concerned, our English forefathers
settled here as in an empty country. They were not obliged to modify
their political ideas so as to bring them into harmony with those of the
Indians; the disparity in civilization was so great that the Indians
were simply thrust aside, along with the wolves and buffaloes.
[Sidenote: Teutonic March-meetings and representative assemblies]

This illustration will help us to understand the peculiar features of
the Teutonic settlement of Britain. Whether the English invaders really
slew all the romanized Kelts who dwelt in the island, except those who
found refuge in the mountains of Cumberland, Wales, and Cornwall, or
fled across the channel to Brittany, we need not seek to decide. It
is enough to point out one respect in which the Teutonic conquest was
immeasurably more complete in Britain than in any other part of the
empire. Everywhere else the tribes who settled upon Roman soil--the
Goths, Vandals, Suevi, and Burgundians--were christianized, and so to
some extent romanized, before they came to take possession. Even the
more distant Franks had been converted to Christianity before they
had completed their conquest of Gaul. Everywhere except in Britain,
therefore, the conquerors had already imbibed Roman ideas, and the
authority of Rome was in a certain sense acknowledged. There was no
break in the continuity of political events. In Britain, on the other
hand, there was a complete break, so that while on the continent the
fifth and sixth centuries are seen in the full midday light of history,
in Britain they have lapsed into the twilight of half-legendary
tradition. The Saxon and English tribes, coming from the remote wilds
of northern Germany, whither Roman missionaries had not yet penetrated,
still worshipped Thor and Wodan; and their conquest of Britain was
effected with such deadly thoroughness that Christianity was destroyed
there, or lingered only in sequestered nooks. A land once christianized
thus actually fell back into paganism, so that the work of converting it
to Christianity had to be done over again. From the landing of heathen
Hengest on the isle of Thanet to the landing of Augustine and his monks
on the same spot, one hundred and forty-eight years elapsed, during
which English institutions found time to take deep root in British
soil with scarcely more interference, as to essential points, than in
American soil twelve centuries afterward. [Sidenote: Peculiarity of the
Teutonic conquest of Britain]

The century and a half between 449 and 597 is therefore one of the most
important epochs in the history of the people that speak the English
language. Before settling in Britain our forefathers had been tribes in
the upper stages of barbarism; now they began the process of coalescence
into a nation in which the principle of self-government should be
retained and developed. The township and its town-meeting we find there,
as later in New England. The county-meeting we also find, while the
county is a little state in itself and not a mere administrative
district. And in this county-meeting we may observe a singular feature,
something never seen before in the world, something destined to work
out vaster political results than Caesar ever dreamed of. This
county-meeting is not a primary assembly; all the freemen from all the
townships cannot leave their homes and their daily business to attend
it. Nor is it merely an assembly of notables, attended by the most
important men of the neighbourhood. It is a representative assembly,
attended by select men from each township. We may see in it the germ of
the British parliament and of the American congress, as indeed of all
modern legislative bodies, for it is a most suggestive commentary upon
what we are saying that in all other countries which have legislatures,
they have been copied, within quite recent times, from English or
American models. We can seldom if ever fix a date for the beginning
of anything, and we can by no means fix a date for the beginning of
representative assemblies in England. We can only say that where
we first find traces of county organization, we find traces of
representation. Clearly, if the English conquerors of Britain had left
the framework of Roman institutions standing there, as it remained
standing in Gaul, there would have been great danger of this principle
of representation not surviving. It would most likely have been crushed
in its callow infancy. The conquerors would insensibly have fallen into
the Roman way of doing things, as they did in Gaul. [Sidenote: Survival
and development of Teutonic representative assembly in England]

From the start, then, we find the English nationality growing up under
very different conditions from those which obtained in other parts
of Europe. So far as institutions are concerned, Teutonism was less
modified in England than in the German fatherland itself, For the
gradual conquest and Christianization of Germany which began with
Charles the Great, and went on until in the thirteenth century the
frontier had advanced eastward to the Vistula, entailed to a certain
extent the romanization of Germany. For a thousand years after Charles
the Great, the political head of Germany was also the political head
of the Holy Roman Empire, and the civil and criminal code by which the
daily life of the modern German citizen is regulated is based upon the
jurisprudence of Rome. Nothing, perhaps, could illustrate more forcibly
than this sheer contrast the peculiarly Teutonic character of English
civilization. Between the eighth and the eleventh centuries, when the
formation of English nationality was approaching completion, it received
a fresh and powerful infusion of Teutonism in the swarms of heathen
Northmen or Danes who occupied the eastern coasts, struggled long for
the supremacy, and gradually becoming christianized, for a moment
succeeded in seizing the crown. Of the invasion of partially romanized
Northmen from Normandy which followed soon after, and which has so
profoundly affected English society and English speech, we need notice
here but two conspicuous features. First, it increased the power of the
crown and the clergy, brought all England more than ever under one law,
and strengthened the feeling of nationality. It thus made England a
formidable military power, while at the same time it brought her into
closer relations with continental Europe than she had held since the
fourth century. Secondly, by superposing a new feudal nobility as the
upper stratum of society, it transformed the Old-English thanehood into
the finest middle-class of rural gentry and yeomanry that has ever
existed in any country; a point of especial interest to Americans, since
it was in this stratum of society that the two most powerful streams of
English migration to America--the Virginia stream and the New
England stream--alike had their source. [Sidenote: Primitive Teutonic
institutions less modified in England than in Germany]

By the thirteenth century the increasing power and pretensions of the
crown, as the unification of English nationality went on, brought about
a result unlike anything known on the continent of Europe; it brought
about a resistless coalition between the great nobles, the rural gentry
and yeomanry, and the burghers of the towns, for the purpose of curbing
royalty, arresting the progress of centralization, and setting up
representative government on a truly national scale. This grand result
was partly due to peculiar circumstances which had their origin in
the Norman conquest; but it was largely due to the political habits
generated by long experience of local representative assemblies,--habits
which made it comparatively easy for different classes of society to
find their voice and use it for the attainment of ends in common. On the
continent of Europe the encroaching sovereign had to contend with
here and there an arrogant vassal, here and there a high-spirited and
rebellious town; in England, in this first great crisis of popular
government, he found himself confronted by a united people. The fruits
of the grand combination were _first_, the wresting of Magna Charta from
King John in 1215, and _secondly_, the meeting of the first House of
Commons in 1265. Four years of civil war were required to secure these
noble results. The Barons' War, of the years 1263 to 1267, was an
event of the same order of importance as the Great Rebellion of the
seventeenth century and the American Revolution; and among the
founders of that political freedom which is enjoyed to-day by all
English-speaking people, the name of Simon de Montfort, Earl of
Leicester, deserves a place in our grateful remembrance beside the names
of Cromwell and Washington. Simon's great victory at Lewes in 1264 must
rank with Naseby and Yorktown. The work begun by his House of Commons
was the same work that has continued to go on without essential
interruption down to the days of Cleveland and Gladstone. The
fundamental principle of political freedom is "no taxation without
representation"; you must not take a farthing of my money without
consulting my wishes as to the use that shall be made of it. Only
when this principle of justice was first practically recognized, did
government begin to divorce itself from the primitive bestial barbaric
system of tyranny and plunder, and to ally itself with the forces that
in the fulness of time are to bring peace on earth and good will to
men. Of all dates in history, therefore, there is none more fit to be
commemorated than 1265; for in that year there was first asserted and
applied at Westminster, on a national scale, that fundamental principle
of "no taxation without representation," that innermost kernel of the
English Idea, which the Stamp Act Congress defended at New York exactly
five hundred years afterward. When we think of these dates, by the way,
we realize the import of the saying that in the sight of the Lord a
thousand years are but as a day, and we feel that the work of the Lord
cannot be done by the listless or the slothful. So much time and so much
strife by sea and land has it taken to secure beyond peradventure the
boon to mankind for which Earl Simon gave up his noble life on the field
of Evesham! Nor without unremitting watchfulness can we be sure that the
day of peril is yet past. From kings, indeed, we have no more to fear;
they have come to be as spooks and bogies of the nursery. But the
gravest dangers are those which present themselves in new forms, against
which people's minds have not yet been fortified with traditional
sentiments and phrases. The inherited predatory tendency of men to seize
upon the fruits of other people's labour is still very strong, and while
we have nothing more to fear from kings, we may yet have trouble enough
from commercial monopolies and favoured industries, marching to the
polls their hordes of bribed retainers. Well indeed has it been said
that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. God never meant that in
this fair but treacherous world in which He has placed us we should earn
our salvation without steadfast labour. [Eternal vigilance is the price
of liberty]

To return to Earl Simon, we see that it was just in that wonderful
thirteenth century, when the Roman idea of government might seem to
have been attaining its richest and most fruitful development, that the
richer and more fruitful English idea first became incarnate in the
political constitution of a great and rapidly growing nation. It was not
long before the struggle between the Roman Idea and the English Idea,
clothed in various forms, became the dominating issue in European
history. We have now to observe the rise of modern nationalities, as new
centres of political life, out of the various provinces of the Roman
world. In the course of this development the Teutonic representative
assembly is at first everywhere discernible, in some form or other,
as in the Spanish Cortes or the States-General of France, but on the
continent it generally dies out. Only in such nooks as Switzerland and
the Netherlands does it survive. In the great nations it succumbs before
the encroachments of the crown. The comparatively novel Teutonic idea of
power delegated by the people to their representatives had not become
deeply enough rooted in the political soil of the continent; and
accordingly we find it more and more disused and at length almost
forgotten, while the old and deeply rooted Roman idea of power delegated
by the governing body to its lieutenants and prefects usurps its place.
Let us observe some of the most striking features of this growth of
modern nationalities. [Sidenote: Conflict between Roman Idea and English
Idea begins to become clearly visible in the thirteenth century]

The reader of medieval history cannot fail to be impressed with the
suddenness with which the culmination of the Holy Roman Empire, in
the thirteenth century, was followed by a swift decline. The imperial
position of the Hapsburgs was far less splendid than that of the
Hohenstauffen; it rapidly became more German and less European, until
by and by people began to forget what the empire originally meant.
The change which came over the papacy was even more remarkable. The
grandchildren of the men who had witnessed the spectacle of a king of
France and a king of England humbled at the feet of Innocent III., the
children of the men who had found the gigantic powers of a Frederick II.
unequal to the task of curbing the papacy, now beheld the successors of
St. Peter carried away to Avignon, there to be kept for seventy years
under the supervision of the kings of France. Henceforth the glory of
the papacy in its political aspect was to be but the faint shadow of
that with which it had shone before. This sudden change in its position
showed that the medieval dream of a world-empire was passing away,
and that new powers were coming uppermost in the shape of modern
nationalities with their national sovereigns. So long as these
nationalities were in the weakness of their early formation, it was
possible for pope and emperor to assert, and sometimes to come near
maintaining, universal supremacy. But the time was now at hand when
kings could assert their independence of the pope, while the emperor was
fast sinking to be merely one among kings.

As modern kingdoms thus grew at the expense of empire and papacy above,
so they also grew at the expense of feudal dukedoms, earldoms, and
baronies below. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were as fatal
to feudalism as to world-empire and world-church. A series of wars
occurring at this time were especially remarkable for the wholesale
slaughter of the feudal nobility, whether on the field or under the
headsman's axe. This was a conspicuous feature of the feuds of the
Trastamare in Spain, of the English invasions of France, followed by the
quarrel between Burgundians and Armagnacs, and of the great war of the
Roses in England. So thorough-going was the butchery in England, for
example, that only twenty-nine lay peers could be found to sit in the
first parliament of Henry VII in 1485. The old nobility was almost
annihilated, both in person and in property; for along with the
slaughter there went wholesale confiscation, and this added greatly to
the disposable wealth of the crown. The case was essentially similar in
France and Spain. In all three countries the beginning of the sixteenth
century saw the power of the crown increased and increasing. Its vast
accessions of wealth made it more independent of legislative assemblies,
and at the same time enabled it to make the baronage more subservient in
character by filling up the vacant places with new creations of its own.
Through the turbulent history of the next two centuries, we see the
royal power aiming at unchecked supremacy and in the principal instances
attaining it except in England. Absolute despotism was reached first in
Spain, under Philip II.; in France it was reached a century later, under
Louis XIV.; and at about the same time in the hereditary estates of
Austria; while over all the Italian and German soil of the disorganized
empire, except among the glaciers of Switzerland and the dykes of the
Netherlands, the play of political forces had set up a host of petty
tyrannies which aped the morals and manners of the great autocrats at
Paris and Madrid and Vienna. [Sidenote: Increasing power of the crown]

As we look back over this growth of modern monarchy, we cannot but
be struck with the immense practical difficulty of creating a strong
nationality without sacrificing self-government. Powerful, indeed, is
the tendency toward over-centralization, toward stagnation, toward
political death. Powerful is the tendency to revert to the Roman, if not
to the Oriental method. As often as we reflect upon the general state of
things at the end of the seventeenth century--the dreadful ignorance and
misery which prevailed among most of the people of continental Europe,
and apparently without hope of remedy--so often must we be impressed
anew with the stupendous significance of the part played by
self-governing England in overcoming dangers which have threatened the
very existence of modern civilization. It is not too much to say that
in the seventeenth century the entire political future of mankind was
staked upon the questions that were at issue in England. To keep the
sacred flame of liberty alive required such a rare and wonderful
concurrence of conditions that, had our forefathers then succumbed in
the strife, it is hard to imagine how or where the failure could have
been repaired. Some of these conditions we have already considered; let
us now observe one of the most important of all. Let us note the part
played by that most tremendous of social forces, religious sentiment,
in its relation to the political circumstances which we have passed
in review. If we ask why it was that among modern nations absolute
despotism was soonest and most completely established in Spain, we find
it instructive to observe that the circumstances under which the
Spanish monarchy grew up, during centuries of deadly struggle with the
Mussulman, were such as to enlist the religious sentiment on the side of
despotic methods in church and state. It becomes interesting, then, to
observe by contrast how it was that in England the dominant religious
sentiment came to be enlisted on the side of political freedom.
[Illustration: Had it not been for the Puritans, political liberty would
probably have disappeared from the world]

In such an inquiry we have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of
any system of doctrines, whether Catholic or Protestant. The legitimate
purposes of the historian do not require him to intrude upon the
province of the theologian. Our business is to trace the sequence of
political cause and effect. Nor shall we get much help from crude
sweeping statements which set forth Catholicism as invariably the enemy
and Protestantism as invariably the ally of human liberty. The Catholic
has a right to be offended at statements which would involve a
Hildebrand or a St. Francis in the same historical judgment with a
Sigismund or a Torquemada. The character of ecclesiastical as of all
other institutions has varied with the character of the men who have
worked them and the varying needs of the times and places in which they
have been worked; and our intense feeling of the gratitude we owe to
English Puritanism need in nowise diminish the enthusiasm with which we
praise the glorious work of the mediaeval church. It is the duty of
the historian to learn how to limit and qualify his words of blame or
approval; for so curiously is human nature compounded of strength and
weakness that the best of human institutions are likely to be infected
with some germs of vice or folly. [Sidenote: Beginnings of Protestantism
in the thirteenth century]

Of no human institution is this more true than of the great medieval
church of Gregory and Innocent when viewed in the light of its claims
to unlimited temporal and spiritual sovereignty. In striking down the
headship of the emperors, it would have reduced Europe to a sort of
Oriental caliphate, had it not been checked by the rising spirit of
nationality already referred to. But there was another and even mightier
agency coming in to curb its undue pretensions to absolute sovereignty.
That same thirteenth century which witnessed the culmination of its
power witnessed also the first bold and determined manifestation of the
Protestant temper of revolt against spiritual despotism. It was long
before this that the earliest Protestant heresy had percolated into
Europe, having its source, like so many other heresies, in that eastern
world where the stimulating thought of the Greeks busied itself with the
ancient theologies of Asia. From Armenia in the eighth century came the
Manichaean sect of Paulicians into Thrace, and for twenty generations
played a considerable part in the history of the Eastern Empire. In the
Bulgarian tongue they were known as Bogomilians, or men constant in
prayer. In Greek they were called Cathari, or "Puritans." They accepted
the New Testament, but set little store by the Old; they laughed at
transubstantiation, denied any mystical efficiency to baptism, frowned
upon image-worship as no better than idolatry, despised the intercession
of saints, and condemned the worship of the Virgin Mary. As for the
symbol of the cross, they scornfully asked, "If any man slew the son of
a king with a bit of wood, how could this piece of wood be dear to the
king?" Their ecclesiastical government was in the main presbyterian, and
in politics they showed a decided leaning toward democracy. They wore
long faces, looked askance at frivolous amusements, and were terribly in
earnest. Of the more obscure pages of mediaeval history, none are fuller
of interest than those in which we decipher the westward progress of
these sturdy heretics through the Balkan peninsula into Italy, and
thence into southern France, where toward the end of the twelfth century
we find their ideas coming to full blossom in the great Albigensian
heresy. It was no light affair to assault the church in the days of
Innocent III. The terrible crusade against the Albigenses, beginning in
1207, was the joint work of the most powerful of popes and one of the
most powerful of French kings. On the part of Innocent it was the
stamping out of a revolt that threatened the very existence of
the Catholic hierarchy; on the part of Philip Augustus it was the
suppression of those too independent vassals the Counts of Toulouse, and
the decisive subjection of the southern provinces to the government at
Paris. Nowhere in European history do we read a more frightful story
than that which tells of the blazing fires which consumed thousand after
thousand of the most intelligent and thrifty people in France. It was
now that the Holy Inquisition came into existence, and after forty years
of slaughter these Albigensian Cathari or Puritans seemed exterminated.
The practice of burning heretics, first enacted by statute in Aragon in
1197, was adopted in most parts of Europe during the thirteenth century,
but in England not until the beginning of the fifteenth. The Inquisition
was never established in England. Edward II. attempted to introduce
it in 1311 for the purpose of suppressing the Templars, but his utter
failure showed that the instinct of self-government was too strong in
the English people to tolerate the entrusting of so much power over
men's lives to agents of the papacy. Mediaeval England was ignorant and
bigoted enough, but under a representative government which so strongly
permeated society, it was impossible to set the machinery of repression
to work with such deadly thoroughness as it worked under the guidance of
Roman methods. When we read the history of persecution in England, the
story in itself is dreadful enough; but when we compare it with the
horrors enacted in other countries, we arrive at some startling results.
During the two centuries of English persecution, from Henry IV. to James
I., some 400 persons were burned at the stake, and three-fourths of
these cases occurred in 1555-57, the last three years of Mary Tudor.
Now in a single province of Spain, in the single year 1482, about 2000
persons were burned. The lowest estimates of the number slain for heresy
in the Netherlands in the course of the sixteenth century place it at
75,000. Very likely such figures are in many cases grossly exaggerated.
But after making due allowance for this, the contrast is sufficiently
impressive. In England the persecution of heretics was feeble and
spasmodic, and only at one moment rose to anything like the appalling
vigour which ordinarily characterized it in countries where the
Inquisition was firmly established. Now among the victims of religious
persecution must necessarily be found an unusual proportion of men and
women more independent than the average in their thinking, and more
bold than the average in uttering their thoughts. The Inquisition was a
diabolical winnowing machine for removing from society the most flexible
minds and the stoutest hearts; and among every people in which it was
established for a length of time it wrought serious damage to the
national character. It ruined the fair promise of Spain, and inflicted
incalculable detriment upon the fortunes of France. No nation could
afford to deprive itself of such a valuable element in its political
life as was furnished in the thirteenth century by the intelligent and
sturdy Cathari of southern Gaul. [Sidenote: The Cathari, or Puritans of
the Eastern Empire] [Sidenote: The Albigenses] [Sidenote: Effects of
persecution; its feebleness in England]

The spirit of revolt against the hierarchy, though broken and repressed
thus terribly by the measures of Innocent III., continued to live on
obscurely in sequestered spots, in the mountains of Savoy, and Bosnia,
and Bohemia, ready on occasion to spring into fresh and vigorous life.
In the following century Protestant ideas were rapidly germinating in
England, alike in baron's castle, in yeoman's farmstead, in citizen's
shop, in the cloistered walks of the monastery. Henry Knighton,
writing in the time of Richard II., declares, with the exaggeration of
impatience, that every second man you met was a Lollard, or "babbler,"
for such was the nickname given to these free-thinkers, of whom the most
eminent was John Wyclif, professor at Oxford, and rector of Lutterworth,
greatest scholar of the age. [Sidenote: Wyclif and the Lollards]

The career of this man is a striking commentary upon the difference
between England and continental Europe in the Middle Ages. Wyclif denied
transubstantiation, disapproved of auricular confession, opposed the
payment of Peter's pence, taught that kings should not be subject to
prelates, translated the Bible into English and circulated it among the
people, and even denounced the reigning pope as Antichrist; yet he was
not put to death, because there was as yet no act of parliament for the
burning of heretics, and in England things must be done according to the
laws which the people had made. [1] Pope Gregory XI. issued five bulls
against him, addressed to the king, the archbishop of Canterbury, and
the university of Oxford; but their dictatorial tone offended the
national feeling, and no heed was paid to them. Seventeen years after
Wyclif's death, the statute for burning heretics was passed, and the
persecution of Lollards began. It was feeble and ineffectual, however.
Lollardism was never trampled out in England as Catharism was trampled
out in France. Tracts of Wyclif and passages from his translation of
the Bible were copied by hand and secretly passed about to be read on
Sundays in the manor-house, or by the cottage fireside after the day's
toil was over. The work went on quietly, but not the less effectively,
until when the papal authority was defied by Henry VIII., it soon became
apparent that England was half-Protestant already. It then appeared
also that in this Reformation there were two forces cooperating,--the
sentiment of national independence which would not brook dictation from
Rome, and the Puritan sentiment of revolt against the hierarchy in
general. The first sentiment had found expression again and again in
refusals to pay tribute to Rome, in defiance of papal bulls, and in the
famous statutes of _praemunire_, which made it a criminal offence to
acknowledge any authority in England higher than the crown. The revolt
of Henry VIII. was simply the carrying out of these acts of Edward I.
and Edward III. to their logical conclusion. It completed the detachment
of England from the Holy Roman Empire, and made her free of all the
world. Its intent was political rather than religious. Henry, who wrote
against Martin Luther, was far from wishing to make England a Protestant
country. Elizabeth, who differed from her father in not caring a straw
for theology, was by temperament and policy conservative. Yet England
could not cease to be Papist without ceasing in some measure to be
Catholic; nor could she in that day carry on war against Spain without
becoming a leading champion of Protestantism. The changes in creed and
ritual wrought by the government during this period were cautious and
skilful; and the resulting church of England, with its long line of
learned and liberal divines, has played a noble part in history.
[Sidenote: Political character of Henry VIII's revolt against Rome]

But along with this moderate Protestantism espoused by the English
government, as consequent upon the assertion of English national
independence, there grew up the fierce uncompromising democratic
Protestantism of which the persecuted Lollards had sown the seeds. This
was not the work of government. [Sidenote: The yeoman, Hugh Latimer]

By the side of Henry VIII. stands the sublime figure of Hugh Latimer,
most dauntless of preachers, the one man before whose stern rebuke the
headstrong and masterful Tudor monarch quailed. It was Latimer
that renewed the work of Wyclif. and in his life as well as in his
martyrdom,--to use his own words of good cheer uttered while the fagots
were kindling around him,--lighted "such a candle in England as by God's
grace shall never be put out." This indomitable man belonged to that
middle-class of self-governing, self-respecting yeomanry that has been
the glory of free England and free America. He was one of the sturdy
race that overthrew French chivalry at Crecy and twice drove the
soldiery of a tyrant down the slope of Bunker Hill. In boyhood he worked
on his father's farm and helped his mother to milk the thirty kine; he
practised archery on the village green, studied in the village school,
went to Cambridge, and became the foremost preacher of Christendom. Now
the most thorough and radical work of the English Reformation was done
by this class of men of which Latimer was the type. It was work that was
national in its scope, arousing to fervent heat the strong religious
and moral sentiment of the people, and hence it soon quite outran the
cautious and conservative policy of the government, and tended to
introduce changes extremely distasteful to those who wished to keep
England as nearly Catholic as was consistent with independence of the
pope. Hence before the end of Elizabeth's reign, we find the crown set
almost as strongly against Puritanism as against Romanism. Hence, too,
when under Elizabeth's successors the great decisive struggle between
despotism and liberty was inaugurated, we find all the tremendous force
of this newly awakened religious enthusiasm cooperating with the English
love of self-government and carrying it under Cromwell to victory. From
this fortunate alliance of religious and political forces has come all
the noble and fruitful work of the last two centuries in which men of
English speech have been labouring for the political regeneration of
mankind. But for this alliance of forces, it is quite possible that the
fateful seventeenth century might have seen despotism triumphant in
England as on the continent of Europe, and the progress of civilization
indefinitely arrested. [Sidenote: The moment of Cromwell's triumph was
the most critical moment in history]

In illustration of this possibility, observe what happened in France
at the very time when the victorious English tendencies were shaping
themselves in the reign of Elizabeth. In France there was a strong
Protestant movement, but it had no such independent middle-class to
support it as that which existed in England; nor had it been able to
profit by such indispensable preliminary work as that which Wyclif had
done; the horrible slaughter of the Albigenses had deprived France of
the very people who might have played a part in some way analogous to
that of the Lollards. Consequently the Protestant movement in France
failed to become a national movement. Against the wretched Henry III who
would have temporized with it, and the gallant Henry IV who honestly
espoused it, the oppressed peasantry and townsmen made common cause by
enlisting under the banner of the ultra-Catholic Guises. The mass of
the people saw nothing in Protestantism but an idea favoured by the
aristocracy and which they could not comprehend. Hence the great king
who would have been glad to make France a Protestant country could only
obtain his crown by renouncing his religion, while seeking to protect
it by his memorable Edict of Nantes. But what a generous despot could
grant, a bigoted despot might revoke; and before another century had
elapsed, the good work done by Henry IV. was undone by Louis XIV., the
Edict of Nantes was set aside, the process of casting out the most
valuable political element in the community was carried to completion,
and seven percent of the population of France was driven away and added
to the Protestant populations of northern Germany and England and
America. The gain to these countries and the damage to France was far
greater than the mere figures would imply; for in determining the
character of a community a hundred selected men and women are more
potent than a thousand men and women taken at random. Thus while the
Reformation in France reinforced to some extent the noble army of
freemen, its triumphs were not to be the triumphs of Frenchmen, but of
the race which has known how to enlist under its banner the forces that
fight for free thought, free speech, and self-government, and all that
these phrases imply. [Sidenote: Contrast with France; fate of the

In view of these facts we may see how tremendous was the question at
stake with the Puritans of the seventeenth century. Everywhere else the
Roman idea seemed to have conquered or to be conquering, while they
seemed to be left as the forlorn hope of the human race. But from the
very day when Oliver Cromwell reached forth his mighty arm to stop the
persecutions in Savoy, the victorious English idea began to change the
face of things. The next century saw William Pitt allied with Frederick
of Prussia to save the work of the Reformation in central Europe and set
in motion the train of events that were at last to make the people of
the Teutonic fatherland a nation. At that same moment the keenest
minds in France were awaking to the fact that in their immediate
neighbourhood, separated from them only by a few miles of salt water,
was a country where people were equal in the eye of the law. It was the
ideas of Locke and Milton, of Vane and Sidney, that, when transplanted
into French soil, produced that violent but salutary Revolution which
has given fresh life to the European world. And contemporaneously with
all this, the American nation came upon the scene, equipped as no
other nation had ever been, for the task of combining sovereignty with
liberty, indestructible union of the whole with indestructible life in
the parts. The English idea has thus come to be more than national,
it has become imperial. It has come to rule, and it has come to stay.
[Sidenote: Victory of the English Idea]

We are now in a position to answer the question when the Roman Empire
came to an end, in so far as it can be answered at all. It did not come
to its end at the hands of an Odovakar in the year 476, or of a Mahomet
II in 1453, or of a Napoleon in 1806. It has been coming to its end as
the Roman idea of nation-making has been at length decisively overcome
by the English idea. For such a fact it is impossible to assign a date,
because it is not an event but a stage in the endless procession
of events. But we can point to landmarks on the way. Of movements
significant and prophetic there have been many. The whole course of the
Protestant reformation, from the thirteenth century to the nineteenth,
is coincident with the transfer of the world's political centre of
gravity from the Tiber and the Rhine to the Thames and the Mississippi.
The whole career of the men who speak English has within this period
been the most potent agency in this transfer. In these gigantic
processes of evolution we cannot mark beginnings or endings by years,
hardly even by centuries. But among the significant events which
prophesied the final triumph of the English over the Roman idea, perhaps
the most significant--the one which marks most incisively the dawning
of a new era--was the migration of English Puritans across the Atlantic
Ocean, to repeat in a new environment and on a far grander scale the
work which their forefathers had wrought in Britain. The voyage of the
Mayflower was not in itself the greatest event in this migration; but
it serves to mark the era, and it is only when we study it in the mood
awakened by the general considerations here set forth that we can
properly estimate the historic importance of the great Puritan Exodus.
[Sidenote: Significance of the Puritan Exodus]



In the preceding chapter I endeavoured to set forth and illustrate some
of the chief causes which have shifted the world's political centre of
gravity from the Mediterranean and the Rhine to the Atlantic and the
Mississippi; from the men who spoke Latin to the men who speak English.
In the course of the exposition we began to catch glimpses of the
wonderful significance of the fact that--among the people who had
first suggested the true solution of the difficult problem of making a
powerful nation without sacrificing local self-government--when the
supreme day of trial came, the dominant religious sentiment was arrayed
on the side of political freedom and against political despotism. If we
consider merely the territorial area which it covered, or the numbers
of men slain in its battles, the war of the English parliament against
Charles I. seems a trivial affair when contrasted with the gigantic
but comparatively insignificant work of barbarians like Jinghis or
Tamerlane. But if we consider the moral and political issues involved,
and the influence of the struggle upon the future welfare of mankind,
we soon come to see that there never was a conflict of more world-wide
importance than that from which Oliver Cromwell came out victorious. It
shattered the monarchical power in England at a time when monarchical
power was bearing down all opposition in the other great countries of
Europe. It decided that government by the people and for the people
should not then perish from the earth. It placed free England in a
position of such moral advantage that within another century the
English Idea of political life was able to react most powerfully upon
continental Europe. It was the study of English institutions by such men
as Montesquieu and Turgot, Voltaire and Rousseau, that gave shape and
direction to the French Revolution. That violent but wholesome clearing
of the air, that tremendous political and moral awakening, which ushered
in the nineteenth century in Europe, had its sources in the spirit
which animated the preaching of Latimer, the song of Milton, the solemn
imagery of Bunyan, the political treatises of Locke and Sidney, the
political measures of Hampden and Pym. The noblest type of modern
European statesmanship, as represented by Mazzini and Stein, is the
spiritual offspring of seventeenth-century Puritanism. To speak of
Naseby and Marston Moor as merely English victories would be as
absurd as to restrict the significance of Gettysburg to the state of
Pennsylvania. If ever there were men who laid down their lives in the
cause of all mankind, it was those grim old Ironsides whose watchwords
were texts from Holy Writ, whose battle-cries were hymns of praise.
[Sidenote: Influence of Puritanism upon modern Europe]

It was to this unwonted alliance of intense religious enthusiasm with
the instinct of self-government and the spirit of personal independence
that the preservation of English freedom was due. When James I. ascended
the English throne, the forces which prepared the Puritan revolt had
been slowly and quietly gathering strength among the people for at least
two centuries. The work which Wyclif had begun in the fourteenth century
had continued to go on in spite of occasional spasmodic attempts to
destroy it with the aid of the statute passed in 1401 for the burning
of heretics. The Lollards can hardly be said at any time to have
constituted a sect, marked off from the established church by the
possession of a system of doctrines held in common. The name by which
they were known was a nickname which might cover almost any amount
of diversity in opinion, like the modern epithets "free-thinker" and
"agnostic." The feature which characterized the Lollards in common was a
bold spirit of inquiry which led them, in spite of persecution, to read
Wyclif's English Bible and call in question such dogmas and rites of the
church as did not seem to find warrant in the sacred text. Clad in long
robes of coarse red wool, barefoot, with pilgrim's staff in hand, the
Lollard preachers fared to and fro among the quaint Gothic towns and
shaded hamlets, setting forth the word of God wherever they could find
listeners, now in the parish church or under the vaulted roof of the
cathedral, now in the churchyard or market-place, or on some green
hillside. During the fifteenth century persecution did much to check
this open preaching, but passages from Wyclif's tracts and texts from
the Bible were copied by hand and passed about among tradesmen and
artisans, yeomen and plough-boys, to be pondered over and talked about
and learned by heart. It was a new revelation to the English people,
this discovery of the Bible. Christ and his disciples seemed to come
very near when the beautiful story of the gospels was first read in
the familiar speech of every-day life. Heretofore they might well have
seemed remote and unreal, just as the school-boy hardly realizes that
the Cato and Cassius over whom he puzzles in his Latin lessons were once
living men like his father and neighbours, and not mere nominatives
governing a verb, or ablatives of means or instrument. Now it became
possible for the layman to contrast the pure teachings of Christ with
the doctrines and demeanour of the priests and monks to whom the
spiritual guidance of Englishmen had been entrusted. Strong and
self-respecting men and women, accustomed to manage their own affairs,
could not but be profoundly affected by the contrast. [Sidenote: Work of
the Lollards]

While they were thus led more and more to appeal to the Bible as the
divine standard of right living and right thinking, at the same time
they found in the sacred volume the treasures of a most original and
noble literature unrolled before them; stirring history and romantic
legend, cosmical theories and priestly injunctions, profound metaphysics
and pithy proverbs, psalms of unrivalled grandeur and pastorals of
exquisite loveliness, parables fraught with solemn meaning, the mournful
wisdom of the preacher, the exultant faith of the apostle, the matchless
eloquence of Job and Isaiah, the apocalyptic ecstasy of St. John. At a
time when there was as yet no English literature for the common people,
this untold wealth of Hebrew literature was implanted in the English
mind as in a virgin soil. Great consequences have flowed from the fact
that the first truly popular literature in England--the first which
stirred the hearts of all classes of people, and filled their minds with
ideal pictures and their every-day speech with apt and telling phrases--
was the literature comprised within the Bible. The superiority of the
common English version of the Bible, made in the reign of James I., over
all other versions, is a fact generally admitted by competent critics.
The sonorous Latin of the Vulgate is very grand, but in sublimity of
fervour as in the unconscious simplicity of strength it is surpassed
by the English version, which is scarcely if at all inferior to the
original, while it remains to-day, and will long remain, the noblest
monument of English speech. The reason for this is obvious. The common
English version of the Bible was made by men who were not aiming at
literary effect, but simply gave natural expression to the feelings
which for several generations had clustered around the sacred text. They
spoke with the voice of a people, which is more than the voice of the
most highly gifted man. They spoke with the voice of a people to whom
the Bible had come to mean all that it meant to the men who wrote it. To
the Englishmen who listened to Latimer, to the Scotchmen who listened
to Knox, the Bible more than filled the place which in modern times
is filled by poem and essay, by novel and newspaper and scientific
treatise. To its pages they went for daily instruction and comfort,
with its strange Semitic names they baptized their children, upon its
precepts, too often misunderstood and misapplied, they sought to build
up a rule of life that might raise them above the crude and unsatisfying
world into which they were born. [Sidenote: The English version of the

It would be wrong to accredit all this awakening of spiritual life in
England to Wyclif and the Lollards, for it was only after the Bible, in
the translations of Tyndall and Coverdale, had been made free to the
whole English people in the reign of Edward VI. that its significance
began to be apparent; and it was only a century later, in the time of
Cromwell and Milton, that its full fruition was reached. It was with the
Lollards, however, that the spiritual awakening began and was continued
until its effects, when they came, were marked by surprising maturity
and suddenness. Because the Lollards were not a clearly defined sect, it
was hard to trace the manifold ramifications of their work. During the
terrible Wars of the Roses, contemporary chroniclers had little or
nothing to say about the labours of these humble men, which seemed
of less importance than now, when we read them in the light of their
world-wide results. From this silence some modern historians have
carelessly inferred that the nascent Protestantism of the Lollards had
been extinguished by persecution under the Lancastrian kings, and was in
nowise continuous with modern English Protestantism. Nothing could be
more erroneous. The extent to which the Lollard leaven had permeated all
classes of English society was first clearly revealed when Henry VIII.
made his domestic affairs the occasion for a revolt against the Papacy.
Despot and brute as he was in many ways, Henry had some characteristics
which enabled him to get on well with his people. He not only
represented the sentiment of national independence, but he had a truly
English reverence for the forms of law. In his worst acts he relied upon
the support of his Parliament, which he might in various ways cajole or
pack, but could not really enslave. In his quarrel with Rome he could
have achieved but little, had he not happened to strike a chord of
feeling to which the English people, trained by this slow and subtle
work of the Lollards, responded quickly and with a vehemence upon which
he had not reckoned. As if by magic, the fabric of Romanism was broken
to pieces in England, monasteries were suppressed and their abbots
hanged, the authority of the Pope was swept away, and there was no
powerful party, like that of the Guises in France to make such sweeping
measures the occasion for civil war. The whole secret of Henry's swift
success lay in the fact that the English people were already more than
half Protestant in temper, and needed only an occasion for declaring
themselves. Hence, as soon as Catholic Henry died, his youthful son
found himself seated on the throne of a Protestant nation. The terrible
but feeble persecution which followed under Mary did much to strengthen
the extreme Protestant sentiment by allying it with the outraged feeling
of national independence. The bloody work of the grand-daughter of
Ferdinand and Isabella, the doting wife of Philip II., was rightly felt
to be Spanish work; and never, perhaps, did England feel such a sense of
relief as on the auspicious day which welcomed to the throne the great
Elizabeth, an Englishwoman in every fibre, and whose mother withal was
the daughter of a plain country gentleman. But the Marian persecution
not only increased the strength of the extreme Protestant sentiment, but
indirectly it supplied it with that Calvinistic theology which was to
make it indomitable. Of the hundreds of ministers and laymen who fled
from England in 1555 and the two following years, a great part found
their way to Geneva, and thus came under the immediate personal
influence of that man of iron who taught the very doctrines for which
their souls were craving, and who was then at the zenith of his power.
[Sidenote: Secret of Henry VIII.'s swift success in his revolt against
Rome] [Sidenote: Effects of the persecution under Mary]

Among all the great benefactors of mankind the figure of Calvin is
perhaps the least attractive. He was, so to speak, the constitutional
lawyer of the Reformation, with vision as clear, with head as cool, with
soul as dry, as any old solicitor in rusty black that ever dwelt in
chambers in Lincoln's Inn. His sternness was that of the judge who
dooms a criminal to the gallows. His theology had much in it that is in
striking harmony with modern scientific philosophy, and much in it, too,
that the descendants of his Puritan converts have learned to loathe as
sheer diabolism. It is hard for us to forgive the man who burned Michael
Servetus, even though it was the custom of the time to do such things
and the tender-hearted Melanchthon found nothing to blame in it. It is
not easy to speak of Calvin with enthusiasm, as it comes natural to
speak of the genial, whole-souled, many-sided, mirth-and-song-loving
Luther. Nevertheless it would be hard to overrate the debt which mankind
owe to Calvin. The spiritual father of Coligny, of William the Silent,
and of Cromwell must occupy a foremost rank among the champions of
modern democracy. Perhaps not one of the mediaeval popes was more
despotic in temper than Calvin; but it is not the less true that the
promulgation of his theology was one of the longest steps that mankind
have taken toward personal freedom. Calvinism left the individual man
alone in the presence of his God. His salvation could not be wrought by
priestly ritual, but only by the grace of God abounding in his soul; and
wretched creature that he felt himself to be, through the intense moral
awakening of which this stern theology was in part the expression, his
soul was nevertheless of infinite value, and the possession of it was
the subject of an everlasting struggle between the powers of heaven and
the powers of hell. In presence of the awful responsibility of life, all
distinctions of rank and fortune vanished; prince and pauper were alike
the helpless creatures of Jehovah and suppliants for his grace. Calvin
did not originate these doctrines; in announcing them he was but setting
forth, as he said, the Institutes of the Christian religion; but in
emphasizing this aspect of Christianity, in engraving it upon men's
minds with that keen-edged logic which he used with such unrivalled
skill, Calvin made them feel, as it had perhaps never been felt before,
the dignity and importance of the individual human soul. It was a
religion fit to inspire men who were to be called upon to fight for
freedom, whether in the marshes of the Netherlands or on the moors of
Scotland. In a church, moreover, based upon such a theology there was
no room for prelacy. Each single church tended to become an independent
congregation of worshippers, constituting one of the most effective
schools that has ever existed for training men in local self-government.
[Sidenote: Calvin's theology in its political bearings]

When, therefore, upon the news of Elizabeth's accession to the throne,
the Protestant refugees made their way back to England, they came as
Calvinistic Puritans. Their stay upon the Continent had been short, but
it had been just enough to put the finishing touch upon the work that
had been going on since the days of Wyclif. Upon such men and their
theories Elizabeth could not look with favour. With all her father's
despotic temper, Elizabeth possessed her mother's fine tact, and
she represented so grandly the feeling of the nation in its
life-and-death-struggle with Spain and the pope, that never perhaps in
English history has the crown wielded so much real power as during the
five-and-forty years of her wonderful reign.

One day Elizabeth asked a lady of the court how she contrived to retain
her husband's affection. The lady replied that "she had confidence
in her husband's understanding and courage, well founded on her own
steadfastness not to offend or thwart, but to cherish and obey, whereby
she did persuade her husband of her own affection, and in so doing did
command his." "Go to, go to, mistress," cried the queen, "You are
wisely bent, I find. After such sort do I keep the good will of all
my husbands, my good people; for if they did not rest assured of some
special love towards them, they would not readily yield me such good
obedience." [2] Such a theory of government might work well in the hands
of an Elizabeth, and in the circumstances in which England was then
placed; but it could hardly be worked by a successor. The seeds of
revolt were already sown. The disposition to curb the sovereign was
growing and would surely assert itself as soon as it should have some
person less loved and respected than Elizabeth to deal with. The queen
in some measure foresaw this, and in the dogged independence and
uncompromising enthusiasm of the Puritans she recognized the rock on
which the monarchy might dash itself into pieces. She therefore hated
the Puritans, and persecuted them zealously with one hand, while
circumstances forced her in spite of herself to aid and abet them with
the other. She could not maintain herself against Spain without helping
the Dutch and the Huguenots; but every soldier she sent across the
channel came back, if he came at all, with his head full of the
doctrines of Calvin; and these stalwart converts were reinforced by the
refugees from France and the Netherlands who came flocking into English
towns to set up their thrifty shops and hold prayer-meetings in their
humble chapels. To guard the kingdom against the intrigues of Philip and
the Guises and the Queen of Scots, it was necessary to choose the most
zealous Protestants for the most responsible positions, and such men
were more than likely to be Calvinists and Puritans. Elizabeth's great
ministers, Burleigh, Walsingham, and Nicholas Bacon, were inclined
toward Puritanism; and so were the naval heroes who won the most
fruitful victories of that century, by shattering the maritime power of
Spain and thus opening the way for Englishmen to colonize North America.
If we would realize the dangers that would have beset the Mayflower and
her successors but for the preparatory work of these immortal sailors,
we must remember the dreadful fate of Ribault and his Huguenot followers
in Florida, twenty-three years before that most happy and glorious
event, the destruction of the Spanish Armada. But not even the devoted
men and women who held their prayer-meetings in the Mayflower's cabin
were more constant in prayer or more assiduous in reading the Bible than
the dauntless rovers, Drake and Hawkins, Gilbert and Cavendish. In the
church itself, too, the Puritan spirit grew until in 1575-83 it seized
upon Grindal, archbishop of Canterbury, who incurred the queen's
disfavour by refusing to meddle with the troublesome reformers or to
suppress their prophesyings. By the end of the century the majority
of country gentlemen and of wealthy merchants in the towns had become
Puritans, and the new views had made great headway in both universities,
while at Cambridge they had become dominant. [Sidenote: Elizabeth's
policy, and its effects] [Sidenote: Puritan Sea-rovers]

This allusion to the universities may serve to introduce the very
interesting topic of the geographical distribution of Puritanism in
England. No one can study the history of the two universities without
being impressed with the greater conservatism of Oxford, and the greater
hospitality of Cambridge toward new ideas. Possibly the explanation
may have some connection with the situation of Cambridge upon the East
Anglian border. The eastern counties of England have often been remarked
as rife in heresy and independency. For many generations the coast
region between the Thames and the Humber was a veritable _litus
haereticum._ Longland, bishop of Lincoln in 1520, reported Lollardism as
especially vigorous and obstinate in his diocese, where more than two
hundred heretics were once brought before him in the course of a single
visitation. It was in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, and
among the fens of Ely, Cambridge, and Huntingdon, that Puritanism was
strongest at the end of the sixteenth century. It was as member and
leading spirit of the Eastern Counties Association that Oliver Cromwell
began his military career; and in so far as there was anything sectional
in the struggle between Charles I. and the Long Parliament, it was a
struggle which ended in the victory of east over west. East Anglia was
from first to last the one region in which the supremacy of Parliament
was unquestionable and impregnable, even after the strength of its
population had been diminished by sending some thousands of picked men
and women to America. While every one of the forty counties of England
was represented in the great Puritan exodus, the East Anglian counties
contributed to it far more than all the rest. Perhaps it would not be
far out of the way to say that two-thirds of the American people who can
trace their ancestry to New England might follow it back to the East
Anglian shires of the mother-country; one-sixth might follow it to those
southwestern countries--Devonshire, Dorset, and Somerset--which so
long were foremost in maritime enterprise; one-sixth to other parts of
England. I would not insist upon the exactness of such figures, in a
matter where only a rough approximation is possible; but I do not think
they overstate the East Anglian preponderance. It was not by accident
that the earliest counties of Massachusetts were called Norfolk,
Suffolk, and Essex, or that Boston in Lincolnshire gave its name to the
chief city of New England. The native of Connecticut or Massachusetts
who wanders about rural England to-day finds no part of it so homelike
as the cosy villages and smiling fields and quaint market towns as he
fares leisurely and in not too straight a line from Ipswich toward Hull.
Countless little unobtrusive features remind him of home. The very names
on the sign-boards over the sleepy shops have an unwontedly familiar
look. In many instances the homestead which his forefathers left, when
they followed Winthrop or Hooker to America, is still to be found,
well-kept and comfortable; the ancient manor-house built of massive
unhewn stone, yet in other respects much like the New England farmhouse,
with its long sloping roof and gable end toward the road, its staircase
with twisted balusters running across the shallow entry-way, its low
ceilings with their sturdy oaken beams, its spacious chimneys, and its
narrow casements from which one might have looked out upon the anxious
march of Edward IV. from Ravenspur to the field of victory at Barnet
in days when America was unknown. Hard by, in the little parish church
which has stood for perhaps a thousand years, plain enough and bleak
enough to suit the taste of the sternest Puritan, one may read upon
the cold pavement one's own name and the names of one's friends and
neighbours in startling proximity, somewhat worn and effaced by the
countless feet that have trodden there. And yonder on the village green
one comes with bated breath upon the simple inscription which tells of
some humble hero who on that spot in the evil reign of Mary suffered
death by fire. Pursuing thus our interesting journey, we may come at
last to the quiet villages of Austerfield and Scrooby, on opposite
banks of the river Idle, and just at the corner of the three shires of
Lincoln, York, and Nottingham. It was from this point that the Puritan
exodus to America was begun. [Sidenote: Puritanism was strongest in the
eastern counties] [Sidenote: Preponderance of East Anglia in the Puritan

It was not, however, in the main stream of Puritanism, but in one of its
obscure rivulets that this world-famous movement originated. During the
reign of Elizabeth it was not the purpose of the Puritans to separate
themselves from the established church of which the sovereign was the
head, but to remain within it and reform it according to their own
notions. For a time they were partially successful in this work,
especially in simplifying the ritual and in giving a Calvinistic tinge
to the doctrines. In doing this they showed no conscious tendency toward
freedom of thought, but rather a bigotry quite as intense as that which
animated the system against which they were fighting. The most advanced
liberalism of Elizabeth's time was not to be found among the Puritans,
but in the magnificent treatise on "Ecclesiastical Polity" by the
churchman Richard Hooker. But the liberalism of this great writer, like
that of Erasmus a century earlier, was not militant enough to meet the
sterner demands of the time. It could not then ally itself with the
democratic spirit, as Puritanism did. It has been well said that while
Luther was the prophet of the Reformation that has been, Erasmus was the
prophet of the Reformation that is to come, and so it was to some extent
with the Puritans and Hooker. The Puritan fight against the hierarchy
was a political necessity of the time, something without which no real
and thorough reformation could then be effected. In her antipathy to
this democratic movement, Elizabeth vexed and tormented the Puritans
as far as she deemed it prudent; and in the conservative temper of the
people she found enough support to prevent their transforming the church
as they would have liked to do. Among the Puritans themselves, indeed,
there was no definite agreement on this point. Some would have stopped
short with Presbyterianism, while others held that "new presbyter was
but old priest writ large," and so pressed on to Independency. It was
early in Elizabeth's reign that the zeal of these extreme brethren,
inflamed by persecution, gave rise to the sect of Separatists, who
flatly denied the royal supremacy over ecclesiastical affairs, and
asserted the right to set up churches of their own, with pastors
and elders and rules of discipline, independent of queen or bishop.
[Sidenote: Puritanism was not intentionally allied with liberalism]

In 1567 the first congregation of this sort, consisting of about a
hundred persons assembled in a hall in Anchor Lane in London, was
forcibly broken up and thirty-one of the number were sent to jail and
kept there for nearly a year. By 1576 the Separatists had come to be
recognized as a sect, under the lead of Robert Brown, a man of high
social position, related to the great Lord Burleigh. Brown fled to
Holland, where he preached to a congregation of English exiles, and
wrote books which were smuggled into England and privately circulated
there, much to the disgust, not only of the queen, but of all parties,
Puritans as well as High Churchmen. The great majority of Puritans,
whose aim was not to leave the church, but to stay in it and control
it, looked with dread and disapproval upon these extremists who seemed
likely to endanger their success by forcing them into deadly opposition
to the crown. Just as in the years which ushered in our late Civil War,
the opponents of the Republicans sought to throw discredit upon them by
confusing them with the little sect of Abolitionists; and just as the
Republicans, in resenting the imputation, went so far as to frown upon
the Abolitionists, so that in December, 1860, men who had just voted for
Mr. Lincoln were ready to join in breaking up "John Brown meetings" in
Boston; so it was with religious parties in the reign of Elizabeth. The
opponents of the Puritans pointed to the Separatists, and cried, "See
whither your anarchical doctrines are leading!" and in their eagerness
to clear themselves of this insinuation, the leading Puritans were as
severe upon the Separatists as anybody. It is worthy of note that in
both instances the imputation, so warmly resented, was true. Under the
pressure of actual hostilities the Republicans did become Abolitionists,
and in like manner, when in England it came to downright warfare the
Puritans became Separatists. But meanwhile it fared ill with the little
sect which everybody hated and despised. Their meetings were broken up
by mobs. In an old pamphlet describing a "tumult in Fleet Street, raised
by the disorderly preachment, pratings, and prattlings of a swarm of
Separatists," one reads such sentences as the following: "At length they
catcht one of them alone, but they kickt him so vehemently as if they
meant to beat him into a jelly. It is ambiguous whether they have kil'd
him or no, but for a certainty they did knock him about as if they meant
to pull him to pieces. I confesse it had been no matter if they had
beaten the whole tribe in the like manner." For their leaders the
penalty was more serious. The denial of the queen's ecclesiastical
supremacy could be treated as high treason, and two of Brown's friends,
convicted of circulating his books, were sent to the gallows. In spite
of these dangers Brown returned to England in 1585. William the Silent
had lately been murdered, and heresy in Holland was not yet safe from
the long arm of the Spaniard. Brown trusted in Lord Burleigh's ability
to protect him, but in 1588, finding himself in imminent danger, he
suddenly recanted and accepted a comfortable living under the bishops
who had just condemned him. His followers were already known as
Brownists; henceforth their enemies took pains to call them so and twit
them with holding doctrines too weak for making martyrs. [Sidenote:
Robert Brown and the Separatists]

The flimsiness of Brown's moral texture prevented him from becoming the
leader in the Puritan exodus to New England. That honour was reserved
for William Brewster, son of a country gentleman who had for many
years been postmaster at Scrooby. The office was then one of high
responsibility and influence. After taking his degree at Cambridge,
Brewster became private secretary to Sir William Davison, whom he
accompanied on his mission to the Netherlands. When Davison's public
career came to an end in 1587, Brewster returned to Scrooby, and soon
afterward succeeded his father as postmaster, in which position he
remained until 1607. During the interval Elizabeth died, and James
Stuart came from Scotland to take her place on the throne. [Sidenote:
William Brewster]

The feelings with which the late queen had regarded Puritanism were mild
compared with the sentiments entertained by her successor. For some
years he had been getting worsted in his struggle with the Presbyterians
of the northern kingdom. His vindictive memory treasured up the day when
a mighty Puritan preacher had in public twitched him by the sleeve and
called him "God's silly vassal." "I tell you, sir," said Andrew Melville
on that occasion, "there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland.
There is Christ Jesus the King, and his kingdom the Kirk, whose subject
James VI. is, and of whose kingdom not a king, nor a lord, nor a head,
but a member. And they whom Christ hath called to watch over his kirk
and govern his spiritual kingdom have sufficient power and authority so
to do both together and severally." In this bold and masterful speech
we have the whole political philosophy of Puritanism, as in a nutshell.
Under the guise of theocratic fanaticism, and in words as arrogant as
ever fell from priestly lips, there was couched the assertion of the
popular will against despotic privilege. Melville could say such things
to the king's face and walk away unharmed, because there stood behind
him a people fully aroused to the conviction that there is an eternal
law of God, which kings no less than scullions must obey. [3] Melville
knew this full well, and so did James know it in the bitterness of his
heart. He would have no such mischievous work in England. He despised
Elizabeth's grand national policy which his narrow intellect could not
comprehend. He could see that in fighting Spain and aiding Dutchmen and
Huguenots she was strengthening the very spirit that sought to pull
monarchy down. In spite of her faults, which were neither few nor small,
the patriotism of that fearless woman was superior to any personal
ambition. It was quite otherwise with James. He was by no means
fearless, and he cared more for James Stuart than for either England or
Scotland. He had an overweening opinion of his skill in kingcraft. In
coming to Westminster it was his policy to use his newly acquired
power to break down the Puritan party in both kingdoms and to fasten
episcopacy upon Scotland. In pursuing this policy he took no heed of
English national sentiment, but was quite ready to defy and insult it,
even to the point of making--before children who remembered the Armada
had yet reached middle age--an alliance with the hated Spaniard. In such
wise James succeeded in arraying against the monarchical principle the
strongest forces of English life,--the sentiment of nationality, the
sentiment of personal freedom, and the uncompromising religious fervour
of Calvinism; and out of this invincible combination of forces has been
wrought the nobler and happier state of society in which we live to-day.
[Sidenote: James Stuart and Andrew Melville]

Scarcely ten months had James been king of England when he invited
the leading Puritan clergymen to meet himself and the bishops in a
conference at Hampton Court, as he wished to learn what changes they
would like to make in the government and ritual of the church. In the
course of the discussion he lost his temper and stormed, as was his
wont. [Sidenote: King James's view of the political situation]

The mention of the word "presbytery" lashed him into fury. "A Scottish
presbytery," he cried, "agreeth as well with a monarchy as God and the
Devil. Then Jack and Tom and Will and Dick shall meet, and at their
pleasures censure me and my council and all our proceedings .... Stay,
I pray you, for one seven years, before you demand that from me, and if
then you find me pursy and fat, and my windpipes stuffed, I will perhaps
hearken to you .... Until you find that I grow lazy, let that alone."
One of the bishops declared that in this significant tirade his Majesty
spoke by special inspiration from Heaven! The Puritans saw that their
only hope lay in resistance. If any doubt remained, it was dispelled by
the vicious threat with which the king broke up the conference. "I will
_make_ them conform," said he, "or I will harry them out of the land."

These words made a profound sensation in England, as well they might,
for they heralded the struggle which within half a century was to
deliver up James's son to the executioner. The Parliament of 1604 met
in angrier mood than any Parliament which had assembled at Westminster
since the dethronement of Richard II. Among the churches non-conformity
began more decidedly to assume the form of secession. The key-note of
the conflict was struck at Scrooby. Staunch Puritan as he was, Brewster
had not hitherto favoured the extreme measures of the Separatists. Now
he withdrew from the church, and gathered together a company of men and
women who met on Sundays for divine service in his own drawing-room at
Scrooby Manor. In organizing this independent Congregationalist
society, Brewster was powerfully aided by John Robinson, a native of
Lincolnshire. Robinson was then thirty years of age, and had taken his
master's degree at Cambridge in 1600. He was a man of great learning and
rare sweetness of temper, and was moreover distinguished for a broad and
tolerant habit of mind too seldom found among the Puritans of that day.
Friendly and unfriendly writers alike bear witness to his spirit of
Christian charity and the comparatively slight value which he attached
to orthodoxy in points of doctrine; and we can hardly be wrong in
supposing that the comparatively tolerant behaviour of the Plymouth
colonists, whereby they were contrasted with the settlers of
Massachusetts, was in some measure due to the abiding influence of the
teachings of this admirable man. Another important member of the Scrooby
congregation was William Bradford, of the neighbouring village of
Austerfield, then a lad of seventeen years, but already remarkable for
maturity of intelligence and weight of character. Afterward governor of
Plymouth for nearly thirty years, he became the historian of his colony;
and to his picturesque chronicle, written in pure and vigorous English,
we are indebted for most that we know of the migration that started
from Scrooby and ended in Plymouth. [Sidenote: The congregation of
Separatists at Scrooby]

It was in 1606--two years after King James's truculent threat--that
this independent church of Scrooby was organized. Another year had not
elapsed before its members had suffered so much at the hands of officers
of the law, that they began to think of following the example of former
heretics and escaping to Holland. After an unsuccessful attempt in
the autumn of 1607, they at length succeeded a few months later in
accomplishing their flight to Amsterdam, where they hoped to find a
home. But here they found the English exiles who had preceded them so
fiercely involved in doctrinal controversies, that they decided to
go further in search of peace and quiet. This decision, which we may
ascribe to Robinson's wise counsels, served to keep the society of
Pilgrims from getting divided and scattered. They reached Leyden in
1609, just as the Spanish government had sullenly abandoned the hopeless
task of conquering the Dutch, and had granted to Holland the Twelve
Years Truce. During eleven of these twelve years the Pilgrims remained
in Leyden, supporting themselves by various occupations, while their
numbers increased from 300 to more than 1000. Brewster opened a
publishing house, devoted mainly to the issue of theological books.
Robinson accepted a professorship in the university, and engaged in the
defence of Calvinism against the attacks of Episcopius, the successor
of Arminius. The youthful Bradford devoted himself to the study of
languages,--Dutch, French, Latin, Greek, and finally Hebrew; wishing,
as he said, to "see with his own eyes the ancient oracles of God in all
their native beauty." During their sojourn in Leyden the Pilgrims were
introduced to a strange and novel spectacle,--the systematic legal
toleration of all persons, whether Catholic or Protestant, who called
themselves followers of Christ. Not that there was not plenty of
intolerance in spirit, but the policy inaugurated by the idolized
William the Silent held it in check by law. All persons who came to
Holland, and led decorous lives there, were protected in their opinions
and customs. By contemporary writers in other countries this eccentric
behaviour of the Dutch government was treated with unspeakable scorn.
"All strange religions flock thither," says one; it is "a common harbour
of all heresies," a "cage of unclean birds," says another; "the great
mingle mangle of religion," says a third. [4] In spite of the relief
from persecution, however, the Pilgrims were not fully satisfied with
their new home. The expiration of the truce with Spain might prove that
this relief was only temporary; and at any rate, complete toleration
did not fill the measure of their wants. Had they come to Holland as
scattered bands of refugees, they might have been absorbed into the
Dutch population, as Huguenot refugees have been absorbed in Germany,
England, and America. But they had come as an organized community, and
absorption into a foreign nation was something to be dreaded. They
wished to preserve their English speech and English traditions, keep up
their organization, and find some favoured spot where they might lay the
corner-stone of a great Christian state. The spirit of nationality was
strong in them; the spirit of self-government was strong in them; and
the only thing which could satisfy these feelings was such a migration
as had not been seen since ancient times, a migration like that of
Phokaians to Massilia or Tyrians to Carthage. [Sidenote: The flight to
Holland] [Sidenote: Why the Pilgrims did not stay there]

It was too late in the world's history to carry out such a scheme upon
European soil. Every acre of territory there was appropriated. The only
favourable outlook was upon the Atlantic coast of America, where English
cruisers had now successfully disputed the pretensions of Spain, and
where after forty years of disappointment and disaster a flourishing
colony had at length been founded in Virginia. The colonization of the
North American coast had now become part of the avowed policy of the
British government. In 1606 a great joint-stock company was formed for
the establishment of two colonies in America. The branch which was to
take charge of the proposed southern colony had its headquarters in
London; the management of the northern branch was at Plymouth in
Devonshire. Hence the two branches are commonly spoken of as the London
and Plymouth companies. The former was also called the Virginia Company,
and the latter the North Virginia Company, as the name of Virginia was
then loosely applied to the entire Atlantic coast north of Florida. The
London Company had jurisdiction from 34 degrees to 38 degrees north
latitude; the Plymouth Company had jurisdiction from 45 degrees down to
41 degrees; the intervening territory, between 38 degrees and 41 degrees
was to go to whichever company should first plant a self-supporting
colony. The local government of each colony was to be entrusted to a
council resident in America and nominated by the king; while general
supervision over both colonies was to be exercised by a council resident
in England. [Sidenote: The London and Plymouth companies]

In pursuance of this general plan, though with some variations in
detail, the settlement of Jamestown had been begun in 1607, and its
success was now beginning to seem assured. On the other hand all the
attempts which had been made to the north of the fortieth parallel had
failed miserably. As early as 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold, with 32 men, had
landed on the headland which they named Cape Cod from the fish found
thereabouts in great numbers. This was the first English name given to
any spot in that part of America, and so far as known these were the
first Englishmen that ever set foot there. They went on and gave names
to Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands in Buzzard's Bay; and
on Cuttyhunk they built some huts with the intention of remaining, but
after a month's experience they changed their mind and went back to
England. Gosnold's story interested other captains, and on Easter
Sunday, 1605, George Weymouth set sail for North Virginia, as it was
called. He found Cape Cod and coasted northward as far as the Kennebec
river, up which he sailed for many miles. Weymouth kidnapped five
Indians and carried them to England, that they might learn the language
and acquire a wholesome respect for the arts of civilization and the
resistless power of white men. His glowing accounts of the spacious
harbours, the abundance of fish and game, the noble trees, the luxuriant
herbage, and the balmy climate, aroused general interest in England, and
doubtless had some influence upon the formation, in the following year,
of the great joint-stock company just described. The leading spirit of
the Plymouth Company was Sir John Popham, chief-justice of England, and
he was not disposed to let his friends of the southern branch excel him
in promptness. Within three months after the founding of Jamestown, a
party of 120 colonists, led by the judge's kinsman George Popham, landed
at the mouth of the Kennebec, and proceeded to build a rude village of
some fifty cabins, with storehouse, chapel, and block-house. When
they landed in August they doubtless shared Weymouth's opinion of the
climate. These Englishmen had heard of warm countries like Italy and
cold countries like Russia; harsh experience soon taught them that there
are climates in which the summer of Naples may alternate with the winter
of Moscow. The president and many others fell sick and died. News came
of the death of Sir John Popham in England, and presently the weary and
disappointed settlers abandoned their enterprise and returned to their
old homes. Their failure spread abroad in England the opinion that
North Virginia was uninhabitable by reason of the cold, and no further
attempts were made upon that coast until in 1614 it was visited by
Captain John Smith. [Sidenote: First exploration of the New England

The romantic career of this gallant and garrulous hero did not end with
his departure from the infant colony at Jamestown. By a curious destiny
his fame is associated with the beginnings of both the southern and the
northern portions of the United States. To Virginia Smith may be said to
have given its very existence as a commonwealth; to New England he
gave its name. In 1614 he came over with two ships to North Virginia,
explored its coast minutely from the Penobscot river to Cape Cod, and
thinking it a country of such extent and importance as to deserve a name
of its own, rechristened it New England. On returning home he made a
very good map of the coast and dotted it with English names suggested by
Prince Charles. Of these names Cape Elizabeth, Cape Ann, Charles River,
and Plymouth still remain where Smith placed them. In 1615 Smith again
set sail for the New World, this time with a view to planting a colony
under the auspices of the Plymouth Company, but his talent for strange
adventures had not deserted him. He was taken prisoner by a French
fleet, carried hither and thither on a long cruise, and finally set
ashore at Rochelle, whence, without a penny in his pocket, he contrived
to make his way back to England. Perhaps Smith's life of hardship may
have made him prematurely old. After all his wild and varied experience
he was now only in his thirty-seventh year, but he does not seem to have
gone on any more voyages. The remaining sixteen years of his life
were spent quietly in England in writing books, publishing maps, and
otherwise stimulating the public interest in the colonization of the New
World. But as for the rocky coast of New England, which he had explored
and named, he declared that he was not so simple as to suppose that any
other motive than riches would "ever erect there a commonwealth or draw
company from their ease and humours at home, to stay in New England."
[Sidenote: John Smith]

In this opinion, however, the bold explorer was mistaken. Of all
migrations of peoples the settlement of New England is preeminently
the one in which the almighty dollar played the smallest part, however
important it may since have become as a motive power. It was left for
religious enthusiasm to achieve what commercial enterprise had failed
to accomplish. By the summer of 1617 the Pilgrim society at Leyden had
decided to send a detachment of its most vigorous members to lay
the foundations of a Puritan state in America. There had been much
discussion as to the fittest site for such a colony. Many were in favour
of Guiana, which Sir Walter Raleigh had described in such glowing
colours; but it was thought that the tropical climate would be
ill-suited to northern men of industrious and thrifty habit, and the
situation, moreover, was dangerously exposed to the Spaniards. Half a
century had scarcely elapsed since the wholesale massacre of Huguenots
in Florida. Virginia was then talked of, but Episcopal ideas had already
taken root there. New England, on the other hand, was considered too
cold. Popham's experience was not encouraging. But the country about
the Delaware river afforded an opportunity for erecting an independent
colony under the jurisdiction of the London Company, and this seemed
the best course to pursue. Sir Edwin Sandys, the leading spirit in the
London Company, was favourably inclined toward Puritans, and through him
negotiations were begun. Capital to the amount of £7000 was furnished
by seventy merchant adventurers in England, and the earnings of the
settlers were to be thrown into a common stock until these subscribers
should have been remunerated. A grant of land was obtained from the
London Company, and the king was asked to protect the emigrants by a
charter, but this was refused. James, however, made no objections to
their going, herein showing himself less of a bigot than Louis XIV.
in later days, who would not suffer a Huguenot to set foot in Canada,
though France was teeming with Huguenots who would have been glad
enough to go. When James inquired how the colonists expected to support
themselves, some one answered, most likely by fishing. "Very good,"
quoth the king, "it was the Apostles' own calling." He declared that no
one should molest them so long as they behaved themselves properly. From
this unwonted urbanity it would appear that James anticipated no trouble
from the new colony. A few Puritans in America could not do much to
annoy him, and there was of course a fair chance of their perishing, as
so many other colonizers had perished. [Sidenote: The Pilgrims at Leyden
decide to make a settlement near the Delaware river]

The congregation at Leyden did not think it wise to cut loose from
Holland until they should have secured a foothold in America. It was but
an advance guard that started out from Delft haven late in July, 1620,
in the rickety ship Speedwell, with Brewster and Bradford, and sturdy
Miles Standish, a trained soldier whose aid was welcome, though he does
not seem to have belonged to the congregation. Robinson remained at
Leyden, and never came to America. After a brief stop at Southampton,
where they met the Mayflower with friends from London, the Pilgrims
again set sail in the two ships. The Speedwell sprang a leak, and they
stopped at Dartmouth for repairs. Again they started, and had put three
hundred miles of salt water between themselves and Land's End, when the
Speedwell leaked so badly that they were forced to return. When they
dropped anchor at Plymouth in Devonshire, about twenty were left on
shore, and the remainder, exactly one hundred in number, crowded into
the Mayflower and on the 6th of September started once more to cross the
Atlantic. The capacity of the little ship was 180 tons, and her strength
was but slight. In a fierce storm in mid-ocean a mainbeam amidships was
wrenched and cracked, and but for a huge iron screw which one of the
passengers had brought from Delft, they might have gone to the bottom.
The foul weather prevented any accurate calculation of latitude and
longitude, and they were so far out in their reckoning that when they
caught sight of land on the 9th of November, it was to Cape Cod that
they had come. Their patent gave them no authority to settle here, as
it was beyond the jurisdiction of the London Company. They turned their
prow southward, but encountering perilous shoals and a stiff headwind
they desisted and sought shelter in Cape Cod bay. On the 11th they
decided to find some place of abode in this neighbourhood, anticipating
no difficulty in getting a patent from the Plymouth Company, which was
anxious to obtain settlers. For five weeks they stayed in the ship while
little parties were exploring the coast and deciding upon the best site
for a town. It was purely a coincidence that the spot which they chose
had already received from John Smith the name of Plymouth, the beautiful
port in Devonshire from which the Mayflower had sailed. [Sidenote:
Founding of Plymouth]

There was not much to remind them of home in the snow-covered coast on
which they landed. They had hoped to get their rude houses built before
the winter should set in, but the many delays and mishaps had served to
bring them ashore in the coldest season. When the long winter came to
an end, fifty-one of the hundred Pilgrims had died,--a mortality even
greater than that before which the Popham colony had succumbed. But
Brewster spoke truth when he said, "It is not with us as with men whom
small things can discourage or small discontentments cause to wish
themselves at home again." At one time the living were scarcely able to
bury the dead; only Brewster, Standish, and five other hardy ones were
well enough to get about. At first they were crowded under a single
roof, and as glimpses were caught of dusky savages skulking among the
trees, a platform was built on the nearest hill and a few cannon were
placed there in such wise as to command the neighbouring valleys and
plains. By the end of the first summer the platform had grown to a
fortress, down from which to the harbour led a village street with seven
houses finished and others going up. Twenty-six acres had been cleared,
and a plentiful harvest gathered in; venison, wild fowl, and fish were
easy to obtain. When provisions and fuel had been laid in for the
ensuing winter, Governor Bradford appointed a day of Thanksgiving.
Town-meetings had already been held, and a few laws passed. The history
of New England had begun.

This had evidently been a busy summer for the forty-nine survivors.
On the 9th of November, the anniversary of the day on which they had
sighted land, a ship was descried in the offing. She was the Fortune,
bringing some fifty more of the Leyden company. It was a welcome
reinforcement, but it diminished the rations of food that could be
served during the winter, for the Fortune was not well supplied. When
she set sail for England, she carried a little cargo of beaver-skins and
choice wood for wainscoting to the value of L500 sterling, as a first
instalment of the sum due to the merchant adventurers. But this cargo
never reached England, for the Fortune was overhauled by a French
cruiser and robbed of everything worth carrying away.

For two years more it was an anxious and difficult time for the new
colony. By 1624 its success may be said to have become assured. That the
Indians in the neighbourhood had not taken advantage of the distress of
the settlers in that first winter, and massacred every one of them, was
due to a remarkable circumstance. Early in 1617 a frightful pestilence
had swept over New England and slain, it is thought, more than half the
Indian population between the Penobscot river and Narragansett bay. Many
of the Indians were inclined to attribute this calamity to the murder of
two or three white fishermen the year before. They had not got over the
superstitious dread with which the first sight of white men had inspired
them, and now they believed that the strangers held the demon of the
plague at their disposal and had let him loose upon the red men in
revenge for the murders they had committed. This wholesome delusion
kept their tomahawks quiet for a while. When they saw the Englishmen
establishing themselves at Plymouth, they at first held a powwow in
the forest, at which the new-comers were cursed with all the elaborate
ingenuity that the sorcery of the medicine-men could summon for so
momentous an occasion; but it was deemed best to refrain from merely
human methods of attack. It was not until the end of the first winter
that any of them mustered courage to visit the palefaces. Then an Indian
named Samoset, who had learned a little English from fishermen and for
his own part was inclined to be friendly, came one day into the
village with words of welcome. He was so kindly treated that presently
Massasoit, principal sachem of the Wampanoags, who dwelt between
Narragansett and Cape Cod bays, came with a score of painted and
feathered warriors and squatting on a green rug and cushions in the
governor's log-house smoked the pipe of peace, while Standish with
half-a-dozen musketeers stood quietly by. An offensive and defensive
alliance was then and there made between King Massasoit and King James,
and the treaty was faithfully kept for half a century. Some time
afterward, when Massasoit had fallen sick and lay at death's door, his
life was saved by Edward Winslow, who came to his wigwam and skilfully
nursed him. Henceforth the Wampanoag thought well of the Pilgrim. The
powerful Narragansetts, who dwelt on the farther side of the bay, felt
differently, and thought it worth while to try the effect of a threat.
A little while after the Fortune had brought its reinforcement, the
Narragansett sachem Canonicus sent a messenger to Plymouth with a bundle
of newly-made arrows wrapped in a snake-skin. The messenger threw it
in at the governor's door and made off with unseemly haste. Bradford
understood this as a challenge, and in this he was confirmed by a
friendly Wampanoag. The Narragansetts could muster 2000 warriors, for
whom forty or fifty Englishmen, even with firearms, were hardly a fair
match; but it would not do to show fear. Bradford stuffed the snake-skin
with powder and bullets, and sent it back to Canonicus, telling him that
if he wanted war he might come whenever he liked and get his fill of it.
When the sachem saw what the skin contained, he was afraid to touch
it or have it about, and medicine-men, handling it no doubt gingerly
enough, carried it out of his territory. [Sidenote: Why the colony was
not attacked by the Indians]

It was a fortunate miscalculation that brought the Pilgrims to New
England. Had they ventured upon the lands between the Hudson and the
Delaware, they would probably have fared worse. They would soon have
come into collision with the Dutch, and not far from that neighbourhood
dwelt the Susquehannocks, at that time one of the most powerful and
ferocious tribes on the continent. For the present the new-comers were
less likely to be molested in the Wampanoag country than anywhere else.
In the course of the year 1621 they obtained their grant from the
Plymouth Company. This grant was not made to them directly but to
the joint-stock company of merchant adventurers with whom they were
associated. But the alliance between the Pilgrims and these London
merchants was not altogether comfortable; there was too much divergence
between their aims. In 1627 the settlers, wishing to be entirely
independent, bought up all the stock and paid for it by instalments
from the fruits of their labour. By 1633 they had paid every penny, and
become the undisputed owners of the country they had occupied.

Such was the humble beginning of that great Puritan exodus from England
to America which had so much to do with founding and peopling the United
States. These Pilgrims of the Mayflower were but the pioneers of a
mighty host. Historically their enterprise is interesting not so much
for what it achieved as for what it suggested. Of itself the Plymouth
colony could hardly have become a wealthy and powerful state. Its growth
was extremely slow. After ten years its numbers were but three hundred.
In 1643, when the exodus had come to an end, and the New England
Confederacy was formed, the population of Plymouth was but three
thousand. In an established community, indeed, such a rate of increase
would be rapid, but it was not sufficient to raise in New England a
power which could overcome Indians and Dutchmen and Frenchmen, and
assert its will in opposition to the crown. It is when we view the
founding of Plymouth in relation to what came afterward, that it assumes
the importance which belongs to the beginning of a new era.

We have thus seen how it was that the political aspirations of James I.
toward absolute sovereignty resulted in the beginnings of the Puritan
exodus to America. In the next chapter we shall see how the still more
arbitrary policy of his ill-fated son all at once gave new dimensions to
that exodus and resulted in the speedy planting of a high-spirited and
powerful New England.



When Captain George Weymouth in the summer of 1605 sailed into the
harbour of Plymouth in Devonshire, with his five kidnapped savages and
his glowing accounts of the country since known as New England, the
garrison of that fortified seaport was commanded by Sir Ferdinando
Gorges. The Christian name of this person now strikes us as rather odd,
but in those days it was not so uncommon in England, and it does not
necessarily indicate a Spanish or Italian ancestry for its bearer.
Gorges was a man of considerable ability, but not of high character. On
the downfall of his old patron the Earl of Essex he had contrived to
save his own fortunes by a course of treachery and ingratitude. He had
served in the Dutch war against Spain, and since 1596 had been military
governor of Plymouth. The sight of Weymouth's Indians and the recital of
his explorations awakened the interest of Gorges in the colonization of
North America. He became one of the most active members of the Plymouth,
or North Virginia, Company established in the following year. It was he
who took the leading part in fitting out the two ships with which John
Smith started on his unsuccessful expedition in 1615. In the following
years he continued to send out voyages of exploration, became largely
interested in the fisheries, and at length in 1620 succeeded in
obtaining a new patent for the Plymouth Company, by which it was made
independent of the London Company, its old yoke-fellow and rival. This
new document created a corporation of forty patentees who, sitting in
council as directors of their enterprise, were known as the Council for
New England. The president of this council was King James's unpopular
favourite the Duke of Buckingham, and its most prominent members
were the earls of Pembroke and Lenox, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and
Shakespeare's friend the Earl of Southampton. This council was empowered
to legislate for its American territory, to exercise martial law there
and expel all intruders, and to exercise a monopoly of trade within the
limits of the patent. Such extensive powers, entrusted to a company of
which Buckingham was the head, excited popular indignation, and in the
great struggle against monopolies which was then going on, the Plymouth
Company did not fail to serve as a target for attacks. It started,
however, with too little capital to enter upon schemes involving
immediate outlay, and began almost from the first to seek to increase
its income by letting or selling portions of its territory, which
extended from the latitude of Philadelphia to that of Quebec, thus
encroaching upon regions where Holland and France were already gaining
a foothold. It was from this company that the merchant adventurers
associated with the Mayflower Pilgrims obtained their new patent in
the summer of 1621, and for the next fifteen years all settlers in New
England based their claims to the soil upon territorial rights conveyed
to them by the Plymouth Company. The grants, however, were often
ignorantly and sometimes unscrupulously made, and their limits were so
ill-defined that much quarrelling ensued. [Sidenote: Sir Ferdinando
Gorges, and the Council for New England]

During the years immediately following the voyage of the Mayflower,
several attempts at settlement were made about the shores of
Massachusetts bay. One of the merchant adventurers, Thomas Weston, took
it into his head in 1622 to separate from his partners and send out a
colony of seventy men on his own account. These men made a settlement
at Wessagusset, some twenty-five miles north of Plymouth. They were a
disorderly, thriftless rabble, picked up from the London streets, and
soon got into trouble with the Indians; after a year they were glad
to get back to England as best they could, and in this the Plymouth
settlers willingly aided them. In June of that same year 1622 there
arrived on the scene a picturesque but ill understood personage, Thomas
Morton, "of Clifford's Inn, Gent.," as he tells on the title-page of
his quaint and delightful book, the "New English Canaan." Bradford
disparagingly says that he "had been a kind of petie-fogger of
Furnifell's Inn"; but the churchman Samuel Maverick declares that he
was a "gentleman of good qualitie." He was an agent of Sir Ferdinando
Gorges, and came with some thirty followers to make the beginnings of
a royalist and Episcopal settlement in the Massachusetts bay. He was
naturally regarded with ill favour by the Pilgrims as well as by the
later Puritan settlers, and their accounts of him will probably
bear taking with a grain or two of salt. [Sidenote: Wessagusset and

In 1625 there came one Captain Wollaston, with a gang of indented white
servants, and established himself on the site of the present town
of Quincy. Finding this system of industry ill suited to northern
agriculture, he carried most of his men off to Virginia, where he sold
them. Morton took possession of the site of the settlement, which he
called Merrymount. There, according to Bradford, he set up a "schoole of
athisme," and his men did quaff strong waters and comport themselves "as
if they had anew revived and celebrated the feasts of ye Roman Goddes
Flora, or the beastly practices of ye madd Bachanalians." Charges of
atheism have been freely hurled about in all ages. In Morton's case the
accusation seems to have been based upon the fact that he used the Book
of Common Prayer. His men so far maintained the ancient customs of
merry England as to plant a Maypole eighty feet high, about which they
frolicked with the redskins, while furthermore they taught them the
use of firearms and sold them muskets and rum. This was positively
dangerous, and in the summer of 1628 the settlers at Merrymount were
dispersed by Miles Standish. Morton was sent to England, but returned
the next year, and presently again repaired to Merrymount.

By this time other settlements were dotted about the coast. There were
a few scattered cottages or cabins at Nantasket and at the mouth of the
Piscataqua, while Samuel Maverick had fortified himself on Noddle's
Island, and William Blackstone already lived upon the Shawmut peninsula,
since called Boston. These two gentlemen were no friends to the
Puritans; they were churchmen and representatives of Sir Ferdinando

The case was very different with another of these earliest settlements,
which deserves especial mention as coming directly in the line of
causation which led to the founding of Massachusetts by Puritans. For
some years past the Dorchester adventurers--a small company of merchants
in the shire town of Dorset--had been sending vessels to catch fish off
the New England coast. In 1623 these men conceived the idea of planting
a small village as a fishing station, and setting up a church and
preacher therein, for the spiritual solace of the fishermen and sailors.
In pursuance of this scheme a small party occupied Cape Ann, where after
two years they got into trouble with the men of Plymouth. Several grants
and assignments had made it doubtful where the ownership lay, and
although this place was not near their own town, the men of Plymouth
claimed it. The dispute was amicably arranged by Roger Conant, an
independent settler who had withdrawn from Plymouth because he did not
fully sympathize with the Separatist views of the people there. The
next step was for the Dorchester adventurers to appoint Conant as their
manager, and the next was for them to abandon their enterprise, dissolve
their partnership, and leave the remnant of the little colony to shift
for itself. The settlers retained their tools and cattle, and Conant
found for them a new and safer situation at Naumkeag, on the site of the
present Salem. So far little seemed to have been accomplished; one more
seemed added to the list of failures.

But the excellent John White, the Puritan rector of Trinity Church in
Dorchester, had meditated carefully about these things. He saw that
many attempts at colonization had failed because they made use of unfit
instruments, "a multitude of rude ungovernable persons, the very scum of
the land." So Virginia had failed in its first years, and only succeeded
when settled by worthy and industrious people under a strong government.
The example of Plymouth, as contrasted with Wessagusset, taught a
similar lesson. We desire, said White, "to raise a bulwark against the
kingdom of Antichrist." Learn wisdom, my countrymen, from the ruin which
has befallen the Protestants at Rochelle and in the Palatinate; learn
"to avoid the plague while it is foreseen, and not to tarry as they did
till it overtook them." The Puritan party in England was numerous and
powerful, but the day of strife was not far off and none might foretell
its issue. Clearly it was well to establish a strong and secure retreat
in the New World, in case of disaster in the Old. What had been done at
Plymouth by a few men of humble means might be done on a much greater
scale by an association of leading Puritans, including men of wealth and
wide social influence. Such arguments were urged in timely pamphlets, of
one of which White is supposed to have been the author. The matter was
discussed in London, and inquiry was made whether fit men could be found
"to engage their persons in the voyage." "It fell out that among others
they lighted at last on Master Endicott, a man well known to divers
persons of good note, who manifested much willingness to accept of the
offer as soon as it was tendered." All were thereby much encouraged, the
schemes of White took definite shape, and on the 19th of March, 1628, a
tract of land was obtained from the Council for New England, consisting
of all the territory included between three miles north of the Merrimack
and three miles south of the Charles in one direction, and the Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans in the other. [Sidenote: John White and his noble

This liberal grant was made at a time when people still supposed the
Pacific coast to be not far west of Henry Hudson's river. The territory
was granted to an association of six gentlemen, only one of whom--John
Endicott--figures conspicuously in the history of New England. The
grant was made in the usual reckless style, and conflicted with various
patents which had been issued before. In 1622 Gorges and John Mason
had obtained a grant of all the land between the rivers Kennebec
and Merrimack, and the new grant encroached somewhat upon this. The
difficulty seems to have been temporarily adjusted by some sort of
compromise which restricted the new grant to the Merrimack, for in 1629
we find Mason's title confirmed to the region between that river and the
Piscataqua, while later on Gorges appears as proprietor of the territory
between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec. A more serious difficulty was
the claim of Robert Gorges, son of Sir Ferdinando. That young man had in
1623 obtained a grant of some 300 square miles in Massachusetts, and had
gone to look after it, but had soon returned discouraged to England
and shortly afterward died. But his claim devolved upon his surviving
brother, John Gorges, and Sir Ferdinando, in consenting to the grant to
Endicott and his friends, expressly reserved the rights of his sons. No
such reservation, however, was mentioned in the Massachusetts charter,
and the colonists never paid the slightest heed to it. In these
conflicting claims were sown seeds of trouble which bore fruit for more
than half a century. In such cases actual possession is apt to make nine
points in the law, and accordingly Endicott was sent over, as soon as
possible, with sixty persons, to reinforce the party at Naumkeag and
supersede Conant as its leader. On Endicott's arrival in September,
1628, the settlers were at first inclined to dispute his authority, but
they were soon conciliated, and in token of this amicable adjustment the
place was called by the Hebrew name of Salem, or "peace." [Sidenote:
Conflicting grants sow seeds of trouble] [Sidenote: John Endicot and the
founding of Salem]

Meanwhile Mr. White and the partners in England were pushing things
vigorously. Their scheme took a wider scope. They were determined to
establish something more than a trading company. From Charles I. it
was sometimes easy to get promises because he felt himself under no
obligation to keep them. In March, 1629, a royal charter was granted,
creating a corporation, under the legal style of the Governor and
Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England. The affairs of this
corporate body were to be managed by a governor, deputy-governor, and a
council of eighteen assistants, to be elected annually by the company.
They were empowered to make such laws as they liked for their settlers,
provided they did not contravene the laws of England,--a proviso
susceptible of much latitude of interpretation. The place where the
company was to hold its meetings was not mentioned in the charter. The
law-officers of the crown at first tried to insert a condition that
the government must reside in England, but the grantees with skilful
argument succeeding in preventing this. Nothing was said in the charter
about religious liberty, for a twofold reason: the crown would not have
granted it, and it was not what the grantees wanted; such a provision
would have been liable to hamper them seriously in carrying out their
scheme. They preferred to keep in their own hands the question as to how
much or how little religious liberty they should claim or allow. Six
small ships were presently fitted out, and upon them were embarked 300
men, 80 women, and 26 children, with 140 head of cattle, 40 goats, and
abundance of arms, ammunition, and tools. The principal leader of this
company was Francis Higginson, of St. John's College, Cambridge, rector
of a church in Leicestershire, who had been deprived of his living for
non-conformity. With him were associated two other ministers, also
graduates of Cambridge. All three were members of the council. By the
arrival of this company at Salem, Endicott now became governor of a
colony larger than any yet started in New England,--larger than Plymouth
after its growth of nearly nine years. [Sidenote: The Company of
Massachusetts Bay]

The time was at length ripe for that great Puritan exodus of which the
voyage of the Mayflower had been the premonitory symptom. The grand
crisis for the Puritans had come, the moment when decisive action could
no longer be deferred. It was not by accident that the rapid development
of John White's enterprise into the Company of Massachusetts Bay
coincided exactly with the first four years of the reign of Charles I.
They were years well fitted to bring such a scheme to quick maturity.
The character of Charles was such as to exacerbate the evils of his
father's reign. James could leave some things alone in the comfortable
hope that all would by and by come out right, but Charles was not
satisfied without meddling everywhere. Both father and son cherished
some good intentions; both were sincere believers in their narrow theory
of kingcraft. For wrong-headed obstinacy, utter want of tact, and
bottomless perfidy, there was little to choose between them. The
humorous epitaph of the grandson "whose word no man relies on" might
have served for them all. But of this unhappy family Charles I. was
eminently the dreamer. He lived in a world of his own, and was slow
in rendering thought into action; and this made him rely upon the
quick-witted but unwise and unscrupulous Buckingham, [5] who was silly
enough to make feeble attempts at unpopular warfare without consulting
Parliament. During each of Charles's first four years there was an
angry session of Parliament, in which, through the unwillingness of the
popular leaders to resort to violence, the king's policy seemed able
to hold its ground. Despite all protest the king persisted in levying
strange taxes and was to some extent able to collect them. Men who
refused to pay enforced loans were thrown into jail and the writ of
_habeas corpus_ was denied them. Meanwhile the treatment of Puritans
became more and more vexatious. It was clear enough that Charles meant
to become an absolute monarch, like Louis XIII., but Parliament began
by throwing all the blame upon the unpopular minister and seeking to
impeach him.

On the 5th of June, 1628, the House of Commons presented the most
extraordinary spectacle, perhaps in all its history. The famous Petition
of Right had been Passed by both Houses, and the royal answer had just
been received. Its tone was that of gracious assent, but it omitted the
necessary legal formalities, and the Commons well knew what this meant.
They were to be tricked with sweet words, and the petition was not to
acquire the force of a statute. How was it possible to deal with such a
slippery creature? There was but one way of saving the dignity of the
throne without sacrificing the liberty of the people, and that was to
hold the king's ministers responsible to Parliament, in anticipation
of modern methods. It was accordingly proposed to impeach the Duke
of Buckingham before the House of Lords. The Speaker now "brought an
imperious message from the king, ... warning them ... that he would not
tolerate any aspersion upon his ministers." Nothing daunted by this,
Sir John Eliot arose to lead the debate, when the Speaker called him to
order in view of the king's message. "Amid a deadly stillness" Eliot
sat down and burst into tears. For a moment the House was overcome
with despair. Deprived of all constitutional methods of redress, they
suddenly saw yawning before them the direful alternative--slavery or
civil war. Since the day of Bosworth a hundred and fifty years had
passed without fighting worthy of mention on English soil, such an era
of peace as had hardly ever before been seen on the earth; now half the
nation was to be pitted against the other half, families were to be
divided against themselves, as in the dreadful days of the Roses, and
with what consequences no one could foresee. "Let us sit in silence,"
quoth Sir Dudley Digges, "we are miserable, we know not what to do!"
Nay, cried Sir Nathaniel Rich, "we _must_ now speak, or forever hold our
peace." Then did grim Mr. Prynne and Sir Edward Coke mingle their words
with sobs, while there were few dry eyes in the House. Presently they
found their voices, and used them in a way that wrung from the startled
king his formal assent to the Petition of Right. [Sidenote: Remarkable
scene in the House of Commons]

There is something strangely pathetic and historically significant [6]
in the emotion of these stern, fearless men. The scene was no less
striking on the 2d of the following March, when, "amid the cries and
entreaties of the Speaker held down in his chair by force," while the
Usher of the Black Rod was knocking loudly at the bolted door, and the
tramp of the king's soldiers was heard in the courtyard, Eliot's clear
voice rang out the defiance that whoever advised the levy of tonnage and
poundage without a grant from Parliament, or whoever voluntarily paid
those duties, was to be counted an enemy to the kingdom and a betrayer
of its liberties. As shouts of "Aye, aye," resounded on every side, "the
doors were flung open, and the members poured forth in a throng." The
noble Eliot went to end his days in the Tower, and for eleven years no
Parliament sat again in England. [7]

It was in one and the same week that Charles I. thus began his
experiment of governing without a Parliament, and that he granted a
charter to the Company of Massachusetts Bay. He was very far, as we
shall see, from realizing the import of what he was doing. To the
Puritan leaders it was evident that a great struggle was at hand.
Affairs at home might well seem desperate, and the news from abroad was
not encouraging. It was only four months since the surrender of Rochelle
had ended the existence of the Huguenots as an armed political party.
They had now sunk into the melancholy condition of a tolerated sect
which may at any moment cease to be tolerated. In Germany the
terrible Thirty Years War had just reached the darkest moment for
the Protestants. Fifteen months were yet to pass before the immortal
Gustavus was to cross the Baltic and give to the sorely harassed cause
of liberty a fresh lease of life. The news of the cruel Edict of
Restitution in this same fateful month of March, 1629, could not but
give the English Puritans great concern. Everywhere in Europe the
champions of human freedom seemed worsted. They might well think that
never had the prospect looked so dismal; and never before, as never
since, did the venture of a wholesale migration to the New World so
strongly recommend itself as the only feasible escape from a situation
that was fast becoming intolerable. Such were the anxious thoughts of
the leading Puritans in the spring of 1629, and in face of so grave a
problem different minds came naturally to different conclusions. Some
were for staying in England to fight it out to the bitter end; some were
for crossing the ocean to create a new England in the wilderness. Either
task was arduous enough, and not to be achieved without steadfast and
sober heroism. [Sidenote: Desperate nature of the crisis]

On the 26th of August twelve gentlemen, among the most eminent in the
Puritan party, held a meeting at Cambridge, and resolved to lead a
migration to New England, provided the charter of the Massachusetts Bay
Company and the government established under it could be transferred to
that country. On examination it appeared that no legal obstacle stood in
the way. Accordingly such of the old officers as did not wish to take
part in the emigration resigned their places, which were forthwith
filled by these new leaders. For governor the choice fell upon John
Winthrop, a wealthy gentleman from Groton in Suffolk, who was henceforth
to occupy the foremost place among the founders of New England. Winthrop
was at this time forty-one years of age, having been born in the
memorable year of the Armada. He was a man of remarkable strength and
beauty of character, grave and modest, intelligent and scholarlike,
intensely religious and endowed with a moral sensitiveness that was
almost morbid, yet liberal withal in his opinions and charitable in
disposition. When his life shall have been adequately written, as it
never has been, he will be recognized as one of the very noblest figures
in American history. From early youth he had that same power of
winning confidence and commanding respect for which Washington was so
remarkable; and when he was selected as the Moses of the great Puritan
exodus, there was a wide-spread feeling that extraordinary results were
likely to come of such an enterprise.

In marked contrast to Winthrop stands the figure of the man associated
with him as deputy-governor. Thomas Dudley came of an ancient family,
the history of which, alike in the old and in the new England, has not
been altogether creditable. He represented the elder branch of that
Norman family, to the younger branch of which belonged the unfortunate
husband of Lady Jane Grey and the unscrupulous husband of Amy Robsart.
There was, however, very little likeness to Elizabeth's gay lover
in grim Thomas Dudley. His Puritanism was bleak and stern, and for
Christian charity he was not eminent. He had a foible for making verses,
and at his death there was found in his pocket a poem of his, containing
a quatrain wherein the intolerance of that age is neatly summed up:--

"Let men of God in courts and churches watch O'er such as do a
Toleration hatch, Lest that ill egg bring forth a cockatrice To poison
all with heresy and vice."

Such was the spirit of most of the Puritans of that day, but in the
manifestation of it there were great differences, and here was the
strong contrast between Dudley and Winthrop,--a contrast which shows
itself in their portraits. In that of Dudley we see the typical
narrow-minded, strait-laced Calvinist for whom it is so much easier to
entertain respect than affection. In that of Winthrop we see a face
expressive of what was finest in the age of Elizabeth,--the face of a
spiritual brother of Raleigh and Bacon.

The accession of two men so important as Winthrop and Dudley served to
bring matters speedily to a crisis. Their embarkation in April, 1630,
was the signal for a general movement on the part of the English
Puritans. Before Christmas of that year seventeen ships had come to
New England, bringing more than 1000 passengers. This huge wave of
immigration quite overwhelmed and bore away the few links of possession
by which Gorges had thus far kept his hold upon the country. In January,
1629, John Gorges had tried to assert the validity of his late brother's
claim by executing conveyances covering portions of it. One of these
was to John Oldham, a man who had been harshly treated at Plymouth, and
might be supposed very ready to defend his rights against settlers
of the Puritan company. Gorges further maintained that he retained
possession of the country through the presence of his brother's tenants,
Blackstone, Maverick, Walford, and others on the shores of the bay. In
June, 1629, Endicott had responded by sending forward some fifty persons
from Salem to begin the settlement of Charlestown. Shortly before
Winthrop's departure from England, Gorges had sent that singular
personage Sir Christopher Gardiner to look after his interests in the
New World, and there he was presently found established near the mouth
of the Neponset river, in company with "a comly yonge woman whom he
caled his cousin." But these few claimants were now at once lost in the
human tide which poured over Charlestown, Boston, Newtown, Watertown,
Roxbury, and Dorchester. The settlement at Merrymount was again
dispersed, and Morton sent back to London; Gardiner fled to the coast
of Maine and thence sailed for England in 1632. The Puritans had indeed
occupied the country in force.

Here on the very threshold we are confronted by facts which show that
not a mere colonial plantation, but a definite and organized state was
in process of formation. The emigration was not like that of Jamestown
or of Plymouth. It sufficed at once to make the beginnings of half a
dozen towns, and the question as to self-government immediately sprang
up. Early in 1631 a tax of £60 was assessed upon the settlements, in
order to pay for building frontier fortifications at Newtown. This
incident was in itself of small dimensions, as incidents in newly
founded states are apt to be. But in its historic import it may serve
to connect the England of John Hampden with the New England of Samuel
Adams. The inhabitants of Watertown at first declined to pay this tax,
which was assessed by the Board of Assistants, on the ground that
English freemen cannot rightfully be taxed save by their own consent.
This protest led to a change in the constitution of the infant colony,
and here, at once, we are introduced to the beginnings of American
constitutional history. At first it was thought that public business
could be transacted by a primary assembly of all the freemen in the
colony meeting four times in the year; but the number of freemen
increased so fast that this was almost at once (in October, 1630) found
to be impracticable. The right of choosing the governor and making the
laws was then left to the Board of Assistants; and in May, 1631, it was
further decided that the assistants need not be chosen afresh every
year, but might keep their seats during good behaviour or until ousted
by special vote of the freemen. If the settlers of Massachusetts had
been ancient Greeks or Romans, this would have been about as far as they
could go in the matter; the choice would have been between a primary
assembly and an assembly of notables. It is curious to see Englishmen
passing from one of these alternatives to the other. But it was only for
a moment. The protest of the Watertown men came in time to check these
proceedings, which began to have a decidedly oligarchical look. To
settle the immediate question of the tax, two deputies were sent from
each settlement to advise with the Board of Assistants; while the power
of choosing each year the governor and assistants was resumed by the
freemen. Two years later, in order to reserve to the freemen the power
of making laws without interfering too much with the ordinary business
of life, the colonists fell back upon the old English rural plan of
electing deputies or representatives to a general court. [Sidenote: The
question as to self-government raised at Watertown]

At first the deputies sat in the same chamber with the assistants, but
at length in 1644 they were formed into a second chamber with increased
powers, and the way in which this important constitutional change came
about is worth remembering, as an illustration of the smallness of the
state which so soon was to play a great part in history. As Winthrop
puts it, "there fell out a great business upon a very small occasion."
To a certain Captain Keayne, of Boston, a rich man deemed to be hard and
overbearing toward the poor, there was brought a stray pig, whereof he
gave due public notice through the town-crier, yet none came to claim it
till after he had killed a pig of his own which he kept in the same stye
with the stray. A year having passed by, a poor woman named Sherman came
to see the stray and to decide if it were one that she had lost. Not
recognizing it as hers, she forthwith laid claim to the slaughtered pig.
The case was brought before the elders of the church of Boston, who
decided that the woman was mistaken. Mrs. Sherman then accused the
captain of theft, and brought the case before a jury, which exonerated
the defendant with £3 costs. The captain then sued Mrs. Sherman for
defamation of character and got a verdict for £40 damages, a round
sum indeed to assess upon the poor woman. But long before this it had
appeared that she had many partisans and supporters; it had become a
political question, in which the popular protest against aristocracy was
implicated. Not yet browbeaten, the warlike Mrs. Sherman appealed to the
General Court. The length of the hearing shows the importance which
was attached to the case. After seven days of discussion, the vote
was taken. Seven assistants and eight deputies approved the former
decisions, two assistants and fifteen deputies condemned them, while
seven deputies refrained from voting. In other words, Captain Keayne has
a decided majority among the more aristocratic assistants, while Mrs.
Sherman seemed to prevail with the more democratic deputies. Regarding
the result as the vote of a single body, the woman had a plurality of
two; regarding it as the vote of a double body, her cause had prevailed
in the lower house, but was lost by the veto of the upper. No decision
was reached at the time, but after a year of discussion the legislature
was permanently separated into two houses, each with a veto power upon
the other; and this was felt to be a victory for the assistants. As for
the ecclesiastical polity of the new colony, it had begun to take
shape immediately upon the arrival of Endicott's party at Salem. The
clergymen, Samuel Skelton and Francis Higginson, consecrated each
other, and a church covenant and confession of faith were drawn up by
Higginson. Thirty persons joining in this covenant constituted the first
church in the colony; and several brethren appointed by this church
proceeded formally to ordain the two ministers by the laying on of
hands. In such simple wise was the first Congregational church in
Massachusetts founded. The simple fact of removal from England converted
all the Puritan emigrants into Separatists, as Robinson had already
predicted. Some, however, were not yet quite prepared for so radical a
measure. These proceedings gave umbrage to two of the Salem party, who
attempted forthwith to set up a separate church in conformity with
episcopal models. A very important question was thus raised at once, but
it was not allowed to disturb the peace of the colony. Endicott was a
man of summary methods. He immediately sent the two malcontents back to
England; and thus the colonial church not only seceded from the national
establishment, but the principle was virtually laid down that the
Episcopal form of worship would not be tolerated in the colony. For the
present such a step was to be regarded as a measure of self-defence on
the part of the colonists. Episcopacy to them meant actual and practical
tyranny--the very thing they had crossed the ocean expressly to get
away from--and it was hardly to be supposed that they would encourage
the growth of it in their new home. One or two surpliced priests,
conducting worship in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer, might
in themselves be excellent members of society; but behind the surpliced
priest the colonist saw the intolerance of Laud and the despotism of
the Court of High Commission. In 1631 a still more searching measure
of self-protection was adopted. It was decided that "no man shall be
admitted to the freedom of this body politic, but such as are members of
some of the churches within the limits of the same." Into the merits of
this measure as illustrating the theocratic ideal of society which the
Puritans sought to realize in New England, we shall inquire hereafter.
At present we must note that, as a measure of self-protection, this
decree was intended to keep out of the new community all emissaries of
Strafford and Laud, as well as such persons as Morton and Gardiner and
other agents of Sir Ferdinando Gorges.

By the year 1634 the scheme of the Massachusetts Company had so far
prospered that nearly 4000 Englishmen had come over, and some twenty
villages on or near the shores of the bay had been founded. The building
of permanent houses, roads, fences, and bridges had begun to go on quite
briskly; farms were beginning to yield a return for the labour of the
husbandman; lumber, furs, and salted fish were beginning to be sent to
England in exchange for manufactured articles; 4000 goats and 1500 head
of cattle grazed in the pastures, and swine innumerable rooted in the
clearings and helped to make ready the land for the ploughman. Political
meetings were held, justice was administered by magistrates after old
English precedents, and church services were performed by a score of
clergymen, nearly all graduates of Cambridge, though one or two had
their degrees from Oxford, and nearly all of whom had held livings in
the Church of England. The most distinguished of these clergymen, John
Cotton, in his younger days a Fellow and Tutor of Emmanuel College, had
for more than twenty years been rector of St. Botolph's, when he left
the most magnificent parish church in England to hold service in the
first rude meeting-house of the new Boston. From Emmanuel College came
also Thomas Hooker and John Harvard. Besides these clergymen, so many of
the leading persons concerned in the emigration were university men that
it was not long before a university began to seem indispensable to
the colony. In 1636 the General Court appropriated £400 toward the
establishment of a college at Newtown. In 1638 John Harvard, dying
childless, bequeathed his library and the half of his estate to the new
college, which the Court forthwith ordered to be called by his name;
while in honour of the mother university the name of the town was
changed to Cambridge.

[Illustration: Founding of Harvard College]

It has been said that the assembly which decreed the establishment
of Harvard College was "the first body in which the people, by their
representatives, ever gave their own money to found a place of
education." [8] The act was a memorable one if we have regard to all the
circumstances of the year in which it was done. On every side danger was
in the air. Threatened at once with an Indian war, with the enmity of
the home government, and with grave dissensions among themselves, the
year 1636 was a trying one indeed for the little community of Puritans,
and their founding a college by public taxation just at this time is a
striking illustration of their unalterable purpose to realize, in this
new home, their ideal of an educated Christian society. [Sidenote:
Threefold danger in the year 1636]

That the government of Charles I. should view with a hostile eye the
growth of a Puritan state in New England is not at all surprising. (1.
From the king, who prepares to attack the infant colony but is fueled by
dissensions at home.) The only fit ground for wonder would seem to be
that Charles should have been willing at the outset to grant a charter
to the able and influential Puritans who organized the Company of
Massachusetts Bay. Probably, however, the king thought at first that it
would relieve him at home if a few dozen of the Puritan leaders could
be allowed to concentrate their minds upon a project of colonization in
America. It might divert attention for a moment from his own despotic
schemes. Very likely the scheme would prove a failure and the
Massachusetts colony incur a fate like that of Roanoke Island; and at
all events the wealth of the Puritans might better be sunk in a remote
and perilous enterprise than employed at home in organizing resistance
to the crown. Such, very likely, may have been the king's motive in
granting the Massachusetts charter two days after turning his Parliament
out of doors. But the events of the last half-dozen years had come to
present the case in a new light. The young colony was not languishing.
It was full of sturdy life; it had wrought mischief to the schemes of
Gorges; and what was more, it had begun to take unheard-of liberties
with things ecclesiastical and political. Its example was getting to be
a dangerous one. It was evidently worth while to put a strong curb upon
Massachusetts. Any promise made to his subjects Charles regarded as
a promise made under duress which he was quite justified in breaking
whenever it suited his purpose to do so. Enemies of Massachusetts were
busy in England. Schismatics from Salem and revellers from Merrymount
were ready with their tales of woe, and now Gorges and Mason were
vigorously pressing their territorial claims. They bargained with
the king. In February, 1635, the moribund Council for New England
surrendered its charter and all its corporate rights in America, on
condition that the king should disregard all the various grants by which
these rights had from time to time been alienated, and should divide
up the territory of New England in severalty among the members of the
Council. In pursuance of this scheme Gorges and Mason, together with
half a dozen noblemen, were allowed to parcel out New England among
themselves as they should see fit. In this way the influence of the
Marquis of Hamilton, with the Earls of Arundel, Surrey, Carlisle, and
Stirling, might be actively enlisted against the Massachusetts Company.
A writ of _quo warranto_ was brought against it; and it was proposed to
send Sir Ferdinando to govern New England with viceregal powers like
those afterward exercised by Andros.

For a moment the danger seemed alarming; but, as Winthrop says, "the
Lord frustrated their design." It was noted as a special providence that
the ship in which Gorges was to sail was hardly off the stocks when it
fell to pieces. Then the most indefatigable enemy of the colony, John
Mason, suddenly died. The king issued his famous writ of ship-money and
set all England by the ears; and, to crown all, the attempt to read the
Episcopal liturgy at St. Giles's church in Edinburgh led straight to
the Solemn League and Covenant. Amid the first mutterings of the Great
Rebellion the proceedings against Massachusetts were dropped, and the
unheeded colony went on thriving in its independent course. Possibly too
some locks at Whitehall may have been turned with golden keys, [9] for
the company was rich, and the king was ever open to such arguments. But
when the news of his evil designs had first reached Boston the people of
the infant colony showed no readiness to yield to intimidation. In their
measures there was a decided smack of what was to be realized a hundred
and forty years later. Orders were immediately issued for fortifying
Castle Island in the harbour and the heights at Charlestown and
Dorchester. Militia companies were put in training, and a beacon was
set up on the highest hill in Boston, to give prompt notice to all the
surrounding country of any approaching enemy.

While the ill will of the home government thus kept the colonists in a
state of alarm, there were causes of strife at work at their very doors,
of which they were fain to rid themselves as soon as possible. Among all
the Puritans who came to New England there is no more interesting figure
than the learned, quick-witted pugnacious Welshman, Roger Williams. He
was over-fond of logical subtleties and delighted in controversy. There
was scarcely any subject about which he did not wrangle, from the
sinfulness of persecution to the propriety of women wearing veils in
church. Yet, with all this love of controversy, there has perhaps
never lived a more gentle and kindly soul. Within five years from the
settlement of Massachusetts this young preacher had announced the true
principles of religious liberty with a clearness of insight quite
remarkable in that age. Roger Williams had been aided in securing an
education by the great lawyer Sir Edward Coke, and had lately taken his
degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge; but the boldness with which he
declared his opinions had aroused the hostility of Laud, and in 1631 he
had come over to Plymouth, whence he removed two years later to Salem,
and became pastor of the church there. The views of Williams, if
logically carried out, involved the entire separation of church from
state, the equal protection of all forms of religious faith, the repeal
of all laws compelling attendance on public worship, the abolition of
tithes and of all forced contributions to the support of religion. Such
views are to-day quite generally adopted by the more civilized portions
of the Protestant world; but it is needless to say that they were not
the views of the seventeenth century, in Massachusetts or elsewhere. For
declaring such opinions as these on the continent of Europe, anywhere
except in Holland, a man like Williams would in that age have run great
risk of being burned at the stake. In England, under the energetic
misgovernment of Laud, he would very likely have had to stand in the
pillory with his ears cropped, or perhaps, like Bunyan and Baxter, would
have been sent to jail. In Massachusetts such views were naturally
enough regarded as anarchical, but in Williams's case they were further
complicated by grave political imprudence. He wrote a pamphlet in which
he denied the right of the colonists to the lands which they held in New
England under the king's grant. He held that the soil belonged to the
Indians, that the settlers could only obtain a valid title to it by
purchase from them, and that the acceptance of a patent from a mere
intruder, like the king, was a sin requiring public repentance. This
doctrine was sure to be regarded in England as an attack upon the king's
supremacy over Massachusetts, and at the same time an incident occurred
in Salem which made it all the more unfortunate. The royal colours under
which the little companies of militia marched were emblazoned with the
red cross of St. George. The uncompromising Endicott loathed this emblem
as tainted with Popery, and one day he publicly defaced the flag of the
Salem company by cutting out the cross. The enemies of Massachusetts
misinterpreted this act as a defiance aimed at the royal authority, and
they attributed it to the teachings of Williams. In view of the king's
unfriendliness these were dangerous proceedings. Endicott was summoned
before the General Court at Boston, where he was publicly reprimanded
and declared incapable of holding office for a year. A few months
afterward, in January, 1636, Williams was ordered by the General Court
to come to Boston and embark in a ship that was about to set sail for
England. But he escaped into the forest, and made his way through the
snow to the wigwam of Massasoit. He was a rare linguist, and had learned
to talk fluently in the language of the Indians, and now he passed the
winter in trying to instill into their ferocious hearts something of the
gentleness of Christianity. In the spring he was privately notified by
Winthrop that if he were to steer his course to Narragansett bay he
would be secure from molestation; and such was the beginning of the
settlement of Providence. [Sidenote: From religious dissensions; Roger

Shortly before the departure of Williams, there came to Boston one of
the greatest Puritan statesmen of that heroic age, the younger Henry
Vane. It is pleasant to remember that the man and Anne who did so much
to overthrow the tyranny of Strafford, who brought the military strength
of Scotland to the aid of the hard-pressed Parliament, who administered
the navy with which Blake won his astonishing victories, who dared even
withstand Cromwell at the height of his power when his measures became
too violent,--it is pleasant to remember that this admirable man was
once the chief magistrate of an American commonwealth. It is pleasant
for a Harvard man to remember that as such he presided over the assembly
that founded our first university. Thorough republican and enthusiastic
lover of liberty, he was spiritually akin to Jefferson and to Samuel
Adams. Like Williams he was a friend to toleration, and like Williams
he found Massachusetts an uncomfortable home. In 1636 he was only
twenty-four years of age, "young in years," and perhaps not yet "in
sage counsel old." He was chosen governor for that year, and his
administration was stormy. Among those persons who had followed Mr.
Cotton from Lincolnshire was Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, a very bright and
capable lady, if perhaps somewhat impulsive and indiscreet. She had
brought over with her, says Winthrop, "two dangerous errors: first, that
the person of the Holy Ghost dwells in a justified person; second, that
no sanctification can help to evidence to us our justification." Into
the merits of such abstruse doctrines it is not necessary for the
historian to enter. One can hardly repress a smile as one reflects
how early in the history of Boston some of its characteristic social
features were developed. It is curious to read of lectures there in
1636, lectures by a lady, and transcendentalist lectures withal! Never
did lectures in Boston arouse greater excitement than Mrs. Hutchinson's.
Many of her hearers forsook the teachings of the regular ministers, to
follow her. [Sidenote: Henry Vane and Anne Hutchinson]

She was very effectively supported by her brother-in-law, Mr.
Wheelwright, an eloquent preacher, and for a while she seemed to be
carrying everything before her. She won her old minister Mr. Cotton, she
won the stout soldier Captain Underhill, she won Governor Vane himself;
while she incurred the deadly hatred of such men as Dudley and Cotton's
associate John Wilson. The church at Boston was divided into two hostile
camps. The sensible Winthrop marvelled at hearing men distinguished "by
being under a covenant of grace or a covenant of works, as in other
countries between Protestants and Papists," and he ventured to doubt
whether any man could really tell what the difference was. The
theological strife went on until it threatened to breed civil
disaffection among the followers of Mrs. Hutchinson. A peculiar
bitterness was given to the affair, from the fact that she professed to
be endowed with the spirit of prophecy and taught her partisans that it
was their duty to follow the biddings of a supernatural light; and there
was nothing which the orthodox Puritan so steadfastly abhorred as the
anarchical pretence of living by the aid of a supernatural light. In a
strong and complex society the teachings of Mrs. Hutchinson would have
awakened but a languid speculative interest, or perhaps would have
passed by unheeded. In the simple society of Massachusetts in 1636,
physically weak and as yet struggling for very existence, the practical
effect of such teachings may well have been deemed politically
dangerous. When things came to such a pass that the forces of the colony
were mustered for an Indian campaign and the men of Boston were ready to
shirk the service because they suspected their chaplain to be "under a
covenant of works," it was naturally thought to be high time to put Mrs.
Hutchinson down. In the spring of 1637 Winthrop was elected governor,
and in August Vane returned to England. His father had at that moment
more influence with the king than any other person except Strafford,
and the young man had indiscreetly hinted at an appeal to the home
government for the protection of the Antinomians, as Mrs. Hutchinson's
followers were called. But an appeal from America to England was
something which Massachusetts would no more tolerate in the days of
Winthrop than in the days of Hancock and Adams. Soon after Vane's
departure, Mrs. Hutchinson and her friends were ordered to leave the
colony. It was doubtless an odious act of persecution, yet of all
such acts which stain the history of Massachusetts in the seventeenth
century, it is just the one for which the plea of political necessity
may really be to some extent accepted.

We now begin to see how the spreading of the New England colonization,
and the founding of distinct communities, was hastened by these
differences of opinion on theological questions or on questions
concerning the relations between church and state. Of Mrs. Hutchinson's
friends and adherents, some went northward, and founded the towns of
Exeter and Hampton. Some time before Portsmouth and Dover had been
settled by followers of Mason and Gorges. In 1641 these towns were added
to the domain of Massachusetts, and so the matter stood until 1679, when
we shall see Charles II. marking them off as a separate province, under
a royal government. Such were the beginnings of New Hampshire. Mrs.
Hutchinson herself, however, with the rest of her adherents, bought
the island of Aquedneck from the Indians, and settlements were made at
Portsmouth and Newport. After a quarter of a century of turbulence,
these settlements coalesced with Williams's colony at Providence, and
thus was formed the state of Rhode Island. After her husband's death in
1642, Mrs. Hutchinson left Aquedneck and settled upon some land to the
west of Stamford and supposed to be within the territory of the New
Netherlands. There in the following year she was cruelly murdered by
Indians, together with nearly all her children and servants, sixteen
victims in all. One of her descendants was the illustrious Thomas
Hutchinson, the first great American historian, and last royal governor
of Massachusetts.

To the dangers arising from the ill-will of the crown, and from these
theological quarrels, there was added the danger of a general attack by
the savages. Down to this time, since the landing of the Pilgrims at
Plymouth, the settlers of New England had been in no way molested by the
natives. Massasoit's treaty with the Pilgrims was scrupulously observed
on both sides, and kept the Wampanoags quiet for fifty-four years. The
somewhat smaller tribe which took its name from the _Massawachusett_, or
Great Hill, of Milton, kept on friendly terms with the settlers about
Boston, because these red men coveted the powerful aid of the white
strangers in case of war with their hereditary foes the Tarratines, who
dwelt in the Piscataqua country. It was only when the English began
to leave these coast regions and press into the interior that trouble
arose. The western shores of Narragansett bay were possessed by
the numerous and warlike tribe of that name, which held in partial
subjection the Nyantics near Point Judith. To the west of these, and
about the Thames river, dwelt the still more formidable Pequots, a tribe
which for bravery and ferocity asserted a preeminence in New England
not unlike that which the Iroquois league of the Mohawk valley was fast
winning over all North America east of the Mississippi. North of the
Pequots, the squalid villages of the Nipmucks were scattered over the
beautiful highlands that stretch in long ridges from Quinsigamond to
Nichewaug, and beyond toward blue Monadnock. Westward, in the lower
Connecticut valley, lived the Mohegans, a small but valiant tribe, now
for some time held tributary to their Pequot cousins, and very restive
under the yoke. The thickly wooded mountain ranges between the
Connecticut and the Hudson had few human inhabitants. These hundred
miles of crag and forest were a bulwark none too wide or strong against
the incursions of the terrible Mohawks, whose name sent a shiver of fear
throughout savage New England, and whose forbearance the Nipmucks and
Mohegans were fain to ensure by a yearly payment of blackmail. Each
summer there came two Mohawk elders, secure in the dread that Iroquois
prowess had everywhere inspired; and up and down the Connecticut valley
they seized the tribute of weapons and wampum, and proclaimed the last
harsh edict issued from the savage council at Onondaga. The scowls that
greeted their unwelcome visits were doubtless nowhere fiercer than among
the Mohegans, thus ground down between Mohawk and Pequot as between the
upper and the nether millstone. [Sidenote: From the Indians: the Pequot

Among the various points in which civilized man surpasses the savage
none is more conspicuous than the military brute force which in the
highest civilization is always latent though comparatively seldom
exerted. The sudden intrusion of English warfare into the Indian world
of the seventeenth century may well have seemed to the red men a
supernatural visitation, like the hurricane or the earthquake. The
uncompromising vigour with which the founders of Massachusetts carried
on their work was viewed in some quarters with a dissatisfaction which
soon thrust the English migration into the very heart of the Indian

The first movement, however, was directed against the encroachments of
the New Netherlands. In October, 1634, some men of Plymouth, led by
William Holmes, sailed up the Connecticut river, and, after bandying
threats with a party of Dutch who had built a rude fort on the site of
Hartford, passed on and fortified themselves on the site of Windsor.
Next year Governor Van Twiller sent a company of seventy men to drive
away these intruders, but after reconnoitring the situation the Dutchmen
thought it best not to make an attack. Their little stronghold at
Hartford remained unmolested by the English, and, in order to secure
the communication between this advanced outpost and New Amsterdam, Van
Twiller decided to build another fort at the mouth of the river, but
this time the English were beforehand. Rumours of Dutch designs may
have reached the ears of Lord Say and Sele and Lord Brooke--"fanatic
Brooke," as Scott calls him in "Marmion"--who had obtained from the
Council for New England a grant of territory on the shores of the Sound.
These noblemen chose as their agent the younger John Winthrop, son of
the Massachusetts governor, and this new-comer arrived upon the scene
just in time to drive away Van Twiller's vessel and build an English
fort which in honour of his two patrons he called "Say-Brooke."

Had it not been for seeds of discontent already sown in Massachusetts,
the English hold upon the Connecticut valley might perhaps have been
for a few years confined to these two military outposts at Windsor and
Saybrook. But there were people in Massachusetts who did not look with
favour upon the aristocratic and theocratic features in its polity. The
provision that none but church-members should vote or hold office was
by no means unanimously approved. We see it in the course of another
generation putting altogether too much temporal power into the hands of
the clergy, and we can trace the growth of the opposition to it until in
the reign of Charles II. it becomes a dangerous source of weakness to
Massachusetts. At the outset the opposition seems to have been strongest
in Dorchester, Newtown, and Watertown. When the Board of Assistants
undertook to secure for themselves permanency of tenure, together with
the power of choosing the governor and making the laws, these three
towns sent deputies to Boston to inspect the charter and see if it
authorized any such stretch of power. They were foremost in insisting
that representatives chosen by the towns must have a share in the
general government. Men who held such opinions were naturally unwilling
to increase the political weight of the clergy, who, during these early
disputes and indeed until the downfall of the charter, were inclined to
take aristocratic views and to sympathize with the Board of Assistants.
Cotton declared that democracy was no fit government either for church
or for commonwealth, and the majority of the ministers agreed with
him. Chief among those who did not was the learned and eloquent Thomas
Hooker, pastor of the church at Newtown. When Winthrop, in a letter to
Hooker, defended the restriction of the suffrage on the ground that "the
best part is always the least, and of that best part the wiser part is
always the lesser;" Hooker replied that "in matters which concern the
common good, a general council, chosen by all, to transact businesses
which concern all, I conceive most suitable to rule and most safe for
relief of the whole." It is interesting to meet, on the very threshold
of American history, with such a lucid statement of the strongly
contrasted views which a hundred and fifty years later were to be
represented on a national scale by Hamilton and Jefferson. There were
many in Newtown who took Hooker's view of the matter; and there, as
also in Watertown and Dorchester, which in 1633 took the initiative in
framing town governments with selectmen, a strong disposition was shown
to evade the restrictions upon the suffrage.

While such things were talked about in the summer of 1633 the
adventurous John Oldham was making his way through the forest and over
the mountains into the Connecticut valley, and when he returned to
the coast his glowing accounts set some people to thinking. Two years
afterward a few pioneers from Dorchester pushed through the wilderness
as far as the Plymouth men's fort at Windsor, while a party from
Watertown went farther and came to a halt upon the site of Wethersfield.
A larger party, bringing cattle and such goods as they could carry,
set out in the autumn and succeeded in reaching Windsor. Their winter
supplies were sent around by water to meet them, but early in November
the ships had barely passed the Saybrook fort when they found the river
blocked with ice and were obliged to return to Boston. The sufferings of
the pioneers, thus cut off from the world, were dreadful. Their cattle
perished, and they were reduced to a diet of acorns and ground-nuts.
Some seventy of them, walking on the frozen river to Saybrook, were
so fortunate as to find a crazy little sloop jammed in the ice. They
succeeded in cutting her adrift, and steered themselves back to Boston.
Others surmounted greater obstacles in struggling back through the snow
over the region which the Pullman car now traverses, regardless of
seasons, in three hours. A few grim heroes, the nameless founders of a
noble commonwealth, stayed on the spot and defied starvation. In the
next June, 1636, the Newtown congregation, a hundred or more in number,
led by their sturdy pastor, and bringing with them 160 head of cattle,
made the pilgrimage to the Connecticut valley. Women and children took
part in this pleasant summer journey; Mrs. Hooker, the pastor's wife,
being too ill to walk, was carried on a litter. Thus, in the memorable
year in which our great university was born, did Cambridge become, in
the true Greek sense of a much-abused word, the _metropolis_ or "mother
town" of Hartford. The migration at once became strong in numbers.
During the past twelvemonth a score of ships had brought from England
to Massachusetts more than 3000 souls, and so great an accession made
further movement easy. Hooker's pilgrims were soon followed by the
Dorchester and Watertown congregations, and by the next May 800 people
were living in Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield. As we read of these
movements, not of individuals, but of organic communities, united in
allegiance to a church and its pastor, and fervid with the instinct
of self-government, we seem to see Greek history renewed, but with
centuries of added political training. For one year a board of
commissioners from Massachusetts governed the new towns, but at the end
of that time the towns chose representatives and held a General Court at
Hartford, and thus the separate existence of Connecticut was begun. As
for Springfield, which was settled about the same time by a party from
Roxbury, it remained for some years doubtful to which state it belonged.
At the opening session of the General Court, May 31,1638, Mr. Hooker
preached a sermon of wonderful power, in which he maintained that "the
foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people,"
"that the choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God's
own allowance," and that "they who have power to appoint officers and
magistrates have the right also to set the bounds and limitations of
the power and place unto which they call them." On the 14th of January,
1639, all the freemen of the three towns assembled at Hartford and
adopted a written constitution in which the hand of the great preacher
is clearly discernible. It is worthy of note that this document contains
none of the conventional references to a "dread sovereign" or a
"gracious king," nor the slightest allusion to the British or any other
government outside of Connecticut itself, nor does it prescribe any
condition of church-membership for the right of suffrage. It was the
first written constitution known to history, that created a government,
[10] and it marked the beginnings of American democracy, of which Thomas
Hooker deserves more than any other man to be called the father. The
government of the United States today is in lineal descent more nearly
related to that of Connecticut than to that of any of the other thirteen
colonies. The most noteworthy feature of the Connecticut republic was
that it was a federation of independent towns, and that all attributes
of sovereignty not expressly granted to the General Court remained,
as of original right, in the towns. Moreover, while the governor and
council were chosen by a majority vote of the whole people, and by a
suffrage that was almost universal, there was for each township an
equality of representation in the assembly. [11] This little federal
republic was allowed to develop peacefully and normally; its
constitution was not violently wrenched out of shape like that of
Massachusetts at the end of the seventeenth century. It silently grew
till it became the strongest political structure on the continent, as
was illustrated in the remarkable military energy and the unshaken
financial credit of Connecticut during the Revolutionary War; and in the
chief crisis of the Federal Convention of 1787 Connecticut, with her
compromise which secured equal state representation in one branch of the
national government and popular representation in the other, played the
controlling part. [Sidenote: Connecticut Pioneers] [Sidenote: The first
written constitution]

Before the little federation of towns had framed its government, it had
its Indian question to dispose of. Three years before the migration led
by Hooker, a crew of eight traders, while making their way up the river
to the Dutch station on the site of Hartford, had been murdered by a
party of Indians subject to Sassacus, chief sachem of the Pequots.
Negotiations concerning this outrage had gone on between Sassacus and
the government at Boston, and the Pequots had promised to deliver up
the murderers, but had neglected to do so. In the summer of 1636 some
Indians on Block Island subject to the Narragansetts murdered the
pioneer John Oldham, who was sailing on the Sound, and captured his
little vessel. At this, says Underhill, "God stirred up the hearts" of
Governor Vane and the rest of the magistrates. They were determined to
make an end of the Indian question and show the savages that such things
would not be endured. First an embassy was sent to Canonicus and his
nephew Miantonomo, chief sachems of the Narragansetts, who hastened
to disclaim all responsibility for the murder, and to throw the blame
entirely upon the Indians of the island. Vane then sent out three
vessels under command of Endicott, who ravaged Block Island, burning
wigwams, sinking canoes, and slaying dogs, for the men had taken to the
woods. Endicott then crossed to the mainland to reckon with the Pequots.
He demanded the surrender of the murderers, with a thousand fathoms of
wampum for damages; and not getting a satisfactory answer, he attacked
the Indians, killed a score of them, seized their ripe corn, and burned
and spoiled what he could. But such reprisals served only to enrage the
red men. Lyon Gardiner, commander of the Saybrook fort, complained to
Endicott: "You come hither to raise these wasps about my ears; then
you will take wing and flee away." The immediate effect was to incite
Sassacus to do his utmost to compass the ruin of the English. The
superstitious awe with which the white men were at first regarded had
been somewhat lessened by familiar contact with them, as in Aesop's
fable of the fox and the lion. The resources of Indian diplomacy were
exhausted in the attempt to unite the Narragansett warriors with the
Pequots in a grand crusade against the white men. Such a combination
could hardly have been as formidable as that which was effected forty
years afterward in King Philip's war; for the savages had not as yet
become accustomed to firearms, and the English settlements did not
present so many points exposed to attack; but there is no doubt that
it might have wrought fearful havoc. We can, at any rate, find no
difficulty in comprehending the manifold perplexity of the Massachusetts
men at this time, threatened as they were at once by an Indian crusade,
by the machinations of a faithless king, and by a bitter theological
quarrel at home, in this eventful year when they laid aside part of
their incomes to establish Harvard College. [Sidenote: Origin of the
Pequot War]

The schemes of Sassacus were unsuccessful. The hereditary enmity of the
Narragansetts toward their Pequot rivals was too strong to be lightly
overcome. Roger Williams, taking advantage of this feeling, so worked
upon the minds of the Narragansett chiefs that in the autumn of 1636
they sent an embassy to Boston and made a treaty of alliance with the
English. The Pequots were thus left to fight out their own quarrel; and
had they still been separated from the English by the distance between
Boston and the Thames river, the feud might very likely have smouldered
until the drift of events had given a different shape to it. But as the
English had in this very year thrown out their advanced posts into the
lower Connecticut valley, there was clearly no issue from the situation
save in deadly war. All through the winter of 1636-37 the Connecticut
towns were kept in a state of alarm by the savages. Men going to their
work were killed and horribly mangled. A Wethersfield man was kidnapped
and roasted alive. Emboldened by the success of this feat, the Pequots
attacked Wethersfield, massacred ten people, and carried away two girls.
[Sidenote: Sassacus is foiled by Roger Williams] [Sidenote: The Pequots
take the warpath alone]

Wrought up to desperation by these atrocities, the Connecticut men
appealed to Massachusetts and Plymouth for aid, and put into service
ninety of their own number, under command of John Mason, an excellent
and sturdy officer who had won golden opinions from Sir Thomas Fairfax,
under whom he had served in the Netherlands. It took time to get men
from Boston, and all that Massachusetts contributed to the enterprise at
its beginning was that eccentric daredevil John Underhill, with a force
of twenty men. Seventy friendly Mohegans, under their chief Uncas, eager
to see vengeance wrought upon their Pequot oppressors, accompanied the
expedition. From the fort at Saybrook this little company set sail on
the twentieth of May, 1637, and landed in brilliant moonlight near Point
Judith, where they were reinforced by four hundred Narragansetts and
Nyantics. From this point they turned westward toward the stronghold of
the Pequots, near the place where the town of Stonington now stands. As
they approached the dreaded spot the courage of the Indian allies gave
out, and they slunk behind, declaring that Sassacus was a god whom
it was useless to think of attacking. The force with which Mason
and Underhill advanced to the fray consisted of just seventy-seven
Englishmen. Their task was to assault and carry an entrenched fort or
walled village containing seven hundred Pequots. The fort was a
circle of two or three acres in area, girdled by a palisade of
sturdy sapling-trunks, set firm and deep into the ground, the narrow
interstices between them serving as loopholes wherefrom to reconnoitre
any one passing by and to shoot at assailants. At opposite sides of
this stronghold were two openings barely large enough to let any one go
through. Within this enclosure were the crowded wigwams. The attack was
skilfully managed, and was a complete surprise. A little before daybreak
Mason, with sixteen men, occupied one of the doors, while Underhill made
sure of the other. The Indians in panic sought first one outlet and then
the other, and were ruthlessly shot down, whichever way they turned. A
few succeeded in breaking loose, but these were caught and tomahawked by
the Indian allies, who, though afraid to take the risks of the fight,
were ready enough to help slay the fugitives. The English threw
firebrands among the wigwams, and soon the whole village was in a light
blaze, and most of the savages suffered the horrible death which they
were so fond of inflicting upon their captives. Of the seven hundred
Pequots in the stronghold, but five got away with their lives. All this
bloody work had been done in less than an hour, and of the English there
had been two killed and sixteen wounded. It was the end of the Pequot
nation. Of the remnant which had not been included in this wholesale
slaughter, most were soon afterwards destroyed piecemeal in a running
fight which extended as far westward as the site of Fairfield. Sassacus
fled across the Hudson river to the Mohawks, who slew him and sent his
scalp to Boston, as a peace-offering to the English. The few survivors
were divided between the Mohegans and Narragansetts and adopted into
those tribes. Truly the work was done with Cromwellian thoroughness. The
tribe which had lorded it so fiercely over the New England forests was
all at once wiped out of existence. So terrible a vengeance the Indians
had never heard of. If the name of Pequot had hitherto been a name of
terror, so now did the Englishmen win the inheritance of that deadly
prestige. Not for eight-and-thirty years after the destruction of the
Pequots, not until a generation of red men had grown up that knew not
Underhill and Mason, did the Indian of New England dare again to lift
his hand against the white man. [Sidenote: And are exterminated]

Such scenes of wholesale slaughter are not pleasant reading in this
milder age. But our forefathers felt that the wars of Canaan afforded
a sound precedent for such cases; and, indeed, if we remember what
the soldiers of Tilly and Wallenstein were doing at this very time in
Germany, we shall realize that the work of Mason and Underhill would not
have been felt by any one in that age to merit censure or stand in need
of excuses. As a matter of practical policy the annihilation of the
Pequots can be condemned only by those who read history so incorrectly
as to suppose that savages, whose business is to torture and slay, can
always be dealt with according to the methods in use between civilized
peoples. A mighty nation, like the United States, is in honour bound to
treat the red man with scrupulous justice and refrain from cruelty in
punishing his delinquencies. But if the founders of Connecticut, in
confronting a danger which threatened their very existence, struck with
savage fierceness, we cannot blame them. The world is so made that it
is only in that way that the higher races have been able to preserve
themselves and carry on their progressive work.

The overthrow of the Pequots was a cardinal event in the planting of
New England. It removed the chief obstacle to the colonization of
the Connecticut coast, and brought the inland settlements into such
unimpeded communication with those on tide-water as to prepare the way
for the formation of the New England confederacy. Its first fruits were
seen in the direction taken by the next wave of migration, which ended
the Puritan exodus from England to America. About a month after the
storming of the palisaded village there arrived in Boston a company of
wealthy London merchants, with their families. The most prominent among
them, Theophilus Eaton, was a member of the Company of Massachusetts
Bay. Their pastor, John Davenport, was an eloquent preacher and a man of
power. He was a graduate of Oxford, and in 1624 had been chosen vicar
of St. Stephen's parish, in Coleman street, London. When he heard that
Cotton and Hooker were about to sail for America, he sought earnestly to
turn them from what he deemed the error of their ways, but instead he
became converted himself and soon incurred the especial enmity of Laud,
so that it became necessary for him to flee to Amsterdam. In 1636 he
returned to England, and in concert with Eaton organized a scheme of
emigration that included men from Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent.
The leaders arrived in Boston in the midst of the Antinomian disputes,
and although Davenport won admiration for his skill in battling with
heresy, he may perhaps have deemed it preferable to lead his flock
to some new spot in the wilderness where such warfare might not be
required. The merchants desired a fine harbour and good commercial
situation, and the reports of the men who returned from hunting the
Pequots told them of just such a spot at Quinnipiack on Long Island
Sound. Here they could carry out their plan of putting into practice
a theocratic ideal even more rigid than that which obtained in
Massachusetts, and arrange their civil as well as ecclesiastical affairs
in accordance with rules to be obtained from a minute study of the
Scriptures. [Sidenote: The colony of New Haven]

In the spring of 1638 the town of New Haven was accordingly founded.
The next year a swarm from this new town settled Milford, while another
party, freshly arrived from England, made the beginnings of Guilford. In
1640 Stamford was added to the group, and in 1643 the four towns were
united into the republic of New Haven, to which Southold, on Long
Island, and Branford were afterwards added. As being a confederation of
independent towns, New Haven resembled Connecticut. In other respects
the differences between the two reflected the differences between
Davenport and Hooker; the latter was what would now be called more
radical than Winthrop or Cotton, the former was more conservative.
In the New Haven colony none but church-members could vote, and this
measure at the outset disfranchised more than half the settlers in New
Haven town, nearly half in Guilford, and less than one fifth in Milford.
This result was practically less democratic than in Massachusetts where
it was some time before the disfranchisement attained such dimensions.
The power of the clergy reached its extreme point in New Haven, where
each of the towns was governed by seven ecclesiastical officers known as
"pillars of the church." These magistrates served as judges, and trial
by jury was dispensed with, because no authority could be found for it
in the laws of Moses. The legislation was quaint enough, though the
famous "Blue Laws" of New Haven, which have been made the theme of so
many jests at the expense of our forefathers, never really existed. The
story of the Blue Laws was first published in 1781 by the Rev. Samuel
Peters, a Tory refugee in London, who took delight in horrifying our
British cousins with tales of wholesale tarring and feathering done by
the patriots of the Revolution. In point of strict veracity Dr. Peters
reminds one of Baron Munchausen; he declares that the river at Bellows
Falls flows so fast as to float iron crowbars, and he gravely describes
sundry animals who were evidently cousins to the Jabberwok. The most
famous passage of his pretended code is that which enacts that "no woman
shall kiss her child on the Sabbath," and that "no one shall play on any
instrument of music except the drum, trumpet, or jewsharp." [Sidenote:
Legend of the "Blue Laws"]

When the Long Parliament met in 1640, the Puritan exodus to New England
came to an end. During the twenty years which had elapsed since the
voyage of the Mayflower, the population had grown to 26,000 souls. Of
this number scarcely 500 had arrived before 1629. It is a striking fact,
since it expresses a causal relation and not a mere coincidence, that
the eleven years, 1629-1640, during which Charles I. governed England
without a parliament, were the same eleven years that witnessed the
planting of New England. For more than a century after this there was no
considerable migration to this part of North America. Puritan England
now found employment for all its energies and all its enthusiasm at
home. The struggle with the king and the efforts toward reorganization
under Cromwell were to occupy it for another score of years, and
then, by the time of the Restoration the youthful creative energy of
Puritanism had spent itself. The influence of this great movement
was indeed destined to grow wider and deeper with the progress of
civilization, but after 1660 its creative work began to run in new
channels and assume different forms. [Sidenote: End of the Puritan

It is curious to reflect what might have been the result, to America and
to the world, had things in England gone differently between 1620 and
1660. Had the policy of James and Charles been less formidable, the
Puritan exodus might never have occurred, and the Virginian type of
society, varied perhaps by a strong Dutch infusion, might have become
supreme in America. The western continent would have lost in richness
and variety of life, and it is not likely that Europe would have made a
corresponding gain, for the moral effect of the challenge, the struggle,
and the overthrow of monarchy in England was a stimulus sorely needed
by neighbouring peoples. It is not always by avoiding the evil, it
is rather by grappling with it and conquering it that character is
strengthened and life enriched, and there is no better example of this
than the history of England in the seventeenth century.

On the other hand, if the Stuart despotism had triumphed in England, the
Puritan exodus would doubtless have been swelled to huge dimensions. New
England would have gained strength so quickly that much less irritation
than she actually suffered between 1664 and 1689 would probably have
goaded her into rebellion. The war of independence might have been waged
a century sooner than it was. It is not easy to point to any especial
advantage that could have come to America from this; one is rather
inclined to think of the peculiarly valuable political training of the
eighteenth century that would have been lost. Such surmises are for the
most part idle. But as concerns Europe, it is plain to be seen, for
reasons stated in my first chapter, that the decisive victory of Charles
I. would have been a calamity of the first magnitude. It would have been
like the Greeks losing Marathon or the Saracens winning Tours, supposing
the worst consequences ever imagined in those hypothetical cases to have
been realized. Or taking a more contracted view, we can see how England,
robbed of her Puritan element, might still have waxed in strength, as
France has done in spite of losing the Huguenots; but she could not
have taken the proud position that she has come to occupy as mother of
nations. Her preeminence since Cromwell's time has been chiefly due to
her unrivalled power of planting self-supporting colonies, and that
power has had its roots in English self-government. It is the vitality
of the English Idea that is making the language of Cromwell and
Washington dominant in the world.



The Puritan exodus to New England, which came to an end about 1640, was
purely and exclusively English. There was nothing in it that came from
the continent of Europe, nothing that was either Irish or Scotch, very
little that was Welsh. As Palfrey says, the population of 26,000 that
had been planted in New England by 1640 "thenceforward continued to
multiply on its own soil for a century and a half, in remarkable
seclusion from other communities." During the whole of this period New
England received but few immigrants; and it was not until after the
Revolutionary War that its people had fairly started on their westward
march into the state of New York and beyond, until now, after yet
another century, we find some of their descendants dwelling in a
homelike Salem and a Portland of charming beauty on the Pacific coast.
Three times between the meeting of the Long Parliament and the meeting
of the Continental Congress did the New England colonies receive a
slight infusion of non-English blood. In 1652, after his victories at
Dunbar and Worcester, Cromwell sent 270 of his Scottish prisoners to
Boston, where the descendants of some of them still dwell. After the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, 150 families of Huguenots
came to Massachusetts. And finally in 1719, 120 Presbyterian families
came over from the north of Ireland, and settled at Londonderry in New
Hampshire, and elsewhere. In view of these facts it may be said that
there is not a county in England of which the population is more purely
English than the population of New England at the end of the eighteenth
century. From long and careful research, Mr. Savage, the highest
authority on this subject, concludes that more than 98 in 100 of the New
England people at that time could trace their origin to England in
the narrowest sense, excluding even Wales. As already observed, every
English shire contributed something to the emigration, but there was
a marked preponderance of people from the East Anglian counties.
[Sidenote: The exodus was purely English]

The population of New England was nearly as homogeneous in social
condition as it was in blood. The emigration was preeminent for its
respectability. Like the best part of the emigration to Virginia, it
consisted largely of country squires and yeomen. The men who followed
Winthrop were thrifty and prosperous in their old homes from which their
devotion to an idea made them voluntary exiles. They attached so much
importance to regular industry and decorous behaviour that for a long
time the needy and shiftless people who usually make trouble in new
colonies were not tolerated among them. Hence the early history of New
England is remarkably free from those scenes of violence and disorder
which have so often made hideous the first years of new communities.
Of negro slaves there were very few, and these were employed wholly in
domestic service; there were not enough of them to affect the industrial
life of New England or to be worth mentioning as a class. Neither were
there many of the wretched people, kidnapped from the jails and slums
of English sea-ports, such as in those early days when negro labour was
scarce, were sent by ship-loads to Virginia, to become the progenitors
of the "white trash." There were a few indented white servants, usually
of the class known as "redemptioners," or immigrants who voluntarily
bound themselves to service for a stated time in order to defray the
cost of their voyage from Europe. At a later time there were many of
these "redemptioners" in the middle colonies, but in New England they
were very few; and as no stigma of servitude was attached to manual
labour, they were apt at the end of their terms of service to become
independent farmers; thus they ceased to be recognizable as a distinct
class of society. Nevertheless the common statement that no traces of
the "mean white" are to be found in New England is perhaps somewhat
too sweeping. Interspersed among those respectable and tidy mountain
villages, once full of such vigorous life, one sometimes comes upon
little isolated groups of wretched hovels whose local reputation is
sufficiently indicated by such terse epithets as "Hardscrabble" or
"Hell-huddle." Their denizens may in many instances be the degenerate
offspring of a sound New England stock, but they sometimes show strong
points of resemblance to that "white trash" which has come to be a
recognizable strain of the English race; and one cannot help suspecting
that while the New England colonies made every effort to keep out such
riff raff, it may nevertheless have now and then crept in. However this
may be, it cannot be said that this element ever formed a noticeable
feature in the life of colonial New England. As regards their social
derivation, the settlers of New England were homogeneous in character to
a remarkable degree, and they were drawn from the sturdiest part of
the English stock. In all history there has been no other instance of
colonization so exclusively effected by picked and chosen men. The
colonists knew this, and were proud of it, as well they might be. It was
the simple truth that was spoken by William Stoughton when he said, in
his election sermon of 1688: "God sifted a whole nation, that He might
send choice grain into the wilderness." [Sidenote: Respectable character
of the emigration]

This matter comes to have more than a local interest, when we reflect
that the 26,000 New Englanders of 1640 have in two hundred and fifty
years increased to something like 15,000,000. From these men have come
at least one-fourth of the present population of the United States.
Striking as this fact may seem, it is perhaps less striking than the
fact of the original migration when duly considered. In these times,
when great steamers sail every day from European ports, bringing
immigrants to a country not less advanced in material civilization
than the country which they leave, the daily arrival of a thousand new
citizens has come to be a commonplace event. But in the seventeenth
century the transfer of more than twenty thousand well-to-do people
within twenty years from their comfortable homes in England to the
American wilderness was by no means a commonplace event. It reminds one
of the migrations of ancient peoples, and in the quaint thought of
our forefathers it was aptly likened to the exodus of Israel from the
Egyptian house of bondage.

In this migration a principle of selection was at work which insured an
extraordinary uniformity of character and of purpose among the settlers.
To this uniformity of purpose, combined with complete homogeneity of
race, is due the preponderance early acquired by New England in the
history of the American people. In view of this, it is worth while to
inquire what were the real aims of the settlers of New England. What was
the common purpose which brought these men together in their resolve to
create for themselves new homes in the wilderness?

This is a point concerning which there has been a great deal of popular
misapprehension, and there has been no end of nonsense talked about it.
It has been customary first to assume that the Puritan migration was
undertaken in the interests of religious liberty, and then to upbraid
the Puritans for forgetting all about religious liberty as soon as
people came among them who disagreed with their opinions. But this view
of the case is not supported by history. It is quite true that the
Puritans were chargeable with gross intolerance; but it is not true that
in this they were guilty of inconsistency. The notion that they came to
New England for the purpose of establishing religious liberty, in
any sense in which we should understand such a phrase, is entirely
incorrect. It is neither more nor less than a bit of popular legend. If
we mean by the phrase "religious liberty" a state of things in which
opposite or contradictory opinions on questions of religion shall exist
side by side in the same community, and in which everybody shall
decide for himself how far he will conform to the customary religious
observances, nothing could have been further from their thoughts. There
is nothing they would have regarded with more genuine abhorrence. If
they could have been forewarned by a prophetic voice of the general
freedom--or, as they would have termed it, license--of thought and
behaviour which prevails in this country to-day, they would very likely
have abandoned their enterprise in despair. [12] The philosophic student
of history often has occasion to see how God is wiser than man. In other
words, he is often brought to realize how fortunate it is that the
leaders in great historic events cannot foresee the remote results of
the labours to which they have zealously consecrated their lives. It is
part of the irony of human destiny that the end we really accomplish by
striving with might and main is apt to be something quite different from
the end we dreamed of as we started on our arduous labour. So it was
with the Puritan settlers of New England. The religious liberty that
we enjoy to-day is largely the consequence of their work; but it is a
consequence that was unforeseen, while the direct and conscious aim of
their labours was something that has never been realized, and probably
never will be. [Sidenote: The migration was not intended to promote what
we call religious liberty]

The aim of Winthrop and his friends in coming to Massachusetts was the
construction of a theocratic state which should be to Christians, under
the New Testament dispensation, all that the theocracy of Moses and
Joshua and Samuel had been to the Jews in Old Testament days. They
should be to all intents and purposes freed from the jurisdiction of
the Stuart king, and so far as possible the text of the Holy Scriptures
should be their guide both in weighty matters of general legislation and
in the shaping of the smallest details of daily life. In such a scheme
there was no room for religious liberty as we understand it. No doubt
the text of the Scriptures may be interpreted in many ways, but among
these men there was a substantial agreement as to the important points,
and nothing could have been further from their thoughts than to found
a colony which should afford a field for new experiments in the art of
right living. The state they were to found was to consist of a united
body of believers; citizenship itself was to be co-extensive with
church-membership; and in such a state there was apparently no more room
for heretics than there was in Rome or Madrid. This was the idea which
drew Winthrop and his followers from England at a time when--as events
were soon to show--they might have stayed there and defied persecution
with less trouble than it cost them to cross the ocean and found a new
state. [Sidenote: Theocratic ideal of the Puritans]

Such an ideal as this, considered by itself and apart from the concrete
acts in which it was historically manifested, may seem like the merest
fanaticism. But we cannot dismiss in this summary way a movement which
has been at the source of so much that is great in American history:
mere fanaticism has never produced such substantial results. Mere
fanaticism is sure to aim at changing the constitution of human society
in some essential point, to undo the work of evolution, and offer in
some indistinctly apprehended fashion to remodel human life. But in
these respects the Puritans were intensely conservative. The impulse by
which they were animated was a profoundly ethical impulse--the desire
to lead godly lives, and to drive out sin from the community--the same
ethical impulse which animates the glowing pages of Hebrew poets and
prophets, and which has given to the history and literature of Israel
their commanding influence in the world. The Greek, says Matthew Arnold,
held that the perfection of happiness was to have one's thoughts hit the
mark; but the Hebrew held that it was to serve the Lord day and night.
It was a touch of this inspiration that the Puritan caught from his
earnest and reverent study of the sacred text, and that served to
justify and intensify his yearning for a better life, and to give it
the character of a grand and holy ideal. Yet with all this religious
enthusiasm, the Puritan was in every fibre a practical Englishman with
his full share of plain common-sense. He avoided the error of
mediaeval anchorites and mystics in setting an exaggerated value upon
otherworldliness. In his desire to win a crown of glory hereafter he did
not forget that the present life has its simple duties, in the exact
performance of which the welfare of society mainly consists. He likewise
avoided the error of modern radicals who would remodel the fundamental
institutions of property and of the family, and thus disturb the very
groundwork of our ethical ideals. The Puritan's ethical conception of
society was simply that which has grown up in the natural course of
historical evolution, and which in its essential points is therefore
intelligible to all men, and approved by the common-sense of men,
however various may be the terminology--whether theological or
scientific--in which it is expounded. For these reasons there was
nothing essentially fanatical or impracticable in the Puritan scheme: in
substance it was something that great bodies of men could at once put
into practice, while its quaint and peculiar form was something that
could be easily and naturally outgrown and set aside. [Sidenote: The
impulse which sought to realize itself in the Puritan ideal was an
ethical impulse]

Yet another point in which the Puritan scheme of a theocratic society
was rational and not fanatical was its method of interpreting the
Scriptures. That method was essentially rationalistic in two ways.
First, the Puritan laid no claim to the possession of any peculiar
inspiration or divine light whereby he might be aided in ascertaining
the meaning of the sacred text; but he used his reason just as he would
in any matter of business, and he sought to convince, and expected to
be convinced, by rational argument, and by nothing else. Secondly, it
followed from this denial of any peculiar inspiration that there was no
room in the Puritan commonwealth for anything like a priestly class, and
that every individual must hold his own opinions at his own personal
risk. The consequences of this rationalistic spirit have been very
far-reaching. In the conviction that religious opinion must be consonant
with reason, and that religious truth must be brought home to each
individual by rational argument, we may find one of the chief causes of
that peculiarly conservative yet flexible intelligence which has enabled
the Puritan countries to take the lead in the civilized world of
today. Free discussion of theological questions, when conducted with
earnestness and reverence, and within certain generally acknowledged
limits, was never discountenanced in New England. On the contrary, there
has never been a society in the world in which theological problems have
been so seriously and persistently discussed as in New England in the
colonial period. The long sermons of the clergymen were usually learned
and elaborate arguments of doctrinal points, bristling with quotations
from the Bible, or from famous books of controversial divinity, and in
the long winter evenings the questions thus raised afforded the occasion
for lively debate in every household. The clergy were, as a rule, men
of learning, able to read both Old and New Testaments in the original
languages, and familiar with the best that had been talked and written,
among Protestants at least, on theological subjects. They were also, for
the most part, men of lofty character, and they were held in high social
esteem on account of their character and scholarship, as well as on
account of their clerical position. But in spite of the reverence in
which they were commonly held, it would have been a thing quite unheard
of for one of these pastors to urge an opinion from the pulpit on the
sole ground of his personal authority or his superior knowledge of
Scriptural exegesis. The hearers, too, were quick to detect novelties
or variations in doctrine; and while there was perhaps no more than the
ordinary human unwillingness to listen to a new thought merely because
of its newness, it was above all things needful that the orthodox
soundness of every new suggestion should be thoroughly and severely
tested. This intense interest in doctrinal theology was part and parcel
of the whole theory of New England life; because, as I have said, it was
taken for granted that each individual must hold his own opinions at
his own personal risk in the world to come. Such perpetual discussion,
conducted, under such a stimulus, afforded in itself no mean school
of intellectual training. Viewed in relation to the subsequent mental
activity of New England, it may be said to have occupied a position
somewhat similar to that which the polemics of the medieval schoolmen
occupied in relation to the European thought of the Renaissance, and of
the age of Hobbes and Descartes. At the same time the Puritan theory of
life lay at the bottom of the whole system of popular education in New
England. According to that theory, it was absolutely essential that
every one should be taught from early childhood how to read and
understand the Bible. So much instruction as this was assumed to be a
sacred duty which the community owed to every child born within its
jurisdiction. In ignorance, the Puritans maintained, lay the principal
strength of popery in religion as well as of despotism in politics; and
so, to the best of their lights, they cultivated knowledge with might
and main. But in this energetic diffusion of knowledge they were
unwittingly preparing the complete and irreparable destruction of the
theocratic ideal of society which they had sought to realize by crossing
the ocean and settling in New England. This universal education, and
this perpetual discussion of theological questions, were no more
compatible with rigid adherence to the Calvinistic system than with
submission to the absolute rule of Rome. The inevitable result was the
liberal and enlightened Protestantism which is characteristic of the
best American society at the present day, and which is continually
growing more liberal as it grows more enlightened--a Protestantism
which, in the natural course of development, is coming to realize the
noble ideal of Roger Williams, but from the very thought of which such
men as Winthrop and Cotton and Endicott would have shrunk with dismay.
[Sidenote: In interpreting Scripture, the Puritan appealed to his
reason] [Sidenote: Value of theological discussion]

In this connection it is interesting to note the similarity between the
experience of the Puritans in New England and in Scotland with respect
to the influence of their religious theory of life upon general
education. Nowhere has Puritanism, with its keen intelligence and its
iron tenacity of purpose, played a greater part than it has played in
the history of Scotland. And one need not fear contradiction in saying
that no other people in modern times, in proportion to their numbers,
have achieved so much in all departments of human activity as the people
of Scotland have achieved. It would be superfluous to mention the
preeminence of Scotland in the industrial arts since the days of James
Watt, or to recount the glorious names in philosophy, in history, in
poetry and romance, and in every department of science, which since the
middle of the eighteenth century have made the country of Burns and
Scott, of Hume and Adam Smith, of Black and Hunter and Hutton and
Lyell, illustrious for all future time. Now this period of magnificent
intellectual fruition in Scotland was preceded by a period of
Calvinistic orthodoxy quite as rigorous as that of New England. The
ministers of the Scotch Kirk in the seventeenth century cherished a
theocratic ideal of society not unlike that which the colonists of New
England aimed at realizing. There was the same austerity, the same
intolerance, the same narrowness of interests, in Scotland that there
was in New England. Mr. Buckle, in the book which thirty years ago
seemed so great and stimulating, gave us a graphic picture of this state
of society, and the only thing which he could find to say about it, as
the result of his elaborate survey, was that the spirit of the Scotch
Kirk was as thoroughly hostile to human progress as the spirit of the
Spanish Inquisition! If this were really so, it would be difficult
indeed to account for the period of brilliant mental activity which
immediately followed. But in reality the Puritan theory of life led
to general education in Scotland as it did in New England, and for
precisely the same reasons, while the effects of theological discussion
in breaking down the old Calvinistic exclusiveness have been illustrated
in the history of Edinburgh as well as in the history of Boston.
[Sidenote: Comparison with the case of Scotland]

It is well for us to bear in mind the foregoing considerations as we
deal with the history of the short-lived New England Confederacy. The
story is full of instances of an intolerant and domineering spirit,
especially on the part of Massachusetts, and now and then this spirit
breaks forth in ugly acts of persecution. In considering these facts, it
is well to remember that we are observing the workings of a system
which contained within itself a curative principle; and it is further
interesting to observe how political circumstances contributed to
modify the Puritan ideal, gradually breaking down the old theocratic
exclusiveness and strengthening the spirit of religious liberty.

Scarcely had the first New England colonies been established when it was
found desirable to unite them into some kind of a confederation. It is
worthy of note that the separate existence of so many colonies was at
the outset largely the result of religious differences. The uniformity
of purpose, great as it was, fell far short of completeness. [Sidenote:
Existence of so many colonies due to slight religious differences]

Could all have agreed, or had there been religious toleration in the
modern sense, there was still room enough for all in Massachusetts;
and a compact settlement would have been in much less danger from the
Indians. But in the founding of Connecticut the theocratic idea had less
weight, and in the founding of New Haven it had more weight, than
in Massachusetts. The existence of Rhode Island was based upon that
principle of full toleration which the three colonies just mentioned
alike abhorred, and its first settlers were people banished from
Massachusetts. With regard to toleration Plymouth occupied a middle
ground; without admitting the principles of Williams, the people of that
colony were still fairly tolerant in practice. Of the four towns of New
Hampshire, two had been founded by Antinomians driven from Boston, and
two by Episcopal friends of Mason and Gorges. It was impossible that
neighbouring communities, characterized by such differences of opinion,
but otherwise homogeneous in race and in social condition, should fail
to react upon one another and to liberalize one another. Still more was
this true when they attempted to enter into a political union. When, for
example, Massachusetts in 1641-43 annexed the New Hampshire townships,
she was of necessity obliged to relax in their case her policy of
insisting upon religious conformity as a test of citizenship. So in
forming the New England Confederacy, there were some matters of dispute
that had to be passed over by mutual consent or connivance. [Sidenote:
It led to a notable attempt at federation]

The same causes which had spread the English settlements over so wide a
territory now led, as an indirect result, to their partial union into a
confederacy. The immediate consequence of the westward movement had been
an Indian war. Several savage tribes were now interspersed between the
settlements, so that it became desirable that the military force should
be brought, as far as possible, under one management. The colony of
New Netherlands, moreover, had begun to assume importance, and the
settlements west of the Connecticut river had already occasioned hard
words between Dutch and English, which might at any moment be followed
by blows. In the French colonies at the north, with their extensive
Indian alliances under Jesuit guidance, the Puritans saw a rival power
which was likely in course of time to prove troublesome. With a view to
more efficient self-defence, therefore, in 1643 the four colonies of
Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven formed themselves
into a league, under the style of "The United Colonies of New England."
These four little states now contained thirty-nine towns, with an
aggregate population of 24,000. To the northeast of Massachusetts,
which now extended to the Piscataqua, a small colony had at length been
constituted under a proprietary charter somewhat similar to that held by
the Calverts in Maryland. Of this new province or palatinate of Maine
the aged Sir Ferdinando Gorges was Lord Proprietary, and he had
undertaken not only to establish the Church of England there, but also
to introduce usages of feudal jurisdiction like those remaining in the
old country. Such a community was not likely to join the Confederacy;
apart from other reasons, its proprietary constitution and the feud
between the Puritans and Gorges would have been sufficient obstacles.

As for Rhode Island, on the other hand, it was regarded with strong
dislike by the other colonies. It was a curious and noteworthy
consequence of the circumstances under which this little state was
founded that for a long time it became the refuge of all the fanatical
and turbulent people who could not submit to the strict and orderly
governments of Connecticut or Massachusetts. All extremes met on
Narragansett bay. There were not only sensible advocates of religious
liberty, but theocrats as well who saw flaws in the theocracy of
other Puritans. The English world was then in a state of theological
fermentation. People who fancied themselves favoured with direct
revelations from Heaven; people who thought it right to keep the seventh
day of the week as a Sabbath instead of the first day; people who
cherished a special predilection for the Apocalypse and the Book of
Daniel; people with queer views about property and government; people
who advocated either too little marriage or too much marriage; all such
eccentric characters as are apt to come to the surface in periods of
religious excitement found in Rhode Island a favoured spot where they
could prophesy without let or hindrance. But the immediate practical
result of so much discordance in opinion was the impossibility of
founding a strong and well-ordered government. The early history of
Rhode Island was marked by enough of turbulence to suggest the question
whether, after all, at the bottom of the Puritan's refusal to recognize
the doctrine of private inspiration, or to tolerate indiscriminately all
sorts of opinions, there may not have been a grain of shrewd political
sense not ill adapted to the social condition of the seventeenth
century. In 1644 and again in 1648 the Narragansett settlers asked leave
to join the Confederacy; but the request was refused on the ground
that they had no stable government of their own. They were offered
the alternative of voluntary annexation either to Massachusetts or to
Plymouth, or of staying out in the cold; and they chose the latter
course. Early in 1643 they had sent Roger Williams over to England to
obtain a charter for Rhode Island. In that year Parliament created a
Board of Commissioners, with the Earl of Warwick at its head, for the
superintendence of colonial affairs; and nothing could better illustrate
the loose and reckless manner in which American questions were treated
in England than the first proceedings of this board. It gave an early
instance of British carelessness in matters of American geography. In
December, 1643, it granted to Massachusetts all the territory on the
mainland of Narragansett bay; and in the following March it incorporated
the townships of Newport and Portsmouth, which stood on the island,
together with Providence, which stood on the mainland, into an
independent colony empowered to frame a government and make laws for
itself. With this second document Williams returned to Providence in the
autumn of 1644. Just how far it was intended to cancel the first one,
nobody could tell, but it plainly afforded an occasion for a conflict of
claims. [Sidenote: Turbulence of dissent in Rhode Island] [Sidenote: The
Earl of Warwick and his Board of Commissioners]

The league of the four colonies is interesting as the first American
experiment in federation. By the articles it was agreed that each colony
should retain full independence so far as concerned the management of
its internal affairs, but that the confederate government should have
entire control over all dealings with the Indians or with foreign
powers. The administration of the league was put into the hands of
a board of eight Federal Commissioners, two from each colony. The
commissioners were required to be church-members in good standing. They
could choose for themselves a president or chairman out of their own
number, but such a president was to have no more power than the other
members of the Board. If any measure were to come up concerning
which the commissioners could not agree, it was to be referred for
consideration to the legislatures or general courts of the four
colonies. Expenses for war were to be charged to each colony in
proportion to the number of males in each between sixteen years of
age and sixty. A meeting of the Board might be summoned by any two
magistrates whenever the public safety might seem to require it; but a
regular meeting was to be held once every year.

In this scheme of confederacy all power of taxation was expressly left
to the several colonies. The scheme provided for a mere league, not for
a federal union. The government of the Commissioners acted only upon the
local governments, not upon individuals. The Board had thus but little
executive power, and was hardly more than a consulting body. Another
source of weakness in the confederacy was the overwhelming preponderance
of Massachusetts. Of the 24,000 people in the confederation, 15,000
belonged to Massachusetts, while the other three colonies had only about
3,000 each. Massachusetts accordingly had to carry the heaviest burden,
both in the furnishing of soldiers and in the payment of war expenses,
while in the direction of affairs she had no more authority than one of
the small colonies. As a natural consequence, Massachusetts tried
to exert more authority than she was entitled to by the articles of
confederation; and such conduct was not unnaturally resented by the
small colonies, as betokening an unfair and domineering spirit. In
spite of these drawbacks, however, the league was of great value to
New England. On many occasions it worked well as a high court of
jurisdiction, and it made the military strength of the colonies more
available than it would otherwise have been. But for the interference
of the British government, which brought it to an untimely end, the
Confederacy might have been gradually amended so as to become enduring.
After its downfall it was pleasantly remembered by the people of New
England; in times of trouble their thoughts reverted to it; and the
historian must in fairness assign it some share in preparing men's minds
for the greater work of federation which was achieved before the end of
the following century. [Sidenote: It was only a league, not a federal

The formation of such a confederacy certainly involved something very
like a tacit assumption of sovereignty on the part of the four colonies.
It is worthy of note that they did not take the trouble to ask the
permission of the home government in advance. They did as they pleased,
and then defended their action afterward. In England the act of
confederation was regarded with jealousy and distrust. But Edward
Winslow, who was sent over to London to defend the colonies, pithily
said: "If we in America should forbear to unite for offence and defence
against a common enemy till we have leave from England, our throats
might be all cut before the messenger would be half seas through."
Whether such considerations would have had weight with Charles I. or not
was now of little consequence. His power of making mischief soon came
to an end, and from the liberal and sagacious policy of Cromwell the
Confederacy had not much to fear. Nevertheless the fall of Charles I.
brought up for the first time that question which a century later was
to acquire surpassing interest,--the question as to the supremacy of
Parliament over the colonies.

Down to this time the supreme control over colonial affairs had been in
the hands of the king and his privy council, and the Parliament had
not disputed it. In 1624 they had grumbled at James I.'s high-handed
suppression of the Virginia Company, but they had not gone so far as
to call in question the king's supreme authority over the colonies. In
1628, in a petition to Charles I. relating to the Bermudas, they had
fully admitted this royal authority. But the fall of Charles I. for the
moment changed all this. Among the royal powers devolved upon Parliament
was the prerogative of superintending the affairs of the colonies. Such,
at least, was the theory held in England, and it is not easy to see how
any other theory could logically have been held; but the Americans never
formally admitted it, and in practice they continued to behave toward
Parliament very much as they had behaved toward the crown, yielding
just as little obedience as possible. When the Earl of Warwick's
commissioners in 1644 seized upon a royalist vessel in Boston harbour,
the legislature of Massachusetts debated the question whether it was
compatible with the dignity of the colony to permit such an act of
sovereignty on the part of Parliament. It was decided to wink at the
proceeding, on account of the strong sympathy between Massachusetts and
the Parliament which was overthrowing the king. At the same time the
legislature sent over to London a skilfully worded protest against
any like exercise of power in future. In 1651 Parliament ordered
Massachusetts to surrender the charter obtained from Charles I. and take
out a new one from Parliament, in which the relations of the colony to
the home government should be made the subject of fresh and more precise
definition. To this request the colony for more than a year vouchsafed
no answer; and finally, when it became necessary to do something,
instead of sending back the charter, the legislature sent back a
memorial, setting forth that the people of Massachusetts were quite
contented with their form of government, and hoped that no change would
be made in it. War between England and Holland, and the difficult
political problems which beset the brief rule of Cromwell, prevented
the question from coming to an issue, and Massachusetts was enabled to
preserve her independent and somewhat haughty attitude. [Sidenote: Fall
of Charles I. brings up the question as to supremacy of Parliament over
the colonies]

During the whole period of the Confederacy, however, disputes kept
coming up which through endless crooked ramifications were apt to end
in an appeal to the home government, and thus raise again and again the
question as to the extent of its imperial supremacy. For our present
purpose, it is enough to mention three of these cases: 1, the adventures
of Samuel Gorton; 2, the Presbyterian cabal; 3, the persecution of the
Quakers. Other cases in point are those of John Clarke and the Baptists,
and the relations of Massachusetts to the northeastern settlements; but
as it is not my purpose here to make a complete outline of New England
history, the three cases enumerated will suffice.

The first case shows, in a curious and instructive way, how religious
dissensions were apt to be complicated with threats of an Indian war on
the one hand and peril from Great Britain on the other; and as we come
to realize the triple danger, we can perhaps make some allowances for
the high-handed measures with which the Puritan governments sometimes
sought to avert it. [Genesis of the persecuting spirit]

As I have elsewhere tried to show, the genesis of the persecuting spirit
is to be found in the conditions of primitive society, where "above
all things the prime social and political necessity is social cohesion
within the tribal limits, for unless such social cohesion be maintained,
the very existence of the tribe is likely to be extinguished in
bloodshed." The persecuting spirit "began to pass away after men
had become organized into great nations, covering a vast extent of
territory, and secured by their concentrated military strength against
the gravest dangers of barbaric attack." [13]

Now as regards these considerations, the Puritan communities in the
New England wilderness were to some slight extent influenced by such
conditions as used to prevail in primitive society; and this will help
us to understand the treatment of the Antinomians and such cases as that
with which we have now to deal.

Among the supporters of Mrs. Hutchinson, after her arrival at Aquedneck,
was a sincere and courageous, but incoherent and crotchetty man named
Samuel Gorton. [Sidenote: Samuel Gorton]

In the denunciatory language of that day he was called a "proud and
pestilent seducer," or, as the modern newspaper would say, a "crank." It
is well to make due allowances for the prejudice so conspicuous in the
accounts given by his enemies, who felt obliged to justify their harsh
treatment of him. But we have also his own writings from which to form
an opinion as to his character and views. Lucidity, indeed, was not one
of his strong points as a writer, and the drift of his argument is not
always easy to decipher; but he seems to have had some points of contact
with the Familists, a sect established in the sixteenth century in
Holland. The Familists held that the essence of religion consists not
in adherence to any particular creed or ritual, but in cherishing the
spirit of divine love. The general adoption of this point of view was to
inaugurate a third dispensation, superior to those of Moses and Christ,
the dispensation of the Holy Ghost. The value of the Bible lay not so
much in the literal truth of its texts as in their spiritual import;
and by the union of believers with Christ they came to share in the
ineffable perfection of the Godhead. There is much that is modern and
enlightened in such views, which Gorton seems to some extent to have
shared. He certainly set little store by ritual observances and
maintained the equal right of laymen with clergymen to preach the
gospel. Himself a London clothier, and thanking God that he had not been
brought up in "the schools of human learning," he set up as a preacher
without ordination, and styled himself "professor of the mysteries of
Christ." He seems to have cherished that doctrine of private inspiration
which the Puritans especially abhorred. It is not likely that he had any
distinct comprehension of his own views, for distinctness was just what
they lacked. [14] But they were such as in the seventeenth century could
not fail to arouse fierce antagonism, and if it was true that wherever
there was a government Gorton was against it, perhaps that only shows
that wherever there was a government it was sure to be against him.

In the case of such men as Gorton, however,--and the type is by no
means an uncommon one,--their temperament usually has much more to do
with getting them into trouble than their opinions. Gorton's temperament
was such as to keep him always in an atmosphere of strife. Other
heresiarchs suffered persecution in Massachusetts, but Gorton was in hot
water everywhere. His arrival in any community was the signal for an
immediate disturbance of the peace. His troubles began in Plymouth,
where the wife of the pastor preferred his teachings to those of her
husband. In 1638 he fled to Aquedneck, where his first achievement was a
schism among Mrs. Hutchinson's followers, which ended in some staying to
found the town of Portsmouth while others went away to found Newport.
Presently Portsmouth found him intolerable, flogged and banished him,
and after his departure was able to make up its quarrel with Newport.
He next made his way with a few followers to Pawtuxet, within the
jurisdiction of Providence, and now it is the broad-minded and gentle
Roger Williams who complains of his "bewitching and madding poor
Providence." The question is here suggested what could it have been
in Gorton's teaching that enabled him thus to "bewitch" these little
communities? We may be sure that it could not have been the element of
modern liberalism suggested in the Familistic doctrines above cited.
That was the feature then least likely to appeal to the minds of common
people, and most likely to appeal to Williams. More probably such
success as Gorton had in winning followers was due to some of the
mystical rubbish which abounds in his pages and finds in a modern mind
no doorway through which to enter. [Sidenote: He flees to Aquedneck and
is banished thence]

Williams disapproved of Gorton, but was true to his principles of
toleration and would not take part in any attempt to silence him. But in
1641 we find thirteen leading citizens of Providence, headed by William
Arnold, [15] sending a memorial to Boston, asking for assistance and
counsel in regard to this disturber of the peace. How was Massachusetts
to treat such an appeal? She could not presume to meddle with the affair
unless she could have permanent jurisdiction over Pawtuxet; otherwise
she was a mere intruder. How strong a side-light does this little
incident throw upon the history of the Roman republic, and of all
relatively strong communities when confronted with the problem of
preserving order in neighbouring states that are too weak to preserve it
for themselves! Arnold's argument, in his appeal to Massachusetts, was
precisely the same as that by which the latter colony excused herself
for banishing the Antinomians. He simply says that Gorton and his
company "are not fit persons to be received, and made members of a body
in so weak a state as our town is in at present;" and he adds, "There is
no state but in the first place will seek to preserve its own safety and
peace." Whatever might be the abstract merits of Gorton's opinions, his
conduct was politically dangerous; and accordingly the jurisdiction over
Pawtuxet was formally conceded to Massachusetts. Thereupon that colony,
assuming jurisdiction, summoned Gorton and his men to Boston, to prove
their title to the lands they occupied. They of course regarded the
summons as a flagrant usurpation of authority, and instead of obeying
it they withdrew to Shawomet, on the western shore of Narragansett bay,
where they bought a tract of land from the principal sachem of the
Narragansetts, Miantonomo. The immediate rule over this land belonged to
two inferior chiefs, who ratified the sale at the time, but six months
afterward disavowed the ratification, on the ground that it had been
given under duress from their overlord Miantonomo. Here was a state
of things which might easily bring on an Indian war. The two chiefs
appealed to Massachusetts for protection, and were accordingly summoned,
along with Miantonomo, to a hearing at Boston. Here we see how a kind of
English protectorate over the native tribes had begun to grow up so soon
after the destruction of the Pequots. Such a result was inevitable.
After hearing the arguments, the legislature decided to defend the two
chiefs, provided they would put themselves under the jurisdiction of
Massachusetts. This was done, while further complaints against Gorton
came from the citizens of Providence. Gorton and his men were now
peremptorily summoned to Boston to show cause why they should not
surrender their land at Shawomet and to answer the charges against them.
On receiving from Gorton a defiant reply, couched in terms which some
thought blasphemous, the government of Massachusetts prepared to use
force. [Sidenote: Providence protests against him] [Sidenote: He flees
to Shawomet, where he buys land of the Indians]

Meanwhile the unfortunate Miantonomo had rushed upon his doom. The
annihilation of the Pequots had left the Mohegans and Narragansetts
contending for the foremost place among the native tribes. Between the
rival sachems, Uncas and Miantonomo, the hatred was deep and deadly.
As soon as the Mohegan perceived that trouble was brewing between
Miantonomo and the government at Boston, he improved the occasion by
gathering a few Narragansett scalps. Miantonomo now took the war-path
and was totally defeated by Uncas in a battle on the Great Plain in the
present township of Norwich. Encumbered with a coat of mail which his
friend Gorton had given him, Miantonomo was overtaken and captured. By
ordinary Indian usage he would have been put to death with fiendish
torments, as soon as due preparations could be made and a fit company
assembled to gloat over his agony; but Gorton sent a messenger to Uncas,
threatening dire vengeance if harm were done to his ally. This message
puzzled the Mohegan chief. The appearance of a schism in the English
counsels was more than he could quite fathom. When the affair had
somewhat more fully developed itself, some of the Indians spoke of
the white men as divided into two rival tribes, the Gortonoges and
Wattaconoges. [16] Roger Williams tells us that the latter term, applied
to the men of Boston, meant coat-wearers. Whether it is to be inferred
that the Gortonoges went about in what in modern parlance would be
called their "shirt-sleeves," the reader must decide. [Sidenote:
Miantonomo and Uncas]

In his perplexity Uncas took his prisoner to Hartford, and afterward,
upon the advice of the governor and council, sent him to Boston, that
his fate might be determined by the Federal Commissioners who were
there holding their first regular meeting. It was now the turn of the
commissioners to be perplexed. According to English law there was no
good reason for putting Miantonomo to death. The question was whether
they should interfere with the Indian custom by which his life was
already forfeit to his captor. The magistrates already suspected the
Narragansetts of cherishing hostile designs. To set their sachem at
liberty, especially while the Gorton affair remained unsettled, might be
dangerous; and it would be likely to alienate Uncas from the English. In
their embarrassment the commissioners sought spiritual guidance. A synod
of forty or fifty clergymen, from all parts of New England, was in
session at Boston, and the question was referred to a committee of five
of their number. The decision was prompt that Miantonomo must die. He
was sent back to Hartford to be slain by Uncas, but two messengers
accompanied him, to see that no tortures were inflicted. A select band
of Mohegan warriors journeyed through the forest with the prisoner and
the two Englishmen, until they came to the plain where the battle had
been fought. Then at a signal from Uncas, the warrior walking behind
Miantonomo silently lifted his tomahawk and sank it into the brain of
the victim who fell dead without a groan. Uncas cut a warm slice from
the shoulder and greedily devoured it, declaring that the flesh of
his enemy was the sweetest of meat and gave strength to his heart.
Miantonomo was buried there on the scene of his defeat, which has ever
since been known as the Sachem's Plain. This was in September, 1643, and
for years afterward, in that month, parties of Narragansetts used to
visit the spot and with frantic gestures and hideous yells lament their
fallen leader. A heap of stones was raised over the grave, and no
Narragansett came near it without adding to the pile. After many a
summer had passed and the red men had disappeared from the land, a
Yankee farmer, with whom thrift prevailed over sentiment, cleared away
the mound and used the stones for the foundation of his new barn. [17]
[Sidenote: Death of Miantonomo]

One cannot regard this affair as altogether creditable to the Federal
Commissioners and their clerical advisers. One of the clearest-headed
and most impartial students of our history observes that "if the English
were to meddle in the matter at all, it was their clear duty to enforce
as far as might be the principles recognized by civilized men. When they
accepted the appeal made by Uncas they shifted the responsibility from
the Mohegan chief to themselves." [18] The decision was doubtless based
purely upon grounds of policy. Miantonomo was put out of the way because
he was believed to be dangerous. In the thirst for revenge that was
aroused among the Narragansetts there was an alternative source of
danger, to which I shall hereafter refer. [19] It is difficult now to
decide, as a mere question of safe policy, what the English ought to
have done. The chance of being dragged into an Indian war, through the
feud between Narragansetts and Mohegans, was always imminent. The policy
which condemned Miantonomo was one of timidity, and fear is merciless.

The Federal Commissioners heartily approved the conduct of Massachusetts
toward Gorton, and adopted it in the name of the United Colonies. After
a formal warning, which passed unheeded, a company of forty men, under
Edward Johnson of Woburn and two other officers, was sent to Shawomet.
Some worthy citizens of Providence essayed to play the part of
mediators, and after some parley the Gortonites offered to submit to
arbitration. The proposal was conveyed to Boston, and the clergy were
again consulted. They declared it beneath the dignity of Massachusetts
to negotiate "with a few fugitives living without law or government,"
and they would no more compound with Gorton's "blasphemous revilings"
than they would bargain with the Evil One. The community must be
"purged" of such wickedness, either by repentance or by punishment. The
ministers felt that God would hold the community responsible for Gorton
and visit calamities upon them unless he were silenced. [20] The
arbitration was refused, Gorton's blockhouse was besieged and captured,
and the agitator was carried with nine of his followers to Boston, where
they were speedily convicted of heresy and sedition. Before passing
judgment the General Court as usual consulted with the clergy who
recommended a sentence of death. Their advice was adopted by the
assistants, but the deputies were more merciful, and the heretics
were sentenced to imprisonment at the pleasure of the court. In this
difference between the assistants and the deputies, we observe an early
symptom of that popular revolt against the ascendancy of the clergy
which was by and by to become so much more conspicuous and effective
in the affair of the Quakers. Another symptom might be seen in the
circumstance that so much sympathy was expressed for the Gortonites,
especially by women, that after some months of imprisonment and abuse
the heretics were banished under penalty of death. [Sidenote: Trial and
sentence of the heretics]

Gorton now went to England and laid his tale of woe before the
parliamentary Board of Commissioners. The Earl of Warwick behaved with
moderation. He declined to commit himself to an opinion as to the
merits of the quarrel, but Gorton's title to Shawomet was confirmed. He
returned to Boston with an order to the government to allow him to pass
unmolested through Massachusetts, and hereafter to protect him in
the possession of Shawomet. If this little commonwealth of 15,000
inhabitants had been a nation as powerful as France, she could not have
treated the message more haughtily. By a majority of one vote it was
decided not to refuse so trifling a favour as a passage through the
country for just this once; but as for protecting the new town of
Warwick which the Gortonites proceeded to found at Shawomet, although it
was several times threatened by the Indians, and the settlers appealed
to the parliamentary order, that order Massachusetts flatly and doggedly
refused to obey. [21] [Sidenote: Gorton appeals to Parliament]

In the discussions of which these years were so full, "King Winthrop,"
as his enemy Morton called him, used some very significant language. By
a curious legal fiction of the Massachusetts charter the colonists were
supposed to hold their land as in the manor of East Greenwich near
London, and it was argued that they were represented in Parliament by
the members of the county or borough which contained that manor, and
were accordingly subject to the jurisdiction of Parliament. It was
further argued that since the king had no absolute sovereignty
independent of Parliament he could not by charter impart any such
independent sovereignty to others. Winthrop did not dispute these
points, but observed that the safety of the commonwealth was the supreme
law, and if in the interests of that safety it should be found necessary
to renounce the authority of Parliament, the colonists would be
justified in doing so. [Sidenote: Winthrop's prophetic opinion] [22]
This was essentially the same doctrine as was set forth ninety-nine
years later by young Samuel Adams in his Commencement Oration at

The case of the Presbyterian cabal admits of briefer treatment than that
of Gorton. There had now come to be many persons in Massachusetts who
disapproved of the provision which restricted the suffrage to members of
the Independent or Congregational churches of New England, and in 1646
the views of these people were presented in a petition to the General
Court. The petitioners asked "that their civil disabilities might be
removed, and that all members of the churches of England and Scotland
might be admitted to communion with the New England churches. If this
could not be granted they prayed to be released from all civil burdens.
Should the court refuse to entertain their complaint, they would be
obliged to bring their case before Parliament." [23] The leading signers
of this menacing petition were William Vassall, Samuel Maverick, and The
Presbyterian cabal. Dr. Robert Child. Maverick we have already met. From
the day when the ships of the first Puritan settlers had sailed past
his log fortress on Noddle's Island, he had been their enemy; "a man of
loving and curteous behaviour," says Johnson, "very ready to entertaine
strangers, yet an enemy to the reformation in hand, being strong for the
lordly prelatical power." Vassall was not a denizen of Massachusetts,
but lived in Scituate, in the colony of Plymouth, where there were no
such restrictions upon the suffrage. Child was a learned physician who
after a good deal of roaming about the world had lately taken it into
his head to come and see what sort of a place Massachusetts was.
Although these names were therefore not such as to lend weight to such a
petition, their request would seem at first sight reasonable enough.
At a superficial glance it seems conceived in a modern spirit of
liberalism. In reality it was nothing of the sort. In England it was
just the critical moment of the struggle between Presbyterians and
Independents which had come in to complicate the issues of the great
civil war. Vassall, Child, and Maverick seem to have been the leading
spirits in a cabal for the establishment of Presbyterianism in New
England, and in their petition they simply took advantage of the
discontent of the disfranchised citizens in Massachusetts in order
to put in an entering wedge. This was thoroughly understood by the
legislature of Massachusetts, and accordingly the petition was dismissed
and the petitioners were roundly fined. Just as Child was about to start
for England with his grievances, the magistrates overhauled his papers
and discovered a petition to the parliamentary Board of Commissioners,
suggesting that Presbyterianism should be established in New England,
and that a viceroy or governor-general should be appointed to rule
there. To the men of Massachusetts this last suggestion was a crowning
horror. It seemed scarcely less than treason. The signers of this
petition were the same who had signed the petition to the General Court.
They were now fined still more heavily and imprisoned for six months.
By and by they found their way, one after another, to London, while the
colonists sent Edward Winslow, of Plymouth, as an advocate to thwart
their schemes. Winslow was assailed by Child's brother in a spicy
pamphlet entitled "New England's Jonas cast up at London," and replied
after the same sort, entitling his pamphlet "New England's Salamander
discovered." The cabal accomplished nothing because of the decisive
defeat of Presbyterianism in England. "Pride's Purge" settled all that.
The petition of Vassall and his friends was the occasion for the
meeting of a synod of churches at Cambridge, in order to complete the
organization of Congregationalism. In 1648 the work of the synod was
embodied in the famous Cambridge Platform, which adopted the Westminster
Confession as its creed, carefully defined the powers of the clergy, and
declared it to be the duty of magistrates to suppress heresy. In 1649
the General Court laid this platform before the congregations; in
1651 it was adopted; and this event may be regarded as completing the
theocratic organization of the Puritan commonwealth in Massachusetts.
[Sidenote: The Cambridge Platform; deaths of Winthrop and Cotton]

It was immediately preceded and followed by the deaths of the two
foremost men in that commonwealth. John Winthrop died in 1649 and John
Cotton in 1652. Both were men of extraordinary power. Of Winthrop it is
enough to say that under his skilful guidance Massachusetts had been
able to pursue the daring policy which had characterized the first
twenty years of her history, and which in weaker hands would almost
surely have ended in disaster. Of Cotton it may be said that he was the
most eminent among a group of clergymen who for learning and dialectical
skill have seldom been surpassed. Neither Winthrop nor Cotton approved
of toleration upon principle. Cotton, in his elaborate controversy
with Roger Williams, frankly asserted that persecution is not wrong in
itself; it is wicked for falsehood to persecute truth, but it is the
sacred duty of truth to persecute falsehood. This was the theologian's
view. Winthrop's was that of a man of affairs. They had come to New
England, he said, in order to make a society after their own model;
all who agreed with them might come and join that society; those who
disagreed with them might go elsewhere; there was room enough on the
American continent. But while neither Winthrop nor Cotton understood the
principle of religious liberty, at the same time neither of them had the
temperament which persecutes. Both were men of genial disposition, sound
common-sense, and exquisite tact. Under their guidance no such
tragedy would have been possible as that which was about to leave its
ineffaceable stain upon the annals of Massachusetts.

It was most unfortunate that at this moment the places of these two men
should have been taken by two as arrant fanatics as ever drew breath.
For thirteen out of the fifteen years following Winthrop's death, the
governor of Massachusetts was John Endicott, a sturdy pioneer, whose
services to the colony had been great. He was honest and conscientious,
but passionate, domineering, and very deficient in tact. At the same
time Cotton's successor in position and influence was John Norton, a man
of pungent wit, unyielding temper, and melancholy mood. He was possessed
by a morbid fear of Satan, whose hirelings he thought were walking
up and down over the earth in the visible semblance of heretics and
schismatics. Under such leaders the bigotry latent in the Puritan
commonwealth might easily break out in acts of deadly persecution.
[Sidenote: Endicott and Norton take the lead] [Sidenote: The Quakers and
their views]

The occasion was not long in coming. Already the preaching of George Fox
had borne fruit, and the noble sect of Quakers was an object of scorn
and loathing to all such as had not gone so far as they toward learning
the true lesson of Protestantism. Of all Protestant sects the Quakers
went furthest in stripping off from Christianity its non-essential
features of doctrine and ceremonial. Their ideal was not a theocracy
but a separation between church and state. They would abolish all
distinction between clergy and laity, and could not be coaxed or bullied
into paying tithes. They also refused to render military service, or
to take the oath of allegiance. In these ways they came at once into
antagonism both with church and with state. In doctrine their chief
peculiarity was the assertion of an "Inward Light" by which every
individual is to be guided in his conduct of life. They did not believe
that men ceased to be divinely inspired when the apostolic ages came
to an end, but held that at all times and places the human soul may be
enlightened by direct communion with its Heavenly Father. Such views
involved the most absolute assertion of the right of private judgment;
and when it is added that in the exercise of this right many Quakers
were found to reject the dogmas of original sin and the resurrection of
the body, to doubt the efficacy of baptism, and to call in question the
propriety of Christians turning the Lord's Day into a Jewish Sabbath, we
see that they had in some respects gone far on the road toward modern
rationalism. It was not to be expected that such opinions should
be treated by the Puritans in any other spirit than one of extreme
abhorrence and dread. The doctrine of the "Inward Light," or of private
inspiration, was something especially hateful to the Puritan. To the
modern rationalist, looking at things in the dry light of history,
it may seem that this doctrine was only the Puritan's own appeal to
individual judgment, stated in different form; but the Puritan could not
so regard it. To such a fanatic as Norton this inward light was but
a reflection from the glare of the bottomless pit, this private
inspiration was the beguiling voice of the Devil. As it led the Quakers
to strange and novel conclusions, this inward light seemed to array
itself in hostility to that final court of appeal for all good
Protestants, the sacred text of the Bible. The Quakers were accordingly
regarded as infidels who sought to deprive Protestantism of its only
firm support. They were wrongly accused of blasphemy in their treatment
of the Scriptures. Cotton Mather says that the Quakers were in the habit
of alluding to the Bible as the Word of the Devil. Such charges, from
passionate and uncritical enemies, are worthless except as they serve to
explain the bitter prejudice with which the Quakers were regarded. They
remind one of the silly accusation brought against Wyclif two centuries
earlier, that he taught his disciples that God ought to obey the Devil;
[24] and they are not altogether unlike the assumptions of some modern
theologians who take it for granted that any writer who accepts the
Darwinian theory must be a materialist. [Sidenote: Endicott and Norton
take the lead] [Sidenote: The Quakers and their views]

But worthless as Mather's statements are, in describing the views of
the Quakers, they are valuable as indicating the temper in which these
disturbers of the Puritan theocracy were regarded. In accusing them of
rejecting the Bible and making a law unto themselves, Mather simply put
on record a general belief which he shared. Nor can it be doubted that
the demeanour of the Quaker enthusiasts was sometimes such as to seem
to warrant the belief that their anarchical doctrines entailed, as a
natural consequence, disorderly and disreputable conduct. In those
days all manifestations of dissent were apt to be violent, and the
persecution which they encountered was likely to call forth strange and
unseemly vagaries. When we remember how the Quakers, in their scorn of
earthly magistrates and princes, would hoot at the governor as he
walked up the street; how they used to rush into church on Sundays and
interrupt the sermon with untimely remarks; how Thomas Newhouse once
came into the Old South Meeting-House with a glass bottle in each hand,
and, holding them up before the astonished congregation, knocked them
together and smashed them, with the remark, "Thus will the Lord break
you all in pieces"; how Lydia Wardwell and Deborah Wilson ran about the
streets in the primitive costume of Eve before the fall, and called
their conduct "testifying before the Lord"; we can hardly wonder that
people should have been reminded of the wretched scenes enacted at
Munster by the Anabaptists of the preceding century. [Sidenote: Violent
manifestations of dissent]

Such incidents, however, do not afford the slightest excuse for the
cruel treatment which the Quakers received in Boston, nor do they go
far toward explaining it. Persecution began immediately, before the
new-comers had a chance to behave themselves well or ill. Their mere
coming to Boston was taken as an act of invasion. It was indeed an
attack upon the Puritan theocratic idea. Of all the sectaries of that
age of sects, the Quakers were the most aggressive. There were at one
time more than four thousand of them in English jails; yet when any of
them left England, it was less to escape persecution than to preach
their doctrines far and wide over the earth. Their missionaries found
their way to Paris, to Vienna; even to Rome, where they testified under
the very roof of the Vatican. In this dauntless spirit they came to New
England to convert its inhabitants, or at any rate to establish the
principle that in whatever community it might please them to stay, there
they would stay in spite of judge or hangman. At first they came to
Barbadoes, whence two of their number, Anne Austin and Mary Fisher,
sailed for Boston. When they landed, on a May morning in 1656, Endicott
happened to be away from Boston, but the deputy-governor, Richard
Bellingham, was equal to the occasion. He arrested the two women and
locked them up in jail, where, for fear they might proclaim their
heresies to the crowd gathered outside, the windows were boarded up.
There was no law as yet enacted against Quakers, but a council summoned
for the occasion pronounced their doctrines blasphemous and devilish.
The books which the poor women had with them were seized and publicly
burned, and the women themselves were kept in prison half-starved for
five weeks until the ship they had come in was ready to return to
Barbadoes. Soon after their departure Endicott came home. He found fault
with Bellingham's conduct as too gentle; if he had been there he would
have had the hussies flogged. [Sidenote: Anne Austin and Mary Fisher]

Five years afterward Mary Fisher went to Adrianople and tried to convert
the Grand Turk, who treated her with grave courtesy and allowed her to
prophesy unmolested. This is one of the numerous incidents that, on a
superficial view of history, might be cited in support of the opinion
that there has been on the whole more tolerance in the Mussulman than in
the Christian world. Rightly interpreted, however, the fact has no such
implication. In Massachusetts the preaching of Quaker doctrines might
(and did) lead to a revolution; in Turkey it was as harmless as the
barking of dogs. Governor Endicott was afraid of Mary Fisher; Mahomet
III. was not.

No sooner had the two women been shipped from Boston than eight other
Quakers arrived from London. They were at once arrested. While they were
lying in jail the Federal Commissioners, then in session at Plymouth,
recommended that laws be forthwith enacted to keep these dreaded
heretics out of the land. Next year they stooped so far as to seek the
aid of Rhode Island, the colony which they had refused to admit into
their confederacy. "They sent a letter to the authorities of that
colony, signing themselves their loving friends and neighbours, and
beseeching them to preserve the whole body of colonies against 'such a
pest' by banishing and excluding all Quakers, a measure to which 'the
rule of charity did oblige them.'" Roger Williams was then president of
Rhode Island, and in full accord with his noble spirit was the reply of
the assembly. "We have no law amongst us whereby to punish any for only
declaring by words their minds and understandings concerning the things
and ways of God as to salvation and our eternal condition." As for these
Quakers we find that where they are "most of all suffered to declare
themselves freely and only opposed by arguments in discourse, there
they least of all desire to come." Any breach of the civil law shall be
punished, but the "freedom of different consciences shall be respected."
This reply enraged the confederated colonies, and Massachusetts, as the
strongest and most overbearing, threatened to cut off the trade of
Rhode Island, which forthwith appealed to Cromwell for protection. The
language of the appeal is as touching as its broad Christian spirit is
grand. It recognizes that by stopping trade the men of Massachusetts
will injure themselves, yet, it goes on to say, "for the safeguard of
their religion they may seem to neglect themselves in that respect; for
what will not men do for their God?" But whatever fortune may befall,
"let us not be compelled to exercise any civil power over men's
consciences." [25] [Sidenote: Noble conduct of Rhode Island]

There could never, of course, be a doubt as to who drew up this state
paper. During his last visit to England, three years before, Roger
Williams had spent several weeks at Sir Harry Vane's country house in
Lincolnshire, and he had also been intimately associated with Cromwell
and Milton. The views of these great men were the most advanced of
that age. They were coming to understand the true principle upon which
toleration should be based. (See my Excursions of an Evolutionist, pp.
247, 289-293.) Vane had said in Parliament, "Why should the labours of
any be suppressed, if sober, though never so different? We now profess
to seek God, we desire to see light!" [Sidenote: Roger Williams appeals
to Cromwell]

This Williams called a "heavenly speech." The sentiment it expressed was
in accordance with the practical policy of Cromwell, and in the appeal
of the president of Rhode Island to the Lord Protector one hears the
tone with which friend speaks to friend.

In thus protecting the Quakers, Williams never for a moment concealed
his antipathy to their doctrines. The author of "George Fox digged out
of his Burrowes," the sturdy controversialist who in his seventy-third
year rowed himself in a boat the whole length of Narragansett bay to
engage in a theological tournament against three Quaker champions, was
animated by nothing less than the broadest liberalism in his bold reply
to the Federal Commissioners in 1657. The event showed that under his
guidance the policy of Rhode Island was not only honourable but wise.
The four confederated colonies all proceeded to pass laws banishing
Quakers and making it a penal offence for shipmasters to bring them to
New England. These laws differed in severity. Those of Connecticut, in
which we may trace the influence of the younger John Winthrop, were the
mildest; those of Massachusetts were the most severe, and as Quakers
kept coming all the more in spite of them, they grew harsher and
harsher. At first the Quaker who persisted in returning was to be
flogged and imprisoned at hard labour, next his ears were to be cut off,
and for a third offence his tongue was to be bored with a hot iron.
At length in 1658, the Federal Commissioners, sitting at Boston with
Endicott as chairman, recommended capital punishment. It must be borne
in mind that the general reluctance toward prescribing or inflicting the
death penalty was much weaker then than now. On the statute-books there
were not less than fifteen capital crimes, including such offences as
idolatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, marriage within the Levitical degrees,
"presumptuous sabbath-breaking," and cursing or smiting one's parents.
[26] The infliction of the penalty, however, lay practically very much
within the discretion of the court, and was generally avoided except in
cases of murder or other heinous felony. In some of these ecclesiastical
offences the statute seems to have served the purpose of a threat, and
was therefore perhaps the more easily enacted. Yet none of the colonies
except Massachusetts now adopted the suggestion of the Federal
Commissioners and threatened the Quakers with death. [Sidenote: Laws
passed against the Quakers]

In Massachusetts the opposition was very strong indeed, and its
character shows how wide the divergence in sentiment had already become
between the upper stratum of society and the people in general. This
divergence was one result of the excessive weight given to the clergy by
the restriction of the suffrage to church members. One might almost say
that it was not the people of Massachusetts, after all, that shed
the blood of the Quakers; it was Endicott and the clergy. The bill
establishing death as the penalty for returning after banishment was
passed in the upper house without serious difficulty; but in the lower
house it was at first defeated. Of the twenty-six deputies fifteen were
opposed to it, but one of these fell sick and two were intimidated,
so that finally the infamous measure was passed by a vote of thirteen
against twelve. Probably it would not have passed but for a hopeful
feeling that an occasion for putting it into execution would not
be likely to arise. It was hoped that the mere threat would prove
effective. Endicott begged the Quakers to keep away, saying earnestly
that he did not desire their death; but the more resolute spirits
were not deterred by fear of the gallows. In September, 1659, William
Robinson, Marmaduke Stevenson, and Mary Dyer, who had come to Boston
expressly to defy the cruel law, were banished. Mrs. Dyer was a lady
of good family, wife of the secretary of Rhode Island. She had been an
intimate friend of Mrs. Hutchinson. While she went home to her husband,
Stevenson and Robinson went only to Salem and then faced about and came
back to Boston. Mrs. Dyer also returned. All three felt themselves
under divine command to resist and defy the persecutors. On the 27th of
October they were led to the gallows on Boston Common, under escort of
a hundred soldiers. Many people had begun to cry shame on such
proceedings, and it was thought necessary to take precautions against a
tumult. The victims tried to address the crowd, but their voices were
drowned by the beating of drums. While the Rev. John Wilson railed and
scoffed at them from the foot of the gallows the two brave men were
hanged. The halter had been placed upon Mrs. Dyer when her son, who
had come in all haste from Rhode Island, obtained her reprieve on
his promise to take her away. The bodies of the two men were denied
Christian burial and thrown uncovered into a pit. All the efforts of
husband and son were unable to keep Mrs. Dyer at home. In the following
spring she returned to Boston and on the first day of June was again
taken to the gallows. At the last moment she was offered freedom if she
would only promise to go away and stay, but she refused. "In obedience
to the will of the Lord I came," said she, "and in his will I abide
faithful unto death." And so she died. [Sidenote: Executions on Boston
Common] [Sidenote: Wenlock Christison's defiance and victory]

Public sentiment in Boston was now turning so strongly against the
magistrates that they began to weaken in their purpose. But there
was one more victim. In November, 1660, William Leddra returned from
banishment. The case was clear enough, but he was kept in prison four
months and every effort was made to induce him to promise to leave the
colony, but in vain. In the following March he too was put to death. A
few days before the execution, as Leddra was being questioned in court,
a memorable scene occurred. Wenlock Christison was one of those who had
been banished under penalty of death. On his return he made straight for
the town-house, strode into the court-room, and with uplifted finger
addressed the judges in words of authority. "I am come here to warn
you," said he, "that ye shed no more innocent blood." He was instantly
seized and dragged off to jail. After three months he was brought to
trial before the Court of Assistants. The magistrates debated for more
than a fortnight as to what should be done. The air was thick with
mutterings of insurrection, and they had lost all heart for their
dreadful work. Not so the savage old man who presided, frowning gloomily
under his black skull cap. Losing his patience at last, Endicott smote
the table with fury, upbraided the judges for their weakness, and
declared himself so disgusted that he was ready to go back to England.
[27] "You that will not consent, record it," he shouted, as the question
was again put to vote, "I thank God I am not afraid to give judgment."
Christison was condemned to death, but the sentence was never executed.
In the interval the legislature assembled, and the law was modified. The
martyrs had not died in vain. Their cause was victorious. A revolution
had been effected. The Puritan ideal of a commonwealth composed of a
united body of believers was broken down, never again to be restored.
The principle had been admitted that the heretic might come to
Massachusetts and stay there.

It was not in a moment, however, that these results were fully realized.
For some years longer Quakers were fined, imprisoned, and now and then
tied to the cart's tail and whipped from one town to another. But these
acts of persecution came to be more and more discountenanced by public
opinion until at length they ceased.

It was on the 25th of May, 1660, just one week before the martyrdom of
Mary Dyer, that Charles II. returned to England to occupy his father's
throne. One of the first papers laid before him was a memorial in behalf
of the oppressed Quakers in New England. In the course of the following
year he sent a letter to Endicott and the other New England governors,
ordering them to suspend proceedings against the Quakers, and if any
were then in prison, to send them to England for trial. Christison's
victory had already been won, but the "King's Missive" was now partially
obeyed by the release of all prisoners. As for sending anybody to
England for trial, that was something that no New England government
could ever be made to allow.

Charles's defence of the Quakers was due, neither to liberality
of disposition nor to any sympathy with them, but rather to his
inclinations toward Romanism. Unlike in other respects, Quakers and
Catholics were alike in this, that they were the only sects which the
Protestant world in general agreed in excluding from toleration. Charles
wished to secure toleration for Catholics, and he could not prudently
take steps toward this end without pursuing a policy broad enough to
diminish persecution in other directions, and from these circumstances
the Quakers profited. At times there was something almost like a
political alliance between Quaker and Catholic, as instanced in the
relations between William Penn and Charles's brother, the Duke of York.
[Sidenote: The "King's Missive"] [Sidenote: Why Charles II. interfered
to protect the Quakers]

Besides all this, Charles had good reason to feel that the governments
of New England were assuming too many airs of sovereignty. There were
plenty of people at hand to work upon his mind. The friends of Gorton
and Child and Vassall were loud with their complaints. Samuel Maverick
swore that the people of New England were all rebels, and he could prove
it. The king was assured that the Confederacy was "a war combination,
made by the four colonies when they had a design to throw off their
dependence on England, and for that purpose." The enemies of the New
England people, while dilating upon the rebellious disposition of
Massachusetts, could also remind the king that for several years that
colony had been coining and circulating shillings and sixpences with the
name "Massachusetts" and a tree on one side, and the name "New England"
with the date on the other. There was no recognition of England upon
this coinage, which was begun in 1652 and kept up for more than thirty
years. Such pieces of money used to be called "pine-tree shillings";
but, so far as looks go, the tree might be anything, and an adroit
friend of New England once gravely assured the king that it was meant
for the royal oak in which his majesty hid himself after the battle of

Against the colony of New Haven the king had a special grudge. Two of
the regicide judges, who had sat in the tribunal which condemned his
father, escaped to New England in 1660 and were well received there.
They were gentlemen of high position. Edward Whalley was a cousin of
Cromwell and Hampden. He had distinguished himself at Naseby and Dunbar,
and had risen to the rank of lieutenant-general. He had commanded at
the capture of Worcester, where it is interesting to observe that the
royalist commander who surrendered to him was Sir Henry Washington, own
cousin to the grandfather of George Washington. The other regicide,
William Goffe, as a major-general in Cromwell's army, had won such
distinction that there were some who pointed to him as the proper person
to succeed the Lord Protector on the death of the latter. He had married
Whalley's daughter. Soon after the arrival of these gentlemen, a royal
order for their arrest was sent to Boston. If they had been arrested and
sent back to England, their severed heads would soon have been placed
over Temple Bar. The king's detectives hotly pursued them through the
woodland paths of New England, and they would soon have been taken but
for the aid they got from the people. Many are the stories of their
hairbreadth escapes. Sometimes they took refuge in a cave on a mountain
near New Haven, sometimes they hid in friendly cellars; and once, being
hard put to it, they skulked under a wooden bridge, while their pursuers
on horseback galloped by overhead. After lurking about New Haven and
Milford for two or three years, on hearing of the expected arrival
of Colonel Nichols and his commission, they sought a more secluded
hiding-place near Hadley, a village lately settled far up the
Connecticut river, within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Here the
avengers lost the trail, the pursuit was abandoned, and the weary
regicides were presently forgotten. The people of New Haven had been
especially zealous in shielding the fugitives. Mr. Davenport had not
only harboured them in his own house, but on the Sabbath before their
expected arrival he had preached a very bold sermon, openly advising
his people to aid and comfort them as far as possible. [28] The colony,
moreover, did not officially recognize the restoration of Charles II. to
the throne until that event had been commonly known in New England for
more than a year. For these reasons the wrath of the king was specially
roused against New Haven, when circumstances combined to enable him at
once to punish this disloyal colony and deal a blow at the Confederacy.
We have seen that in restricting the suffrage to church members New
Haven had followed the example of Massachusetts, but Connecticut had
not; and at this time there was warm controversy between the two younger
colonies as to the wisdom Of such a policy. As yet none of the colonies
save Massachusetts had obtained a charter, and Connecticut was naturally
anxious to obtain one. Whether through a complaisant spirit connected
with this desire, or through mere accident, Connecticut had been prompt
in acknowledging the restoration of Charles II.; and in August, 1661,
she dispatched the younger Winthrop to England to apply for a charter.
Winthrop was a man of winning address and of wide culture. His
scientific tastes were a passport to the favour of the king at a time
when the Royal Society was being founded, of which Winthrop himself was
soon chosen a fellow. In every way the occasion was an auspicious one.
The king looked upon the rise of the New England Confederacy with
unfriendly eyes. Massachusetts was as yet the only member of the league
that was really troublesome; and there seemed to be no easier way to
weaken her than to raise up a rival power by her side, and extend to it
such privileges as might awaken her jealousy. All the more would such
a policy be likely to succeed if accompanied by measures of which
Massachusetts must necessarily disapprove, and the suppression of
New Haven would be such a measure. [Sidenote: New Haven annexed to

In accordance with these views, a charter of great liberality was at
once granted to Connecticut, and by the same instrument the colony of
New Haven was deprived of its separate existence and annexed to its
stronger neighbour. As if to emphasize the motives which had led to this
display of royal favour toward Connecticut, an equally liberal charter
was granted to Rhode Island. In the summer of 1664 Charles II. sent a
couple of ships-of-war to Boston harbour, with 400 troops under command
of Colonel Richard Nichols, who had been appointed, along with Samuel
Maverick and two others as royal commissioners, to look after the
affairs of the New World. Colonel Nichols took his ships to New
Amsterdam, and captured that important town. After his return the
commissioners held meetings at Boston, and for a time the Massachusetts
charter seemed in danger. But the Puritan magistrates were shrewd, and
months were frittered away to no purpose. Presently the Dutch made war
upon England, and the king felt it to be unwise to irritate the people
of Massachusetts beyond endurance. The turbulent state of English
politics which followed still further absorbed his attention, and New
England had another respite of several years. [Sidenote: Founding of

In New Haven a party had grown up which was dissatisfied with its
extreme theocratic policy and approved of the union with Connecticut.
Davenport and his followers, the founders of the colony, were beyond
measure disgusted. They spurned "the Christless rule" of the sister
colony. Many of them took advantage of the recent conquest of New
Netherland, and a strong party, led by the Rev. Abraham Pierson, of
Branford, migrated to the banks of the Passaic in June, 1667, and laid
the foundations of Newark. For some years to come the theocratic idea
that had given birth to New Haven continued to live on in New Jersey. As
for Mr. Davenport, he went to Boston and ended his days there. Cotton
Mather, writing at a later date, when the theocratic scheme of the early
settlers had been manifestly outgrown and superseded, says of Davenport:
"Yet, after all, the Lord gave him to see that in this world a
Church-State was impossible, whereinto there enters nothing which

The theocratic policy, alike in New Haven and in Massachusetts, broke
down largely through its inherent weakness. It divided the community,
and created among the people a party adverse to its arrogance and
exclusiveness. This state of things facilitated the suppression of
New Haven by royal edict, and it made possible the victory of Wenlock
Christison in Massachusetts. We can now see the fundamental explanation
of the deadly hostility with which Endicott and his party regarded the
Quakers. The latter aimed a fatal blow at the very root of the idea
which had brought the Puritans to New England. Once admit these heretics
as citizens, or even as tolerated sojourners, and there was an end of
the theocratic state consisting of a united body of believers. It was a
life-and-death struggle, in which no quarter was given; and the Quakers,
aided by popular discontent with the theocracy, even more than by the
intervention of the crown, won a decisive victory.

As the work of planting New England took place chiefly in the eleven
years 1629-1640, during which Charles I. contrived to reign without a
parliament, so the prosperous period of the New England Confederacy,
1643-1664, covers the time of the Civil War and the Commonwealth, and
just laps on to the reign of Charles II. By the summary extinction of
the separate existence of one of its members for the benefit of another,
its vigour was sadly impaired. But its constitution was revised so as
to make it a league of three states instead of four; and the Federal
Commissioners kept on holding their meetings, though less frequently,
until the revocation of the Massachusetts charter in 1684. During
this period a great Indian war occurred, in the course of which this
concentration of the military strength of New England, imperfect as it
was, proved itself very useful. In the history of New England, from the
restoration of the Stuarts until their final expulsion, the two most
important facts are the military struggle of the newly founded states
with the Indians, and their constitutional struggle against the British
government. The troubles and dangers of 1636 were renewed on a much more
formidable scale, but the strength of the people had waxed greatly in
the mean time, and the new perils were boldly overcome or skilfully
warded off; not, however, until the constitution of Massachusetts had
been violently wrenched out of shape in the struggle, and seeds of
conflict sown which in the following century were to bear fruit in the
American Revolution. [Sidenote: Breaking down of the theocratic policy]
[Sidenote: Weakening of the Confederacy]



For eight-and-thirty years after the destruction of the Pequots, the
intercourse between the English and the Indians was to all outward
appearance friendly. The policy pursued by the settlers was in the
main well considered. While they had shown that they could strike with
terrible force when blows were needed, their treatment of the natives in
time of peace seems to have been generally just and kind. Except in the
single case of the conquered Pequot territory, they scrupulously paid
for every rood of ground on which they settled, and so far as possible
they extended to the Indians the protection of the law. On these points
we have the explicit testimony of Josiah Winslow, governor of Plymouth,
in his report to the Federal Commissioners in May, 1676; and what
he says about Plymouth seems to have been equally true of the other
colonies. Says Winslow, "I think I can clearly say that before these
present troubles broke out, the English did not possess one foot of land
in this colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the
Indian proprietors. Nay, because some of our people are of a covetous
disposition, and the Indians are in their straits easily prevailed with
to part with their lands, we first made a law that none should purchase
or receive of gift any land of the Indians without the knowledge and
allowance of our Court .... And if at any time they have brought
complaints before us, they have had justice impartial and speedy, so
that our own people have frequently complained that we erred on the
other hand in showing them overmuch favour." The general laws of
Massachusetts and Connecticut as well as of Plymouth bear out what
Winslow says, and show us that as a matter of policy the colonial
governments were fully sensible of the importance of avoiding all
occasions for quarrel with their savage neighbours. [Sidenote: Puritans
and Indians]

There can, moreover, be little doubt that the material comfort of the
Indians was for a time considerably improved by their dealings with the
white men. Hitherto their want of foresight and thrift had been wont to
involve them during the long winters in a dreadful struggle with famine.
Now the settlers were ready to pay liberally for the skin of every
fur-covered animal the red men could catch; and where the trade thus
arising did not suffice to keep off famine, instances of generous
charity were frequent. The Algonquin tribes of New England lived chiefly
by hunting, but partly by agriculture. They raised beans and corn, and
succotash was a dish which they contributed to the white man's table.
They could now raise or buy English vegetables, while from dogs and
horses, pigs and poultry, oxen and sheep, little as they could avail
themselves of such useful animals, they nevertheless derived some
benefit. [29] Better blankets and better knives were brought within
their reach; and in spite of all the colonial governments could do to
prevent it, they were to some extent enabled to supply themselves with
muskets and rum. [Sidenote: Trade with the Indians]

Besides all this trade, which, except in the article of liquor, tended
to improve the condition of the native tribes, there was on the part of
the earlier settlers an earnest and diligent effort to convert them
to Christianity and give them the rudiments of a civilized education.
Missionary work was begun in 1643 by Thomas Mayhew on the islands of
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. The savages at first declared they were
not so silly as to barter thirty-seven tutelar deities for one, but
after much preaching and many pow-wows Mayhew succeeded in persuading
them that the Deity of the white man was mightier than all their
_manitous._ Whether they ever got much farther than this toward a
comprehension of the white man's religion may be doubted; but they were
prevailed upon to let their children learn to read and write, and even
to set up little courts, in which justice was administered according to
some of the simplest rules of English law, and from which there lay an
appeal to the court of Plymouth. In 1646 Massachusetts enacted that the
elders of the churches should choose two persons each year to go and
spread the gospel among the Indians. In 1649 Parliament established the
Society for propagating the Gospel in New England, and presently from
voluntary contributions the society was able to dispose of an annual
income of £2000. Schools were set up in which agriculture was taught as
well as religion. It was even intended that Indians should go to Harvard
College, and a building was erected for their accommodation, but as none
came to occupy it, the college printing-press was presently set to work
there. One solitary Indian student afterward succeeded in climbing to
the bachelor's degree,--Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck of the class of 1665. It
was this one success that was marvellous, not the failure of the scheme,
which vividly shows how difficult it was for the white man of that day
to understand the limitations of the red man. [Sidenote: Missionary
work: Thomas Mayhew]

The greatest measure of success in converting the Indians was attained
by that famous linguist and preacher, the apostle John Eliot. This
remarkable man was a graduate of Jesus College, Cambridge. He had come
to Massachusetts in 1631, and in the following year had been settled as
teacher in the church at Roxbury of which Thomas Welde was pastor. He
had been distinguished at the university for philological scholarship
and for linguistic talent--two things not always found in
connection--and now during fourteen years he devoted such time as he
could to acquiring a complete mastery of the Algonquin dialect spoken by
the Indians of Massachusetts bay. To the modern comparative philologist
his work is of great value. He published not only an excellent Indian
grammar, but a complete translation of the Bible into the Massachusetts
language,--a monument of prodigious labour. It is one of the most
instructive documents in existence for the student of Algonquin speech,
though the Massachusetts tribe and its language have long been extinct,
and there are very few scholars living who can read the book. It has
become one of the curiosities of literature and at auction sales of
private libraries commands an extremely high price. Yet out of this rare
book the American public has somehow or other within the last five
or six years contrived to pick up a word which we shall very likely
continue to hear for some time to come. In Eliot's Bible, the word which
means a great chief--such as Joshua, or Gideon, or Joab--is "mugwump."

It was in 1646 that Eliot began his missionary preaching at a small
Indian village near Watertown. President Dunster, of Harvard College,
and Mr. Shepard, the minister at Cambridge, felt a warm interest in the
undertaking. These worthy men seriously believed that the aborigines
of America were the degenerate descendants of the ten lost tribes of
Israel, and from this strange backsliding it was hoped that they might
now be reclaimed. With rare eloquence and skill did Eliot devote himself
to the difficult work of reaching the Indian's scanty intelligence and
still scantier moral sense. His ministrations reached from the sands of
Cape Cod to the rocky hillsides of Brookfield. But he soon found that
single-handed he could achieve but little over so wide an area, and
accordingly he adopted the policy of colonizing his converts in village
communities near the English towns, where they might be sequestered from
their heathen brethren and subjected to none but Christian influences.
In these communities he hoped to train up native missionaries who might
thence go and labour among the wild tribes until the whole lump of
barbarism should be leavened. In pursuance of this scheme a stockaded
village was built at Natick in 1651 Under the direction of an English
carpenter the Indians built log-houses for themselves, and most of them
adopted the English dress. Their simple government was administered by
tithing-men, or "rulers of tens," chosen after methods prescribed in the
book of Exodus. Other such communities were formed in the neighbourhoods
of Concord and Grafton. By 1674 the number of these "praying Indians,"
as they were called, was estimated at 4000, of whom about 1500 were in
Eliot's villages, as many more in Martha's Vineyard, 300 in Nantucket,
and 700 in the Plymouth colony. There seems to be no doubt that these
Indians were really benefited both materially and morally by the change
in their life. In theology it is not likely that they reached any higher
view than that expressed by the Connecticut sachem Wequash who "seeing
and beholding the mighty power of God in the English forces, how they
fell upon the Pequots, ... from that time was convinced and persuaded
that our God was a most dreadful God;" accordingly, says the author of
"New England's First Fruits," "he became thoroughly reformed according
to his light." Matters of outward observance, too, the Indians could
understand; for we read of one of them rebuking an Englishman "for
profaning the Lord's Day by felling of a tree." The Indian's notions of
religion were probably confined within this narrow compass; the notions
of some people that call themselves civilized perhaps do not extend much
further. [Sidenote: Villages of Christian Indians]

From such facts as those above cited we may infer that the early
relations of the Puritan settlers to the Algonquin tribes of New England
were by no means like the relations between white men and red men in
recent times on our western plains. During Philip's War, as we shall
see, the Puritan theory of the situation was entirely changed and our
forefathers began to act in accordance with the frontiersman's doctrine
that the good Indians are dead Indians. But down to that time it is
clear that his intention was to deal honourably and gently with his
tawny neighbour. We sometimes hear the justice and kindness of the
Quakers in Pennsylvania alleged as an adequate reason for the success
with which they kept clear of an Indian war. This explanation, however,
does not seem to be adequate; it does not appear that, on the whole, the
Puritans were less just and kind than the Quakers in their treatment of
the red men. The true explanation is rather to be found in the relations
between the Indian tribes toward the close of the seventeenth century.
Early in that century the Pennsylvania region had been in the hands
of the ferocious and powerful Susquehannocks, but in 1672, after a
frightful struggle of twenty years, this great tribe was swept from the
face of the earth by the resistless league of the Five Nations. When
the Quakers came to Pennsylvania in 1682, the only Indians in that
neighbourhood were the Delawares, who had just been terribly beaten by
the Five Nations and forced into a treaty by which they submitted to be
called "women," and to surrender their tomahawks. Penn's famous treaty
was made with the Delawares as occupants of the land and also with the
Iroquois league as overlords. [30] Now the great central fact of early
American history, so far as the relations between white men and red
men are concerned, is the unshaken friendship of the Iroquois for the
English. This was the natural consequence of the deadly hostility
between the Iroquois and the French which began with Champlain's defeat
of the Mohawks in 1609. During the seventy-three years which intervened
between the founding of Pennsylvania and the defeat of Braddock there
was never a moment when the Delawares could have attacked the Quakers
without incurring the wrath and vengeance of their overlords the Five
Nations. This was the reason why Pennsylvania was left so long in quiet.
No better proof could be desired than the fact that in Pontiac's war,
after the overthrow of the French and when Indian politics had changed,
no state suffered so much as Pennsylvania from the horrors of Indian
warfare. [Sidenote: Why Pennsylvania was so long unmolested by the

In New England at the time of Philip's War, the situation was very
different from what it was between the Hudson and the Susquehanna. The
settlers were thrown into immediate relations with several tribes whose
mutual hostility and rivalry was such that it was simply impossible to
keep on good terms with all at once. Such complicated questions as that
which involved the English in responsibility for the fate of Miantonomo
did not arise in Pennsylvania. Since the destruction of the Pequots we
have observed the Narragansetts and Mohegans contending for the foremost
place among New England tribes. Of the two rivals the Mohegans were
the weaker, and therefore courted the friendship of the formidable
palefaces. The English had no desire to take part in these barbarous
feuds, but they could not treat the Mohegans well without incurring the
hostility of the Narragansetts. For thirty years the feeling of the
latter tribe toward the English had been very unfriendly and would
doubtless have vented itself in murder but for their recollection of
the fate of the Pequots. After the loss of their chief Miantonomo their
attitude became so sullen and defiant that the Federal Commissioners, in
order to be in readiness for an outbreak, collected a force of 300 men.
At the first news of these preparations the Narragansetts, overcome with
terror, sent a liberal tribute of wampum to Boston, and were fain to
conclude a treaty in which they promised to behave themselves well in
the future.

It was impossible that this sort of English protectorate over the native
tribes, which was an inevitable result of the situation, should be other
than irksome and irritating to the Indians. They could not but see that
the white man stood there as master, and even in the utter absence
of provocation, this fact alone must have made them hate him. It is
difficult, moreover, for the civilized man and the savage to understand
each other. As a rule the one does not know what the other is thinking
about. When Mr. Hamilton Gushing a few years ago took some of his Zuni
friends into a hotel in Chicago, they marvelled at his entering such a
mighty palace with so little ceremony, and their wonder was heightened
at the promptness with which "slaves" came running at his beck and call;
but all at once, on seeing an American eagle over one of the doorways,
they felt that the mystery was solved. Evidently this palace was the
communal dwelling of the Eagle Clan of palefaces, and evidently Mr.
Gushing was a great sachem of this clan, and as such entitled to lordly
sway there! The Zunis are not savages, but representatives of a remote
and primitive phase of what Mr. Morgan calls the middle status of
barbarism. The gulf between their thinking and that of white men is
wide because there is a wide gulf between the experience of the two.
[Sidenote: Difficulty of the situation in New England] [Sidenote: It is
hard for the savage and the civilized man to understand one another]

This illustration may help us to understand an instance in which the
Indians of New England must inevitably have misinterpreted the actions
of the white settlers and read them in the light of their uneasy fears
and prejudices. I refer to the work of the apostle Eliot. His design in
founding his villages of Christian Indians was in the highest degree
benevolent and noble; but the heathen Indians could hardly be expected
to see anything in it but a cunning scheme for destroying them.

Eliot's converts were for the most part from the Massachusetts tribe,
the smallest and weakest of all. The Plymouth converts came chiefly
from the tribe next in weakness, the Pokanokets or Wampanoags. The more
powerful tribes--Narragansetts, Nipmucks, and Mohegans--furnished very
few converts. When they saw the white intruders gathering members of the
weakest tribes into villages of English type, and teaching them strange
gods while clothing them in strange garments, they probably supposed
that the pale-faces were simply adopting these Indians into their white
tribe as a means of increasing their military strength. At any rate,
such a proceeding would be perfectly intelligible to the savage mind,
whereas the nature of Eliot's design lay quite beyond its ken. As the
Indians recovered from their supernatural dread of the English, and
began to regard them as using human means to accomplish their ends,
they must of course interpret their conduct in such light as savage
experience could afford. It is one of the commonest things in the world
for a savage tribe to absorb weak neighbours by adoption, and thus
increase its force preparatory to a deadly assault upon other
neighbours. When Eliot in 1657 preached to the little tribe of Podunks
near Hartford, and asked them if they were willing to accept of Jesus
Christ as their saviour, their old men scornfully answered No! they had
parted with most of their land, but they were not going to become the
white man's servants. A rebuke administered to Eliot by Uncas in 1674
has a similar implication. When the apostle was preaching one evening in
a village over which that sachem claimed jurisdiction, an Indian arose
and announced himself as a deputy of Uncas. Then he said, "Uncas is not
well pleased that the English should pass over Mohegan river to call
_his_ Indians to pray to God." [31]

Thus, no matter how benevolent the white man's intentions, he could not
fail to be dreaded by the Indians as a powerful and ever encroaching

Even in his efforts to keep the peace and prevent tribes from taking the
warpath without his permission, he was interfering with the red man's
cherished pastime of murder and pillage. The appeals to the court at
Plymouth, the frequent summoning of sachems to Boston, to explain
their affairs and justify themselves against accusers, must have been
maddening in their effects upon the Indian; for there is one sound
instinct which the savage has in common with the most progressive
races, and that is the love of self-government that resents all outside
interference. All things considered, it is remarkable that peace should
have been maintained in New England from 1637 to 1675; and probably
nothing short of the consuming vengeance wrought upon the Pequots could
have done it. But with the lapse of time the wholesome feeling of dread
began to fade away, and as the Indians came to use musket instead of bow
and arrow, their fear of the English grew less, until at length their
ferocious temper broke forth in an epidemic of fire and slaughter that
laid waste the land. [Sidenote: It is remarkable that peace should have
been so long preserved]

Massasoit, chief sachem of the Wampanoags and steadfast ally of the
Plymouth colonists, died in 1660, leaving two sons, Wamsutta and
Metacom, or as the English nicknamed them, Alexander and Philip.
Alexander succeeded to his father's position of savage dignity and
influence, but his reign was brief. Rumours came to Plymouth that he was
plotting mischief, and he was accordingly summoned to appear before the
General Court of that colony and explain himself. He seems to have gone
reluctantly, but he succeeded in satisfying the magistrates of his
innocence of any evil designs. Whether he caught cold at Plymouth or
drank rum as only Indians can, we do not know. At any rate, on starting
homeward, before he had got clear of English territory, he was seized by
a violent fever and died. The savage mind knows nothing of pneumonia or
delirium tremens. It knows nothing of what we call natural death. To
the savage all death means murder, for like other men he judges of the
unknown by the known. In the Indian's experience normal death was by
tomahawk or firebrand; abnormal death (such as we call natural)
must come either from poison or from witchcraft. So when the honest
chronicler Hubbard tells us that Philip suspected the Plymouth people of
poisoning his brother, we can easily believe him. It was long, however,
before he was ready to taste the sweets of revenge. He schemed and
plotted in the dark. In one respect the Indian diplomatist is unlike his
white brethren; he does not leave state-papers behind him to reward
the diligence and gratify the curiosity of later generations; and
accordingly it is hard to tell how far Philip was personally responsible
for the storm which was presently to burst upon New England. [Sidenote:
Deaths of Massasoit and Alexander] [Sidenote: Philip's designs]

Whether his scheme was as comprehensive as that of Pontiac in 1763,
whether or not it amounted to a deliberate combination of all red men
within reach to exterminate the white men, one can hardly say with
confidence. The figure of Philip, in the war which bears his name, does
not stand out so prominently as the figure of Pontiac in the later
struggle. This may be partly because Pontiac's story has been told by
such a magician as Mr. Francis Parkman. But it is partly because the
data are too meagre. In all probability, however, the schemes of
Sassacus the Pequot, of Philip the Wampanoag, and of Pontiac the Ottawa,
were substantially the same. That Philip plotted with the Narragansetts
seems certain, and the early events of the war point clearly to a
previous understanding with the Nipmucks. The Mohegans, on the other
hand, gave him no assistance, but remained faithful to their white

For thirteen years had Philip been chief sachem of his tribe before the
crisis came. Rumours of his unfriendly disposition had at intervals
found their way to the ears of the magistrates at Plymouth, but Philip
had succeeded in setting himself right before them. In 1670 the rumours
were renewed, and the Plymouth men felt that it was time to strike, but
the other colonies held them back, and a meeting was arranged between
Philip and three Boston men at Taunton in April, 1671. There the crafty
savage expressed humility and contrition for all past offences, and
even consented to a treaty in which he promised that his tribe should
surrender all their fire-arms. On the part of the English this was an
extremely unwise measure, for while it could not possibly be enforced,
and while it must have greatly increased the irritation of the Indians,
it was at the same time interpretable as a symptom of fear. With ominous
scowls and grunts some seventy muskets were given up, but this was all.
Through the summer there was much uneasiness, and in September Philip
was summoned to Plymouth with five of his under-sachems, and solemnly
warned to keep the peace. The savages again behaved with humility and
agreed to pay a yearly tribute of five wolves' heads and to do no act of
war without express permission.

For three years things seemed quiet, until late in 1674 the alarm was
again sounded. Sausamon, a convert from the Massachusetts tribe, had
studied a little at Harvard College, and could speak and write English
with facility. He had at one time been employed by Philip as a sort of
private secretary or messenger, and at other times had preached and
taught school among the Indian converts at Natick. Sausamon now came to
Plymouth and informed Governor Winslow that Philip was certainly engaged
in a conspiracy that boded no good to the English. Somehow or other
Philip contrived to find out what Sausamon had said, and presently
coming to Plymouth loudly asseverated his innocence; but the magistrates
warned him that if they heard any more of this sort of thing his
arms would surely be seized. A few days after Philip had gone home,
Sausamon's hat and gun were seen lying on the frozen surface of
Assowamsett Pond, near Middleborough, and on cutting through the ice his
body was found with unmistakable marks of beating and strangling. After
some months the crime was traced to three Wampanoags, who were forthwith
arrested, tried by a mixed jury of Indians and white men, found guilty,
and put to death. On the way to the gallows one of them confessed
that he had stood by while his two friends had pounded and choked the
unfortunate Sausamon. [Sidenote: Murder of Sausamon]

More alarming reports now came from Swanzey, a pretty village of some
forty houses not far from Philip's headquarters at Mount Hope. On Sunday
June 20, while everybody was at church, a party of Indians had stolen
into the town and set fire to two houses. Messengers were hurried from
Plymouth and from Boston, to demand the culprits under penalty of
instant war. As they approached Swanzey the men from Boston saw a sight
that filled them with horror. The road was strewn with corpses of men,
women, and children, scorched, dismembered, and mangled with that
devilish art of which the American Indian is the most finished master.
The savages had sacked the village the day before, burning the houses
and slaying the people. Within three days a small force of colonial
troops had driven Philip from his position at Mount Hope; but while
they were doing this a party of savages swooped upon Dartmouth, burning
thirty houses and committing fearful atrocities. Some of their victims
were flayed alive, or impaled on sharp stakes, or roasted over slow
fires. Similar horrors were wrought at Middleborough and Taunton; and
now the misery spread to Massachusetts, where on the 14th of July the
town of Mendon was attacked by a party of Nipmucks. [Sidenote: Massacres
at Swanzey and Dartmouth, June, 1675]

At that time the beautiful highlands between Lancaster and the
Connecticut river were still an untrodden wilderness. On their southern
slope Worcester and Brookfield were tiny hamlets of a dozen houses each.
Up the Connecticut valley a line of little villages, from Springfield
to Northfield, formed the remotest frontier of the English, and their
exposed position offered tempting opportunities to the Indians. Governor
Leverett saw how great the danger would be if the other tribes should
follow the example set by Philip, and Captain Edward Hutchinson was
accordingly sent to Brookfield to negotiate with the Nipmucks. This
officer was eldest son of the unfortunate lady whose preaching in Boston
nearly forty years before had been the occasion of so much strife. Not
only his mother, but all save one or two of his brothers and sisters
--and there were not less than twelve of them--had been murdered by
Indians on the New Netherland border in 1643; now the same cruel fate
overtook the gallant captain. The savages agreed to hold a parley and
appointed a time and place for the purpose, but instead of keeping tryst
they lay in ambush and slew Hutchinson with eight of his men on their
way to the conference. [Sidenote: Murder of Captain Hutchinson]

Three days afterward Philip, who had found home too hot for him, arrived
in the Nipmuck country, and on the night of August 2, took part in a
fierce assault on Brookfield. Thirty or forty men, with some fifty women
and children--all the inhabitants of the hamlet--took refuge in a large
house, where they were besieged by 300 savages whose bullets pierced the
wooden walls again and again. Arrows tipped with burning rags were
shot into the air in such wise as to fall upon the roof, but they who
crouched in the garret were watchful and well supplied with water, while
from the overhanging windows the volleys of musketry were so brisk and
steady that the screaming savages below could not get near enough to the
house to set it on fire. For three days the fight was kept up, while
every other house in the village was destroyed. By this time the Indians
had contrived to mount some planks on barrels so as to make a kind of
rude cart which they loaded with tow and chips. They were just about
setting it on fire and preparing to push it against the house with long
poles, when they were suddenly foiled by a heavy shower. That noon the
gallant Simon Willard, ancestor of two presidents of Harvard College, a
man who had done so much toward building up Concord and Lancaster that
he was known as the "founder of towns," was on his way from Lancaster to
Groton at the head of forty-seven horsemen, when he was overtaken by a
courier with the news from Brookfield. The distance was thirty miles,
the road scarcely fit to be called a bridle-path, and Willard's years
were more than threescore-and-ten; but by an hour after sunset he had
gallopped into Brookfield and routed the Indians who fled to a swamp ten
miles distant. [Sidenote: Attack on Brookfield]

The scene is now shifted to the Connecticut valley, where on the 25th of
August Captain Lothrop defeated the savages at Hatfield. On the 1st of
September simultaneous attacks were made upon Deerfield and Hadley, and
among the traditions of the latter place is one of the most interesting
of the stories of that early time. The inhabitants were all in church
keeping a fast, when the yells of the Indians resounded. Seizing their
guns, the men rushed out to meet the foe; but seeing the village green
swarming on every side with the horrid savages, for a moment their
courage gave way and a panic was imminent; when all at once a stranger
of reverend aspect and stately form, with white beard flowing on his
bosom, appeared among them and took command with an air of authority
which none could gainsay. He bade them charge on the screeching rabble,
and after a short sharp skirmish the tawny foe was put to flight. When
the pursuers came together again, after the excitement of the rout,
their deliverer was not to be found. In their wonder, as they knew not
whence he came or whither he had gone, many were heard to say that
an angel had been sent from heaven for their deliverance. It was the
regicide William Goffe, who from his hiding-place had seen the savages
stealing down the hillside, and sallied forth to win yet one more
victory over the hosts of Midian ere death should come to claim him in
his woodland retreat. Sir Walter Scott has put this pretty story into
the mouth of Major Bridgenorth in "Peveril of the Peak," and Cooper has
made use of it in "The Wept of Wish-ton-wish." Like many other romantic
stories, it rests upon insufficient authority and its truth has been
called in question. [32] But there seems to be nothing intrinsically
improbable in the tradition; and a paramount regard for Goffe's personal
safety would quite account for the studied silence of contemporary
writers like Hubbard and Increase Mather. [Sidenote: The mysterious
stranger of Hadley]

This repulse did not check for a moment the activity of the Indians,
though for a long time we hear nothing more of Philip. On the 2d
of September they slew eight men at Northfield and on the 4th they
surrounded and butchered Captain Beers and most of his company of
thirty-six marching to the relief of that village. The next day but
one, as Major Robert Treat came up the road with his 100 Connecticut
soldiers, they found long poles planted by the wayside bearing the heads
of their unfortunate comrades. They in turn were assaulted, but beat off
the enemy, and brought away the people of Northfield. That village was
abandoned, and presently Deerfield shared its fate and the people were
crowded into Hadley. Yet worse remained to be seen. A large quantity of
wheat had been left partly threshed at Deerfield, and on the 11th of
September eighteen wagons were sent up with teamsters and farmers to
finish the threshing and bring in the grain. They were escorted by
Captain Lothrop, with his train-band of ninety picked men, known as the
"Flower of Essex," perhaps the best drilled company in the colony. The
threshing was done, the wagons were loaded, and the party made a night
march southward. At seven in the morning, as they were fording a shallow
stream in the shade of overarching woods, they were suddenly overwhelmed
by the deadly fire of 700 ambushed Nipmucks, and only eight of them
escaped to tell the tale. A "black and fatal" day was this, says the
chronicler, "the saddest that ever befell New England." To this day the
memory of the slaughter at Bloody Brook survives, and the visitor to
South Deerfield may read the inscription over the grave in which Major
Treat's men next day buried all the victims together. The Indians now
began to feel their power, and on the 5th of October they attacked
Springfield and burned thirty houses there. [Sidenote: Ambuscade at
Bloody Brook, September 12]

Things were becoming desperate. For ten weeks, from September 9 to
November 19, the Federal Commissioners were in session daily in Boston.
The most eminent of their number, for ability and character, was the
younger John Winthrop, who was still governor of Connecticut. Plymouth
was represented by its governor, Josiah Winslow, with the younger
William Bradford; Massachusetts by William Stoughton, Simon Bradstreet,
and Thomas Danforth. These strong men were confronted with a difficult
problem. From Batten's journal, kept during that disastrous summer, we
learn the state of feeling of excitement in Boston. The Puritans had
by no means got rid of that sense of corporate responsibility which
civilized man has inherited from prehistoric ages, and which has been
one of the principal causes of religious persecution. This sombre
feeling has prompted men to believe that to spare the heretic is to
bring down the wrath of God upon the whole community; and now in Boston
many people stoutly maintained that God had let loose the savages, with
firebrand and tomahawk, to punish the people of New England for ceasing
to persecute "false worshippers and especially idolatrous Quakers."
Quaker meetings were accordingly forbidden under penalty of fine and
imprisonment. Some harmless Indians were murdered. At Marblehead two
were assaulted and killed by a crowd of women. There was a bitter
feeling toward the Christian Indians, many of whom had joined their
heathen kinsmen in burning and slaying. Daniel Gookin, superintendent of
the "praying Indians," a gentleman of the highest character, was told
that it would not be safe to show himself in the streets of Boston.
Mrs. Mary Pray, of Providence, wrote a letter recommending the total
extermination of the red men.

The measures adopted by the Commissioners certainly went far toward
carrying out Mrs. Pray's suggestion. The demeanour of the Narragansetts
had become very threatening, and their capacity for mischief exceeded
that of all the other tribes together. In July the Commissioners had
made a treaty with them, but in October it became known in Boston
that they were harbouring some of Philip's hostile Indians. When the
Commissioners sharply called them to account for this, their sachem
Canonchet, son of Miantonomo, promised to surrender the fugitives
within ten days. But the ten days passed and nothing was heard from the
Narragansetts. The victory of their brethren at Bloody Brook had worked
upon their minds, so that they no longer thought it worth while to keep
faith with the white men. They had overcome their timidity and were now
ready to take part in the work of massacre. [33] The Commissioners soon
learned of their warlike preparations and lost no time in forestalling
them. The Narragansetts were fairly warned that if they did not at once
fulfil their promises they must expect the utmost severities of war. A
thousand men were enlisted for this service and put under command of
Governor Winslow, and in December they marched against the enemy. The
redoubtable fighter and lively chronicler Benjamin Church accompanied
the expedition.

The Indians had fortified themselves on a piece of rising ground, six
acres in extent, in the middle of a hideous swamp impassable at most
seasons but now in some places frozen hard enough to afford a precarious
footing. They were surrounded by rows of tall palisades which formed a
wall twelve feet in thickness; and the only approach to the single door
of this stronghold was over the trunk of a felled tree some two feet in
diameter and slippery with snow and ice. A stout block-house filled with
sharpshooters guarded this rude bridge, which was raised some five feet
from the ground. Within the palisaded fortress perhaps not less than
2000 warriors, with many women and children, awaited the onset of the
white men, for here had Canonchet gathered together nearly the whole of
his available force. This was a military mistake. It was cooping up his
men for slaughter. They would have been much safer if scattered about in
the wilderness, and could have given the English much more trouble. But
readily as they acknowledged the power of the white man, they did not
yet understand it. One man's courage is not another's, and the Indian
knew little or nothing of that Gothic fury of self-abandonment which
rushes straight ahead and snatches victory from the jaws of death. His
fortress was a strong one, and it was no longer, as in the time of the
Pequots, a strife in which firearms were pitted against bow and arrow.
Many of the Narragansetts were equipped with muskets and skilled in
their use, and under such circumstances victory for the English was not
to be lightly won. [Sidenote: Expedition against the Narragansetts]

On the night of December 18 their little army slept in an open field
at Pettyquamscott without other blanket than a "moist fleece of snow."
Thence to the Indian fortress, situated in what is now South Kingston,
the march was eighteen miles. The morrow was a Sunday, but Winslow
deemed it imprudent to wait, as food had wellnigh given out. Getting up
at five o'clock, they toiled through deep snow till they came within
sight of the Narragansett stronghold early in the afternoon. First came
the 527 men from Massachusetts, led by Major Appleton, of Ipswich, and
next the 158 from Plymouth, under Major Bradford; while Major Robert
Treat, with the 300 from Connecticut, brought up the rear. There were
985 men in all. As the Massachusetts men rushed upon the slippery bridge
a deadly volley from the blockhouse slew six of their captains, while
of the rank and file there were many killed or wounded. Nothing daunted
they pressed on with great spirit till they forced their way into the
enclosure, but then the head of their column, overcome by sheer weight
of numbers in the hand-to-hand fight, was pushed and tumbled out into
the swamp. Meanwhile some of the Connecticut men had discovered a path
across the partly frozen swamp leading to a weak spot in the rear, where
the palisades were thin and few, as undue reliance had been placed upon
the steep bank crowned with a thick rampart of bushes that had been
reinforced with clods of turf. In this direction Treat swept along with
his men in a spirited charge. Before they had reached the spot a heavy
fire began mowing them down, but with a furious rush they came up, and
climbing on each other's shoulders, some fought their way over the
rampart, while others hacked sturdily with axes till such a breach was
made that all might enter. This was effected just as the Massachusetts
men had recovered themselves and crossed the treacherous log in a second
charge that was successful and soon brought the entire English force
within the enclosure. In the slaughter which filled the rest of that
Sunday afternoon till the sun went down behind a dull gray cloud, the
grim and wrathful Puritan, as he swung his heavy cutlass, thought of
Saul and Agag, and spared not. The Lord had delivered up to him the
heathen as stubble to his sword. As usual the number of the slain
is variously estimated. Of the Indians probably not less than 1000
perished. Some hundreds, however, with Canonchet their leader, saved
themselves in flight, well screened by the blinding snow-flakes that
began to fall just after sunset. Within the fortified area had been
stored the greater part of the Indians' winter supply of corn, and the
loss of this food was a further deadly blow. Captain Church advised
sparing the wigwams and using them for shelter, but Winslow seems to
have doubted the ability of his men to maintain themselves in a position
so remote from all support. The wigwams with their tubs of corn were
burned, and a retreat was ordered. Through snowdrifts that deepened
every moment the weary soldiers dragged themselves along until two hours
after midnight, when they reached the tiny village of Wickford. Nearly
one-fourth of their number had been killed or wounded, and many of the
latter perished before shelter was reached. Forty of these were buried
at Wickford in the course of the next three days. Of the Connecticut men
eighty were left upon the swamp and in the breach at the rear of the
stronghold. Among the spoils which the victors brought away were a
number of good muskets that had been captured by the Nipmucks in their
assault upon Deerfield. [Sidenote: Storming of the great swamp fortress,
December 19]

This headlong overthrow of the Narragansett power completely changed the
face of things. The question was no longer whether the red men could
possibly succeed in making New England too hot for the white men, but
simply how long it would take for the white men to exterminate the red
men. The shiftless Indian was abandoning his squalid agriculture and
subsisting on the pillage of English farms; but the resources of the
colonies, though severely taxed, were by no means exhausted. The dusky
warriors slaughtered in the great swamp fight could not be replaced;
but, as Roger Williams told the Indians, there were still ten thousand
white men who could carry muskets, and should all these be slain, he
added, with a touch of hyperbole, the Great Father in England could send
ten thousand more. For the moment Williams seems to have cherished a
hope that his great influence with the savages might induce them to
submit to terms of peace while there was yet a remnant to be saved; but
they were now as little inclined to parley as tigers brought to bay, nor
was the temper of the colonists a whit less deadly, though it did not
vent itself in inflicting torture or in merely wanton orgies of cruelty.
[Sidenote: Effect of the blow]

To the modern these scenes of carnage are painful to contemplate. In the
wholesale destruction of the Pequots, and to a less degree in that of
the Narragansetts, the death-dealing power of the white man stands forth
so terrible and relentless that our sympathy is for a moment called
out for his victim. The feeling of tenderness toward the weak, almost
unknown among savages, is one of the finest products of civilization.
Where murderous emotions are frequently excited, it cannot thrive. Such
advance in humanity as we have made within recent times is chiefly
due to the fact that the horrors of war are seldom brought home to
everybody's door. Either war is conducted on some remote frontier, or if
armies march through a densely peopled country the conditions of
modern warfare have made it essential to their efficiency as military
instruments that depredation and riot should be as far as possible
checked. Murder and pillage are comparatively infrequent, massacre
is seldom heard of, and torture is almost or quite as extinct as
cannibalism. The mass of citizens escape physical suffering, the angry
emotions are so directed upon impersonal objects as to acquire a strong
ethical value, and the intervals of strife may find individual soldiers
of hostile armies exchanging kindly services. Members of a complex
industrial society, without direct experience of warfare save in this
mitigated form, have their characters wrought upon in a way that is
distinctively modern, as they become more and more disinclined to
violence and cruelty. European historians have noticed, with words
of praise, the freedom from bloodthirstiness which characterizes the
American people. Mr. Lecky has more than once remarked upon this humane
temperament which is so characteristic of our peaceful civilization, and
which sometimes, indeed, shows the defects of its excellence and tends
to weaken society by making it difficult to inflict due punishment upon
the vilest criminals. In respect of this humanity the American of the
nineteenth century has without doubt improved very considerably upon his
forefathers of the seventeenth. The England of Cromwell and Milton
was not, indeed, a land of hard-hearted people as compared with their
contemporaries. The long experience of internal peace since the War
of the Roses had not been without its effect; and while the Tudor and
Stuart periods had atrocities enough, we need only remember what was
going on at the same time in France and Germany in order to realize how
much worse it might have been. In England, as elsewhere, however, it
was, when looked at with our eyes, a rough and brutal time. It was a day
of dungeons, whipping-posts, and thumbscrews, when slight offenders were
maimed and bruised and great offenders cut into pieces by sentence of
court. The pioneers of New England had grown up familiar with such
things; and among the townspeople of Boston and Hartford in 1675 were
still many who in youth had listened to the awful news from Magdeburg or
turned pale over the horrors in Piedmont upon which Milton invoked the
wrath of Heaven. [Sidenote: Growth of humane sentiment in recent times]

When civilized men are removed from the safeguards of civilization and
placed in the wilderness amid the hideous dangers that beset human
existence in a savage state of society, whatever barbarism lies latent
in them is likely to find many opportunities for showing itself.
The feelings that stir the meekest of men, as he stands among the
smouldering embers of his homestead and gazes upon the mangled bodies
of wife and children, are feelings that he shares with the most
bloodthirsty savage, and the primary effect of his higher intelligence
and greater sensitiveness is only to increase their bitterness. The
neighbour who hears the dreadful story is quick to feel likewise, for
the same thing may happen to him, and there is nothing so pitiless as
fear. With the Puritan such gloomy and savage passions seemed to find
justification in the sacred text from which he drew his rules of life.
To suppose that one part of the Bible could be less authoritative than
another would have been to him an incomprehensible heresy; and bound
between the same covers that included the Sermon on the Mount were tales
of wholesale massacre perpetrated by God's command. Evidently the
red men were not stray children of Israel, after all, but rather
Philistines, Canaanites, heathen, sons of Belial, firebrands of hell,
demons whom it was no more than right to sweep from the face of the
earth. Writing in this spirit, the chroniclers of the time were
completely callous in their accounts of suffering and ruin inflicted
upon Indians, and, as has elsewhere been known to happen, those who
did not risk their own persons were more truculent in tone than the
professional fighters. Of the narrators of the war, perhaps the fairest
toward the Indian is the doughty Captain Church, while none is more
bitter and cynical than the Ipswich pastor William Hubbard. [Sidenote:
Warfare with savages likely to be truculent in character]

While the overthrow of the Narragansetts changed the face of things, it
was far from putting an end to the war. It showed that when the white
man could find his enemy he could deal crushing blows, but the Indian
was not always so easy to find. Before the end of January Winslow's
little army was partially disbanded for want of food, and its three
contingents fell back upon Stonington, Boston, and Plymouth. Early in
February the Federal Commissioners called for a new levy of 600 men to
assemble at Brookfield, for the Nipmucks were beginning to renew their
incursions, and after an interval of six months the figure of Philip
again appears for a moment upon the scene. What he had been doing, or
where he had been, since the Brookfield fight in August, was never
known. When in February, 1676, he re-appeared it was still in company
with his allies the Nipmucks, in their bloody assault upon Lancaster.
On the 10th of that month at sunrise the Indians came swarming into the
lovely village. Danger had already been apprehended, the pastor, Joseph
Rowlandson, the only Harvard graduate of 1652, had gone to Boston to
solicit aid, and Captain Wadsworth's company was slowly making its
way over the difficult roads from Marlborough, but the Indians were
beforehand. Several houses were at once surrounded and set on fire,
and men, women, and children began falling under the tomahawk. The
minister's house was large and strongly built, and more than forty
people found shelter there until at length it took fire and they were
driven out by the flames. Only one escaped, a dozen or more were slain,
and the rest, chiefly women and children, taken captive. The Indians
aimed at plunder as well as destruction; for they were in sore need of
food and blankets, as well as of powder and ball. Presently, as they saw
Wadsworth's armed men approaching, they took to flight and got away,
with many prisoners and a goodly store of provisions. [Sidenote: Attack
upon Lancaster, February 10, 1676]

Among the captives was Mary Rowlandson, the minister's wife, who
afterward wrote the story of her sad experiences. The treatment of the
prisoners varied with the caprice or the cupidity of the captors. Those
for whom a substantial ransom might be expected fared comparatively
well; to others death came as a welcome relief. One poor woman with a
child in her arms was too weak to endure the arduous tramp over the icy
hillsides, and begged to be left behind, till presently the savages
lost their patience. They built a fire, and after a kind of demon dance
killed mother and child with a club and threw the bodies into the
flames. Such treatment may seem exceptionally merciful, but those modern
observers who best know the Indian's habits say that he seldom indulges
in torture except when he has abundance of leisure and a mind quite
undisturbed. He is an epicure in human agony and likes to enjoy it in
long slow sips. It is for the end of the march that the accumulation
of horrors is reserved; the victims by the way are usually despatched
quickly; and in the case of Mrs. Rowlandson's captors their irregular
and circuitous march indicates that they were on the alert. Their
movements seem to have covered much of the ground between Wachusett
mountain and the Connecticut river. They knew that the white squaw of
the great medicine man of an English village was worth a heavy ransom,
and so they treated Mrs. Rowlandson unusually well. She had been
captured when escaping from the burning house, carrying in her arms her
little six-year-old daughter. She was stopped by a bullet that grazed
her side and struck the child. The Indian who seized them placed the
little girl upon a horse, and as the dreary march began she kept moaning
"I shall die, mamma." "I went on foot after it," says the mother, "with
sorrow that cannot be expressed. At length I took it off the horse, and
carried it in my arms till my strength failed me, and I fell down with
it .... After this it quickly began to snow, and when night came on they
stopped. And now down I must sit in the snow, by a little fire, and a
few boughs behind me, with my sick child in my lap, and calling much for
water, being now, through the wound, fallen into a violent fever ....
Oh, may I see the wonderful power of God that my spirit did not utterly
sink under my affliction; still the Lord upheld me with his gracious and
merciful spirit." The little girl soon died. For three months the weary
and heartbroken mother was led about the country by these loathsome
savages, of whose habits and manners she gives a vivid description. At
first their omnivorousness astonished her. "Skunks and rattlesnakes, yea
the very bark of trees" they esteemed as delicacies. "They would pick up
old bones and cut them in pieces at the joints, ... then boil them and
drink up the liquor, and then beat the great ends of them in a mortar
and so eat them." After some weeks of starvation Mrs. Rowlandson herself
was fain to partake of such viands. One day, having made a cap for one
of Philip's boys, she was invited to dine with the great sachem. "I
went," she says, "and he gave me a pancake about as big as two fingers.
It was made of parched wheat, beaten, and fried in bear's grease; but I
thought I never tasted pleasanter meat in my life." Early in May she was
redeemed for 20 pounds, and went to find her husband in Boston, where
the Old South Church society hired a house for them. [Sidenote: Mrs.
Rowlandson's narrative]

Such was the experience of a captive whose treatment was, according to
Indian notions, hospitable. There were few who came off so well. Almost
every week while she was led hither and thither by the savages. Mrs.
Rowlandson heard ghastly tales of fire and slaughter. It was a busy
winter and spring for these Nipmucks. Before February was over, their
exploit at Lancaster was followed by a shocking massacre at Medfield.
They sacked and destroyed the towns of Worcester, Marlborough, Mendon,
and Groton, and even burned some houses in Weymouth, within a dozen
miles of Boston. Murderous attacks were made upon Sudbury, Chelmsford,
Springfield, Hatfield, Hadley, Northampton, Wrentham, Andover,
Bridgewater, Scituate, and Middleborough. On the 18th of April Captain
Wadsworth, with 70 men, was drawn into an ambush near Sudbury,
surrounded by 500 Nipmucks, and killed with 50 of his men; six
unfortunate captives were burned alive over slow fires. But Wadsworth's
party made the enemy pay dearly for his victory; that afternoon 120
Nipmucks bit the dust. In such wise, by killing two or three for one,
did the English wear out and annihilate their adversaries. Just one
month from that day Captain Turner surprised and slaughtered 300 of
these warriors near the falls of the Connecticut river which have
since borne his name, and this blow at last broke the strength of
the Nipmucks. [Sidenote: Virtual exterminations of the Indians,
February--August, 1676]

Meanwhile the Narragansetts and Wampanoags had burned the towns of
Warwick and Providence. After the wholesale ruin of the great "swamp
fight," Canonchet had still some 600 or 700 warriors left, and with
these, on the 26th of March, in the neighbourhood of Pawtuxet, he
surprised a company of 50 Plymouth men under Captain Pierce and slew
them all, but not until he had lost 140 of his best warriors. Ten days
later Captain Denison, with his Connecticut company, defeated and
captured Canonchet, and the proud son of Miantonomo met the same fate
as his father. He was handed over to the Mohegans and tomahawked. The
Narragansett sachem had shown such bravery that it seemed, says the
chronicler Hubbard, as if "some old Roman ghost had possessed the body
of this western pagan." But next moment this pious clergyman, as if
ashamed of the classical eulogy just bestowed upon the hated redskin,
alludes to him as a "damned wretch." [Sidenote: Death of Canonchet]

The fall of Canonchet marked the beginning of the end. In four sharp
fights in the last week of June, Major Talcott, of Hartford, slew
from 300 to 400 warriors, being nearly all that were left of the
Narragansetts; and during the month of July Captain Church patrolled the
country about Taunton, making prisoners of the Wampanoags. Once more
King Philip, shorn of his prestige, comes upon the scene. We have seen
that his agency in these cruel events had been at the outset a potent
one. Whatever else it may have been, it was at least the agency of the
match that explodes the powder-cask. Under the conditions of that savage
society, organized leadership was not to be looked for. In the irregular
and disorderly series of murdering raids Philip may have been often
present, but except for Mrs. Rowlandson's narrative we should have known
nothing of him since the Brookfield fight.

At length in July, 1676, having seen the last of his Nipmuck friends
overwhelmed, the tattered chieftain showed himself near Bridgewater,
with a handful of followers. In these his own hunting-grounds some of
his former friends had become disaffected. The daring and diplomatic
Church had made his way into the wigwam of Ashawonks, the squaw sachem
of Saconet, near Little Compton, and having first convinced her that a
flask of brandy might be tasted without fatal results, followed up his
advantage and persuaded her to make an alliance with the English. Many
Indians came in and voluntarily surrendered themselves, in order to
obtain favourable terms, and some lent their aid in destroying their old
sachem. Defeated at Taunton, the son of Massasoit was hunted by Church
to his ancient lair at Bristol Neck and there besieged. His only escape
was over the narrow isthmus of which the pursuers now took possession,
and in this dire extremity one of Philip's men presumed to advise his
chief that the hour for surrender had come. For his unwelcome counsel
the sachem forthwith lifted his tomahawk and struck him dead at his
feet. Then the brother of the slain man crept away through the bushes to
Church's little camp, and offered to guide the white men to the morass
where Philip lay concealed. At daybreak of August 12 the English
stealthily advancing beat up their prey. The savages in sudden panic
rushed from under cover, and as the sachem showed himself running at the
top of his speed, a ball from an Indian musket pierced his heart, and
"he fell upon his face in the mud and water, with his gun under him."
His severed head was sent to Plymouth, where it was mounted on a pole
and exposed aloft upon the village green, while the meeting-house
bell summoned the townspeople to a special service of thanksgiving.
[Sidenote: Death of Philip, August 12]

It may be supposed that in such services at this time a Christian
feeling of charity and forgiveness was not uppermost. Among the captives
was a son of Philip, the little swarthy lad of nine years for whom Mrs.
Rowlandson had made a cap, and the question as to what was to be done
with him occasioned as much debate as if he had been a Jesse Pomeroy
[34] or a Chicago anarchist. The opinions of the clergy were, of course,
eagerly sought and freely vouchsafed. One minister somewhat doubtfully
urged that "although a precept in Deuteronomy explicitly forbids killing
the child for the father's sin," yet after all "the children of Saul and
Achan perished with their parents, though too young to have shared their
guilt." Thus curiously did this English reverence for precedent, with a
sort of grim conscientiousness colouring its gloomy wrath, search for
guidance among the ancient records of the children of Israel. Commenting
upon the truculent suggestion, Increase Mather, soon to be president of
Harvard, observed that, "though David had spared the infant Hadad, yet
it might have been better for his people if he had been less merciful."
These bloodthirsty counsels did not prevail, but the course that was
adopted did not lack in harshness. Among the sachems a dozen leading
spirits were hanged or shot, and hundreds of captives were shipped off
to the West Indies to be sold into slavery; among these was Philip's
little son. The rough soldier Church and the apostle Eliot were among
the few who disapproved of this policy. Church feared it might goad such
Indians as were still at large to acts of desperation. Eliot, in an
earnest letter to the Federal Commissioners, observed: "To sell souls
for money seemeth to me dangerous merchandise." But the plan of
exporting the captives was adhered to. As slaves they were understood to
be of little or no value, and sometimes for want of purchasers they were
set ashore on strange coasts and abandoned. A few were even carried to
one of the foulest of mediaeval slave-marts, Morocco, where their fate
was doubtless wretched enough. [Sidenote: Indians sold into slavery]

In spite of Church's doubts as to the wisdom of this harsh treatment,
it did not prevent the beaten and starving savages from surrendering
themselves in considerable numbers. To some the Federal Commissioners
offered amnesty, and the promise was faithfully fulfilled. Among those
who laid down arms in reliance upon it were 140 Christian Indians, with
their leader known as James the Printer, because he had been employed at
Cambridge in setting up the type for Eliot's Bible. Quite early in the
war it had been discovered that these converted savages still felt the
ties of blood to be stronger than those of creed. At the attack on
Mendon, only three weeks after the horrors at Swanzey that ushered in
the war, it was known that Christian Indians had behaved themselves
quite as cruelly as their unregenerate brethren. Afterwards they made
such a record that the jokers and punsters of the day--for such there
were, even among those sombre Puritans--in writing about the "Praying
Indians," spelled _praying_ with an _e_. The moral scruples of these
savages, under the influence of their evangelical training, betrayed
queer freaks. One of them, says Mrs. Rowlandson, would rather die than
eat horseflesh, so narrow and scrupulous was his conscience, although it
was as wide as the whole infernal abyss, when it came to torturing
white Christians. The student of history may have observed similar
inconsistencies in the theories and conduct of people more enlightened
than these poor red men. "There was another Praying Indian," continues
Mrs. Rowlandson, "who, when he had done all the mischief he could,
betrayed his own father into the English's hands, thereby to purchase
his own life; ... and there was another ... so wicked ... as to wear
a string about his neck, strung with Christian fingers." [Sidenote:
Conduct of the Christian Indians]

Such incidents help us to comprehend the exasperation of our forefathers
in the days of King Philip. The month which witnessed his death saw also
the end of the war in the southern parts of New England; but, almost
before people had time to offer thanks for the victory, there came news
of bloodshed on the northeastern frontier. The Tarratines in Maine had
for some time been infected with the war fever. How far they may have
been comprehended in the schemes of Philip and Canonchet, it would be
hard to say. They had attacked settlers on the site of Brunswick as
early as September, 1675. About the time of Philip's death, Major
Waldron of Dover had entrapped a party of them by an unworthy stratagem,
and after satisfying himself that they were accomplices in that
chieftain's scheme, sent them to Boston to be sold into slavery. A
terrible retribution was in store for Major Waldron thirteen years
later. For the present the hideous strife, just ended in southern New
England, was continued on the northeastern frontier, and there was
scarcely a village between the Kennebec and the Piscataqua but was laid
in ashes. [Sidenote: War with the Tarratines, 1676-78]

By midsummer of 1678 the Indians had been everywhere suppressed, and
there was peace in the land. For three years, since Philip's massacre
at Swanzey, there had been a reign of terror in New England. Within
the boundaries of Connecticut, indeed, little or no damage had been
inflicted, and the troops of that colony, not needed on their own soil,
did noble service in the common cause.

In Massachusetts and Plymouth, on the other hand, the destruction of
life and property had been simply frightful. Of ninety towns, twelve had
been utterly destroyed, while more than forty others had been the scene
of fire and slaughter. Out of this little society nearly a thousand
staunch men, including not few of broad culture and strong promise, had
lost their lives, while of the scores of fair women and poor little
children that had perished under the ruthless tomahawk, one can hardly
give an accurate account. Hardly a family throughout the land but was
in mourning. The war-debt of Plymouth was reckoned to exceed the total
amount of personal property in the colony; yet although it pinched every
household for many a year, it was paid to the uttermost farthing; nor
in this respect were Massachusetts and Connecticut at all behind-hand.
[Sidenote: Destructiveness of the war]

But while King Philip's War wrought such fearful damage to the English,
it was for the Indians themselves utter destruction. Most of the
warriors were slain, and to the survivors, as we have seen, the
conquerors showed but scant mercy. The Puritan, who conned his Bible so
earnestly, had taken his hint from the wars of the Jews, and swept
his New English Canaan with a broom that was pitiless and searching.
Henceforth the red man figures no more in the history of New England,
except as an ally of the French in bloody raids upon the frontier. In
that capacity he does mischief enough for yet a half-century more, but
from central and southern New England, as an element of disturbance or a
power to be reckoned with, he disappears forever.



The beginnings of New England were made in the full daylight of modern
history. It was an age of town records, of registered deeds, of
contemporary memoirs, of diplomatic correspondence, of controversial
pamphlets, funeral sermons, political diatribes, specific instructions,
official reports, and private letters. It was not a time in which
mythical personages or incredible legends could flourish, and such
things we do find in the history of New England. There was nevertheless
a romantic side to this history, enough to envelop some of its
characters and incidents in a glamour that may mislead the modern
reader. This wholesale migration from the smiling fields of merry
England to an unexplored wilderness beyond a thousand leagues of sea was
of itself a most romantic and thrilling event, and when viewed in the
light of its historic results it becomes clothed with sublimity. The men
who undertook this work were not at all free from self-consciousness.
They believed that they were doing a wonderful thing. They felt
themselves to be instruments in accomplishing a kind of "manifest
destiny." Their exodus was that of a chosen people who were at length
to lay the everlasting foundations of God's kingdom upon earth. Such
opinions, which took a strong colour from their assiduous study of the
Old Testament, reacted and disposed them all the more to search its
pages for illustrations and precedents, and to regard it as an oracle,
almost as a talisman. In every propitious event they saw a special
providence, an act of divine intervention to deliver them from the
snares of an ever watchful Satan. This steadfast faith in an unseen
ruler and guide was to them a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by
night. It was of great moral value. It gave them clearness of purpose
and concentration of strength, and contributed toward making them,
like the children of Israel, a people of indestructible vitality and
aggressive energy. At the same time, in the hands of the Puritan
writers, this feeling was apt to warp their estimates of events and
throw such a romantic haze about things as seriously to interfere with a
true historical perspective. [Sidenote: Romantic features in the early
history of New England]

Among such writings that which perhaps best epitomizes the Puritan
philosophy is "The Wonder-working Providence of Zion's Saviour in New
England," by Captain Edward Johnson, one of the principal founders of
Woburn. It is an extremely valuable history of New England from 1628 to
1651, and every page is alive with the virile energy of that stirring
time. With narrative, argument, and apologue, abounding in honesty
of purpose, sublimity of trust, and grotesqueness of fancy, wherein
touching tenderness is often alternated with sternness most grim and
merciless, yet now and then relieved by a sudden gleam of humour,--and
all in a style that is usually uncouth and harsh, but sometimes bursts
forth in eloquence worthy of Bunyan,--we are told how the founders of
New England are soldiers of Christ enlisted in a holy war, and how they
must "march manfully on till all opposers of Christ's kingly power be
abolished." "And as for you who are called to sound forth his silver
trumpets, blow loud and shrill to this chiefest treble tune--for the
armies of the great Jehovah are at hand." "He standeth not as an idle
spectator beholding his people's ruth and their enemies' rage, but as an
actor in all actions, to bring to naught the desires of the wicked, ...
having also the ordering of every weapon in its first produce, guiding
every shaft that flies, leading each bullet to his place of settling,
and weapon to the wound it makes." To men engaged in such a crusade
against the powers of evil, nothing could seem insignificant or trivial;
for, as Johnson continues, in truly prophetic phrase, "the Lord Christ
intends to achieve greater matters by this little handful than the world
is aware of." [Sidenote: Edward Johnson]

The general sentiment of the early New England writers was like that
of the "Wonder-working Providence," though it did not always find such
rhapsodic expression. It has left its impress upon the minds of their
children's children down to our own time, and has affected the opinions
held about them by other people. It has had something to do with a
certain tacit assumption of superiority on the part of New Englanders,
upon which the men and women of other communities have been heard
to comment in resentful and carping tones. There has probably never
existed, in any age or at any spot on the earth's surface, a group of
people that did not take for granted its own preeminent excellence. Upon
some such assumption, as upon an incontrovertible axiom, all historical
narratives, from the chronicles of a parish to the annals of an empire,
alike proceed. But in New England it assumed a form especially apt to
provoke challenge. One of its unintentional effects was the setting up
of an unreal and impossible standard by which to judge the acts and
motives of the Puritans of the seventeenth century. We come upon
instances of harshness and cruelty, of narrow-minded bigotry, and
superstitious frenzy; and feel, perhaps, a little surprised that
these men had so much in common with their contemporaries. Hence the
interminable discussion which has been called forth by the history of
the Puritans, in which the conclusions of the writer have generally been
determined by circumstances of birth or creed, or perhaps of reaction
against creed. One critic points to the Boston of 1659 or the Salem of
1692 with such gleeful satisfaction as used to stir the heart of Thomas
Paine when he alighted upon an inconsistency in some text of the Bible;
while another, in the firm conviction that Puritans could do no wrong,
plays fast and loose with arguments that might be made to justify the
deeds of a Torquemada. [Sidenote: Acts of the Puritans often judged by a
wrong standard]

From such methods of criticism it is the duty of historians as far as
possible to free themselves. If we consider the Puritans in the light
of their surroundings as Englishmen of the seventeenth century and
inaugurators of a political movement that was gradually to change for
the better the aspect of things all over the earth, we cannot fail to
discern the value of that sacred enthusiasm which led them to regard
themselves as chosen soldiers of Christ. It was the spirit of the
"Wonder-working Providence" that hurled the tyrant from his throne at
Whitehall and prepared the way for the emancipation of modern Europe. No
spirit less intense, no spirit nurtured in the contemplation of things
terrestrial, could ever have done it. The political philosophy of a Vane
or a Sidney could never have done it. The passion for liberty as felt
by a Jefferson or an Adams, abstracted and generalized from the love
of particular liberties, was something scarcely intelligible to the
seventeenth century. The ideas of absolute freedom of thought and
speech, which we breathe in from childhood, were to the men of that age
strange and questionable. They groped and floundered among them, very
much as modern wool growers in Ohio or iron-smelters in Pennsylvania
flounder and grope among the elementary truths of political economy. But
the spirit in which the Hebrew prophet rebuked and humbled an idolatrous
king was a spirit they could comprehend. Such a spirit was sure to
manifest itself in narrow cramping measures and in ugly acts of
persecution; but it is none the less to the fortunate alliance of
that fervid religious enthusiasm with the Englishman's love of
self-government that our modern freedom owes its existence. [Sidenote:
Spirit of the Wonder-working Providence]

The history of New England under Charles II. yields abundant proof that
political liberty is no less indebted in the New World than in the Old
to the spirit of the "Wonder-working Providence." The theocratic ideal
which the Puritan sought to put into practice in Massachusetts and
Connecticut was a sacred institution in faults of the defence of
which all his faculties were kept perpetually alert. Much as he loved
self-government he would never have been so swift to detect and so
stubborn to resist every slightest encroachment on the part of the crown
had not the loss of self-government involved the imminent danger that
the ark of the Lord might be abandoned to the worshippers of Dagon.
It was in Massachusetts, where the theocracy was strongest, that the
resistance to Charles II. was most dogged and did most to prepare the
way for the work of achieving political independence a century later.
Naturally it was in Massachusetts at the same time that the faults
of the theocracy were most conspicuous. It was there that priestly
authority most clearly asserted itself in such oppressive acts as are
always witnessed when too much power is left in the hands of men whose
primary allegiance is to a kingdom not of this world. Much as we owe to
the theocracy for warding off the encroachments of the crown, we cannot
be sorry that it was itself crushed in the process. It was well that
it did not survive its day of usefulness, and that the outcome of
the struggle was what has been aptly termed "the emancipation of
Massachusetts." [Sidenote: Merits and faults of the theocracy]

The basis of the theocratic constitution of this commonwealth was the
provision by which the exercise of the franchise was made an incident of
church-membership. Unless a man could take part in the Lord's Supper, as
administered in the churches of the colony, he could not vote or
hold office. Church and state, parish and town, were thus virtually
identified. Here, as in some other aspects of early New England, one is
reminded of the ancient Greek cities, where the freeman who could
vote in the market-place or serve his turn as magistrate was the man
qualified to perform sacrifices to the tutelar deities of the tribe;
other men might dwell in the city but had no share in making or
executing its laws. The limitation of civil rights by religious tests is
indeed one of those common inheritances from the old Aryan world that
we find again and again cropping out, even down to the exclusion of
Catholics from the House of Commons from 1562 to 1829. The obvious
purpose of this policy in England was self-protection; and in like
manner the restriction of the suffrage in Massachusetts was designed
to protect the colony against aggressive episcopacy and to maintain
unimpaired the uniformity of purpose which had brought the settlers
across the ocean. Under the circumstances there was something to be
said in behalf of such a measure of self-protection, and the principle
required but slight extension to cover such cases as the banishment of
Roger Williams and the Antinomians. There was another side to the case,
however. From the very outset this exclusive policy was in some ways
a source of weakness to Massachusetts, though we have seen that the
indirect effect was to diversify and enrich the political life of New
England as a whole. [Sidenote: Restriction of the suffrage to church

At first it led to the departure of the men who founded Connecticut,
and thereafter the way was certainly open for those who preferred the
Connecticut policy to go where it prevailed. Some such segregation was
no doubt effected, but it could not be complete and thorough. Men who
preferred Boston without the franchise to Hartford with it would remain
in Massachusetts; and thus the elder colony soon came to possess a
discontented class of people, always ready to join hand in glove with
dissenters or mischief-makers, or even with emissaries of the crown. It
afforded a suggestive commentary upon all attempts to suppress human
nature by depriving it of a share in political life; instead of keeping
it inside where you can try conclusions with it fairly, you thrust it
out to plot mischief in the dark. Within twenty years from the founding
of Boston the disfranchisement of such citizens as could not participate
in church-communion had begun to be regarded as a serious political
grievance. These men were obliged to pay taxes and were liable to be
called upon for military service against the Indians; and they naturally
felt that they ought to have a voice in the management of public
affairs. [Sidenote: It was a source of political discontent]

Besides this fundamental ground of complaint, there were derivative
grievances. Under the influence of the clergy justice was administered
in somewhat inquisitorial fashion, there was an uncertainty as to just
what the law was, a strong disposition to confuse questions of law with
questions of ethics, and great laxity in the admission and estimation of
evidence. As early as 1639 people had begun to complain that too much
power was rested in the discretion of the magistrate, and they clamoured
for a code of laws; but as Winthrop says, the magistrates and ministers
were "not very forward in this matter," for they preferred to supplement
the common law of England by decisions based on the Old Testament rather
than by a body of statutes. It was not until 1649, after a persistent
struggle, that the deputies won a decisive victory over the assistants
and secured for Massachusetts a definite code of laws. In the New Haven
colony similar theocratic notions led the settlers to dispense with
trial by jury because they could find no precedent for it in the laws of
Moses. Here, as in Massachusetts, the inquisitorial administration of
justice combined with partial disfranchisement to awaken discontent, and
it was partly for this reason that New Haven fell so easily under the
sway of Connecticut. [Sidenote: Inquisitorial administration of justice]

In Massachusetts after 1650 the opinion rapidly gained ground that all
baptized persons of upright and decorous lives ought to be considered,
for practical purposes, as members of the church, and therefore entitled
to the exercise of political rights, even though unqualified for
participation in the Lord's Supper. This theory of church-membership,
based on what was at that time stigmatized as the "Halfway Covenant,"
aroused intense opposition. It was the great question of the day. In
1657 a council was held in Boston, which approved the principle of the
Halfway Covenant; and as this decision was far from satisfying the
churches, a synod of all the clergymen in Massachusetts was held five
years later, to reconsider the great question. The decision of the synod
substantially confirmed the decision of the council, but there were some
dissenting voices. Foremost among the dissenters, who wished to retain
the old theocratic regime in all its strictness, was Charles Chauncey,
the president of Harvard College, and Increase Mather agreed with him
at the time, though he afterward saw reason to change his opinion, and
published two tracts in favour of the Halfway Covenant. Most bitter of
all toward the new theory of church-membership was, naturally enough,
Mr. Davenport of New Haven. [Sidenote: The "Halfway Covenant"]

This burning question was the source of angry contentions in the First
Church of Boston. Its teacher, the learned and melancholy Norton, died
in 1663, and four years later the aged pastor, John Wilson, followed
him. In choosing a successor to Wilson the church decided to declare
itself in opposition to the liberal decision of the synod, and in token
thereof invited Davenport to come from New Haven to take charge of it.
Davenport, who was then seventy years old, was disgusted at the recent
annexation of his colony to Connecticut. He accepted the invitation
and came to Boston, against the wishes of nearly half of the Boston
congregation who did not like the illiberal principle which he
represented. In little more than a year his ministry at Boston was ended
by death; but the opposition to his call had already proceeded so far
that a secession from the old church had become inevitable. In 1669
the advocates of the Halfway Covenant organized themselves into a new
society under the title of the "Third Church in Boston." A wooden
meeting-house was built on a lot which had once belonged to the late
governor Winthrop, in what was then the south part of the town, so that
the society and its meeting-house became known as the South Church; and
after a new church founded in Summer Street in 1717 took the name of the
New South, the church of 1669 came to be further distinguished as the
Old South. As this church represented a liberal idea which was growing
in favour with the people, it soon became the most flourishing church
in America. After sixty years its numbers had increased so that the old
meeting-house could not contain them; and in 1729 the famous building
which still stands was erected on the same spot,--a building with a
grander history than any other on the American continent, unless it be
that other plain brick building in Philadelphia where the Declaration of
Independence was adopted and the Federal Constitution framed. [Sidenote:
Founding of the Old South Church, 1669]

The wrath of the First Church at this secession from its ranks was
deep and bitter, and for thirteen years it refused to entertain
ecclesiastical intercourse with the South Church. But by 1682 it had
become apparent that the king and his friends were meditating an attack
upon the Puritan theocracy in New England. It had even been suggested,
in the council for the colonies, that the Church of England should be
established in Massachusetts, and that none but duly ordained Episcopal
clergymen should be allowed to solemnize marriages. Such alarming
suggestions began to impress the various Puritan churches with the
importance of uniting their forces against the common enemy; and
accordingly in 1682 the quarrel between the two Boston societies came to
an end. There was urgent need of all the sympathy and good feeling that
the community could muster, whereby to cheer itself in the crisis that
was coming. The four years from 1684 to 1688 were the darkest years in
the history of New England. Massachusetts, though not lacking in the
spirit, had not the power to beard the tyrant as she did eighty years
later. Her attitude toward the Stuarts--as we have seen--had been
sometimes openly haughty and defiant, sometimes silent and sullen, but
always independent. At the accession of Charles II. the colonists had
thought it worth while to send commissioners to England to confer with
the king and avoid a quarrel. Charles promised to respect their charter,
but insisted that in return they must take an oath of allegiance to the
crown, must administer justice in the king's name, and must repeal their
laws restricting the right of suffrage to church members and prohibiting
the Episcopal form of worship. [Sidenote: Founding of the Old South
Church, 1669] [Sidenote: Demands of Charles II.]

When the people of Massachusetts received this message they consented to
administer justice in the king's name, but all the other matters were
referred for consideration to a committee, and so they dropped out of
sight. When the royal commissioners came to Boston in 1664, they were
especially instructed to ascertain whether Massachusetts had complied
with the king's demands; but upon this point the legislature stubbornly
withheld any definite answer, while it frittered away the time in
trivial altercations with the royal commissioners. The war with Holland
and the turbulent state of English politics operated for several years
in favour of this independent attitude of the colonists, though during
all this time their enemies at court were busy with intrigues and
accusations. Apart from mere slanders the real grounds of complaint
were the restriction of the suffrage, whereby members of the Church of
England were shut out; the claims of the eastern proprietors, heirs
of Mason and Gorges, whose territory Massachusetts had absorbed;
the infraction of the navigation laws; and the coinage of pine-tree
shillings. The last named measure had been forced upon the colonists by
the scarcity of a circulating medium. Until 1661 Indian wampum had been
a legal tender, and far into the eighteenth century it remained current
in small transactions. "In 1693 the ferriage from New York to Brooklyn
was eight stivers in wampum or a silver twopence." [35] As early as
1652 Massachusetts had sought to supply the deficiency by the issue of
shillings and sixpences. It was an affair of convenience and probably
had no political purpose. The infraction of the navigation laws was a
more serious matter. "Ships from France, Spain, and the Canaries traded
directly with Boston, and brought in goods which had never paid duty in
any English port." [36] The effect of this was to excite the jealousy
of the merchants in London and other English cities and to deprive
Massachusetts of the sympathy of that already numerous and powerful
class of people. [Sidenote: Complaints against Massachusetts]

In 1675, the first year of King Philip's War, the British government
made up its mind to attend more closely to the affairs of its American
colonies. It had got the Dutch war off its hands, and could give heed to
other things. The general supervision of the colonies was assigned to
a standing committee of the privy council, styled the "Lords of the
Committee of Trade and Plantations," and henceforth familiarly known
as the "Lords of Trade." Next year the Lords of Trade sent an agent to
Boston, with a letter to Governor Leverett about the Mason and Gorges
claims. Under cover of this errand the messenger was to go about and
ascertain the sentiments which people in the Kennebec and Piscataqua
towns, as well as in Boston, entertained for the government of
Massachusetts. The person to whom this work was entrusted was Edward
Randolph, a cousin of Robert Mason who inherited the property claim to
the Piscataqua county. To these men had old John Mason bequeathed his
deadly feud with Massachusetts, and the fourteen years which Randolph
now spent in New England were busily devoted to sowing the seeds of
strife. In 1678 the king appointed him collector and surveyor of customs
at the port of Boston, with instructions to enforce the navigation laws.
Randolph was not the man to do unpopular things in such a way as to dull
the edge of the infliction; he took delight in adding insult to injury.
He was at once harsh and treacherous. His one virtue was pecuniary
integrity; he was inaccessible to bribes and did not pick and steal from
the receipts at the custom-house. In the other relations of life he
was disencumbered of scruples. His abilities were not great, but his
industry was untiring, and he pursued his enemies with the tenacity of a
sleuth-hound. As an excellent British historian observes, "he was one of
those men who, once enlisted as partisans, lose every other feeling in
the passion which is engendered of strife." [37] [Sidenote: The Lords of
Trade] [Sidenote: Edward Randolph]

The arrival of such a man boded no good to Massachusetts. His reception
at the town-house was a cold one. Leverett liked neither his looks nor
his message, and kept his peaked hat on while he read the letter; when
he came to the signature of the king's chief secretary of state, he
asked, with careless contempt, "Who is this Henry Coventry?" Randolph's
choking rage found vent in a letter to the king, taking pains to remind
him that the governor of Massachusetts had once been an officer in
Cromwell's army. As we read this and think with what ghoulish glee the
writer would have betrayed Colonel Goffe into the hands of the headsman,
had any clue been given him, we can quite understand why Hubbard and
Mather had nothing to say about the mysterious stranger at Hadley.
Everything that Randolph could think of that would goad and irritate the
king, he reported in full to London; his letters were specimens of that
worst sort of lie that is based upon distorted half-truths; and his
malicious pen but seldom lay idle.

While waiting for the effects of these reports to ripen, Randolph was
busily intriguing with some of the leading men in Boston who were
dissatisfied with the policy of the dominant party, and under his
careful handling a party was soon brought into existence which was ready
to counsel submission to the royal will. Such was the birth of Toryism
in New England. The leader of this party was Joseph Dudley, son of
the grim verse-maker who had come over as lieutenant to Winthrop. The
younger Dudley was graduated at Harvard in 1665, and proceeded to study
theology, but soon turned his attention entirely to politics. In 1673 he
was a deputy from Roxbury in the General Court; in 1675 he took part in
the storming of the Narragansett fort; in 1677 and the three following
years he was one of the Federal Commissioners. In character and temper
he differed greatly from his father. Like the proverbial minister's son
whose feet are swift toward folly, Joseph Dudley seems to have learned
in stern bleak years of childhood to rebel against the Puritan theory of
life. Much of the abuse that has been heaped upon him, as a renegade and
traitor, is probably undeserved. It does not appear that he ever made
any pretence of love for the Puritan commonwealth, and there were many
like him who had as lief be ruled by king as by clergy. But it cannot be
denied that his suppleness and sagacity went along with a moral nature
that was weak and vulgar. Joseph Dudley was essentially a self-seeking
politician and courtier, like his famous kinsman of the previous
century, Robert, Earl of Leicester. His party in Massachusetts was
largely made up of men who had come to the colony for commercial
reasons, and had little or no sympathy with the objects for which it was
founded. Among them were Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Baptists, who
were allowed no chance for public worship, as well as many others who,
like Gallio, cared for none of these things. Their numbers, moreover,
must have been large, for Boston had grown to be a town of 5000
inhabitants, the population of Massachusetts was approaching 30,000,
and, according to Hutchinson, scarcely one grown man in five was a
church-member qualified to vote or hold office. Such a fact speaks
volumes as to the change which was coming over the Puritan world. No
wonder that the clergy had begun to preach about the weeds and tares
that were overrunning Christ's pleasant garden. No wonder that the
spirit of revolt against the disfranchising policy of the theocracy was
ripe. [Sidenote: Joseph Dudley]

It was in 1679, when this weakness of the body politic had been duly
studied and reported by Randolph, and when all New England was groaning
under the bereavements and burdens entailed by Philip's war, that the
Stuart government began its final series of assaults upon Massachusetts.
The claims of the eastern proprietors, the heirs of Mason and Gorges,
furnished the occasion. Since 1643 the four Piscataqua towns--Hampton,
Exeter, Dover, and Portsmouth--had remained under the jurisdiction of
Massachusetts. After the Restoration the Mason claim had been revived,
and in 1677 was referred to the chief-justices North and Rainsford.
Their decision was that Mason's claim had always been worthless as based
on a grant in which the old Plymouth Company had exceeded its powers.
They also decided that Massachusetts had no valid claim since the
charter assigned her a boundary just north of the Merrimack. This
decision left the four towns subject to none but the king, who forthwith
in 1679 proceeded to erect them into the royal province of New
Hampshire, with president and council appointed by the crown, and an
assembly chosen by the people, but endowed with little authority,--a
tricksome counterfeit of popular government. Within three years an
arrogant and thieving ruler, Edward Cranfield, had goaded New Hampshire
to acts of insurrection. [Sidenote: Royal province of New Hampshire]

To the decisions of the chief-justices Massachusetts must needs submit.
The Gorges claim led to more serious results. Under Cromwell's rule in
1652--the same year in which she began coining money--Massachusetts
had extended her sway over Maine. In 1665 Colonel Nichols and his
commissioners, acting upon the express instructions of Charles II.,
took it away from her. In 1668, after the commissioners had gone home,
Massachusetts coolly took possession again. In 1677 the chief-justices
decided that the claim of the Gorges family, being based on a grant from
James I., was valid. Then the young Ferdinando Gorges, grandson of the
first proprietor, offered to sell the province to the king, who had now
taken it into his head that he would like to bestow it upon the Duke
of Monmouth, his favourite son by Lucy Walters. Before Charles had
responded, Governor Leverett had struck a bargain with Gorges, who ceded
to Massachusetts all his rights over Maine for L1250 in hard cash. When
the king heard of this transaction he was furious. He sent a letter to
Boston, commanding the General Court to surrender the province again on
repayment of this sum of L1250, and expressing his indignation that
the people should thus dare to dispose of an important claim off-hand
without consulting his wishes. In the same letter the colony was
enjoined to put in force the royal orders of seventeen years before,
concerning the oath of allegiance, the restriction of the suffrage, and
the prohibition of the Episcopal form of worship. [Sidenote: The Gorges

This peremptory message reached Boston about Christmas, 1679. Leverett,
the sturdy Ironsides, had died six months before, and his place
was filled by Simon Bradstreet, a man of moderate powers but great
integrity, and held in peculiar reverence as the last survivor of those
that had been chosen to office before leaving England by the leaders of
the great Puritan exodus. Born in a Lincolnshire village in 1603, he was
now seventy-six years old. He had taken his degree at Emmanuel College,
Cambridge, had served as secretary to the Earl of Warwick, and in 1629
had been appointed member of the board of assistants for the colony
about to be established on Massachusetts bay. In this position he had
remained with honour for half a century, while he had also served as
Federal Commissioner and as agent for the colony in London. His wife,
who died in 1672, was a woman of quaint learning and quainter verses,
which her contemporaries admired beyond measure. One of her books was
republished in London, with the title: "The Tenth Muse, lately sprung up
in America." John Norton once said that if Virgil could only have heard
the seraphic poems of Anne Bradstreet, he would have thrown his heathen
doggerel into the fire. She was sister of Joseph Dudley, and evidently
inherited this rhyming talent, such as it was, from her father. Governor
Bradstreet belonged to the moderate party who would have been glad to
extend the franchise, but he did not go with his brother-in-law in
subservience to the king. [Sidenote: Simon Bradstreet and his wife]

When the General Court assembled, in May, 1680, the full number of
eighteen assistants appeared, for the first time in the history of the
colony, and in accordance with an expressed wish of the king. They
were ready to yield in trifles, but not in essentials. After wearisome
discussion, the answer to the royal letter was decided on. It stated in
vague and unsatisfactory terms that the royal orders of 1662 either had
been carried out already or would be in good time, while to the demand
for the surrender of Maine no reply whatever was made, save that "they
were heartily sorry that any actings of theirs should be displeasing
to his Majesty." After this, when Randolph wrote home that the king's
letters were of no more account in Massachusetts than an old London
Gazette, he can hardly be accused of stretching the truth. Randolph kept
busily at work, and seems to have persuaded the Bishop of London that
if the charter could be annulled, episcopacy might be established in
Massachusetts as in England. In February, 1682, a letter came from the
king demanding submission and threatening legal proceedings against the
charter. Dudley was then sent as agent to London, and with him was sent
a Mr. Richards, of the extreme clerical party, to watch him. [Sidenote:
Massachusetts answers the king]

Meanwhile the king's position at home had been changing. He had made
up his mind to follow his father's example and try the experiment of
setting his people at defiance and governing without a parliament. This
could not be done without a great supply of money. Louis XIV. had
plenty of money, for there was no constitution in France to prevent his
squeezing what he wanted out of the pockets of an oppressed people.
France was thriving greatly now, for Colbert had introduced a
comparatively free system of trade between the provinces and inaugurated
an era of prosperity soon to be cut short by the expulsion of the
Huguenots. Louis could get money enough for the asking, and would be
delighted to foment civil disturbances in England, so as to tie the
hands of the only power which at that moment could interfere with his
seizing Alsace and Lorraine and invading Flanders. The pretty Louise de
Keroualle Duchess of Portsmouth, with her innocent baby face and heart
as cold as any reptile's, was the French Delilah chosen to shear the
locks of the British Samson. By such means and from such motives a
secret treaty was made in February, 1681, by which Louis agreed to pay
Charles 2,000,000 livres down, and 500,000 more in each of the next two
years, on condition that he should summon no more parliaments within
that time. This bargain for securing the means of overthrowing the laws
and liberties of England was, on the part of Charles II., an act no less
reprehensible than some of those for which his father had gone to the
block. But Charles could now afford for a while to wreak his evil will.
He had already summoned a parliament for the 21st of March, to meet at
Oxford within the precincts of the subservient university, and out of
reach of the high-spirited freemen of London. He now forced a quarrel
with the new parliament and dissolved it within a week. A joiner named
Stephen College, who had spoken his mind too freely in the taverns at
Oxford with regard to these proceedings, was drawn and quartered. The
Whig leader Lord Shaftesbury was obliged to flee to Holland. In the
absence of a parliament the only power of organized resistance to the
king's tyranny resided in the corporate governments of the chartered
towns. The charter of London was accordingly attacked by a writ of
_quo warranto_, and in June, 1683, the time-serving judges declared it
confiscated. George Jeffreys, a low drunken fellow whom Charles had made
Lord Chief Justice, went on a circuit through the country; and, as Roger
North says, "made all the charters, like the walls of Jericho, fall down
before him, and returned laden with surrenders, the spoils of towns."
At the same time a terrible blow was dealt at two of the greatest Whig
families in England. Lord William Russell, son of the Earl of Bedford,
and Algernon Sidney, younger son of the Earl of Leicester, two of the
purest patriots and ablest liberal leaders of the day, were tried on a
false charge of treason and beheaded. [Sidenote: Secret treaty between
Charles II. and Louis XIV] [Sidenote: Shameful proceedings in England]

By this quick succession of high-handed measures, the friends of law and
liberty were for a moment disconcerted and paralyzed. In the frightful
abasement of the courts of justice which these events so clearly showed,
the freedom of Englishmen seemed threatened in its last stronghold. The
doctrine of passive obedience to monarchs was preached in the pulpits
and inculcated by the university of Oxford, which ordered the works of
John Milton to be publicly burned. Sir Robert Filmer wrote that "not
only in human laws, but even in divine, a thing may by the king be
commanded contrary to law, and yet obedience to such a command is
necessary." Charles felt so strong that in 1684 he flatly refused to
summon a parliament.

It was not long before the effects of all this were felt in New England.
The mission of Dudley and his colleague was fruitless. They returned to
Boston, and Randolph, who had followed them to London, now followed them
back, armed with a writ of _quo warranto_ which he was instructed not to
serve until he should have given Massachusetts one more chance to humble
herself in the dust. Should she modify her constitution to please a
tyrant or see it trampled under foot? Recent events in England served
for a solemn warning; for the moment the Tories were silenced; perhaps
after all, the absolute rule of a king was hardly to be preferred to the
sway of the Puritan clergy; the day when the House of Commons sat still
and wept seemed to have returned. A great town-meeting was held in the
Old South Meeting-House, and the moderator requested all who were for
surrendering the charter to hold up their hands. Not a hand was lifted,
and out from the throng a solitary voice exclaimed, with deep-drawn
breath, "The Lord be praised!" Then arose Increase Mather, president
of Harvard College, and reminded them how their fathers did win this
charter, and should they deliver it up unto the spoiler who demanded it
"even as Ahab required Naboth's vineyard, Oh! their children would be
bound to curse them." Such was the attitude of Massachusetts, and when
it was known in London, the blow was struck. For technical reasons
Randolph's writ was not served; but on the 21st of June a decree in
chancery annulled the charter of Massachusetts. [Sidenote: Massachusetts
refuses to surrender her charter] [Sidenote: It is annulled by degree of
chancery, June 21, 1684]

To appreciate the force of this blow we must pause for a moment and
consider what it involved. The right to the soil of North America had
been hitherto regarded in England, on the strength of the discoveries of
the Cabots, as an appurtenance to the crown of Henry VII.,--as something
which descended from father to son like the palace at Hampton Court or
the castle at Windsor, but which the sovereign might alienate by his
voluntary act just as he might sell or give away a piece of his royal
domain in England. Over this vast territory it was doubtful how far
Parliament was entitled to exercise authority, and the rights of
Englishmen settled there had theoretically no security save in the
provisions of the various charters by which the crown had delegated its
authority to individual proprietors or to private companies. It was thus
on the charter granted by Charles I. to the Company of Massachusetts Bay
that not only the cherished political and ecclesiastical institutions
of the colony, but even the titles of individuals to their lands and
houses, were supposed to be founded. By the abrogation of the charter,
all rights and immunities that had been based upon it were at once swept
away, and every rood of the soil of Massachusetts became the personal
property of the Stuart king, who might, if he should possess the will
and the power, turn out all the present occupants or otherwise deal with
them as trespassers. Such at least was the theory of Charles II., and
to show that he meant to wreak his vengeance with no gentle hand, he
appointed as his viceroy the brutal Percy Kirke,--a man who would have
no scruples about hanging a few citizens without trial, should occasion
require it. [Sidenote: Effect of annulling the charter]

But in February, 1685, just as Charles seemed to be getting everything
arranged to his mind, a stroke of apoplexy carried him off the scene,
and his brother ascended the throne. Monmouth's rebellion, and the
horrible cruelties that followed, kept Colonel Kirke busy in England
through the summer, and left the new king scant leisure to think about
America. Late in the autumn, having made up his mind that he could not
spare such an exemplary knave as Kirke, James II. sent over Sir Edmund
Andros. In the mean time the government of Massachusetts had been
administered by Dudley, who showed himself willing to profit by the
misfortunes of his country. Andros had long been one of James's
favourites. He was the dull and dogged English officer such as one often
meets, honest enough and faithful to his master, neither cruel nor
rapacious, but coarse in fibre and wanting in tact. Some years
before, when governor of New York, he had a territorial dispute with
Connecticut, and now cherished a grudge against the people of New
England, so that, from James's point of view, he was well fitted to be
their governor. James wished to abolish all the local governments
in America, and unite them, as far as possible, under a single
administration. With Plymouth there could be no trouble; she had never
had a charter, but had existed on sufferance from the outset. In 1687
the charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut were rescinded, but the
decrees were not executed in due form. In October of that year Andros
went to Hartford, to seize the Connecticut charter but it was not
surrendered. While Sir Edmund was bandying threats with stout Robert
Treat, the queller of Indians and now governor of Connecticut, in the
course of their evening conference the candles were suddenly blown out,
and when after some scraping of tinder they were lighted again the
document was nowhere to be found, for Captain Wadsworth had carried
it away and hidden it in the hollow trunk of a mighty oak tree.
Nevertheless for the moment the colony was obliged to submit to the
tyrant. Next day the secretary John Allyn wrote "Finis" on the colonial
records and shut up the book. Within another twelvemonth New York and
New Jersey were added to the viceroyalty of Andros; so that all the
northern colonies from the forests of Maine to the Delaware river were
thus brought under the arbitrary rule of one man, who was responsible to
no one but the king for whatever he might take it into his head to do.
[Sidenote: Sir Edmund Andros] [Sidenote: The Charter Oak]

The vexatious character of the new government was most strongly felt at
Boston where Andros had his headquarters. Measures were at once taken
for the erection of an Episcopal church, and meantime the royal order
was that one of the principal meeting-houses should be seized for the
use of the Church of England. This was an ominous beginning. In the
eyes of the people it was much more than a mere question of disturbing
Puritan prejudices. They had before them the experience of Scotland
during the past ten years, the savage times of "Old Mortality," the
times which had seen the tyrannical prelate, on the lonely moor, begging
in vain for his life, the times of Drumclog and Bothwell Brigg, of
Claverhouse and his flinty-hearted troopers, of helpless women tied to
stakes on the Solway shore and drowned by inches in the rising tide.
What had happened in one part of the world might happen in another, for
the Stuart policy was the same. It aimed not at securing toleration but
at asserting unchecked supremacy. Its demand for an inch was the prelude
to its seizing an ell, and so our forefathers understood it. Sir
Edmund's formal demand for the Old South Meeting-House was flatly
refused, but on Good Friday, 1687, the sexton was frightened into
opening it, and thenceforward Episcopal services were held there
alternately with the regular services until the overthrow of Andros. The
pastor, Samuel Willard, was son of the gallant veteran who had rescued
the beleaguered people of Brookfield in King Philip's war. Amusing
passages occurred between him and Sir Edmund, who relished the
pleasantry of keeping minister and congregation waiting an hour or
two in the street on Sundays before yielding to them the use of their
meeting-house. More kindly memories of the unpopular governor are
associated with the building of the first King's Chapel on the spot
where its venerable successor now stands. The church was not finished
until after Sir Edmund had taken his departure, but Lady Andros, who
died in February, 1688, lies in the burying-ground hard by. Her gentle
manners had won all hearts. For the moment, we are told, one touch of
nature made enemies kin, and as Sir Edmund walked to the townhouse
"many a head was bared to the bereaved husband that before had remained
stubbornly covered to the exalted governor." [38] [Sidenote: Episcopal
services in Boston] [Sidenote: Founding of the King's Chapel, 1689]

The despotic rule of Andros was felt in more serious ways than in the
seizing upon a meetinghouse. Arbitrary taxes were imposed, encroachments
were made upon common lands as in older manorial times, and the writ of
_habeas corpus_ was suspended. Dudley was appointed censor of the press,
and nothing was allowed to be printed without his permission. All the
public records of the late New England governments were ordered to be
brought to Boston, whither it thus became necessary to make a tedious
journey in order to consult them. All deeds and wills were required
to be registered in Boston, and excessive fees were charged for the
registry. It was proclaimed that all private titles to land were to be
ransacked, and that whoever wished to have his title confirmed must pay
a heavy quit-rent, which under the circumstances amounted to blackmail.
The General Court was abolished. The power of taxation was taken from
the town-meetings and lodged with the governor. Against this crowning
iniquity the town of Ipswich, led by its sturdy pastor, John Wise, made
protest. In response Mr. Wise was thrown into prison, fined £50, and
suspended from the ministry. A notable and powerful character was this
John Wise. One of the broadest thinkers and most lucid writers of his
time, he seems like a forerunner of the liberal Unitarian divines of
the nineteenth century. His "Vindication of the Government of the New
England Churches," published in 1717, was a masterly exposition of the
principles of civil government, and became "a text book of liberty for
our Revolutionary fathers, containing some of the notable expressions
that are used in the Declaration of Independence." [Sidenote: Tyranny]
[Sidenote: John Wise of Ipswich]

It was on the trial of Mr. Wise in October, 1687, that Dudley openly
declared that the people of New England had now no further privileges
left them than not to be sold for slaves. Such a state of things in the
valley of the Euphrates would not have attracted comment; the peasantry
of central Europe would have endured it until better instructed; but in
an English community it could not last long. If James II. had remained
upon the throne, New England would surely have soon risen in rebellion
against Andros. But the mother country had by this time come to repent
the fresh lease of life which she had granted to the Stuart dynasty
after Cromwell's death. Tired of the disgraceful subservience of her
Court to the schemes of Louis XIV., tired of fictitious plots and
judicial murders, tired of bloody assizes and declarations of indulgence
and all the strange devices of Stuart tyranny, England endured the
arrogance of James but three years, and then drove him across the
Channel, to get such consolation as he might from his French paymaster
and patron. On the 4th of April, 1689, the youthful John Winslow brought
to Boston the news of the landing of the Prince of Orange in England.
For the space of two weeks there was quiet and earnest deliberation
among the citizens, as the success of the Prince's enterprise was not
yet regarded as assured. But all at once, on the morning of the 18th,
the drums beat to arms, the signal-fire was lighted on Beacon Hill, a
meeting was held at the Town-House, militia began to pour in from the
country, and Andros, summoned to surrender, was fain to beseech Mr.
Willard and the other ministers to intercede for him. But the ministers
refused. Next day the Castle was surrendered, the Rose frigate riding in
the harbour was seized and dismantled, and Andros was arrested as he was
trying to effect his escape disguised in woman's clothes. Dudley and the
other agents of tyranny were also imprisoned, and thus the revolution
was accomplished. It marks the importance which the New England colonies
were beginning to attain, that, before the Prince of Orange had fully
secured the throne, he issued a letter instructing the people of Boston
to preserve decorum and acquiesce yet a little longer in the government
of Andros, until more satisfactory arrangements could be made. But
Increase Mather, who was then in London on a mission in behalf of New
England, judiciously prevented this letter of instructions from being
sent. The zeal of the people outstripped the cautious policy of the
new sovereign, and provisional governments, in accordance with the old
charters, were at once set up in the colonies lately ruled by Andros.
Bradstreet now in his eighty-seventh year was reinstated as governor of
Massachusetts. Five weeks after this revolution in Boston the order to
proclaim King William and Queen Mary was received, amid such rejoicings
as had never before been seen in that quiet town, for it was believed
that self-government would now be guaranteed to New England. [Sidenote:
Fall of James II.] [Sidenote: Insurrection in Boston, and overthrow of
Andros, April 18, 1689]

This hope was at least so far realized that from the most formidable
dangers which had threatened it, New England was henceforth secured.
The struggle with the Stuarts was ended, and by this second revolution
within half a century the crown had received a check from which it never
recovered. There were troubles yet in store for England, but no more
such outrages as the judicial murders of Russell and Sidney. New England
had still a stern ordeal to go through, but never again was she to be
so trodden down and insulted as in the days of Andros. The efforts of
George III. to rule Englishmen despotically were weak as compared with
those of the Stuarts. In his time England had waxed strong enough to
curb the tyrant, America had waxed strong enough to defy and disown him.
After 1689 the Puritan no longer felt that his religion was in danger,
and there was a reasonable prospect that charters solemnly granted him
would be held sacred. William III. was a sovereign of modern type, from
whom freedom of thought and worship had nothing to fear. In his theology
he agreed, as a Dutch Calvinist, more nearly with the Puritans than with
the Church of England. At the same time he had no great liking for so
much independence of thought and action as New England had exhibited. In
the negotiations which now definitely settled the affairs of this part
of the world, the intractable behaviour of Massachusetts was borne in
mind and contrasted with the somewhat less irritating attitude of
the smaller colonies. It happened that the decree which annulled the
charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut had not yet been formally
enrolled. It was accordingly treated as void, and the old charters were
allowed to remain in force. They were so liberal that no change in
them was needed at the time of the Revolution, so that Connecticut was
governed under its old charter until 1818, and Rhode Island until 1842.
[Sidenote: Effects of the Revolution of 1689]

There was at this time a disposition on the part of the British
government to unite all the northern colonies under a single
administration. The French in Canada were fast becoming rivals to be
feared; and the wonderful explorations of La Salle, bringing the St.
Lawrence into political connection with the Mississippi, had at length
foreshadowed a New France in the rear of all the English colonies,
aiming at the control of the centre of the continent and eager to
confine the English to the sea-board. Already the relations of position
which led to the great Seven Years' War were beginning to shape
themselves; and the conflict between France and England actually broke
out in 1689, as soon as Louis XIV.'s hired servant, James II., was
superseded by William III. as king of England and head of a Protestant
league. [Sidenote: Need for union among all the northern colonies]

In view of this new state of affairs, it was thought desirable to unite
the northern English colonies under one head, so far as possible, in
order to secure unity of military action. But natural prejudices had to
be considered. The policy of James II. had aroused such bitter feeling
in America that William must needs move with caution. Accordingly he did
not seek to unite New York with New England, and he did not think it
worth while to carry out the attack which James had only begun upon
Connecticut and Rhode Island. As for New Hampshire, he seems to have
been restrained by what in the language of modern politics would be
called "pressure," brought to bear by certain local interests. [39]
But in the case of the little colony founded by the Pilgrims of the
Mayflower there was no obstacle. She was now annexed to Massachusetts,
which also received not only Maine but even Acadia, just won from the
French; so that, save for the short break at Portsmouth, the coast of
Massachusetts now reached all the way from Martha's Vineyard to the Gulf
of St. Lawrence. [Sidenote: Plymouth, Maine, and Acadia, annexed to

But along with this great territorial extension there went some
curtailment of the political privileges of the colony. By the new
charter of 1692 the right of the people to be governed by a legislature
of their own choosing was expressly confirmed. The exclusive right of
this legislature to impose taxes was also confirmed. But henceforth no
qualification of church-membership, but only a property qualification,
was to be required of voters; the governor was to be appointed by the
crown instead of being elected by the people; and all laws passed by
the legislature were to be sent to England for royal approval. These
features of the new charter,--the extension, or if I may so call it, the
_secularization_ of the franchise, the appointment of the governor
by the crown, and the power of veto which the crown expressly
reserved,--were grave restrictions upon the independence which
Massachusetts had hitherto enjoyed. Henceforth her position was to be
like that of the other colonies with royal governors. But her history
did not thereby lose its interest or significance, though it became,
like the history of most of the colonies, a dismal record of
irrepressible bickerings between the governor appointed by the crown and
the legislature elected by the people. In the period that began in 1692
and ended in 1776, the movements of Massachusetts, while restricted
and hampered, were at the same time forced into a wider orbit. She was
brought into political sympathy with Virginia. While two generations
of men were passing across the scene, the political problems of
Massachusetts were assimilated to those of Virginia. In spite of all
the other differences, great as they were, there was a likeness in the
struggles between the popular legislature and the royal governor which
subordinated them all. It was this similarity of experience, during
the eighteenth century, that brought these two foremost colonies into
cordial alliance during the struggle against George III., and thus made
it possible to cement all the colonies together in the mighty nation
whose very name is fraught with so high and earnest a lesson to
mankind,--the UNITED STATES! [Sidenote: Massachusetts becomes a royal

For such a far-reaching result, the temporary humiliation of
Massachusetts was a small price to pay. But it was not until long after
the accession of William III. that things could be seen in these grand
outlines. With his coronation began the struggle of seventy years
between France and England, far grander than the struggle between Rome
and Carthage, two thousand years earlier, for primacy in the world,
for the prerogative of determining the future career of mankind. That
warfare, so fraught with meaning, was waged as much upon American as
upon European ground; and while it continued, it was plainly for the
interest of the British government to pursue a conciliatory policy
toward its American colonies, for without their wholehearted assistance
it could have no hope of success. As soon as the struggle was ended, and
the French power in the colonial world finally overthrown, the perpetual
quarrels between the popular legislatures and the royal governors led
immediately to the Stamp Act and the other measures of the British
government that brought about the American revolution. People sometimes
argue about that revolution as if it had no past behind it and was
simply the result of a discussion over abstract principles. [Sidenote:
Seeds of the American Revolution already sown]

We can now see that while the dispute involved an abstract principle of
fundamental importance to mankind, it was at the same time for Americans
illustrated by memories sufficiently concrete and real. James Otis
in his prime was no further distant from the tyranny of Andros than
middle-aged men of to-day are distant from the Missouri Compromise. The
sons of men cast into jail along with John Wise may have stood silent in
the moonlight on Griffin's Wharf and looked on while the contents of the
tea-chests were hurled into Boston harbour. In the events we have here
passed in review, it may be seen, so plainly that he who runs may read,
how the spirit of 1776 was foreshadowed in 1689.


An interesting account of the Barons' War and the meeting of the first
House of Commons is given in Prothero's _Simon de Montfort_, London,
1877. For Wyclif and the Lollards, see Milman's _Latin Christianity_,
vol. vii.

The ecclesiastical history of the Tudor period may best be studied in
the works of John Strype, to wit, _Historical Memorials_, 6 vols.;
_Annals of the Reformation_, 7 vols.; _Lives of Cranmer, Parker,
Whitgift, etc._, Oxford, 1812-28. See also _Burnet's History of the
Reformation of the Church of England_, 3 vols., London, 1679-1715;
Neal's _History of the Puritans_, London, 1793; Tulloch, _Leaders of the
Reformation_, Boston, 1859. A vast mass of interesting information is
to be found in _The Zurich Letters, comprising the Correspondence
of Several English Bishops, and Others, with some of the Helvetian
Reformers_, published by the Parker Society, 4 vols., Cambridge, Eng.,
1845-46. Hooker's _Ecclesiastical Polity_ was published in London, 1594;
a new edition, containing two additional books, the first complete
edition, was published in 1622.

For the general history of England in the seventeenth century, there are
two modern works which stand far above all others,--Gardiner's _History
of England_, 10 vols., London, 1883-84; and Masson's _Life of Milton,
narrated in connection with the Political, Ecclesiastical, and Literary
History of his Time_, 6 vols., Cambridge, Eng., 1859-80. These are
books of truly colossal erudition, and written in a spirit of judicial
fairness. Mr. Gardiner's ten volumes cover the forty years from the
accession of James I. to the beginning of the Civil War, 1603-1643. Mr.
Gardiner has lately published the first two volumes of his history of
the Civil War, and it is to be hoped that he will not stop until he
reaches the accession of William and Mary. Indeed, such books as his
ought never to stop. My friend and colleague, Prof. Hosmer, tells me
that Mr. Gardiner is a lineal descendant of Cromwell and Ireton. His
little book, _The Puritan Revolution_, in the "Epochs of History"
series, is extremely useful, and along with it one should read Airy's
_The English Restoration and Louis XIV_., in the same series, New York,
1889. The best biography of Cromwell is by Mr. Allanson Picton, London,
1882; see also Frederic Harrison's _Cromwell_, London, 1888, an
excellent little book. Hosmer's _Young Sir Henry Vane_, Boston, 1888,
should be read in the same connection; and one should not forget
Carlyle's _Cromwell_. See also Tulloch, _English Puritanism and its
Leaders_, 1861, and _Rational Theology and Christian Philosophy in
England in the Seventeenth Century_, 1872; Skeats, _History of the
Free Churches of England_, London, 1868; Mountfield, _The Church and
Puritans_, London, 1881. Dexter's _Congregationalism of the Last Three
Hundred Years_, New York, 1880, is a work of monumental importance.

On the history of New England the best general works are Palfrey,
_History of New England_, 4 vols., Boston, 1858-75; and Doyle, _The
English in America--The Puritan Colonies_, 2 vols., London, 1887. In
point of scholarship Dr. Palfrey's work is of the highest order, and
it is written in an interesting style. Its only shortcoming is that it
deals somewhat too leniently with the faults of the Puritan theocracy,
and looks at things too exclusively from a Massachusetts point of view.
It is one of the best histories yet written in America. Mr. Doyle's work
is admirably fair and impartial, and is based throughout upon a careful
study of original documents. The author is a Fellow of All Souls
College, Oxford, and has apparently made American history his specialty.
His work on the Puritan colonies is one of a series which when completed
will cover the whole story of English colonization in America. I have
looked in vain in his pages for any remark or allusion indicating that
he has ever visited America, and am therefore inclined to think that he
has not done so. He now and then makes a slight error such as would
not be likely to be made by a native of New England, but this is very
seldom. The accuracy and thoroughness of its research, its judicial
temper, and its philosophical spirit make Mr. Doyle's book in some
respects the best that has been written about New England.

Among original authorities we may begin by citing John Smith's
_Description of New England_, 1616, and _New England's Trial_, 1622,
contained in Arber's new edition of Smith's works, London, 1884.
Bradford's narrative of the founding of Plymouth was for a long time
supposed to be lost. Nathaniel Morton's _New England's Memorial_,
published in 1669, was little more than an abridgment of it. After two
centuries Bradford's manuscript was discovered, and an excellent edition
by Mr. Charles Deane was published in the _Massachusetts Historical
Collections_, 4th series, vol. iii., 1856. Edward Winslow's _Journal of
the Proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth_, 1622,
and _Good News from New England_, 1624, are contained, with other
valuable materials, in Young's _Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers_,
Boston, 1844. See also Shurtleff and Pulsifer, _Records of Plymouth_,
12 vols., ending with the annexation of the colony to Massachusetts in
1692; Prince's _Chronological History of New England_, ed. Drake, 1852;
and in this connection Hunter's _Founders of New Plymouth_, London,
1854; Steele's _Life of Brewster_, Philadelphia, 1857; Goodwin's
_Pilgrim Republic_, Boston, 1887; Bacon's _Genesis of the New England
Churches_, New York, 1874; Baylies's _Historical Memoir_, 1830;
Thacher's _History of the Town of Plymouth_, 1832.

Sir Ferdinando Gorges wrote a _Briefe Narration of the Originall
Undertakings of the advancement of plantations into the parts of
America, especially showing the beginning, progress, and continuance
of that of New England_, London, 1658, contained in his grandson's
collection entitled _America Painted to the Life_. Thomas Morton, of
Merrymount, gave his own view of the situation in his _New English
Canaan_, which has been edited for the Prince Society, with great
learning, by C.F. Adams. Samuel Maverick also had his say in a valuable
pamphlet entitled _A Description of New England_, which has only come
to light since 1875 and has been edited by Mr. Deane. Maverick is, of
course, hostile to the Puritans. See also Lechford's _Plain Dealing in
New England_, ed. J.H. Trumbull, 1867.

The earliest history of Massachusetts is by Winthrop himself, a work of
priceless value. In 1790, nearly a century and a half after the author's
death, it was published at Hartford. The best edition is that of 1853.
In 1869 a valuable life of Winthrop was published by his descendant
Robert Winthrop. Hubbard's _History of New England_ (_Mass. Hist.
Coll._, 2d series, vols. v., vi.) is drawn largely from Winthrop and
from Nathaniel Morton. There is much that is suggestive in William
Wood's _New England's Prospect_, 1634, and Edward Johnson's
_Wonder-working Providence of Zion's Saviour in New England_, 1654; the
latter has been ably edited by W.F. Poole, Andover, 1867. The records
of the Massachusetts government, from its founding in 1629 down to the
overthrow of the charter in 1684, were edited by Dr. Shurtleff in 6
vols. quarto, 1853-54; and among the documents in the British Record
Office, published since 1855, three volumes--_Calendar of State Papers_,
_Colonial America_, vol. i., 1574-1660; vol. v., 1661-1668; vol. vii.,
1669--are especially useful. Of the later authorities the best is
Hutchinson's _History of Massachusetts Bay_, the first volume of which,
coming down to 1689, was published in Boston in 1764. The second volume,
continuing the narrative to 1749, was published in 1767. The third
volume, coming down to 1774, was found among the illustrious author's
MSS. after his death, and was published in London in 1828. Hutchinson
had access to many valuable documents since lost, and his sound judgment
and critical acumen deserve the highest praise. In 1769 he published
a volume of _Original Papers_, illustrating the period covered by the
first volume of his history. Many priceless documents perished in the
shameful sacking of his house by the Boston rioters, Aug. 26, 1765. The
second volume of Hutchinson's _History_ was continued to 1764 by G.R.
Minot, 2 vols., 1798, and to 1820 by Alden Bradford, 3 vols., 1822-29.
Of recent works, the best is Barry's _History of Massachusetts_, 3
vols., 1855-57. Many original authorities are collected in Young's
_Chronicles of Massachusetts_, Boston, 1846. Cotton Mather's _Magnolia
Christi Americana_, London, 1702 (reprinted in 1820 and 1853), though
crude and uncritical, is full of interest.

Many of the early Massachusetts documents relate to Maine. Of later
books, especial mention should be made of Folsom's _History of Saco and
Biddeford_, Saco, 1830; Willis's _History of Portland_, 2 vols., 1831-33
(2d ed. 1865); _Memorial Volume of the Popham Celebration_, Portland,
1862; Chamberlain's _Maine, Her Place in History_, Augusta, 1877. On New
Hampshire the best general work is Belknap's _History of New Hampshire_,
3 vols., Phila., 1784-92; the appendix contains many original
documents, and others are to be found in the _New Hampshire Historical
Collections_, 8 vols., 1824-66.

The _Connecticut Colonial Records_ are edited by Dr. J.H. Trumbull,
12 vols., 1850-82. The _Connecticut Historical Society's Collections_,
1860-70, are of much value. The best general work is Trumbull's _History
of Connecticut_, 2 vols., Hartford, 1797. See also Stiles's _Ancient
Windsor_, 2 vols., 1859-63; Cothren's _Ancient Woodbury_, 3 vols.,
1854-79. Of the Pequot War we have accounts by three of the principal
actors. Mason's _History of the Pequod War_ is in the _Mass. Hist.
Coll._, 2d series, vol. viii.; Underhill's _News from America_ is in the
3d series, vol. vi.; and Lyon Gardiner's narrative is in the 3d series,
vol. iii. In the same volume with Underhill is contained _A True
Relation of the late Battle fought in New England between the English
and the Pequod Savages_, by Philip Vincent, London, 1638. The _New Haven
Colony Records_ are edited by C.J. Hoadly, 2 vols., Hartford, 1857-58.
See also the _New Haven Historical Society's Papers_, 3 vols., 1865-80;
Lambert's _History of New Haven_, 1838; Atwater's _History of New
Haven_, 1881; Levermore's _Republic of New Haven_, Baltimore, 1886;
Johnston's _Connecticut_, Boston, 1887. The best account of the Blue
Laws is by J.H. Trumbull, _The True Blue Laws of Connecticut and New
Haven, and the False Blue Laws invented by the Rev. Samuel Peters_,
etc., Hartford, 1876. See also Hinman's _Blue Laws of New Haven Colony_,
Hartford, 1838; Barber's _History and Antiquities of New Haven_, 1831;
Peters's _History of Connecticut_, London, 1781. The story of the
regicides is set forth in Stiles's _History of the Three Judges_ [the
third being Colonel Dixwell], Hartford, 1794; see also the _Mather
Papers_ in _Mass. Hist. Coll._, 4th series, vol. viii.

_The Rhode Island Colonial Records_ are edited by J.R. Bartlett, 7
vols., 1856-62. One of the best state histories ever written is that
of S.G. Arnold, _History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations_, 2 vols., New York, 1859-60. Many valuable documents are
reprinted in the _Rhode Island Historical Society's Collections_. The
_History of New England, with particular reference to the denomination
called Baptists_, by Rev. Isaac Backus, 3 vols., 1777-96, has much
that is valuable relating to Rhode Island. The series of _Rhode Island
Historical Tracts_, issued since 1878 by Mr. S.S. Rider, is of great
merit. Biographies of Roger Williams have been written by J.D. Knowles,
1834; by William Gammell, 1845; and by Romeo Elton, 1852. Williams's
works have been republished by the Narragansett Club in 6 vols., 1866.
The first volume contains the valuable _Key to the Indian Languages of
America_, edited by Dr. Trumbull. Williams's views of religious liberty
are set forth in his _Bloudy Tenent of Persecution_, London, 1644; to
which John Cotton replied in _The Bloudy Tenent washed and made White in
the Blood of the Lamb_, London, 1647; Williams's rejoinder was entitled
_The Bloudy Tenent made yet more Bloudy through Mr. Cotton's attempt
to Wash it White_, London, 1652. The controversy was conducted on both
sides with a candour and courtesy rare in that age. The titles of
Williams's other principal works, _George Fox digged out of his
Burrowes_, Boston, 1676; _Hireling Ministry none of Christ's_, London,
1652; and _Christenings make not Christians_, 1643; sufficiently
indicate their character. The last-named tract was discovered in the
British Museum by Dr. Dexter and edited by him in Rider's _Tracts_,
No. xiv., 1881. The treatment of Roger Williams by the government
of Massachusetts is thoroughly discussed in Dexter's _As to Roger
Williams_, Boston, 1876. See also G.E. Ellis on "The Treatment of
Intruders and Dissentients by the Founders of Massachusetts," in _Lowell
Lectures_, Boston, 1869.

The case of Mrs. Hutchinson is treated, from a hostile and somewhat
truculent point of view, in Thomas Welde's pamphlet entitled _A Short
Story of the Rise, Reign, and Ruin of Antinomians, Familists, and
Libertines that infected the Churches of New England_, London, 1644. It
was answered in an anonymous pamphlet entitled _Mercurius Americanus_,
republished for the Prince Society, Boston, 1876, with prefatory notice
by C.H. Bell. Cotton's view of the theocracy may be seen in his _Milk
for Babes, drawn out of the Breasts of both Testaments_, London, 1646;
_Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven_; and _Way of the Congregational
Churches Cleared_, London, 1648. See also Thomas Hooker's _Survey of the
Summe of Church Discipline_, London, 1648. The intolerant spirit of the
time finds quaint and forcible expression in Nathaniel Ward's satirical
book, _The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam_, 1647.

For the Gorton controversy the best original authorities are his own
book entitled _Simplicitie's Defence against Sevenheaded Polity_,
London, 1646; and Winslow's answer entitled _Hypocracie Unmasked_,
London, 1646. See also Mackie's _Life of Samuel Gorton_, Boston, 1845,
and Brayton's _Defence of Samuel Gorton_, in Rider's _Tracts_, No. xvii.

For the early history of the Quakers, see Robert Barclay's _Inner Life
of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth_, London, 1876,--an
admirable book. See also _New England a Degenerate Plant_, 1659;
Bishop's _New England judged by the Spirit of the Lord_, 1661; Sewel's
_History of the Quakers_, 1722; Besse's _Sufferings of the Quakers_,
1753; _The Popish Inquisition newly erected in New England_, London,
1659; _The Secret Works of a Cruel People made Manifest_, 1659; and the
pamphlet of the martyrs Stevenson and Robinson, entitled _A Call from
Death to Life_, 1660. John Norton's view of the case was presented in
his book, _The Heart of New England Rent at the Blasphemies of the
Present Generation_, London, 1660. See also J.S. Pike's _New Puritan_,
New York, 1879; Hallowell's _Pioneer Quakers_, Boston, 1887; and his
_Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts_, Boston, 1883; Brooks Adams, _The
Emancipation of Massachusetts_, Boston, 1887; Ellis, _The Puritan Age
and Rule_, Boston, 1888.

Some additional light upon the theocratic idea may be found in a
treatise by the apostle Eliot, _The Christian Commonwealth; or, the
Civil Polity of the Rising Kingdom of Jesus Christ_, London, 1659. An
account of Eliot's missionary work is given in _The Day breaking, if not
the Sun rising, of the Gospel with the Indians in New England_, London,
1647; and _The Glorious Progress of the Gospel amongst the Indians in
New England_, 1649. See also Shepard's _Clear Sunshine of the Gospel
breaking forth upon the Indians_, 1648; and Whitfield's _Light appearing
more and more towards the Perfect Day_, 1651.

The principal authority for Philip's war is Hubbard's _Present State of
New England, being a Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians_, 1677.
Church's _Entertaining Passages relating to Philip's War_, published in
1716, and republished in 1865, with notes by Mr. Dexter, is a charming
book. See also Mrs. Rowlandson's _True History_, Cambridge, Mass.,
1682; Mather's _Brief History of the War_, 1676; Drake's _Old Indian
Chronicle_, Boston, 1836; Gookin's _Historical Collections of the
Indians in New England_, 1674; and _Account of the Doings and Sufferings
of the Christian Indians_, in _Archchaeologia Americana_, vol. ii.
Batten's _Journal_ is the diary of a citizen of Boston, sent to England,
and it now in MS. among the _Colonial Papers_. Mrs. Mary Pray's letter
(Oct. 20, 1675) is in _Mass. Hist. Coll._, 5th series, vol. i. p. 105.

The great storehouse of information for the Andros period is the _Andros
Tracts_, 3 vols., edited for the Prince Society by W.H. Whitmore. See
also Sewall's _Diary, Mass. Hist. Coll._, 5th series, vols. v.--viii.
Sewall has been appropriately called the Puritan Pepys. His book is a
mirror of the state of society in Massachusetts at the time when it was
beginning to be felt that the old theocratic idea had been tried in the
balance and found wanting. There is a wonderful charm in such a book. It
makes one feel as if one had really "been there" and taken part in the
homely scenes, full of human interest, which it so naively portrays.
Anne Bradstreet's works have been edited by J.H. Ellis, Charlestown,

For further references and elaborate bibliographical discussions, see
Winsor's _Narrative and Critical History of America_, vol. iii.; and his
_Memorial History of Boston_, 4 vols., Boston, 1880. There is a good
account of the principal New England writers of the seventeenth century,
with illustrative extracts, in Tyler's _History of American Literature_,
2 vols., New York, 1878. For extracts see also the first two volumes of
Stedman and Hutchinson's _Library of American Literature_, New York,

In conclusion I would observe that town histories, though seldom written
in a philosophical spirit and apt to be quite amorphous in structure,
are a mine of wealth for the philosophic student of history.


[1] Milman, _Lat. Christ._ vii. 395.

[2] Gardiner, _The Puritan Revolution_, p. 12.

[3] Green, _History of the English People_, iii. 47.

[4] Steele's _Life of Brewster,_ p. 161.

[5] Gardiner, _Puritan Revolution_, p. 50.

[6] It is now 204 years since a battle has been fought in England. The
last was Sedgmoor in 1685. For four centuries, since Bosworth, in 1485,
the English people have lived in peace in their own homes, except for
the brief episode of the Great Rebellion, and Monmouth's slight affair.
This long peace, unparalleled in history, has powerfully influenced the
English and American character for good. Since the Middle Ages most
English warfare has been warfare at a distance, and that does not
nourish the brutal passions in the way that warfare at home does.
An instructive result is to be seen in the mildness of temper which
characterized the conduct of our stupendous Civil War. Nothing like it
was ever seen before.

[7] Picton's _Cromwell_, pp. 61, 67; Gardiner, _Puritan Revolution_, p.

[8] Quincy, History of Harvard University, ii. 654.

[9] C.F. Adams, _Sir Christopher Gardiner, Knight_, p. 31.

[10] The compact drawn up in the Mayflower's cabin was not, in the
strict sense a constitution, which is a document defining and limiting
the functions of government. Magna Charta partook of the nature of
a written constitution, as far as it went, but it did not create a

[11] See Johnston's Connecticut, p. 321, a very brilliant book.

[12] See the passionate exclamation of Endicott, below, p. 190.

[13] Excursions of an Evolutionist: pp. 250, 255.

[14] A glimmer of light upon Gorton may be got from reading the
title-page of one of his books: "AN INCORRUPTIBLE KEY, composed of the
CX PSALME, wherewith you may open the Rest of the Holy Scriptures;
Turning itself only according to the Composure and Art of that Lock, of
the Closure and Secresie of that great Mystery of God manifest in the
Flesh, but justified only by the Spirit, which it evidently openeth
and revealeth, out of Fall and Resurrection, Sin and Righteousness,
Ascension and Descension, Height and Depth, First and Last, Beginning
and Ending, Flesh and Spirit, Wisdome and Foolishnesse, Strength
and Weakness, Mortality and Immortality, Jew and Gentile, Light and
Darknesse, Unity and Multiplication, Fruitfulness and Barrenness, Curse
and Blessing, Man and Woman, Kingdom and Priesthood, Heaven and Earth,
Allsufficiency and Deficiency, God and Man. And out of every Unity made
up of twaine, it openeth that great two-leafed Gate, which is the sole
Entrie into the City of God, of New Jerusalem, _into which none but the
King of glory can enter_; and as that Porter openeth the Doore of the
Sheepfold, _by which whosoever entreth is the Shepheard of the Sheep_;
See Isa. 45. 1. Psal. 24. 7, 8, 9, 10. John 10. 1, 2, 3; Or, (according
to the Signification of the Word translated _Psalme_,) it is a
Pruning-Knife, to lop off from the Church of Christ all superfluous
Twigs _of earthly and carnal Commandments_, Leviticall Services or
Ministery, and fading and vanishing Priests, or Ministers, who are taken
away and cease, and are not established and confirmed by Death, as
holding no Correspondency with the princely Dignity, Office, and
Ministry of our _Melchisedek_, who is the only Minister and Ministry of
the Sanctuary, and of that true Tabernacle which the Lord pitcht, and
not Man. For it supplants the Old Man, and implants the New; abrogates
the Old Testament or Covenant, and confirms the New, unto a thousand
Generations, or in Generations forever. By Samuel Gorton, _Gent._,
and at the time of penning hereof, in the Place of Judicature (upon
Aquethneck, alias Road Island) of Providence Plantations in the
Nanhyganset Bay, New England. Printed in the Yeere 1647."

[15] Father of Benedict Arnold, afterward governor of Rhode Island, and
owner of the stone windmill (apparently copied from one in Chesterton,
Warwickshire) which was formerly supposed by some antiquarians to be a
vestige of the Northmen. Governor Benedict Arnold was great-grandfather
of the traitor.

[16] _Gorton, Simplicitie's Defence against Seven-headed Policy_, p. 88.

[17] De Forest, _History of the Indians of Connecticut_, Hartford, 1850,
p. 198.

[18] Doyle, _Puritan Colonies_, i. 324.

[19] See below, p. 222, note.

[20] See my _Excursions of an Evolutionist,_ pp. 239-242, 250-255,

[21] Gorton's life at Warwick, after all these troubles, seems to have
been quiet and happy. He died in 1677 at a great age. In 1771 Dr. Ezra
Stiles visited, in Providence, his last surviving disciple, born in
1691. This old man said that Gorton wrote in heaven, and none can
understand his books except those who live in heaven while on earth.

[22] Doyle, _Puritan Colonies_,: i. 369.

[23] Doyle, i.: 372.

[24] Milman, _Latin Christianity_, vii. 390.

[25] Doyle, ii. 133, 134; Rhode Island Records, i. 377, 378.

[26] Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, pp. 14-16; Levermore's Republic of
New Haven, p. 153.

[27] See my remarks above, p. 145.

[28] The daring passage in the sermon is thus given in Bacon's
_Historical Discourses_, New Haven, 1838: "Withhold not countenance,
entertainment, and protection from the people of God--whom men may call
fools and fanatics--if any such come to you from other countries,
as from France or England, or any other place. Be not forgetful to
entertain strangers. Remember those that are in bonds, as bound with
them. The Lord required this of Moab, saying, 'Make thy shadow as the
night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him
that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a
covert to them from the face of the spoiler.' Is it objected--'But so I
may expose myself to be spoiled or troubled'? He, therefore, to remove
this objection, addeth, 'For the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler
ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.' While we are
attending to our duty in owning and harbouring Christ's witnesses, God
will be providing for their and our safety, by destroying those that
would destroy his people."

[29] Palfrey, _History of New England,_ in. 138-140.

[30] See Parkman, _Conspiracy of Pontiac_, i. 80-85.

[31] De Forest, _History of the Indians of Connecticut,_ pp. 252, 257.

[32] The story rests chiefly upon the statements of Hutchinson, an
extremely careful and judicious writer, and not in the least what
the French call a _gobemouche_. Goffe kept a diary which came into
Hutchinson's possession, and was one of the priceless manuscripts that
perished in the infamous sacking of his house by the Boston mob of
August 26, 1765. What light that diary might have thrown upon the matter
can never be known. Hutchinson was born in 1711, only thirty-six years
after the event, so that his testimony is not so very far removed from
that of a contemporary. Whalley seems to have died in Hadley shortly
before 1675, and Goffe deemed it prudent to leave that neighbourhood in
1676. His letters to Increase Mather are dated from "Ebenezer," i. e.,
wherever in his roamings he set up his Ebenezer. One of these letters,
dated September 8, 1676, shows that his Ebenezer was then set up in
Hartford, where probably he died about 1679 In 1676 the arrival of
Edward Randolph (see below, p. 256) renewed the peril of the regicide
judge, and his sudden removal from his skilfully contrived hiding-place
at Hadley might possibly have been due to his having exposed himself
to recognition in the Indian fight. Possibly even the supernatural
explanation might have been started, with a touch of Yankee humour, as
a blind. The silence of Mather and Hubbard was no more remarkable than
some of the other ingenious incidents which had so long served to
conceal the existence of this sturdy and crafty man. The reasons for
doubting the story are best stated by Mr. George Sheldon of Deerfield,
in _Hist.-Genealogical Register_, October, 1874.

[33] If Philip was half the diplomatist that he is represented in
tradition, he never would have gone into such a war without assurance of
Narragansett help. Canonchet was a far more powerful sachem than Philip,
and played a more conspicuous part in the war. May we not suppose that
Canonchet's desire to avenge his father's death was one of the principal
incentives to the war; that Philip's attack upon Swanzey was a premature
explosion; and that Canonchet then watched the course of events for a
while before making up his mind whether to abandon Philip or support

[34] A wretched little werewolf who some few years ago, being then a lad
of fourteen or fifteen years, most cruelly murdered two or three
young children, just to amuse himself with their dying agonies. The
misdirected "humanitarianism," which in our country makes every murderer
an object of popular sympathy, prevailed to save this creature from
the gallows. Massachusetts has lately witnessed a similar instance of
misplaced clemency in the case of a vile woman who had poisoned eight or
ten persons, including some of her own children, in order to profit
by their life insurance. Such instances help to explain the prolonged
vitality of "Judge Lynch," and sometimes almost make one regret the days
in old England when William Probert, after escaping in 1824 as "king's
evidence," from the Thurtell affair, got caught and hanged within a
twelvemonth for horse-stealing. Any one who wishes to study the results
of allowing criminality to survive and propagate itself should read
Dugdale's The Jukes; Hereditary Crime, New York, 1877.

[35] Weeden, _Indian Money as a Factor in New England Civilization_,
Johns Hopkins University Studies, II. viii., ix. p. 30.

[36] Doyle, ii. 253.

[37] Doyle, _Puritan Colonies_, ii. 254.

[38] The quotation is from an unpublished letter of Rev. Robert
Ratcliffe to the Bishop of London, cited in an able article in the
_Boston Herald_, January 4, 1888. I have not seen the letter.

[39] Doyle, _Puritan Colonies_, ii. 379, 380.

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