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Title: A Source Book in American History to 1787
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Source Book in American History to 1787" ***

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                             A SOURCE BOOK


                           AMERICAN HISTORY

                                TO 1787

                         COLLECTED AND EDITED


                           WILLIS MASON WEST

                        UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA


                            ALLYN AND BACON

                       #Boston New York Chicago#

                           COPYRIGHT, 1913,
                         BY WILLIS MASON WEST.

                         #Norwood Press#
                J. S. Cushing Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
                        Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


Early American history is especially suited for "source work" in
secondary schools and undergraduate college classes. After the year
1800, there are too many documents and many of them are too long. The
student can get no systematic survey nor any sense of continuity; and
source work is therefore merely illustrative of particular incidents.
But, for the early period, it is possible, by careful selection and
exclusion, to lay a basis for a fairly connected study.

To do this, it is necessary to combine in one volume selections
which are usually grouped separately, as "Documents" and as
"Readings,"--such, for instance, as the Massachusetts charter, on the
one hand, and Winthrop's letters to his wife, on the other. Rigid
scholarship may object to the inclusion of such different sorts of
sources between the same covers. But students cannot be expected to
own or use more than one volume of sources in American history; and
the practical educational advantages of the combination seem to me to
outweigh all possible objections--besides which, something might be
said for the arrangement in itself, for young students, on the side of
interest and convenience.

A number of admirable collections of sources for schools are already
in use. And yet, in preparing my _American History and Government_,[1]
I found no single volume which contained the different kinds of source
material desirable for illustration, while much of the most valuable
material was still inaccessible in any collection. Some two-thirds of
the selections in the present volume, I believe, have not previously
appeared in Source Books; and, for many of the customary documents,
I have found it desirable to print parts not usually given. Thus, for
Gorges' Patent for Maine, instead of reproducing the territorial grant
(which is all that is given in the only Source Book which touches on
that document), I have chosen rather to give the portion authorizing a
degree of popular self-government (the reference to the "parliament in
New England").

In a few cases, documents which might have been expected are not given,
because extracts from them are used freely in the _American History and
Government_, to which this is a companion volume. The most important
cases of this character are noted at appropriate points. In general,
in the selection and arrangement of documents, special emphasis has
been given to the following topics: (1) the idealistic motives back of
American colonization in Virginia as well as in Puritan New England;
(2) the evolution of political institutions in Virginia and in typical
Northern colonies,--especially of representative government and of the
town meeting, and of such details as the use of the ballot; (3) the
very imperfect nature of democracy, political and social, in colonial
America,--so that the student may better appreciate our later growth;
(4) social conditions,--necessarily a rather fragmentary treatment;
(5) the evolution of commonwealths out of colonies in the Revolution;
and (6) the breakdown of the Confederation and the making of the

Many typical documents are given entire. Other selections are excerpted
carefully. In such cases, omissions are indicated, of course, and the
substance of the omitted matter is usually indicated in brackets. In
the case of a few selections, like those from Winthrop's _History_,
the original document has already been published in standard editions
with modernized spelling. Such editions have been followed. The
text of all other documents has been reproduced faithfully, except
for such departures as are authorized in the American Historical
Association's _Suggestions for the Printing of Documents_; _i.e._,
regarding the spelling out of abbreviations, and the modern usage
for the consonantal _i_ and _u_, and the modernizing of punctuation
when absolutely needful to prevent ambiguity. Some students may find
a slight difficulty at first in the vagaries of seventeenth century
orthography. But this difficulty is quickly surmounted; and, apart
from the added flavor that comes from the quaintness of the original,
and from the consciousness that the copy has been strictly adhered to,
there is often a distinct historical advantage in the practice. The
falling away in book-culture in the second generation of New England
colonization can hardly be suggested so forcibly in any other way as
by following the degeneration of spelling by town officials--as in the
Watertown records in Number 83. The peculiarities of type in printed
documents have been preserved so far as possible, but here I have taken
a greater liberty than in any other matter of this kind. Italics and
black-faced type have been introduced freely, to call attention to
matter of special importance for instruction. Sometimes this practice
has been noted in the respective introductions; and in other cases
there will be little difficulty in deciding which passages owe their
prominence of this sort to the editor.

I have tried also to add to the teaching value of the book by a free
use of introductions to the various extracts, and by footnotes and
addenda, with occasional "Hints for Study."

                                                     WILLIS MASON WEST.

    November, 1913.


  NUMBER                                                            PAGE

  I. England in the Century of Colonization

  1. Classes of Englishmen; by William Harrison; from Holinshed's
  _Chronicles_ (1577)                                                  1

                     A. SOUTHERN COLONIES TO 1660

  II. Motives for Early Colonization

  2. Sir George Peckham's "True Report" (1582) of Gilbert's expedition;
  from Richard Hakluyt's _Voyages and Discoveries
  of the English Nation_                                               4

  3. Richard Hakluyt's _Discourse on Western Planting_ (1584);
  from the _Maine Historical Society Collections_                      4

  4. Michael Drayton's _Ode_ to the Virginian Voyage (1606)            7

  5. "Goodspeed to Virginia" (1609); by Robert Gray; from
  Brown's _Genesis of the United States_                               7

  6. "Nova Britannia" (1609); anonymous; from Peter Force's
  _Historical Tracts_                                                 10

  7. The "True and Sincere Declaration" by the London Company
  (1609), with a "Table of such [colonists] as are required";
  from Brown's _Genesis of the United States_                         12

  8. Marston's _Eastward Hoe!_ (1605)                                 15

  9. Crashaw's "Daily Prayer" for use in Virginia (1609); from
  Force's _Historical Tracts_                                         15

  10. Crashaw's "Sermon" before Lord Delaware's Expedition
  (1610); from Brown's _Genesis of the United States_                 16

  11. A letter by Sir Edwin Sandys (1612) to stockholders of the
  London Company; from Neill's _Virginia and Virginiola_              17

  12. The glories of Virginia; from a letter from Sir Thomas Dale
  (governor in Virginia) to Sir Thomas Smith (head of the
  London Company), in 1613; from the _Records of the Virginia
  Company of London_, edited by Susan Kingsbury                       17

  13. A defense of the London Company (declared not mercenary)
  by Captain John Smith (1616); from Smith's _Generall
  Historie of Virginia_                                               18

  14. A plea for colonization on patriotic and religious grounds
  (1631), by Captain John Smith; _Works_                              18

  III. Virginia (1606-1619), to the Introduction of Self-government

  15. The charter of Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1578); from Hakluyt's
  _Voyages and Discoveries_                                           20

  16. The Virginia charter of 1606; from the Appendix to Stith's
  _History of Virginia_                                               23

  17. Instructions by King James to the London Company (November
  20/30, 1606); from Hening's _Statutes at Large_                     29

  18. Instructions from the Council of the Virginia Company to the
  first Jamestown expedition (December, 1606); from Neill's
  _Virginia Company_                                                  32

  19. The early settlers and their sufferings:

  _a._ A "Discourse" by Master George Percy (1607);
  from "Purchas his Pilgrimes" (1625)                                 35

  _b._ An account of "gentlemen" in Virginia, by Amos
  Todkill (1608); from Smith's _Works_                                36

  20. The Virginia charter of 1609 (with hints for study); from the
  Appendix to Stith's _History of Virginia_                           37

  21. The Virginia charter of 1612 (the portions relating to a more
  democratic organization of the Company and its powers); _ib._       44

  22. The danger from Spanish attack: correspondence of Spanish
  and English ambassadors with their respective governments;
  from Brown's _Genesis of the United States_                         47

  IV. Virginia under the Liberal Company, 1619-1624

  23. Rules of the Virginia Company (1619); from Force's _Historical
  Tracts_                                                             51

  24. An "Order" of the Company authorizing temporary self-government
  in its plantations (February 2/12, 1619/1620);
  from Susan Kingsbury's _Records of the Virginia Company
  of London_                                                          53

  25. Records of the Assembly of 1619; from Wynne and Gilman's
  _Colonial Records of Virginia_                                      53

  26. The "Declaration" by the Company (drawn by Sandys), June
  22/July 2, 1620, justifying the liberal management; from
  Susan Kingsbury's _Records of the Virginia Company of
  London_                                                             63

  27. The Ordinance of 1621,--a grant of limited self-government by
  the Company to the settlers, with authorization of a representative
  Assembly; from the Appendix to Stith's _History
  of Virginia_                                                        70

  28. Attempts by King James to control the elections in the Company
  in favor of the "court party" in 1620 and 1622; from
  Susan Kingsbury's _Records of the Virginia Company of
  London_                                                             73

  V. Virginia a Royal Province: Struggle to save the Assembly

  29. Royal Commission to Governor Wyatt and his Council (1624),
  ignoring the Assembly; from Hazard's _State Papers_                 80

  30. Royal commission to Governor Yeardley (1625), to like purpose;
  from Hazard's _State Papers_                                        82

  31. Protests in the Colony:

  _a._ The Assembly's precautionary "bill of rights," with
  statement of the principle, "No taxation without
  representation" (three laws from the session of
  March, 1624); from Hening's _Statutes at Large_                     83

  _b._ Requests from the colony for aid, and, indirectly, for
  an Assembly:

  1. Letter from the Governor and Council to the
  Special Commission in England (April,
  1626); from the Aspinwall Papers, in _Massachusetts
  Historical Society Collections_                                     84

  2. Letter from the same to the same (May,
  1626); from the _Virginia Magazine of
  History_                                                            85

  32. Restoration of the Assembly by royal authority (1629):

  _a._ Captain Harvey's "Propositions" (after appointment
  as governor); _ib._                                                 86

  _b._ The King's answer to the same; _ib._                           86

  _c._ Royal instructions to Governor Berkeley (1641); _ib._          87

  33. Virginian legislation, financial and moral; from Hening's
  _Statutes at Large_                                                 87

  VI. Virginia under the Commonwealth

  34. Terms of settlement between Parliamentary Commissioners and the
  Assembly (1652); from Hening's _Statutes at Large_                  90

  35. Legislation restricting the franchise, and restoring it to the
  old basis; _ib._                                                    92

  VII. Maryland to 1660

  36. Lord Baltimore's letter to Charles I (1629), describing the
  hardships of the Avalon colony and asking for a grant in "Virginia";
  from Scharf's _History of Maryland_                                 93

  37. The Maryland charter of 1632; from Bacon's _Laws of Maryland_   94

  38. Extracts from the Avalon charter of 1623 (with comparison with
  the Maryland grant); from Scharf's _History of Maryland_            99

  39. Excursus: Extracts from the Plowden grant of New Albion of
  1634, and the Gorges grant of Maine of 1639 (for comparison with
  the foregoing, in tracing the development of royal approval of
  representative institutions in the colonies); the documents from
  Hazard's _State Papers_                                            100

  40. The "Toleration Act" of 1649; from the _Maryland Archives_     102

                        B. NEW ENGLAND TO 1660

  VIII. An Early Exploration

  41. Captain George Weymouth's "True Relation" of his voyage in 1605
  to the coast of Maine; from the _Massachusetts Historical Society
  Collections_                                                       106

  IX. The First Source of New England Land Titles

  42. The charter of 1620 for the Plymouth Council (sometimes called
  the Council for New England); from Hazard's _State Papers_         109

  X. Plymouth Colony

  43. Negotiations between the Pilgrims and the Virginia Company for
  the Wincob charter: Cushman's letter explaining the delay; from
  Bradford's _Plymouth Plantation_                                   113

  44. Articles of Partnership between Pilgrims and London merchants;
  _ib._                                                              114

  45. The "farewell letter" from Pastor Robinson: the Pilgrims a
  "body politic" with power of self-government; _ib._                116

  46. The Mayflower Compact; _ib._; with addendum--The Exeter
  Agreement; from Hazard's _State Papers_                            116

  47. The Peirce charter of June, 1621, from the New England Council;
  from the _Massachusetts Historical Society Collections_            118

  48. Early history and hardships:[2]

  _a._ Edward Winslow's letter of December, 1621, to a
  friend in England; from Arber's _Story of the Pilgrim
  Fathers_                                                           120

  _b._ Captain John Smith's account, in 1624; _Works_                122

  49. The final source of Plymouth land titles:

  _a._ Bradford's Patent of 1630; from Hazard's _State
  Papers_                                                            124

  _b._ Bradford's surrender of the same to the colony; _ib._         126

  50. Extracts from the "Fundamental Laws" of 1636; _ib._            127

  XI. The Founding of Massachusetts Bay

  51. The Gorges claim:

  _a._ The charter from the New England Council to Robert
  Gorges (1622); from Sir Ferdinando Gorges'
  "Briefe Narration," in Hazard's _State Papers_                     129

  _b._ The Gorges expedition of 1623; _ib._, in _Massachusetts
  Historical Society Collections_                                    131

  52. The founding of Salem and Charlestown: White's "Relation"
  (1630); from Young's _Massachusetts Chronicles_                    132

  53. The Massachusetts Company's charter of 1629; from the _Records
  of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_,
  edited by Nathaniel Shurtleff (usually quoted here as the
  _Massachusetts Colonial Records_)                                  137

  54. The docket of the above charter, as it was presented for royal
  approval (showing the King's expectation that the charter
  was to remain in England); from the _Massachusetts Historical
  Society Proceedings_ for 1869-1870                                 144

  55. Excursus: discussion of the original intention of the grantees
  in the Massachusetts charter as to removing to America,
  with illuminating extracts from the "Charter of the Company
  of Westminster for the Plantation of Providence
  Isle"; (the document from the manuscript in British
  Record Office)                                                     146

  56. Agreement between the Massachusetts Company in England
  and the Rev. Francis Higginson, on his removal to America;
  from Young's _Chronicles of Massachusetts_                         148

  57. Establishment of a subordinate government in the colony
  (April, 1629), by order of the Company in England; from
  the _Massachusetts Colonial Records_                               150

  XII. The Colony Becomes Puritan

  58. The decision to transfer the government and charter to the

  _a._ The first official proposal, by Governor Cradock, at a
  meeting of the Company in London (July 28, 1629);
  from the _Massachusetts Colonial Records_                          153

  _b._ The Cambridge Agreement; from _Young's Chronicles
  of Massachusetts_                                                  154

  _c._ The final decision by the Company; from the _Colonial
  Records_                                                           156

  59. Decision of Puritan gentlemen to settle in the colony:

  _a._ John Winthrop's argument for a Puritan colony;
  from Winthrop's _Life and Letters of John Winthrop_                157

  _b._ Winthrop's reasons for himself coming to America; _ib._       159

  _c._ The decision of John Winthrop, Jr.; _ib._                     160

  _d._ Higginson's "News from New England"; from
  Young's _Chronicles of Massachusetts_                              161

  60. The attitude of the early Puritan colonists toward the Church
  of England:

  _a._ Winthrop's farewell letter to the Church of England;
  _Life and Letters_                                                 162

  _b._ Captain John Smith's opinion of the Puritans in 1630
  (not Separatists); from Smith's _Works_                            164

  61. Political principles of the Puritan leaders (distrust of
  democracy): illustrated by extracts from Calvin's _Institutes_     164

  62. Early hardships and religious tendencies:

  _a._ From Winthrop's _History of New England_, 1630-1631           168

  _b._ From Winthrop's letters to his wife; _Life and Letters_       171

  _c._ From Thomas Dudley's letter to the Countess of Lincoln
  (1631); from Young's _Chronicles of Massachusetts_                 174

  XIII. Development of Democracy

  63. Oligarchic usurpations in 1630-1631; from the _Colonial
  Records_                                                           178

  64. The "Watertown Protest" against taxation without representation
  (the first popular movement), in 1632, and the consequent
  resumption by the democracy of some of their
  rights; from Winthrop's _History of New England_                   180

  65. Sample legislation under aristocratic rule, 1630-1633; from the
  _Colonial Records_                                                 183

  66. The beginning of town government, at Dorchester; from the
  _Dorchester Records_                                               188

  67. The development of representative government:

  _a._ Winthrop's account; from his _History of New England_         189

  _b._ The official records of the revolutionary General Court
  of 1634; from the _Colonial Records_                               191

  68. Political reaction: the magistrates demand a "negative voice";
  from Winthrop's _History of New England_                           194

  69. The Puritan government denies free speech in political matters;
  _ib._                                                              195

  70. The adoption of the ballot in elections in the General Court;
  _ib._                                                              196

  71. The first use of the ballot in local elections; _ib._          197

  72. A military commission with power of martial law; from the
  _Colonial Records_                                                 198

  73. Winthrop's account of various political actions: a "Life
  Council"; extension of the ballot by the use of proxies;
  restriction of "churches" to the organizations recognized by the
  government; from Winthrop's _History of New England_               199

  74. The Wheelwright controversy, with special reference to
  political phases; _ib._                                            199

  75. Political and social conditions in Massachusetts in 1636:

  _a._ "Proposals" of Lords Say and Brooke, with the
  answers of John Cotton; from the Appendix to
  Hutchinson's _History of Massachusetts Bay_                        201

  _b._ Legislation of 1651 regarding dress of different classes;
  from the _Colonial Records_                                        205

  76. Attack upon the charter:

  _a._ An order in Council in England for its surrender;
  from Hutchinson's _Original Papers_                                206

  _b._ The defiant refusal of the Colony; from Winthrop's
  _History of New England_                                           207

  77. Democratic discontent with aristocratic privilege in 1639
  (Winthrop's denial of the right of petition; the abolition of Life
  Council; delay in conceding a written code); _ib._                 210

  78. The "Body of Liberties"; from Whitmore's _Bibliographical
  Sketch of the Laws of Massachusetts Colony_                        214

  79. A Puritan view of the rules of fair trade (Cotton's sermon
  upon the conviction of a shopkeeper for exacting exorbitant
  profits); from Winthrop's _History of New England_                 225

  80. The separation of the General Court into two Houses (the first
  two-chambered legislature in America); the story from
  Winthrop's _History of New England_, and the preamble of
  the act of 1644 from the _Colonial Records_                        226

  81. A town code of school laws (1645); from the _Dorchester
  Records_                                                           230

  82. Colonial school laws (1642 and 1647); from the _Colonial
  Records_                                                           233

  83. Representative town records (_Watertown Records_, 1634-1678)   236

  XIV. Massachusetts and Religious Persecution

  84. Puritan arguments for and against persecution:

  _a._ From Nathaniel Ward's _Simple Cobbler of Aggawamm_
  (1647)                                                             246

  _b._ From Captain Edward Johnson's _Wonder-working
  Providence of Sions Saviour in New England_
  (1654)                                                             248

  _c._ The discussion between Saltonstall and Cotton (about
  1650); from Hutchinson's _Original Papers_                         249

  85. Criticism of the Massachusetts way, by a moderate Episcopalian
  and royalist (Lechford's _Plaine Dealing_; 1641)                   252

  86. A Presbyterian demand for the franchise in 1646 (the letter of
  Dr. Robert Child and others to the Governor and
  General Court); from Hutchinson's _Original Papers_                255

  87. Trial and punishment of nonconformists for not attending approved
  churches; from the _Colonial Records_                              259

  88. Quaker Persecutions:

  _a._ Edward Burrough's appeal to King Charles (1660);
  from Burrough's _Sad and Great Persecution and
  Martyrdom of Quakers in New England_                               260

  _b._ Trial of the Quaker, Wenlock Christison (1661);
  from Besse's _Collection of the Sufferings of the
  People called Quakers_                                             263

  XV. Rhode Island to 1660

  89. The first covenant at Providence (1636): a compact in "_civil_
  things only"; from the _Early Records of the Town of
  Providence_                                                        267

  90. Roger Williams' argument that religious freedom is consonant
  with civil order (the ship illustration); from Arnold's _History
  of Rhode Island_                                                   268

  91. The Patent for Providence Plantation from the Council of the
  Long Parliament (1644), restricting the government to _civil_
  matters; from the _Rhode Island Colonial Records_                  269

  92. Rhode Island's answer to the demand of Massachusetts (a refusal
  to exclude Quakers); from the Appendix to Hutchinson's
  _Massachusetts Bay_                                                270

  XVI. Connecticut before 1660

  93. The Fundamental Orders of 1639; from the _Connecticut Colonial
  Records_                                                           273

  XVII. The New England Confederation

  94. The constitution (Articles of Confederation); from the _New
  Haven Colonial Records_                                            280

  95. The demand of Massachusetts for more weight in the union,
  with the answer of the Congress of the Confederation;
  from the _Plymouth Colony Records_                                 285

  96. Nullification by Massachusetts, with the protest of the
  Congress of the Confederation; _ib._                               287


  XVIII. Liberal Charters

  97. The Connecticut charter of 1662; from the _Connecticut Colonial
  Records_                                                           290

  98. The Rhode Island charter of 1663 (parts referring especially
  to religious liberty); from the _Rhode Island Colonial
  Records_                                                           293

  XIX. An English Colonial System

  99. Royal instructions for the "Councill appointed for Forraigne
  Plantations" (1660); from O'Callaghan's _Documents relative
  to the Colonial History of New York_                               298

  100. The English commercial policy:

  _a._ The "first" Navigation Act (1660), regarding shipping
  and "enumerated" colonial exports, with
  note from the Act of 1662 explaining that "English"
  ships include colonial; from _Statutes of the
  Realm_                                                             300

  _b._ The Navigation Act of 1663 (regarding colonial imports);
  _ib._                                                              301

  _c._ The Sugar Act of 1733; _ib._                                  303

  101. The Duke of York's charter for New York (1664); from
  O'Callaghan's _Documents relative to Colonial History of
  New York_                                                          305

  102. Penn's grant of Pennsylvania (1680); from the _Charters and
  Laws of Pennsylvania_                                              307

  103. Penn's grants to the Pennsylvanians:

  _a._ "Laws agreed upon in England" (1683); from
  Hazard's _Annals of Pennsylvania_                                  311

  _b._ The "Charter of Privileges" of 1701; from _Votes
  and Proceedings of the House of Representatives
  of Pennsylvania_                                                   314

  104. Berkeley's Report on Virginia in 1671; from Hening's
  _Statutes_                                                         319

  105. The franchise in Virginia restricted (the Act of 1670); _ib._ 324

  106. "Bacon's Laws" (the legislation of the revolutionary Assembly
  of 1676); _ib._                                                    325

  107. The proclamation of July, 1676, by Nathaniel Bacon, "Generall
  by Consent of the People"; from the _Massachusetts
  Historical Society Collections_                                    328

  108. Testimony by various county courts showing that democratic
  political discontent was a chief cause of Bacon's Rebellion;
  from the _Virginia Magazine of History_                            329

  109. The abolition of Bacon's reforms:

  _a._ The royal order; from Hening's _Statutes at Large_            330

  _b._ The repeal of "Bacon's Laws" by the Assembly of
  1677; _ib._                                                        331

  110. Self-government in Massachusetts restricted:

  _a._ Randolph's report to the Lords of Trade; from
  Hutchinson's _Original Papers_                                     331

  _b._ The Massachusetts charter of 1691; from _Acts and
  Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay_                     333

  111. Attempts by England at closer control:

  _a._ Recommendation of the Board of Trade (1701) that
  all charter colonies be transformed into royal provinces
  by act of parliament; from the _North Carolina
  Colonial Records_                                                  339

  _b._ The feeling of the colonists (extracts from a pamphlet
  by John Wise, minister of Ipswich)                                 342

  _c._ The action of a Boston town meeting relative to a
  proposed permanent salary for the colonial Governor;
  from the _Boston Town Records_                                     343

  _d._ Connecticut's refusal to obey a royal officer commissioned
  to command her militia (a private letter of
  Governor Fletcher, describing his repulse); from
  the _New York Colonial Documents_                                  347

  112. The commission of a royal governor (from George III to Benning
  Wentworth); from the _New Hampshire Provincial
  Papers_                                                            349

  113. Freedom of speech vindicated: the trial of John Peter Zenger
  for criticising the governor of New York; from Zenger's
  _Brief Narrative of the Case and Tryall_                           352

  114. Franklin's "Albany Plan" for the union of the colonies under
  the crown:

  _a._ An account of the motives for the proposal; from
  _Franklin's Works_                                                 358

  _b._ The document; from _New York Colonial Documents_              359

  XX. Harsh Phases of Colonial Life

  115. Legal punishments in Virginia: "pillory and ducking stoole"
  in 1662-1748; from Hening's _Statutes at Large_                    364

  116. White "servants" (indentured and others) in 1774; from
  Eddes' _Letters from America_                                      364

  117. Advertisements for runaway servants; newspaper extracts for
  the years 1770-1771, from the _New Jersey Archives_                366


  XXI. Preliminary Period--to 1774

  118. The Sugar Act of 1764; from the _Statutes of the Realm_       369

  119. The Stamp Act of 1765; _ib._                                  373

  120. Reception of the Stamp Act in America:

  _a._ Patrick Henry's Resolutions; from the _Journals of
  the House of Burgesses of Virginia_                                374

  _b._ A Virginia County Association against the Act; _ib._          375

  _c._ The stamp distributor for Virginia persuaded to resign
  (the letter from Governor Fauquier to the
  Lords of Trade); _ib._                                             377

  _d._ Threat of violence against any who should use
  stamped paper; a notice in the _New York Gazette_
  of February 27, 1766; reproduced in the _New Jersey
  Archives_                                                          380

  121. Origin of the Virginia non-importation agreement:

  _a._ Protest of the Burgesses against the proposal of the
  English government to send Americans to England
  for trial (May 16, 1769); from the _Journals of the
  House of Burgesses_                                                380

  b. The "association" of the ex-Burgesses (May 18,
  1769); _ib._                                                       383

  122. The origin of the Massachusetts town-committees of
  correspondence; from the _Boston Town Records_                     387

  123. The creation of Intercolonial Committees of Correspondence:

  a. Jefferson's later account; from _Jefferson's Writings_          390

  b. The action of the Virginia House of Burgesses; from
  the _Journals_                                                     391

  c. Letters from other colonies received by the Virginia
  Committee, approving the recommendation; _ib._                     392

  124. Intimidation of the owners of tea ships (a Philadelphia
  handbill by "The Committee for Tarring and Feathering");
  from Scharf and Westcott's _History of Philadelphia_               394

  XXII. The Rise of Revolutionary Governments

  125. The Virginia Burgesses suggest an annual Congress (1774):

  _a._ Extract from a letter by a member of the Assembly;
  from Force's _American Archives_                                   396

  _b._ Jefferson's account of the plan for declaring a day of
  prayer and fasting, on receipt by the Burgesses of
  the news of the Boston Port Bill; from _Jefferson's
  Works_                                                             397

  c. Resolution of the Burgesses appointing June 1, 1774,
  a day of prayer and fasting; from the _Journals_                   398

  _d._ The consequent dissolution of the Assembly by the
  Governor; _ib._                                                    399

  _e._ The ex-Burgesses suggest an annual Continental Congress;
  _ib._                                                              399

  _f._ Letters from the Virginia Committee of Correspondence
  to the other colonies, conveying Virginia's
  suggestion for an annual Congress; _ib._                           401

  _g._ The answer of Rhode Island to Virginia, with the
  appointment of delegates to the proposed Congress;
  _ib._                                                              403

  126. A "call" for the Continental Congress from the Massachusetts
  Assembly (June 17)                                                 405

  127. A Virginia county (Frederick) suggests a Continental Congress
  and a "General Association" of the colonies (June
  8); from Force's _American Archives_                               406

  128. Virginia issues the first call for a provincial convention (to
  elect delegates to the Continental Congress); _ib._:

  _a._ Suggestion from the ex-Burgesses, May 30, 1774                407

  _b._ Sample notice of the call by an ex-Burgess to his
  county (a letter from Thomas Mason of June 16)                     408

  _c._ Typical call (June 27) by a county committee for a
  county meeting (Norfolk) to instruct delegates to
  the coming provincial convention                                   409

  129. Typical Instructions by Virginia county meetings:

  _a._ Westmoreland County                                           410

  _b._ George Washington's county (Fairfax)                          412

  _c._ Nansemond County                                              416

  _d._ York County                                                   417

  _e._ Middlesex County (disapproval of the Boston Tea
  Party)                                                             417

  130. The First Continental Congress:

  _a._ The decision upon how the colonies should vote;
  from John Adams' "Diary" in his _Works_                            418

  _b._ Adams' impressions of the meeting at its close; _ib._         420

  _c._ The Declaration of Rights; from Ford's _Journals of
  the Continental Congress_                                          421

  _d._ The Act of Association; _ib._                                 427

  131. Typical resolutions by a Virginia county (Prince William)
  approving the Association of the Continental Congress;
  from Force's _American Archives_                                   432

  132. Virginia county conventions become de facto governments
  (typical action by Fairfax County, organizing a Revolutionary
  militia January 17, 1775); _ib._                                   433

  133. The Virginia Provincial Convention becomes a government:

  _a._ Cumberland County instructs delegates for preparation
  for war; _ib._                                                     435

  _b._ The Second Virginia Convention arms and taxes the
  colony; _ib._                                                      436

  _c._ The Third Convention (June, 1775) assumes the
  forms of a government; from _Virginia Calendar
  of State Papers_                                                   442

  XXIII. Independence

  134. Charlotte County, Virginia, instructs delegates (April 23,
  1776) to the coming Fourth Virginia Convention to favor
  independence and an independent State constitution;
  Force's _American Archives_                                        443

  135. The Virginia Convention, May 15, instructs for independence
  and adopts resolutions for a bill of rights and a constitution;
  _ib._                                                              445

  136. The Virginia Bill of Rights; from Poore's _Charters and
  Constitutions_                                                     446

  137. Virginia's Declaration of Independence, June 29, 1776; from
  _Jefferson's Writings_                                             450

  138. Revolutionary State Governments:

  _a._ The recommendation of Congress of May 15, 1776;
  from Ford's _Journals of Congress_                                 452

  _b._ John Adams' comment; from _John Adams' Letters
  to Abigail Adams_                                                  453

  139. The Maryland Convention instructs its delegates in Congress
  against independence; from _Proceedings of the Conventions
  of Maryland_                                                       454

  140. Lee's motion for Independence in Congress; from Ford's
  _Journals_                                                         458

  141. The Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776; from Ford's
  _Journals of Congress_                                             459

  142. Anti-social tendencies of pre-Revolutionary measures:

  _a._ The effect of closing the courts (Adams' account of his
  welcome by his horse-jockey client); from _John
  Adams' Works_                                                      463

  _b._ A Tory's protest against mob violence, in a parody
  on Hamlet's soliloquy; from Moore's _Diary of the
  American Revolution_                                               464

  _c._ Correspondence between a Tory and a Committee,
  showing how the Tory was induced to sign
  a recantation; from Niles' _Principles and Acts of
  the Revolution_                                                    464

  143. An oath of allegiance to a new State (Pennsylvania): a
  facsimile, from Scharf and Westcott's _History of Philadelphia_    466

  144. A Loyalist's pretended "diary" of the year 1789 (written
  in 1778), to show the danger of French conquest; from
  Tyler's _Literary History of the American Revolution_              467

  145. A statement of how the Revolution set free social forces; from
  David Ramsey's _History of the American Revolution_                468


  XXIV. The Articles of Confederation

  146. Debates in the Congress on the Articles; from _John Adams'
  Works_                                                             470

  147. The Articles; from the _Revised Statutes of the United
  States_                                                            475

  XXV. The National Domain

  148. The desire for Statehood in the West, and Western
  self-confidence; a statement by a convention of the proposed State
  of Frankland                                                       485

  149. Organization of the Western Territory by Congress:

  _a._ The Ordinance of 1784; from the _Journals of Congress_        486

  _b._ The Northwest Ordinance (1787); _ib._                         488

  XXVI. Drifting toward Anarchy

  150. Gouverneur Morris to John Jay, on the prospect of a military
  dictator; from Sparks' _Life and Works of Gouverneur
  Morris_                                                            497

  151. Shays' Rebellion:

  _a._ A statement of grievances by Hampshire County;
  from Minot's _History of the Insurrection in Massachusetts_

  _b._ Washington's alarm; letters to Henry Lee and to
  Madison; from _Washington's Writings_                              500

  152. A shrewd foreigner's view of the social conflict over the
  adoption of a new Constitution (Otto's letter to Vergennes, on
  the failure of the Annapolis Convention); from the Appendix
  to Bancroft's _History of the Constitution_                        502

  XXVII. Making the Constitution

  153. The call issued by the Annapolis Convention for a Federal
  Convention; from the _Documentary History of the Constitution_

  154. Typical credentials of delegates to the Federal Convention
  (the Georgia credentials); from _Farrand's Records of the Federal
  Convention_                                                        510

  155. George Mason's account of the preliminaries at Philadelphia
  (a letter to George Mason, Jr., May 20, 1787); _ib._               512

  156. The "Virginia Plan"; _ib._                                    514

  157. George Mason on aristocratic and democratic forces in the
  Convention at its opening (letter to George Mason, Jr.,
  June 1); _ib._                                                     517

  158. The "New Jersey Plan"; _ib._                                  518

  159. Hamilton's plan; from _Hamilton's Works_                      521

  160. Character sketches of men of the Convention, by William
  Pierce, a delegate from Georgia; from Farrand's _Records
  of the Federal Convention_                                         522

  161. One day in the Convention,--the critical day's debate on the
  Connecticut Compromise; _ib._                                      532

  XXVIII. Ratifying the Constitution

  162. George Mason's objections to the Constitution; from Kate
  Mason Rowland's _Life of George Mason_                             543

  163. Mason's explanation of the preparation of his "Objections";
  from Farrand's _Records of the Federal Convention_                 546

  164. A Federalist account of how John Hancock was induced finally
  to support the Constitution in the Massachusetts ratifying
  convention; by Stephen Higginson, in _Writings of Laco_            547

  165. The Federal Constitution                                      551

  INDEX OF SOURCES.                                                  576

  SUBJECT INDEX.                                                     580

                       A SOURCE BOOK IN AMERICAN


[1] Allyn and Bacon. 1913.

[2] Bradford's _Plymouth Plantation_, the main source for this topic,
is quoted so extensively in the _American History and Government_ that
it is not used here in this connection.


1. Classes of Englishmen

William Harrison, in Holinshed's _Chronicle_ (1577). Cf. No. 75 on like
social divisions in early New England; and see _American History and
Government_, # 65.

We in England divide our people commonlie into foure sorts, as
gentlemen, citizens or burgesses, yeomen, ... or [and] laborers.
Of gentlemen the first and cheefe (next the king) be the prince,
dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, and barons: and these are called
gentlemen of the greater sort, or (as our common usage of speech is)
lords and noblemen: and next unto them be knights, esquiers, and last
of all they that are simplie called gentlemen, ... Who soever studieth
the lawes of the realme, who so abideth in the universitie giving his
mind to his booke, or professeth physicke and the liberall sciences, or
beside his service in the roome of a capteine in the warres, or good
counsell given at home, whereby his commonwealth is benefited, can live
without manuell labour, and thereto is able and will beare the port,
charge, and countenance of a gentleman, he shall for monie have a cote
and armes bestowed upon him by heralds (who in the charter of the same
doo of custome pretend antiquitie and service, and manie gaie things)
and, thereunto being made so good cheape, be called master, which is
the title that men give to esquiers and gentlemen, and reputed for a
gentleman ever after....

... our merchants [are] to be installed, as amongst the citizens
(although they often change estate with gentlemen, as gentlemen doo
with them, by a mutuall conversion of the one into the other)....

Yeomen are ... free men, borne English, and [who] may dispend of their
owne free land in yearelie revenue, to the summe of fortie shillings
sterling, or six pounds as monie goeth in our times. ... This sort of
people have a certeine preheminence, and more estimation than labourers
and the common sort of artificers, and commonlie live wealthilie, keepe
good houses, and travell to get riches. They are also for the most
part farmers to gentlemen ... or at the leastwise artificers, and with
grasing, frequenting of markets, and keeping of servants (not idle
servants as the gentlemen doo, but such as get both their owne and part
of their master's living) do come to great welth, in somuch that manie
of them are able and doo buie the lands of unthriftie gentlemen, and
often setting their sonnes to the schooles, to the universities, and
to the Ins of the court, or otherwise leaving them sufficient lands
whereupon they may live without labour, doo make them by those means to
become gentlemen. _These were they that in times past made all France
afraid. ..._

The fourth and last sort of people in England are daie labourers, poore
husbandmen, and some retailers (which have no free land) copie holders,
and all artificers,--as tailers, shomakers, carpenters, brickmakers,
masons, etc. As for slaves and bondmen we have none, naie such is the
privilege of our countrie by the especiall grace of God, and bountie
of our princes, that if anie come hither from other realms, so soone
as they set foot on land they become so free of condition as their
masters. ... This fourth and last sort of people therefore have neither
voice nor authoritie in the common wealth, but are to be ruled, and not
to rule other; yet they are not altogither neglected, for in cities
and corporat townes, for default of yeomen they are faine to make up
their inquests [juries] of such maner of people. And in villages they
are commonlie made churchwardens, sidemen, aleconners, now and then
constables, and manie times injoie the name of hedboroughes. Unto
this sort also may our great swarmes of idle serving men be referred,
of whome there runneth a proverbe; 'Young serving men, old beggers,'
bicause service is none heritage....



2. From Sir George Peckham's "True Report"

    Richard Hakluyt's _Voyages ... and Discoveries_ (1589), III, 167 ff.

    Peckham was a partner in Gilbert's enterprise. His _Report_, a
    considerable pamphlet, was written in 1582.

... To conclude, since by Christian dutie we stand bound chiefly to
further all such acts as do tend to the encreasing the true flock
of Christ by reducing into the right way those lost sheepe which
are yet astray: And that we shall therein follow the example of our
right vertuous predecessors of renowned memorie, and leave unto our
posteritie a divine memoriall of so godly an enterprise: Let us, I say,
for the considerations alledged, enter into judgement with our selves,
whether this action may belong to us or no. ... Then shal her Majesties
dominions be enlarged, her highnesse ancient titles justly confirmed,
all odious idlenesse from this our Realme utterly banished, divers
decayed townes repaired, and many poor and needy persons relieved, and
estates of such as now live in want shail be embettered, the ignorant
and barbarous idolaters taught to know Christ, the innocent defended
from their bloodie tyrannical neighbours, the diabolicall custome of
sacrificing humane creatures abolished....

3. A Discourse on Western Planting by Richard Hakluyt, 1584

    _Maine Historical Society Collections_, Second Series, II (1877).

    This pamphlet was written by Hakluyt, an English clergyman and an
    ardent advocate of American colonization, at Raleigh's request, to
    influence Queen Elizabeth. It fills 107 pages of the volume of the
    Maine collections.

CHAPTER I. _That this Westerne discoverie will be greately for
thinlargemente of the gospell of Christe, whereunto the princes of the
Refourmed Relligion are chefely bounde, amongeste whome her Majestie ys

       *       *       *       *       *

Nowe the meanes to sende suche as shall labour effectually in this
busines ys, by plantinge one or tuoo colonies of our nation upon
that fyrme, where they may remaine in safetie, and firste learne the
language of the people nere adjoyninge (the gifte of tongues beinge
nowe taken awaye), and by little and little acquainte themselves with
their manner, and so with discretion and myldeness distill into their
purged myndes the swete and lively liquor of the gospel. Otherwise for
preachers to come unto them rashly with oute some suche preparation for
their safetie, yt were nothinge els but to ronne to their apparaunte
and certaine destruction, as yt happened unto those Spanishe ffryers,
that, before any plantinge, withoute strengthe and company, landed in
Fflorida, where they were miserablye massacred by the savages.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now yf they [Romanists], in their superstition, by means of their
plantinge in those partes, have don so greate thinges in so shorte
space, what may wee hope for in our true and syncere relligion,
_proposinge unto ourselves in this action not filthie lucre nor vaine
ostentation, as they in deede did_, but principally the gayninge of the
soules of millions of those wretched people, the reducinge of them from
darkenes to lighte, from falsehoodde to truthe, from dombe idolls to
the lyvinge God, from the depe pitt of hell to the highest heavens.

       *       *       *       *       *

And this enterprise the princes of the relligion (amonge whome her
Majestie ys principall) oughte the rather to take in hande, because the
papistes confirme themselves and drawe other to theire side, shewinge
that they are the true Catholicke churche because they have bene the
onely converters of many millions of infidells to Christianttie. Yea, I
myselfe have bene demannded of them, how many infidells have been by us
converted? ... Yet in very deede I was not able to name any one infidell
by them converted. But God, quoth I, hath his tyme for all men, whoe
calleth some at the nynthe, and some at the eleventh houer. And if it
please him to move the harte of her Majestie to put her helpinge hande
to this godly action, she shall finde as willinge subjectes of all
sortes as any other prince in all Christendome.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAPTER V. _That this voyadge will be a greate bridle to the Indies of
the Kinge of Spaine. ..._

       *       *       *       *       *

But the plantinge of tuoo or three stronge fortes upon some goodd
havens (whereof there is greate store) betwene Florida and Cape Briton,
woulde be a matter in shorte space of greater domage as well to his
flete as to his westerne Indies; for wee shoulde not onely often tymes
indannger his flete in the returne thereof, but also in fewe yeres put
him in hazarde in loosinge some parte of Nova Hispania.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nowe if wee (beinge thereto provoked by Spanishe injuries) woulde
either joyne with these savages, or sende or give them armor, as the
Spaniardes arme our Irishe rebells, wee shoulde trouble the Kinge of
Spaine more in those partes, than he hath or can trouble us in Ireland,
and holde him at suche a bay as he was never yet helde at.[3]

4. Drayton's Ode to the Virginian Voyage

    This poem was written by Michael Drayton in 1606, in honor of the
    proposed Virginian voyage that founded Jamestown. The complete Ode
    contains twelve stanzas, as printed in Drayton's _Poems_ in 1619.
    It is reprinted in full in Brown's _Genesis of the United States_,
    I, 86-87.

       *       *       *       *       *

    You brave heroique minds,
    Worthy your countries name,
    That honour still pursue,
    Goe, and subdue,
    Whilst loyt'ring hinds
    Lurk here at home with shame.

           *       *       *       *       *

    And cheerefully at sea,
    Successe you still intice,
    To get the pearle and gold,
    _And ours to hold_,
    Earth's only Paradise.

           *       *       *       *       *

    And in regions farre,
    Such heroes bring yee forth
    As those from whom we came;
    And plant our name
    Under that starre
    Not knowne unto our north.

5. Goodspeed to Virginia, 1609

    This pamphlet (by Robert Gray) contains about 9000 words. It was
    never printed. Extracts are given in Brown's _Genesis of the United
    States_, 293 ff. It was written to encourage the reorganization
    of the Virginia Company in 1609. (Cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 25.) The first of the extracts below comes from the
    "Epistle Dedicatory."

_To the Right Noble and Honorable Earles, Barons, and Lords, and to the
Right Worshipfull Knights, Merchants, and Gentlemen, Adventurers for
the plantation of Virginea, all happie and prosperous successe, which
may either augment your glorie, or increase your wealth, or purchase
your eternitie._

Time ... consumes both man and his memorie. It is not brasse nor marble
that can perpetuate immortalitie of name upon the earth. [But] A right
sure foundation ... have you (My Lords and the rest of the most Worthie
Adventurers for Virginia) laid for the immortalitie of your names and
memorie, which, for the advancement of Gods glorie, the renowne of his
Majestie, and the good of your Countrie, have undertaken so honourable
a project, as all posterities shall blesse: and Uphold your names and
memories so long as the Sunne and Moone endureth: Whereas they which
preferre their money before vertue, their pleasure before honour, and
their sensuall securitie before heroicall adventures, shall perish with
their money, die with their pleasures, and be buried in everlasting

And therefore we may justly say, as the children of Israel say here to
Joshua, we are a great people, and the lande is too narrow for us; so
that whatsoever we have beene, now it behooves us to be both prudent
and politicke, and not to deride and reject good powers of profitable
and gainefull expectation; but rather to embrace every occasion which
hath any probabilitie in its future hopes: And seeing there is neither
preferment nor employment for all within the lists of our Countrey,
we might justly be accounted as in former times, both imprudent and
improvident, if we will yet sit with our armes foulded on our bosomes,
and not rather seeke after such adventers whereby the Glory of God
may be advanced, the teritories of our Kingdome inlarged, our people
both preferred and employed abroad, our wants supplyed at home, His
Majesties customes wonderfully augmented, and the honour and renown of
our Nation spread and propagated to the ends of the World....

The report goeth, that in Virginia the people are savage and incredibly
rude, they worship the divell, offer their young children in sacrifice
unto him, wander up and downe like beasts, and in manners and
conditions, differ very little from beasts, having no Art, nor science,
nor trade, to imploy themselves, or give themselves unto, yet by nature
loving and gentle, and desirous to imbrace a better condition. Oh how
happy were that man which could reduce this people from brutishness
to civilitie, to religion, to Christianitie, to the saving of their

Farre be it from the hearts of the English, they should give any cause
to the world to say that they sought the wealth of that Countrie above
or before the glorie of God, and the propagation of his Kingdome.

Their second objection is [the argument of opponents of colonization]
that this age will see no profit of this plantation. Which objection
admit it were true, yet it is too brutish, and bewraies their neglect
and incurious respect of posteritie: we are not borne like beasts for
ourselves, and the time present only. ... What benefit or comfort
should we have enjoyed in things of this world, if our forefathers
had not provided better for us, and bin more carefully respective
of posteritie than for themselves? We sow, we set, we build, not so
much for ourselves as for posteritie; ... They which onely are for
themselves, shall die in themselves, and shall not have a name among
posterity; their rootes shall be dried up beneath, and above shall
their branches bee cut down, their remembrance shall perish from the
earth, and they shall have no name in the street. Job xviii; 16, 17.

Others object to the continuall charges [assessments] which will
prove in their opinion very heavie and burdensome to those that shall
undertake the said Plantation. These like the dog in the manger,
neither eate hay themselves, neither will they suffer the Oxe that
would. They never think any charge too much that may any way increase
their owne private estate. They have thousands to bestow about the
ingrossing of a commoditie, or upon a morgage, or to take their
neighbors house over his head, or to lend upon usurie; but if it come
to a publicke good, they grone under the least burden of charges that
can bee required of them. =_These men should be used like sponges;
they must be squeased, seeing they drink up all_=, and will yeeld to
nothing, though it concerne the common good never so greatly. But it
is demonstratively prooved in Nova Britannia, that the charges about
this Plantation will be nothing, in comparison of the benefit that
will grow thereof. And what notable thing I pray you can be brought
to passe without charges? ... =_Without question, he that saves his
money_=, where Gods glory is to be advanced, Christian religion
propagated and planted, the good of the commonwealth increased, and
the glorious renowne of the King inlarged is subject to the curse of
Simon Magus, =_his money and he are in danger to perish together_=. Let
none therefore find delaies, or faine excuses to withhold them from
this imployment for Virginia, seeing every opposition against it is an
opposition against God, the King, the Church, and the Commonwealth....

6. Nova Britannia, 1609

    Peter Force's _Historical Tracts_, I (Washington, 1836).

    This tract of some 12,000 words (equivalent to thirty-five pages
    of this volume) was written in 1609 for the same purpose as No. 5

So I wish and intreat all well affected subjects, some in their
persons, others in their purses, cheerefully to adventure, and joyntly
take in hand this high and acceptable worke, tending to advance and
spread the kingdome of God, and the knowledge of the truth, among so
many millions of men and women, Savage and blind, that never yet saw
the true light shine before their eyes ... as also for the honor of our
King, and enlarging of his kingdome, and for preservation and defence
of that small number our friends and countrimen already planted, least
for want of more supplies we become a scorne to the world, subjecting
our former adventures to apparent spoile and hazard, and our people
(as a prey) to be sackt and puld out of possession, as were the French
out of _Nova Francia_, not many yeares ago; and, _which is the lest
and last respect_ (yet usuallie preferred), for the singular good
and benefite that will undoubtedly arise to this whole nation, and to
everie one of us in particular, that will adventure therein.

It is knowne to the world [reference to attempts of Raleigh and
Gilbert] how the present generation, scorning to sit downe by their
losses, made newe attempts, not induring to looke on whilst so huge and
spacious countries (the fourth part of the world) and the greatest and
wealthiest part of all the rest, should remain a wilderness, subject
(for the most part) but to wild beasts and fowles of the ayre, and to
savage people, which have no Christian nor civill use of any thing; and
that the subjects onely of one Prince _Christian_ [Spaniards], which
but within the memorie of man began first to creepe upon the face of
those Territories, and now by meanes of their remnants settled here
and there, do therefore imagine the world to be theirs, shouldring out
all other nations, accounting themselves Kings and Commanders, not
onely in townes and places where they have planted, but over all other
partes of _America_, which containe sundrie vast and barbarous Regions,
many of which (to this day) they never knew, nor did ever setle foote
therein: which notwithstanding, if it were yeelded them as due, yet
their strength and meanes, farre inferiour to their aspires, will never
stretch to compasse ... the hundredth part.

But seeing we so passed by their dwellings, that in seating ourselves,
wee sought not to unsettle them, but by Gods mercy, after many stormes,
were brought to the Coast of another countrie, farre distant and remote
from their habitations: why should any frowne or envie at it; or if
they doe, why should wee (neglecting so faire an opportunitie) faint or
feare to enlarge our selves? Where is our force and auncient vigour?
Doth our late reputation sleepe in the dust? No, no, let not the world
deceive it selfe; we still remaine the same, and upon just occasion
given, we shall quickly shew it too:

... But wee must beware that ... that bitter root of greedy gaine
be not so settled in our harts, that beeing in a golden dreame, if
it fall not out presently to our expectation, we slinke away with
discontent, and draw our purses from the charge. If any shew this
affection, I would wish his baseness of minde to be noted. What must
be our direction then? No more but this: if thou dost once approve the
worke, lay thy hand to it cheerfully, and withdraw it not till thy
taske bee done. In all assayes and new supplies of money be not lagge,
nor like a dull horse thats alwaies in the lash; for heere lies the
poison of all good attempts, when as men without halling and pulling,
will not be drawne to performance, for by this, others are discouraged,
the action lies undone, and the first expence is lost: But are wee to
looke for no gaine in the lewe of all adventures? Yes undoubtedly,
there is assured hope of gaine, as I will shew anon in due place;
_but look it be not chiefe in your thoughts_. God, that hath said by
_Solomon_: _Cast thy bread upon the waters, and after many daies thou
shalt find it_: he will give the blessing.

... Two things are especially required herein, _people_ to make the
plantation, and _money_ to furnish our present provisions and shippings
now in hand: For the first, wee neede not doubt, our land abounding
with swarmes of idle persons, which having no meanes of labour to
releeve their misery, doe likewise swarme in lewd and naughtie
practises, so that if we seeke not some waies for their forreine
employment, wee must provide shortly more prisons and corrections for
their bad conditions, for it fares with populous common weales as with
plants and trees that bee too frolicke, which not able to sustaine and
feede their multitude of branches, doe admit an engrafting of their
buds and sciences into some other soile, accounting it a benefite for
preservation of their kind, and a disburdening their stocke of those
superfluous twigs that suck away their nourishment.

7. Statement of the Virginia Company, 1609

    Brown's _Genesis of the United States_, I, 377 ff. This is one
    of the pamphlets put forth by the Company to stimulate stock
    subscription and emigration. As to the motives set forth in it,
    and in Nos. 2-6 above, cf. _American History and Government_, # 17.

_A True and Sincere Declaration of the Purposes and Ends of the
Plantation in Virginia. By Authority of the Governor and Councillors,
December 14, 1609._[4]

... If all these be yet too weake to confirm the doubtfull, or awake
the drousie, then let us come nearer, and arise from their _reasons_
and _affections_ to their _soules_ and _consciences_: remember that
what was at first but of _conveniency_, and for _Honour_ is now become
a case of _necessity_ and _piety_: let them consider, that they have
promised to adventure and not performed it; that they have encouraged
and exposed many of _Honorable_ birth, and which is of more consequence
600 of our _Bretheren_ by our common mother the _Church_, Christians of
one _Faith_ and one _Baptisme_, to a miserable and inevitable death.
Let not any man flatter himself, that it concernes not him, for he
that forsakes whome he may safely releeve, is as guilty of his death
as he that can swim, and forsakes himself by refusing, is of his owne.
Let every man look inward, and disperse that cloud of avarice, which
darkeneth his spiritual sight and he will finde there that when he
shall appeare before the _Tribunall of Heaven_, it shall be questioned
him what he hath done? Hath he fed and clothed the hungry and naked?
It shall be required, what he hath done for the advancement of that
Gospell which hath saved him; and for the releefe of his makers Image,
whome he was bound to save: O let there be a vertuous _emulation_
betweene us and the _Church_ of _Rome_, in her owne _Glory_, and
_Treasury of Good Workes_! And let us turn all our contentions upon the
common enemy of the _Name_ of CHRIST. How farre hath _she_ sent out
her _Apostles_ and thorough how _glorious dangers_? How is it become a
marke of Honor to her Faith, to have converted Nations, and an obloquie
cast upon us, that we, having the better Vine, should have worse
dressers and husbanders of it?....

APPENDIX.--To render a more particular satisfaction and account....
And to avoyde both the scandall and peril of accepting idle and wicked
persons; such as shame or fear compels into this action (and such as
are the weedes and ranknesse of this land; who, being the surfet of
an able, healthy, and composed body must needes be the poison of one
so tender, feeble, and as yet unformed); And to divulge and declare
to all men, what kinde of persons, as well for their religion and
conversations, as Faculties, Arts and Trades, we propose to accept
of:--We have thought it convenient to pronounce that for the first
provision, we will receive no man that cannot bring or render some good
testimony of his religion to God, and civil manners and behaviour to
his neighbor with whom he hath lived; And for the second, we have set
downe in a Table annexed, the proportion, and number we will entertaine
in every necessary Arte, upon proofe and assurance that every man shall
be able to performe that which he doth undertake, whereby such as are
requisite to us may have knowledge and preparation to offer themselves.
And we shall be ready to give honest entertainment and content, and to
recompence with extraordinary reward, every fit and industrious person
respectively _to his Paines and quality_.

  _The Table_ of such as are required to This _Plantation_.

  _Foure honest and learned Ministers._
  2. Salt-makers.
  6. Coopers.
  2. Surgeons.
  2. Coller-makers for draught.
  2. Druggists.
  2. Plow-wrights.
  10. Iron men for the Furnace and Hammer.
  4. Rope-makers.
  6. Vine-dressers.
  2. Armorers.
  2. Presse-makers.
  2. Gun-Founders.
  2. Joyners.
  6. Blacksmiths.
  10. Sawyers.
  2. Sope-ashe men.
  6. Carpenters.
  4. Pitch Boylers.
  6. Ship-wrights.
  2. Minerall men.
  6. Gardeners.
  2. Planters of Sugar-Cane.
  2. Silke-dressers.
  4. Turners.
  2. Pearle Drillers.
  2. Bakers.
  4. Brickmakers.
  2. Brewers.
  2. Tile-makers.
  2. Colliers.
  6. Fowlers.
  10. Fishermen.
  4. Sturgeon dressers.

8. Marston's "Eastward Hoe"

    Marston published this play in 1605 to caricature the intended
    Virginian colonization. The name is a survival of the idea that
    Columbus had found the East. In the extract, the mate, Sea Gull, at
    a tavern meeting, is persuading some young blades to embark for the

       *       *       *       *       *

_Sea Gull._ Come boyes, Virginia longs till we share the rest of her....

_Spendall._ Why, is she inhabited alreadie with any English?

_Sea Gull._ A whole countrie of English is there, men bread of those
that were left there in '79 [Ralegh's colony of '87 is meant]; they
have married with the Indians ... [who] are so in love with them that
all the treasure they have they lay at their feete.

_Scape Thrift._ But is there such treasure there, Captaine ...?

_Sea Gull._ I tell thee, golde is more plentifull there then copper
is with us; and for as much redde copper as I can bring, Ile have
thrise the waight in gold. Why, man, all their dripping pans ...
are pure gould; and all the chaines with which they chaine up their
streets are massie gold; all the prisoners they take are fettered in
gold; and for rubies and diamonds they goe forth on holydayes and
gather 'em by the seashore to hang on their childrens coates, and
sticke in their children's caps, as commonly as our children wear
saffron-gilt brooches. ... Besides, there wee shall have no more law
than consceince, and not too much of eyther.

9. Crashaw's "Daily Prayer"

    Force's _Historical Tracts_, III (1844), page 67.

    The ardent clerical advocates of expansion, like Hakluyt and
    Crashaw, resented bitterly such "jests of prophane players" as
    No. 8 above; and Crashaw retorted by this passage in his form
    for "A Prayer duly said [at Jamestown] Morning and Evening ...
    either by the Captaine of the watch himselfe, or by some one of
    his principall officers." This form was drawn up in 1609, before
    Delaware's expedition, and was incorporated afterward in Dale's
    Code of Laws. The prayer would fill some twelve pages of this

And whereas we have by undertaking this plantation undergone the
reproofs of a base world, insomuch that many of our oune brethren laugh
us to scorne, O Lord, we pray thee fortifie us against this temptation.
Let ... Papists and _players_ and such other ... scum and dregs of the
earth, let them mocke such as helpe to build up the wals of Jerusalem,
and they that be filthy, let them be filthy still; and let such swine
still wallow in their mire....

10. Crashaw's Sermon, March 3/13, 1609/10

    Brown's _Genesis of the United States_, page 360 ff.

    This sermon was preached before Lord Delaware's Expedition, on
    the point of departure. The extract below was intended especially
    to refute such insinuations as those in No. 8. Cf. also the
    introduction to No. 9.

_Text (Luke 22-32). "But I have praied for thee that thy faith faile
not: therefore when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."_

Oh but those that goe in person are rakte up out of the refuse, and
are a number of disordered men, unfit to bring to passe any good
action: So indeed say those =that lie and slander=. But I answer for
the generalitie of them that goe, they be such as offer themselves
voluntarily ... and be like (for ought that I see) to those [that] are
left behind,--men of all sorts, better and worse. But for manie that go
in person, let these objectors know, they be as good as themselves, and
it may be, many degrees better....

This enterprise hath only three enemies. 1. The Divell, 2. The Papists,
and 3. The Players. [Then, after paying respects to the first two] As
for Plaiers: (pardon me, right Honorable and beloved, for wronging this
place and your patience with so base a subject) they play with Princes
and Potentates, Magistrates, and Ministers, nay, with God and Religion,
and all holy things: nothing that is good, excellent, or holy can
escape them: how then can this action? But this may suffice, that they
are _Players_. They abuse Virginia, but they are but _Players_: they
disgrace it: true, but they are but _Players_. ... The divell hates us,
because wee purpose not to suffer Heathens; and the Pope, because we
have vowed to tolerate no Papists. [Cf. Charter of 1609.] So doe the
Players, because wee resolve to suffer no Idle persons in Virginea,
which course, if it were taken in England, they know _they_ might turn
to new occupations.

11. Sir Edwin Sandys, 1612

    Neill's _Virginia and Virginiola_ (1878), page 44.

    Sandys, then a member of the Council of the London Company, wrote
    to delinquent stockholders, urging the payment of subscriptions
    (April 8/18, 1612).

... presuming greatly of your affectionate Redines to aid ... so worthy
an Enterprise, tending so greatly to the Enlargement of the Christian
Truth, the Honour of our Nation, and Benefit of the English People....

12. Governor Dale to the London Company, 1613

    _Records of the Virginia Company of London_ (edited by Susan
    Kingsbury; Washington, 1906), II, 399-400.

    Sir Thomas Dale wrote the following exhortation to Sir Thomas
    Smith, "Treasurer" of the Company, on June 13/23, 1613. This
    extract was read ten years later in a meeting of the Company.

Lett me tell you all at home this one thinge, and I pray remember
it,--if you give over this Country and loose it, you with your
wisedomes will leape such a gugion as our state hath not done the
like since they lost the Kingdome of ffraunce: be not gulled with the
clamorous reports of base people ... if the glory of god hath noe
power with them, and the conversion of these poore Infidells, yet lett
the rich Mammon's desires egge them on to inhabite these Countries.
I protest unto you by the faith of an honest man, the more I range
the Country, the more I admire it. I have seene the best Countries in
Europe. I protest unto you before the Living God, put them altogether,
this Country will be equivalent unto them if it be inhabited with good

    [The _Records_ continue, that, when this letter had been read, two
    members added that they had heard Dale say "that in his judgment
    out of foure of the best Kingdomes in Europe there could not be
    picked out soe much good ground as was in Virginia."]

13. The London Company not Mercenary

    From Captain John Smith's _Generall Historie of Virginia_
    (Birmingham edition of the _Works_, 1884, page 527). The passage
    was published in 1616, when Smith was at odds with the Company; but
    he defends that body gallantly against unjust charges.

This deare bought Land, with so much bloud and cost, hath onely made
some few rich, and all the rest losers [which fate, however, does not
deter their efforts, Smith explains] ... For the Nobilitie and Gentrie,
there is scarce any of them expects anything but the prosperitie of
the Action [success of the colony]; and there are some Merchants ... I
am confidently persuaded, doe take more care and paines, nay, and at
their continuall great charge, than they could be hired to for the love
of money; so honestly regarding the generall good of this great Worke,
they would hold it worse than sacrilege to wrong it but a shillinge.

14. John Smith's Last Plea for Colonization, 1631

    Captain John Smith's _Works_ (Birmingham edition), 935, 962.

... and what hath ever beene the worke of the best great Princes of
the world, but planting of Countries, and civilizing barbarous and
inhumane Nations to civility and humanity; whose eternall actions fils
our histories with more honour than those that have wasted and consumed
them by warres.

... the _Portugals_ and _Spaniards_ that first began plantations in
this unknowne world of _America_ [their "everlasting actions"] will
testifie our idlenesse and ingratitude to all posterity, and neglect
of our duty and religion we owe our God, our King, and Countrey....
Having as much power and meanes as others, why should English men
despaire, and not doe as much as any? ... Seeing honour is our lives
ambition, and our ambition after death to have an honourable memory
of our life ... let us imitate their vertues, to be worthily their

       *       *       *       *       *

I speak not this to discourage any with vaine feares, but could wish
every English man to carry alwaies this Motto in his heart,--Why should
the brave Spanish Souldiers brag, The Sunne never sets in the Spanish
dominions, but ever shineth on one part or other we have conquered for
our King: ... but to animate us to doe the like for ours, who is no way
his inferior.

And truly there is no pleasure comparable to a generous spirit as good
imploiment in noble actions, especially amongst Turks, Heathens, and
Infidels; to see daily new Countries, people, fashions, governments,
stratagems; releeve the oppressed, comfort his friends, passe miseries,
subdue enemies, adventure upon any feazable danger for God and his

    [The fine, idealistic motives of colonization, which have been
    treated in this Division (Nos. 2-14), are touched upon in many
    other documents. See especially the missionary purpose in No. 26 c,


[3] Sir Philip Sydney urged his countrymen "to check the dangerous and
increasing power of Spain and Rome in the New World by planting English
protestant settlements there, which will increase until they extend
from ocean to ocean." (Brown, _First Republic_, 1, 2.)

[4] Nos. 5-7 are taken from the voluminous literature of like character
in _one_ year, in order to make more vivid the amount available.


15. The Gilbert and Raleigh Charters

    Queen Elizabeth's charter to Sir Humphrey Gilbert (June, 1578) was
    first printed in Hakluyt's _Voyages ... and Discoveries of the
    English Nation_ (1589). The Goldsmid edition of Hakluyt gives it,
    I, 360 ff. After Gilbert's death, Elizabeth reissued the charter
    to Sir Walter Raleigh (1584), with changes only in names and date.
    The Raleigh grant is easily accessible in Poore's _Charters and
    Constitutions_, under the head of North Carolina, or in Thorpe's
    _American Charters and Constitutions_.

=The Letters Patents= _graunted by her Maiestie to Sir Humfrey Gilbert,
knight, for the inhabiting and planting of our people in America_.

I.--Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of England, ... To all people
to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Know ye that ... we ...
by these presents ... do give and graunt to our trustie and welbeloved
servant Sir Humfrey Gilbert of Compton, in our Countie of Devonshire
knight, and to his heires and assignes for ever, free libertie and
licence from time to time and at all times for ever hereafter, to
discover, ... remote, heathen and barbarous lands ... not actually
possessed of any Christian prince or people ... and the same to have,
hold, occupie and enjoy to him, his heires and assignes for ever, with
all commodities, jurisdictions, and royalties both by sea and land:...
And wee doe likewise by these presents ... give full authoritie and
power to the saide Sir Humfrey, his heires and assignes, ... that hee
and they ... shall and may at all and every time and times hereafter,
have, take, and lead in the same voyages, to travell thitherward, and
to inhabite there ... so many of our subjects as shall willingly
accompany him ... with sufficient shipping, and furniture for their
transportations,--so that none of the same persons ... be such as
hereafter shall be specially restrained by us, ... And further, that
he, the said Humfrey, his heires and assignes ... shall have, hold,
occupy, and enjoy for ever, all the soyle of all such lands, countries,
and territories so to be discovered or possessed as aforesaid, and of
all Cities, Townes, and Villages, and places, in the same, with rites,
royalties and jurisdictions, as well marine as other, within the sayd
lands or countreys ... with ful power to dispose thereof, and of every
part thereof, in fee simple or otherwise, according to the order of the
laws of England, as nere as the same conveniently may be, paying unto
us, for all services, dueties and demaunds, the fift part of all the
oare of gold and silver, that from time to time, ... shall be there
gotten; all which lands, countreys, and territories, shall for ever
bee holden by the sayd Sir Humfrey, his heires and assignes of us, our
heires and successours by homage, and by the sayd payment of the sayd
fift part before reserved onely, for all services.

II.--AND moreover, we doe by those presents ... give and graunt licence
to the sayde Sir Humfrey Gilbert, his heires or assignes ... that hee
and they ... shall and may from time to time and all times for ever
hereafter, for his and their defence, encounter, expulse, repell, and
resist, as well by Sea, as by land, and by all other wayes whatsoever,
all, and every such person and persons whatsoever, as _without the
speciall licence and liking_ of the sayd Sir Humfrey, and of his heires
and assignes, shall attempt to inhabite within the sayd countreys,...
or that shall enterprise or attempt at any time hereafter unlawfully
to annoy either by Sea or land, the said sir Humfrey, his heires and
assignes, or any of them:

III.-- ... And wee doe graunt to ... all ... persons, being of our
allegiance, whose names shall be noted or entred in some of our courts
of Record, within this our Realme of England, and that with the assent
of the said sir Humfrey, his heires or assignes, shall travel to such
lands, ... and to their heires: =that they and every or any of
them, ... shall, and may have, and enjoy all privileges of free
denizens and persons native of England, and within our allegiance: any
law, custome, or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.=

IV.--AND forasmuch as upon the finding out, discovering and inhabiting
of such remote lands, countreys and territories, as aforesayd, it
shall be necessarie for the safetie of all men that shall adventure
themselves in those journeys and voiages, to determine to live together
in Christian peace and civill quietnesse each with other, whereby
every one may with more pleasure and profit enjoy that whereunto they
shall attaine with great paine and perill: wee, for us, our heires
and successours, are likewise pleased and contented, and by these
presents do give and graunt to the sayd sir Humfrey and his heires
and assignes for ever, that he and they, and every or any of them,
shall and may from time to time for ever here after within the sayd
mentioned remote lands and countreys, and in the way by the Seas
thither, and from thence, have full and meere power and authoritie to
correct, punish, pardon, govern and rule by their and every or any of
their good discretions and pollicies, as well in causes capitall or
criminall, as civill, both marine and other, all such our subjects and
others, as shall from time to time hereafter adventure themselves in
the sayd journeys or voyages ... or that shall at any time hereafter
inhabite any such lands, countreys or territories as aforesayd,...
according to such statutes, lawes and ordinances, as shall be by him
the said sir Humfrey, his heires and assignes, or every or any of them,
devised or established for the better government of the said people as
aforesayd: so alwayes that the sayd statutes, lawes, and ordinances may
be, as neere as conveniently may, agreeable to the forme of the lawes
and pollicy of England: and also, that they be not against the true
Christian faith or religion now professed in the church of England, nor
in any wise to withdraw any of the subjects or people of those lands or
places from the allegiance of us, our heires or successours, as their
immediate Soveraignes under God....

    =Hints for Study.=--1. Observe that no exact district is granted;
    why? 2. Note the power of the proprietor: (_a_) to regulate
    settlement; (_b_) to repel invasion; (_c_) to administer the
    government; (_d_) to make laws. 3. Note the guarantee of rights
    to the settlers; could it have been meant to cover the "right to
    vote," when taken in connection with the rest of the charter? 4.
    What church is established for the colony? Read and criticise
    Fiske's amazing misstatement in _Old Virginia_, I, 31, regarding
    this charter.

16. First Charter for Colonizing Virginia; April 10/20,[5] 1606

    This charter was first printed by Stith in his _History of
    Virginia_ (1747). Stith compiled carefully the four manuscript
    copies discoverable by him, and his text is usually followed. The
    text here given is taken from his work (Sabin's Edition, 1865). For
    secondary accounts, see _American History and Government_, # 22,
    and references for the same.

I.--JAMES, by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland ... etc.
=_Whereas_= our loving and well-disposed Subjects, Sir _Thomas Gates_,
and Sir _George Somers_, Knights, _Richard Hackluit_, Clerk, Prebendary
of _Westminster_, and _Edward-Maria Wingfield_, _Thomas Hanham_, and
_Ralegh Gilbert_, Esqrs., _William Parker_, and _George Popham_,
Gentlemen, and divers others of our loving Subjects, have been humble
Suitors unto us, that We would vouchsafe unto them our Licence to make
Habitation, Plantation, and to deduce a Colony of sundry of our People
into that Part of _America_, commonly called VIRGINIA, ... situate,
lying, and being all along the Sea Coasts, between four and thirty
Degrees of _Northerly_ Latitude from the Equinoctial Line, and five and
forty Degrees of the same Latitude,...

II.--AND to that End, and for the more speedy Accomplishment of their
said intended Plantation and Habitation there, are desirous to divide
themselves into two several Colonies and Companies; The one consisting
of certain Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and other Adventurers, of our
City of _London_ and elsewhere, ... which do desire to begin their
Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient Place, between
four and thirty and one and forty Degrees of the said Latitude, alongst
the Coasts of _Virginia_ and Coasts of _America_ aforesaid; And the
other consisting of sundry Knights, Gentlemen, Merchants, and other
Adventurers, of our Cities of _Bristol_ and _Exeter_, and of our Town
of _Plimouth_, and of other Places, ... which do desire to begin their
Plantation and Habitation in some fit and convenient Place, between
eight and thirty Degrees and five and forty Degrees of the said

III.--WE, greatly commending and graciously accepting of their Desires
for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence
of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty,
in propagating of _Christian_ Religion to such People, as yet live in
Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of
God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages living in those
Parts to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet Government; DO, by
these our Letters Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their
humble and well-intended Desires;

IV.--AND do therefore, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, GRANT and
agree, that the said Sir _Thomas Gates_, Sir _George Somers_, _Richard
Hackluit_, and _Edward-Maria Wingfield_, Adventurers of and for our
City of _London_, and all such others, as are, or shall be, joined unto
them of that Colony, shall be called the _first Colony_; And they shall
and may begin their said first Plantation and Habitation, at any Place
upon the said Coast of _Virginia_ or _America_, where they shall think
fit and convenient between the said four-and-thirty and one-and-forty
Degrees of the said Latitude; And that they shall have all the Lands,
Woods, Soil, Grounds, Havens, Ports, Rivers, Mines, Minerals, Marshes,
Waters, Fishings, Commodities, and Hereditaments, whatsoever, from the
said first Seat of their Plantation and Habitation by the Space of
fifty Miles of _English_ Statute Measure, all along the said Coast of
_Virginia_ and _America_, towards the _West_ and _Southwest_, as the
Coast lyeth, with all the Islands within one hundred Miles directly
over against the same Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Soil, Grounds,
[etc.] ... from the said Place of their first Plantation and Habitation
for the space of fifty like _English_ Miles, ... towards the _East_ and
_Northeast_, or towards the _North_, as the Coast lyeth, together with
all the Islands within one hundred Miles, directly over against the
said Sea Coast; And also all the Lands, Woods, Soil, Grounds,
[etc.] ... from the same fifty Miles every way on the Sea Coast,
directly into the main Land by the Space of one hundred like _English_
Miles; And shall and may inhabit and remain there; and shall and may
also build and fortify within any the same, for their better Safeguard
and Defence, according to their best Discretion, and the Discretion of
the Council of that Colony....

V.--AND we do likewise, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by these
Presents, GRANT and agree, that the said _Thomas Hanham_, and _Ralegh
Gilbert_, _William Parker_, and _George Popham_, and all others of
the Town of _Plimouth_ in the County of _Devon_, or elsewhere, which
are, or shall be, joined unto them of that Colony, shall be called
the _second Colony_; And that they shall and may begin their said
Plantation and Seat of their first Abode and Habitation, at any Place
upon the said Coast of _Virginia_ and _America_, where they shall
think fit and convenient, between eight and thirty Degrees of the said
Latitude, and five and forty Degrees of the same Latitude; And that
they shall have all the Lands [Here follows a passage duplicating the
corresponding part of section IV for the other subcompany.]

VI.--PROVIDED always ... that the Plantation and Habitation of such of
the said Colonies as shall last plant themselves, as aforesaid, shall
not be made within one hundred like English miles of the other of them
that first began to make their Plantation, as aforesaid.

VII.--AND we do also ordain, establish, and agree, for Us, our Heirs,
and Successors, that each of the said Colonies shall have a Council,
which shall govern and order all Matters and Causes, which shall
arise, grow, or happen, to or within the same several Colonies,
according to such Laws, Ordinances, and Instructions, as shall be, in
that behalf, given and signed with Our Hand or Sign Manual, and pass
under the Privy Seal of our Realm of _England_; Each of which Councils
shall consist of thirteen Persons, to be ordained, made, and removed,
from time to time, according as shall be directed and comprised in the
same instructions. [Provision for "seals" for the councils.]

VIII.--AND that also there shall be a Council established here in
_England_, which shall, in like Manner, consist of thirteen Persons,
to be, for that Purpose, appointed by Us, our Heirs and Successors,
which shall be called our _Council of Virginia_; And shall, from time
to time, have the superior Managing and Direction, only of and for
all Matters, that shall or may concern the Government, as well of the
said several Colonies, as of and for any other Part or Place within
the aforesaid Precincts of four and thirty and five and forty Degrees,
above-mentioned [Provision for a seal.]

IX.--[Grant of right to mine for precious metals, yielding to the
monarch the fifth part of gold and silver and the fifteenth part of

X.--[Right to coin money in the colonies.]

XI.--AND we do likewise, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, by these
Presents, give full Power and Authority to the said Sir _Thomas Gates_,
Sir _George Somers_, _Richard Hackluit_, _Edward-Maria Wingfield_,
_Thomas Hanham_, _Ralegh Gilbert_, _William Parker_, and _George
Popham_, and to every of them, and to the said several Companies,
Plantations, and Colonies, that they, and every of them, shall and
may, at all and every time and times hereafter, have, take, and lead
in the said Voyage, and for and towards the said several Plantations
and Colonies, and to travel thitherward, and to abide and inhabit there
in every the said Colonies and Plantations, such and so many of our
Subjects, as shall willingly accompany them, or any of them, in the
said Voyages and Plantations; ... PROVIDED always that none of the
said Persons be such as shall hereafter be specially restrained by Us,
our Heirs, or Successors.

XII.--MOREOVER, we do, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and
Successors, GIVE AND GRANT Licence unto the said Sir _Thomas Gates_,
Sir _George Somers_, _Richard Hackluit_, _Edward-Maria Wingfield_,
_Thomas Hanham_, _Ralegh Gilbert_, _William Parker_, and _George
Popham_, and to every of the said Colonies, that they, and every of
them, shall and may, from time to time, and at all times for ever
hereafter, for their several Defences, encounter, expulse, repel, and
resist, as well by Sea as by Land, by all Ways and Means whatsoever,
all and every such Person and Persons, as without the especial Licence
of the said several Colonies and Plantations, shall attempt to inhabit
within the said several Precincts and Limits of the said several
Colonies and Plantations, or any of them, or that shall enterprise or
attempt, at any time hereafter, the Hurt, Detriment, or Annoyance, of
the said several Colonies or Plantations:

    XIII.--[A peculiarly obscure section, which provides that the
    governing bodies in the colonies may collect tariffs on imported
    goods,--2-1/2 per cent on English goods and 5 per cent on foreign
    goods; the proceeds to go to the proprietary Companies for 21
    years, and afterward to the crown.]

XIV. AND we do further, by these Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and
Successors, GIVE AND GRANT unto the said Sir _Thomas Gates_, Sir
_George Somers_, _Richard Hackluit_, and _Edward-Maria Wingfield_,
and to their Associates of the said first Colony and Plantation, and
to the said _Thomas Hanham_, _Ralegh Gilbert_, _William Parker_, and
_George Popham_, and their Associates of the said second Colony and
Plantation, that they, and every of them, by their Deputies, Ministers,
and Factors, may transport the Goods, Chattels, Armour, Munition, and
Furniture, needful to be used by them, for their said Apparel, Food,
Defence, or otherwise in Respect of the said Plantations, out of our
Realms of _England_ and _Ireland_, and all other our Dominions, from
time to time, for and during the Time of seven Years, next ensuing the
Date hereof, for the better Relief of the said several Colonies and
Plantations, without any Custom, Subsidy, or other Duty, unto Us, our
Heirs, or Successors, to be yielded or paid for the same.

XV.--ALSO we do, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, DECLARE, by these
Presents, that all and every the Persons, being our Subjects, which
shall dwell and inhabit within every or any of the said several
Colonies and Plantations, and every of their children, which shall
happen to be born within any of the Limits and Precincts of the said
several Colonies and Plantations, shall HAVE and enjoy all Liberties,
Franchises, and Immunities, within any of our other Dominions, to all
Intents and Purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within this
our Realm of _England_, or any other of our said Dominions.[6]

XVI.--MOREOVER, our gracious Will and Pleasure is, and we do, by these
Presents, for Us, our Heirs, and Successors, declare and set forth,
that if any Person or Persons, which shall be of any of the said
Colonies and Plantations, or any other, which shall traffick to the
said Colonies and Plantations, or any of them, shall, at any time or
times hereafter, transport any Wares, Merchandises, or Commodities,
out of any our Dominions, with a Pretence to land, sell, or otherwise
dispose of the same, within any the Limits and Precincts of any the
said Colonies and Plantations, and yet nevertheless, being at Sea,
or after he hath landed the same within any of the said Colonies and
Plantations, shall carry the same into any other Foreign Country, with
a Purpose there to sell or dispose of the same, without the Licence of
Us, our Heirs, and Successors, in that Behalf first had and obtained;
That then, all the Goods and Chattels of such Person or Persons so
offending and transporting, together with the said Ship or Vessel
wherein such Transportation was made, shall be forfeited to Us, our
Heirs, and Successors.

    [Paragraph XVII reserves to the crown the right to disavow any
    unauthorized violence used by the Companies or their agents toward
    the subjects of other European countries; so that England need not
    be drawn into war by the colony if the king choose instead to leave
    it to its fate. The remaining paragraphs have to do mainly with
    landholding. They provide for a simpler method of transfer than was
    then common in England, and provide also that all land should be
    held as a freehold, not by military service,--"TO BE HOLDEN of Us,
    our Heirs, and Successors, as of our Manor at _East-Greenwich_ in
    the County of _Kent_, in free and common Soccage only, and not in

17. Instructions issued by King James

    Hening's _Statutes_ (1809, 1823), I, 67 ff.

    The following instructions for the guidance of the colonizing
    companies were issued by King James, November 20/30, 1606, in
    accordance with power reserved by him in the charter. They do not
    merit the ridicule which has been heaped upon them.

[Recital of the grant in preceding charter.]

Wee, according to the effect and true meaning of the same letters
pattents, doe by these presents, ... establish and ordaine, that our
trusty and well beloved Sir William Wade, knight, our Lieutenant of our
Tower of London, Sir Thomas Smith, knight, Sir Walter Cope, knight,
Sir Gorge Moor, knight, Sir Francis Popeham, knight, Sir Ferdinando
Gorges, knight, Sir John Trevor, knight, Sir Henry Montague, knight,
recorder of the citty of London, Sir William Rumney, knight, John
Dodderidge, Esq., Sollicitor General, Thomas Warr, Esqr., John Eldred
of the citty of London, merchant, Thomas James of the citty of Bristol,
merchant, and James Bagge of Plymouth, in the county of Devonshire,
merchant, shall be our councel for all matters which shall happen in
Virginia of any the territories of America, between thirty-four and
forty-five degrees from the æquinoctial line northward, and the Islands
to the several colonies limited and assigned, and that they shal be
called the King's Councel of Virginia, which councel or the most part
of them shal have full power and authority, att our pleasure, in our
name, and under us, our heires and successors, _to give directions to
the councels of the several collonies_ which shal be within any part
of the said country of Virginia and America, within the degrees first
above mentioned, with the Islands aforesaid, for the good government
of the people to be planted in those parts, and for the good ordering
and disposing of all causes happening within the same, and the same
to be done for the substance thereof, as neer to the common lawes of
England, and the equity thereof, as may be, and to passe under our
seale, appointed for that councel, which councel, and every or any of
them shall, from time to time be increased, altered or changed, and
others put in their places, att the nomination of us, our heires and
successors, and att our and their will and pleasure; _And the same
councel of Virginia, or the more part of them, for the time being shall
nominate and appoint the first several councellours of those several
councells which are to be appointed for those two several colonies_,
which are to be made plantations in Virginia ... according to our
said letters pattents in that behalfe made; And that each of the same
councels of the same several colonies shal, by the major part of them,
choose one of the same councel, not being the minister of God's word,
to be president of the same councel, and to continue in that office
by the space of one whole year, unless he shall in the mean time dye
or be removed from that office; and wee doe further hereby establish
and ordaine that it shal be lawful for the major part of either of
the said councells, upon any just cause, either absence or otherwise,
to remove the president or any other of that councel, ... from being
either president or any of that councel, and upon the deathes or
removal of any of the presidents or councel, it shal be lawfull for the
major part of that councel to elect another in the place of the party
soe dying or removed, so alwaies as they shal not be above thirteen
of either of the said councellours, and we doe establish and ordaine,
that the president shal not continue in his office of presidentship
above the space of one year; and wee doe specially ordaine, charge,
and require the said presidents and councells, and the ministers of
the said several colonies respectively, within their several limits
and precincts, that they, with all diligence, care, and respect, doe
provide, that the true word and service of God and Christian faith be
preached, planted, and used, not only within every of the said several
colonies and plantations, but alsoe as much as they may amongst the
salvadge people which doe or shall adjoine unto them, or border upon
them, according to the doctrine, rights, and religion now professed
and established within our realme of England; ... and moreover wee
doe hereby ordaine and establish for us, our heires and
successors, ... that the offences of tumults, rebellion, conspiracies,
mutiny and seditions in those parts which may be dangerous to the
estates there, together with murther, manslaughter, incest, rapes,
and adulteries committed in those parts within the precincts of any
the degrees above mentioned (and noe other offences) shal be punished
by death, and that without the benefit of the clergy, except in case
of manslaughter, in which clergie is to be allowed; and that the
said several presidents and councells ... shall have full power and
authority, to hear and determine all and every the offences aforesaid,
within the precinct of their several colonies, in manner and forme
following, that is to say, by twelve honest and indifferent persons
sworne upon the Evangelists, to be returned by such ministers and
officers as every of the said presidents and councells, or the most
part of them respectively shall assigne, and the twelve persons soe
returned and sworne shall, according to the evidence to be given unto
them upon oath and according to the truth, in their consciences, either
convict or acquit every of the said persons soe to be accused and tried
by them, ... and that every the said presidents and councells, within
their several limits and precincts, shall have power and authority
by these presents, to hear and determine all and every other wrongs,
trespasses, offences, and misdemeanors whatsoever, other than those
before mentioned, upon accusation of any person, and proofe thereof
made, by sufficient witnesse upon oath; and that in all those cases
the said president and councel ... shall have power and authority
to punish the offender, either by reasonable corporal punishment
and imprisonment, or else by a convenient fine, awarding damages or
other satisfaction to the party grieved, as to the same president and
councell shall be thought fitt and convenient, having regard to the
quality of the offence, or state of the cause; and that alsoe the said
president and councel, shall have power and authority, by virtue of
these presents, to punish all manner of excesse, through drunkennesse
or otherwaise, and all idle loytering and vagrant persons, which shall
be found within their several limits and precincts, according to their
best discretions, and with such convenient punishment, as they or the
most part of them shall think fitt; ... Alsoe our will and pleasure
is, and wee doe hereby establish and ordaine, that the said several
collonies and plantations, ... shall ... for the space of five years,
next after their first landing upon the said coast of Virginia and
America, trade together all in one stocke (or devideably, but in two or
three stocks at the most), and bring not only all the fruits of their
labours there, but alsoe all such other goods and commodities which
shall be brought out of England, or any other place, into the same
collonies, into severall magazines or store houses, for that purpose to
be made and erected there, and that in such order, manner, and form, as
the councel of that collony, or the more part of them, shall sett downe
and direct....

18. Instructions by the Council in England to the Expedition to
Virginia; December, 1606

    Printed first in Neill's _Virginia Company_ (1869) from the
    manuscript records of the Company at Washington. Reprinted in full
    in Brown's _Genesis_, I, 79 ff. About a third of the paper is given

When it shall please God to send you on the coast of Virginia, you
shall do your best endeavour to find out a safe port in the entrance
of some navigable river making choice of such a one as runneth farthest
into the land, and if you happen to discover divers portable rivers,
and amongst them any one that hath two main branches, if the difference
be not great, make choice of that which bendest most to the North-West,
_for that way you shall soonest find the other sea_.

When you have made choice of the river on which you mean to settle, be
not hasty in landing your victuals and munitions, but first let Captain
Newport discover how far that river may be found navigable, that you
make election of the strongest, most wholesome and fertile place; for
if you make many removes, besides the loss of time, you shall greatly
spoil your victuals and your casks, and with great pain transport it in
small boats.

       *       *       *       *       *

When you have discovered [explored] as far up the river as you mean
to plant yourselves, and landed your victuals and munitions, to the
end that every man may know his charge, you shall do well to divide
your six score men into three parts, whereof one party of them you may
appoint to fortifie and build, of which your first work must be your
store-house for victual; the other you may imploy in preparing your
ground and sowing your corn and roots; [but] ten of these forty you
must leave as centinel at the haven's mouth. The other forty you may
imploy for two months in discovery of the river above you, and on the
country about you,...

       *       *       *       *       *

In all your passages you must have great care not to offend the
naturals, if you can eschew it, and imploy some few of your company to
trade with them for corn and all other lasting victuals, if they have
any, and this you must do before that they perceive you mean to plant
among them; for not being sure how your own seed corn will prosper the
first year, to avoid the danger of famine, use and endeavour to store
yourselves of the country corn.

       *       *       *       *       *

And how weary soever your soldiers be, let them never trust the country
people with the carriage of their weapons, for if they run from you
with your shott, which they only fear, they will easily kill them all
with their arrows. And whensoever any of yours shoots before them, be
sure that they be chosen out of your best marksmen, for if they see
your learners miss what they aim at, they will think the weapon not so
terrible, and thereby will be bould to assault you.

Above all things do not advertize the killing of any of your men, that
the country people may know it; if they perceive that they [you] are
but common men, and that with the loss of many of theirs, they may
deminish any part of yours, they will make many adventures upon you.
If the country be populous, you shall do well also not to let them see
or know of your sick men, if you have any, which may also encourage
them to many enterprises. You must take especial care that you choose
a seat for habitation that shall not be over burthened with woods near
your town, for all the men you have shall not be able to cleanse twenty
acres a year, besides that it may serve for a covert for your enemies
round about.

Neither must you plant in a low or moist place because it will prove
unhealthfull. You shall judge of the good air by the people, for some
part of that coast where the lands are low have their people blear
eyed, and with swollen bellies and legs; but if the naturals be strong
and clean made, it is a true sign of a wholesome soil.

       *       *       *       *       *

It were necessary that all your carpenters and other such like workmen
about building do first build your store house and those other rooms of
publick and necessary use before any house be set up for any private
persons; yet let them all work together first for the company and then
for private men.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to
make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your
own, and to serve and fear God the Giver of all Goodness, for every
plantation which our Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted

19. Exploration and Sufferings

_a. Percy's Discourse_

    "That Honorable Gentleman, Master George Percy," wrote a detailed
    narrative of the first months in Virginia. The manuscript is lost,
    but extended extracts from it (such as would fill some twenty-five
    pages of this volume) are preserved in the fourth volume of
    "Purchas his Pilgrimes" (1625).

... The six and twentieth day of Aprill about foure a clocke in the
morning, wee descried the Land of Virginia: the same day wee enterd
into the Bay of Chesupioc without any let or hinderance; there wee
landed and discovered a little way, but we could find nothing worth
the speaking of but faire meddowes and goodly tall Trees, with such
Fresh-waters runninge through the woods as I was almost ravished at the
first sight thereof.

At night, when wee were going aboard, there came the Savages creeping
upon all foure, from the Hills, like Beares, with their Bowes in their
mouthes, [and] charged us very desperately ... After they had spent
their Arrowes and felt the sharpnesse of our shot, they retired into
the Woods with a great noise, and so left us.

The [28th] day ... we went further into the Bay, and saw a plaine
plot of ground where we went on Land ... we saw nothing there but a
Cannow, which was made out of the whole tree, which was five and fortie
foot long, by the Rule. Upon this plot of ground we got good store of
Mussels and Oysters, which lay upon the ground as thicke as stones: wee
opened some and found in many of them Pearles. ... We passed through
excellent ground full of Flowers of divers kinds and colours, and as
goodly trees as I have seene, as cedar, cipresse, and other kindes.
Going a little farther, we came into a little plot full of fine and
beautifull strawberries, foure times bigger and better than ours in

       *       *       *       *       *

[The closing pages are in the main a list of deaths, through August and
September.] Our men were destroyed with cruell diseases, as Swellings,
Fluxes, Burning fevers, and by warres; and some departed suddenly,
but for the most part they died of meere famine. There were never
Englishmen left in a forreigne Countrey in such miserie as wee were ...
Wee watched every three nights, lying on the bare cold ground, what
weather soever came; [and] warded all the next day, which brought our
men to bee most feeble wretches. Our feed was but a small can of Barlie
sod in Water to five men a day; our drinke, cold water taken out of the
River, which was at a flood verie Salt, at a low tide full of slime and
filth, which was the destruction of many of our men. Thus we lived for
the space of five months in this miserable distresse, not having five
able men to man our Bulwarkes upon any occasion. If it had not pleased
God to have put a terrour in the Savages heartes, we had all perished
by those vild and cruell Pagans, being in that weake estate ... our men
night and day groaning in every corner of the Fort most pittiful to
heare. If there were any conscience in men, it would make their harts
to bleede to heare the pittifull murmurings and outcries of our sick
men without reliefe every night and day for the space of sixe weekes,
some departing out of the World, many times three or foure in a night,
in the morning their bodies trailed out of their Cabines like Dogges to
be burried.

_b. "Gentlemen" in Virginia in 1608_

    From an account written probably by Captain Todkill, a rough
    soldier, and published in Smith's _Works_ (Birmingham edition), 439.

But 30 of us he [Smith] conducted doune the river some 5 myles from
James toune, to learne to make Clapbord, cut doune trees, and lye in
the woods. Amongst the rest he had chosen Gabriel Beadle, and John
Russell, the onely two gallants of this last Supply, and both proper
Gentlemen. Straunge were these pleasures to their conditions; yet
lodging, eating, and drinking, working or playing, they [were] but
doing as the President did himselfe. All these things were carried
so pleasantly as within a weeke they became Masters: making it their
delight to heare the trees thunder as they fell; but the Axes so oft
blistered their tender fingers that many times every third blow had
a loud othe to droune the eccho; for remedie of which sinne, the
President devised how to have every mans othes numbred, and at night
for every othe to have a Cann of water poured doune his sleeve, with
which every offender was so washed (himselfe and all) that a man should
scarce heare an othe in a weeke.

_By this, let no man thinke that the President and these Gentlemen
spent their times as common Wood haggers at felling of trees, or such
other like labour, or that they were pressed to it as hirelings, or
common slaves; for what they did, after they were but once a little
inured, it seemed ... onely as a pleasure and recreation: yet 30 or 40
of such voluntary Gentleman would doe more in a day than 100 of the
rest that must be prest to it by compulsion; but twentie good workemen
had beene better than them all._

20. Second Charter of Virginia; May 23/June 2, 1609

    The text is printed in Stith's _History of Virginia_; cf.
    introduction to No. 16.

I.--[A recital of the grant of 1606.]

II.--Now, forasmuch as divers and sundry of our loving Subjects, as
well Adventurers, as Planters, of the said first Colony, which have
already engaged themselves in furthering the Business of the said
Colony and Plantation, and do further intend, by the Assistance of
Almighty God, to prosecute the same to a happy End, have of late been
humble Suitors unto Us, that (in Respect of their great Charges and
the Adventure of many of their Lives, which they have hazarded in
the said Discovery and Plantation of the said Country) We would be
pleased to grant them a further Enlargement and Explanation of the said
Grant, Privileges, and Liberties, and that such Counsellors, and other
Officers, may be appointed amongst them, to manage and direct their
affairs, as are willing and ready to adventure with them, as also whose
Dwellings are not so far remote from the City of _London_ but that they
may, at convenient Times, be ready at Hand to give their Advice and
Assistance upon all Occasions requisite.

III.--WE, greatly affecting the effectual Prosecution and happy Success
of the said Plantation, and commending their good Desires therein, for
their further Encouragement in accomplishing so excellent a Work, much
pleasing to God, and profitable to our Kingdom, Do ... GIVE, GRANT,
and CONFIRM, to our trusty and well-beloved Subjects, _Robert_, Earl
of _Salisbury_[7] ...; AND to such, and so many, as they do, or shall
hereafter, admit to be joined with them, in Form hereafter in these
Presents expressed, whether they go in their Persons, to be Planters
there in the said Plantation, or whether they go not, but adventure
their Monies, Goods, or Chattels; THAT they shall be one Body or
Commonalty perpetual, and shall have perpetual Succession, and one
common Seal, to serve for the said Body or Commonalty; And that they,
and their Successors, shall be KNOWN, CALLED, and INCORPORATED by the
Name of, _The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the
City of London for the first Colony in Virginia_:

IV.--AND that they, and their Successors, shall be, from henceforth,
for ever enabled to TAKE, ACQUIRE, and PURCHASE, by the Name aforesaid
(Licence for the same, from Us, our Heirs or Successors, first had and
obtained) any Manner of Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, Goods, and
Chattels, within our Realm of _England_ and Dominion of _Wales_:

V.--AND that they, and their Successors, shall likewise be enabled,
by the Name aforesaid, to PLEAD, and BE IMPLEADED, before any of our
Judges or Justices, in any of our Courts, and in any Actions or Suits

VI.--AND we do also ... GIVE, GRANT and CONFIRM, unto the said
Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, under the Reservations,
Limitations, and Declarations, hereafter expressed, all those Lands,
Countries, and Territories, situate, lying, and being, in that Part
of _America_ called VIRGINIA, from the Point of Land, called Cape
or _Point Comfort_, all along the Sea Coast, to the _Northward_ two
hundred Miles, and from the said Point of _Cape Comfort_, all along the
Sea Coast, to the _Southward_ two hundred Miles, and all that Space and
Circuit of Land, lying from the Sea Coast of the Precinct aforesaid, up
into the Land, throughout from Sea to Sea, West and Northwest; And also
all the Islands lying within one hundred Miles along the Coast of both
Seas of the Precinct aforesaid;...

VII.--[Right to dispose of lands.]

VIII.--AND forasmuch, as the good and prosperous Success of the said
Plantation cannot but chiefly depend, next under the Blessing of God,
and the Support of our Royal Authority, upon the provident and good
Direction of the whole Enterprize by a careful and understanding
Council, and that it is not convenient that all the Adventurers shall
be so often drawn to meet and assemble, as shall be requisite for them
to have Meetings and Conference about the Affairs thereof; Therefore
we DO ORDAIN, establish, and confirm, that there shall be perpetually
one COUNCIL here resident, according to the Tenour of our former
Letters-patents; Which Council shall have a Seal, for the better
Government and Administration of the said Plantation, besides the legal
Seal of the Company or Corporation, as in our former Letters-patents is
also expressed.

IX.--[Names of the members of the council appointed.]

X.--AND the said Sir _Thomas Smith_ we do ORDAIN to be Treasurer of the
said Company; which Treasurer shall have Authority to give Order for
the Warning of the Council, and summoning the Company, to their Courts
and Meetings.

XI.--AND the said Council and Treasurer, or any of them, shall be from
henceforth, nominated, chosen, continued, displaced, changed, altered,
and supplied, as Death, or other several Occasions, shall require, out
of the Company of the said Adventurers, by the Voice of the greater
Part of the said Company and Adventurers, in their Assembly for that
Purpose: PROVIDED always, That every Counsellor, so newly elected,
shall be presented to the Lord Chancellor of _England_, or to the
Lord High Treasurer of _England_, or to the Lord Chamberlain of the
Household of Us, our Heirs, and Successors, for the time being, to take
his Oath of a Counsellor to Us, our Heirs, and Successors, for the said
Company of Adventurers and Colony in _Virginia_.

XII.--[Provision for a Deputy Treasurer.]

XIII.--AND further ... we do, by these Presents, GIVE and GRANT full
Power and Authority to our said Council, here resident, as well at
this present Time, as hereafter from time to time, to nominate, make,
constitute, ordain, and confirm, by such Name or Names, Stile or
Stiles, as to them shall seem good, And likewise to revoke, discharge,
change, and alter, as well all and singular Governors, Officers, and
Ministers, which already have been made, as also which hereafter
shall be by them thought fit and needful to be made or used, for the
Government of the said Colony and Plantation:[8]

XIV.--AND also to make, ordain, and establish all Manner of Orders,
Laws, Directions, Instructions, Forms, and Ceremonies of Government and
Magistracy, fit and necessary, for and concerning the Government of the
said Colony and Plantation; And the same, at all times hereafter, to
abrogate, revoke, or change, not only within the Precincts of the said
Colony, but also upon the Seas in going and coming to and from the said
Colony, as they, in their good Discretion, shall think to be fittest
for the Good of the Adventurers and Inhabitants there.

XV.--[Previous authorities in Virginia supplanted by these new

XVI.--AND we do further, by these Presents, ORDAIN and establish, that
the said Treasurer and Council here resident, and their Successors, or
any four of them, being assembled (the Treasurer being one) shall, from
time to time, have full Power and Authority, to admit and receive any
other Person into their Company, Corporation, and Freedom; And further,
in a General Assembly of the Adventurers, with the Consent of the
greater Part, upon good Cause, to disfranchise and put out any Person
or Persons, out of the said Freedom or Company.

XVII.--[Right to minerals, as in First Charter, section IX, paying to
the king the fifth part, etc.]

XVIII.--[Right to transport willing colonists to Virginia.]

XIX.--[Certain exemptions from English customs duties, in favor of the

XX.--[Grant to the Company and to its officers in Virginia that it may
expel unwelcome settlers and outsiders who "enterprise" destruction,
hurt, or annoyance. The language is taken from the First Charter,
section XII.]

XXI.--[Right to levy import duties, as in First Charter.]

XXII.--[Rights of settlers. Repeated from First Charter, section XV.]

XXIII.--AND forasmuch, as it shall be necessary for all such our loving
Subjects as shall inhabit within the said Precincts of _Virginia_,
aforesaid, to determine to live together, in the Fear and true Worship
of Almighty God, Christian Peace, and civil Quietness, each with
other, whereby every one may, with more Safety, Pleasure, and Profit,
enjoy that whereunto they shall attain with great Pain and Peril;
WE ... do GIVE and GRANT unto the said Treasurer and Company, and their
Successors, and to such Governors, Officers, and Ministers, as shall
be, by our said Council, constituted and appointed, according to the
Natures and Limits of their Offices and Places respectively, that they
shall and may, from time to time for ever hereafter, within the said
Precincts of _Virginia_, or in the way by Sea thither and from thence,
have full and absolute Power and Authority, to correct, punish, pardon,
govern, and rule, all such the Subjects of Us ... as shall, from time
to time, adventure themselves in any Voyage thither, or that shall,
at any time hereafter, inhabit in the Precincts and Territories of
the said Colony, as aforesaid, according to such orders, Ordinances,
Constitutions, Directions, and Instructions, as by our said Council,
as aforesaid, shall be established; And in Defect thereof, in case of
Necessity, according to the good Discretions of the said Governor and
Officers, respectively, as well in Cases capital and criminal as civil,
both marine and other; So always, as the said Statutes, Ordinances, and
Proceedings, as near as conveniently may be, be agreeable to the Laws,
Statutes, Government, and Policy of this our Realm of _England_.

XXIV.--AND we do further ... GRANT, DECLARE, and ORDAIN, that such
principal Governor, as, from time to time, shall duly and lawfully
be authorised and appointed, in Manner and Form in these Presents
heretofore expressed, shall have full Power and Authority, to use and
exercise Martial Law, in Cases of Rebellion or Mutiny, in as large and
ample Manner as our Lieutenants in our Counties, within this our Realm
of _England_, have, or ought to have....

XXV.--[Penalty for trying to evade English revenue laws under color
of transporting goods to the colony, as in section XVI of the First

XXVI.--AND further our will and pleasure is, that in all questions
and doubts that shall arise upon any difficulty of construction or
interpretation of anything contained either in this or in our said
former letters patents, the same shall be taken and interpreted in most
ample and beneficial manner for the said treasurer and company....

XXVII.--[Confirms all privileges granted in the first charter and not
herein altered or revoked.]

XXVIII.--[Provides that anyone who will adventure the necessary money
shall be received in full equality as a member of the Company.]

XXIX.--AND lastly, because the principal Effect which we can desire or
expect of this Action, is the Conversion and Reduction of the People
in those Parts unto the true Worship of God and Christian Religion, in
which Respect we should be loath that any Person should be permitted
to pass that we suspected to affect the superstitions of the Church of
_Rome_; We do hereby DECLARE, that it is our Will and Pleasure, that
none be permitted to pass in any Voyage, from time to time to be made
into the said Country, but such as first shall have taken the Oath of
Supremacy; For which Purpose, we do, by these Presents, give full Power
and Authority, to the Treasurer for the time being, and any three of
the Council, to tender and exhibit the said Oath to all such Persons as
shall at any time be sent and employed in the said Voyage....

    [It is a profitable exercise to read some of the sections in a
    more logical order. Thus the political provisions are seen better
    if arranged in the following sequence: XIV, XIII, XV, XXIII, XXIV,
    XXII. Certainly, too, XXVIII should follow, or be combined with,
    XVI. The utterly meaningless arrangement of many of these great
    documents, together with the unpardonable carelessness of the
    copiers, account partly for their needless length and largely for
    their obscurity.

    Nova Britannia (No. 6 above) contains also an explanation of the
    method of "industry in common" and of the proposed method of
    sharing profits,--all of which was continued ten years more under
    this charter:--

"Wee call those _Planters_ that goe in their persons to dwell there,
and those _Adventurers_ that adventure their money and go not in
person; and both doe make the members of one Colonie. We do account
twelve pound ten shillings to be a single share adventured. Every
ordinary man or woman, if they will goe and dwell there, and every
childe above tenne yeares that shall be carried thither to remaine,
shall be allowed for each of their persons a single share, as if they
had adventured twelve pound ten shillings in money. [Extraordinarie
men, as Divines, Governors, ... Knights, Gentlemen, Physitions, and
such as be men of worth for special services, to be rated higher,--as
the Council may value them.] And likewise, if any that goe to bee
planters will lay downe money to the Treasurer, it shall be also
registered and their shares inlarged, accordingly, be it for more or
lesse. All charges of setling and maintaining the Plantation, and of
making supplies, shall be borne in a joint stock of the adventurers for
seven yeares after the date of our new enlargement: during which time
there shall be no adventure nor goods returned in private from thence,
neytheir by Master, Marriner, Planter, nor Passenger."]

21. Third Charter for Virginia. March 12/22, 1611/1612[9]

    First printed in Stith (cf. introduction to No. 16); found also in
    the collections of Poore and Thorpe (cf. introduction to No. 15).

    The greater part of this document is given (1) to an enlargement
    of territory (by inclusion of the Somers islands), (2) to
    extraordinary rights of jurisdiction to compel fulfilment of
    contracts and to prevent slander of the Company, and (3) to
    provisions for lotteries for the Company's support. These parts are
    omitted. Only those clauses are given here which bear upon the
    reorganization of the Company and upon its powers of government.

VII.--AND We do hereby ORDAIN and GRANT, by these Presents, that the
said Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters aforesaid, shall
and may, once every Week, or oftener, at their Pleasure, hold and keep
a Court and Assembly, for the better Order and Government of the said
Plantation, and such things, as shall concern the same; And that any
five Persons of our Council for the said first Colony in _Virginia_,
for the time being, of which Company the Treasurer, or his Deputy, to
be always one, and the Number of fifteen others, at the least, of the
Generality of the said Company, assembled together in such Manner as
is and hath been heretofore used and accustomed, shall be said, taken,
held, and reputed to be, and shall be a _sufficient Court_ of the said
Company, for the handling, and ordering, and dispathcing [dispatching]
of all such casual and particular Occurrences, and accidental Matters,
of less Consequence and Weight, as shall, from time to time, happen,
touching and concerning the said Plantation:

VIII.--AND that nevertheless, for the handling, ordering, and disposing
of Matters and Affairs of greater Weight and Importance, and such, as
shall or may, in any Sort, concern the Weal Publick and General Good of
the said Company and Plantation, as namely, the Manner of Government
from time to time to be used, the Ordering and disposing of the Lands
and Possessions, and the Settling and Establishing of a Trade there,
or such like, there shall be held and kept, every Year, upon the last
_Wednesday_, save one, of _Hillary_ Term, _Easter_, _Trinity_, and
_Michaelmas_ Terms, for ever, one great, general, and solemn Assembly,
which four Assemblies shall be stiled and called, _The four Great and
General Courts of the Council and Company of Adventurers for Virginia_;
In all and every of which said Great and General Courts, so
assembled ... the said Treasurer and Company, or the greater Number
of them, so assembled, shall and may have full Power and Authority,
from time to time, and at all times hereafter, to elect and chuse
discreet Persons, to be of our said Council for the said first Colony
in _Virginia_, and to nominate and appoint such officers, as they shall
think fit and requisite for the Government, Managing, Ordering, and
Dispatching of the Affairs of the said Company; And shall likewise have
full Power and Authority, to ordain and make such Laws and Ordinances,
for the Good and Welfare of the said Plantation, as to them, from time
to time, shall be thought requisite and meet: _So always_, as the
same be not contrary to the Laws and Statutes of this our Realm of

X.--AND we do ... further grant ... that the said Treasurer and
Company, or the greater Part of them ... so in a full and general Court
assembled ... shall and may ... admit into their Company ... any Person
or Persons....

XI.--AND We do further ... grant ... that it shall be lawful and
free for them ... out of our Dominions ... to take, lead, carry and
transport ... for and toward the said Plantation of our said ...
Colony of Virginia all and so many of our loving Subjects ... as shall
willingly accompany them....

XII.--AND We do further ... grant ... that the said Treasurer of that
Company, or his Deputy ... or any two other of the said Council ...
have full power and authority to minister and give the Oath and Oaths
of Supremacy and Allegiance, or either of them, to all and every Person
and Persons, which shall at any Time or Times ... go or pass to the
said Colony.

XX.--AND further, our Will and Pleasure is, that in all Questions
and Doubts, that shall arise, upon any Difficulty of Construction or
Interpretation of any Thing, contained in these, or any other our
former Letters-patents, the same shall be taken and interpreted, in
most ample and beneficial Manner for the said Treasurer and Company,
and their Successors, and every Member thereof.

XXI.--AND lastly, we do, by these Presents, RATIFY AND CONFIRM unto
the said Treasurer and Company, and their Successors, for ever, all
and all Manner of Privileges, Franchises, Liberties, Immunities,
Preheminences, Profits, and Commodities, whatsoever, granted unto them
in any our former Letters-patents, and not in these Presents revoked,
altered, changed, or abridged.

    =Hints for Study.=--1. Compare the clauses relating to the oath
    of supremacy in the second and third charters. (The passage given
    above contains all such matter found in the third charter.) When
    the third charter was issued, James had broken with his first
    parliament, and probably wished to draw the great Catholic lords
    nearer to himself.

    2. Compare the provisions for the meeting of the whole Company in
    the second charter with the more specific provisions in the third.

    3. The most important sections are VII and VIII. Observe that no
    regular meetings of the Council are provided. That body had lost
    all controlling power; it remained merely a preconsidering body, to
    prepare business for the meetings of the stockholders. Five of the
    Council, however, had to be of the small quorum necessary for one
    of the minor "courts" (VII), and, in fact, those minor courts were
    _usually_ little more than Council meetings.

    From the general tenor of this charter and the preceding one,
    it would seem as though "Planters" from Virginia, if present in
    London, might attend the "Courts" and vote. But in practice, when
    this question was raised, it was decided against the visiting
    Planters (_Company Records_, II, 301). _Only holders of shares of
    stock could vote_, and, in practice, stock certificates were not
    issued for emigration to America.

22. Danger from Spanish Attack (1607-1614)

    The following extracts from the correspondence between Zuñiga,
    the Spanish ambassador at London, and the King of Spain are taken
    from the documents printed in Brown's _Genesis_. These letters
    were usually in cypher. The translations, of course, are in modern
    English. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 24.

_a. Zuñiga to the King of Spain; London, October 16, 1607_

Those who urge the colonization of Virginia become every day more
eager ... and before Nativity there will sail from here [London] and
from Plymouth five or six ships. _It will be serving God and Your
Majesty to drive these villains out from there, hanging them._

    [In this same letter, Zuñiga says that he has found a man to inform
    him of all the secret doings of the Council for Virginia; and,
    November 10, he advises that the Spanish "Windward fleet" be used
    at once to drive out the colonists. The Spanish Council at Madrid
    reported, however, that the fleet was not in state of preparation.]

[December 6.] As to Virginia, I hear that three or four other ships
will return there. _Will your Majesty give orders that measures be
taken in time_ [to destroy the settlement]; because now it will be very
easy, and quite difficult afterwards, when they have taken root; and
if they are punished in the beginning, the result will be that no more
will go there.

[December 22.] It appears that there will be more people there after
Nativity than those I have written of. Wherefore Your Majesty will see
how necessary it is to act with vigor _and hasten the remedy_.

    [After reading these letters, the Spanish Council made the
    following record: "The Council says that having informed Your
    Majesty ... Your Majesty was pleased to command that there should
    be prepared whatever was necessary to drive out the people who are
    in Virginia." This report is indorsed by the King: "Not to let
    anyone know what is being done."

    Similar matter is found in letters from Zuñiga under date of March
    28, 1608; November 8, 1608.]

[March 5, 1609.] The Baron de Arundel [an English Catholic who had been
a candidate for the governorship of Virginia, and who now apparently
was playing traitor] offers to leave here whenever Your Majesty may
command, under pretext of a voyage of discovery, and that in the
Canaries or Porto Rico he will take on board the person Your Majesty
will send, as a man fleeing out of Spain, and will carry him to
Virginia, and instruct him as to ... the parts which the English
hold ... and that soon he will tell Your Majesty by what means those
people may be driven out without violence.[10] [But Zuñiga urges
immediate and violent action, since King James is sure to acquiesce
_after_ the fact.] _Hence Your Majesty will command that they be
destroyed with the utmost possible promptness._

[April 12, 1609. After describing a new English expedition to
Virginia,--Lord Delaware's.] Your Majesty will see the great importance
of this matter for your Royal Service, and thus, I hope, _will give
orders to have these insolent people quickly annihilated_.

_b. Velasco (Zuñiga's Successor at the English Court) to the King of
Spain; June 14, 1610_

[After reporting the news of the terrible winter of 1609 in Virginia]
Thus it looks as if the zeal for this enterprise was cooling off, _and
it would be easy to make an end of it altogether by sending out a few
ships to finish what might be left in that place_.

    [The Spanish Council report upon this letter to the King, and add:
    "It appears to the Council that this should be communicated to the
    Council of War ... and that it be asked to state what will be right
    and proper to do, the supply of ships and whatever else may be
    needful for that purpose. Y. M. will command what shall be done."
    This is indorsed, with the King's signature, "_It is well_."]

_c. Digby (English Ambassador at Madrid) to King James_

[September 22, 1612.] There is nothing so generally spoken of in the
Courte as their intent to remove Our plantation from Virginia. And,
for myne owne parte, I am of beliefe that the Spaniards will serve us
as thei did the Frenchmen in Florida [Ribault's colony] unless wee
undertake the business much more thoroughly and roundely then hitherto
wee have donne.[11]

[November 12, 1612.] I got a view of his [Zuñiga's] dispatch [by
bribing some Spanish official, of course]. The chief matters were ...
that there was no cause to apprehend so much danger in Virginia ...
that he held it not unlikely _the Business might sinke of itselfe_,
since it was maynteyned but by these shifts, which could last but for a
yeare or two....

    [For some months after the above, however, Digby sends frequent
    warnings of a Spanish expedition which he thinks is preparing
    against Virginia (Brown, _Genesis_, 603, 609, 623); but May 13,
    1613, he writes again to James I:]

... theire resolution is not to stirre therein until they shall be
better informed ... they are yet in a greate hope that the businesse
will fall of itselfe. [Cf. other letters to the same effect, May 22,
May 26, Aug. 15, in Brown's _Genesis_, 634, 635, 656.]


[5] See explanation of this form on page 44.

[6] Observe that this important section of the charter is sandwiched in
between two sections which ought not to have been separated.

[7] Here follow the names of 659 persons and 56 gilds. The lists would
fill some ten pages. It includes 21 of the greatest lords in England,
96 knights and some 90 other country gentlemen, 53 "captains," and a
number of "sadlers," "drapers," "grocers," etc., with some professional
men and others not classified. Fifty of the incorporators were members
of the existing parliament, and fifty more were members of Parliament
at one time or another. Among the 659 incorporators were Robert Cecil
(the minister of Elizabeth and of James), the Earl of Southampton
(Shakspere's friend), Sir Oliver Cromwell (uncle to the great Oliver),
Francis Bacon, Richard Hakluyt, George Calvert (afterward Lord
Baltimore), and Sir Edwin Sandys, soon to be the great Puritan leader
in Parliament.

[8] Hannis Taylor (in his _English Constitution_, I, 21), in a passage
abounding in blunders, regards this Council as made up of Virginians
and exercising local self-government. Unhappily there are other
instances of the same error in standard works.

[9] England in the seventeenth century still used the "Old Style"
dates, instead of the "New" or Gregorian Style. The year began March
25, instead of January 1, and all dates between these two (from January
1 to March 25) were then given in the year previous to the one in which
our "New Style" puts them. Moreover, the New Style moved all dates
forward ten days. Therefore _March 12, 1611_, as the charter was dated
at the time, means to us _March 22, 1612_.

[10] A long report upon the state of Virginia, its geography and
resources, by an Irishman in Spanish pay, is given in Brown's
_Genesis_, I, 393-399.

[11] For more such exhortation and warning from Digby, see Brown's
_Genesis_, 539, 588, 592-3, 787.


23. From the Rules of the Virginia Company in London

    Peter Force's _Historical Tracts_, III (Washington, 1844), No. 6.

    These rules, one hundred thirty-two in number, and bulky enough to
    fill fifty pages of this volume, were adopted by the London Company
    shortly after it came under Liberal control, in June, 1619. For the
    history of the struggle in the Company, cf. a brief statement in
    _American History and Government_, # 27.

XV.--At the great and generall Court, commonly called the Quarter
Court, in Easter Terme, all offices of this Company (excepting the
Counseil) shall be void: And the Court shall proceede to an election of
new Officers, in manner following.

XVII.--After the choise of a Treasuror, a Deputie shall be chosen; then
the Auditors, and Comitties; and lastly the Secretarie, Bookekeeper,
Husband, and Bedle.

XVIII.--At the choise of each Officer, the persons nominated for the
election, shall withdraw themselves till the party chosen be publiquely
so pronounced. And generally no man shall be present in the Court
whilst himselfe or his matter passeth the judgement of the Court.

XX.--It is for weighty reasons thought very expedient, that no man
continue in the place of Treasurer or Deputie, above three yeares at

XXI.--For the avoiding of divers inconveniences, It is thought fit that
all elections of principall Officers in or for[12] Virginia as also of
the Treasurer and Deputie here, be performed by a _Ballating box, as in
some other Companies_.

XXVI.--He [the Treasurer] is to propound and put all things to the
question which the Court requires, under paine of being immediately put
from his Office, if he refuse. In which case the Deputie shall doo it,
under the like paine. And if he refuse, then any of the Council there

LXXXIX.--Every man speaking in Court, shall addresse his speech to
the Treasuror, or deputie in his absence, as representing the Court:
And all private speeches, or directed to particular persons, shall be

XCI.--No man with his speech shall interrupt the speech of another,
before he have finished: Except the Treasurer, or in his absence the
Deputie, (with approbation of the Court) see cause to put any to
silence, for impertinency, or other unseemely speaking.

XCIV.--Whosoever shall attempt by private solicitation to packe
the Court to any unjust or unlawfull end, shall, upon complaint,
be convented before the Counseil, and, being convicted, shall be

CI.--All principal Officers in [for] Virginia, namely the Governour,
Lieutenant Governour, Admirall, Marshal, chiefe Justice, and Treasuror,
shall be chosen here _by Ballating_ in a Quarter-Court.

CII.--The Counseil established in Virginia, and all other Officers
there reserved to the choise of the Companie here, shall be chosen in a
Quarter-Court by onely erection of hands; _unlesse the Court desire to
have it passe by Ballating_.

[The frequent reference to the ballot in these rules is a sufficient
answer to an absurd claim that the English colonies had to learn that
device from Holland. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 77. The
use of the ballot is referred to frequently in the Company's _Records_,
in accounts of elections under these rules, as in _Records_, I, 315,
368, 385, 440, 468, 471, 474, 489; II, 28, 29, 154, 536, 537.]

24. An Order of the London Company as to Self-government February 2/12,

    _Records of the Virginia Company in London_ (edited by Susan
    Kingsbury; Washington, 1906), I, 303.

    This order, to provide for temporary self-government in new
    colonies under the jurisdiction of the Company, was adopted on the
    same day that the Company made four grants of land to companies
    expecting to settle in "Virginia." One of these grants was to John
    Pierce and his Associates. Pierce was one of the London partners
    of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The order below _may_ therefore have
    suggested to the Pilgrims the Mayflower Compact (No. 52 below).

It was ordered by generall Consent that such Captaines or Leaders
of Perticulerr Plantacions that shall goe there to inhabite ... in
Virginia, shall have liberty, till a forme of Goverment bee here
settled for them, Associatinge unto them divers of the gravest and
discreetes of their companies, to make Orders, Ordinances, and
Constitucions for the better orderinge and dyrectinge of their Servants
and buisines, Provided they be not Repugnant to the Lawes of England.

25. The First Representative Assembly in America July 30/August 9, 1619

    Stith and Hening (Nos. 16, 17), those early and zealous explorers
    in Virginian records, both believed that no record of this great
    Assembly was extant. George Bancroft, however, found a copy in the
    London Record Office, in 1856, and published it in the _New York
    Historical Society Collections_ of 1857. A somewhat more critical
    text was published in 1874 by Wynne and Gilman, in their thin
    volume of _Colonial Records of Virginia_. The record was made by
    John Twine, Clerk of the Assembly. It is printed here almost in

_A reporte of the manner of proceeding in the General assembly
convented at James citty in Virginia, July 30, 1619, consisting of
the Governor, the Counsell of Estate and two Burgesses elected out of
eache Incorporation and Plantation, and being dissolved the 4th of
August next ensuing._

First. Sir George Yeardley, Knight, Governor and Captaine general of
Virginia, having sente his sumons all over the Country, as well to
invite those of the Counsell of Estate that were absente as also for
the election of Burgesses, there were chosen and appeared

  _For James citty_
      Captaine William Powell,
      Ensigne William Spense.

  _For Charles citty_
      Samuel Sharpe,
      Samuel Jordan.

  _For Martin Brandon--Capt. John Martin's Pla'tation_
      Mr. Thomas Davis,
      Mr. Robert Stacy.

  _For Smythes hundred_
      Captain Thomas Graves,
      Mr. Walter Shelley.

  _For Martins hundred_
      Mr. John Boys,
      John Jackson.

  _For the citty of Henricus_
      Thomas Dawse,
      John Polentine.

  _For Kiccowatan_
      Captaine William Tucker,
      William Capp.

  _For Argall's guiffe_
      Mr. Pawlett,
      Mr. Gourgaing.

  _For Flowerdieu hundred_
      Ensigne Rossingham,
      Mr. Jefferson.

  _For Captain Lawne's plantation_
      Captain Christopher Lawne,
      Ensigne Washer.

  _For Captaine Warde's plantation_
      Captaine Warde,
      Lieutenant Gibbes.

The most convenient place we could finde to sitt in was the Quire of
the Churche Where Sir George Yeardley, the Governour, being sett down
in his accustomed place, those of the Counsel of Estate sate nexte him
on both handes, excepte onely the Secretary then appointed Speaker,
who sate right before him, John Twine, clerke of the General assembly,
being placed nexte the Speaker, and Thomas Pierse, the Sergeant,
standing at the barre, to be ready for any Service the Assembly should
comaund him. But forasmuche as men's affaires doe little prosper where
God's service is neglected, all the Burgesses tooke their places in
the Quire till a prayer was said by Mr. Bucke, the Minister, that it
would please God to guide and sanctifie all our proceedings to his
owne glory and the good of this Plantation. Prayer being ended, to
the intente that as we had begun at God Almighty, so we might proceed
with awful and due respecte towards the Lieutenant, our most gratious
and dread Soveraigne, all the Burgesses were intreatted to retyre
themselves into the body of the Churche, which being done, before they
were fully admitted, they were called in order and by name, and so
every man (none staggering at it) tooke the oathe of Supremacy, and
then entred the Assembly....

These obstacles removed, the Speaker, who a long time had bene extreame
sickly and therefore not able to passe through long harrangues,
delivered in briefe to the whole assembly the occasions of their
meeting. Which done, he read unto them the commission for establishing
the Counsell of Estate and the general Assembly, wherein their duties
were described to the life.

Having thus prepared them, he read over unto them the greate Charter,
or commission of priviledges, orders and lawes, sent by Sir George
Yeardly out of Englande. Which for the more ease of the Committies,
having divided into fower books, he read the former two the same
forenoon, for expeditious sake, a second time over, and so they were
referred to the persuall of twoe Comitties, which did reciprocally
consider of either, and accordingly brought in their opinions. But some
men may here objecte to what ende we should presume to referre that
to the examination of the Comitties which the Counsell and Company in
England had already resolved to be perfect, and did expecte nothing
but our assente thereunto? To this we answere that we did it not to
the ende to correcte or controll anything therein contained, but onely
in case we should finde ought not perfectly squaring with the state
of this Colony, or any lawe which did presse or binde too harde, that
we might, by waye of humble petition, seeke to have it redressed,
_especially because this great Charter is to binde us and our heyers
for ever_....

After dinner the Governor and those that were not of the Comitties
sate a seconde time, while the said Comitties were employed in the
perusall of those twoe bookes. And whereas the Speaker had propounded
fower severall objects for the Assembly to consider on: namely, first,
the great charter of orders, lawes, and priviledges; Secondly, which
of the instructions given by the Counsel in England to my [Lord De La
Warre], Captain Argall, or Sir George Yeardley, might conveniently putt
on the habite of lawes; Thirdly, what lawes might issue out of the
private conceipte of any of the Burgesses, or any other of the Colony;
and lastly, what petitions were fitt to be sente home for England.
It pleased the Governour for expedition sake to have the second
objecte of the fower to be examined and prepared by himselfe and the
Non-Comitties. Wherin after having spente some three howers conference,
the twoe Committies brought in their opinions concerning the twoe
former bookes, (the second of which beginneth at these words of the
Charter: And foreasmuche as our intente is to establish one equall and
uniforme kinde of government over all Virginia etc.,) which the whole
Assembly, because it was late, deffered to treatt of till the next

       *       *       *       *       *

SATTURDAY, July 31.--The nexte daye, therefore, out of the opinions
of the said Comitties, it was agreed these Petitions ensuing should
be framed, to be presented to the Treasurer, Counsel and Company in

These petitions thus concluded on, those twoe Comitties broughte me
a reporte what they had observed in the two latter bookes, which was
nothing else but that the perfection of them was suche as that they
could finde nothing therein subject to exception....

At the same time, there remaining no farther scruple in the mindes of
the Assembly, touching the said great Charter of lawes, orders and
priviledges, the Speaker putt the same to the question, and so it had
both the general assent and the applause of the whole assembly, who,
as they professed themselves in the first place most submissivily
thankfull to almighty god, therefore so they commaunded the Speaker
to returne (as nowe he doth) their due and humble thankes to the
Treasurer, Counsell and company for so many priviledges and favours, as
well in their owne names as in the names of the whole Colony whom they

This being dispatched we fell once more debating of suche instructions
given by the Counsell in England to several Governors as might be
converted into lawes, the last whereof was the Establishment of the
price of Tobacco, namely, of the best at 3 d and the second at 18 d the

       *       *       *       *       *

SUNDAY, Aug. 1.--Mr. Shelley, one of the Burgesses, deceased.

       *       *       *       *       *

MUNDAY, Aug. 2.-- ..., the Committies appointed to consider what
instructions are fitt to be converted into lawes, brought in their
opinions, and first of some of the general instructions.

    Here begin the lawes drawen out of the Instructions given by his
      Majesties Counsell of Virginia in England to my lo: la warre
      [Lord Delaware] Captain Argall and Sir George Yeardley, knight.

By this present Generall Assembly be it enacted, that no injury or
oppression be wrought by the Englishe against the Indians whereby
the present peace might be disturbed and antient quarrells might be

Against Idleness, Gaming, durunkenes, and excesse in apparell, the
Assembly hath enacted as followeth:

First, in detestation of Idlenes be it enacted, that if any men be
founde to live as an Idler or renagate, though a freedman, it shalbe
lawfull for that Incorporation or Plantation to which he belongeth to
appoint him a Mr [Master] to serve for wages, till he shewe apparant
signes of amendment.

Against gaming at dice and Cardes be it ordained by this present
assembly that the winner or winners shall lose all his or their
winninges and both winners and loosers shall forfaicte ten shillings a
man, one ten shillings whereof to go to the discoverer, and the rest
to charitable and pious uses in the Incorporation where the faulte is

Against drunkenness be it also decreed that if any private person
be found culpable thereof, for the first time he is to be reprooved
privately by the Minister, the second time publiquely, the thirde time
_to lye in boltes 12 howers_ in the house of the Provost Marshall and
to paye his fee, and if he still continue in that vice, to undergo
suche severe punishment as the Governor and Counsell of Estate shall
thinke fitt to be inflicted on him. [Provision for milder penalty for
drunken officials.]

_Against excesse in apparell_, that every man be cessed in the churche
for all publique contributions, if he be unmarried according to his
owne apparrell, if he be married according to his owne and his wives,
or either of their apparrell....

Be it enacted by this present assembly that for laying a surer
foundation of the conversion of the Indians to Christian Religion,
eache towne, citty, Borrough, and particular plantation do obtaine unto
themselves by just means a certaine number of the natives' children to
be educated by them in the true religion and civile course of life--of
which children the most towardly boyes in witt and graces of nature to
be brought up by them in the first elements of litterature, so to be
fitted for the Colledge intended for them, that from thence they may be
sente to that worke of conversion.

As touching the business of planting corne this present Assembly doth
ordaine that yeare by yeare all and every householder and householders
have in store for every servant he or they shall keep, and also for
his or their owne persons, whether they have any Servants or no, one
spare barrell of corne, to be delivered out yearly, either upon sale
or exchange as need shall require. For the neglecte of which duty he
shalbe subjecte to the censure of the Governor and Counsell of Estate.
Provided alwayes that the first yeare of every newe man this lawe shall
not be of force.

About the Plantation of Mulberry trees, be it enacted that every man
as he is seatted upon his division, doe for seven years together every
yeare plante and maintaine in growte six Mulberry trees at the least,
and as many more as he shall thinke conveniente and as his virtue and
Industry shall move him to plante, and that all suche persons as shall
neglecte the yearly planting and maintaining of that small proportion
shalbe subjecte to the censure of the Governour and the Counsell of

Be it farther enacted as concerning Silke-flaxe, that those men that
are upon their division or setled habitation doe this next yeare plante
and dresse 100 plantes, which being founde a comedity, may farther be
increased. And whosoever do faill in the performance of this shalbe
subject to the punishment of the Governour and Counsell of Estate.

For hempe also both Englishe and Indian, and for Englishe flax and
Anniseeds, we do require and enjoine all householders of this Colony
that have any of those seeds to make tryal thereofe the nexte season.

Moreover be it enacted by this present Assembly, that every householder
do yearly plante and maintaine ten vines untill they have attained to
the art and experience of dressing a Vineyard either by their owne
industry or by the Instruction of some Vigneron ... upon what penalty
soever the Governor and Counsell of Estate shall thinke fitt to impose
upon the neglecters of this acte.

Be it also enacted that all necessary tradesmen, or so many as need
shall require, suche as are come over since the departure of Sir Thomas
Dale, or that shall hereafter come, shall worke at their trades for
any other man, each one being payde according to the quality of his
trade and worke, to be estimated, if he shall not be contented, by the
Governor and officers of the place where he worketh.

Be it further ordained by this General Assembly, and we doe by these
presents enacte, that all contractes made in England between the
owners of lande and their Tenants and Servantes which they shall sende
hither, may be caused to be duely performed, and that the offenders be
punished as the Governour and Counsell of Estate shall thinke just and

Be it established also by this present Assembly that no crafty or
advantagious means be suffered to putt in practise for the inticing
awaye the Tenants or Servants of any particular plantation from the
place where they are seatted. And that it shalbe the duty of the
Governor and Counsell of Estate most severely to punishe both the
seducers and the seduced, and to returne these latter into their former

       *       *       *       *       *

TUESDAY, Aug. 3, 1619.-- ... Captaine William Powell presented a
Petition to the generall Assembly against one Thomas Garnett, a
servant of his, not onely for extreame neglect of his business to the
great loss and prejudice of the said Captaine, and for openly and
impudently abusing his house, ... but also for falsely accusing him to
the Governor both of Drunkenes and Thefte, and besides for bringing
all his fellow servants to testify on his side, wherein they justly
failled him. It was thought fitt by the general assembly (the Governour
himselfe giving sentence), that he should stand fower dayes with his
eares nayled to the Pillory, viz: Wednesday, Aug 4th, and so likewise
Thursday, fryday and Satturday next following, and every of those fower
dayes should be publiquely whipped. Now, as touching the neglecte of
his worke, what satisfaction ought to be made to his Mr. for that is
referred to the Governor and Counsell of Estate.

The same morning the lawes abovewritten, drawen out of the
instructions, were read, and one by one thoroughly examined, and then
passed once again....

       *       *       *       *       *

WEDNESDAY Aug. 4th.--This daye (by reason of extream heat, both
paste and likely to ensue, and by that meanes of the alteration of
the healthes of diverse of the general Assembly) the Governour, who
himselfe also was not well, resolved should be the last of this first
session; so in the morning the Speaker (as he was required by the
Assembly) redd over all the lawes and orders that had formerly passed
the house, to give the same yett one reviewe more, and to see whether
there were any thing to be amended or that might be excepted againste.
This being done, the third sorte of lawes which I am nowe coming to
sett downe, were read over [and] thoroughly discussed, which together
with the former, did now passe the last and finall consente of the
General Assembly.

           A third sorte of lawes, suche as may issue out of
                    every man's private conceipte.

... All Ministers in the Colony shall once a year, namely, in the
moneth of Marche, bring to the Secretary of Estate a true account of
all Christenings, burials and marriages, upon paine, if they faill, to
be censured for their negligence by the Governor and Counsell....

No man, without leave of the Governor, shall kill any Neatt Cattle
whatsoever, young or olde, especially kine ... upon penalty of
forfeiting the value of the beast so killed.

Whosoever shall take any of his neighbors' boates, oares, or canvas,
without leave from the owner, shall be held and esteemed as a felon,
and so proceeded against.[13]

All ministers shall duly read divine service, and exercise their
ministerial function according to the Ecclesiastical lawes and orders
of the churche of Englande, and every Sunday in the afternoon shall
Catechize suche as are not yet ripe to come to the Com. And whosoever
of them shalbe found negligent or faulty in this kinde shalbe subject
to the censure of the Governor and Counsell of Estate....

For reformation of swearing, every freeman and Master of a family,
after thrice admonition [by church wardens], shall give 5 s ... to the
use of the church ... and every servant ... except his Mr discharge the
fine, shalbe subject to whipping.

Provided that, the payment of the fine notwithstanding, the said
servant shall acknowledge his faulte publiquely in the Churche.

All persons whatsoever upon the Sabaoth daye shall frequente divine
service and sermons both forenoon and afternoon, and all suche as beare
arms shall bring their pieces, swordes, poulder and shotte. And every
one that shall trangresse this lawe shall forfaicte three shillinges a
time to the use of the churche, all lawful and necessary impediments
excepted. But if a servant in this case shall wilfully neglecte his
Mr's commande he shall suffer bodily punishmente.

No maide or woman servant, either now resident in the Colonie or
hereafter to come, shall contract herselfe in marriage without either
the consente of her parents, or of her Master or Mistress, or of the
magistrat and minister of the place both together. And whatsoever
minister shall marry or contracte any suche persons without some of
the foresaid consentes shalbe subjecte to the severe censure of the
Governor and Counsell of Estate.

                      _Here ende the lawes._

... Captain Henry Spellman was called to the barre to answere to
certaine misdemeanors ... whereupon the General Assembly, having
thoroughly heard and considered his speeches [evidence had been
taken and defense put in], did constitute the following order [For
exposing the colony to disturbance from the Indians by inciting them
to disrespect of the government, Spellman was "degraded of his title
of Captaine" and "condemned to performe seven yeares service to the
Colony" as an interpreter to the governor.]

[Provision that every male in the colony over 16 years of age shall be
taxed "one pound of the best tobacco" for pay to the officers of the

       *       *       *       *       *

Thirdly, the General Assembly doth humbly beseech the ... Treasurer,
Counsell and Company that, albeit it belongeth to them onely to allowe
or to abrogate any lawes which we shall here make ... yet that it would
please them not to take it in ill parte if these lawes ... do passe
currant and be of force till suche time as we may knowe their farther

Their last humble suite is that the said Counsell and Company would
be pleased, so soon as they shall find it convenient, to make good
their _promise sett downe at the conclusion of their commission for
establishing the Counsel of Estate and the General Assembly, namely
that they give us power to allowe or to disallowe of their orders of
Courts, as his Majesty hath given them power to allowe or reject our

In sume, Sir George Yeardley, the Governor, prorogued the said general
Assembly till the firste of Marche, which is to fall out this present
yeare of 1619 [1620. New Style; cf. note, page 44], and in the mean
season dissolved the same.

26. The London Company's "Declaration," June, 1620

    Peter Force's _Historical Tracts_ (Washington, 1844), III, No. 5.

    Sandys resigned his "Treasurership" at the Court of the Company
    in May, 1620. The statistics of his report, with an enthusiastic
    general statement to introduce them, were published soon afterward
    by the Company as "A Declaration of the State of the Colonie and
    Affaires in Virginia." Sandys' report is now printed in full in the
    _Records_ of the Company, edited by Susan Kingsbury (Washington,

After the many disasters wherewith it pleased Almighty God to suffer
the great Enemy of all good Actions to encounter and interrupt this
noble Action for the planting of Virginia with the Christian Religion
and English people, it having pleased him now, contrarily, of his
especiall great grace, so to blesse and prosper our late carefull
endeavors ... that [the colony] hath as it were growne to double
that height, strength, plenty, and prosperity which it had in former
times. ... We have thought it now the peculiar duety of our place ... to
Summon, as it were, by a kinde of loving invitement, the whole body of
the Noble and other worthy Adventurors, as well to the ... perfecting
of this happy worke as to the reaping of the fruit of their great
expenses and travailes.

... [And first, to remove the effect of slanders upon Virginia, the
Company declares] the Countrey is rich, spacious, and well watered;
temperate as for the Climate; very healthfull after men are a little
accustomed to it; abounding with all Gods naturall blessings: The Land
replenished with the goodliest Woods in the world, and those full of
_Deere_, and other Beasts of sustenance: The Seas and Rivers (whereof
many are exceeding faire and navigable) full of excellent Fish, and
of all sorts desireable; both Water and Land yeelding Fowle in very
great store and variety: In Summe, a Countrey too good for ill people;
and wee hope reserved by the providence of God for such as shall apply
themselves faithfully to his service and be a strength and honour to
our King and Nation....

The rich Furres, Caviary, and Cordage, which we draw from _Russia_
with so great difficulty, are to be had in _Virginia_, and the parts
adjoining, with ease and plenty. The Masts, Planckes, and Boords, the
Pitch and Tarre, the Pot-ashes and Sope-ashes, the Hempe and Flax
(being the materials of Linnen) which now we fetch from _Norway_,
_Denmarke_, _Poland_, and _Germany_, are there to be had in abundance
and great perfection. The _Iron_, which hath so wasted our _English_
Woods,[14] that it selfe in short time must decay together with them,
is to be had in _Virginia_ (where wasting of Woods is a benefit) for
all good conditions answerable to the best in the world. The Wines,
Fruite, and Salt of _France_ and _Spaine_, The Silkes of _Persia_ and
_Italie_, will be found also in _Virginia_, and in no kinde of worth
inferior. Wee omit here a multitude of other naturall Commodities,
dispersed up and downe the divers parts of the world: of Woods, Rootes,
and Berries, for excellent Dyes: Of Plants and other Drugges, for
Physicall service: Of sweet Woods, Oyles, and Gummes, for pleasure and
other use: Of Cotton-wooll, and Sugar-Canes: all which may there also
be had in abundance, with an infinity of other more: And will conclude
with these three, Corne, Cattle, and Fish, which are the substance of
the foode of man. The Graines of our Countrey doe prosper there very
well: Of Wheate they have great plenty: But their _Maze_, being the
naturall Graine of that Countrey, doth farre exceede in pleasantnesse,
strength, and fertility. The Cattle which we have transported thither
(being now growne neere to five hundred) become much bigger of Body
then the breed from which they came: The Horses also more beautifull,
and fuller of courage. And such is the extraordinary fertility of that
_Soyle_, that the _Does_ of their _Deere_ yeelde two Fawnes at a birth,
and sometimes three. The Fishings at _Cape Codd_, being within those
Limits, will in plenty of Fish be equall to those of _Newfound Land_,
and in goodnesse and greatnesse much superiour. To conclude, it is a
Countrey, which nothing but ignorance can thinke ill of, and which no
man but of a corrupt minde and ill purpose can defame.

Now touching the present estate of our Colony in that Country, Wee have
thought it not unfit thus much briefly to declare. There have beene
sent thither this last yeare, and are now presently in going, twelve
hundred persons and upward, as particularly appeareth in the note above
[below] specified: and there are neere one thousand more remaining of
those that were gone before. _The men lately sent, have beene most
of them choise men, borne and bred up to labour and industry. Out of
Devonshire, about an hundred men, brought up to Husbandry. Out of
Warickshire and Staffordshire, above one hundred and ten; and out of
Sussex about forty; all framed to Iron-workes: the rest dispersedly out
of divers Shires of the Realme. There have been also sundry persons of
good quality, much commended for sufficiency, industry and honesty,
provided and sent to take charge and government of those people._
The care likewise that hath beene taken by directions, Instructions,
Charters, and Commissions to reduce the people and affaires in
_Virginia_ into a regular course, hath beene such and so great that
the Colony beginneth now to have the face and fashion of an orderly
State, and such as is likely to grow and prosper. The people are all
divided into severall Burroughs; each man having the shares of Land due
to him set out, to hold and enjoy to him and his Heires. The publique
Lands for the Company here, for the Governor there, for the College,
and for each particular Burrough, for the Ministers also, and for
divers other necessary Officers, are likewise laid out by order, and
bounded. The particular Plantations for divers private Societies, are
settled in their Seates, being allotted to their content, and each in
convenient distance. _The rigour of Martiall Law, wherewith before they
were governed, is reduced within the limits prescribed by his Majesty;
and the laudable forme of Justice and government used in this Realme_
[_is_] _established and followed as neere as may be. The governour is
so restrained to a Counseil joyned with him that hee can doe no wrong
to no man who may not have speedy remedy. ..._

In summe, they [the colonists] are now so full of alacritie and
cheerefulnesse, that, in a late generall Assembly, they have, in the
name of the Colony, presented their greatest possible thankes to the

[After enumerating recent grants]

These and other like Planters, having priority of time, will have
priority also in choise of the Seat of their Plantations. Seeing
therefore the onely matter of retribution to the Adventurors, is by
a faire proportion of Land to them and their heires; namely of one
hundred acres for every share of twelve pounds and ten shillings, upon
a first division; and as much more upon a second, the first being
peopled; with fiftie acres for every person (to be doubled in like
manner) which at their owne charges they shall transport to inhabit in
_Virginia_ before the 24th day of _June 1625_ [therefore, quite after
the fashion of modern land companies, intending "adventurers" are urged
to invest promptly, before the choice land is all taken].

TREASURER AND COMPANY _in the yeere_, 1619.

_a. Ships._

The _Bona Nova_, of 200. Tun, sent in August 1619. with 120 persons.

The _Duty_, of 70. Tun, sent in January 1619. with 51. persons.

The _Jonathan_, of 350. Tun, sent in February, 1619. with 200. persons.

The _Triall_, of 200. Tun, sent in February, 1619. with 40. persons,
and 60. Kine.

The _Faulcon_, of 150. Tun, sent in February, 1619. with 36. persons,
and 52. Kine, and 4. Mares.

The _London Merchant_, of 300. Tun, sent in March, 1619, with 200.

The _Swan of Barnstable_, of 100. Tun, in March, 1619. with 71. persons.

The _Bonaventure_, of 240. Tun, sent in Aprill, 1620. with 153. persons.

Besides these, sent out by the _Treasurer_ and Company, ther have been
sennt outt by particularr adventurers for private _Plantations_.

The _Garland_, of 25. Tun, sent in June, 1619, for Mr. _John Ferrars_
Plantation, with 45. persons. Who are yet deteyned in the _Summer

A Ship of _Bristoll_, of 80. Tun, sent in Septemb. 1619. for Mr.
_Barkleys_ Plantation, with 45. persons.

Ther are allso two Ships in providinge to be shortlie gone, for about
300 Personnes more, to be sent by priyvate Adventurers to _Virginia_.

  Summe of the Persons                                              1261
  Whereof in eight Ships sett out by the
  Treasurer and Company                                              871

[The other 390 came in other vessels, not sent by the Company.] Of
these [871], there were sent for Publique and other Pious uses these

  Tenants for the governors Land                                     080
  Tenants for the Companies Land                                     130
  Tenants for the Colledge Land                                      130
  Tenants for the Mynisters gleab Land                               050
  Young Maydens to make wives                                        090
  Boyes to make Apprentises                                          100
  Servants for the Publique                                          050
  Men sent to beare up the Charge of bringinge
  upp thirty of the Infidles Children in
  true religion and Civilitie                                        050
  Summe of the Persons for Publique use is                     650 [680]

_b. Commodities._

_The Commodities which these people are dyrected principally to apply_
(_next to their owne necessary mayntenance_) _are these ensuinge._

Iron, for which are sent 150 persons to sett upp three Iron works;
proofe havinge beene made of the extraordinary goodnes of that Ironn.


Pitch and Tarr, Pott Ashes, and Sope Ashes,--for the makinge whereof
the _Polackers_ are returned to their workes.

TIMBER of all sorts, with Masts, Plankes and Boordes for provision of
Shippinge, etc.; ther beinge not so good Timber for all uses in any one
knowne Countrey whatsoever. And for the ease and encrease of divers of
these workes, provision is sent of men and materiales for the settinge
upp of Sundry Sawinge Mills.

SILKE: for which that Country is exceedinge proper, haveing innumerable
store of Mulberie Trees of the best, and some Silke-wormes naturally
found upon them [caterpillars?] producing excellent Silke: some whereof
is to be seene. For the setting up of which Commoditie, his Majesty
hath beene gratiouslie pleased now the second time (the former haveing
miscarried) to bestowe uppon the Company plenty of Silke-wormes seed of
his owne store, being the best.

VINES: whereof the Countrey yeeldeth naturally greate store, and of
sundry sorts: which by Culture wilbe brought to excellent perfection.
For the effectinge whereof, divers skillful _Vignerons_ are sent, with
store allso from hence of _Vine_ plantes of the best sort.

SALT: which workes haveinge been lately suffered to decay, are now
ordered to be sett upp in so great plenty, as not onely to serve the
Collony for the present; but as is hoped in short time allso the great
Fishinge on those Coastes.

For the followinge, workinge, and perfectinge of these _Commodities_,
all provisions necessary for the present are sent in good aboundance.
As likewise the people that goe, are plentifully furnished with
Apparell, Beddinge, Victuall for sixe moneths: Implements both
for House and labour, Armour, weapons, tooles, and sundry other
necessaries. And a supply of Armour, Powder, and many necessary
provisions is made for those of the Colonie which were there before;
yet without any prejudice to the former _Magazine_.

_c. Gifts._[15]

_There have beene given to the Collonie this yeere, by Devoute Persons,
these guifts ensuinge._

_Two Persons_, unknowne, have given faire Plate and other rich
Ornaments for two Communion Tables; whereof one for the Colledge, and
the other for the Church of Mistress Mary Robinson's foundinge: who in
the former yeere by her Will gave 200. pounds towards the foundinge of
a Church in _Virginia_.

Another unknowne person[16] (together with a goodly letter) hath
lately sent to the Treasurer 550. pounds in gold, for the bringing up
of Children of the _Infidels_: first in the Knowledge of God and true
Religion; and next, in fitt Trades whereby honestly to live.

Master _Nicolas Ferrar_ deceased, hath by his Will given 300. pounds
to the College in _Virginia_, to be paid, when there shall be ten of
the _Infidels_ children placed in it. And in the meane time foure and
twenty pounds by yeere, to be distributed unto three discreet and
Godlie men in the Colony, which shall honestly bring up three of the
_Infidels_ children in Christian Religion, and some good course to live

_An unnamed person_ sent to the _Treasurer_ the summe of ten pounds,
for advancing the _Plantation_.[17]

27. The Ordinance of 1621 for Virginia

    Stith's _History of Virginia_, App. IV; Hening's _Statutes_, I, 110

    The _Records_ of the Virginia Assembly of 1619 (see No. 25 above)
    show that the London Company had given to the settlers a "great
    charter." No copy of it exists; but apparently its political
    features were repeated in this document, issued by the Company July
    24/Aug. 3, 1621, on the appointment of a new governor. This great
    Ordinance has sometimes been called, mistakenly, The First Charter
    to the Virginian Colonists. It is the _second_ such charter. Cf.
    _American History and Government_, # 30.

_An Ordinance and Constitution of the Treasurer, Council, and Company
in_ England, _for a Council of State and General Assembly._

I.--To all People, to whom these Presents shall come, be seen, or
heard, The Treasurer, Council, and Company of Adventurers and Planters
for the city of _London_ for the first Colony of _Virginia_ send
Greeting. KNOW YE, that we, the said Treasurer, Council, and Company,
taking into our Consideration the present State of the said Colony
of Virginia, and intending, by the Divine Assistance, to settle such
a Form of Government there, as may be to the greatest Benefit and
Comfort of the People, and whereby all Injustice, Grievances, and
Oppression may be prevented and kept off as much as possible from the
said Colony, have thought fit to make our Entrance, by ordering and
establishing such Supreme Councils as may not only be assisting to the
Governor for the time being, in the Administration of Justice, and the
Executing of other Duties to this Office belonging, but also, by their
vigilant Care and and Prudence, may provide as well for a Remedy of all
Inconveniences, growing from time to time, as also for the advancing of
Increase, Strength, Stability, and Prosperity of the said Colony:

II.--We therefore, the said Treasurer, Council, and Company, by
Authority directed to us from his Majesty under the Great Seal [section
xiii of the Second Charter; p. 40 above], upon Mature Deliberation, do
hereby order and declare, that, from hence forward, there shall be TWO
SUPREME COUNCILS in _Virginia_, for the better Government of the said
Colony aforesaid.

III.--THE one of which Councils, to be called THE COUNCIL OF STATE
(and whose Office shall chiefly be assisting, with their Care, Advice,
and Circumspection, to the said Governor) shall be chosen, nominated,
placed, and displaced, from time to time, by Us, the said Treasurer,
Council, and Company, and our Successors: Which Council of State shall
consist, for the present, only of these persons, as are here inserted,
_viz._ Sir _Francis Wyat_, Governor of _Virginia_, Captain _Francis
West_, Sir _George Yeardley_, Knight, Sir _William Neuce_, Knight
Marshal of _Virginia_, Mr. George _Sandys_, Treasurer, Mr. George
_Thorpe_, Deputy of the College, Captain _Thomas Neuce_, Deputy for
the Company, Mr. _Pawlet_, Mr. _Leech_, Captain _Nathaniel Powel_, Mr.
_Christopher Davison_, Secretary, Dr. _Pots_, Physician to the Company,
Mr. _Roger Smith_, Mr. _John Berkeley_, Mr. _John Rolfe_, Mr. _Ralph
Hamer_, Mr. _John Pountis_, Mr. _Michael Lapworth_, Mr. _Harwood_, Mr.
_Samuel Macock_. Which said Counsellors and Council we earnestly pray
and desire, and in his Majesty's Name strictly charge and command, that
(all Factions, Partialities, and sinister Respect laid aside) they
bend their Care and Endeavours to assist the said Governor; first and
principally, in the Advancement of the Honour and Service of God, and
the Enlargement of his Kingdom amongst the Heathen People; and next,
in erecting of the said Colony in due Obedience to his Majesty, and
all lawful Authority from his Majesty's Directions; and lastly, in
maintaining the said People in Justice and _Christian_ Conversation
amongst themselves, and in Strength and Ability to withstand their
Enemies. And this Council to be always, or for the most Part, residing
about or near the Governor.

IV.--THE other Council, more generally to be called by the Governor
once Yearly, and no oftener but for very extraordinary and important
Occasions, shall consist, for the present, of the said Council of
State, and of two Burgesses out of every Town, Hundred, or other
particular Plantation, to be respectively chosen by the Inhabitants:
Which Council shall be called THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, wherein (as also in
the said Council of State) all Matters shall be decided, determined,
and ordered, by the greater Part of the Voices then present; reserving
to the Governor always a Negative Voice. And this General Assembly
shall have free Power to treat, consult, and conclude, as well of all
emergent Occasions concerning the Publick Weal of the said Colony and
every Part thereof, as also to make, ordain, and enact such general
Laws and Orders for the Behoof of the said Colony, and the good
Government thereof, as shall, from time to time, appear necessary or

V.--WHEREAS in all other Things, we require the said General Assembly,
as also the said Council of State, to imitate and follow the Policy of
the Form of Government, Laws, Customs, and Manner of Trial, and other
Administration of Justice, used in the Realm of _England_, as near as
may be, even as ourselves, by his Majesty's Letters Patent are required.

VI.--PROVIDED, that no Law or Ordinance, made in the said General
Assembly, shall be or continue in Force or Validity, unless the same
shall be solemnly ratified and confirmed in a General Quarter Court of
the said Company here in _England_, and so ratified, be returned to
them under our Seal; It being our Intent to afford the like Measure
also unto the said Colony, that after the Government of the said Colony
shall once have been well framed, and settled accordingly, which is to
be done by Us, as by Authority derived from his Majesty, and the same
shall have been so by us declared, no Orders of Court afterwards shall
bind the said Colony, unless they be ratified in like Manner in the
General Assemblies[18]....

28. Royal Attempts to Control the Company, 1620-1622

    _Records of the Virginia Company_, I and II, under dates given.
    These Records were first published in full in 1908 by the
    Government Printing Office at Washington. For a brief outline of
    the history, with references to some other source material, cf.
    _American History and Government_, # 32.

(1) _A Quarter Courte held for Virginia at Mr Ferrars in St Sithes Lane
the 17th of May 1620._

    _Present_--[The list includes 172 names with the addenda "and
    many others." The first eight named were Lords; the next thirty,

Uppon request of some of the generallytie itt was ordered that frome
hence forth before the Company proceed to the choyce of their Officers
the Chapter or title of election [_i.e._, the company's rules regarding
elections] shall allwaies be red before.

       *       *       *       *       *

Imeadiately after, and before they proceeded in any buisines, one mr
Kerkham agent, sent from the King, presented himselfe to the boord
and signified to the Courte that his Majestie, understandinge of the
Eleccion of their Treasuror, which they intended this day to make
choyce of, out of an especiall care and respect hee hath to that
Plantacion, hath required him to nominate unto them ffower, outt of
which his pleasure is the Company should make choyce of one to be their
Treasurer; That was, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Thomas Roe, Mr. Alderman
Johnson, and Mr. Maurice Abbott, _and noe other_.

       *       *       *       *       *

These buisines beinge thus ordered mr Treasurer accordinge to the
standing Lawes of the Company before the giveinge upp of his place
proceeded to declare unto this Courte the State of the Colony together
with the Supplies of this yeare, and the present State of the Treasury,
how both hee found itt and now should leave itt. [See No. 26 above.]

Lastly hee concluded with his respective thanks, first to the Company
in generall for their love in chosinge him, and then particularly
to the Lords for their so frequent presence to the graceinge of the
Courte and great assistance in the buisines; to the Officers for their
faythfull joyninge with him in the supportinge of his burthen; and
againe to the Courte in generall for their patience in bearringe with
his unwillinge errors and other naturall infirmities. So deliveringe
upp his Office togeather with the Sealls, hee desyred the Courte to
proceed in Eleccion of their Treasuror, accordinge to the message
lately receaved from his Majesty: and theruppon withdrew himselfe out
of the Courte.

Uppon which this great and generall Courte found themselves uppon a
deliberate consideracion of the matter att an exceedinge pinch: for
if they should not doe as the Kinge had commaunded they might incurre
suspicion of defect in poynte of duety,--from which they protested
they were and would be free; on the other side, if they should proceed
accordinge to the lymitts of that message they suffered a greate breach
into their Prevyledge of free Eleccion graunted to them by his Majestys
letters Pattents, which they held fitt rather to lay downe with all
dutie and submission att his Majesties ffeet then to be depryved of
their pryveledge. And theruppon perusing the said letters Pattents,
after longe arguinge and debatinge, itt was concluded by generall
ereccion of hands, that the eleccion might and should be adjourned to
the next Quarter Courte notwithstanding any order made by the Company
to the contrarie.

Wheruppon forasmuch as itt manyfestly appeared that his Majestie hadd
beene much misinformed of the menaginge of their buisines this last
yeare, Itt was agreed accordinge to the opynion aforesaide that the
day of Eleccon should be putt of till the next generall Courte some
six weeks hence in Midsomer Tearme, and till they understood the
Kings farther pleasure, And in the intrym they humbly entreated the
Right Honorable the Lord of Southampton, Vyscount Doncaster, The Lord
Cavendish, the Lord Sheffield, Sir John Davers, Sir Nicholas Tufton,
Sir Lawrence Hide, mr Christopher Brook, mr Gibbes, mr Herbert,
mr Keightley, and mr Cranmer to meet uppon ffryday morninge att
Southampton house to determine of an humble answere unto his Majesties
message and to deliver to him a true informaccon as well of the former
as of this latter years government of the buisines for Virginia,
beseechinge allso that his Majestie would be pleased not to take from
them the Pryveledge of their letters Pattents, butt that itt might be
in their owne choyce to have free eleccion.

Uppon which, till his Majesties pleasure were knowne, Sir Edwin Sandys,
after much and ernest refusall, att length uppon ernest request of
the whole Courte hee yeilded to sett down in his former place, yett
forbearinge to receave the Seales againe or to putt any thinge to
Question; and all other Officers were likewise continued till the same

_(2) A Great and Generall Quarter Courte helde in the afternoone at Mr.
Ferrars House. 28th July 1620._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Earle of Southampton acquainted this Courte that himselfe with
the rest of the Lords and gentlemen requested therunto by the last
Quarter Courte had presented their humble desires unto his Majestie
for the free eleceon of their Treasurer, wherunto his Majestie had
most gratiously condiscented, signyfyinge unto them that it would be
pleasinge to him they made choyce of such a one as might att all times
and occasions have free accesse unto his royall personn. And further
declaringe that itt was the mistakinge of the messenger, haveinge not
receaved his message imeadiately from his owne royall mouth, to exclud
them from the libertie of choosinge any butt the fower nominated, whom
his Majesties intent was indeed to recommend butt not so as to barr the
Company from the choyse of any other.

Wheruppon the wholl Courte rendred to his Majestie all humble thanks
and ordered that by writinge itt should be signified unto his Majestie:

Then mr Herbert delivered unto the Company that wheras by some
distractions and discentions in the Company the buisines much suffered
in the reputaccon and otherwise, they should now think uppon some
Person of such worth and authoritie as might give full remedie
therunto, which since itt could not be performed by the late Treasurer
a man of that greate habilitie and sufficiencie together with his
industrie and integritie as of his ranke ther could not be found any to
passe him, there was now lefte noe hope except itt might please some of
those Honorable personages [Lords] then present to vouchsaffe to accept
of the place, who by adiccon of Nobilitie might effect that which
others by meere habillytie could not doe.

Which moccon beinge exceedinglie approved, the whole Courte imeadiately
with much joy and applause nominated the Earle of Southampton, with
much ernestnes beseechinge his Lordship that for the redeeminge of this
Noble Plantaccon and Company from the ruines that seemed to hange over
itt hee would vouchsaffe to accept of the place of Treasurer.

Which itt pleased him after some finale pause in fine to doe in very
noble manner out of the worthie love and affeccon that hee bare to
the Plantaccon. And the Courte in testimoniall of their bounden
thankfullnes and of the great honoure and respect they ought him, did
resolve _to surcease the ballatinge box_; and without nominaccon of any
other, by ereccon of hands, his Lordship was chosen Treasurer and tooke
his Oath. Which done, his Lordship desyred the Company that they would
all putt on the same myndes with which hee hadd accepted that place.

_(3) At a great and generall Quarter Courte held for Virginia in the
Afternoone the 22 of May 1622._

Imediately after these things were thus ordered, as the Court were
proceedinge after their accustomed manner to the eleccon of their
Treasurer Deputy and other Officers for this present yeare accordinge
to the direccon of his Majesties Letters Patents, mr Alderman Hamersly
rose upp and havinge first excused his seldome comminge to Courts by
reason of the Officers negligent warninge of him, he said That himselfe
and mr Bell were both commaunded by mr Secretary Calvert to deliver a
Message in his Majesties name unto this Court, namely to signifie, that
although it was not his Majesties desire to infringe their liberty of
free elleccon yet it would be pleasing unto him, if they made choise
for Treasuror and Deputy any of those gentlemen (commended for their
Sufficiency), whose names were mencioned in the paper nowe presented
in open Court which were these that followe vizt. [The names of five
gentlemen nominated by the King for Treasurer, and five more for

Mr Bell, beinge also entreated to deliver the Message he had receaved
from mr Secretary Calvert, said that he was not present when mr
Secretary Calvert imparted this Message to mr Alderman Hamersley, but
that there came a Messenger to him over night to require him to attend
mr Secretary Calvert at his Chamber; and beinge there, mr Secretary
told him that his Majestie commaunded him to signifie his pleasure that
out of his good wishes (for the good of the Company and the Plantation)
he had recommended to this Court certaine Gentlemen (named in the
paper nowe presented) if the Company so thought good: But it was not
his meaning to infringe the liberty of their free choise; And beinge
desirous to have had his Message in writinge, mr Secretary said it
needed not for it was but short.

Both which Messages agreeing in substance, and beinge a full
remonstrance of his Majesties well wishing unto the Plantation and of
his graceous meaninge not to infringe the priviledge of the Companie
and liberty of their free eleccon, was receaved with great love and
contentment of the whole Court; and therupon proceedinge to the eleccon
of their Treasuror (for which onely three by the orders of the Company
could stand). It was generally agreed that out of the five formerly
proposed by his Majestie for Treasuror, choise should be made of two
of them to stand in eleccon with one that the Companie should name:
Wherupon the former five beinge severally put to the question, it
appeared by ereccon of most hands that mr Clethero and mr Hanford were
to stand for it: Then the Companie named the Lord of Southampton; who
beinge all three accordingly ballated, the place fell to the Lord of
Southampton by havinge 117 balls, mr Clethero 13 and mr Hanford 7. In
like manner out of the five formerly named by his Majestie for Deputy,
by ereccion of most hands, mr Leat and mr Bateman were to stand for it;
unto whome the Companie havinge added mr Nicholas ffarrer, they were
all three put to the Ballatinge Boxe, and thereupon choise was made of
mr Nicholas ffarar by havinge 103, mr Bateman 10: and mr Leate 5.

       *       *       *       *       *

Itt beinge moved that there might be some presentaccon of the Companies
humble thankfullnes unto his Majestie in respect of the graceous
Message formerly delivered, after some deliberaccon had thereuppon,
the Court conceaved it fitt to be sett downe in these words (vizt)
That the Lord Cavendish the Lord Padgett, the Lord Haughton are humbly
requested by the Court to present their most humble thanks to his
Majestie for his graceous remembrance and good wishes to their affaires
out of which he was graceously pleased to recommend certaine persons
for Treasuror and Deputy if they so thought fitt, but without any
infringement of their liberty of free eleccon; and they were further
humbly requested to signify and testifie unto his Majestie the great
respect and reverence wherewith his message was receaved and howe in
conformity thereunto, although they had formerly accordinge to their
custome in their Praeparative Court nominated the Earle of Southampton
for Treasuror, yet out of the persons recommended by his Majestie
they choose fower who had most voices and put them in eleccon with
two nominated by the Company,--upon whom the places were conferred by
an unanimous consent of the Company, havinge founde the Plantation to
prosper every of these three last yeares more then in ten before, and
[more] found to have bin donn with Ten thousand pounds, then formerly
with fower score thousand....

    [The language of the _Records_, of course, is decorous and courtly;
    but the student ought to be able to see a certain grim humor along
    with the steadfast determination not to permit royal usurpation.
    The Ferrars' Papers report that, when this last communication was
    delivered to the King, he "flung away in a furious passion,"--not
    unnaturally. Some of the other episodes in this connection told in
    those papers are given in _American History and Government_.]


[12] This means _for_, not _in_; cf. Rule CI.

[13] Water was the only means of travel and trade. To steal a boat was
equivalent to horse-stealing in a cow-boy country today. "Felony" was
punishable by death.

[14] Wood was the fuel then used to smelt iron ore.

[15] This part of the appendix to the Declaration is taken from
Sir Edwin Sandys' report in May, and his wording is followed here
(_Records_, I, 353, 354). It is plain that such gifts were made because
the Company had the character of a foreign missionary society.

[16] This person in his letter to the Company signs himself "Dust and
Ashes," and, in a _later_ communication, "D. & A."

[17] The entry in the _Records_ of the Company (I, 335) speaks of this
gift "for some good uses in Virginia."

In 1622, "a person not willinge as yet to be knowne" sent £25 "to helpe
forward the 'East India' Schoole." I count up twelve entries of such
gifts in three years' _Records_. In 1623 the Company reported that in
the past four years there had been contributed "towards the forwardinge
of this glorious Worke, ... presents to the value of fifteen hundred
pounds, by zealous and devoute Persons, most of them refusing to be

[18] Such a promise in the preceding "great charter" is plainly
referred to in the "last humble suite" of the Assembly of 1619; see p.
63 above.


(_Representative Government in Danger_)

29. The Royal Commission of 1624 for the First Royal Governor in

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (1792), I, 189 ff. The first part of the
    extract here given presents King James' view of recent troubles
    with the Virginia Company.

... And whereas Wee, out of our zeal and affection to the furthering
of the said Plantations, having still a watchfull and carefull eye to
the same, and finding the courses taken for the setling thereof, had
not taken the good effect which Wee intended and so much desired, did,
by our Commission lately graunted to certaine Persons of Qualitie and
Trust, cause the state of the said country of _Virginia_ be to examined
how it stood, as well in point of livelihood as government; ... to the
end, yf good cause were, Wee might by our royall hand, supply what
should be defective. And whereas our Commissioners, after much care
and paines expended in execution of our said Commissions, did certifie
us, that our Subjects and People sent to inhabite there, and to plant
themselves in that country, were most of them by God's visitations,
sickness of bodie, famine, and by massacres of them by the native
savages of the land, dead and deceased, and those that were living
of them lived in necessitie and want, and in danger by the Savages:
but the Country, for any thing appeared to the said Commissioners to
the contrary, they conceaved to be fruitfull and healthfull after
our People had been some time there; and that if industry were used
it would produce divers good and staple Commodities, though in the
sixteene years government past, it had yealded fewe or none; ... and
that yf our first graunt herein mentioned, and our most prudent
and princely instructions given in the beginning of the Plantation,
for the direction of the affaires thereof ... had bin pursued, much
better effect had bin produced than had bin by the alteration thereof,
into soe popular [democratic] a course ...: Whereupon Wee entring
into mature and deliberate consideration of the premisses, did, by
the advise of the Lords of our Privie Counsell, resolve, by altering
the Charters of the said Company, as to the point of government
wherein the same might be found defective, to settle such a course
as might best secure the safetie of the People there, and cause the
said Plantation to flourish, and yet with the preservation of the
interest of every Planter or Adventurer, soe far forth as their present
interests shall not prejudice the publique Plantations; But because
the said _Treasurer and Company_ did not submitt their Charters to
be reformed, our proceedings therein were stayed for a tyme, untill,
uppon a _Quo Warranto_ ... by due course of Lawe, the said charters
were avoyded; [And whereas the King intends to prepare another
charter, and in the interval, by a commission of July 15, 1629, has
established a supervising council in England for the Colony (composed
of members of the Privy Council), now, according to advice from this
council] ... untill some other constant ... course be resolved
upon ... Knowe yee ... that Wee reposing assured trust and confidence
in the understanding, care, fidelitie, experience, and circumspection
of you, ... Sir Francis Wyatt, Francis West, Sir George Yardeley,
George Sandys, Roger Smith, Ralph Hamor, John Martin, John Harvy,
Samuell Mathews, Abraham Perrey, Isaacke Madison, and William
Clayborne, have nominated and assigned, and do hereby nomynate and
assigne you the said Sir Francis Wyatt, to bee the present Governor,
and you the said Francis West, Sir George Yardeley, and the rest before
mentioned, to be our present Councell of and for the said Colonye
and Plantation in _Virginia_: Giving and granting unto you, and the
greater nomber of you, by theis presents respectively, full power and
authoritie to performe and execute the places, powers, and authorities
incident to a Governor and Councell in _Virginia_, respectively, and to
direct and governe, correct and punish our Subjects nowe inhabiting or
being, or which hereafter shall inhabite or be in _Virginia_, or in any
the Isles, portes, havens, creaks, or territories thereof, either in
tyme of peace or warre, and to order and direct the affaires touching
or concerning that Colonie or Plantation in those forraigne partes
onely;[19] _and_ [_to_] _doe, execute and performe all and every other
matters and things concerning that Plantation, as fullye and amplye
as any Governor and Councell resident there, at any tyme within the
space of five yeares now last past_ ... Nevertheless, our will and
pleasure is, that yee proceed therein according to such instructions
as yee, or such of you as have bene heretofore of our Councell there,
have received, or according to such instructions as you shall hereafter
receave from Us, or our Commissioners here. ... And lastly, our will
and pleasure is, that this our commission shall continue in force
untill such tyme as Wee by some other writing under our Signett, privie
Seale, or greate Seale, shall signify our pleasure to the contrary....

30. Yeardley's Commission from Charles I, March 4/14, 1624/5

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (1792), I, 230-234. This commission, so far
    as concerns the powers of the governor, followed the commission
    given in No. 29 above. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 34.

[The King, Charles I,] reposing assured Truste and Confidence in the
Understanding, Care, Fidelitie, Experience, and Circumspection of you
the said Sir _George Yardeley_, _Francis West_, _John Hervey_, _George
Sandys_, _John Pott_, _Roger Smith_, _Ralph Hamor_, _Samuell Matthews_,
_Abraham Percey_, _William Clayborne_, _William Tacker_, _Jabes
Whitacres_, _Edward Blaney_, and _William Farrar_, have nominated and
assigned ... you the said Sir _George Yardeley_, to be the present
Governour, and you the said John Harvey, and the rest before mentioned
to be the present Councell of and for the said _Collony and Plantation
in Virginia_, giveing ... unto you full Power and authority to
performe and execute the Places, Powers, and Authorities incident to
a Governour and Councell of Virginia respectively; and to direct and
governe, correct and punish our Subjects ... in Virginia, eyther in
tyme of Peace or Warr; and to order and direct the Affaires touching or
concerneing that Collony or Plantation in those forreigne parts only;
and to execute and performe all and every other Matters and Things
concerneing that Plantation, _as fully and amply as any Governour and
Councell resident there, at anie time within the Space of Five Years
now last past, had or might performe or execute: ..._

    [_Observe_ that there is no reference to the Assembly in this
    document or in the preceding one.]

31. The Colony favors the Policy of the Company

_a. The Assembly enacts a precautionary "Bill of Rights," March, 1624_

    Hening's _Statutes at Large, being a Collection of the Laws of
    Virginia_ (1823). Cf. _American History and Government_, # 34.

    It had become apparent that the King was about to destroy the
    Company and take over the colony. This Assembly enacted some thirty
    brief statues. Three are of interest in this connection.

8.--_That the Governor shall not lay any taxes or ympositions upon the
colony their lands or comodities other way than by the authority of the
General Assembly, to be levyed and ymployed as the said Assembly shall

9.--The governor shall not withdraw the inhabitants from their private
labors to any service of his own upon any colour whatsoever; and in
case the publick service require yimployments of many hands before
the holding a General Assemblie to give order for the same, in that
case the levying of men shall be done by order of the governor and
whole body of the counsell, and that in such sorte as to be least
burthensome to the people and most free from partiality.

11.--That no burgesses of the General Assembly shall be arrested during
the time of the assembly, a week before and a week after, upon pain
of the creditors forfeiture of his debt and such punishment upon the
officer as the court shall award.[21]

_b. Requests for Aid (and, indirectly, for an Assembly)_

(1) _Letter from Governor and Council to the Special Commission
mentioned in No. 29 above._

    Aspinwall Papers, in _Massachusetts Historical Society
    Collections_, 4th series, IX, 74-81. About a third of the letter is
    given here.

  Right Honorable,--....

Nothing hath bine longe more earnestly desired then the setling of the
affaires of the Collony, as well for the government as other wayes,
neither could ther have bine a greater incouragement to the Planter
then to understand it to bee his Majesties gratious pleasure that no
person of whom they have heretofore justlie complayned should have
any hand in the government, either here or their [in Virginia or
in England]. And wee humbly desire your Lordshipps to solicitt his
Majestie (if it bee not alreadie done) for the speedie accomplishment
thereof, the rather because the Governors necessary occasions require
his present retourne [to England].

His Majesties gratious assurance that every man shall have his
perticuler right preserved and inlarged, with Addicion of reasonable
imunities, wilbe a singular meanes of inviting many people hither, and
setling themselves here....

Those greate important workes of suppressing the Indians, discoveries
by sea and land, and Fortificacion against a forren enemy, that they
may be thoroughly and effectually performed, will require no less
numbers then Five hundred soldiers, to bee yearely sent over, for
Certaine yeares, with a full yeares provision of Victuall, aparrell,
armes, Munition, tooles, and all necessaries, to which Worthie designes
the Collony wilbe alwayes readie to yeald ther best furtherance
and assistance, as they have bine very forward since the Massacre,
notwithstanding ther great losse then sustayned. And wee Conceive soe
great expence, will have the better successe, if the ordering therof be
refered to the Governor and Counsell here residing, =_with the advise_=
(=_in speciall Cases_=) =_of the Generall Assembly_=. Both Concerning
this, and alother things which may Conduce to the setling of the
Plantacion, wee have formerly given your Lordshipps Advertisement, in
the generall Assemblies answere to the ffowre propositions propounded
by your Lordshipps to the Commissioners sent hither, and wee doubt not
but Sir George Yardly hath given your Lordshipps full information of
all things necessary....

  Your Lordshipps very humble Servants,

                                           FRANCIS WYATT.
                                           FRANCIS WEST.
                                           RAPHE HAMOR.
                                           ROGER SMITH.
                                           ABRAHAM PERSEY.
                                           WILLIAM CLAYBOURNE.

  James Cittie the 6th. of Aprill, 1626.

(2) _The Same to the Same, May 17, 1626._

    _Virginia Magazine of History_, II, 50-55. An abstract is printed
    in the _Colonial State Papers_.

But the groundwork of all is, that their bee a sufficient publique
stock to goe through with soe greate a worke, which wee cannot compute
to bee lesse then £20,000 a yeare, certaine for some yeares; for by
itt must be mainetained the governer and counsell and other officers
here, the forrest wonne and stockt with cattle, fortifications raysed,
a running armye mainetayned, discoveries made by Sea and land, and
all other things requisitt in soe mainefould a business. And because
[of the difficulty of administering such sums wisely from England],
wee humbly desire that a good proporcion thereof may bee whollie att
the disposall of the governer, Counsell, _and generall Assembly in

32. Royal Restoration of the Virginia Assembly, 1629

_a. Harvey's Propositions Touching Virginia_ (_without date; 1629_)

    _Virginia Magazine of History_, VII, 369.

    For explanation, see _American History and Government_, # 34. Sir
    John Harvey had been appointed governor a few months before, with a
    commission _which made no mention of an Assembly_. The extract is
    No. 2 of the seven "propositions" submitted by him to King Charles.

2. That his Ma[jes]tie wilbe pleased gratiously to extend his favour
to the planters, for a new confirmation of their lands and goods by
charter under the great seale of England, and therein to authorize the
Lords to consider what is fitt to be done for the ratifying of the
privileges formerly granted, _and holding of a general assembly_, to be
called by the Governor upon necessary occasions, therein to propound
laws and orders for the good government of the people; and for that it
is most reasonable that his ma[jes]ties subjects should be governed
only by such laws as shall have their originall from his ma[jes]ties
royall approbation, it be therefore so ordered that those laws, so
there made, only stand as propositions, until his ma[jes]tie shalbe
pleased, under his great seal or privy seal, or by the Lords of his
noble privy council, to ratify the same.

_b. Certaine Answeres_ (_by Charles I_) _to Capt. Harveye's Proposicons
Touching Virginia_

    _Virginia Magazine of History_, VII, 370.

2. The sett[l]ing of Lands and goods and privileges is to be done
here, and may be done by calling in the former books and charters at a
convenient time. _But the governor may be authorized shortly after his
first coming into Virginia to call a grand assembly and there to set
down an establishment of the Government, and ordaine laws and orders
for the good thereof_, and those to send hither to receive allowance
[_i.e._, to be ratified]; and such as shall be soe allowed to be
returned thither under the great seal and put in execution, the same
to be temporary and changeable at his ma[jes]ties pleasure, signified
under the like great seal.

    [This is the formal restoration of the Virginia Assembly. The
    meeting in 1628 had been with special sanction for that particular

_c. Assembly Authorized in a Governor's Instructions, 1641_

    _Virginia Magazine of History_, II, 281 ff.

    These instructions in the matter of the Assembly are said to have
    been given in the same form to Wyatt in 1639,--the governor who
    came between Harvey and Berkeley. For the significance of these
    papers, see _American History and Government_, ## 34-35.

_Instructions to Sir Wm. Berkeley, Knt., Governor of Virginia_

       *       *       *       *       *

4. That you and the Councillors as formerly once a year or oftener
if urgent occasion shall require, Do summon the Burgesses of all
and singler Plantations there, which together with the Governor and
Councill makes the Grand Assembly, and shall have Power to make Acts
and Laws for the Government of that Plantation, correspondent, as near
as may be, to the Laws of England, in which assembly the Governor is to
have a negative voice, as formerly.

       *       *       *       *       *

33. Legislation by the Virginia Assembly as to Morals and Taxes

    Hening's _Statutes at Large_ (1823).

(1) [_March, 1623/4._]

19.--The proclamations for swearing and drunkenness sett out by the
governor and counsell are confirmed by this Assembly;--and it is
further ordered that the churchwardens shall be sworne to present them
to the commanders of every plantation and that the forfeitures shall be
collected by them to be for publique uses.

33.--That for defraying of such publique debts our troubles have
brought upon us. There shall be levied 10 pounds of tobacco upon every
male head above sixteen years of adge now living (not including such as
arrived since the beginning of July last).

(2) [_October, 1629._]

Act VI.--It is further concluded and ordered that every master of a
family, and every freeman that is to pay five pounds of tobacco per
pol as aforesaid for the defraying of publique charges, shall bring
the same unto the Houses of the Burgesses of the plantations within
two dayes after notice thereof given unto them. And if any shall faile
to bring in the same, it is thought fitt that by virtue of this order
the said Burgesses shall have power to levy the same by distresse,
upon the goods of the delinquents, and to make sale of the said goods,
and to detaine such tobacco which shall be due by this order, and for
their ffees in making this distresse, restoring to the owner of the
said goods the residue and remainder. And if the Burgesses shall make
neglecte herein they shall be fined by the governour and Council.

(3) [_February, 1631/2._]

Act XI.--Mynisters shall not give themselves to excesse in drinkinge,
or riott, spendinge theire tyme idellye by day or night, playinge at
dice, cards, or any other unlawfull game; but at all tymes convenient
they shall heare or reade somewhat of the holy scriptures, or shall
occupie themselves with some other honest study or exercise, alwayes
doinge the thinges which shall apperteyne to honesty, and endeavour to
profitt the church of God, alwayes haveinge in mynd that they ought to
excell all others in puritie of life, and should be examples to the
people to live well and christianlie.

(4) [_March, 1643._]

Act XXXV.--Be it also enacted and confirmed, for the better observation
of the Sabbath, that no person or persons shall take a voyage[22]
upon the same, except it be to church, or for other cause of extreme
necessitie, upon the penalty of the forfeiture for such offense of
twenty pounds of tobacco, being justly convicted for the same.

(5) [_October, 1644._]

Act VIII.--Noe debts made for wines or strong waters shall be pleadable
or recoverable in any court of justice.[23]


[19] The English Council, previously named, remained in supreme charge
in England.

[20] This law was reënacted in the same words in _1632 and 1642_.

[21] This immunity is copied from that of members of the English
Parliament for some centuries preceding.

[22] Travel was mainly by water. To "take a voyage" was equivalent to
"make a journey."

[23] This finds its modern parallel in our custom that prevents the
collection of gambling debts by legal process.


34. Virginia and the Parliamentary Commissioners, 1652

    Hening's _Statutes_, I, 363 ff.

    Cf. _American History and Government_, # 337, for the supremacy of
    the Assembly during the Commonwealth.

_Articles agreed on and concluded at James Cittie in Virginia for the
surrendering and settling of that plantation under the obedience and
government of the Common Wealth of England, by the commissioners of the
Councill of State, by authoritie of the Parliament of England, and by
the Grand Assembly of the Governour, Councill, and Burgesses of that

_First._ It is agreed and consented that the plantation of Virginia,
and all the inhabitants thereof, shall be and remaine in due obedience
and subjection to the common wealth of England, according to the lawes
there established. And that this submission and subscription bee
acknowledged a voluntary act, not forced nor constrained by a conquest
upon the countrey. And that they shall have and enjoy such freedomes
and priviledges as belong to the free borne people of England, and that
the former government by the commissioners and instructions be void and

_2dly.--Secondly_, that the Grand Assembly, as formerly, shall convene
and transact the affairs of Virginia, wherein nothing is to be acted or
done contrarie to the government of the common wealth of England and
the lawes there established.

_3dly._--That there shall be a full and totall remission and
indempnitie of all acts, words, or writings done or spoken against the
parliament of England in relation to the same.

_4thly._--That Virginia shall have and enjoy the antient bounds and
lymitts granted by the charters of the former Kings. And that we shall
seek a new charter from the parliament to that purpose against any that
have intrencht upon the rights thereof.[24]

_5thly._--That all the pattents of land granted under the collony
seale, by any of the precedent Governours, shall be and remaine in
their full force and strength.

_7thly._--That the people of Virginia have free trade, as the people
of England do enjoy, to all places and with all nations according to
the lawes of that common-wealth, and that Virginia shall enjoy all
priviledges equall with any English plantations in America.

_8thly._--That Virginia shall be free from all taxes, customes, and
impositions whatsoever, and none to be imposed on them without the
consent of the Grand Assembly, and soe that neither ffortes nor castles
bee erected or garrisons maintained without their consent.

_10thly._--That for the future settlement of the countrey in their
due obedience, the engagement shall be tendred to all the inhabitants
according to act of parliament made to that purpose; that all persons
who shall refuse to subscribe the said engagement, shall have a yeares
time if they please to remove themselves and their estates out of
Virginia, and in the meantime during the said yeare to have equall
justice as formerly.

_11thly._--That the use of the booke of common prayer shall be
permitted for one yeare ensueinge with reference to the consent of
the major part of the parishes, Provided that things which relate
to kingshipp or that government be not used publiquely; and the
continuance of ministers in their places, they not misdemeaning
themselves: And the payment of their accustomed dues and agreements
made with them respectively shall be left as they now stand dureing
this ensueing yeare.

_16thly._--That the comissioners for the parliament subscribing these
articles engage themselves and the honour of the parliament for the
full performance thereof: And that the present Governour and the
Councill and the Burgesses do likewise subscribe and engage the whole
collony on their parts.

35. The Franchise Restricted and Restored, 1655, 1656

    Hening's _Statutes at Large_. Cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 103 and note.

(1) [_March, 1654/5._]

Act VII.--Be it enacted by this present Grand Assembly ... That the
persons who shall be elected to serve in Assembly shall be such
and no other then such as are persons of knowne integrity and of
good conversation and of the age of one and twenty yeares--That all
housekeepers whether ffreeholders, lease holders, or otherwise tenants,
shall onely be capeable to elect Burgesses, and none hereby made
uncapable shall give his subscription to elect a Burgesse upon the
pennalty of four hundred pounds of tobacco and cask, to be disposed of
by the court of each county where such contempt shall be used: Provided
that this word housekeepers repeated in this act extend no further than
to one person in a ffamily.

(2) [_March, 1655/6._]

=Act XVI.--_Whereas_= we conceive it something hard and unagreeable to
reason that any persons shall pay equall taxes and yet have no votes in
elections, Therefore it is enacted by this present Grand Assembly, That
soe much of the act for chooseing Burgesses be repealed as excludes
freemen from votes, Provided allwaies that they fairly give their votes
by subscription and not in a tumultuous way,[25] ...=


[24] This article was not ratified by Parliament.

[25] This was reënacted in 1658. Hening, I, 475. But cf. Nos. 105-109
for later developments.


36. Lord Baltimore to King Charles, August 19/29, 1629

    Scharf's _Maryland_, I, 44, 45. The letter was written from Avalon
    (No. 38), in Nova Scotia. Only the second half is given here;
    the first half defends the writer against certain "slanders" by
    Protestant enemies.

  Most Gracious and Dread Sovereign:--

... So have I met with greater difficultys ... here, which in this
place are no longer to be resisted, but enforce me presently to
quitt my residence and to shift to some other warmer climate of this
new world, where the wynter be shorter and less rigorous. For here
Your Majesty may please to understand that I have found by too deare
bought experience, [what] other men for their private interests always
concealed from me, that from the middlest of October to the middlest
of May there is a sadd fare of wynter upon all this land; both sea
and land so frozen, for the greater part of the tyme, as they are not
penetrable, no plant or vegetable thing appearing out of the
earth; ... nor fish in the sea, besides the ayre so intolerable cold as
it is hardly to be endured. By means whereof, and of much salt meate,
my house hath been an hospital all this wynter; of 100 persons, 50 sick
at a time, myself being one; and nyne or ten of them dyed. Hereupon I
have had strong temptations to leave all proceedings in plantations,
and, being much decayed in my strength, to retire myselfe to my former
quiett. But my inclination carrying me naturally to these kynd of
workes, and not knowing how better [to use] the poore remaynder of my
dayes, than ... to further ... the enlarging your majesty's empire
in this part of the world, I am determined to committ this place to
fisherman (that are able to encounter stormes and hard weather) and
to remove myselfe with some 40 persons to your majesty's dominion
Virginia; where, if your majesty will please to grant me a precinct of
land with such privileges as the king your father, my gracious master,
was pleased to grante me here, I shall endeavor, to the utmost of my
power, to deserve it....

37. Charter of Maryland, June 20/30, 1632

    The text in Latin and English is given in Bacon's _Laws of
    Maryland_. For explanation of events leading to this grant, see
    _American History and Government_, # 38. The document is in Latin.

I.--CHARLES, by the grace of GOD, of _England_, _Scotland_, _France_,
and _Ireland_, #King#, Defender of the Faith, etc. TO ALL to whom these
Presents shall come, GREETING.

[II, III, and first part of IV, recite the petition of Cecilius, Baron
of Baltimore, the determination of the King to "encourage the pious
and noble purpose," and the grant of land, with confused geographical

IV.--Also WE do GRANT ... unto the said Baron of BALTIMORE, his heirs
and assigns, ... the PATRONAGES, and ADVOWSONS of all Churches which
(with the increasing Worship and Religion of CHRIST) within the said
Region ... hereafter shall happen to be built, together with Licence
and Faculty of erecting and founding Churches, Chapels, and Places
of Worship, in convenient and suitable Places, within the Premises,
and of causing the same to be dedicated and consecrated according to
the Ecclesiastical Laws of our Kingdom of _England_; with[26] all,
and singular such, and as ample Rights, Jurisdictions, Privileges,
Prerogatives, Royalties, Liberties, Immunities, and royal Rights, and
temporal Franchises whatsoever, as well by Sea as by Land, within the
Region ... aforesaid, to be had, exercised, used, and enjoyed, as
any Bishop of _Durham_, within the Bishoprick or County Palatine of
_Durham_, in our Kingdom of _England_, ever heretofore hath had, held,
used, or enjoyed, or of Right could or ought to have, hold, use, or

[V.--Tenure by Baltimore to be in free and common soccage, and not _in
capite_, or by "Knight's Service," "yeilding therefore to Us ... two
Indian Arrows of these parts every year," and the fifth part of gold
and silver ore.]

VI.--Now, That the aforesaid Region, thus by us granted and described,
may be eminently distinguished above all other Regions of that
Territory, and decorated with more ample Titles, KNOW YE, that WE ...
have thought fit that the said Region and Islands be erected into a
PROVINCE, as out of the plenitude of our royal power and prerogative,
WE do ... ERECT and INCORPORATE the same into a PROVINCE, and nominate
the same MARYLAND, by which name WE will that it shall from henceforth
be called.

VII.--AND forasmuch as WE have above made and ordained the aforesaid
now Baron of _BALTIMORE_, the true LORD and _Proprietary_ of the
whole PROVINCE aforesaid, KNOW YE therefore further, that WE ...
do grant unto the said now Baron, (in whose Fidelity, Prudence,
Justice, and provident Circumspection of Mind, WE repose the greatest
Confidence) and to his Heirs, for the good and happy Government of
the said PROVINCE, free, full, and absolute Power, by the tenor of
these Presents, to Ordain, Make, and Enact LAWS, of what kind soever,
according to their sound Discretions, whether relating to the Public
State of the said PROVINCE, or the private Utility of Individuals, of
and with the Advice, Assent, and Approbation of the Free-Men of the
same PROVINCE, or of the greater Part of them, or of their Delegates or
Deputies, whom WE will shall be called togther for the framing of LAWS,
when, and as often as Need shall require, by the aforesaid now Baron of
_BALTIMORE_, and his Heirs, and in the Form which shall seem best to
him or them, and the same to publish under the Seal of the aforesaid
now Baron of _BALTIMORE_, and his Heirs, and duly to execute the same
upon all Persons, for the Time being, within the aforesaid PROVINCE,
and the Limits thereof, or under his or their Government and Power, in
Sailing towards MARYLAND, on thence Returning, Outward-bound, either
to _England_, or elsewhere, whether to any other Part of Our, or of
any foreign Dominions, wheresoever established, by the Imposition of
Fines, Imprisonment, and other Punishment whatsoever; even if it be
necessary, and the Quality of the Offence require it, by Privation of
Member, or Life, by him the aforesaid now Baron of _BALTIMORE_, and
his Heirs, or by his or their Deputy, Lieutenant, Judges, Justices,
Magistrates, Officers, and Ministers, to be constituted and appointed
according to the Tenor and true Intent of these Presents, and to
constitute and ordain Judges, Justices, Magistrates, and Officers, of
what Kind, for what Cause, and with what Power soever, within that
Land, and the Sea of those Parts, and in such Form as to the said
now Baron of _BALTIMORE_, or his Heirs, shall seem most fitting: And
also to Remit, Release, Pardon, and Abolish, all Crimes and Offences
whatsoever against such Laws, whether before, or after Judgment passed;
and to do all and singular other Things belonging to the Completion of
Justice, and to Courts, Prætorian Judicatories, and Tribunals, judicial
Forms and Modes of Proceeding, although express Mention thereof in
these Presents be not made; and, by Judges by them delegated, to
award Process, hold Pleas, and determine in those Courts, Prætorian
Judicatories, and Tribunals, in all Actions, Suits, Causes, and
Matters whatsoever, as well Criminal as Personal, Real and Mixed, and
Prætorian: ... SO NEVERTHELESS, that the Laws aforesaid be consonant to
Reason and be not repugnant or contrary, but (so far as conveniently
may be) agreeable to the Laws, Statutes, Customs and Rights of this Our
Kingdom of _England_.

VIII.--AND FORASMUCH as, in the Government of so great a PROVINCE,
sudden Accidents may frequently happen, to which it will be necessary
to apply a Remedy before the Freeholders of the said PROVINCE, their
Delegates, or Deputies, can be called together for the framing of
Laws; neither will it be fit that so great a Number of People should
immediately, on such emergent Occasion, be called together, WE
THEREFORE, for the better Government of so great a PROVINCE, ... do
grant ... that the aforesaid now Baron of _BALTIMORE_; and his Heirs,
by themselves, or by their Magistrates and Officers, thereunto duly to
be constituted as aforesaid, may, and can make and constitute fit and
wholesom Ordinances from Time to Time, to be kept and observed within
the PROVINCE aforesaid, as well for the Conservation of the Peace,
as for the better Government of the People inhabiting therein, and
publickly to notify the same to all Persons whom the same in any wise
do or may affect ...: so that the same Ordinances do not, in any Sort,
extend to oblige, bind, change, or take away the Right or Interest
of any Person or Persons, of or in Member, Life, Freehold, Goods or

IX, X--[Permission to English subjects to emigrate to Maryland, and X,
to enjoy (with their descendants) the rights of Englishmen at home.]

XI.--[Certain exemptions from export duties, as in earlier charters.]

XII.--[Authorization for the proprietor or his officers to make war, if
needful, upon savages and pirates or other invaders.]

XIII.-[Authorization for martial law, under, the usual restrictions.]

XIV.--[Authority for Baltimore to confer titles of nobility (not such
as in England), to incorporate towns, etc.]

XV-XVI.--[Regulations regarding ports and temporary exemptions from
English custom duties.]

XVII.--MOREOVER, We will, appoint, and ordain, and by these Presents,
for US, our Heirs and Successors, do grant unto the aforesaid now
Baron of _BALTIMORE_, his Heirs and Assigns, that the same Baron of
_BALTIMORE_, his Heirs and Assigns, from Time to Time, for ever, shall
have, and enjoy the Taxes and Subsidies payable, or arising within the
Ports, Harbours, and other Creeks and Places aforesaid, within the
PROVINCE aforesaid, for Wares bought and sold, and Things there to
be laden, or unladen, to be reasonably assessed by them on emergent
Occasion, and the People there as aforesaid; to whom WE grant Power
by these Presents, for US, our Heirs and Successors, to assess and
impose the said Taxes and Subsidies there, upon just Cause, and in due

XVIII.--AND FURTHERMORE ..., WE ... do give ... unto the aforesaid now
Baron of _BALTIMORE_, his Heirs and Assigns, full and absolute License,
Power, and Authority ... [to] assign, alien, grant, demise, or enfeoff
so many, such, and proportionate Parts and Parcels of the Premises, to
any Person or Persons willing to purchase the same, as they shall think
convenient, to have and to hold ... in Fee-simple, or Fee-tail, or for
Term of Life, Lives, or Years; to hold of the aforesaid now Baron of
_BALTIMORE_, his Heirs and Assigns, by ... such ... Services, Customs
and Rents OF THIS KIND, as to the same now Baron of _BALTIMORE_, his
Heirs and Assigns, shall seem fit and agreeable, and not immediately
of US ... [notwithstanding the English law _Quia Emptores_ or other
statutes to the contrary].

XIX.--WE also, ... do ... grant Licence to the same Baron of
_BALTIMORE_, and to his Heirs, to erect any Parcels of Land within
the PROVINCE aforesaid, into Manors, and in every of those Manors, to
have and to hold a Court-Baron, and all Things which to a Court-Baron
do belong; and to have and to keep View of Frank-Pledge, for the
Conservation of the Peace and better Government of those Parts, by
themselves and their Stewards, or by the Lords, for the Time being to
be deputed, of other of those Manors when they shall be constituted,
and in the same to exercise all Things to the View of Frank-Pledge

XX.--AND further We will, and do ... grant ... that we, our heirs
and successors, at no time hereafter, will impose any impositions,
customs, or other taxations ... whatever, in or upon the residents ...
of the province, for their goods, lands, or tenements ... or in or
upon any goods or merchandizes within the province or within the ports
or harbors of the said province [this declaration to be a sufficient
quittance to all English officers].

XXI.--[Maryland not to be reputed a part of Virginia but to be
immediately dependent upon the crown.]

XXII.--[Baltimore and his heirs to be entitled to the most generous
interpretation of any indefinite clause in the charter] "provided
always that no interpretation be made thereof whereby God's holy and
true Christian religion, nor the allegiance due to us ... may in any
wise suffer ... prejudice or diminution."

38. Comment on the Avalon Charter of 1623

    With the addition of two of its sections, with the necessary
    changes of names, and with three or four other slight
    modifications, the Maryland Charter of 1632 is an exact transcript
    of the _Charter of Avalon_, given in 1623 by James I to George
    Calvert (afterward, the first Lord Baltimore). The Avalon Charter
    has been printed, the editor believes, only in Scharf's _Maryland_
    (I, 34 ff.).

    The sections of the two documents correspond up to XVIII. Sections
    XVIII and XIX of the Maryland Charter (relating to subinfeudation
    and manorial courts) are not found in the earlier document.
    Sections XVIII-XX of the Avalon Charter correspond to XX-XXII of
    the Maryland patent.

    Other changes, aside from names, etc., are:

    1.--(Section IV.) In the granting of advowsons and other
    ecclesiastical powers, there is no reference in the Avalon Charter
    to the "ecclesiastical laws of the kingdom of England." This phrase
    is added in the Maryland Charter, since Baltimore has now (1624)
    been converted to Catholicism, _probably_ as a safeguard.

    2.--Baltimore's tenure in Avalon (# 5) is to be "_in Capite, by
    Knight's Service_" [not so, but in free socage, in Maryland],
    "yielding therefor ... a white horse, so often as we or our
    successors shall come into the said region," together with the
    usual "fifth part of gold and silver ore."

    3.--The Avalon Charter does not refer directly to _representative_
    government. The authorization to Baltimore to publish laws
    runs,--"with the advice, assent, and approbation of the Freeholders
    of the said Province, or the greater part of them," while the
    Maryland Charter says the assent of "the _Free Men_ of the said
    Province, or the greater part of them, _or their delegates, or
    deputies_"; but the earlier like the later charter leaves it to the
    proprietor to assemble the people "in such form as to him shall
    seem best," and this probably looked to a representative gathering.

    4.--(XVII.) The Avalon Charter does not _mention_ the participation
    of the popular assembly in granting taxes. Given such an assembly,
    however, and the renunciation by the English government (Section
    XVIII) of that power, then the possession of the power by the
    Assembly would inevitably follow. In the Maryland Charter it is

    =The Avalon Charter then, is the first _royal_ patent to give to
    settlers in America _political rights_=, in addition to the private
    common-law privileges. It is followed (as to sections VII and VIII)
    _in exact detail_ by the Heath Charter for Carolina (1629), the
    Baltimore Charter (1632), and the Plowden Charter for New Albion

    Of the four grants just mentioned, that of Maryland in 1632 was the
    only one under which a successful colony was established, but the
    others help to show that that document was no prodigy. The student
    may like to notice here one of the rare slips of Dr. Channing
    (_History of the United States_, I, 245), when he ascribes the
    likeness between the charters of 1629, 1632, and 1634 to Sir Robert
    Heath's influence in that of 1629, instead of to the earlier Avalon
    Charter of 1623.

39. Excursus: Charters for New Albion and Maine

    =The "governing" clauses only are given,--for comparison with
    corresponding parts of the Maryland and Avalon grants.=

_a. Grant of Charles I to Edmund Plowden, Earl Palatine of Albion, of
the Province of New Albion in America_

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (Washington, 1792), I, 162 ff. New Albion
    was to lie north of Maryland. No settlement was effected.

    ... And forasmuch, as We have above made and ordained the
    before-named Edmund Plowden, Knight, true lord and proprietor of
    all the province aforesaid. THEREFORE further know ye, that We,
    for Us, our heirs, and successours, to the same Edmund, (of whose
    fidelity, prudence, justice and providence, and circumspection
    of mind, we have full confidence) and to his heirs, for the good
    and happy government of the said province, [grant power to make,
    ordain, and establish] whatsoever laws, whether concerning the
    public estate of the same province, or the private utility of
    individuals, according to their wise discretions, and with the
    council, approbation, and assents of the free tenants of the same
    province, or the major part of them who shall be called together
    by the aforesaid Edmund Plowden, and his heirs, to make laws
    when, and as often as there shall be occasion, in such form as
    to him or them shall seem best. ... And because, in so large a
    province it may often happen, that there will be a necessity to
    provide a remedy in a number of cases, before the free tenants of
    the said province can be assembled to make laws, nor will it be
    proper to delay in a case of emergency, until so many people can
    be called together. THEREFORE, for the better government of the
    said province, we will, and ordain, and by these presents, for
    Us, our heirs, and successors, grant unto the before-named Edmund
    Plowden, and to his heirs, that the aforesaid Edmund Plowden, and
    his heirs, by themselves, or by magistrates and officers in that
    behalf, to be duly constituted as aforesaid, fit and wholesome
    ordinations from time to time, shall and may be able to make and
    constitute, to be kept and preferred within the province aforesaid,
    as well for keeping the peace as for the better government of the
    people there living or inhabiting, and to give public notice of
    them to all persons whom the same doth or may concern; which said
    ordinations We will, shall be inviolably observed within the said
    province, under the penalties in the same expressed. So that the
    same ordinances be consonant to reason, and be not repugnant nor
    contrary, but as much agreeable as may be to the laws, statutes,
    and rights of our kingdoms of England and Ireland. And so as that
    the same ordinances do not extend themselves to the right or
    interest of any person or persons, of, or in free tenements, or the
    taking, distraining, binding, or charging any of their goods or

_b. Grant of Charles I to Sir Ferdinando Gorges for the Province of
Maine, 1639_

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (1792), I, 442-455.

    The members of the Plymouth Council surrendered the charter of 1620
    back to the King in 1634, having first divided the territory among
    themselves. The King confirmed Gorges' allotment ("The Province
    of Maine") and gave him the usual proprietary jurisdiction in a
    lengthy charter (April 3/13, 1639), from which come the following

... And wee doe for us, our heirs and successors, give and graunte
unto the saide Sir Ferdinando Gorges, his heirs and assignes, power
and authoritie, =_with the assent of the greater parte of the
freeholders of the said Province and premisses for the time being_=,
when there shalbe any to be called therunto from time to time, when
and as often as shall be requisite, to make and ordeyne and publish
lawes, ordinances and constitucons, reasonable, and not repugnant and
contrary, but agreable as nere as conveniently may bee, to the lawes
of England, for the publique good of the said Province and premisses,
and of the inhabitants thereof, by imposing of penalties, imprisonment
or other corections, or, if the offence shall requier, by taking away
of life or member; the said lawes and constitucons to extend aswell
to such as shalbe passing unto or returning from the said Province or
premisses as unto the inhabitants or residents of or within the same,
and the same to be put into execucon by the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges,
his heirs or assignes, or by his or there depputies, liftenants,
judges, officers or ministers in that behalfe, lawfully authorized; and
the same lawes ordinances and constitucons, or any of them, to alter,
change, and revoke, or to make voide and to make new, not repugnant nor
contrary, but agreable as nere as may bee, to the lawes of England, as
the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges his heires and assignes, together with
the said freeholders, or the greater part of them for the time being,
shall from time to time thinke fitt and convenient:...

40. The Maryland Toleration Act of 1649

    _Maryland Archives_, I, 244 ff.

    For explanation, cf. _American History and Government_, # 43.

... =Forasmuch= as in a well governed and Christian Common Wealth,
matters concerning Religion and the honor of God ought in the first
place to bee taken into serious consederacion ... Be it therefore
ordered and enacted by the Right Honorable Cecilius Lord Baron of
Baltemore, absolute Lord and Proprietary of this Province, with the
advise and consent of this Generall Assembly: That whatsoever person
or persons within this Province and the Islands thereunto belonging
shall from henceforth blaspheme God,--that is, Curse him,--or deny our
Saviour Jesus Christ to bee the sonne of God, or shall deny the holy
Trinity, the ffather sonne and holy Ghost, or the Godhead of any of
the said Three persons of the Trinity, or the Unity of the Godhead,
or shall use ... any reproachfull Speeches, ... concerning the said
Holy Trinity, or any of the three persons thereof, _shall be punished
with death and confiscation of all his or her lands and goods_ ... And
be it also Enacted ... That whatsoever person or persons shall from
henceforth use ... any reproaching words or speeches concerning the
blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Saviour, or the Holy Apostles
or Evangelists ... shall in such case for the first offence
forfeit ... the summe of ffive pound sterling ... but in case such
Offender or Offenders shall not then have goods and chattells
sufficient for the satisfyeing of such forfeiture, or that the same bee
not otherwise speedily satisfyed, that then such Offender or Offenders
shalbe publiquely whipt and bee ymprisoned during the pleasure of the
Lord Proprietary or ... chiefe Governor of this Province for the time
being. And that every such Offender or Offenders for every second
offence shall forfeit tenne pound sterling or the value thereof to bee
levyed as aforesaid, or in case such offender or Offenders shall not
then have goods and chattells within this Province sufficient for that
purpose then to bee publiquely and severely whipt and imprisoned as
before is expressed. And that every person or persons before mentioned
offending herein the third time, shall for such third Offence forfeit
all his lands and Goods and bee for ever banished and expelled out
of this Province. And be it also further Enacted ... that whatsoever
person or persons shall from henceforth uppon any occasion of Offence
or otherwise in a reproachful manner or Way declare call or denominate
any person or persons whatsoever ... an heritick, Scismatick, Idolator,
puritan, Independant, Prespiterian, popish prest, Jesuite, Jesuited
papist, Lutheran, Calvenist, Anabaptist, Brownist, Antinomian,
Barrowist, Round-head, Seperatist, or any other name or terme in a
reproachfull manner relating to matter of Religion shall for every such
Offence forfeit and loose the some or [of] tenne shillings sterling or
the value thereof, to bee levyed on the goods and chattells of every
such Offender and Offenders, the one half thereof to be forfeited and
paid unto the person and persons of whom such reproachfull words are
or shalbe spoken or uttered, and the other half thereof to the Lord
Proprietary and his heires Lords and Proprietaries of this Province.
But if such person or persons who shall at any time utter or speake
any such reproachfull words or Language shall not have Goods or
Chattells sufficient and overt within this Province to bee taken to
satisfie the penalty aforesaid, or that the same bee not otherwise
speedily satisfyed, that then the person or persons soe offending
shalbe publickly whipt, and shall suffer imprisomnt without baile or
maineprise untill hee, shee, or they respectively shall satisfy the
party soe offended or grieved by such reproachfull Language by asking
him or her respectively forgivenes publiquely for such his Offence
before the Magistrate or cheife Officer or Officers of the towne or
place where such Offence shalbe given. And be it further likewise
Enacted ... That every person and persons within this Province that
shall at any time hereafter prophane the Sabbath or Lords day, called
Sunday, by frequent swearing, drunkennes, or by any uncivill or
disorderly recreacon, or by working on that day when absolute necessity
doth not require it, shall for every such first offence forfeit 2s. 6d.
sterling or the value thereof, and for the second offence 5s. sterling
or the value thereof, and for the third offence and soe for every
time he shall offend in like manner afterwards, 10s. sterling or the
value thereof. And in case such offender and offenders shall not have
sufficient goods or chattells within this Province to satisfy any of
the said Penalties reecsptively hereby imposed ... That in Every such
case the partie soe offending shall for the first and second offence
in that kinde be imprisoned till hee or shee shall publickly in open
Court before the cheife Commander Judge or Magistrate of that County
Towne or precinct where such offence shalbe committed acknowledg the
Scandall and offence he hath in that respect given against God and the
good and civill Governmt of this Province; And for the third offence
and for every time after, shall also bee publickly whipt. _And whereas
the inforceing of the conscience in matters of Religion hath frequently
fallen out to be of dangerous Consequence in those commonwealthes where
it hath been practised, And for the more quiett and peaceable governmt
of this Province, and the better to preserve mutuall Love and amity
amongst the Inhabitants thereof. Be it Therefore also by the Lord
Proprietary with the advise and consent of this Assembly Ordeyned and
enacted_ (_except as in this present Act is before Declared and sett
forth) that noe person or persons whatsoever within this Province, or
the Islands, Parts, Harbors, Creekes, or havens thereunto belonging,
professing to beleive in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth bee any
waies troubled, Molested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or
her religion nor in the free exercise thereof within this Province or
the Islands thereunto belonging nor any way compelled to the beleife
or exercise of any other Religion against his or her consent, soe as
they be not unfaithfull to the Lord Proprietary, or molest or conspire
against the civill Government established or to bee established in this
Province under him or his heires._ And that all and every person and
persons that shall presume Contrary to this Act and the true intent
and meaning thereof directly or indirectly either in person or estate
wilfully to wrong disturbe trouble or molest any person whatsoever
within this Province professing to beleive in Jesus Christ for or in
respect of his or her religion, or the free exercise thereof, within
this Province ... that such person or persons soe offending shall be
compelled to pay trebble damages to the party soe wronged ... and
for every such offence shall also forfeit 20 s. sterling ... [or, in
default of payment, shall make satisfaction by public whipping, and
imprisonment during the pleasure of the Governor]....


[26] This word "with" should properly be "and"; it begins a new
grant--the _feudal_ powers of the proprietor.

[27] Indeed, until the grant of "New York" to James, Duke of York,
in 1664, every subsequent royal patent to an _individual_ proprietor
contains such provision, whether or not it be an exact and formal copy
of the Avalon document. New York was a conquered province settled by
Dutch,--which may explain the omission there.



41. Weymouth's Voyage, 1605

    From _A True Relation of Captain George Waymouth, His Voyage_
    (1605), reprinted in Massachusetts Historical Society Collections,
    Vol. VIII. Weymouth's voyage was a precursor of the attempt at
    settlement on the Kennebec in 1607 by one branch of the Virginia

Upon Tuesday, _the 5th day of March_, about ten o'clock before noon,
we set sail from Ratcliffe, and came to an anchor that tide about two
o'clock before Gravesend....

Friday, _the 17th of May_, about six o'clock at night, we descried the
land. ... It appeared a mean high land, as we after found it, being an
island of some six miles in compass, but I hope the most fortunate ever
yet discovered....

This island is woody grown with fir, birch, oak and beech, as far as
we saw along the shore; and so likely to be within. On the verge grow
gooseberries, strawberries, wild pease, and wild rose bushes. The water
issued forth down the rocky cliffe in many places: and much fowl of
divers kinds breed upon the shore and rocks.

While we were at shore, our men aboard, with a few hooks, got
above thirty great cods and haddocks, which gave us a taste of the
great plenty of fish which we found afterward wheresoever we went
upon the coast. From hence we might discern the main land from the
west-south-west to the east-north-east; and a great way (as it then
seemed, and we after found it,) up into the main we might discern very
high mountains, though the main seemed but low land;...

The profits and fruits which are naturally on these islands are these:

All along the shore, and some space within, where the wood hindereth
not, grow plentifully, raspberries, gooseberries, strawberries, roses,
currants, wild vines, angelica.

Within the islands grow wood of sundry sorts, some very great, and
all tall, as birch, beech, ash, maple, spruce, cherry tree, yew, oak,
very great and good, fir tree, out of which issueth turpentine in so
marvellous plenty, and so sweet as our chirurgeon and others affirmed
they never saw so good in England. We pulled off much gum, congealed on
the outside of the bark, which smelled like frankincense. This would be
a great benefit for making tar and pitch.

We staid the longer in this place, not only because of our good harbor
(which is an excellent comfort,) but because every day we did more
and more discover the pleasant fruitfulness; insomuch as many of our
company wished themselves settled here, not expecting any further
hopes, or better discovery to be made.

Here our men found abundance of great muscles among the rocks; and in
some of them many small pearls: and in one muscle (which we drew up in
our net) was found fourteen pearls, whereof one of pretty bigness and
orient; in another above fifty small pearls: and if we had had a drag,
no doubt we had found some of great value, seeing these did certainly
shew that here they were bred; the shells all glittering with mother of

Our captain had in this small time discovered up a great river,
trending alongst into the main about forty miles. The pleasantness
whereof, with the safety of harbor for shipping, together with the
fertility of ground and other fruits, which were generally by his
whole company related, I omit till I report of the whole discovery
thereinafter performed....

The next day being Saturday and the first of June, I traded with the
savages all the forenoon upon the shore, where were eight-and-twenty of
them; and because our ship rode nigh, we were but five or six; where
for knives, glasses, combs, and other trifles to the value of four
or five shillings, we had forty good beavers' skins, otters' skins,
sables, and other small skins, which we knew not how to call. ... Here
are more good harbors for ships of all burthens, than England can
afford, and far more secure from all winds and weathers, than any in
England, Scotland, France, or Spain....

As we passed with a gentle wind up with our ship in this river, any man
may conceive with what admiration we all consented in joy. Many of our
company who had been travellers in sundry countries, and in most famous
rivers, yet affirmed them not comparable to this they now beheld. Some
that were with Sir Walter Raleigh in his voyage to Guiana, in the
discovery of the river Orenoque, which echoed fame to the world's ears,
gave reasons why it was not to be compared with this, which wanteth
the dangers of many shoals, and broken ground, wherewith that was
incumbered. Others before that notable river in the West Indies called
Rio Grande; some before the river of Loire, the river Seine, and of
Bourdeaux in France; which although they be great and goodly rivers,
yet it is no detraction from them to be accounted inferior to this,
which not only yieldeth all the foresaid pleasant profits, but also
appeared infallibly to us free from all inconveniences.

I will not prefer it before our river of Thames, because it is
England's richest treasure:...

The excellency of this part of the river, for his good breadth, depth,
and fertile bordering ground, did so ravish us all with variety of
pleasantness, as we could not tell what to commend, but only admired;
some compared it to the river Severn, (but in a higher degree) and we
all concluded (as I verily think we might right) that we should never
see the like river in every degree equal, until it pleased God we
beheld the same again....

The temperature of the climate (albeit a very important matter) I had
almost passed without mentioning, because it afforded to us no great
alteration from our disposition in England; somewhat hotter up into the
main, because it lieth open to the south; the air so wholesome, as I
suppose not any of us found ourselves at any time more healthful, more
able to labor, nor with better stomachs to such good fare as we partly
brought and partly found....


42. Charter of the Plymouth Council

              [Often called The Council for New England]

                          November 3/12, 1629

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (Washington, 1792), I, 103-118.

    The "Second Colony" of the Charter of 1606 (No. 16 above) sent
    out an expedition to the coast of Maine in 1607. This failed; and
    the Company made no further efforts until 1620, save for the vain
    attempt of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, one of the leading members.
    In March of 1619/20, Gorges and other members petitioned for a
    reorganization of the Company, and this prayer was granted by the
    King in this charter. This document stands to the "Second Colony"
    of 1606 (the Plymouth branch) as do the charters of 1609 and 1612
    to the "First Colony" (the London branch).

[The charter begins by reciting the grant of the Virginia Charter of
1606, the grant of 1609 to one branch of the original Company, and the
petition of Gorges and others of the Plymouth branch for a similar
enlargement and for a monopoly of the northern fisheries.]

And also for that We have been further given certainly to knowe,
that within these late Yeares there hath by God's Visitation raigned
a wonderfull Plague, together with many horrible Slaughters, and
Murthers, committed amongst the Savages and bruitish People there
heertofore inhabiting, in a Manner to the utter Destruction,
Devastacion, and Depopulacion of that whole Territorye ... whereby We
in our Judgment are persuaded and satisfied that the appointed Time is
come in which Almighty God in his great Goodness and Bountie towards Us
and our People, hath thought fitt and determined that those large and
goodly Territoryes, deserted as it were by their naturall inhabitants,
should be possessed and enjoyed by such of our Subjects and People as
heertofore have and hereafter shall by his Mercie and Favour, and by
his Powerfull Arme, be directed and conducted thither. In Contemplacion
and serious Consideracion whereof, Wee have thougt it fitt according to
our Kingly Duty, soe much as in Us lyeth, to second and followe God's
sacred Will, rendering reverend Thanks to his Divine Majestie for his
gracius favour in laying open and revealing the same unto us before any
other Christian Prince or State, by which Meanes without Offence,...
Wee therefore ... Do ... grant ... that all that Circuit, Continent,
Precincts, and Limitts in America, lying and being in Breadth from
Fourty Degrees of Northerly Latitude, from the Equinoticall Line, to
Fourty-eight Degrees of the said Northerly Latitude, and in Length by
all the Breadth aforesaid throughout the Maine Land, from Sea to
Sea, ... shall be the Limitts ... of the second Collony: And to the End
that the said Territoryes may forever hereafter be more particularly
and certainly known and distinguished, our Will and Pleasure is, that
the same shall from henceforth be nominated, termed, and called by the
Name of New-England, in America. ... And for the better Plantacion,
ruling, and governing of the aforesaid New-England in America, We ...
ordaine ... that from henceforth, there shall be ... in our Towne of
Plymouth, in the County of Devon, one Body politicque and corporate,
which shall have perpetuall Succession, which shall consist of the
Number of fourtie Persons, and no more, which shall be, and shall be
called and knowne by the Name of the Council established at Plymouth,
in the County of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, and
governing of New-England, in America; [The names of the Council. They
have power to fill vacancies in their membership, and the usual rights
of a corporation; they are to choose a "President," etc.; and to
control trade with New England and the ownership of land.]

And further ... Wee ... grant full Power and Authority to the said
Councill ... [to] nominate, make, constitute, ordaine, and confirme
by such Name or Names, Style or Styles, as to them shall seeme Good;
and likewise to revoke, discharge, change, and alter, as well all and
singular, Governors, Officers, and Ministers, which hereafter shall be
by them thought fitt and needful to be made or used, as well to attend
the Business of the said Company here, as for the Government of the
said Collony and Plantation, and also to make ... all Manner of Orders,
Laws, Directions, Instructions, Forms, and Ceremonies of Government
and Magistracy fitt and necessary for any concerning the Government of
the said Collony and Plantation, so always as the same be not contrary
to the Laws and Statutes of this our Realme of England; and the same
att all Times hereafter to abrogate, revoke, or change, not only
within the Precincts of the said Collony, but also upon the Seas in
going and coming to and from the said Collony, as they in their good
Discretions shall thinke to be fittest for the good of the Adventurers
and Inhabitants there.

[Clauses similar to those in the London Company's charter of 1609
regarding martial law; the forfeiture of goods fraudulently transported
to a foreign country; landholding by free socage, etc.; the right "to
take, load, carry, and transport ... out of our Realmes to New England
all such ... of our loveing Subjects ... as shall willingly accompany
them"; exemption from duties on goods exported from England for seven
years; and from all taxes for twenty-one years, except the five per
cent customs duty for imports to be reëxported; right to dispose of

And Wee do also ... grant to the said Councell ... that they ... shall,
and lawfully may, ... for their ... Defence and Safety, encounter,
expulse, repel, and resist by Force of Arms, as well by Sea as by Land,
and all Ways and Meanes whatsoever, all such ... Persons, as without
the speciall Licence of the said Councell ... shall attempt to inhabitt
within the said severall Precincts and Limitts of the said Collony and
Plantation. And also all ... such ... Persons ... as shall enterprize
or attempt att any time hereafter Destruction, Invasion, Detriment, or
Annoyance to the said Collony and Plantation.

[A like provision for use of force to prevent traders visiting the
territory without the "License and consent of the said Councill ...
first had and obtained in Writing." Authority for two of the Council to
administer the oaths of allegiance and supremacy (as in the charter of
1612); a long passage giving the Councill extraordinary jurisdiction as
a safeguard against its being defrauded or libeled (as in the charter
of 1612); English subjects settling in the colony and their descendants
there to have all the rights of Englishmen. None to be permitted to go
to New England except such as first take the oath of supremacy,--this
provision intended to exclude Catholics (wording taken from the charter
of 1609; not found in 1612); etc, etc. etc.--Privileges granted in
1606, and not altered in this charter, are confirmed.]


43. Delays in securing the Wincob Charter

Robert Cushman to Pastor Robinson, May 8/18, 1619

    Bradford's _Plymouth Plantation_ (Original Narratives edition), 58,

    Cushman was the agent of the Pilgrims, sent from Holland to secure
    a charter from the London Company for some district in "Northern
    Virginia." The negotiations had been going on more than a year when
    this letter was written.

... The maine hinderance of our proseedings in the Virginia bussines
is the dissentions and factions as they terme it among the Counsell
and Company of Virginia; which are such as that ever since we came up
no busines could by them be dispatched. The occasion of this trouble
amongst them is, for that a while since Sir Thomas Smith, repining at
his many offices and troubls, wished the Company of Virginia to ease
him of his office. ... Wereupon the Company tooke occasion to dismisse
him and choose Sir Edwin Sands Treasurer and Goverr of the Company. He
having 60 voyces, Sir John Worstenholme 16 voices, and Alderman Johnson
21.[28] But Sir Thomas Smith when he saw some parte of his honour
lost, was very angrie, and raised a faction to cavill and contend
aboute the election, and sought to taxe Sir Edwin with many things that
might both disgrace him, and allso put him by his office of Governour.
In which contentions they yet stick and are not fit nor readie to
intermedle in any bussines; and what issue things will come to we are
not yet certaine. It is most like Sir Edwin will carrie it, and if
he doe, things will goe well[29] in Virginia, if otherwise, they will
goe ill enough allways. We hope in some 2 or 3 Court days things will

44. Agreement between the Pilgrims in Holland and the Merchant
Adventurers in London

                            July 1/11, 1620

    Bradford's _Plymouth Plantation_ (Original Narratives edition), 66,

    The following "articles" outline the business partnership by which
    the Pilgrims secured funds to come to America.

1.--The adventurers and planters doe agree that every person that
goeth, being aged 16 years and upward, be rated at 10 £, and ten pounds
to be accounted a single share.

2.--That he that goeth in person, and furnisheth him selfe out with 10
£ either in money or other provissions, be accounted as having 20 £ in
stock, and in the devission shall receive a double share.

3.--The persons transported and the adventurers shall continue their
joynt stock and partnership togeather the space of 7 years (excepte
some unexpected impedimente doe cause the whole company to agree
otherwise), during which time all profits and benefits that are gott
by trade, traffick, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of
any person or persons, remaine still in the commone stock untill the

4.--That at their comming ther, they chose out such a number of fitt
persons, as may furnish their ships and boats for fishing upon the
sea; imploying the rest in their severall faculties upon the land; as
building houses, tilling, and planting the ground, and makeing shuch
commodities as shall be most usefull for the collonie.

5.--That at the end of the 7 years, the capitall and profits,--viz.
the houses, lands, goods and chatles,--be equally devided betwixte the
adventurers and planters; which done, every man shall be free from
other of them of any debt or detrimente concerning this adventure.

6.--Whosoever cometh to the colonie herafter, or putteth any into the
stock, shall at the ende of the 7 years be alowed proportionably to the
time of his so doing.

7.--He that shall carie his wife and children, or servants, shall be
alowed for everie person now aged 16 years and upward, a single share
in the devision, or if he provid them necessaries, a duble share, or if
they be between 10 year old and 16, then 2 of them to be reconed for a
person, both in transportation and devision.

8.--That such children as now goe, and are under the age of ten years,
have noe other shar in the devision but 50 acers of unmanured land.

9.--That such persons as die before the 7 years be expired, their
executors to have their parte or sharr at the devison, proportionably
to the time of their life in the collonie.

10.--That all such persons as are of this collonie, are to have their
meate, drink, apparell, and all provissions out of the common stock and
goods of the said collonie.

    [Bradford adds: "The cheefe and principall differences between
    these and the former conditions [_i.e._ articles proposed at first
    by the Pilgrims] stood in these 2 points; that the houses and lands
    improved, espetialy gardens and home lotts, should remain undevided
    wholly to the planters at the 7 years end [_i.e._ not go into the
    common stock of the partnership] 2ly, that they should have had 2
    days in a weeke for their own private imploymente."

    These points are made in a letter of John Robinson, the Pilgrim
    pastor, to John Carver, the agent in England, dated July 14, 1620
    (Bradford, 69, 70).

    "Aboute the conditions ... let this spetially be borne in minde;
    that the greatest parte of the collonie is like to be imployed
    constantly, not upon dressing ther perticuler [individual] land,
    and building houses, _but upon fishing_, _trading_, etc. So as
    the land and house will be but a trifell for advantage to the
    adventurers [London capitalists]; and yet the devission of it a
    great discouragemente to the planters [colonists], who would with
    singuler care make it comfortable with borowed houres from their

    For the fallacy in this view, cf. _American History and
    Government_, ## 49, 52.]

45. From the Farewell Letter of John Robinson

    Bradford's _Plymouth Plantation_ (Original Narratives edition),

    Robinson was the pastor of the Separatist congregation at Leyden.
    This letter was written to that part of the congregation which had
    just embarked for America, soon to found Plymouth colony. It is not
    dated. Bradford gives the full text. This extract shows that the
    charter which the Pilgrims had secured from the London Company, but
    which they were never to use (No. 43 note, and _American History
    and Government_, # 51 note), had guaranteed them a large measure of
    self-government. The letter would fill some five pages of this book.

... Lastly, whereas you are become a body politik, using amongst
yourselves civill governmente, and are not furnished with any persons
of spetiall eminence above the rest, to be chosen by you into office,
let your wisdome and godlines appear, not only in chusing shuch persons
as do entirely love and will promote the commone good, but also in
yeelding unto them all due honour and obedience ... and this dutie you
may the more willingly ... performe, because you are at least for the
present to have onely them for your ordinarie governours which your
selves shall make choyse of for that worke.

46. The Mayflower Compact

                         November 11/21, 1620

    Bradford's _Plymouth Plantation_ (Original Narratives edition),
    107. The original document is lost. Bradford gives no signatures.
    However, another copy, in Mourt's _Relation_, has the signatures,
    forty-two in number.

In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are under writen, the loyall
subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by the grace of
God, of Great Britaine, Franc, and Ireland king, defender of the faith,
etc., haveing undertaken, for the glorie of God, and advancemente of
the Christian faith, and honour of our king and countrie, a voyage to
plant the first colonie in the Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by
these presents solemnly and mutualy in the presence of God, and one of
another, covenant and combine our selves togeather into a civill body
politick, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of
the ends aforesaid; and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and
frame such just and equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions,
and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete and
convenient for the generall good of the Colonie, unto which we promise
all due submission and obedience. In witnes whereof we have hereunder
subscribed our names at Cap-Codd the 11. of November, in the year of
the raigne of our soveraigne lord, King James, of England, France, and
Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fiftie fourth. Anno: Dom.

    For a discussion of this document, see _American History and
    Government_, # 51. Here it should be noted that it is not a
    "constitution" so much as a preliminary "social compact." Nineteen
    years later, Wheelwright and his followers (banished from
    Massachusetts) settled on the New Hampshire coast and adopted
    an agreement similar to the Mayflower document in occasion and
    character. Western mining camps have taken like action many times
    in later days.

    The Wheelwright document follows from Hazard's _State Papers_, I,


    WHEREAS it hath pleased the Lord to move the Heart of our dread
    Sovereign Charles by the Grace of God King etc. to grant Licence
    and Libertye to sundry of his subjects to plant themselves in the
    Westerne parts of America. We his loyal Subjects, Brethren of the
    Church in Exeter, situate and lying upon the River Pascataqua,
    with other Inhabitants there, considering with ourselves the holy
    Will of God and our own Necessity that we should not live without
    wholesom Lawes and Civil Government among us, of which we are
    altogether destitute; do in the name of Christ and in the Sight
    of God combine ourselves together to erect and set up among us
    such Government as shall be to our best discerning agreeable to
    the Will of God, professing ourselves Subjects to our Sovereign
    Lord King Charles according to the Libertyes of our English Colony
    of Massachusetts, and binding ourselves solemnly by the Grace and
    help of Christ, and in his Name and fear, to submit ourselves to
    such Godly and Christian Lawes as are established in the realm of
    England to our best Knowledge, and to all other such Lawes which
    shall upon good grounds be made and enacted among us according
    to God, that we may live quietly and peaceably together in all
    godliness and honesty. Mo. 8. D. 4. 1639, as attests our Hands.

  John Wheelwright [and thirty-four other names].

47. The Peirce Charter, June, 1621

    _Massachusetts Historical Society Collections_, Fourth Series, II,
    158 ff.

    Finding themselves within the jurisdiction of the newly reorganized
    Plymouth Council (or New England Council), the Pilgrims secured
    from that body the following grant through their London partners.
    Peirce was intended to act as trustee while the partnership lasted.
    Cf. _American History and Government_, # 55, and (for the documents
    regarding Peirce's later attempt to steal the colony) Arber's
    _Story of the Pilgrim Fathers_, 259, 260.

This Indenture made the First Day of June, _1621_, Betwene the
_President and Counsell of New England_ of the one partie, And _John
Peirce_ Citizen and Clothworker of London _and his Associates_ of the
other partie, Witnesseth that whereas the said John Peirce and his
Associates have already transported and undertaken to transporte at
their cost and chardges themselves and dyvers persons into New England
and there to erect and build a Towne and settle dyvers Inhabitantes
for the advancement of the generall plantacion of that Country of New
England, Now the sayde President and Counsell, in consideracion thereof
and for the furtherance of the said plantacion and incoragement of the
said Undertakers, have agreed to graunt, assigne, allott, and appoynt
to the said John Peirce and his associates and every of them, his and
their heires and assignes, one hundred acres of grownd for every person
so to be transported, besides dyvers other pryviledges, Liberties, and
commodyties hereafter mencioned....

The same land to be taken and chosen by them, their deputies or
assignes, in any place or places wheresoever not already inhabited by
any English....

And forasmuch as the said John Peirce and his associates intend and
have undertaken to build Churches, Schooles, Hospitalls, Toune houses,
Bridges, and such like workes of Charytie, As also for the maynteyning
of Magistrates and other inferior Officers (In regard whereof and to
the end that the said John Peirce and his Associates, his and their
heires and assignes, may have where withall to beare and support such
like charges), Therefore the said President and Councell aforesaid do
graunt unto the said Undertakers, their heires and assignes, Fifteene
hundred acres of Land moreover and above the aforesaid proporcion of
one hundred the person for every undertaker and Planter, to be imployed
upon such publique uses as the said Undertakers and Planters shall
thinck fitt....

And shall also at any tyme within the said terme of Seaven Yeeres upon
request unto the said President and Counsell made, graunt unto them
(the said John Peirce and his Associates, Undertakers, and Planters,
their heires and assignes) Letters and Grauntes of Incorporacion by
some usuall and fitt name and tytle, _with Liberty to them and their
successors from tyme to tyme to make orders, Lawes, Ordynaunces, and
Constitucions, for the rule, governement, ordering, and dyrecting
of all persons to be transported and settled upon the landes hereby
graunted, intended to be graunted, or hereafter to be granted....
And in the meane tyme untill such graunt made, It shalbe lawfull for
the said John Peirce, his Associates, Undertakers, and Planters,
their heires and assignes, by consent of the greater part of them,
To establish such Lawes and ordynaunces as are for their better
government, and the same, by such Officer or Officers as they shall by
most voyces elect and choose, to put in execucion_.

    [The above grant was the first charter issued by the Plymouth
    Council of 1620 (No. 42 above). It is sometimes said that these
    patents from the Council had no legal force, so far as _political
    features_ were concerned. It is true that such grants had no force,
    as against the royal government; but, as long as the royal grant
    to the Council stood, grants from that body were valid,--certainly
    valid as against any later claim from that proprietary body.
    The king's patent of 1620 authorized the Council to arrange the
    government of colonies in its New England territories as it
    pleased. In carrying out this provision for the Pilgrims, the
    Council saw fit to permit a large share of self-government,--just
    as the London Company had done, in less degree, for the Virginians,
    and as Penn was to do for the Pennsylvanians in his famous charter
    to them in 1701 (No. 109 below). As to the overthrow of the
    validity of the charters to the Pilgrims in 1634, cf. _American
    History and Government_, # 55 close.]

48. Early Descriptions of Plymouth[30]

_a. Edward Winslow's Letter (to a friend in England), December 11/21,

    Arber's _Story of the Pilgrim Fathers_, 488-494. (The spelling is
    modernized in all printed copies.)

  Loving and Old Friend,--

Although I received no letter from you by this ship, yet forasmuch as I
know you expect the performance of my promise, which was, to write unto
you truly and faithfully of all things, I have therefore at this time
sent unto you accordingly, referring you for further satisfaction to
our more large Relations [Winslow's _Relations_, a considerable volume].

You shall understand that in this little time [less than one year]
that a few of us have been here, we have built seven dwelling-houses
and four for the use of the plantation, and have made preparation for
divers others. We set the last spring some twenty acres of Indian corn,
and sowed some six acres of barley and pease; and according to the
manner of the Indians, we manured our ground with herrings, or rather
shads, which we have in great abundance, and take with great ease at
our doors. Our corn did prove well; and, God be praised, we had a good
increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our
pease not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown.
They came up very well, and blossomed; but the sun parched them in the

When it pleaseth God we are settled and fitted for the fishing business
and other trading, I doubt not but by the blessing of God the gain will
give content to all. In the mean time, that we have gotten we have sent
by this ship; and though it be not much, yet it will witness for us
that we have not been idle, considering the smallness of our number all
this summer. We hope the merchants will accept of it, and be encouraged
to furnish us with things needful for further employment, which will
also encourage us to put forth ourselves to the uttermost.

Now because I expect your coming unto us, with other of our friends,
whose company we much desire, I thought good to advertise you of a
few things needful. Be careful to have a very good bread-room to put
your biscuits in. Let your cask for beer and water be iron-bound, for
the first tire, if not more. Let not your meat be dry-salted; none
can better do it than the sailors. Let your meal be so hard trod in
your cask that you shall need an adz or hatchet to work it out with.
Trust not too much on us for corn at this time, for by reason of this
last company that came, depending wholly upon us, we shall have little
enough till harvest. Be careful to come by some of your meal to spend
by the way; it will much refresh you. Build your cabins as open as you
can, and bring good store of clothes and bedding with you. Bring every
man a mussket or fowling-piece. Let your piece be long in the barrel,
and fear not the weight of it, for most of our shooting is from stands.
Bring juice of lemons, and take it fasting; it is of good use. For hot
waters, aniseed water is the best; but use it sparingly. If you bring
anything for comfort in the country, butter or sallet oil, or both is
very good. Our Indian corn, even the coarsest, maketh us pleasant meat
as rice; therefore spare that, unless to spend by the way. Bring paper
and linseed oile for your windows, with cotton yarn for your lamps.
Let your shot be most for big fowls, and bring store of powder and
shot. I forbear further to write for the present, hoping to see you by
the next return. So I take my leave, commending you to the Lord for a
safe conduct unto us, resting in him,

                                                Your loving friend,

                                                                  E. W.

_b. Captain John Smith's Account, 1624_

    Smith's _Works_ (Birmingham edition), 782 ff.

At New-Plimoth there is [1624] about 180 persons, some cattell and
goats, but many swine and poultry; 32 dwelling houses, whereof 7 were
burnt the last winter [1623], and the value of five hundred pounds in
other goods; the Towne is impailed about halfe a mile [in] compasse.
In the toune upon a high Mount they have a Fort well built with
wood, lime, and stone, where is planted their Ordnance: Also a faire
Watch-tower, partly framed for the Sentinell. The place it seemes is
healthfull, for in these last three yeeres [1621-4], notwithstanding
their great want of most necessaries, there hath not one died of the
first planters. They have made a saltworke, and with that salt preserve
the fish they take; and this yeare [1624] hath fraughted a ship of 180

The Governour is one Master William Bradford;

       *       *       *       *       *

The most of them live together as one family or household, yet every
man followeth his trade and profession both by sea and land, and all
for a generall stocke: out of which they have all their maintenance,
untill there be a divident betwixt the Planters and the Adventurers.

Those Planters are not servants to the Adventurers here, but have onely
councells of directions from them, but no injunctions or command; and
all the masters of families are partners in land or whatsoever, setting
their labours against the stocke, till certaine yeeres be expired for
the division; they have young men and boies for their Apprentises
and servants, and some of them speciall families, as Ship-carpenters,
Salt-makers, Fish-masters, yet as servants upon great wages.

The Adventurers which raised the stocke to begin and supply this
Plantation were about 70:[31] some Gentlemen, some Merchants, some
handy-crafts men, some adventuring great summes, some small, as their
estates and affection served. The generall stocke already imploied is
about 7000 l.; by reason of which charge and many crosses, many of them
would adventure no more: but others that knowes so great a designe
cannot bee effected without both charge, losse, and crosses, are
resolved to goe forward with it to their powers; which deserve no small
commendations and encouragement. These [The Adventurers generally]
dwell most[ly] about London. They are not a Corporation, but [are] knit
together by a voluntary combination in a society without constraint
or penalty, aiming to doe good and to plant Religion; they have a
President and Treasurer, every yeere newly chosen by the most voices,
who ordereth the affaires of their Courts and meetings, and with the
assent of the most of them, undertaketh all ordinary business; but in
more weighty affaires, the assent of the whole Company is required.

There hath beene a fishing this yeere [1624] upon the Coast about
50. English ships: ... and though I promise no Mines of gold, yet
the warlike Hollanders let us imitate but not hate, whose wealth and
strength are good testimonies of their treasury gotten by fishing; and
New-England hath yeelded already [up to 1624] by generall computation
one hundred thousand pounds at the least. Therefore, honourable and
worthy Country men, let not the meannesse of the word fish distaste
you, for it will afford as good gold as the Mines of Guiana or
Potassie, with lesse hazard and charge, and more certainty and facility.

49. Final Source of Plymouth Land Titles

_a. The Bradford Charter, January 13/23, 1629/30_

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (Washington, 1792), I, 298 ff.

    Cf. _American History and Government_, # 55.

[Recital of grant of New England by James I to the Council for New
England in charter of 1620.]

=Now know yee= that the said Councell, by Vertue and Authority of his
said late Majestie's Letters pattents, and ... in Consideration that
William Bradford and his Associates have for these nine Yeares lived in
New-Englande ... and have there ... planted a Towne ... att their owne
proper Costs ... and now seeinge that by the speciall Providence of God
and [by] their extraordinary Care and Industry, they have encreased
their Plantacion to neere three hundred People ... Have given ... and
sett over ... unto the said William Bradford, his Heires, _Associates_,
and Assigns, all that Parte of New England [boundaries of the Colony]

... Alsoe it shalbe lawfull and free for the said William Bradford,
his Associats, his Heires and Assignes, att all tymes hereafter, to
incorporate by some usuall or fitt Name and Title, him or themselves,
or the People there inhabitinge under him or them, with Liberty to them
and their Successours, from tyme to tyme to frame and make Orders,
Ordinances, and Constitucons, as well for the better Governemente of
their Affaires here, and the receaving or admitting any to his or their
Society, as alsoe for the better Government of his or their People and
Affaires in _New Englande_, or his and their People att Sea in goeinge
thither, or returninge from thence, and the same to putt or cause to be
putt in Execucon by such Officers and Ministers as he and they shall
authorise and depute; Provided that the said Lawes and Orders bee not
repugnante to the Lawes of Englande, or the Frame of Governmente by
the said Presidente and Councell here after to be established. ... And
the said Councell doe hereby covenante and declare, that it is their
Intente and Meaninge for the good of this Plantacon, that the said
William Bradford his Associats, or their Heires or Assignes, shall have
and enjoy whatsoever Priveledge or Priveledges of what kinde soever, as
are expressed or intended to be graunted by his said late Majestie's
Letters-Pattents, and that in as large and ample manner as the said
Councell thereby now may or hereafter can graunte (coyninge of Money
excepted). ... And lastly, know yee that wee the said Councell have
made and ... appointed Captaine Myles Standish, or, in his absence,
Edward Winslowe, ... and John Alden, or _any of them_, to be our true
and lawfull Attorney ... in our Name and Stead, to enter into the said
Tracte ... of Lande ... or into some parte thereof ... and in our Names
to take possession and seizin thereof, ... and after such possession
and seizin, ... then ... in our Names to deliver the full and peaceable
possession of all ... the said mencioned ... premises unto the said
William Bradford....

    [The Plymouth copy of this grant is indorsed:--

    "The within named John Alden, authorised as Attorney for the within
    mentioned Counsill, haveing in their name ... entered into some
    parte of the within mentioned tracts of Land ... and in their Names
    taken possession and seazin thereof, did in the name of the said
    Counsill, deliver the full and peacable possession and seazin of
    all ... the within mentioned ... premises unto William Bradford,
    for him, his Heires, Associates, and Assignes....

  "In Presence of
      James Cudworth
      William Clark
      Nathaniel Mortan, _Secretary_."]

_b. Surrender of the Bradford Patent to the Plymouth Freemen, March
2/12, 1640/1641_

    This document was first printed by Hazard in his _State Papers_ (I,
    468, 469). The text as given later (1855) in the _Plymouth Records_
    has the same spelling in nearly every case, but is somewhat more
    economical of capital letters. The Hazard text is followed here.

WHEREAS ... the said William Bradford and divers others the first
Instruments of God in the beginninge of this greate work of Plantacon
together with such as the Alorderinge God in his Providence soone added
unto them have beene at very greate charges to procure the said lands
priveledges and freedomes from all entanglements ... by reason whereof
the title to the day of this present remayneth in the said William his
heires associats and assignes now for the better setling of the state
of the said land aforesaid the said William Bradford and those first
Instruments termed and called in sondry orders upon publick Record the
Purchasers or Old Comers ... whereby they are distinguished from other
the freemen and Inhabitants of the said Corporation Be it known unto
all men therefore by these presents That the said William Bradford for
himself his heires together with the said purchasers do onely reserve
unto themselves their heires and assignes those three tracts of
land ... together with such other smale percells of lands as they or
any of them are personally possessed of or interessed in by vertue of
any former titles or graunts whatsoever and the said William Bradford
doth by the free and full consent approbacon and agreement of the said
Old Planters or Purchasers together with the likeing approbacon and
acceptacon of the other part of the said Corporacon surrender into the
hands of the whole Court consisting of the Freemen of this Corporacon
of New-Plymouth all that ther right and title power authorytie
priveledges immunities and freedomes graunted in the said Letters
Patents by the said Right Honorable Councell for New England reserveing
his and their personall Right of Freemen ... declaring the Freemen
of this present Corporacon together with all such as shall be legally
admitted into the same his associates ... In witnes whereof the said
William Bradford hath in Publicke Court surrendered the said Letters
Patents actually into the hands and power of the said Court bynding
himselfe his heires executors administrators and assignes to deliver
up whatsoever specialties are in his hands that do or may concerne the

_Memorand._ That the said surrender was made by the said William
Bradford in publicke Court to Nathaniell Sowther especially authorized
by the whole Court to receive the same together with the said Letters
Patents in his name and for the use of the whole Body of Freemen....

50. First Code of Laws in America

                 _Plymouth "Fundementals," 1636._

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (Washington, 1792), I, 404-410.

    The following extracts come from a code (much resembling a bill
    of rights) drawn up for Plymouth Colony in 1636 by the first
    representative gathering of that colony. Cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 54.

1.--WEE the associates of the Colony of New-Plymouth, coming hither
as free born subjects of the kingdom of England, endowed with all and
singular the priveleges belonging to such: Being assembled,

Do enact, ordain and constitute; that no act, imposition, law or
ordinance be made or imposed on us at present, or to come, but such as
shall be enacted by consent of the body of freemen or associates, or
their representatives legally assembled; which is according to the free
liberties of the free born people of England.

2.--And for the well governing this Colony: It is also resolved
and ordered, that there be a free election annually of Governor,
Deputy Governor, and assistance, by the vote of the freemen of this

4.--It is also enacted, that no person in this government shall suffer
or be indamaged, in respect of life, limb, liberty, good name or
estate, under color of law, or countenance of authority, but by virtue
or equity of some express law of the general court of this Colony, or
the good and equitable laws of our Nation, suitable for us, in matters
which are of a civil nature (as by the court here hath been accustomed)
wherein we have no particular law of our own. And that none shall
suffer as aforesaid, without being brought to answer by due course and
process of Law.

5.--And that all cases, whether capital, criminal, or between man and
man, be tried by a jury of twelve good and lawful men, according to the
commendable custom of England, except where some express law doth refer
it to the judgement of some other judge or inferior court where jury is
not; in which case also any party aggrieved, may appeal and have trial
by a jury.

And it shall be in the liberty of any person, that is to be tried by a
jury to challenge any of the jurors, and if the challenge be found just
and reasonable by the bench, it shall be allowed; and others without
just exception shall be impanelled in their room: And if it be in case
of life and death, the prisoner shall have liberty (according to the
law of England) to except against twenty of the jury without giving any
reason for the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

7.--And it is enacted; being the privelege of our charter; that all
persons of the age of 21 years, of right understanding and memory,
whether excommunicated, condemned or other, having any estate properly
theirs to dispose of, shall have full power and liberty to make their
reasonable wills and testaments, and other lawful alienations of their
lands and estates; be it only here excepted, That such as are sentenced
for Treason ... or other capitall crimes, shall forfeit ... for the
carrying on the charge of government, their personal estate: Their
lands and real estate being still at their disposal.

       *       *       *       *       *


[28] The correct vote, according to the Company's _Records_ (I, 212),
is 59, 23, and 18 (No. 28 below). This, of course, was the election
in April, 1619, by which the Liberals came into power. Cf. _American
History and Government_, ## 27, 49 and note.

[29] Things did "settle" rapidly. Bradford's narrative continues: "But
at last after all these things and their long attendance, they had a
Patent granted them and confirmed under the Companies seale [June 9/19,
according to _Records_ of the Virginia Company for May 26 and June 9,
1619]. ... By the advice of some of their friends, this pattente was
not taken in the name of any of their owne, but in the name of Rev.
John Wincob (a religious gentleman then belonging to the Countess of
Lincoline), who intended to goe with them. But God so disposed as he
never went, nor they ever made use of this patente, which had cost them
so much labour and charge. ..."

[30] Bradford's longer accounts are omitted here, because they are
quoted so freely in _American History and Government_.

[31] Bradford gives forty-two names,--those still interested
in 1626. (Bradford's _Letter Book, Massachusetts Historical
Society Collections_, First Series, III, 48.) In his latest work
(_Advertisements_, etc., 1630) Smith implies that the London merchants
lost far the greater part of their investment,--"being out of purse six
or seven thousand pounds," and accepting in lieu of this the promise
of the Planters in 1627 "to pay them for nine years two hundred pounds
yearely, without any other account [settlement]." Smith, no doubt,
heard only the merchants' side and exaggerates their loss. Bradford's
_History_ shows that the accounts were badly muddled.


51. The Gorges Claim to Massachusetts

_a. Charter from the New England Council to Robert Gorges. December
30/January 9, 1622/3_

    Hazard's _State Papers_ (1792), I, 152 ff. Reprinted from Sir
    Ferdinando Gorges' _Briefe Narration of the Originall Undertakings
    ... of Plantations into ... America_ (1658). Gorges' _Briefe
    Narration_ is reprinted in full in the _Massachusetts Historical
    Society Collections_, Third Series, V, 45-93.

    The Gorges Charter is short, and is given almost in full below.

[Recital of the grant of 1620 to the Council of New England] Now know
all Men by these Presents, that We the Councell of _New-England_, for,
and in respect of the good and speciall Service done by Sir _Ferdinando
Gorges_, Knight, to the Plantation, from the first Attempt thereof unto
this present, as also for many other causes us hereunto moving, and
likewise for and in Consideration of the Payment of one hundred and
sixty pounds of lawfull English Money unto the Hands of our Treasurer,
by _Robert Gorges_, Sonne of the said Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight,
whereof, and of every Part and Parcell whereof, the said _Robert
Gorges_, his Heires, Executors, and Assignes, are for ever acquitted
and discharged, by these Presents; have given, granted and confirmed,
and by these Presents do give, grant, and confirme, unto the said
_Robert Gorges_, his Heires and Assignes for ever, all that part of the
Main Land in _New-England_ aforesaid, commonly called or known by the
name of _Messachusiack_, situate, lying and being upon the North-East
side of the Bay called or knowne by the the Name of _Massachuset_,
or by what other Name or Names soever it be, or shall be called or
knowne, together with all the Shoars and Coasts along the Sea, for ten
_English_ Miles, in a streight line towards the North-East, accounting
one thousand, seven hundred and sixty yards to the Mile, and thirty
_English_ Miles (after the same rate) unto the Main Land through all
the Breadth aforesaid, together with all the Islets and Islands, lying
within three Miles of any Part of the said Lands (except such Islands
as are formerly granted): together also with all the Lands, Rivers,
Mines and Mineralls, Woods, Quarryes, Marshes, Waters, Lakes, Fishings,
Huntings, Fowlings, and Commodities, and Hereditaments whatsoever, with
all and singular their Appurtenances, together with all Prerogatives,
Rights, Jurisdictions and Royalties, and Power of Judicature in all
Causes and Matters whatsoever, Criminal, Capital, and Civil, arising,
or which may hereafter arise, within the Limits, Bounds, and Precincts
aforesaid, =_to be executed according to the great Charter of England,
and such Lawes as shall be hereafter established by Publique Authority
of the State assembled in Parliament in New-England_=, to be executed
and exercised by the said _Robert Gorges_, his Heires and Assignes,
or his or their Deputies, Lieutenants, Judges, Stewards, or other
Officers, thereunto by him or them assigned, ... saving and alwayes
reserving unto the said Councell, and their Successours, and to the
Court of Parliament hereafter to be in _New-England_ aforesaid, and to
either of them, power to receive, heare and determine all and singular
Appeale and Appeales, of every Person and Persons whatsoever, dwelling
or inhabiting within the said Territories and Islands, or either or
any of them, to the said _Robert Gorges_ granted as aforesaid, of and
from all Judgments and Sentences whatsoever given within the said

    [Sir Ferdinando Gorges was one of the original patentees of the
    "Northern Colony" of 1606. More than any other one man, he was
    instrumental in keeping that enterprise alive and in finally
    securing its reorganization as the Council of New England in 1620
    (No. 42 above). He continued to be prominent in the meetings and
    business of that Company until its dissolution in 1634. He drew
    up a plan of government for all New England, in accordance with
    which the New England Council appointed his son Robert "generall
    Governor." This governor was to be assisted by a "Councill"
    consisting of heads of any individual colonies established or to
    be established. The Governor and Council were to make laws with
    the assent of a central "Parliament" to be chosen from the several

    Thus Robert Gorges came to America in this double
    capacity,--patentee of his own small grant on Massachusetts Bay,
    and General Governor (or "Lieutenant General") of all New England.
    It was this last position that brought upon him the dislike of
    Governor Bradford of Plymouth, as noted in _American History and
    Government_, # 45, note.]

_b. Robert Gorges, Lieutenant General of New England_ (1623)

    From Sir Ferdinando Gorges' "Briefe Narration" (1658), reprinted in
    _Massachusetts Historical Society Collections_, Third Series, VI,

_My son Captain Robert Gorges sent by authority of the Council for
those Affairs, as their Lieutenant General._

The several complaints made to the council of the abuses committed by
several the fishermen, and other interlopers, who without order from
them frequented those coasts, tending to the scorn of our nation ... to
the overthrow of our trade, and dishonor of the government,--

For reformation whereof, and to prevent the evils that may ensue, they
were pleased to resolve of the sending some one into those parts as
their Lieutenant, to regulate the estate of their affairs and those
abuses. Hereupon my son Robert Gorges being newly come out of the
Venetian war, was the man they were pleased to pitch upon, being one
of the Company, and interested in a proportion of the land with the
rest of the Patentees in the Bay of the Majechewsett, containing ten
miles in breadth and thirty miles into the main land; who, between my
Lord Gorges and myself, was speedily sent away into the said Bay of
Massechewset, where he arrived about the beginning of August following,
anno 1623, that being the place he resolved to make his residence, as
proper for the public as well as for his private [affairs]; where
landing his provisions and building his storehouses, he sent to them
of New Plymouth (who by his commission were authorized to be his
assistants) to come unto him, who willingly obeyed his order, and as
carefully discharged their duties; by whose experience he suddenly
understood what was to be done with the poor means he had, believing
the supplies he expected would follow according to the undertakings of
divers his familiar friends who had promised as much. But they, hearing
how I sped in the House of Parliament, withdrew themselves; and myself
and friends were wholly disabled to do any thing to purpose. The report
of these proceedings with us coming to my son's ears, he was advised to
return home till better occasion should offer itself unto him.

52. The Beginning of Salem Colony

    Extracts from the _Brief Relation_ by the Reverend John White, 1630.

    For explanation of White's connection with the Company, see
    _American History and Government_, # 57 and note.

The ensuing faithful and impartial narration of the first occasions,
beginning, and progress of the whole work, is laid before the eyes of
all that desire to receive satisfaction, by such as have been privy to
the very first conceiving and contriving of this project of planting
this Colony....

About ten years since, a company of English, part out of the Low
Countries, and some out of London and other parts, associating
themselves into one body, with an intention to plant in Virginia, in
their passage thither being taken short by the wind, in the depth of
winter, the whole ground being under snow, were forced with their
provisions to land themselves in New-England, upon a small bay beyond
Mattachusets, in the place which they now inhabit, and call by the
name of New Plymouth. The ground being covered a foot thick with
snow, and they being without shelter, and having amongst them divers
women and children, no marvel if they lost some of their company; it
may be wondered how they saved the rest. But notwithstanding this
sharp encounter at the first, and some miscarriages afterward, yet,
conceiving God's providence had directed them unto that place, and
finding great charge and difficulty in removing, they resolved to
fix themselves there; and being assisted by some of their friends in
London, having passed over most of the greatest difficulties that
usually encounter new planters, they began to subsist at length in a
reasonably comfortable manner; being, notwithstanding, men but of mean
and weak estates of themselves; and after a year's experience or two
of the soil and inhabitants, sent home tidings of both, and of their
well-being there, which occasioned other men to take knowledge of the
place, and to take it into consideration.

About the year 1623, some western merchants, who had continued a
trade of fishing for cod and bartering for furs in those parts for
divers years before, conceiving that a Colony planted on the coast
might further them in those employments, bethought themselves how they
might bring that project to effect, and communicated their purpose to
others, alleging the conveniency of compassing their project with a
small charge, by the opportunity of their fishing trade, in which they
accustomed to double-man their ships, that, by the help of many hands,
they might dispatch their voyage and lade their ship with fish while
the fishing season lasted; which could not be done with a bare sailing
company. Now it was conceived that, the fishing being ended, the spare
men that were above their necessary sailors, might be left behind with
provisions for a year; and when that ship returned the next year, they
might assist them in fishing, as they had done the former year; and, in
the mean time, might employ themselves in building, and planting corn,
which, with the provisions of fish, fowl, and venison, that the land
yielded, would afford them the chief of their food. This proposition of
theirs took so well, that it drew on divers persons to join with them
in this project; the rather because it was conceived, that not only
their own fishermen, but the rest of our nation that went thither on
the same errand, might be much advantaged, not only by fresh victual,
which that Colony might spare them in time, but withal, and more, by
the benefit of their ministers' labors, which they might enjoy during
the fishing season; whereas otherwise, being usually upon those voyages
nine or ten months in the year, they were left all the while without
any means of instruction at all. Compassion towards the fishermen, and
partly some expectation of gain, prevailed so far that for the planting
of a Colony in New England there was raised a stock of more than £3000,
intended to be paid in in five years, but afterwards disbursed in a
shorter time.

How this stock was employed, and by what errors and oversights it was
wasted, is, I confess, not much pertinent to this subject in hand.
Notwithstanding, because the knowledge there of may be of use for
other mens' direction, let me crave leave, in a short digression, to
present unto the reader's view the whole order of the managing of such
moneys as were collected, with the success and issue of the business
undertaken. [Here follows an account of mismanagement and losses, and
the failure of the Company.]

But to return to our former subject, from which we digressed. Upon the
manifestation of the Western Adventurers' resolution to give off their
work, most part of the land men, being sent for, returned. But a few of
the most honest and industrious resolved to stay behind, and to take
charge of the cattle sent over the year before; which they performed
accordingly. And not liking their seat at Cape Anne, chosen especially
for the supposed commodity of fishing, they transported themselves to
Nahum-Keike, about four or five leagues distant to the southwest from
Cape Anne.

Some then of the Adventurers, that still continued their desire to set
forward the plantation of a Colony there, conceiving that if some more
cattle were sent over to those few men left behind, they might not only
be a means of the comfortable subsisting of such as were already in the
country, but of inviting some others of their friends and acquaintance
to come over to them, adventured to send over twelve kine and bulls
more; and, conferring casually with some gentlemen of London, moved
them to add unto them as many more. By which occasion, the business
came to agitation afresh in London, and being at first approved by
some and disliked by others, by argument and disputation it grew to
be more vulgar; insomuch that some men showing some good affection to
the work, and offering the help of their purses if fit men might be
procured to go over, inquiry was made whether any would be willing
to engage their persons in the voyage. By this inquiry it fell out
that among others they lighted at last on Master Endecott, 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; which gave great
encouragement to such as were upon the point of resolution to set on
this work of erecting a new Colony upon the old foundation. Hereupon
divers persons having subscribed for the raising of a reasonable sum
of money, a patent was granted with large encouragements every way by
his most excellent Majesty. Master Endecott was sent over Governor[32]
assisted with a few men, and arriving in safety there in September,
1628, and uniting his own men with those which were formerly planted in
the country into one body, they made up in all not much above fifty or
sixty persons.

His prosperous journey, and safe arrival of himself and all his
company, and good report which he sent back of the country, gave such
encouragement to the work, that more adventurers joining with the
first undertakers, and all engaging themselves more deeply for the
prosecution of the design, they sent over the next year about three
hundred persons more, most servants, with a convenient proportion of
rotherbeasts, to the number of sixty or seventy, or there about, and
some mares and horses; of which the kine came safe for the most part,
but the greater part of the horses died, so that there remained not
above twelve or fourteen alive.

By this time the often agitation of this affair in sundry parts
of the kingdom, the good report of Captain Endecott's government,
and the increase of the Colony, began to waken the spirits of some
persons of competent estates, not formerly engaged. Considering that
they lived either without any useful employment at home, and might
be more serviceable in assisting the planting of a Colony in New
England, [they] took at last a resolution to unite themselves for the
prosecution of that work. And, as it usually falls out, some other
of their acquaintance, seeing such men of good estates engaged in
the voyages, some for love to their persons, and others upon other
respects, united unto them; which together made up a competent number,
(perhaps far less than is reported,) and embarked themselves for a
voyage to New-England, where I hope they are long since safely arrived
[a reference to John Winthrop's expedition].

       *       *       *       *       *

This is an impartial though brief relation of the occasion of planting
of this Colony. The particulars whereof, if they could be entertained,
were clear enough to any indifferent judgment, that the suspicious
and scandalous reports raised upon these gentlemen and their friends,
(as if, under the color of planting a Colony, they intended to raise
and erect a seminary of faction and separation,) are nothing else but
the fruits of jealousy of some distempered mind, or, which is worse,
perhaps, savor of a desperate malicious plot of men ill affected to
religion, endeavoring, by casting the undertakers into the jealousy
of State, to shut them out of those advantages which otherwise they
do and might expect from the countenance of authority. Such men would
be intreated to forbear that base and unchristian course of traducing
innocent persons under these odious names of Separatists and enemies
to the Church and State, for fear lest their own tongues fall upon
themselves by the justice of His hand who will not fail to clear
the innocency of the just, and to cast back into the bosom of every
slanderer the filth that he rakes up to throw in other men's faces.
As for men of more indifferent and better tempered minds, they would
be seriously advised to beware of entertaining and admitting, much
more countenancing and crediting such uncharitable persons as discover
themselves by their carriage, and that in this particular, to be men
ill affected towards the work itself, if not to religion, at which
it aims, and consequently unlikely to report any truth of such as
undertake it.

53. The First Charter for Massachusetts Bay

                         March 4/14, 1628/1629

    The text follows the copy of the charter in the _Massachusetts
    Colonial Records_, I, 3-19. The charter had been printed earlier
    (1769) in Hutchinson's _Collections of Original Papers_, but with
    a somewhat less faithful text. The document is more than usually
    verbose, and, if printed in full, it would occupy six times the
    space given it in this volume. Every grant and provision of any
    importance, however, is given or summarized in the following pages.

[Recital of the patent of 1620 to the Council for New England, and the
subsequent grant[33] by the Council, in March, 1627/8, to Sir Henry
Rosewell and others, which grant is by this present charter confirmed.]

AND FURTHER know yee, That ... Wee ... by theis presents doe ... give
and graunt unto the said Sir Henry Rosewell, Sir John Younge, Sir
Richard Saltonstall, Thomas Southcott, John Humfrey, John Endecott,
Symon Whetcombe, Isaack Johnson, Samuell Aldersey, John Ven, Mathewe
Cradock, George Harwood, Increase Nowell, Richard Pery, Richard
Bellingham, Nathaniel Wright, Samuell Vassall, Theophilus Eaton, Thomas
Goffe, Thomas Adams, John Browne, Samuell Browne, Thomas Hutchins,
William Vassall, William Pinchion, and George Foxcrofte, theire heires
and assignes, All that parte of Newe England in America which lyes and
extendes betweene a great river there commonlie called Monomack river,
alias Merrimack river, and a certen other river there called Charles
river, being in the bottome of a certen bay there commonlie called
Massachusetts, alias Mattachusetts, alias Massatusetts bay: And also
all and singuler those landes and hereditaments whatsoever, lyeing
within the space of three Englishe myles on the south parte of the
saide river called Charles river, or of any or every parte thereof: And
also all and singuler the landes and hereditaments whatsoever lyeing
and being within the space of three Englishe myles to the southward of
the southernmost parte of the said baye called Massachusetts ...: And
also all those landes and hereditaments whatsoever which lye and be
within the space of three English myles to the northward of the saide
river called Monomack, alias Merrymack, or to the northward of any
and every parte thereof, and all landes and hereditaments whatsoever,
lyeing within the lymitts aforesaide, north and south, in latitude
and bredth, and in length and longitude, of and within all the bredth
aforesaide, throughout the mayne landes there from the Atlantick and
westerne sea and ocean on the east parte, to the south sea on the west
parte: ... [with mines and fisheries, to be held in free soccage,
paying one-fifth part of gold and silver ore. Incorporation, "by the
name of the Governor and Company of the Mattachusetts Bay in New
England," with succession and rights at law common to corporations, and
with a seal.]

And wee doe hereby ... graunte, That ... there shalbe one Governor, one
Deputy Governor, and eighteene Assistants ... to be from tyme to
tyme ... chosen out of the freemen of the saide Company, for the tyme
being, in such manner and forme as hereafter in theis presents is
expressed. Which said officers shall applie themselves to take care
for the best disposeing and ordering of the generall buysines and
affaires of ... the saide landes and premisses ..., and the plantacion
thereof, and the government of the people there.

[Appointment of Craddock and Goffe as first Governor and Deputy,
and of eighteen of the others named in the opening of the grant as
Assistants, "to continue in their offices for such time ... as in these
presents is hereafter declared," Governor or Deputy to call meetings
of the Company.] And that the said Governor, Deputie Governor, and
Assistants ... shall or maie once every moneth, or oftener at their
pleasures, assemble, and houlde, and keepe a Courte or Assemblie of
themselves, for the better ordering and directing of their affaires.
[Seven or more Assistants, with the Governor or Deputy Governor, to
be a sufficient Court] and that there shall or maie be held ... upon
every last Wednesday in Hillary, Easter, Trinity, and Michas termes
respectivelie for ever, one greate, generall, and solemne Assemblie,
which foure Generall Assemblies shalbe stiled and called the Foure
Greate and Generall Courts of the saide Company: IN all and every or
any of which saide Greate and Generall Courts soe assembled, WEE
DOE ... graunte ... That the Governor, or, in his absence, the Deputie
Governor ... and such of the Assistants and freemen ... as shalbe
present, or the greater nomber of them soe assembled, whereof the
Governor or Deputie Governor and six of the Assistants, at the least to
be seaven, shall have full power and authoritie to choose, nominate,
and appointe such and soe many others as they shall thinke fitt, and
that shall be willing to accept the same, to be FREE of the said
Company and Body, and them into the same to admitt, and to elect and
constitute such officers as they shall thinke fitt and requisite for
the ordering, mannaging, and dispatching of the affaires of the saide
Governor and Company. And to make Lawes and Ordinances for the Good and
Welfare of the saide Company and for the government and ordering of the
saide Lands and Plantacions, and the People inhabiting ... the
same ... soe as such Lawes ... be not contrary or repugnant to the
Lawes and Statutes of this our Realm of England. ... And wee doe ...
ordeyne, That yearely once in the yeare for ever hereafter, namely, the
last Wednesday in Easter tearme yearely, the Governor, Deputy Governor,
and Assistants ... and all other officers of the saide Company shalbe,
in the Generall Court or Assembly to be held for that day or tyme,
newly chosen for the yeare ensueing by such greater parte of the said
Company for the tyme being, then and there present, as is aforesaide.

[Vacancies caused by the death or removal of any officer of the Company
may be filled by new elections. All officers are required to take an
oath for the faithful performance of their duties. Permission, in
the usual terms, to transport to America English subjects who offer
themselves and who are not especially restrained by the King, with the
usual guarantee of the rights of Englishmen to such emigrants and their
descendants, and with the usual long clauses granting certain tariff
privileges to the Company.]

And that the Governor or Deputie Governor ... or either of them, and
any two or more of such of the saide Assistants as may be there unto
appointed ... shall and maie at all Tymes, and from Tyme to Tyme
hereafter, have full Power and Authority to minister and give the Oathe
and Oathes of Supremacie and Allegiance, or either of them, to all
and everie Person and Persons which shall at any Tyme ... pass to the
Landes ... hereby mencioned....

AND wee doe ... graunt ..., That it shall ... be lawfull to and for the
Governor or Deputie Governor and such of the Assistants and Freemen
of the said Company ... as shalbe assembled in any of their Generall
Courts aforesaide, or in any other Courtes to be specially summoned and
assembled for that purpose, or the greater parte of them, (whereof the
Governor or Deputie Governor and six of the Assistants, to be alwaies
seaven,) from tyme to tyme to make, ordeine, and establishe all manner
of wholesome and reasonable orders, lawes, statutes, and ordinances,
directions, and instructions not contrarie to the lawes of this our
realme of England, aswell for setling of the formes and ceremonies of
government and magistracy fitt and necessary for the said plantation
and the inhabitants there, and for nameing and stiling of all sortes of
officers, both superior and inferior, which they shall finde needefull
for that governement and plantation, and the distinguishing and setting
forth of the severall duties, powers, and lymytts of every such office
and place, and the formes of such oathes warrantable by the lawes
and statutes of this our realme of England as shalbe respectivelie
ministred unto them, for the execution of the said severall offices and
places, as also for the disposing and ordering of the elections of such
of the said officers as shalbe annuall, and of such others as shalbe to
suceede in case of death or removeall, and ministring the said oathes
to the newe elected officers, and for impositions of lawfull fynes,
mulcts, imprisonment, or other lawfull correction, according to the
course of other corporations in this our realme of England, and for
the directing, ruling, and disposeing of all other matters and things
whereby our said people, inhabitants there, maie be soe religiously,
peaceablie, and civilly governed, as their good life and orderlie
conversation maie wynn and incite the natives of [that] country to the
knowledg and obedience of the onlie true God and Savior of mankinde,
and the Christian fayth, which, in our royall intention and the
adventurers free profession, is the principall ende of this plantation.

AND WEE DOE, further ... graunte to the saide ... Company ... that it
may be lawful [for the Company and its officers] from Tyme to Tyme,
and at all Tymes hereafter, for their speciall Defence and Safety, to
incounter, expulse, repell, and resist by Force of Armes, as well by
Sea as by Lande, and by all fitting Waies and Meanes whatsoever, all
such Persons as shall at any Tyme hereafter attempt or enterprise the
Destruction, Invasion, Detriment, or Annoyance to the saide
Plantation ... [with the usual clause reserving to the English King
the privilege of disavowing wrongful acts by the colony if he prefer
to put it out of his allegiance, and _without_ the usual half of the
"expulse" clause relating to _settlers_ who "may attempt to inhabit" in
the colony without the permission of the Company; provided further that
other Englishmen may fish on the coasts of the colony; and with the
usual clause promising the Company the most favorable construction of
any disputed clause.]

    [=Hints for Study.=--1.--Early New England historians _assumed_
    that this charter gave unusual powers. A comparison with the
    Virginia Company charters of 1609 and 1612, or with the New England
    Council charter of 1620, shows this assumption wholly false.
    Students may be asked to find four important powers given to those
    earlier corporations and not contained in this grant (noting the
    _limited_ authority here in the inflictions of punishment, and the
    omission of the power to regulate settlement in connection with
    the usual "expulse, repel, etc." clause). The charter is not "very
    liberal," but very limited. This is more apparent when we notice
    that all these powers missing in this charter (or vaguely phrased
    here) _reappear_ in the usual explicit form in the charter granted
    a few months later to the company for planting Providence Isle (No.
    55, below).

    2.--American historians (_e.g._ John Fiske, in _Beginnings of New
    England_) have often assumed that this charter used loose language
    as to the oath of supremacy _in order that_ the Puritans might set
    up their own form of worship. _The wording, however, is practically
    identical with that of the Virginia Company charter of 1612--from
    which unquestionably it was copied_, with only the necessary
    changes of names. (Let students verify this statement.)

    3.--With the overthrow of these false assumptions goes another
    (in great measure) founded upon them,--_i.e._ that the Puritans
    intended, when they were securing this charter, to bring it to
    America and use it as a constitution for a free state. This
    assumption, however, is worth further investigation by the student,
    because it offers so admirable a lesson in historical criticism.

    A single sentence of Governor John Winthrop's has been taken
    often as sufficient proof that the grantees so intended. Indeed
    (except for the groundless assumptions of 1 and 2 above, and for
    the equally worthless consideration discussed in 4 below) there
    is _no other evidence_.[34] Winthrop states that, in drawing up
    the charter, there was at first a clause which would have fixed
    the Company in England, "and, with much difficulty, _we_ got it
    abscinded." Winthrop is high authority. But this sentence was
    written =fifteen years after the event=, and it is interjected
    hastily, _as a parenthesis_, in a bitter controversy (_Life and
    Letters_, II, p. 443). It could have been only "hearsay" at the
    best; since Winthrop did not belong to the Company until some
    months after the charter was secured (though he seems to have
    forgotten that for the moment when he says "we"). Such evidence
    would prove little in a law court, even if there were no evidence
    on the other side.

    But there is evidence on the other side,--abundant, conclusive,

    (1) The abstract of the charter (docket) presented to the king by
    his legal advisors shows with absolute certainty that they and
    the grantor expected the charter powers to be exercised "here in
    England" (No. 54 below).

    (2) The official records of the Company, _made at the time_,
    declare explicitly that Governor Cradock's proposal to transfer
    the charter to America (five months after it was granted) was
    "conceived by himself." Further, _the general tenor_ of those
    records for those five intervening months agree wholly with the
    idea that the Company then had no thought of leaving England (see
    some extracts, No. 57 below), and they contain, in their fifty odd
    pages, no single suggestion of the other sort. Most conclusive of
    all, the _Records_ show that even after the surprised Company had
    come to look with approval upon Cradock's proposal, they could
    not easily adjust their plans and financial interests to the new
    movement. (Advanced students will find the proof in the _Records_.
    It is impossible to represent them here in the necessary complete
    detail to show this. It may be added, however, that Cradock's
    proposal of July 28 was first debated, then deferred a month for
    _secret_ consideration; then debated, in two meetings, by assigned
    sets of debaters for the two sides of the argument; then legal
    advice was sought, with what result, we don't know; and afterwards
    many plans were discussed as to how the transfer _could_ be
    made without "prejudicing" the interests of the majority of the
    Company[35]. See Nos. 57, 58, for some of the evidence.)

    Of the 110 members of the Company in England, only about one
    fourth ever came to America. Cradock himself never came,--though
    he had lands and servants here. Most of the members, who stayed
    in England, lost all their investment eventually. Indeed, in the
    summer of 1629, the Company was already in serious financial
    straits. A special inventory, in the fall, rated the stock at only
    one third the face value. This condition may have inclined some
    stockholders to favor Cradock's proposition in July. The funds paid
    in for stock by Winthrop and other new members made it possible for
    old members to draw out (on this reduced scale). In this sense, the
    new members "bought" out some of the old ones.

    4.--_No place of meeting_ is suggested in the charter. This
    probably resulted from the fact that the Company was made up
    partly of Londoners, partly of Dorchester men (from the West of
    England; cf. _American History and Government_, # 57). All such
    previous colonizing corporations for America had been designated
    geographically (probably for convenient descriptions, rather than
    for limitation). But the "Council of Plymouth in the County of
    Devon" had never held a meeting at Plymouth: its records show that
    all its meetings were held at London. This fact may have helped
    to make the even more composite Massachusetts Company wary about
    having a place of meeting mentioned in their fundamental law. If
    John Winthrop is right in his statement of fifteen years later
    (above) that such a limitation was at first put into this document
    and that "with much difficulty we got it abscinded," then we may be
    sure that the Company desired that elision, not in order that they
    might hold meetings in America (as Winthrop afterward assumed),
    but to prevent their being hampered in England. This view is made
    practically certain when we observe the clause regarding place of
    meeting in the charter of the Providence Isle Company (below).
    That company certainly never expected to hold its meetings out of
    England, but it guards against being hampered, not by mere silence,
    but by express provision that it may meet where it likes.]

54. Docket of the Massachusetts Charter, 1629

    When the king granted a charter, an exact copy, known as "the
    King's Bill," was presented to him, with a _docket_, or abstract,
    approved by his Attorney-General. This docket was what the king, or
    his council, read.

    The following docket, now attached to the King's Bill of
    this charter in the London Record Office, is printed in the
    _Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings_ for 1869-1870,
    pages 172-173. The italics are used in this reproduction to call
    attention to important matters.

May it please your most Excellent Majestie.

Whereas your Majesties most deare and royall father did, by his
letteres Patents in the 18th yeare of his raigne, incorporate divers
noblemen and others by the name of the Councell for the planting of
New England in America and did thereby grant unto them all that part
of America which lyeth betweene 40 degrees of Northerly latitude and
48 inclusive,--with divers priviledges and immunities. ... Which said
Councell have sithence by theire Charter in March last [1628] granted a
part of that Continent to Sir Henrie Rosewell and others, their heires
and associates, for ever, with all jurisdiccions, rightes, priviledges,
and commodities of the same.

_This Bill_ conteineth your Majesties confirmacion and Grant to the
said Sir Henry Rosewell and his partners and their Associates and to
their heires and assignes for ever of the said part of New England in
America, with the like tenure in socage and reservacion of the fifth
part of gould and silver oare,--Incorporating them also by the name
of the Governor and Company of the Mattachusetts Bay in New England
in America,--with such clauses for the electing of Governors and
Officers _here_ in England for the said Company, and powers to make
lawes and Ordinances for setling the Governement and Magistracie of
the plantacion _there_, and with such exempcions from Customes and
Imposicions and some [such?] other privilledges as were originallie
granted to the Councell aforesaid and are _usuallie allowed to
Corporacions in England_.

And is done by direccion from the Lord Keeper upon your Majesties
pleasure therein signified to his Lordship by Sir Ralph Freeman.

(Signed)                                                   Ri. Shilton.

55. Excursus: For a Comparative Study of Charters

   _Notes upon the Charter for the Company of Westminster for the
              Plantation of the Island of Providence_

                      _December 4/14, 1630_

    This very important charter has never been printed. An abstract in
    the _Colonial State Papers_ seemed so significant that the editor
    of this volume secured a complete transcript of the charter from
    the manuscript in the British Record Office. On that transcript,
    the notes below are based.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The colony of Providence Isle was of little weight, and the charter
    of the proprietary Company, accordingly, has received scant
    attention. That document, however, issued twenty-one months later
    than that of the Massachusetts Bay Company, is in many ways the
    culmination of the series of grants to English corporations for
    colonizing purposes. All the powers granted to proprietaries in
    earlier charters, including those which were dropped out in the
    Massachusetts charter, reappear here; and in some important matters
    there is much new detail. A study of this document removes the last
    possible basis for the claims of the older New England historians
    that the Massachusetts charter was in any peculiar way adapted to
    the purpose of a transfer to America.

    1. _Puritan membership._--The incorporators comprise the Earl of
    Warwick, Lord Say and Sele, Sir Nathaniel Rich, Oliver St. Johns,
    and John Pym,--all prominent leaders of the Puritan party, more
    prominent than any Puritans in the Massachusetts Company.

    2. _Sectarianism._--The Company is given the "Patronages and
    Advowsons" of "all" churches and chapells,--without even a
    restriction as to the customs of the Church of England (such as
    is found in the Baltimore charter). If this provision had been in
    the Massachusetts charter, Puritan historians would have found it
    certain proof of an intention to build a non-conformist state.
    The passage conferring authority to impose the oath of supremacy
    is copied from the charters of 1612 and 1629. No other sectarian
    restriction occurs.

    3. _Place of meeting._--The Company are to govern themselves
    and their settlement (as the Virginia Company of 1612 and the
    Massachusetts Bay Company) in four "General Courts" each year; but
    these courts are to be held "_in any place or places by themselves
    to be appointed_." (And, again, the Company is authorized to hold
    its courts "_in any place or places convenient_"). Surely, this
    disposes of the ancient argument that the omission of a specific
    place of meeting in the Massachusetts charter suggests an intention
    to establish some place out of England.

    The facts as to a specific meeting place for a colonizing
    corporation in England seem to be as follows:

    _a._ The charter of 1606 establishes two sub-companies, which
    necessarily are designated geographically to distinguish one
    from the other; and the charters of 1609, 1612, and 1620 use
    geographical designations, necessarily, to show to which one of
    those sub-companies they respectively apply.

    _b._ But the "Plymouth Council" (charter of 1620) did not regard
    its geographical designation as fixing its place of meeting, or
    else it found it necessary to ignore the restriction. All its
    meetings were held, not at Plymouth, but in London.

    _c._ The Massachusetts Bay Company was made up of two bodies of
    men, one from the east, one from the west of England. This fact,
    together with the experience of the Plymouth Council, probably made
    them unwilling to have a place of meeting fixed in their charter.

    _d._ The Providence Isle charter carries this development, as
    suggested above, to its logical conclusion, permitting the Company
    itself to fix the places for its meetings. But this last Company
    certainly never expected to leave England. So the old argument
    from the omission of a specific place in the charter of the
    Massachusetts Company falls to the ground.

    4. _Law making._--In the General Courts the Company is empowered
    "to ordaine frames of Government, _with all things thereto
    incident_; and to make reasonable lawes ... not being contrarie
    to the Lawes of this our Realme of England ... for the Government
    of the Company ... and of all Collonyes which shall be planted
    ... in the said Islands ... and to appoint, by such title as they
    ... shall thinke good, such ... offices and officers ... for such
    Times and with such powers, as they shall thinke good, both for the
    Company here within our Realme of England and for the Collonies in
    the said Islands ... and the said Offices and Officers ... to alter
    ... and displace, and in their places, to appoint others ... and
    the said Lawes ... to put into execution."...

    5. Admiralty jurisdiction conferred.

    6. Local Government. Power to divide the territory into "Provinces,
    Counties ... Hundreds, Mannors," or other units, and to erect and
    fortify villages, etc., and _to grant letters of incorporation_
    to towns and burroughs, "with all Liberties and things unto
    Corporations requisite and usual within this our Realme of
    England"; and to set up markets; and to constitute and appoint
    magistrates and all manner of officers for all local units, with
    fit legislation for them.

    7. Power of punishment to extend to "life and members," with
    authority to exercise martial law.

    8. Right to settle restricted to those having a license from the

    9. Rights of Englishmen guaranteed to settlers and their posterity.

    10. Company to coin money (not gold or silver).

    11. Repetition of the usual privileges granted in earlier
    charters, and a "blanket clause" promising the Company "all such
    Prerogatives," etc., as have ever been granted to any colonizing
    Company in England.

56. The Massachusetts Company's Agreement with Mr. Higginson

    Alexander Young's _Chronicles of Massachusetts_ (1846), 209 ff.
    Young modernized the spelling. On March 19, at a meeting of the
    Company, it had been decided to try to secure Higginson for the
    coming voyage.

_A true note of the allowance that the New-England_ [_Massachusetts
Bay_] _Company have, by common consent and order of their Court
and Council, granted unto Mr. Francis Higginson, Minister, for his
maintenance in New-England, April 8, 1629._

1.--Imprimis, that 30 pounds in money shall be forthwith paid him by
the Company's treasurer towards the charges of fitting himself with
apparel and other necessaries for his voyage.

2.--Item, that 10 pounds more shall be paid over by the said treasurer
towards the providing of books for present use.

3.--Item, that he shall have 30 pounds yearly paid him for three years,
to begin from the time of his first arrival in New-England, and so to
be accounted and paid him at the end of every year.

4.--Item, that during the said time, the Company shall provide for him
and his family necessaries of diet, housing and firewood, and shall be
at charges of transporting him into New-England; and at the end of the
said three years, if he shall not like to continue there any longer, to
be at the charge of transporting him back for England.

5.--Item, that in convenient time a house shall be built, and certain
lands allotted thereunto; which, during his stay in the country, and
continuance in the ministry, shall be for his use; and after his death
or removal, the same to be for succeeding ministers.

6.--Item, at the expiration of the said three years, a hundred acres of
land shall be assigned to him and his heirs forever.

7.--Item, that in case he shall depart this life in that country, the
said Company shall take care for his widow during her widowhood and
abode in that country and Plantation; and the like for his children
whilst they remain upon the said Plantation.

8.--Item, that the milk of two kine shall be appointed towards the
charges of diet for him and his family as aforesaid, and half the
increase of calves during the said three years; but the said two kine,
and the other half of the increase, to return to the Company at the end
of the said three years.

9.--Item, that he shall have liberty of carrying over bedding, linen,
brass, iron, pewter, of his own, for his necessary use during the said

10.--Item, that if he continue seven years upon the said Plantation,
that then a hundred acres of land more shall be allotted him for him
and his forever....

Further,[36] though it was not mentioned in the Agreement, but
forgotten, Mr. Higginson was promised a man-servant, to take care and
look to his things, and to catch him fish and fowl, and provide other
things needful, and also two maid-servants, to look to his family.

57. First Government in Massachusetts Bay under the Company in England;
April, 1629

    _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_ (1853;
    edited by Nathaniel Shurtleff), I, 361 ff.

    The early records were kept very informally,--more so than would
    pass with a high school debating society today. This particular
    entry is placed by the editor far out of its chronological order,
    preserved as it was on a loose sheet of manuscript. Previous to the
    transfer of the Company to America, the records as printed would
    fill about one hundred pages of this volume.

_A generall Court, holden at London, the 30th Day of Aprill, 1629, by
the Governor and Company of the Mattachusetts Bay in New England._

Whereas the Kings most excellent Majesty hath bin gratiously pleased
to erect and establish us, by his lettres pattents, under the great
seale of England, to bee a body corporate, entytuled the Governor
and Company of the Mattachusetts Bay in New England, and therby hath
endowed us with many large and ample priviledges and immunities, with
power to make good and wholsome lawes, and ordinances for the better
maintenance and support of the said priviledges and for the better and
more orderly and regular government, to bee observed in the prosecucion
and propagacion of our intended voyages and the plantacion there,
authorising us to nominate and appoint and select fitt persons amoungst
ourselves for the managing, ordering, and governing of our affaires,
both in England and in the places speyed and graunted unto us by vertue
of his majestys said charter, wee have, in the prosecucion of the said
power and authoritie given us ... thought fitt to settle and establish
an absolute government at our plantacion in the said Mattachusetts Bay
in New England, which, by the vote and consent of a full and ample
Court now assembled, is ... ordered as followeth, viz.:--

That thirteene of such as shalbe reputed the most wyse, honest, expert,
and discreete persons resident upon the said plantacion, shall from
tyme to tyme, and at all tyme hereafter, have the sole managing and
ordering of the government and our affaires there, who, to the best of
their judgments, are to endeavor soe to settle the same as may make
most to the glory of God, the furtherance and advancement of this
hopeful plantacion, the comfort, encouragement, and future benefitt of
us and others, the beginners and prosecutors of this soe laudable a
worke. The said 13 persons soe appointed to bee entytled by the name of
the Governor and Councell of =_Londons Plantacion in the Mattachusetts
Bay in New England_=.

And having taken into due consideracion the meritt, worth, and good
desert of Captain John Endecott, and others lately gone over from hence
with purpose to resyde and continue there, wee have, with full consent
and authoritie of this Court, and by ereccion of hands, chosen and
elected the said Captain John Endecott to the place of present Governor
in our said plantacion.

Also, by the same power, and with the like full and free consent, wee
have chosen and elected Mr. Francis Higgeson, Mr. Samuel Skelton, Mr.
Francis Bright, Mr. John Browne, Mr. Samuel Browne, Mr. Thomas Graves,
and Mr. Samuell Sharpe, these seaven, to bee of the said councell, and
doe hereby give power and authoritie to the said Governor and those
seaven to make choice of 3 others, such as they, or the greater nomber
of them, in their discrecions, shall esteeme and conceive most fitt
thereunto, to bee also of the said councell.

And to the end that the former planters there may have noe just
occasion of excepcion, as being excluded out of the priviledges of the
Company, this Court are content, and doe order, by ereccion of hands,
that such of the said former planters as are willing to live within the
lymitts of our plantacion shalbe enabled, and are hereby authorized,
to make choice of 2 such as they shall thinke fitt, to supply and make
upp the nomber of 12 of the said councell, one of which 12 is, by the
Governor and councell, or the major part of them, to bee chosen Deputie
to the Governor for the tyme being....

It is further concluded on and ordered by this Court, that the
said Governor, Deputie, and councell, before named, soe chosen and
established in their severall places, shall continue and bee confirmed
therin for the space of one whole yeare from and after the taking the
oath, or untill such time as this Court shall thinke fitt to make
choice of any others to succeed in the place or places of them or any
of them....

And it is further agreed on and ordered, that the Governor for the tyme
beeing shall have power, and is heereby authorized, to call courts
and meetings in places and at tymes convenyent, as to his discrecion
shall seeme meete, which power is also conferred upon the Deputie in
the absence of the said Governor; and the said Governor or Deputie,
togeather with the said councell, being chosen and assembled as
aforesaid, and having taken their oaths respectively to their severall
places, they, or the greater nomber of them, whereof the Governor
or Deputie to bee always one, are authorized by this act, grounded
on the power derived from his majestys charter, to make, ordaine,
and establish all manner of wholsome and reasonable lawes, orders,
ordinances and constitucions, (soe as the same bee noe way repugnant or
contrary to the lawes of the realme of England) for the administring
of justice upon malefactors, and inflicting condigne punishment upon
all other offendors, and for the furtherance and propagating of the
said plantacion, and the more decent and orderly government of the
inhabitants resydent there.

    [This establishment of a subordinate government in Massachusetts
    corresponds to the government in Virginia in 1614, perhaps,--before
    the Virginia Company granted self-government to the settlement.
    There is no hint, here, be it noted, that this arrangement was soon
    to be superseded by the transfer of the English Company itself
    to America. Ten meetings are recorded between the one when these
    orders were taken and the one (next given here) in which that
    suggestion first appears.]


[32] White gets the order of events wrong here. Endicott came before
the charter was secured.

[33] This grant included the territory granted by the New England
Council to Gorges in 1623. This was due, no doubt, to geographical
ignorance. Ferdinando Gorges ("Briefe Narration," in _Mass. Hist. Soc.
Coll._, Third Series, V, 80), after explaining how the new Company
came to ask for a grant from the New England Council, adds: "to which
it pleased the thrice honored Lord of Warwick to write to me [from
London], then at Plymouth, to condescend that a Patent might be
granted. ... Whereupon I gave my approbation _so far forth as it might
not be prejudicial to my son Robert Gorges' interests, whereof he had
a patent_." Gorges always felt that the grant to the Massachusetts
Bay Company had worked a great injustice to his family. Cf. _American
History and Government_, ## 57, note, 61.

[34] The very obscure sentence of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, written even
later than Winthrop's one sentence, carries a like implication; but it
contains such gross errors of chronology about external events that
it can carry no weight at all as to motives of his adversaries (Mass.
Hist. Society Collections, Third Series, VI, 80).

[35] Curiously, even Osgood, almost infallible in colonial history,
refers only to Winthrop's sentence (with justifiable caution, to be
sure), without any reference to the contrary evidence in the _Records_.

[36] This item is added by Higginson in his written acceptance of the
above terms.


58. Decision to Transfer the Charter to the Colony

_a. First Official Proposition to Transfer the Charter to America_

    _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_, I,

    _A Generall Court, holden for the Company of the Mattachusetts Bay,
      in New England, at Mr. Deputies House, on Tewsday, the 28 of
      July, 1629._

  Mr. MATTHEW CRADOCK, _Governor_,
  Mr. THOMAS GOFF, _Deputie_,
  Mr. GEORGE HARWOOD, _Treasurer_,
  Mr. RIVET,
  Mr. SAMUEL VASSAIL, _Assistants_,
  Mr. WEB,
  Mr. CRANE, _Generalitie_.

... [A long meeting with much business]

And lastly, Mr. Governor read certaine proposicions _conceived by
himselfe_, viz, that for the advancement of the plantacion, _the
inducing and encouraging persons of worth and qualitie to transplant
themselves and famylyes thether_,[37] and for other weighty reasons
therein contained, to transferr the government of the plantacion
to those that shall inhabite there, and not to continue the same
in subordinacion to the Company heer, as it now is. This business
occasioned some debate; but by reason of the many great and
considerable consequences therupon depending, it was not now resolved
upon; but those present are desired privately and seriously to consider
hereof, and to sett down their particular reasons in wryting, pro and
contra, and to produce the same at the next Generall Court, where, they
being reduced to heads and maturely considered of, the Company may then
proceede to a fynall resolucion there [on]; and in the meane tyme _they
are desired to carry this businesse secretly, that the same bee not

_b. The Cambridge Agreement_

    Hutchinson's _Collection of Original Papers_ (1769), 25, 26. Cf.
    _American History and Government_, ## 58, 59.

 _The True Copy of the Agreement at Cambridge, August 26, 1629._

Upon due consideration of the state of the Plantation now in hand
for New-England, wherein wee whose names are hereunto subscribed,
have engaged ourselves, and have weighed the greatnes of the worke
in regard of the consequence, God's glory, and the Churches good; as
also in regard of the difficultys and discouragements which in all
probabilityes must be forecast upon the execution of this businesse;
Considering withall that this whole adventure grows upon the joynt
confidence we have in each other's fidelity and resolution herein,
so as no man of us would have adventured it without assurance of the
rest: Now, for the better encouragement of ourselves and others that
shall joyne with us in this action, and to the end that every man may
without scruple dispose of his estate and affayres as may best fit his
preparation for this voyage; it is fully and faithfully agreed amongst
us, and every of us doth hereby freely and sincerely promise and bind
himselfe in the word of a christian and in the presence of God, who
is the searcher of all hearts, that we will so really endeavour the
prosecution of this worke, as by God's assistance, we will be ready in
our persons, and with such of our several familyes as are to go with
us, and such provision as we are able conveniently to furnish ourselves
withall, to embarke for the said Plantation by the first of March next,
at such port or ports of this land as shall be agreed upon by the
Companie, to the end to passe the seas, (under God's protection,) to
inhabite and continue in New-England: _Provided always, that, before
the last of September next, the whole government, together with the
patent for the said Plantation, be first, by an order of Court, legally
transferred and established to remain with us and others which shall
inhabit upon the said Plantation_: and provided also, that if any
shall be hindered by such just and inevitable lett or other cause,
to be allowed by 3 parts of four of these whose names are hereunto
subscribed, then such persons, for such tymes and during such letts, to
be discharged of this bond. And we do further promise, every one for
himselfe, that shall fayle to be ready through his own default by the
day appointed, to pay for every day's default the sum of £3, to the use
of the rest of the Companie who shall be ready by the same day and time.

  Richard Saltonstall,
  Thomas Dudley,
  William Vassall,
  Nicholas West,
  Isaac Johnson,
  John Humfrey,
  Thomas Sharpe,
  Increase Nowell,
  John Winthrop,
  William Pinchon,
  Kellam Broune,
  William Colburn.

    [Several of these signers did not come to America.]

_c. Decision by the Company_

    _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_, I, 49

     (1) _A Generall Court, holden at Mr. Deputyes House, the 28
                         of August, 1629._

                      [Present: 25 Names given.]

Mr. Deputie acquainted this Court, that the espetiall cause of their
meeting was to give answere to divers gentlemen,[38] intending to
goe into New England, whether or noe the chiefe government of the
plantacion, togeather with the pattent, should bee settled in New
England, or heere.

Wherupon it was ordered, that this afternoone Mr. Wright, Mr. Eaton,
Mr. Adams, Mr. Spurstowe, and such others as they should thinke fitt to
call unto them, whether they were of the Company or not, to consider of
arguments against the setling of the chiefe government in New England.

And, on the other syde, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Mr. Johnson, Captain
Venn, and such others as they should call unto them, to prepare
arguments for the setling of the said government in New England; and
that tomorrow morning, being the 29th of August, at 7 of the clock,
both sydes should meete and conferr and weigh each others arguments,
and afterwards, at 9 of the clock, (which is the tyme appointed of
meeting for a General Court,) to make report therof to the whole
Company, who then will determine this business.

(2) _A General Court, at Mr. Deputyes House, the 29th of August, 1629._

This day the committees which were appointed to meete yesterday in the
afternoone to consider of arguments pro and contra touching the setling
of the government of the Companyes plantacion in New England, being
according to the order of the last Court mett togeather, debated their
arguments and reasons on both sydes; where were present many of the
Assistants and generalitie; and after a long debate, Mr. Deputie put it
to the question, as followeth:

As many of yow as desire to have the pattent and the government of the
plantacion to bee transferred to New England, _soe as it may bee done
legally_, hold up your hands: Soe many as will not, hold upp your hands.

Where, by ereccion of hands, it appeared by the generall consent of
the Company, that the government and pattent should bee setled in New
England, and accordingly an order to bee drawne upp.

    [This by no means settled the matter. The question arose as to
    how to protect the property rights of those stockholders who
    were to remain in England, and several meetings were devoted to
    consideration of various plans proposed.]

59. Decision of Puritan Gentlemen to Settle in the Colony[39]

_a. Winthrop's Argument for a Puritan Colony_

    Robert Winthrop's _Life and Letters of John Winthrop_, I, 309 ff.

    This argument is generally ascribed to John Winthrop, and one
    manuscript of it at least is said to be in his handwriting. The
    first printed copy was made by Hutchinson in his _Collections_, but
    from a different manuscript.

_=Reasons= to be considered for justifieinge the undertakeres of the
intended Plantation in New England, and for incouraginge such whose
hartes God shall move to joyne with them in it._

1.--It will be a service to the Church of great consequence to carry
the Gospell into those parts of the world, to helpe on the comminge
of the fullnesse of the Gentiles, and to raise a Bulworke against the
Kingdome of Ante Christ which the Jesuites labour to reare up in those

2.--All other churches of Europe are brought to desolation, and our
sinnes, for which the Lord beginnes allreaddy to frowne upon us and to
cutte us short, doe threatne evill times to be comminge upon us, and
whoe knowes but that God hath provided this place to be a refuge for
many whome he meanes to save out of the generall callamity; and seeinge
the Church hath noe place lefte to flie into but the wildernesse, what
better worke can there be, then to goe and provide tabernacles and
foode for her against she comes thither:

3.--_This Land growes weary of her Inhabitants, soe as man, whoe is
the most pretious of all creatures, is here more vile and base then
the earth we treade upon, and of less prise among us then an horse or
a sheepe:_ masters are forced by authority to entertaine servants,
parents to mainetaine there oune children, all tounes complaine of the
burthen of theire poore, though we have taken up many unnessisarie yea
unlawfull trades to mainetaine them, and we use the authoritie of the
Law to hinder the increase of our people, as by urginge the Statute
against Cottages, and inmates; and thus it is come to passe, that
children, servants, and neighboures, especially if they be poore, are
compted the greatest burthens, which if thinges weare right would be
the cheifest earthly blessinges.

4.--The whole earth is the Lords garden and he hath given it to the
Sonnes of men with a general Commission: Gen:1:28: "Increace and
multiplie, and replenish the earth and subdue it," which was againe
renewed to Noah: the end is double and naturall, that man might
enjoy the fruits of the earth, and God might have his due glory from
the creature: why then should we stand striving here for places of
habitation, etc. (many men spending as much labour and coste to recover
or keepe sometimes an acre or tuoe of Land, as would procure them many
and as good or better in another Countrie) and in the meane time suffer
a whole Continent as fruitfull and convenient for the use of man to lie
waste without any improvement?

5.--We are groune to that height of Intemperance in all excesse of
Riott, as noe mans estate allmost will suffice to keepe saile with
his aequalls: and he whoe failes herein, must live in scorne and
contempt. Hence it comes that all artes and Trades are carried in that
deceiptfull and unrighteous course as it is allmost impossible for a
good and upright man to mainetayne his charge and live comfortablie in
any of them.

6.--The ffountaines of Learning and Religion are soe corrupted as
(besides the unsupportable charge of there education) most children
(even the best witts and of fairest hopes) are perverted, corrupted,
and utterlie overthroune by the multitude of evill examples and the
licentious government of those seminaries, where men straine at knatts
and swallowe camells, use all severity for mainetaynance of cappes and
other accomplyments, but suffer all ruffianlike fashions and disorder
in manners [morals] to passe uncontrolled.

_b. Winthrop's Argument for Coming Himself to America_

    John Winthrop sent the following "Considerations" relating to
    himself to various friends for their advice. _Life and Letters_, I,

Particular Considerations in the case of J: W:

1: It is come to that issue as (in all probabilitye) the wellfare of
the Plantation dependes upon his goeinge, for divers of the Chiefe
Undertakers (upon whom the reste depende) will not goe without him.

2: He acknowledges a satisfactorye callinge, outwarde from those of the
Plantation, inwardly by the inclination of his oun hearte to the worke,
and bothe approved by godly and juditious Devines (whereof some have
the first interest in him), and there is in this the like mediate call
from the Kinge, which was to his former imployment.

3: Though his means be sufficient for a comfortable subsistence in a
private condition heere, yet the one halfe of them being disposed to
his 3: elder sonnes, who are now of age, he cannot live in the same
place and callinge with that which remains; his charge being still as
great as before, when his means were double: and so if he should refuse
this opportunitye, that talent which God hath bestowed upon him for
publike service, were like to be buried.

4: His wife and suche of his children, as are come to years of
discreation, are voluntarylye disposed to the same Course.

5: Most of his friends (upon the former considerations) doe consent to
his change.

_c. Decision of John Winthrop, Jr._


    Winthrop's _Life and Letters of John Winthrop_, I, 306-307.

Sir,--My humble duty remembered to you and my mother....

For the business of New England, I can say no other thing but that
I believe confidently, that the whole disposition thereof is of the
Lord, who disposeth all alterations, by his blessed will, to his own
glory and the good of his; and, therefore, do assure myself, that all
things shall work together for the best therein. And for myself, I have
seen so much of the vanity of the world, that I esteem no more of the
diversities of countries, than as so many inns, whereof the traveller
that hath lodged in the best, or in the worst, findeth no difference,
when he cometh to his journey's end; and I shall call that my country,
where I may most glorify God, and enjoy the presence of my dearest
friends. Therefore herein I submit myself to God's will and yours, and,
with your leave, do dedicate myself (laying by all desire of other
employments whatsoever) to the service of God and the Company herein,
with the whole endeavors, both of body and mind.

The CONCLUSIONS, which you sent down, I showed to my uncle and aunt,
who liked them well. I think they are unanswerable; and it cannot but
be a prosperous action, which is so well allowed by the judgments of
God's prophets, undertaken by so religious and wise worthies of Israel,
and indented to God's glory in so special a service.

... So, desiring your prayers and blessing, I commend you to the
Almighty's protection, and rest

                                                     Your obedient son,
                                                JOHN WINTHROP.

  LONDON, August 21, 1629.

                 _d. News from New England, 1629_

    Higginson's _Relation_ is the name under which his _New-England's
    Plantation_ is commonly quoted. Apparently he sent back the
    manuscript in the early fall (September, presumably) of 1629,
    some four months after his arrival. The little book was printed
    in London in 1630, but before that time it (together with earlier
    letters) had had much influence in leading to the main Puritan
    migration. The selections below are taken from Young's _Chronicles
    of Massachusetts_, where the spelling is modernized.

       *       *       *       *       *

The fertility of the soil is to be admired at, as appeareth in the
abundance of grass that groweth everywhere, both very thick, very long,
and very high in divers places. But it groweth very wildly, with a
great stalk, and a broad and ranker blade, because it hath never been
eaten with cattle, nor mowed with a scythe, and seldom trampled on by
foot. It is scarce to be believed how our kine and goats, horses and
hogs do thrive and prosper here, and like well of this country.

In our Plantation we have already a quart of milk for a penny. But
the abundant increase of corn proves this country to be a wonderment.
Thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, are ordinary here. Yea, Joseph's increase
in Egypt is outstripped here with us. Our planters hope to have more
than a hundredfold this year. And all this while I am within compass;
what will you say of two hundred fold, and upwards? It is almost
incredible what great gain some of our English planters have had by
our Indian corn. Credible persons have assured me, and the party
himself avouched the truth of it to me, that of the setting of thirteen
gallons of corn he hath had increase of it fifty-two hogsheads, every
hogshead holding seven bushels of London measure, and every bushel was
by him sold and trusted to the Indians for so much beaver as was worth
eighteen shillings; and so of this thirteen gallons of corn, which was
worth six shillings eight pence, he made about 327 pounds of it the
year following, as by reckoning will appear; where you may see how God
blesseth husbandry in this land. There is not such great and plentiful
ears of corn I suppose any where else to be found but in this country,
being also of variety of colors, as red, blue, and yellow, etc.; and
of one corn there springeth four or five hundred. I have sent you many
ears of divers colors, that you might see the truth of it.

Little children here, by setting of corn, may earn much more than their
own maintenance.

The temper of the air of New-England is one special thing that commends
this place. Experience doth manifest that there is hardly a more
healthful place to be found in the world that agreeth better with our
English bodies. Many that have been weak and sickly in Old England,
by coming hither have been thoroughly healed, and grown healthful and
strong. For here is an extraordinary clear and dry air; that is of a
most healing nature to all such as are of cold, melancholy, phlegmatic,
rheumatic temper of body ... and therefore I think it is wise course
for all cold complexions to come to take physic in New-England; for
a sup of New-England's air is better than a whole draught of Old
England's ale.

60. Early Attitude of the Puritan Colony to the Church of England

    It is certain that the Puritans did not expect, at first, to
    separate so far and so definitely from the Church of England as
    they very soon did separate. On this, cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 82, and observe also, besides _a_ and _b_ below,
    passages in No. 52, close, and No. 62 _c_, close.

_a. Winthrop's Farewell Letter to the Church of England_

April 7/17, 1630

    Hutchinson's _Massachusetts Bay_, Appendix I (1769). About two
    thirds the letter is here reproduced. Winthrop is supposed to be
    the author.

_THE HUMBLE REQUEST of his Majesties Loyall Subjects, the Governour
and the Company late gone for New England; for the obtaining of their
Prayers, and the Removall of Suspicions and Misconstructions of their

... And howsoever your Charitie may have met with some Occasion of
Discouragement through the Misreport of our Intentions, or through the
Disaffection or Indiscretion of some of us, or rather amongst us: for
we are not of those who dreame of Perfection in this World; yet wee
desire you would be pleased to take Notice of the Principals and Body
of our Company, as those who esteeme it our honour to call the _Church
of England_, from whence wee rise, our deare Mother; and cannot part
from our native Countrie, where she specially resideth, without much
Sadness of Heart, and many Tears in our Eyes, ever acknowledging that
such Hope and Part as we have obtained in the common Salvation, we have
received in her Bosome, and suckt it from her Breasts: wee leave it
not therefore as loathing that milk wherewith we were nourished there,
but blessing God for the Parentage and Education, [and] as Members of
the same Body, [we] shall alwaies rejoice in her Good, and unfeignedly
grieve for any Sorrow shall ever betide her, and while we have Breath,
sincerely desire and indeavour the Continuance and Abundance of her
Welfare, with the Inlargement of her Bounds in the Kingdome of CHRIST

Be pleased therefore, _Reverend_ FATHERS _and_ BRETHREN, to helpe
forward the Worke now in Hand; which if it prosper, you shall be the
more glorious. [A fervent request for prayers.]...

What Goodness you shall extend to us in this or any other Christian
Kindnesse, wee, _your Brethren in Christ Jesus_, shall labor to
repay ... promising, so farre as God shall enable us, to give him no
Rest on your Behalfes, wishing our Heads and Hearts may be Fountains
of Tears for your everlasting Welfare, when we shall bee in our poor
Cottages in the Wildernesse ... And so commending you to the Grace of
GOD _in_ CHRIST, wee shall ever rest,

                                     Your assured Friends and Brethren,
  From Yarmouth, aboard
    the Arabella, April 7, 1630.

          _John Winthrop_, Gov. [and six other signatures].

_b. Opinion of Captain John Smith, 1630_

    Smith's _Works_ (Birmingham edition), 926, 958.

    The following passages come from the introduction to Smith's
    "Pathway to the Inexperienced," his last pamphlet, written in 1631,
    to support the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Smith wrote at the home
    of a brother of John Winthrop's first wife, and seems to have been
    well acquainted with the Puritan leaders.

Pardon me if I offend in loving that [which] I have cherished truly,
by the losse of my prime fortunes, meanes, and youth. If it over-glad
me to see Industry her selfe adventure now to make use of my aged
ende[a]vours, _not by such (I hope) as rumour doth report, a many of
discontented Brounists, Anabaptists, Papists, Puritans, Separatists,
and such factious Humorists: for no such they will suffer among them,
if knowne, as many of the chiefe of then (John Winthrop etc.) have
assured mee; and the much conferences I have had with many of them,
doth confidently perswade me to write thus much in their behalfe. ..._

They have ... God's true Religion (they say) taught amongst themselves,
the Sabbath day observed, the common Prayer (as I understand) and
Sermons performed, and diligent catechising ... and commendable good
orders to bring those people [natives] with whom they have to deale ...
into a Christian conversation ... which done, in time, ... may grow =_a
good addition to the Church of England_=.

    [Smith evidently had some doubts on the matter, as his
    parenthetical expressions show. But he had confidence enough to
    _dedicate this booklet to the two Archbishops of Canterbury and

61. Political Principles of the Puritans

    From John Calvin's _Institutes_ (1559; translation of 1813, III,

_a. [Attempt to justify a union of church and state]_

III.--Nor let anyone think it strange that I refer to human polity
the due maintenance of religion ... I do not allow men to make laws
respecting religion and the worship of God ... though I approve of
civil government which provides that the true religion, ... contained
in the law of God, be not violated and poluted.

_b. [Of the parts of government and the supremacy of magistrates]_

    These are three. The Magistrate, who is the guardian and
    conservator of the laws: The Laws, according to which he
    governs: The People, who are governed by the laws, and obey the

IV.--The Lord hath not only testified that the function of magistrates
has his approbation and acceptance, but hath eminently commended it to
us, by dignifying it with the most honourable titles. ... This is just
as if it had been affirmed, that the authority possessed by kings and
other governors over all things upon earth is not a consequence of the
perverseness of men, but of the providence and holy ordinance of God....

VII.--Those who are not restrained by so many testimonies of Scripture,
but still dare to stigmatize this sacred ministry [magistrates] as a
thing incompatible with religion and Christian piety, do they not offer
an insult to God himself, who cannot but be involved in the reproach
cast upon his ministry? And in fact they do not reject magistrates, but
they reject God, "that he should not reign over them."...

VIII.--AND for private men, who have no authority to deliberate on the
regulation of any public affairs, it would surely be a vain occupation
to dispute which would be the best form of government in the place
where they live. ... Indeed if these three forms of government, which
are stated by philosophers [Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Democracy],
be considered in themselves, I shall by no means deny, that either
aristocracy or a mixture of aristocracy and democracy far excell all
others; and that indeed not of itself, but because it very rarely
happens that kings regulate themselves so that their will is never
at variance with justice and rectitude; or in the next place, that
they are indued with such penetration and prudence, as in all cases
to discover what is best. The vice or imperfection of men therefore
renders it safer and more tolerable for the government to be in the
hands of many, that they may afford each other mutual assistance and
admonition, and that if any one arrogate to himself more than is right,
the many may act as censors and masters to restrain his ambition....
But if those, to whom the will of God has assigned another form of
government, transfer this to themselves so as to be tempted to desire a
revolution, the very thought will be not only foolish and useless, but
altogether criminal....

XIV.--From the magistracy we next proceed to the laws, which are the
strong nerves of civil polity, or, according to an appellation which
Cicero has borrowed from Plato, the souls of states, without which
magistracy cannot subsist.

       *       *       *       *       *

XXII.--The first duty of subjects towards their magistrates is to
entertain the most honourable sentiments of their function, which
they know to be a jurisdiction delegated to them from God, and on
that account to esteem and reverence them as _God's ministers and
vicegerents_. For there are some persons to be found, who shew
themselves very obedient to their magistrates, and have not the least
wish that there were no magistrates for them to obey, because they know
them to be so necessary to the public good; but who, nevertheless,
consider the magistrates themselves as no other than necessary
evils. But something more than this is required of us by Peter, when
he commands us to "honour the king;" and by Solomon when he says,
"Fear thou the Lord and the King:" for Peter, under the term honour,
comprehends a sincere and candid esteem; and Solomon, by connecting
the king with the Lord, attributes to him a kind of sacred veneration
and dignity. ... The obedience which is rendered to princes and
magistrates is rendered to God, from whom they have received their

XXIII.--Hence follows another duty: that, with minds disposed to honour
and reverence magistrates, subjects approve their obedience to them,
in submitting to their edicts, in paying taxes, in discharging public
duties and bearing burdens which relate to the common defence, and in
fulfilling all their other commands. ... For, as it is impossible to
resist the magistrate without, at the same time, resisting God himself,
though an unarmed magistrate may seem to be despised with impunity, yet
God is armed to inflict exemplary vengeance on the contempt offered
to himself. Under this obedience I also include the moderation which
private persons ought to prescribe to themselves in relation to public
affairs, that they do not, without being called upon, intermeddle with
affairs of state, or rashly intrude themselves into the office of
magistrates, or undertake any thing of a public nature. If there be
anything in the public administration which requires to be corrected,
let them not raise any tumults, or take the business into their own
hands, which ought to be all bound in this respect, but let them refer
it to the cognizance of the magistrate, who is alone authorized to
regulate the concerns of the public.

XXV.--But, if we direct our attention to the word of God, it will
carry us much further; even to submit to the government, not only of
those princes who discharge their duty to us with becoming integrity
and fidelity, but of all who possess the sovereignty, even though they
perform none of the duties of their function. For though the Lord
testifies that the magistrate is an eminent gift of his liberality to
preserve the safety of men, and prescribes to magistrates themselves
the extent of their duty; yet he, at the same time, declares, that
whatever be their characters, they have their government only from
him; that those who govern for the public good are true specimens and
mirrors of his beneficence; and that those who rule in an unjust and
tyrannical manner are raised up by him to punish the iniquity of the
people; that all equally possess that sacred majesty which he hath
invested with legitimate authority....

XXIX.--But it will be said, that rulers owe mutual duties to their
subjects. That I have already confessed. But he who infers from this
that obedience ought to be rendered to none but just rulers, is a
very bad reasoner. For husbands owe mutual duties to their wives, and
parents to their children. Now, if husbands and parents violate their
obligations, if parents conduct themselves with discouraging severity
and fastidious moroseness towards their children, whom they are
forbidden to provoke to wrath: if husbands despise and vex their wives,
whom they are commanded to love and to spare as the weaker vessels;
does it follow that children should be less obedient to their parents;
or wives to their husbands? They are still subject, even to those who
are wicked and unkind....

XXXII.--But in the obedience which we have shewn to be due to the
authority of governors, it is always necessary to make one exception,
and that is entitled to our first attention, that it do not seduce us
from obedience to him, to whose will the desires of all kings ought
to be subject, to whose decrees all their commands ought to yield, to
whose majesty all their scepters ought to submit....

62. Early Hardships and Religious Matters, 1630-1631

_a. Extracts from Winthrop's "History of New England"_

    John Winthrop, leader of the great Puritan migration of 1630, while
    on board ship, began a "Journal," which gradually merged into a
    great contemporary "History." The work was printed first in 1790. A
    better edition appeared in 1853; and, that edition having long been
    "out of print," the work was reëdited by Dr. James K. Hosmer in
    1907 ("Original Narratives" Series). The spelling and punctuation
    have been modernized in all these editions.

(1) [_The Voyage._]

April 6, 1630. [Eight days on board; but still delayed at Yarmouth in
the English Channel]....

Our captain called over our landmen, and tried them at their muskets,
and such as were good shot among them were enrolled to serve in the
ship, if occasion should be.

The lady Arbella[40] and the gentlewomen, and Mr. Johnson and some
others went on shore to refresh themselves....

Thursday, 8. ... The wind continued N. [blank] with fair weather, and
after noon it calmed, and we still saw those eight ships to stand
towards us; having more wind than we, they came up apace, so as our
captain and the masters of our consorts were more occasioned to think
they might be Dunkirkers,[41] (for we were told at Yarmouth, that there
were ten sail of them waiting for us;) whereupon we all prepared to
fight with them, and took down some cabins which were in the way of our
ordnance, and out of every ship were thrown such bed matters as were
subject to take fire, and we heaved out our long boats, and put up our
waste cloths, and drew forth our men, and armed them with muskets and
other weapons, and instruments for fireworks; and for an experiment
our captain shot a ball of wild-fire fastened to an arrow out of a
cross-bow, which burnt in the water a good time. The lady Arbella and
the other women and children were removed into the lower deck, that
they might be out of danger. All things being thus fitted, we went
to prayer upon the upper deck. It was much to see how cheerful and
comfortable all the company appeared; not a woman or child that showed
fear, though all did apprehend the danger to have been great, if things
had proved as might well be expected, for there had been eight against
four, and the least of the enemy's ships were reported to carry thirty
brass pieces; but our trust was in the Lord of Hosts; and the courage
of our captain, and his care and diligence, did much encourage us. [The
fleet prove to be friends.]

Saturday, 10. ... This day two young men, falling at odds and fighting,
contrary to the orders which we[42] had published and set up in the
ship, were adjudged to walk upon the deck till night with their hands
bound behind them, which accordingly was executed; and another man, for
using contemptuous speeches in our[42] presence, was laid in bolts till
he submitted himself, and promised open confession of his offence.

Lord's day, [May] 2. The tempest continued all the day, with the wind
W. and by N., and the sea raged and tossed us exceedingly; yet, through
God's mercy, we were very comfortable, and few or none sick, but had
opportunity to keep the Sabbath, and Mr. Phillips preached twice that

Friday, 21. ... A servant of one of our company had bargained with a
child to sell him a box worth 3 _d._ for three biscuit a day all the
voyage, and had received about forty ... We caused his hands to be tied
up to a bar, and hanged a basket, with stones, about his neck, and so
he stood for two hours.

(2) [_Early Religious Practices._]

July 27. We, of the congregation [at Boston] kept a fast, and chose Mr.
Wilson our teacher,[43] and Mr. Nowell an elder, ... We used imposition
of hands, but with this protestation by all, that it was only as a sign
of election and confirmation, not of any intent that Mr. Wilson should
renounce his ministry that he received in England.[44]

[1631. April 12.]

At a court holden at Boston, (upon information to the governour that
they of Salem had called Mr. Williams to the office of a teacher),
a letter was written from the court to Mr. Endecott to this effect:
That whereas Mr. Williams had refused to join with the congregation
at Boston, because they would not make a public declaration of their
repentance for having communion with the churches of England while
they lived there; and, besides, had declared his opinion, that the
magistrate might not punish the breach of the Sabbath, nor any other
offence, as it was a breach of the first table; therefore, they
marvelled they would choose him without advising with the council; and
withal desiring him [Endicott] that they would forbear to proceed till
they had conferred about it....

_b. Winthrop's Letters_

                       SEPTEMBER 9/19, 1630

    Winthrop's _Life and Letters of John Winthrop_, II, 48-49 and 53-55.

My Dear Wife,--The blessing of God all-sufficient be upon thee and all
my dear ones with thee forever.

I praise the good Lord, though we see much mortality, sickness and
trouble, yet (such is his mercy) myself and children, with most of my
family, are yet living, and in health, and enjoy prosperity enough,
if the affliction of our brethren did not hold under the comfort of
it. The lady Arbella is dead, and good Mr. Higginson, my servant,
old Waters of Neyland, and many others. Thus the Lord is pleased to
humble us; yet he mixes so many mercies with his corrections, as we are
persuaded he will not cast us off, but, in his due time, will do us
good, according to the measure of our afflictions. He stays but till he
hath purged our corruptions, and healed the hardness and error of our
hearts, and stripped us of our vain confidence in this arm of flesh,
that he may have us rely wholly upon himself.

The French ship, so long expected, and given for lost, is now come safe
to us, about a fortnight since, having been twelve weeks at sea; and
yet her passengers (being but few) all safe and well but one, and her
goats but six living of eighteen. So as now we are somewhat refreshed
with such goods and provisions as she brought, though much thereof
hath received damage by wet. I praise God, we have many occasions of
comfort here, and do hope, that our days of affliction will soon have
an end, and that the Lord will do us more good in the end than we could
have expected, that will abundantly recompense for all the trouble we
have endured. Yet we may not look for great things here. It is enough
that we shall have heaven, though we should pass through hell to it.
We here enjoy God and Jesus Christ. Is not this enough? What would we
have more? I thank God, I like so well to be here, as I do not repent
my coming; and if I were to come again, I would not have altered my
course, though I had foreseen all these afflictions. I never fared
better in my life, never slept better, never had more content of mind,
which comes merely of the Lord's good hand; for we have not the like
means of these comforts here which we had in England. But the Lord
is all-sufficient, blessed be his holy name. If he please, he can
still uphold us in this estate; but, if he shall see good to make us
partakers with others in more affliction, his will be done. He is our
God, and may dispose of us as he sees good.

I am sorry to part with thee so soon, seeing we meet so seldom, and my
much business hath made me too oft forget Mondays and Fridays. I long
for the time, when I may see thy sweet face again, and the faces of
my dear children. But I must break off, and desire thee to commend me
kindly to all my good friends, and excuse my not writing at this time.
If God please once to settle me, I shall make amends. ... The good Lord
bless thee and all our children and family. So I kiss my sweet wife and
my dear children, and rest

                         Thy faithful husband,
                                                 JO. WINTHROP.

I would have written to Maplestead, if I had time. Thou must excuse me,
and remember me kindly to them all.

This is the third letter I have written to thee from New England.

[November 29/December 9, 1630.]

... Thou shalt understand by this, how it is with us since I wrote
last, (for this is the third or fourth letter I have written to thee
since I came hither,) that thou mayest see the goodness of the Lord
towards me, that, when so many have died and so many yet languish,
myself and my children are yet living and in health. Yet I have lost
twelve of my family,[45] viz. Waters and his wife, and two of his
children: Mr. Gager and his man: Smith of Buxall and his wife and two
children: the wife of Taylor of Haverill and their child: my son H.
makes the twelve. And, besides many other of less note, as Jeff. Ruggle
of Sudbury, and divers others of that town, (about twenty,) the Lord
hath stripped us of some principal persons, Mr. Johnson and his lady,
Mr. Rossiter, Mrs. Phillips, and others unknown to thee. We conceive,
that this disease grew from ill diet at sea, and proved infectious.
I write not this to discourage thee but to warn thee and others to
provide well for the sea, and, by God's help, the passage will be safe
and easy, how long soever. Be careful (I entreat thee) to observe the
directions in my former letters; and I trust that that God, who hath
so graciously preserved and blessed us hitherto, will bring us to see
the faces of each other with abundance of joy. My dear wife, we are
here in a paradise. Though we have not beef and mutton etc., yet (God
be praised) we want them not; our Indian corn answers for all. Yet here
is fowl and fish in great plenty. I will here break off, because I hope
to receive letters from thee soon, and to have opportunity of writing
more largely. I will say nothing of my love to thee, and of my longing
desires towards thee. Thou knowest my heart. Neither can I mention
salutations to my good friends, other than in general. In my next, I
hope to supply all. Now the Lord, our good God, be with thee and all my
children and company with thee. Grace and peace be with you all. So I
kiss my sweet wife and all my dear children, and bless you in the Lord.

                      Thy faithful husband,      JO. WINTHROP.

_c. Thomas Dudley to the Countess of Lincoln March, 1631_

    Force's _Historical Tracts_ (1638), II, No. 4.

  _To the righte honourable, my very good Lady,
    the Lady Brydget, Countesse of Lincoln_

Your letters (which are not common or cheape) following mee hether
into New-England, and bringeing with them renewed testimonies of
the accustomed favours you honoured me with in the old, have drawne
from mee this narrative retribucion (which in respect of your proper
interest in some persons of great note amongst us)[46] was the
thankfullest present I had to send over the seas. Therefore I humblie
intreat your honour this bee accepted as payment from him, who neither
hath nor is any more than your honours old thankful servant,

                                                THOMAS DUDLEY.
    March 12th 1630 [March 22, 1631].

[A narrative of the beginnings of the colony, through the sending of
Higginson's company in the spring of 1629.]

Theis by their too large comendacions of the country ... invited us soe
strongly to goe on that Mr. Wenthropp of Soffolke (who is well knowne
in his owne country and well approved heere for his pyety, liberality,
wisdome, and gravity) comeing into us, wee came to such resolution that
in April, 1630, wee sett sail from Old England with 4 good shipps. And
in May following, 8 more followed, 2 haveing gone before in February
and March, and 2 more following in June and August besides another set
out by a private merchant. Theis 17 Shipps arrived all safe ... but
made a long, a troublesome, and a costly voyage. ... Our four shipps
which set out in Aprill arrived here in June and July, wheere we found
the colony in a sadd and unexpected condicion; above 80 of them beeing
dead the winter before and many of those alive, weake and sicke; all
the corne and bread amongst them all hardly sufficient to feed them a
fortnight, insoemuch that the remainder of 180 servants wee had the 2
years before sent over, comeing to us for victualls to sustaine them,
wee found ourselves wholly unable to feed them ... whereupon necessity
enforced us, to our extreme loss, to give them all libertie, who had
cost us about 16 or 20 pounds a person furnishing and sending over. But
bearing theis things as we might, wee beganne to consult of the place
of our sitting downe: for Salem, where wee landed, pleased us not.
[They decide upon six new settlements, besides the already established
Salem and Charlestown.] This dispersion troubled some of us; but helpe
it wee could not, wanting ability to remove to any place fit to build
a towne upon, and the time too short to deliberate longer, least the
winter should surprise us before we had builded our houses. ... So,
ceasing to consult further for that time, they who had health to labour
fell to building, wherein many were interrupted with sicknes, and many
dyed weekely, yea almost dayley. ... Insomuch that the shipps being
now uppon their returne ... there was, as I take it, not much less
than an hundred (some think many more) partly out of dislike of our
government which restrained and punished their excesses, and partly
through fear of famine (not seeinge other means than by their labour to
feed themselves), which returned back againe. And glad were wee so to
bee ridd of them. Others also, afterwards hearing of men of their owne
disposition which were planted at Piscataway, went from us to them;
whereby though our numbers were lessened, yet wee accounted ourselves
nothing weakened by their removall.

Before the departure of the shipps, wee contracted with Mr. Peirce,
Mr. [Master] of the Lyon ... to returne to us with speed with fresh
supplies of victualls....

The shipps beeinge gone, victualls wastinge, and mortality increasinge,
wee held diverse fasts in our severall congregations, but the Lord
would not yet bee depricated [A long list of deaths] And of the people
who came over with us ... [from Aprill to December] there dyed by
estimacion about 200 at the least....

If any come hether to plant for worldly ends, that canne live well at
home, hee comits an errour of which hee will soon repent him. But if
for spirittuall, and that noe particular obstacle hinder his removeall,
he may finde here what may well content him: viz., materialls to build,
fewell to burn, ground to plant, seas and rivers to ffish in, a pure
ayer to breath in, good water to drinke till wine or beare canne be
made,--which, toegether with the cowes, hoggs, and goates brought
hether allready, may suffice for food; for as for foule and venison,
they are dainties here as well as in England. Ffor cloaths and beddinge
they must bringe them with them, till time and industry produce them
here. In a word, wee yett enjoy little to bee envyed, but endure much
to bee pytyed in the sicknes and mortalitye of our people. And I do
the more willingly use this open and plaine dealinge, least other men
should fall short of their expectations when they come hether, as wee
to our great prejudice did, by means of letters sent us from hence into
England, wherein honest men, out of a desire to draw over others to
them, wrote somewhat hyperbolically of many things here. If any godly
men out of religious ends will come over to helpe us ... I thinke they
cannot dispose of themselves or their estates more to Gods glory ...
but they must not bee of the poorer sort yett for diverse yeares. Ffor
we have found by experience that they have hindered, not furthered
the worke. And for profaine and deboshed persons, their oversight in
comeinge hether is wondered at, where they shall finde nothing to
content them. If there bee any endued with grace and furnished with
meanes to feed themselves and theirs for 18 months, and to build and
plant,--lett them come into our Macedonia to helpe us.

[Record of disasters; the return of the Lyon] ... Also, to increase the
heape of our sorrous, wee received advertisement by letters from our
friends in England and by the reports of those who came hether in this
shipp to abide with us ... that those who went discontentedly from us
last yeare, out of their evill affections towards us, have raised many
false and scandelous reports against us, affirminge us to be Brounists
in religion and ill affected to our state at home, and that theis vile
reports have wonne creditt with some who formerly wished us well. But
wee doe desire, and cannot but hope, that wise and impartiall men will
at length consider that such malcontents have ever pursued this manner
of casting dirt to make others seeme as fowle as themselves, and that
our godly friends to whom wee have ben knowne will not easily believe
that wee are soe soon turned from the profession wee soe long have made
in our native Country. And for our further clearing, I truely affirme
that I know noe one person who came over with us the last yeare to
bee altered in his judgment and affection eyther in ecclesiasticall
or civill respects since our comeinge hether; but wee doe continue to
pray dayley for our soveraigne lord the Kinge, the Queene, the Prince,
the royal blood, the counsaile, and the whole state, as dutye bindes
us to doe and reason persuades others to believe. For how ungodly and
unthankfull should wee be if wee should not thus doe ... Lett our
friends therefore give no creditt to such malicious aspersions, but bee
more ready to answer for us than wee heare they have bene. Wee are not
like those which have dispensation to lye....


[37] No doubt the movement that culminated in _b_ below was already
under way.

[38] See _b_ above.

[39] The first document under this number should logically be a
repetition of the Cambridge Agreement, above.

[40] Observe the setting off of this "lady" from the women of
the gentry families. A like sequence occurs below. Hawthorne's
_Grandfather's Chair_ has acquainted all young people with the story of
Lady Arbella.

[41] Dunkirk was held by Spain, with whom England was still practically
at war. Ships from Dunkirk preyed upon English commerce in the Channel.

[42] Winthrop uses the official plural, for the dignity of his office.
The first person was soon discarded for the third.

[43] Two ministers, a _teacher_ and a _pastor_, were customary. The
differences in duties were not very important.

[44] But cf. the entry for November 22, 1632, when no such protestation
is made: "A fast was held by the congregation of Boston, and Mr.
Wilson (formerly their teacher) was chosen pastor and ---- Oliver a
ruling elder; and both _were ordained_ by imposition of hands." This
illustrates the gradual tendency to separate from the Church of England.

[45] This is an old use of the word family, to include Winthrop's many
dependents, even married servants.

[46] The Lady Arbella was of the house of Lincoln.


63. The Oligarchic Usurpation

    _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_, I
    (under dates given). Cf. Introduction to No. 57.

(1) [_The First Court of Assistants, Charlestown, August, 23/September
2, 1630._]

... It was ordered that the Governor and Deputy Governor, for the tyme
being, shall alwaies be justices of the peace, and that Sir Rich:
Saltonstall, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Endicott, and Mr. Ludlowe shalbe justices
of the peace for the present tyme, in all things to have like power
that justices of the peace hath in England for reformacion of abuses
and punishing of offenders; and that any justice of the peace may
imprison an offender, but not inflict any corporall punishment without
the presence and consent of some one of the Assistants.[47]

(2) [_October 19/29, 1630._]

_A General Court, holden att Boston._ [The first General Court in


  THE GOVERNOR [_Winthrop_]
                             [all magistrates]

For establishinge of the government. It was propounded if it were not
the best course that the ffreemen should have the power of chuseing
Assistants, =_when there are to be chosen_=, and the Assistants from
amongst themselves to chuse a Governor and Deputy Governor, whoe with
the Assistants should have the power of makeing lawes and chuseing
officers to execute the same. This was fully assented unto by the
generall vote of the people and ereccion of hands.

    [Two charter provisions are here violated. The italicized clause
    was further explained the next May by another unconstitutional
    decree of the Assistants making themselves life-officers, unless
    removed for cause ((4) below).

    There were present, qualified to vote, the eight magistrates
    named above, and certainly not more than one or two other
    "freemen,"--probably _no one except the Assistants_. The "people"
    referred to in the final sentence were probably the 109 men who
    came to this Court to ask to be admitted "freemen." Apparently
    _they_ were asked, in turn, whether they would agree to this new
    law; and (not knowing the charter rights of freemen, anyway) they
    consented. Even so, they were not admitted until May of the next
    year. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 62.]

(3) [_March 8/18, 1630/31._]

_Att a Court [of Assistants] att Waterton_

... Further, (in regard the number of Assistants are but fewe; and
some of them goeing for England,) it was therefore ordered that
whensoever the number of Assistants resident within the lymitts of
this jurisdiccion shalbe fewer than 9, it shalbe lawfull for the major
parte of them to keepe a Court, and whatsoever orders or acts they make
shalbe as legall and authenticall as if there were the full number of 7
or more....

    [Queries: What charter provision did this law "violate"? Why did
    not the government instead increase the number of Assistants toward
    the number prescribed in the charter?]

(4) [_May 18/28, 1631._]

_A General Court, holden att Boston_

[Old governor and deputy reëlected.]

For explanacion of an order made the last Generall Court ... it was
ordered nowe, with full consent of all the commons then present,
that once in every yeare, att least, a Generall Court shalbe holden;
att which Court it shalbe lawfull for the commons to propound any ...
persons whom they shall desire to be chosen Assistants [provision
for voting on such new nominations by "poll,"--vive-voce]. _The like
course [of voting] to be holden when they, the said commons, shall see
cause for any defect or misbehavior to remove any one or more of the
Assistants._ And, to the end the body of the commons may be preserved
of honest and good men, it was likewise ordered ... that, for time to
come, noe man shalbe admitted to the freedome of this body polliticke
but such as are members of some of the churches within the lymitts of
the same....

    [The italicized clause in the above entry is the one which
    indirectly established a life-tenure for Assistants, contrary to
    the charter provision for annual reëlection of all such officers.
    The "commons" were to be permitted to suggest and choose new
    Assistants (since the charter-number of eighteen was far from
    full), _but, once elected, the Assistant held until deposed for

    At this same court, 116 freemen were elected, including those who
    had so applied in the preceding October. Whether this admission
    was before or after the legislation given above is wholly
    uncertain from the _Records_; but the natural inference is that
    the applicants were asked to assent to these changes also as a
    prerequisite to admission. After this meeting, voters are always
    referred to as "freemen." The words "people" and "commons" used in
    these records of October, 1630, and May, 1631, refer, presumably,
    to people not yet admitted to the political corporation.]

64. The First "Popular" Movement--Watertown Protest, 1632

    Winthrop's _History of New England_ (under dates given).

    Cf. introductory statements to No. 62 _a_ above.

    Winthrop's bias for aristocratic organization in politics and in
    industry appears always in most naïve unconsciousness;[48] but his
    fine candor and magnanimity make his book as attractive as it is

[November 23, 1631.] The congregation at Watertown (whereof Mr. George
Phillips was pastor) had chosen one Richard Brown for their elder,
before named, who, persisting in his opinion of the truth of the Romish
church, and maintaining other errors withal, and being a man of a very
violent spirit, the court wrote a letter to the congregation, directed
to the pastor and brethren, to advise them to take into consideration,
whether Mr. Brown were fit to be continued their elder or not; to
which, after some weeks, they returned answer to this effect: That if
we would take the pains to prove such things as were objected against
him, they would endeavour to redress them.

    [The dissensions in the Watertown church soon led to a more active
    interference by the government of the colony. The party of the
    elder and pastor plainly resented this interference. There may
    be some connection between that fact and the following famous
    "remonstrance" in the matter of taxation.]

[1631/2. February 17.] The governour and assistants called before them,
at Boston, divers of Watertown; the pastor and elder by letter, and
the others by warrant. The occasion was, for that a warrant being sent
to Watertown for levying of £8, part of a rate of £60, ordered for
the fortifying of the new town, the pastor and elder, etc., assembled
the people and delivered their opinions, that it was not safe to pay
moneys after that sort, for fear of bringing themselves and posterity
into bondage. Being come before the governour and council, after much
debate, they acknowledged their fault, confessing freely, that they
were in an error, and made a retractation and submission under their
hands, and were enjoined to read it in the assembly the next Lord's
day. The ground of their error was, for that they took this government
to be no other but as of a mayor and aldermen, who have not power to
make laws or raise taxations without the people; but understanding that
this government was rather in the nature of a parliament, and that no
assistant could be chosen but by the freemen, who had power likewise
to remove the assistants and put in others, and therefore at every
general court (which was to be held once every year) they had free
liberty to consider and propound anything concerning the same, and to
declare their grievances, without being subject to question, or, etc.,
they were fully satisfied; and so their submission was accepted, and
their offence pardoned.

    [Winthrop was overconfident. The Watertown men must soon have
    recovered from the browbeating he had given them. May 1, Winthrop
    called together the Assistants informally at his house, and warned
    them "that he had heard the people intended at the next court to
    desire that the Assistants might be chosen anew every year, and
    that the governor might be chosen by the whole court, and not by
    the Assistants only. Upon this, Mr. _Ludlow grew into a passion,
    and said that then we should have no government, but there would
    be an interim wherein every man might do what he pleased_." The
    others, however, did not anticipate quite such deplorable results,
    and wisely concluded to submit. The results appear in the following

[May 8, 1632.] A general court at Boston. Whereas it was (at our first
coming) agreed, that the freemen should choose the assistants, and
they the governour, the whole court agreed now, that the governour
and assistants should all be new chosen every year by the general
court, (the governour to be always chosen out of the assistants;) and
accordingly the old governour, John Winthrop, was chosen; accordingly
all the rest as before, and Mr. Humfrey and Mr. Coddington also,
because they were daily expected....

... A proposition was made by the people that every company of trained
men might choose their own captain and officers; but the governor
giving them reasons to the contrary, they were satisfied without it.

Every town chose two men to be at the next court, to advise with the
governour and assistants about the raising of a public stock, so as
what they should agree upon should bind all, etc.

    [The facts about this meeting of the General Court are given
    even more briefly in the _Records_, but in agreement with these
    statements of Winthrop. The _Records_ omit, naturally, all
    reference to the preceding action at Watertown, which explains
    these reforms. The freemen had now recovered the right to choose
    all magistrates annually, together with some direct local control
    over taxation; but the lawmaking power was still retained,
    unconstitutionally, by the Assistants.]

65. Legislation and Administration by the "Assistants," 1630-1633

    _Records of Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_, I (under
    dates given).

    These extracts show the moral and economic ideas of the ruling
    class. The extracts are all taken from records of the _Courts of
    Assistants_, meeting at Charlestown or Boston.

(1) [_August 23/September 2, 1630._ The first "court" after the arrival
of Winthrop.]

... It was ordered that carpenters, joyners, brickelayers, sawers, and
thatchers shall not take above 2 _s._ a day, nor any man shall give
more, under paine of X _s._...

(2) [_September 28/October 8, 1630._]

... It is ordered that labourers [_i.e._, unskilled] shall not take
above 12 _d._ a day for their worke, and not above 6_d._ and meate and
drinke, under paine of X _s._...

(3) [_November 30/December 10, 1630._]

... It is ordered that John Baker shalbe whipped for shooteing att
fowle on the Sabbath day, etc.

    [No law had been made regarding such an offense. This is an
    instance of an _ex post facto_ law, made by the magistrates in
    imposing sentence.]

(4) [_March 1/11, 1630/1631._]

... It is ordered that Mr. Aleworth, Mr. Weaver, Mr. Plastowe, Mr.
Shuter, Cobbett, and Wormewood shalbe sent into England by the shipp
Lyon, or soe many of them as the ship can carry, the rest to be sent
thither by the 1st of May nexte, if there be opportunitie of shipping,
if not, by the nexte shipp that returnes for England, as persons
unmeete to inhabit here; and that Sir Christopher Gardner and Mr.
Wright shalbe sent as prisoners into England by the shipp Lyon, nowe
returneing thither.

    [The two last named had been "tried" after a fashion. For the
    others, apparently, there was not even a form of trial, with or
    without a jury. The banishment was executive, not judicial.]

(5) [_March 22/April 1, 1630/1631._]

... It is ordered, (that whereas the wages of carpenters, joyners, and
other artificers and workemen, were by order of Court restrayned to
particular sommes) [wages] shall nowe be lefte free and att libertie as
men shall reasonably agree.

Further, it is ordered, that every toune within this pattent shall,
before the 5th of Aprill nexte, take espetiall care that every person
within their toune, (except magistrates and ministers,) as well
servants as others, [be] furnished with good and sufficient armes
allowable by the captain or other officers, those that want and are
of abilitie to buy them themselves, others that are unable to have
them provided by the toune, for the present, and after to receive
satisfacion for that they disburse when they shalbe able.

It is likewise ordered that all persons whatsoever that have cards,
dice, or [gaming] tables in their howses, shall make away with them
before the nexte Court....

(6) [_May 3/13, 1631._]

It is ordered, that John Legge, servant to Mr. Humfry, shalbe severely
whipped this day att Boston, and afterwards, soe soone as conveniently
may be, att Salem, for strikeing Richard Wright, when hee came to give
him correccion for idleness in his maisters worke.

    [Apparently Wright (who was not even the "master" of Legge) had
    struck first (that being the usual meaning of "give correction");
    but a servant must not strike back.]

(7) [_June 14/24, 1631._]

It is ordered, that Phillip Ratliffe shalbe whipped, have his
eares cutt of, fyned 40 £, and banished out of the lymitts of this
jurisdiccion, for uttering mallitious and scandulous speeches against
the government and the church of Salem, etc., as appeareth by a
particular thereof, proved upon oath.

    [Apparently no jury trial was permitted in this case (or in several
    other equally serious cases noted in the early _Records_). For
    the definite establishment of the jury, see No. 67 _b_, below. It
    was already in use, however, in capital trials. (Cf. _American
    History and Government_, # 80.) The extracts from the Massachusetts
    _Records_ regarding those early cases are too long to give here.]

(8) [_July 26/August 5, 1531._]

... It is ordered, that Josias Plaistowe shall (for stealing 4 basketts
of corne from the Indians) returne them 8 basketts againe, be ffined V
£, and hereafter to be called by the name of Josias, and not Mr., as
formerly hee used to be; and that William Buckland and Thomas Andrewe
shalbe whipped for being accessary to the same offence.

    [These two men were servants of Plaistowe. Cf. _American History
    and Government_, # 65, on the exemption of gentlemen from corporal
    punishment; and also No. 78, note 43, below.]

(9) [_July 2/12, 1633._]

... It is ordered, that it shalbe lawfull for any man to kill any swine
that comes into his corne: the party that ownes the swine is to have
them, being kild, and allowe recompence for the damage they doe, etc....

(10) [_September 3/13, 1633._]

Roberte Coles is ffined X £, and enjoyned to stand with a white sheete
of paper on his back, wherein _a drunkard_ shalbe written in greate
letteres, and to stand therewith soe longe as the Court thinks meete,
for abuseing himselfe shamefully with drinke.

    [Cowles did not reform. A Court of March 4/14, 1633/34, passed the
    following sentence upon him:--

    "It is ordered, that Roberte Coles, for drunkeness by him committed
    att Rocksbury, shalbe disfranchized, weare about his necke, and soe
    to hange upon his outward garment, a D, made of redd cloath, and
    sett upon white; to contynue this for a yeare, and not to leave it
    of att any tyme when hee comes amongst company, under the penalty
    of XI _s_ for the first offence, and V £ the second, and after to
    be punished by the Court as they thinke meete; also, hee is to
    weare the D outwards, and is enjoyned to appeare att the nexte
    Generall Court, and to contynue there till the Court be ended."

    Cowles seems to have been one of the early democratic agitators.
    The _Records_ show that he was one of the deputies chosen in May,
    1632, to help assess taxes. Possibly he had made himself obnoxious
    in such fashion to these aristocratic judges.]

(11) [_October 1/11, 1633._]

It is ordered, that maister carpenters, sawers, masons,
clapboard-ryvers, brickelayers, tylars, joyners, wheelwrights, mowers,
etc., shall not take above 2 _s._ a day, findeing themselves dyett,
and not above 14 _d._ a day if they have dyett found them, under the
penalty of V _s._, both to giver and receaver, for every day that there
is more given and receaved. Also, that all other inferior workemen of
the said occupacions shall have such wages as the constable of the said
place, and 2 other inhabitants, that hee shall chuse, shall appoynet.

Also, it is agreed, that the best sorte of labourers shall not take
above 18 _d._ a day if they dyett themselves, and not above 8 _d._ a
day if they have dyett found them, under the aforesaid penalty, both to
giver and receaver.

Likewise, that the wages of inferior labourers shalbe referd to the
constable and 2 other, as aforesaid.

Maister taylours shall not take above 12_d._ a day, and the inferior
sorte not above 8_d._ if they be dyeted, under the aforesaid penalty;
and for all other worke they doe att home proporcionably, and soe for
other worke that shalbe done ... by any other artificer.

Further, it is ordered, that all workemen shall worke the whole day,
alloweing convenient tyme for foode and rest. This order to take place
the 12th of this present moneth. [The "whole day" was from sun-rise to

It is further ordered, that noe person, howse houlder or other, shall
spend his time idlely or unproffitably, under paine of such punishment
as the Court shall thinke meete to inflicte; and for this end it is
ordered, that the constable of every place shall use spetiall care and
deligence to take knowledge of offenders in this kinde, espetially of
common coasters, unprofittable fowlers, and tobacco takers, and to
present the same to the 2 nexte Assistants, whoe shall have power to
heare and determine the cause, or, if the matter be of importance, to
transferr it to the Court.

    [The following entries from Winthrop's _History_ show the desperate
    feeling of the servants and the attitude of the gentry class at
    this time:--

    "August 6, 1633. Two men servants to one Moodye, of Roxbury,
    returning in a boat from the windmill, struck upon the oyster bank.
    They went out to gather oysters, and, not making fast their boat,
    when the flood came, it floated away, and they were both drowned,
    although they might have waded out on either side; but it was an
    evident judgment of God upon them, for they were wicked persons.
    One of them, a little before, being reproved for his lewdness, and
    put in mind of hell, answered, that if hell were ten times hotter,
    he had rather be there than he would serve his master, etc. The
    occasion was, because he had bound himself for divers years, and
    saw that, if he had been at liberty, he might have had greater
    wages, though otherwise his master used him very well.

    "November, 1633. ... The scarcity of workmen had caused them to
    raise their wages to an excessive rate, so as a carpenter would
    have three shillings the day, a laborer two shillings and sixpence,
    etc.; and accordingly those who had commodities to sell advanced
    their prices sometime double to that they cost in England, so as
    it grew to a general complaint, which the court, taking knowledge
    of, as also of some further evils, which were springing out of
    the excessive rate of wages, they made an order, that carpenters,
    masons, etc., should take but two shillings the day, and laborers
    but eighteen pence, and that no commodity should be sold at above
    four pence in the shilling more than it cost for ready money in
    England; oil, wine, etc., and cheese (in regard of the hazard of
    bringing, etc.,) excepted. ..."

    Winthrop, no doubt, put the cart before the horse. The increased
    cost of all European goods, due to high freights, necessitated
    higher wages; but Winthrop resents any attempt of the laborers to
    ask more than their old European wages.]

66. The Beginning of Town Government in Massachusetts, 1633

    _Dorchester Town Records_, p. 3.

    For some three years after the great migration of 1630, the eight
    Massachusetts "towns" were governed wholly by the central colonial
    authority,--the courts of Assistants and the General Courts,--and
    by officers appointed by this central authority. The entry below
    marks the beginning of local self-government. The Dorchester
    _Records_, it is true, contain notice of four earlier meetings to
    regulate pasturage or the division of town lands (cf. one such
    Boston meeting later; No. 73 _b_); but here we have _a formal
    assumption of government by periodic town meetings and "select
    men."_ The next town to act in a like way was Watertown (cf. No.
    83, opening). _Later_ (cf. No. 78, law 66), the central government
    accepted this establishment of local government, giving it the
    sanction of law. On the history of this movement, see _American
    History and Government_, ## 71-74.

An agreement made by the whole consent and vote of the Plantation made
Mooneday 8th of October, 1633.

_Inprimus_ it is ordered that for the generall good and well ordering
of the affayres of the Plantation their shall be every Mooneday before
the Court by eight of the Clocke in the morning, and presently upon
the beating of the drum, a generall meeting of the inhabitants of the
Plantation att the meeteing house, there to settle (and sett downe)
such orders as may tend to the generall good as aforesayd; and every
man to be bound thereby without gaynesaying or resistance. It is also
agreed that there shall be twelve men selected out of the Company that
may or the greatest part of them meete as aforesayd to determine as
aforesayd, yet so as it is desired that the most of the Plantation
will keepe the meeteing constantly and all that are there although
none of the Twelve shall have a free voyce as any of the 12 and that
the greate[r] vote both of the 12 and the other shall be of force
and efficasy as aforesayd. And it is likewise ordered that all things
concluded as aforesayd shall stand in force and be obeyed untill the
next monthely meeteing and afterwardes if it be not contradicted and
other wise ordered upon the sayd monthley meete[ing] by the greatest
parts of those that are present as aforesayd.

67. Representative Central Government Established, 1634

_a. Winthrop's Account_

    Winthrop's _History of New England_, under dates given. Cf.
    Introduction to No. 64 for Winthrop's bias.

    For the outline of the whole story, cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 64.

[April 1, 1634.] ... Notice being sent out of the general court to be
held the 14th day of the third month, called May, the freemen deputed
two of each town to meet and consider of such matters as they were to
take order in at the same general court; who, having met, desired a
sight of the patent, and, conceiving thereby that all their laws should
be made at the general court, repaired to the governour to advise with
him about it, and about the abrogating of some orders formerly made,
as for killing of swine in corn,[49] etc. He told them, that, when
the patent was granted, the number of freemen was supposed to be (as
in like corporations) so few, as they might well join in making laws;
but now they were grown to so great a body, as it was not possible for
them to make or execute laws, but they must choose others for that
purpose: and that howsoever it would be necessary hereafter to have
a select company to intend that work, yet for the present they were
not furnished with a sufficient number of men qualified for such a
business; neither could the commonwealth bear the loss of time of so
many as must intend it. Yet this they might do at present, viz., they
might, at the general court, make an order, that, once in the year, a
certain number should be appointed (upon summons from the governour)
to revise all laws, etc., and to reform what they found amiss therein;
but not to make any new laws, but prefer their grievances to the court
of assistants; and that no assessment should be laid upon the country
without the consent of such a committee, nor any lands disposed of....

[May 14.] At the general court, Mr. Cotton preached, and delivered
this doctrine, that a magistrate ought not to be turned into the
condition of a private man without just cause, and to be publicly
convict, no more than the magistrates may not turn a private man out
of his freehold, etc., without like public trial, etc. This falling in
question in the court, and the opinion of the rest of the ministers
being asked, it was referred to further consideration.

The court chose a new governour, viz., Thomas Dudley,[50] Esq., the
former deputy; and Mr. Ludlow was chosen deputy; and John Haines, Esq.,
an assistant, and all the rest of the assistants chosen again.

At this court it was ordered, that four general courts should be kept
every year, and that the whole body of the freemen should be present
only at the court of election of magistrates, etc., and that, at the
other three, every town should send their deputies, who should assist
in making laws, disposing lands, etc. Many good orders were made by
this court. It held three days, and all things were carried very
peaceably, notwithstanding that some of the assistants were questioned
by the freemen for some errors in their government, and some fines
imposed, but remitted again before the court broke up. The court was
kept in the meeting house at Boston, and the new governour and the
assistants were together entertained at the house of the old governour,
as before.

_b. The Colony Records_

(1) [_An Attempt of the Oligarchic Government to hold the Allegiance of
all Inhabitants by an Oath._]

The Oath for all Inhabitants prescribed at a Court of Assistants at
Boston, April 1/11, 1634.

I doe heare sweare, and call God to witnes, that, being nowe
an inhabitant within the lymitts of this jurisdiccion of the
Massachusetts, I doe acknowledge myselfe lawfully subject to the
aucthoritie and goverment there established and doe accordingly submitt
my person, family, and estate, to be protected, ordered, and governed
by the lawes and constitucions thereof, and doe faithfully promise
to be from time to time obedient and conformeable thereunto, and to
the aucthoritie of the Governor, and all other the magistrates there,
and their successors, and to all such lawes, orders, sentences, and
decrees, as nowe are or hereafter shalbe lawfully made, decreed, and
published by them or their successors. And I will alwayes indeavor (as
in duty I am bound) to advance the peace and wellfaire of this body
pollitique, _and I will_ (to my best power and meanes) _seeke to devert
and prevent whatsoever may tende to the ruine or damage thereof, or of
the Governor, Deputy Governor, or Assistants, or any of them or their
successors, and will give speedy notice to them, or some of them, of
any sedicion, violence, treacherie, or other hurte or evill which I
shall knowe, heare, or vehemently suspect to be plotted or intended
against them or any of them_, or against the said Commonwealth or
goverment established. Soe helpe mee God.

(2) [_The Revolutionary General Court of May 14/24, 1634._]

    This court opens with a list of those present, giving, after
    the names of the Assistants, twenty-four other names written in
    different columns, _before_ the usual word _Generalitie_. These
    twenty-four seem to have come, by threes, from each of the eight
    towns. It is quite certain that they were "deputies" sent for the
    purpose by the towns. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 64.

_Oath of Freemen_

I (_A. B._), being, by Gods providence, an inhabitant and ffreeman
within the jurisdiccion of this commonweale, doe freely acknowledge
my selfe to be subject =_to the goverment_= there of, and therefore
doe heere sweare, by the greate and dreadfull name of the everlyveing
God, that I wilbe true and faithfull to the same, and will accordingly
yeilde assistance and support thereunto, with my person and estate, as
in equity I am bound, and will also truely indeavor to mainetaine and
preserve =_all the libertyes and previlidges thereof_=, submitting my
selfe to the wholesome lawes and orders made and established by the
same; and further, that I will not plott nor practise any evill against
_it_, nor consent to any that shall soe doe, but will timely discover
and reveale the same to lawful aucthority nowe here established,
for the speedy preventing thereof. _Moreover, I doe solemnely bynde
myselfe, in the sight of God, that when I shalbe called to give my
voice touching any such matter of this state, wherein ffreemen are to
deale, I will give my vote and suffrage, as I shall judge in myne oune
conscience may best conduce and tend to the publique weale of the body,
without respect of persons, or favor of any man._ Soe helpe mee God, in
the Lord Jesus Christ.[51]

Further, it is agreed, that none but the Generall Court hath power to
chuse and admitt ffreemen.

That none but the Generall Court hath power to make and establishe
lawes, nor to elect and appoynct officers, as Governor, Deputy
Governor, Assistants, Tresurer, Secretary, Captain, Leiuetenants,
Ensignes, or any of like moment, or to remove such upon misdemeanor, as
also to sett out the dutyes and powers of the said officers.

That none but the Generall Court hath power to rayse moneyes and taxes,
and to dispose of lands, viz. to give and confirme proprietyes.

Thomas Dudley, Esq. was chosen Governor for this yeare nexte ensueing,
and till a newe be chosen, and did, in presence of the Court, take an
oath to his said place belonginge....

It is agreed, that there shalbe ten pounds ffine sett upon the Court of
Assistants, and Mr. Mayhewe, for breach of an order of Court against
imployeing Indeans to shoote with peeces, the one halfe to be payde by
Mr. Pinchon and Mr. Mayhewe, offending therein, the other halfe by the
Court of Assistants then in being, who gave leave thereunto.

It was further ordered, that the constable of every plantacion shall,
upon process receaved from the Secretary, give timely notice to the
ffremen of the plantacion where hee dwells to send soe many of their
said members as the process shall direct, to attend upon publique
service; and it is agreed that no tryall shall passe upon any, for life
or banishment, but by a jury soe summoned, or by the Generall Courte.

It is likewise ordered that there shalbe foure Generall Courts held
yearely, to be summoned by the Governor, for the tyme being, and not to
be dissolved without the consent of the major parte of the Court.

_It was further ordered that it shalbe lawfull for the ffremen of every
plantacion to chuse two or three of each towne before every Generall
Court, to conferre of and prepare such publique busines as by them
shalbe thought fitt to consider of att the nexte Generall Court, and
that such persons as shalbe hereafter soe deputed by the ffreemen of
[the] severall plantacions, to deale in their behalfe, in the publique
affayres of the commonwealth, shall have the full power and voyces of
all the said ffreemen, deryved to them for the makeing and establishing
of lawes, graunting of lands, etc., and to deale in all other affaires
of the commonwealth wherein the ffreemen have to doe, the matter of
election of magistrates and other officers onely, excepted, wherein
every freeman is to gyve his owne voyce._[52]

All former orders concerneing swine are repealed. And it is agreed
that every towne shall have liberty to make such orders aboute swine
as they shall judge best for themselves, and that if the swine of one
towne shall come within the lymitts of another, the owners thereof
shalbe lyeable to the orders of that towne where their swine soe

68. Reaction: The Aristocratic Veto

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

[September 4, 1634.] The general court began at Newtown, and continued
a week, and then was adjourned fourteen days. Many things were there
agitated. ... But the main business, which spent the most time, and
caused the adjourning of the court, was about the removal of Newtown
[to Connecticut]....

Upon these and other arguments the court being divided, it was put
to vote; and, of the deputies, fifteen were for their departure, and
ten against it. The governour and two assistants were for it, and the
deputy and all the rest[53] of the assistants were against it, (except
the secretary, who gave no vote;) whereupon no record was entered,
because there were not six assistants in the vote,[53] as the patent
requires. Upon this grew a great difference between the governour and
assistants, and the deputies. They would not yield the assistants a
negative voice, and the others (considering how dangerous it might be
to the commonwealth, if they should not keep that strength to balance
the greater number of the deputies) thought it safe to stand upon it.
So, when they could proceed no farther, the whole court agreed to keep
a day of humiliation to seek the Lord, which accordingly was done,
in all the congregations, the 18th day of this month; and the 24th
the court met again. Before they began, Mr. Cotton preached, (being
desired by all the court, upon Mr. Hooker's instant excuse of his
unfitness for that occasion). He took his text out of Hag. ii, 4,
etc., out of which he laid down the nature or strength (as he termed
it) of the magistracy, ministry, and people, viz.,--the strength of the
magistracy to be their authority; of the people, their liberty; and of
the ministry, their purity; and showed how all of these had a negative
voice, etc., and that yet the ultimate resolution, etc., ought to be
in the whole body of the people, etc., with answer to all objections,
and a declaration of the people's duty and right to maintain their
true liberties against any unjust violence, etc., which gave great
satisfaction to the company. And it pleased the Lord so to assist him,
and to bless his own ordinance, that the affairs of the court went on
cheerfully; and although all were not satisfied about the negative
voice to be left to the magistrates, yet no man moved aught about it,
and the congregation of Newtown came and accepted of such enlargement
as had formerly been offered them by Boston and Watertown; and so the
fear of their removal to Connecticut was removed. ... At this court
were many laws made against tobacco, and immodest fashions, and costly
apparel,[54] etc., as appears by the Records: and £600 raised towards
fortifications and other charges....

69. Right of Free Speech Denied

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

March 4, 1634 [1635] ... At this court, one of the deputies was
questioned for denying the magistracy among us, affirming that the
power of the governour was but ministerial, etc. He had also much
opposed the magistrates, and slighted them, and used many weak
arguments against the negative voice, as himself acknowledged upon
record. He was adjudged by all the court to be disabled for three years
from bearing any public office....

    [This was Israel Stoughton, deputy from Dorchester (see No. 70,
    below). Afterward Stoughton was an officer in Cromwell's original
    regiment of Ironsides.

    Winthrop wrote a pamphlet _in favor_ of the negative voice; but for
    this he was not called to account.]

70. Formal Adoption of the Ballot in Elections in the General Court

    Winthrop's _History of New England_. For the one earlier instance,
    cf. No. 67 _a_ and note.

[May 6/16, 1635.] A general court was held at Newtown, where John
Haynes, Esq., was chosen governour, Richard Bellingham, Esq., deputy
governour, and Mr. Hough and Mr. Dummer chosen assistants to the
former; and Mr. Ludlow, the late deputy, left out of the magistracy.
The reason was, partly, because the people would exercise their
absolute power, etc., and partly upon some speeches of the deputy,
who protested against the election of the governour as void, for that
the deputies of the several towns had agreed upon the election before
they came, etc.[55] But this was generally discussed, and the election
adjudged good.

Mr. Endecott was also left out, and called into question about the
defacing the cross in the ensign....

The governour and deputy were elected by papers, wherein their names
were written; but the assistants were chosen by papers, without names,
viz. the governour propounded one to the people; then they all went
out, and came in at one door, and every man delivered a paper into a
hat. Such as gave their vote for the party named, gave in a paper with
some figures or scroll in it; others gave in a blank.

       *       *       *       *       *

Apetition was preferred by many of Dorchester, etc., for releasing the
sentence against Mr. Stoughton the last general court; but it was
rejected, and the sentence affirmed by the country to be just....

71. Secret Ballot in a Local Election, because of Democratic and
Aristocratic Jealousies

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

    The use of the ballot noted in No. 70 was not the first in New
    England. An earlier instance in the General Court of the year
    before has been noted (No. 67 _a_, note), and the following extract
    shows an instance of its use in a town election, along with other
    interesting political data. On the matter of the ballot, cf.
    _American History and Government_, # 77.

December 11, 1634. This day after the lecture,[56] the inhabitants
of Boston met to choose seven men who should divide the town lands
among them. They chose _by papers_, and, in their choice, left out Mr.
Winthrop, Coddington, and other of the chief men; only they chose one
of the elders and a deacon, and the rest of the inferior sort, and Mr.
Winthrop had the greater number before one of them by a voice or two.
This they did, as fearing that the richer men would give the poorer
sort no great proportions of land, but would rather leave a great
part at liberty for new comers and for common, which Mr. Winthrop had
oft persuaded them unto, as best for the town, etc. Mr. Cotton and
divers others were offended at this choice, because they declined the
magistrates; and Mr. Winthrop refused to be one upon such an election
as was carried by a voice or two, telling them, that though, for his
part, he did not apprehend any personal injury, nor did doubt of their
good affection towards him, yet he was much grieved that Boston should
be the first who should shake off their magistrates, especially Mr.
Coddington, who had been always so forward for their enlargement;
adding further reason of declining this choice, to blot out so bad a
precedent. Whereupon, at the motion of Mr. Cotton, who showed them,
that it was the Lord's order among the Israelites to have all such
businesses committed to the elders, and that it had been nearer the
rule to have chosen some of each sort, etc., they all agreed to go to a
new election, which was referred to the next lecture day.[57]

72. Martial Law

    _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay._

             _Att a Generall Court holden at NeweTowne,
             March 11th, 1634_ [_March 21, 1635._]

It is ordered, that the present Governor, Deputy Governor, John
Winthrop, John Humfry, John Haynes, John Endicott, William Coddington,
William Pinchon, Increase Nowell, Richard Bellingham, Esquire, and
Simon Birdstreete, or the major parte of them, whoe are deputed by this
Court to dispose of all millitary affaires whatsoever, shall have full
power and aucthority to see all former lawes concerneing all military
men and municion executed, and also shall have full power to ordeyne or
remove all millitary officers, and to make and tender to them an oathe
suteable to their places, to dispose of all companyes, to make orders
for them, and to make and tender to them a suteable oath, and to see
that strickt dissipline and traineings be observed, and to command them
forth upon any occacion they thinke meete, to make either offensive or
defensive warr, as also to doe whatsoever may be further behoofefull,
for the good of this plantacion, in case of any warr that may befall
us, and also that the aforesaid commissioners, or the major parte of
them, shall have power to imprison or confine any that they shall judge
to be enemyes to the commonwealth, and such as will not come under
command or restrainte, as they shalbe required, it shalbe lawfull for
the said commissioners to putt such persons to death. This order to
continue till the end of the next Generall Court.

    [At the next Court (May, 1635; the same to which Winthrop refers in
    No. 70, above), this committee with its authority was continued for
    one year, though this power was wholly unauthorized by the charter.
    The reason was a desire to be prepared to resist a "General
    Governor" from England. Cf. _American History and Government_, #

73. Life Council; Proxies; "Approved" Churches

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

April 7, 1636. At a general court it was ordered that a certain number
of the magistrates should be chosen for life (the reason was, for
that it was showed from the word of God, etc., that the principal
magistrates ought to be for life).[58] ... It was likewise ordered ...
that, in regard of the scarcity of vituals, the remote towns should
send their votes by proxy to the court of elections,[59] and that no
church ... should be allowed ... that was gathered without consent of
the churches and magistrates.[60]

74. The Wheelwright Controversy (Political Aspects)

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

May 17, 1637. Our court of elections was at Newtown. So soon as the
court was set, being about one of the clock, a petition was preferred
by those of Boston. The governour would have read it, but the deputy
said it was out of order; it was a court for elections, and those
must first be despatched, and then their petitions should be heard.
Divers others also opposed that course, as an ill precedent, etc.; and
the petition, being about pretence of liberty, etc., (though intended
chiefly for revoking the sentence given against Mr. Wheelwright,)
would have spent all the day in debate, etc.; but yet the governour
and those of that party would not proceed to election, except the
petition was read. Much time was already spent about this debate,
and the people crying out for election, it was moved by the deputy,
that the people should divide themselves, and the greater number must
carry it. And so it was done, and the greater number by many were for
election. But the governour [Vane] and that side kept their place
still, and would not proceed. Whereupon the deputy [Winthrop] told him,
that, if he would not go to election, he and the rest of that side
would proceed. Upon that, he came from his company, and they went to
election; and Mr. Winthrop was chosen governour, Mr. Dudley deputy,
and Mr. Endecott of the standing council; and Mr. Israel Stoughton and
Mr. Richard Saltonstall were called in to be assistants; and Mr. Vane,
Mr. Coddington, and Mr. Dummer, (being all of that faction,) were left
quite out.

There was great danger of a tumult that day; for those of that side
grew into fierce speeches, and some laid hands on others; but seeing
themselves too weak, they grew quiet. They expected a great advantage
that day, because the remote towns were allowed to come in by proxy;
but it fell out, that there were enough beside. But if it had been
otherwise, they must have put in their deputies, as other towns had
done, for all matters beside elections. Boston, having deferred to
choose deputies till the election was passed, went home that night,
and the next morning they sent Mr. Vane, the late governour, and Mr.
Coddington, and Mr. Hoffe, for their deputies; _but the court, being
grieved at it, found a means to send them home again, for that two of
the freemen of Boston[61] had not notice of the election._ So they
went all home, and the next morning they returned the same gentleman
again upon a new choice; and the court _not finding how they might
reject them_, they were admitted....

75. Political and Social Conditions in New England before 1660

_a. Correspondence between Cotton and Certain English Lords, 1636_

    Thomas Hutchinson's _History of Massachusetts Bay_ (1769), App. II.

    In 1636, certain Puritan lords in England sent to John Cotton in
    Massachusetts a series of conditions upon which they might come to
    live in the colony. Cotton prepared the answers, with "such leading
    men as [he] thought meete to consult."

_CERTAIN Proposals made by LORD SAY, LORD BROOKE, and other Persons
of quality, as conditions of their removing to NEW-ENGLAND, with the
answers thereto._

_Demand 1._ That the Commonwealth should consist of two distinct
ranks of men,--whereof the one should be (for them _and their heirs_)
gentlemen of the country; the other (for them and their heirs)

_Answer._ Two distinct ranks we willingly acknowledge, from the light
of nature and scripture; the one of them called Princes or Nobles,
or Elders (amongst whom _gentlemen_ have their place); the other,
_the people_. Hereditary dignity or honours we willingly allow to the
former, unless by the scandalous and base conversation of any of them,
they become degenerate. Hereditary liberty, or estate of freemen, we
willingly allow to the other, unless they also, by some unworthy and
slavish carriage, do disfranchize themselves.

_Dem. 2._ That in these gentlemen and freeholders, assembled together,
the chief power of the Commonwealth shall be placed, both for making
and repealing laws.

_Ans._ So it is with us.

_Dem. 3. That each of these two ranks should, in all public assemblies,
have a negative voice, so as without a mutuall consent nothing should
be established._

_Ans._ So it is agreed among us.

_Dem. 4._ That the first rank (consisting of gentlemen) should have
power, for them and their heirs, to come to the parliaments or public
assemblies, and there to give their free votes _personally_; the second
rank (of freeholders) should have the same power for them and their
heirs of meeting and voting, _but by their deputies_.

_Ans._ Thus far this demand is practiced among us. The freemen meet and
vote by their deputies; the other rank give their votes personally,
only with this difference, there be no more of the gentlemen that give
their votes personally but such as are chosen to places of office,
either governors, deputy governors, councellors, or assistants. All
gentlemen in England have not that honour to meet and vote personally
in parliament, much less all their heirs. But of this more fully, in an
answer to the ninth and tenth demand.

_Dem. 5. That for facilitating and dispatch of business, and other
reasons, the gentlemen and freeholders should sit and hold their
meetings in two distinct houses._

_Ans. We willingly approve the motion, only as yet it is not so
practiced among us, but in time, the variety and discrepancy of sundry
occurrences will put them upon a necessity of sitting apart._

       *       *       *       *       *

_Dem. 8._ [_The governor to be chosen from "gentlemen."_]

_Ans. We never practice otherwise, chusing the governor either out of
the assistants, which is our ordinary course, or out of approved known
gentlemen, as this year, Mr. Vane._

_Dem. 9._ That for the present, the Right Honorable the Lord Viscount
Say and Seale, the Lord Brooke, who have already been at great
disbursements for the public works in New-England, and such other
gentlemen of approved sincerity and worth, as they, before their
personal remove, shall take into their number, should be admitted for
them and their heirs, gentlemen of the country. But for the future,
none shall be admitted into this rank but by the consent of both houses.

_Ans._ The great disbursements of these noble personages and worthy
gentlemen we thankfully acknowledge, because the safety and presence
of our brethren at Connecticut is no small blessing and comfort to
us. But, though that charge had never been disbursed, the worth of
the honorable persons named is so well known to all, and our need of
such supports and guides is so sensible to ourselves, that we do not
doubt the country would thankfully accept it, as a singular favor from
God and from them, if he should bow their hearts to come into this
wilderness and help us. As for accepting them and their heirs into
the number of gentlemen of the country, the custom of this country
is, and readily would be, to receive and acknowledge, not only all
such eminent persons as themselves and the gentleman they speake
of, but others of meaner estate, so be it is of some eminency, to
be for them and their heirs, gentlemen of the country. Only, thus
standeth our case. Though we receive them with honor and allow them
pre-eminence and accomodations according to their condition, yet we
do not, ordinarily, call them forth to the power of election, or
administration, of magistracy, until they be received as members
into some of our churches, a privelege, which we doubt not religious
gentlemen will willingly desire (as David did in Psal. xxvii. 4) and
christian churches will as readily impart to such desirable persons.
Hereditary honors both nature and scripture doth acknowledge (Eccles.
x. 17.) but hereditary authority and power standeth only by the civil
laws of some commonwealths, and yet even amongst them, the authority
and power of the father is nowhere communicated, together with his
honors, unto all his posterity. Where God blesseth any branch of any
noble or generous family, with a spirit and gifts fit for government,
it would be a taking of God's name in vain to put such a talent under
a bushel, and a sin against the honor of magistracy to neglect such in
our public elections. But if God should not delight to furnish some of
their posterity with gifts fit for magistracy, we would expose them
rather to reproach and prejudice, and the commonwealth with them, than
exalt them to honor, if we should call them forth, when God doth not,
to public authority....

    [In Cotton's personal letter to Lord Say and Sele and Lord Brooke
    (Hutchinson's _Massachusetts Bay_ (1765), App. III), a fuller
    statement as to some features of Massachusetts practice and theory
    is given. The English lords evidently objected to the restriction
    of citizenship to church members. They wanted less of theocracy and
    more of aristocracy. Cotton defends the middle course of the colony
    as follows:

    ... "Your Lordships advertisement touching the civill state of
    this colony, as they doe breath forth your singular wisdome, and
    faithfulness, and tender care of the peace, so wee have noe reason
    to misinterprite, or undervalue your Lordships eyther directions
    or intentions therein. I know noe man under heaven (I speake in
    Gods feare without flattery) whose counsell I should rather depend
    upon, for the wise administration of a civill state according to
    God, than upon your Lordship, and such confidence have I (not in
    you) but in the Lords presence in Christ with you, that I should
    never feare to betrust a greater commonwealth than this (as
    much as in us lyeth) under such a _perpetuâ dictaturâ_ as your
    Lordship should prescribe. For I nothing doubt, but that eyther
    your Lordship would prescibe all things according to the rule, or
    be willing to examine againe, and againe, all things according
    to it. ... It is very suitable to Gods all-sufficient wisdome,
    and to the fulnes and perfection of Holy Scriptures, not only to
    prescribe perfect rules for the right ordering of a private mans
    soule to everlasting blessednes with himselfe, but also for the
    right ordering of a mans family, yea, of the commonwealth too, so
    farre as both of them are subordinate to spiritual ends, and yet
    avoide both the churches usurpation upon civill jurisdictions ...
    and the commonwealths invasion upon ecclesiasticall administrations
    ... Gods institutions (such as the government of church and of
    commonwealth may be) may be close and compact, and coördinate one
    with another, and yet not confounded. God hath so framed the state
    of church government and ordinances, that they may be compatible
    to any common-wealth, though never so much disordered in his
    frame. But yet when a commonwealth hath liberty to mould his owne
    frame ... I conceyve the scripture hath given full direction for
    the right ordering of the same. ... Mr. Hooker doth often quote a
    saying out of Mr. Cartwright (though I have not read it in him)
    that noe man fashioneth his house to his hangings, but his hangings
    to his house. It is better that the commonwealth be fashioned to
    the setting forth of Gods house, which is his church: than to
    accommodate the church frame to the civill state. Democracy, I do
    not conceyve that ever God did ordeyne as a fitt government eyther
    for church or commonwealth. If the people be governors, who shall
    be governed? As for monarchy, and aristocracy, they are both of
    them clearely approoved, and directed in scripture, yet so as
    referreth the soveraigntie to himselfe, and setteth up Theocracy
    in both, as the best forme of government in the commonwealth as
    well as in the church.

    "The law, which your Lordship instanceth in [that none shall be
    chosen to magistracy among us but a church member] was made and
    enacted before I came into the country; but I have hitherto wanted
    sufficient light to plead against it. ... Your Lordship's feare
    that this will bring in papal excommunication, is just, and pious:
    but let your Lordship be pleased againe to consider whether the
    consequence be necessary....

    "When your Lordship doubteth that this corse will draw all things
    under the determination of the church ... (seeing the church is to
    determine who shall be members, and none but a member may have to
    doe in the government of a commonwealth) be pleased (I pray you)
    to conceyve, that magistrates are neyther chosen to office in the
    church. ... Nor neede your Lordship feare (which yet I speake with
    submission to your Lordships better judgment) that this corse will
    lay such a foundation, as nothing but a mere democracy can be built
    upon it. Bodine confesseth, that though it be _status popularis_,
    where a people choose their owne governors, =yet the government
    is not a democracy, if it be administered, not by the people, but
    by the governors=, whether one (for then it is a monarchy, though
    elective) or by many, for then (as you know) it is aristocracy.
    ... Mean while two of the principall of [the requirements of the
    Lords], the generall cort hath already condescended unto. 1. In
    establishing a standing councell, who, during their lives, should
    assist the governor in managing the chiefest affayres of this
    little state. They have chosen, for the present, onely two (Mr.
    Winthrope and Mr. Dudley) nor willing to choose more, till they see
    what further better choyse the Lord will send over to them, that
    so they may keep an open doore for such desireable gentlemen as
    your Lordship mentioneth. 2. They have graunted the governor and
    assistants a negative voyce, and reserved to the freemen the like
    liberty also." ...]

_b. Social Legislation, October 14, 1651_

    _Records of Massachusetts Colony_, IV, Pt. I, pages 60-61.

... "though we acknowledge it to be a matter of much difficultie, in
regard of the blindnes of mens mindes and the stubbornes of their
willes, to sett downe exact rules to confine all sorts of persons, yett
wee cannot but account it our duty ... to declare our utter
detestation ... that men or weomen _of meane condition_ should take
uppon them the garbe of gentlemen, by wearing gold or silver lace
or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great bootes, or
weomen of the same rancke to weare silke or tiffany hoodes or scarfes,
which though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberall
education, yett we cannot but judge it intollerable in persons of such
like condition: it is therefore ordered by this Courte ... that no
person ... whose visible estates ... shall not exceed ... two hundred
pounds, shall weare any gold or silver lace [etc.] uppon the penaltie
of tenn shillings for every such offence, and every such delinquent to
be presented by the graund jury," [with long and detailed provisions
for enforcement].

76. Some Relations with England, 1638

_a. Attack upon the Massachusetts Charter_

    Thomas Hutchinson's _Collection of Original Papers_ (1769), 105-106.

    This is the last of several demands for the return of the charter
    between the years 1634 and 1638. Winthrop refers to it as "a very
    strict order." For the reasons why the colony "thought it safe" to
    disregard the order, and for the earlier history, cf. _American
    History and Government_, # 61.

_A Coppie of a Letter sent by the appointment of the Lords of the
Council to Mr. Winthrop, for the Patent of this Plantation to be sent
to them._

                 At Whitehall April 4th 1638. Present,

  Lord Archbishop of Canterbury
  Lord Keeper
  Lord Treasurer
  Lord Privy Seale
  Earle Marshall
  Earle of Dorset
  Earle of Holland
  Lord Cottington
  Mr. Treasurer
  Mr. Controuler
  Mr. Secretary Cooke
  Mr. Secretary Windebank

This day the Lords Commissioners for foreign Plantations, taking
into consideration that the petitions and complaints of his Majestys
subjects, planters and traders in New-England, grow more frequent than
heretofore for want of a settled and orderly government in those
parts, and calling to mind that they had formerly given order about
two or three years since to Mr. Cradock a member of that plantation,
to cause the grant or letters patent of that plantation (alleadged by
him to be there remaining in the hands of Mr. Winthrop) to be sent over
hither, and that notwithstanding the same, the said letters patent were
not as yet brought over: And their Lordships being now informed by Mr.
Attorney General that a Quo Warranto had been by him brought according
to former order against the said patent, and the same was proceeded to
judgment against so many as had appeared, and that they which had not
appeared, were outlawed.

Their lordships well approving of Mr. Attorney's care and proceeding
therein did now resolve and order, that Mr. Meawtis, clerk of the
council attendant upon the said commissioners for foreign plantations,
should in a letter from himselfe to Mr. Winthrop inclose and convey
this order unto him. And their Lordships hereby in his Majestys name,
and according to his express will and pleasure, strictly require and
enjoine the said Winthrop or any other in whose power and custody the
said letters patent are, that they fail not to transmit the said patent
hither by the returne of the ship in which the order is conveyed to
them, it being resolved that in case of any further neglect or contempt
by them shewed therein, their lordships will cause a strict course to
be taken against them, and will move his Majesty to reassume into his
hands the whole plantation.

_b. The Refusal of the Colony_

    Hutchinson's _Massachusetts Bay_ (1765), App. V. See introductory
    matter to _a_, above.

       _An Addresse of the General Court
     To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for foreigne
             Plantations_ [_September 6/16, 1638_]

The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of the Massachusets in New
England, of the Generall Court there assembled, the 6th day of
September, in the 14th yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord King

       *       *       *       *       *

Whereas it hath pleased your Lordships, by order of the 4th of April
last, to require our patent to be sent unto you, wee do hereby humbly
and sincerely professe, that wee are ready to yield all due obedience
to our soveraigne Lord, the King's majesty, and to your Lordships under
him, and in this minde wee left our native countrie, and according
thereunto, hath been our practice ever since, so as wee are much
grieved, that your Lordships should call in our patent, there being no
cause knowne to us, nor any delinquency or fault of ours expressed in
the order sent to us for that purpose, our government being according
to his Majestyes grant, and wee not answerable for any defects in other
plantations, etc.

This is what his Majesties subjects here doe believe and professe,
and thereupon wee are all humble suitors to your Lordships, that you
will be pleased to take into further consideration our condition,
and to affoord us the liberty of subjects, that we may know what is
layd to our charge; and have leaive and time to answer for ourselves
before we be condemned as a people unworthy of his Majesties favour or
protection; as for the quo warranto mentioned in the said order, wee
doe assure your Lordships wee were never called to answer to it, and if
wee had, wee doubt not but wee have a sufficient plea to put in.

It is not unknowne to your Lordships, that we came into these remote
parts with his Majesties licence and encouragement, under his great
seale of England, and in the confidence wee had of that assurance, wee
have transported our families and estates, and here have wee built
and planted, to the great enlargement and securing of his Majesties
dominions in these parts, so as if our patent should now be taken from
us, we shall be looked on as runnigadoes and outlawed, and shall be
enforced, either to remove to some other place, or to returne into our
native country againe; either of which will put us to unsupportable
extremities, and these evils (among others) will necessarily follow:
(1.) Many thousand souls will be exposed to ruine, being layd open
to the injuries of all men. (2.) If wee be forced to desert this
place, the rest of the plantations (being too weake to subsist alone)
will, for the most part, dissolve and goe with us, and then will this
whole country fall into the hands of the French or Dutch, who would
speedily imbrace such an opportunity. (3.) If we should loose all our
labour and costs, and be deprived of those liberties which his Majesty
hath granted us, and nothing layd to our charge, nor any fayling to
be found in us in point of allegiance (which all our countrymen doe
take notice of and will justify our faithfulness in this behalfe) it
will discourage all men heereafter from the like undertakings upon
confidence of his Majestyes royal grant. _Lastly, if our patent be
taken from us (whereby wee suppose wee may clayme interest in his
Majestyes favour and protection) the common people here will conseive
that his Majesty hath cast them off, and that, heereby, they are freed
from their allegiance and subjection, and, thereupon, will be ready
to confederate themselves under a new government, for their necessary
safety and subsistance, which will be of dangerous example to other
plantations, and perillous to ourselves of incurring his Majestyes
displeasure, which, wee would by all means avoyd._[62]

Upon these considerations wee are bold to renew our humble
supplications to your Lordships, that wee may be suffered to live here
in this wilderness, and that this poore plantation, which hath found
more favour from God than many others, may not finde lesse favour from
your Lordships [so] that our liberties should be restreyned, when
others are enlarged, that the doore should be kept shutt unto us, while
it stands open to all other plantations, that men of ability should be
debarred from us, while they give incouragement to other colonies.

77. Democratic Discontent, 1639

    (Winthrop's Denial of the Right of Petition; Abolition of the Life
    Council; Delay in the Written Code)

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

May 22, 1639. The court of elections was: at which time there was a
small eclipse of the sun. Mr. Winthrop was chosen governour again,
though some laboring had been, by some of the elders and others, to
have changed, not out of any dislike of him (for they all loved and
esteemed him), but out of their fear lest it might make way for having
a governour for life, which some had propounded as most agreeable to
God's institution and the practice of all well-ordered states. But
neither the governour nor any other attempted the thing; though some
jealousies arose, which were increased by two occasions. The first was,
there being want of assistants, the governour and other magistrates
thought fit (in the warrant for the court) to propound three, amongst
which Mr. Downing, the governour's brother-in-law, was one, which they
conceived to be done to strengthen his party, and therefore, though
he were known to be a very able man, etc., and one who had done many
good offices for the country for these ten years, yet the people would
not choose him. Another occasion of their jealousy was, the court,
finding the number of deputies to be much increased by the addition of
new plantations, thought fit, for the ease both of the country and the
court, to reduce all towns to two deputies. This occasioned some to
fear, that the magistrates intended to make themselves stronger, and
the deputies weaker, and so, in time, to bring all power into the hands
of the magistrates; so as the people in some towns were much displeased
with their deputies for yielding to such an order. Whereupon, at
the next session, it was propounded to have the number of deputies,
restored; and allegations were made, that it was an infringement of
their liberty; so as, after much debate, and such reasons given for
diminishing the number of deputies, and clearly proved that their
liberty consisted not in the number, but in the thing, divers of the
deputies, who came with intent to reverse the last order, were, by
force of reason, brought to uphold it; so that, when it was put to the
vote, the last order for two deputies only was confirmed. Yet, the next
day, a petition was brought to the court from the freemen of Roxbury,
to have the third deputy restored. Whereupon the reasons of the court's
proceedings were set down in writing, and all objections answered, and
sent to such towns as were unsatisfied with this advice, that, if any
could take away those reasons, or bring us better for what they did
desire, we should be ready, at the next court, to repeal the said order.

The hands of some of the elders (learned and godly men) were to this
petition, though suddenly drawn in, and without due consideration.
For the lawfulness of it may well be questioned: for when the people
have chosen men to be their rulers, and to make their laws, and bound
themselves by oath to submit thereto, now to combine together (a lesser
part of them) in a public petition to have any order repealed, which is
not repugnant to the law of God, savors of resisting an ordinance of
God; for the people, having deputed others, have no power to make or
alter laws, but are to be subject; and if any such order seem unlawful
or inconvenient, they were better prefer some reasons, etc., to the
court, with manifestation of their desire to move them to a review,
than peremptorily to petition to have it repealed, which amounts to
a plain reproof of those whom God hath set over them, and putting
dishonor upon them, against the tenor of the fifth commandment.

There fell out at this court another occasion of increasing the
people's jealousy of their magistrates, viz.: One of the elders, being
present with those of his church, when they were to prepare their votes
for the election, declared his judgment, that a governour ought to be
for his life, alleging for his authority the practice of all the best
commonwealths in Europe, and especially that of Israel by God's own
ordinance. But this was opposed by some other of the elders with much
zeal, and so notice was taken of it by the people, not as a matter of
dispute, but as if there had been some plot to put it in practice.

June 9, 1639 ... The people had long desired a body of laws, and
thought their condition very unsafe, while so much power rested in the
discretion of magistrates. Divers attempts had been made at former
courts, and the matter referred to some of the magistrates and some of
the elders; but still it came to no effect; for, being committed to
the care of many, whatsoever was done by some, was still disliked or
neglected by others. ... Two great reasons there were, which caused
most of the magistrates and some of the elders not to be very forward
in this matter. One was, want of sufficient experience of the nature
and disposition of the people, considered with the condition of the
country and other circumstances, which made them conceive, that such
laws would be fittest for us, which should arise _pro re nata_ upon
occasions, etc., and so the laws of England and other states grew
(and therefore the fundamental laws of England are called customs,
consuetudines). 2. For that it would professedly transgress the limits
of our charter, which provide, we shall make no laws repugnant to the
laws of England, and that we were assured we must do. But to raise up
laws by practice and custom had been no transgression; as in our church
discipline, and in matters of marriage, to make a law, that marriages
should not be solemnized by ministers, is repugnant to the laws of
England: but to bring it to a custom by practice for the magistrates to
perform it, is no law made repugnant, etc. At length (to satisfy the
people) it proceeded ...[63]

November, 1639. Some of the freemen, without the consent of the
magistrates or governour, had chosen Mr. Nathaniel Ward to preach
at this court, pretending that it was a part of their liberty. The
governour (whose right indeed it is, for till the court be assembled
the freemen are but private persons) would not strive about it, for
though it did not belong to them, yet if they would have it, there
was reason to yield it to them. ... In his sermon he delivered many
useful things, but in a moral and political discourse, grounding his
propositions much upon the old Roman and Grecian governments, which
sure is an error, for if religion and the word of God makes men wiser
than their neighbors, and these times have the advantage of all that
have gone before us in experience and observation, it is probable
that by all these helps, we may better frame rules of government for
ourselves than to receive others upon the bare authority of the wisdom,
justice, etc. of those heathen commonwealths. Among other things, he
advised the people to keep all their magistrates in an equal rank, and
not give more honor or power to one than to another, which is easier
to advise than to prove, seeing it is against the practice of Israel
(where some were rulers of thousands, and some but of tens) and of all
nations known or recorded. Another advice he gave, that magistrates
should not give private advice, and take knowledge of any man's cause
before it came to public hearing. This was debated after in the
general court, where some of the deputies moved to have it ordered.
[Successfully resisted by the magistrates.]

    [Wood's sermon shows that he regarded himself as put forward
    to champion democratic doctrine: cf. Cotton's sermons for the
    magistrates, noted in former entries. An entry of Winthrop's, dated
    May 10, 1643, shows a continuance of this democratic purpose.

    "Our court of elections was held, when Mr. Ezekiel Rogers, pastor
    of the church in Rowley, preached. He was called to it by a company
    of freemen, whereof the most were deputies chosen for the court.
    ... Mr. Rogers, hearing that exception was taken to this call,
    as unwarrantable, wrote to the governour for advice, etc., who
    returned him answer: That he did account his calling not to be
    sufficient, yet the magistrates were not minded to strive with
    the deputies about it, but seeing it was noised in the country,
    and the people would expect him, and that he had advised with the
    magistrates about it, he wished him to go on. In his sermon he
    described how the man ought to be qualified whom they should choose
    for their governour, yet dissuaded them earnestly from choosing the
    same man twice together, and expressed his dislike of that with
    such vehemency as gave offence. But when it came to trial, the
    former governour, Mr. Winthrop, was chosen again."]

78. The Body of Liberties, 1641

    Whitmore's _Bibliographical Sketch of the Laws of the Massachusetts
    Colony_ gives the text in facsimile.

    For the history and significance, see _American History and
    Government_, # 81. Cf. also No. 77, above. The starred numbers each
    contain some important advance upon English custom or law of the
    day, and italic type is used to call attention to provisions that
    especially justify the name, =Body of Liberties=.

_A Coppie of the Liberties of the Massachusets Collonie in New England_

The free fruition of such liberties, Immunities, and priveledges, as
humanitie, Civilitie, and Christianitie call for as due to every man
in his place and proportion, without impeachment and Infringement,
hath ever bene and _ever will be the tranquillitie and Stabilitie of
Churches and Commonwealths. And the deniall or deprivall thereof, the
disturbance if not the ruine of both_....

Wee doe therefore this day religiously and unanimously decree and
confirme these following Rites, liberties, and priveledges concerneing
our Churches and Civill State, to be respectively impartiallie and
inviolably enjoyed and observed throughout our Jurisdiction for ever.

1. No mans life shall be taken away, no mans honour or good name shall
be stayned, no mans person shall be arested, restrayned, banished,
dismembred, nor any wayes punished, no man shall be deprived of his
wife or children, no mans goods or estaite shall be taken away from
him, nor any way indammaged under Coulor of law, or Countenance of
Authoritie, _unlesse it be by vertue or equitie of some expresse law of
the Country warranting the same, established by a generall Court and
sufficiently published_, or, _in case of the defect of a law_ in any
partecular case, by the word of god. _And in Capitall cases_, or in
cases concerning dismembring or banishment, _according to that word to
be judged by the Generall Court_.

*2. Every person within this Jurisdiction, whether Inhabitant or
forreiner shall enjoy the same justice and law, that is generall for
the plantation, which we constitute and execute one towards another,
without partialitie or delay.

       *       *       *       *       *

5. No man shall be compelled to any publique worke or service unlesse
the presse be grounded upon some act of the generall Court, and [he]
have reasonable allowance therefore.

       *       *       *       *       *

8. No mans Cattell or good of what kinde soever shall be pressed
or taken for any publique use or service, unlesse it be by warrant
grounded upon some act of the generall Court, nor without such
reasonable prices and hire as the ordinarie rates of the Countrie do

*9. No monopolies shall be granted or allowed amongst us, but of such
new Inventions that are profitable to the Countrie, and that for a
short time.

*10. All our lands and heritages shall be free from all fines and
licences upon Alienations, and from all hariotts, wardships, Liveries,
Primerseisens, yeare day and wast, Escheates, and forfeitures, upon
the deaths of parents, or Ancestors, be they naturall, casuall, or

*11. All persons which are of the age of 21 yeares, and of right
understanding and meamories, _whether_ [even if] _excommunicate or
condemned_ shall have full power and libertie to make there wills and
testaments, and other lawfull alienations of theire lands and estates.

12. _Every man whether Inhabitant or fforreiner, free or not free shall
have libertie to come to any publique Court, Councell or Towne meeting,
and either by speech or writeing to move any lawfull, seasonable, and
materiall question, or to present any necessary motion, complaint,
petition, Bill or information, whereof that meeting hath proper
cognizance, so it be done in convenient time, due order, and respective

       *       *       *       *       *

16. Every Inhabitant that is an howse holder shall have free fishing
and fowling in any great ponds and Bayes, Coves and Rivers, so farre as
the sea ebbes and flowes within the presincts of the towne where they
dwell, unless the free men of the same Towne or the Generall Court have
otherwise appropriated them, provided that this shall not be extended
to give leave to any man to come upon others proprietie without there

*17. Every man of or within this Jurisdiction shall have free libertie,
not with standing any Civill power, to remove both himselfe and his
familie at their pleasure out of the same, provided there be no legall
impediment to the contrarie.

_Rites Rules and Liberties concerning Juditiall proceedings_

18. _No mans person shall be restrained or imprisoned by any Authority
what so ever_, _before the law hath sentenced him thereto_, if he can
put in sufficient securitie, bayle, or mainprise, for his appearance,
and good behaviour in the meane time, unlesse it be in Crimes Capitall,
and Contempts in open Court, and in such cases where some expresse act
of Court doth allow it.

19. If in a generall Court any miscariage shall be amongst the
Assistants when they are by themselves that may deserve an Admonition
or fine under 20 sh, it shall be examined and sentenced amongst
themselves, If amongst the Deputies when they are by themselves, It
shall be examined and sentenced amongst themselves, If it be when the
whole Court is togeather, it shall be judged by the whole Court, and
not severallie as before.[64]

       *       *       *       *       *

    *25. No Summons pleading Judgement, or any kinde of proceeding in
    Court or course of Justice shall be abated, arested, or reversed,
    upon any kinde of cercumstantiall errors or mistakes, if the person
    and cause be rightly understood and intended by the Court.

       *       *       *       *       *

29. In all Actions at law it shall be the libertie of the plantife and
defendant by mutual consent to choose whether they will be tryed by the
Bench or by a Jurie, unlesse it be where the law upon just reason hath
otherwise determined. The like libertie shall be granted to all persons
in Criminall cases.

30. It shall be in the libertie both of plantife and defendant, and
likewise every delinquent (to be judged by a Jurie) to challenge any of
the Jurors. And if his challenge be found just and reasonable by the
Bench,[65] or the rest of the Jurie, as the challenger shall choose, it
shall be allowed him....

34. If any man shall be proved and Judged a commen Barrator vexing
others with unjust frequent and endlesse suites, It shall be in the
power of Courts both to denie him the benefit of the law, and to punish
him for his Barratry.

       *       *       *       *       *

    36. It shall be in the libertie of every man ... sentenced in any
    cause in any Inferior Court, to make their Appeale to the Court of
    Assistants, provided they tender their appeale and put in securitie
    to prosecute it before the Court be ended wherein they were
    condemned, and within six dayes next ensuing put in good securitie
    before some Assistant to satisfie what his Adversarie shall recover
    against him; And if the cause be of a Criminall nature, for his
    good behaviour and appearance. And everie man shall have libertie
    to complaine to the Generall Court of any Injustice done him in any
    Court of Assistants or other.

       *       *       *       *       *

40. No Conveyance, Deede, or promise what so ever shall be of
validitie, If it be gotten by Illegal violence, imprisonment,
threatenings, or any kinde of forcible compulsion called Dures.

41. Everie man that is to Answere for any Criminall cause, whether he
be in prison or under bayle, his cause shall be heard and determined at
the next Court that hath proper Cognizance thereof, And [i.e., if it]
may be done without prejudice of Justice.

42. No man shall be twise sentenced by Civill Justice for one and the
same Crime, offence, or Trespasse.

43. No man shall be beaten with above 40 stripes, nor shall any
true gentleman, nor any man equall to a gentleman be punished with
whipping,[66] unles his crime be very shamefull, and his course of life
vitious and profligate.

*44. No man condemned to dye shall be put to death within fower dayes
next after his condemnation, unles the Court see spetiall cause to the
contrary, or in case of martiall law; nor shall the body of any man so
put to death be unburied 12 howers, unlesse it be in case of Anatomie.

45. No man shall be forced by Torture to confesse any Crime against
himselfe nor any other unlesse it be in some Capitall case where he is
first fullie convicted by cleare and suffitient evidence to be guilty,
After which, if the cause be of that nature That it is very apparent
there be other conspiratours, or confederates with him, Then he may be
tortured, yet not with such Tortures as be Barbarous and inhumane.

46. For bodilie punishments we allow amongst us none that are inhumane,
Barbarous, or cruell.[67]

47. No man shall be put to death without the testimony of two or three
witnesses, or that which is equivalent there unto.

49. No free man shall be compelled to serve upon Juries above two
Courts in a yeare, except grand Jurie men, who shall hould two Courts
together at the least.

*50. All Jurors shall be chosen continuallie by the freemen of the
Towne where they dwell.

       *       *       *       *       *

54. When so ever anything is to be put to vote, any sentence to be
pronounced, or any other matter to be proposed, or read in any Court
or Assembly, If the president or moderator thereof shall refuse to
performe it, the Major parte of the members of that Court or Assembly
shall have power to appoint any other meete man of them to do it, And,
if there _be just cause, to punish_ him that should and would not.[68]

       *       *       *       *       *

57. When so ever any person shall come to any very suddaine untimely
and unnaturall death, Some Assistant, or the Constables of that Towne
shall forthwith summon a Jury of twelve free men to inquire of the
cause and manner of their death, and shall present a true verdict
thereof to some neere Assistant, or the next Court to be helde for that
Towne upon their oath.[69]

_Liberties more peculiarlie concerning the free men_

58. Civill Authorie hath power and libertie to see the peace,
ordinances and Rules of Christ observed in every church according to
his word, so it be done in a Civill and not in an Ecclesiastical way.

       *       *       *       *       *

60. No church censure shall degrade or depose any man from any Civill
dignitie, office, or Authoritie he shall have in the Commonwealth.

       *       *       *       *       *

62. Any Shire or Towne shall have libertie to choose their Deputies
whom and where they please for the General Court, So be it they be free
men, and have taken there oath of fealtie, and [be] Inhabiting in this

       *       *       *       *       *

66. The Freeman of everie Township shall have power to make such by
laws and constitutions as may concerne the wellfare of their Towne,
provided they be not of a Criminall, but onely of a prudentiall nature,
And that their penalties exceede not 20 sh. for one offence. And that
they be not repugnant to the publique laws and orders of the Countrie.
And if any Inhabitant shall neglect or refuse to observe them, they
shall have power to levy the appointed penalties by distresse.[70]

       *       *       *       *       *

68. It is the libertie of the freemen to choose such deputies for
the Generall Court out of themselves, either in their owne Townes or
elsewhere as they judge fitest. And because we cannot forsee what
varietie and weight of occasions may fall into future consideration,
and what counsells we may stand in neede of, we decree: =_That the
Deputies_= (to attende the Generall Court in the behalfe of the
Countrie) =_shall not any time be stated or inacted, but from Court to
Court, or at the most but for one yeare_=,--that the Countrie may have
an Annuall libertie to do in that case what is most behoofefull for the
best welfaire thereof.

69. =_No Generall Court shall be desolved or adjourned without the
consent of the Major parte thereof._=[71]

70. All Freemen called to give any advise, vote, verdict, or sentence
in any Court, Counsell, or Civill Assembly, shall have full freedome
to doe it according to their true Judgements and Consciences, So it be
done orderly and inofensively for the manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

74. The freemen of every Towne or Towneship, shall have full power to
choose yearly or for lesse time out of themselves a convenient number
of fitt men to order the planting or prudentiall occasions of that
Towne, according to Instructions given them in writeing, Provided
nothing be done by them contrary to the publique laws and orders of the
Countrie, provided also the number of such select persons be not above

_Liberties of Woemen_

*79. If any man at his death shall not leave his wife a competent
portion of his estaite, upon just complaint made to the Generall Court,
she shall be relieved.

*80. Everie marryed woeman shall be free from bodilie correction or
stripes by her husband, unlesse it be in his owne defence upon her
assalt. If there be any just cause of correction complaint shall be
made to Authoritie assembled in some Court, from which onely she shall
receive it.

_Liberties of Children_

81. When parents dye intestate, the Elder sonne shall have a doble
portion of his whole estate reall and personall, unlesse the Generall
Court upon just cause alleadged shall Judge otherwise.

83. When parents dye intestate, having noe heires males of their
bodies, their Daughters shall inherit as Copartners, unles the Generall
Court upon just reason shall judge otherwise.

83. If any parents shall wilfullie and unreasonably deny any childe
timely or convenient mariage, or shall exercise any unnaturall
severitie towards them, Such children shall have free libertie to
complain to Authoritie for redresse.

84. No Orphan dureing their minoritie which was not committed to
tuition or service by the parents in their life time, shall afterwards
be absolutely disposed of by any kindred, friend, Executor, Towneship,
or Church, nor by themselves, without the consent of some Court,
wherein two Assistants at least shall be present.

_Liberties of Servants_

       *       *       *       *       *

87. If any man smite out the eye or tooth of his man servant, or maid
servant, or otherwise mayme or much disfigure him, unlesse it be by
meere casualtie, he shall let them goe free from his service.[73] And
shall have such further recompense as the Court shall allow him.

88. Servants that have served deligentlie and faithfully to the
benefitt of their maisters seaven yeares, shall not be sent away
emptie. And if any have bene unfaithfull, negligent or unprofitable in
their service, notwithstanding the good usage of their maisters, they
shall not be dismissed till they have made satisfaction according to
the Judgement of Authoritie.

_Liberties of Forreiners and Strangers_

       *       *       *       *       *

91. There shall never be any bond slaverie villinage or Captivitie
amongst us,[74] unles it be lawfull Captives taken in just warres, and
such strangers as willingly selle themselves or are sold to us. And
these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law
of god established in Israell concerning such persons doeth morally
require. This exempts none from servitude who shall be Judged thereto
by Authoritie.

_Off [of] the Bruite Creature_

92. No man shall exercise any Tirranny or Crueltie towards any bruite
Creature which are usuallie kept for mans use.

*93. If any man shall have occasion to leade or drive Cattel from
place to place that is far of, So that they be weary, or hungry, or
fall sick, or lambe, It shall be lawful to rest or refresh them, for
a competent time, in any open place that is not Corne, meadow, or
inclosed for some peculiar use.

94. _Capitall Laws_


[Sidenote: Dut. 13. 6. 10 Dut. 17. 2. 6 Ex. 22. 20]

If any man after legall conviction shall have or worship any other god,
but the lord god, he shall be put to death.


[Sidenote: Ex. 22. 18. Lev. 20. 27. Dut. 18. 10.]

If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a
familiar spirit,) They shall be put to death.


[Sidenote: Lev. 24. 15. 16]

If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne
or Holie ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed
blashemie, or shall curse god in the like manner, he shall be put to


[Sidenote: Ex. 21. 12. Numb. 35. 13. 14. 30. 31.]

If any person comitt any wilfull murther, which is manslaughter,
comitted upon premeditated mallice, hatred, or Crueltie, not in a mans
necessarie and just defence, nor by meere casualtie against his will,
he shall be put to death.


[Sidenote: Numb. 25. 20. 21. Lev. 24. 17.]

If any person slayeth an other suddainely, in his anger or Crueltie of
passion, he shall be put to death.


[Sidenote: Ex. 21. 14.]

If any person shall slay an other through guile, either by poysoning or
other such divelish practice, he shall be put to death.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Sidenote: Ex. 21. 16.]

If any man stealeth a man or mankinde, he shall surely be put to death.


[Sidenote: Dut. 19. 16. 18. 19.]

If any man rise up by false witnes, wittingly and of purpose to take
away any man's life, he shall be put to death.


If any man shall conspire and attempt any invasion, insurrection,
or publique rebellion against our commonwealth, or shall indeavour
to surprize any Towne or Townes, fort or forts therein, or shall
treacherously and perfediouslie attempt the alteration and subversion
of our frame of politie or Government fundamentallie, he shall be put
to death.

95. _A declaration of the Liberties the Lord Jesus hath given to the

    1. All the people of god within this Jurisdiction who are not in
    a church way, and be orthodox in Judgement, and not scandalous
    in life, shall have full libertie to gather themselves into a
    Church Estaite. Provided they doe it in a Christian way, with due
    observation of the rules of Christ revealed in his word.

    2. Every Church hath full libertie to exercise all the ordinances
    of god, according to the rules of Scripture.

    3. Every Church hath free libertie of Election and ordination of
    all their officers from time to time, provided they be able, pious
    and orthodox.

    4. Every Church hath free libertie of Admission, Recommendation,
    Dismission, and Expulsion, or deposall of their officers, and
    members, upon due cause, with free exercise of the Discipline and
    Censure of Christ according to the rules of his word.

    10. Wee allowe private meetings for edification in religion amongst
    Christians of all sortes of people. So it be without just offence
    both for number, time, place, and other cercumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

    98. Lastly because our dutie and desire is to do nothing suddainlie
    which fundamentally concerne us, we decree that these rites and
    liberties, shall be Audably read and deliberately weighed at
    every Generall Court that shall be held, within three yeares next
    insueing, And such of them as shall not be altered or repealed they
    shall stand so ratified, That no man shall infringe them without
    due punishment.

    And if any Generall Court within these next thre yeares shall faile
    or forget to reade and consider them as abovesaid. The Governor and
    Deputie Governor for the time being, and every Assistant present
    at such Courts shall forfeite 20 sh. a man, and everie Deputie 10
    sh. a man for each neglect, which shall be paid out of their proper
    estate, and not by the Country or the Townes which choose them. And
    when so ever there shall arise any question in any Court amonge the
    Assistants and Associates thereof about the explanation of these
    Rites and liberties, The Generall Court onely shall have power to
    interprett them.

79. A Puritan View of Trade

    Winthrop's _History of New England_.

November, 1639. At a general court holden at Boston, a great complaint
was made of the oppression used in the country in sale of foreign
commodities; and Mr. Robert Keaine, who kept a shop in Boston, was
notoriously above others observed and complained of; and, being
convented, he was charged with many particulars; in some, for taking
above sixpence in the shilling profit; in some, eight pence; and, in
some small things, above two for one; and being hereof convict, (as
appears by the records,) he was fined £ 200, which came thus to pass:
The deputies considered, apart, of his fine, and set it at £ 200; the
magistrates agreed but to £ 100. So, the court being, divided, at
length it was agreed, that his fine should be £ 200, but he should
pay but £ 100, and the other should be respited to the further
consideration of the next general court. By this means the magistrates
and deputies were brought to an accord, which otherwise had not been
likely, and so much trouble might have grown, and the offender escaped
censure. For the cry of the country was so great against oppression,...

And sure the course was very evil, especial circumstances considered:
1. He being an ancient professor of the gospel: 2. A man of eminent
parts ... 4. Having come over for consciences sake...

These things gave occasion to Mr. Cotton, in his public exercise the
next lecture day, to lay open the error of ... false principles, and to
give some rules of direction in the case.

Some false principles were these:--

1. That a man might sell as dear as he can, and buy as cheap as he can.

2. If a man lose by casualty of sea, etc., in some of his commodities,
he may raise the price of the rest.

3. That he may sell as he bought, though he paid too dear, etc., and
though the commodity be fallen, etc.

4. That, as a man may take the advantage of his own skill or ability,
so he may of another's ignorance or necessity.

5. Where one gives time for payment, he is to take like recompense of
one as of another.

The rules for trading were these:--

1. A man may not sell above the current price, i. e., such a price as
is usual in the time and place, and as another (who knows the worth of
the commodity) would give for it, if he had occasion to use it...

2. When a man loseth in his commodity for want of skill, ... he must
look at it as his own fault or cross, and therefore must not lay it
upon another.

3. Where a man loseth by casualty of sea, ... it is a loss cast upon
himself by providence, and he may not ease himself of it by casting
it upon another; for so a man should seem to provide against all
providences, that he should never lose; but where there is a scarcity
of the commodity, there men may raise their price; for now it is a hand
of God upon the commodity, and not the person.

80. The Separation of the Legislature into Two Houses

    Winthrop's _History of New England_. Cf. _American History and
    Government_, ## 69, 70.

June 4, 1642. ... At the same general court there fell out a great
business upon a very small occasion. Anno 1636, there was a stray sow
in Boston, which was brought to Captain Keayne: he had it cried divers
times, and divers came to see it, but none made claim to it for near
a year. He kept it in his yard with a sow of his own. Afterwards one
Sherman's wife, having lost such a sow, laid claim to it, but came
not to see it, till Captain Keayne had killed his own sow. After
being showed the stray sow, and finding it to have other marks than
she had claimed her sow by, she gave out that he had killed her sow.
The noise hereof being spread about the town, the matter was brought
before the elders of the church as a case of offence; many witnesses
were examined, and Captain Keayne was cleared. [The case was then
brought before the county court],--when, upon a full hearing, Capt.
Keayne was again cleared, and the jury gave him £ 3 for his costs.
[Keayne then recovers £ 20 damages for slander.] Story [friend of
"Sherman's wife"[75]], upon this, searcheth town and country to find
matter against Captain Keayne ... and got one of his witnesses to come
into Salem court and to confess there that he had foresworn himself
[in the former trial]; and upon this he petitions in Sherman's name to
this _general court_ to have the cause heard again; which was granted,
and the best part of seven days were spent in examining witnesses and
debating of the [case]. And yet it was not determined; for there being
nine magistrates and thirty deputies, no sentence could by law pass
without the greater number of both, which neither [side] had; for there
were for the plaintiff two magistrates and fifteen deputies, and for
the defendant [Keayne] seven magistrates and eight deputies....

There was great expectation in the country, by occasion of Story's
clamours against him, that the cause would have passed against the
captain, but falling out otherwise, gave occasion to many to speak
unreverently of the court, especially of the magistrates, and the
report went, that their negative voice had hindered the course of
justice, and that these magistrates must be put out, that the power of
the negative voice might be taken away.

June 12, 1643. ... The sow business not being yet digested in the
country [even Bellingham, ex-governor, urging a new trial without a
negative voice for the magistrates,--Winthrop gives over three pages
here to a review of the controversy. Then follows:]

The sow business had started another question about the magistrates'
negative vote in the general court. The deputies generally were very
earnest to have it taken away; whereupon one of the magistrates
[Winthrop?] wrote a small treatise, wherein he laid down the original
of it from the patent, and the establishing of it by order of the
general court in 1634, showing thereby how it was fundamental to our
government, which, if it were taken away, would be a mere democracy.
He showed also the necessity and usefulness of it by many arguments
from scripture, reason, and common practice, etc. Yet this would not
satisfy, but the deputies and common people would have it taken away;
and yet it was apparent (as some of the deputies themselves confessed)
the more did not understand it. An answer also was written (by one of
the magistrates as was conceived) to the said treatise, undertaking
to avoid all the arguments both from the patent and from the order,
etc. This the deputies made great use of in this court, supposing
they had now enough to carry the cause clearly with them, so as they
pressed earnestly to have it presently determined. But the magistrates
told them the matter was of great concernment, even to the very frame
of our government; it had been established upon serious consultation
and consent of all the elders; it had been continued without any
inconvenience or apparent mischief these fourteen years; therefore it
would not be safe nor of good report to alter on such a sudden, and
without the advice of the elders: offering withal, that if upon such
advice and consideration it should appear to be inconvenient, or not
warranted by the patent and the said order, etc., they should be ready
to join with them in taking it away. Upon these propositions they were
stilled, and so an order was drawn up to this effect, that it was
desired that every member of the court would take advice, etc., and
that it should be no offence for any, either publicly or privately,
to declare their opinion in the case, so it were modestly, etc., and
that the elders should be desired to give their advice before the
next meeting of this court. It was the magistrates' only care to gain
time, that so the people's heat might be abated, for then they knew
they would hear reason, and that the advice of the elders might be

... One of the elders [Winthrop himself] also wrote a small treatise
wherein he handled the question, laying down the several forms of
government, both simple and mixt, and the true form of our government,
=and the unavoidable change into a democracy if the negative voice were
taken away=....

March, 1644. ... At the same court in the first month, =upon the motion
of the deputies=, it was ordered that the court should be divided in
their consultations, the magistrates by themselves and the deputies by
themselves. What the one agreed upon, they should send to the other;
and if both agreed, then to pass, etc. This order determined the great
contention about the negative voice.

    [The _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_
    (II, 58-59) give this act which established the first two-chambered
    legislature in America (An Act of the Generall Court at Boston,
    March 7/17, 1644). The preamble contains an interesting reference
    to English precedent:--

    "For as much as after long experience wee find divers
    inconveniences in the manner of our proceeding in Courts, by
    Magistrates and deputies siting together, and accounting it wisdome
    to follow the laudable practice of other states who have layd
    groundworks for government and order in the issuing of busines of
    greatest and highest consequence, ..."

    See also an interesting prophecy of the change to two Houses in
    Cotton's letter, No. 75 _a_, above.]

81. A Town Code of School Law

    _Dorchester Town Records_, 54-57. Cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 123.

_Upon a generall and lawfull warning of all the Inhabitants the 14th of
the 1st moneth 1645 these rules and orders following presented to the
Towne Concerning the Schoole of Dorchester are Confirmed by the major
parte of the Inhabitants then present._

First, It is ordered that three able, and sufficient men of the
Plantation shalbe Chosen to bee wardens or overseers of the Schoole
above mentioned who shall have the Charge oversight and ordering
thereof and of all things Concerneing the same in such manner as is
hereafter expressed and shall Continue in their office and place for
Terme of their lives respectively, unlesse by reason of any of them
removing his habitation out of the Towne, or for any other weightie
reason the Inhabitants shall see cause to Elect or Chuse others in
their roome in which cases and upon the death of any of the sayd
wardens the Inhabitants shall make a new Election and choice of others.

And Mr. Haward, Deacon Wiswall, Mr. Atherton are elected to bee the
first wardens or overseers.

Secondly, the said Wardens shall have full power to dispose of the
Schoole stock....

Thirdly, the sayd Wardens shall take care, and doe there utmost and
best endeavor that the sayd Schoole may from tyme to tyme bee supplied
with an able and sufficient Schoolemaster who nevertheless is not to be
admitted into the place of Schoolemaster without the Generall consent
of the Inhabitants or the major parte of them....

Fivethly, the sayd wardens shall from tyme to tyme see that the
Schoole howse bee kept in good, and sufficient repayre, the Charge of
which reparacion shalbe defrayed and payd out of such rents, Issues
and profitts of the Schoole stock, if there be sufficient, or else
of such rents as shall arise and grow in time of the vacancy of the
Schoolemaster--if there bee any such and in defect of such vacancy the
wardens shall repayre to the 7 men of the Towne for the tyme beeing who
shall have power to taxe the Towne with such somme, or sommes as shalbe
requisite for the repayring of the Schoole howse as aforesayd.

Sixthly, the sayd Wardens shall take Care that every yeere at or before
the end of the 9th moneth their bee brought to the Schoolehowse 12
sufficient Cart, or wayne loads of wood for fewell, to be for the use
of the Schoole master and the Schollers in winter the Cost and Chargs
of which sayd wood to bee borne by the Schollers for the tyme beeing
who shalbe taxed for the purpose at the discretion of the sayd Wardens.

Lastly, the sayd Wardens shall take care that the Schoolemaster for
the tyme beeing doe faythfully performe his dutye in his place, as
schoolmasters ought to doe, as well in other things as in these in
which are hereafter expressed, viz.

First, that the Schoolemaster shall diligently attend his Schoole and
doe his utmost indeavor for Benefitting his _Schollers_ according to
his best discretion without unnecessaryly absenting himself to the
prejudice of his schollers, and hindering there learning.

2ly, that from the beginning of the first moneth [March] untill the end
of the 7th he shall every day begin to teach at seaven of the Clock in
the morning and dismisse his schollers at fyve in the afternoone. And
for the other five moneths that is from the beginning of the 8th moneth
untill the end of the 12th moneth he shall every day begin at 8th of
the Clock in the morning and [end] at 4 in the afternoone.

3ly, every day in the yeare the usual tyme of dismissing at noone shall
be at 11 and to beginn agayne at one except that

4ly, every second day in the weeke he shall call his schollers
togeither betweene 12 and one of the Clock to examin them what they
have learned on the saboath day preceding at which tyme also he shall
take notice of any misdemeanor or disorder that any of his skollers
shall have Committed on the saboath to the end that at somme convenient
tyme due Admonition and Correction may bee admistred by him according
as the nature, and qualitie of the offence shall require at which
sayd examination any of the elders or other Inhabitants that please
may bee present to behold his religious care herein and to give there
Countenance, and approbation of the same.

5ly, hee shall equally and impartially receive and instruct such as
shalbe sent and Comitted to him for that end whither their parents
bee poore or rich not refusing any who have Right and Interest in the

6ly, such as shalbe Comitted to him he shall diligently instruct as
they shalbe able to learne both in humane learning, and good literature
and likewise in poynt of good manners, and dutifull behaviour towards
all specially their superiors as they shall have ocasion to bee in
their presence whether by meeting them in the streete or otherwise.

7ly, every 6 day of the weeke at 2 of the Clock in the afternoone hee
shall Chatechise his schollers in the principles of Christian religion
either in somme Chatechism which the Wardens shall provide and present,
or in defect thereof in some other.

8ly, And because all mans indeavors without the blessing of God must
needs bee fruitlesse and unsucessfull theirfore It is to be a cheif
part of the schoolemasters religious care to Commend his schollers
and his labours amongst them unto God by prayer, morning and evening,
taking Care that his schollers doe reverendly attend during the same.

9ly, And because the Rodd of Correction is an ordinance of God
necessary sometymes to bee dispenced unto Children but such as may
easily be abused by overmuch severity and rigour on the one hand,
or by overmuch indulgence and lenitye on the other. It is therefere
ordered and agreed that the schoolemaster for the tyme beeing shall
have full power to minister Correction to all or any of his schollers
without respect of persons according as the nature and qualitie of
the offence shall require, whereto all his schollers must bee duely
subject and no parent or other of the Inhabitants shall hinder or
goe about to hinder the master therein. Neverthelesse if any parent
or others shall think their is just cause of Complaynt agaynst the
master for to much severity, such shall have liberty freindly and
lovingly to expostulate with the master about the same, and if they
shall not attayne to satisfaction the matter is then to bee referred
to the wardens who shall impartially judge betwixt the master and such
Complaynants. And if it shall appeare to them that any parent shall
make causelesse Complaynts agaynst the master in this behalf and shall
persist and Continue so doeing in such case the wardens shall have
power to discharge the master of the care and Charge of the Children of
such parents....

And because it is difficult if not Impossible to give particular
rules that shall reach all cases which may fall out, therefore for
a Conclusion It is ordered, and agreed, in Generall, that where
particular rules are wanting there It shalbe a parte of the office and
dutye of the Wardens to order and dispose of all things that Concerne
the schoole, in such sort as in their wisedom and discretion they shall
Judge most Conducible for the glory of God, and the trayning up of the
Children of the Towne in religion, learning and Civilitie, and these
orders to be Continued till the major parte of the Towne shall see
cause to alter any parte thereof.[76]

82. Colonial School Laws

_a. Compulsory Education, 1642_

    _Records of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_, II, 6-7.

[A General Court, May, 1642.][77]

This Court, taking into consideration the great neglect of many
parents and masters in training up their children in learning and
Labor and other impl[o]yments which may be proffitable to the common
wealth, do hereupon order and decree, that in every towne the chosen
men appointed for managing the prudentiall affayers of the same shall
henceforth stand charged with the care of the redresse of this evill
(so as they shalbee sufficiently punished by fines for the neglect
thereof, upon presentment of the grand jury or other information or
complaint in any Court ...) And for this end they ... shall have
power to take account from time to time of all parents and masters,
and of their children, concerning their calling and impl[o]yment of
their children, especially of their ability to read and understand the
principles of religion and the capitall lawes of this country, and to
impose fines upon such as shall refuse to render such accounts to
them ... and they shall have power, with consent of any Court ... to
put forth [as] apprentices the children of such as they shall [find]
not to be able and fitt to imploy and bring them up....

       *       *       *       *       *

[Connecticut copied this law in 1642, and New Haven in 1644. The
Connecticut preamble, like the one above, emphasizes the civic motive:
"For as much as the good education of children is of singular behoof
and benefit to any commonwealth ... it is therefore ordered," etc.
Connecticut, too, was more specific as to the exact penalty for
delinquent parents,--providing fines for the first two offenses, but
the removal and apprenticing of the children for continued delinquency.

The Massachusetts law closed with a lengthy provision for elementary
industrial training, the select men to provide materials and see that
"children sett to keep cattle be set to some other imployment withall,
as spinning ... knitting, weaving tape, etc."

Plainly, this law of 1642 _assumed_ that each town had a school. The
next law (_b_ below) expressly _provides_ such schools.]

_b. A state System of Schools_

    _Records of Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay_, II, 203

_Att a Sesion of the Generall Court, the 27th of the 8th Month, 1647,
at Boston_

... It being one cheife project of that ould deluder, Satan, to
keepe men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times
by keeping them in an unknowne tongue, so in these latter times by
persuading from the use of tongues (that so at least the true sence
and meaning of the originall might be clouded by false glosses of
saint-seming deceivers),--that learning may not be buried in the grave
of our fathers in the church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our

It is therefore ordered ... that every towneship in this jurisdiction,
after the Lord hath increased them to the number of 50 householders,
shall then forthwith appoint one within their towne to teach all such
children as shall resort to him to write and reade,--whose wages shall
be paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the
inhabitants in generall, by way of supply [tax], as the major part of
those that order the prudentialls of the towne shall appoint: provided,
those that send their children be not oppressed by paying much more
than they can have them taught for in other townes. And it is further
ordered, that where any towne shall increase to the number of 100
families or househoulders, they shall set up a grammer schoole, the
mr. thereof being able to instruct youth so farr as they may be fited
for the university, provided that if any towne neglect the performance
hereof above one yeare, that such towne shall pay 5 pounds to the next
schoole, till they shall performe this order.

    [The punctuation of this noble sentence has been somewhat
    classified here by the use of parentheses, dashes, and colons for
    the commas of the original. On this legislation, cf. _American
    History and Government_, # 123. The "university" was Harvard, which
    had been founded in 1636. The greater part of this law was adopted
    two years later in Connecticut.]

83. Representative Town Records

      (Extracts from the _Watertown Records_ for the years

    Watertown was the second town to set up town government. (Cf. (1),
    below, with No. 72, above.) The complete records of these years
    1634-1678 would fill 250 pages of this volume. Note the greater
    illiteracy from about 1650 on, and cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 122.

(1) August 23, 1634. Agreed by the consent of the Freemen, that there
shall be Chosen three persons to be [for] the ordering of the civill
affaires in the Towne [One of them to serve as "Towne Clark"]; and [he]
shall keep the Records and Acts of the Towne. The three chosen are...

(2)--ember 13. Agreed, by the Consent of the Freemen that Robert Seeley
and Abram Browne shall measure and lay out all the Lotts that are

Agreed that no man shall fell or cutt down any timber trees upon the
Common, without the consent of Robert Seeley and Abram Browne, and
otherwise to pay to the Towne for every tree 5s.

(3) January 3, 1635. Agreed that no man being foreigner ... coming out
of England or some other Plantation, shall have liberty to sett downe
amongst us, _unless he first have the Consent of the Freemen of the

(4) Feb. 21, 1635. Agreed by the freemen that whosoever hath a Lott
in a generall Inclosure shall fence it with the rest according to
proportion, and if he shall refuse, the Lott shall returne to the Towne

Agreed, that the towne Clark shall have six pense for every Lott of
land that he shall Inroll in the towne Booke and bring the Party a note
under his hand of the situation of it.[78]

(5) August 22, 1635. Agreed that whosoever being an Inhabitant in the
Towne shall receive any person, or family upon their propriety that
may prove chargeable to the Towne shall maintaine the said persons at
their owne charges, to save the Towne harmeles.

(6) September 23, 1635. Agreed that (whereas there is a dayly abuse in
felling of Timber upon the Common) whosoever shall offend in felling
any Trees without leave, shall pay for every Tree cut downe without
order, 20 shillings to the use of the Towne.

(7) November 14, 1635. ... Agreed that John Warrin and Abram Browne
shall lay out all the Highwaies, and to see that they be sufficiently

(8)--ember 30, 1635. Agreed by the Consent of the Freemen that these
11 freemen shall order all the Civill Affaires for the Towne for this
yeare following, and to divide the Lands.[79]...

(9) [1636] January 29. Ordered, that there shalbe 8 dayes appointed
every yeare for the repayring of the Highwaies and every man that is
Souldier or watchman to come at his appointed time with a wheelbarrow,
mattock, spade or shovle, and for default hereof to pay for every day 5
shillings to the Towne, and a Cart for every day to pay 19 shillings.

(10) Aprill 23, 1638. Ordered that those Freemen of the Congregation
shall build and dwell upon their Lotts at the Towne plott, and not to
alienate them by selling or exchanging them to any forrainer, but to
Freemen of the Congregation, It being our reall intent to sitt down
there close togither, and therefore these Lotts were granted to those
Freemen that inhabited most remote from the meeting-house and dwell
most scattered,...

(11) 1639. D. 31, (Mo. 10.)[80] Ordered that if any of the Freemen be
absent from any Publick Towne meeting at the time appointed sufficient
warning being formerly given, he shall forfett for every time to the
Towne 2 shillings, 6 d.

Ordered by the Freemen that the men deputed for to order the Civill
affaires shall not make any order without consent of 7 of those Freemen

(12) D. 21, (M. 2.) 1640. Ordered that if any Person shall suffer his
Dog to come to the Meeting upon the Lords day he shall forfett for
every time 1 s.

(13) _D. 29, (M. 10.) 1640. Ordered that all those Inhabitants that
have beene by Common Consent or vote taken in amongst us, or have had
Dividents granted to them shalbe accepted for Townesmen, and no others._

(14) D. 21, (M. 7.) 1641. Ordered that George Munnings is appointed
to looke to the Meetinghouse, and to be free from Rates [in return for

(15) D. 5, (M. 5.) 1642. Ordered that Hugh Mason, Thomas Hastings, and
John Shearman are appointed to set up a sufficient fence about the
Burying Place with a 5-foot pale and 2 railes well nailed by the 15 of
the 2 moneth, and the Towne to pay them for it.

(16) D. 6, (M. 5) 1642. Ordered that there shalbe a new Invoice taken
of Mens Estates to make the _Rates_[81] by for this yeare. Also that
all Lands granted by the Towne shalbe rated this yeare.

  Ordered that Land broken up shall pay the Acre,      2 _lb_ 10_s_
  Land inclosed not broken up the
  Acre,                                                       10_s_
  The further Plaine shall pay upon the Acre,                  5_s_
  The dividents, the remote meddows and
  the hither Plaine,                                          10_s_
  The land in lieu of the Towne Plott the
  Acre,                                                        1_s_
  The Farmes shall pay upon the Acre,                               6_d_
  The home meddows shall pay the Acre,                 1 _lb_ 10_s_

  Ordered that Mares, Steeres, and Cowes are rated at  5 _lb_
  Heifers, 2 year old, at                              3 _lb_
  Calves, 1 year old, at                               1 _lb_ 10_s_
  Calves, under a year, at                             1 _lb_
  Goats, at                                                   10_s_
  Sheep, at                                            2 _lb_
  Hogs, a year old, at                                 1 _lb_
  Pigs, 3 months old, at                                       6_s_ 8_d_
  Colts, at                                                   17_s_ 6_d_
  Lambs, at                                                    5_s_
  Kids, at                                                     2_s_ 8_d_

(17) D. 20, (M. 10) 1642. Ordered that there shalbe a Rate made of 100
lb for to discharge these Debts following:

  Imprimis to Thomas Hastings for charges to the Poore
  and building the house for John Kettle              17 _lb_

  Item, to John Simson                                        10_s_
  Item, for fencing the Burying place                  6 _lb_ 10_s_
  Item, formerly due to the Officers                  30 _lb_
  Item, for the Capitall Laws                                 10_s_
  Item, for the Court Orders, 3 M 1642                        11_s_ 3_d_
  Item, to John Knolls pastor for 1 quarter           10 _lb_
  Item, to George Phillips pastor for half yeare due
  Jan. 1                                              33 _lb_  6_s_ 8_d_

(18) D. 15, (M. 6.) 1643. Ordered that John Shearman shall keepe
weights and measures according to the Order of the Court for the Townes
use and also to take up lost goods.

(19) [Nov. 15, 1647]. Lieu. Mason complayninge that he was burdened
with the service of the Towne; the Towne did Release him: and chose
Isaac Steearnes in his steade, to be one of the Seaven men.

(20) At A Generall Towne Meeting, the 17 (7) 1649. Granted to the
Ministry--160 pounds--for this present year beginning the 24th of
June last: to be gathered by Rate, and to be paied the one halfe the
first weeke of December next, and the other halfe the first of march
Following agreed that there shall be a Rate of 90 pounds made for to
pay Robert Saltonstall: and to Build a Schoole-house: and to Build a
gallery in the Meetinghouse and to pay other debts the Towne oweth....

John Sherman is apointed to procuere the Schoole house Built: and
to have it built 22 foot long and 14 foot wide and 9 foot betwene
Joynts--also to git a penn of one aker of ground fenced in with 4
Railes for the lodging a heard in the woods: and to procuer a small
house for lodging the heardsman: and to be done in such a place as
Deacon Child and himself shall thinke best, towards Sudbury Bounds

(21) the 7d.--10 mo 1649 ... agreed that John Sherman Shall wright a
letter, in the Townes name, unto David Mechell of Stamfourth to Certify
to him the Townes desier of him to Come and keepe School in the towne

(22) At a Meeteing of the Select men at Sargeng [Seargent] Beeres the
10 December 1652.

Agreed by the towne, with the Consent of John Sherman that Willyam
Barsham shall prise all the Carpenters worke aboute the scoolehouse and
the Towne shall make payment akcording to his award.

Memorandum There is 22 pounds towards it payd alredy.

(23) December 22, 1652...

Mr. Norcros is to keepe ascoole upon the same pay and the same building
as he had the last yeeare.

James Cuttler and John Traine are Chosen Survayers for high wayes for
this yeare.

[Sidenote: John Sherman did present a plot of the great dividents the

(24) At a Meeteing of the Select men the 8 (9) 1653. ... Ordered that
the Cunstable Thomas underwood shall reserve in his hand of the Towne
Rate 13 bushells of Indian Corne and 3 booshells of peaze for Thomas
philpot and Deliver him every weeke one peck of Corne and every month
one peck of peaze.

    [These commodities had been paid into the town treasury (as taxes),
    and were to be reserved by the "treasurer" (then, the Constable)
    for this case of "poor relief." Wages and salaries also were
    commonly paid in commodities (at legal rates) in New England.

    Att a Townemeeting held att the meeting house att _Plymouth_ the *
    day of July 1667; It was agreed and concluded as followeth, viz:

    "That the sume of fifty pounds shalbee alowed to Mr. Colton [the
    minister] for this present yeare and his wood To be raised by way
    of Rate to be payed in such as god gives, _ever onely to be minded
    that a considerable parte of it shalbee payed in the best pay_;
    and William Clarke and William Crow are appointed by the Towne to
    take notice of what is payed and brought in unto him and to keep an
    account therof. Joseph howland and ffrancis Combe are agreed with
    by the Towne to find the wood for this yeare for the sume of eight

    The difficulty was to get "good pay." It is recorded in the
    accounts of Harvard that one student, afterward president of the
    college, paid his tuition with "an old cow," which, good or bad,
    had to be accepted at a fixed rate for coins.]

                    At a Meeting of the Select men
                            the 13/10/1653

(25) Samuel Banjamine was presented before us for Idelnes By Mr.
Norcros which Did two evidently apeare by his ragged Clothes and Divers
Debts apearing, but upon his promise of amendment hee was released unto
the next yeare.

(26) At apublick Towne meeting the 14 (8) 1654

Ordered by the Inhabetance that there should be anew meeting house

Ordered that the place where it shall stand shall be in som Convenient
place betwene Sargant Brits ende fence and John Bisko his rayles.

Ordered that there shall be raysed by rate upon the inhabetance one
hundred and fifty pounds this yeare for to begin the work withall

Ordered that Cambridg meeting house shall be our pattern in all poynts

Ordered the Select men shall have power to agree with John Sherman or
any other person to performe tha foresaid work.

Ordered that the speaces [specie] in which workmen that Doe undertake
it shall be payed in shall bee one 3d parte wheate, and the rest in
rye, pease, Indecorne, and Cattell.

The Select men with the help of willyam Barsham have agreed with John
Sherman to Build ameeting house Like unto Cambridg in all poynts, the
Cornish and fane Excepted, and to have it finished by the Last of
September in 1656; and hee is to receive of the Towne 400 pounds with
the Seates of the old meeting house; which some [sum] is to be payd at
3 several payments, as by artickls of Agreement under hand and seale
Dooth appeare more fully.

(27) Att a meeting of the 7 men Nov. 19. (56)

These are to Shew, that Elizabeth Braibrok widow of Watertowne in the
County of Middlesex, hath putt her daughter (with the approbation of
the select men) into the hands of Simont Tomson and his wife of Ipswich
in the County of Essex, rope maker, to be as an apprentice, untill she
come to the age of eighteene yeares, in which time the said Sarah is
to serve them in all lawfull comands, and the said Simont is to teach
her to reade the Englishe Tongue and to instruct her in the knowleg of
god and his wayes, and to provide for the said Sarah, holesome meate
and drink, with convenient cloathing as the seasons doe require and he
the said Simont doth ingage himselfe and wife, to give the said Sarah
at the end of her tearme, a good cow, and an ewe sheep with convenient
Cloathing, and if the said Sarah dye within one yeare before her age
pfixed, that then the said cow and sheep, shall goe to some of the
children of the said Elizabeth Brabrok.

This agreement was signed and confirmed by there markes of each partie
and witnessed as appears in two severall wrightings by Joshua Edmonds
and in presence of the seaven men or the greatest part of them. Ephraim
Child in the behalfe of the rest.

(28) At a meeting of the select men at Isaak Sternes his House January
the 18th 1669

It was agreed that the select men shall take their turnes every man
his Day to site upon the gallary to looke to the youths that they may
prevent miscarigis in the time of publike exercises on the Lords Days
and also that the two Constables shalbe desired to take their turnes to
site ther also.

(29) At a meeting at Leift Beeri's march 3d 1670.

Ther comeing a complainte to us the selectmen concerneing the poverty
of Edward Sandersons famelley: that they had not wherwith to mainetaine
themselves and childeren either with suply of provision or emplyment to
earne any and considering that it would be the charge of the towne to
provide for the wholl fameley which will be hard to doe this yeer: and
not knoweing how to suply them with provision: we considereing if we
shoulde suply them and could doe it, yet it would not tend to the good
of the childeren for their good eaducation and bringeing up soe as they
may be usefull in the common weall or them selves to live comfortablly
and usefuly in time to come, We have therfore a greed to put out two of
his childeren in to sume honist famelleys wher they may be eaducated
and brought up in the knowlidge of God and sum honist calling or
labor. And therfor we doe order that Thomas Fleg and John Bigulah shall
have power to binde them prentises with sume honist people with the
consent of their perants if it may be hade, and if the perants shall
oppose them, to use the helpe of the Magistrate: in the name and with
the consent of the select men, Thomas Hastings.

(30) A ametting of the selectmen at Corparall bonds the 27th of march

       *       *       *       *       *

Agreed with leftenant shearmon to ceep an inglish scoole this year and
to begin the (9th) of eaprill at the scoole house and the town to alow
him twenty pounds in the town Reat that shall be raized in this yeare
(77) and if the said leftenant dezireth to lay down his imployment at
the years end then he shall give the town a quartur of ayears warning,
and if the town dezyreth to chang ther scoole master thay shall give
the like warning. The select men agree allsoo that the said scoole
shall be cept from the furst of may to the last of august, 8 owers in
the day, to witt, to begin at seven in the morning, and not to break up
untill five at night, noone time acsepted; and from the last of august
untill the last of octobur 6 ouers in the day, soo allsoo in the munths
of march and Eaprill and the 4 winttur munths to begin at tenn of the
clock in the morning and continnue untill 2 a clock in the afternoone.

(31) At ametting of the select men at the house of gregory coock:

this (7th) of Janiwary 1678:

The select men sent anoote to leftenant Shearmon and allso anoote to Mr
goddard to signify to them thay had agreed with another man to ceep the
scoole when thear year was oute, and that thay did thearby give them
aquartur of ayears warning according to the ordur uppon the town Booke.

The select men agreed with mr Richard Norcros to ceep the Scoole at
the Scoole house for the year foloing and to begin the 9th of Eaprill
1679, and to teach both Lattin and inglish Scollurs, so many as shall
Be sent unto him from the in habitants once aweck to teach them thear
catticise: only in the munths of may, June, July and august he is to
teach only lattin scollurs and writturs and them at his owne house and
thear to afford them all needfull help, and the other 8 munths at the
scoolehouse both lattin and inglish scollurs, for which the select men
agree that he shall have twenty pounds out of the town Reat to be mead
for the yeare 1679, and the town at the Jenarall town metting to meak
thear anuall Choyse for time to cum: this agreement Consented unto by
Mr Richard norcros as witnis his hand....


[47] Had the Assistants legal right, under the charter, to appoint such
officers and define their powers? It is worthy of note, that, Nov.
30/Dec. 9, 1630, Sir Richard Saltonstall was "fyned V £ for whipping 2
severall persons without the presence of another Assistant, contrary to
an act of Court formerly made."

[48] Cf. _American History and Government_, ## 62, 64, 77, note, etc.,
for several illustrative quotations not given in this volume.

[49] Cf. No. 65 (9).

[50] A marginal note in the manuscript, in Winthrop's handwriting, adds
"chosen by papers." This election of Winthrop's rival, by a secret
ballot, was the democratic answer to Cotton's argument above.

[51] For the significance of the difference between this oath and that
in (1) above, cf. _American History and Government_, # 64.

[52] This enactment is the formal establishment of representative
government in the colony,--in accordance with the character of this
Court which so decreed. Cf. Introduction, above, to this No. 67 _b._

[53] Not more than four, so the vote stood probably 18 for, and
15 against. But the new claim of the Assistants that at least six
magistrates must be "in the vote" (_i.e._ vote yes) prevents action.

[54] It is refreshing to see that the gentle Puritan women were not to
be controlled in the matter. In 1638, four years later, Winthrop has
the following item:

"The court, taking into consideration the great disorder general
through the country in costliness of apparel, and following new
fashions, sent for the elders of the churches, and conferred with them
about it, and laid it upon them, as belonging to them, to redress it,
by urging it upon the consciences of their people, which they promised
to do. But little was done about it; _for divers of the elders' wives,
etc., were in some measure partners in this general disorder_."

[55] Cf. Ludlow's extreme fear of democracy in No. 64, above.

[56] The mid-week (Thursday) religious service, then held in the
morning, of which our Thursday evening "prayer meetings" are a
survival. Boston had no town government, as yet, with regular town
meetings; but the gathering for this religious purpose was utilized for
a special governmental purpose.

[57] The aristocratic protest won; at the second election, the usual
gentlemen were placed upon the committee.

[58] The immediate occasion was the desire to satisfy Lord Say and Lord
Brooke. Cf. No. 75, below.

[59] This provision for "proxies," or written ballots (as the men of
that day used the term "proxy" often), was soon extended to all towns
at all annual elections.

[60] The regulation regarding churches was needful to supplement the
restriction of the franchise to church members (No. 63 (4)).

[61] Presumably Winthrop and Cotton, who had stayed at Newtown for the

[62] Observe the plain threat, cloaked in this language, that the
colony would rebel rather than surrender its charter. The real leaders
of revolt would have been, not "the common people," but Winthrop and
his friends, who drew up this paper.

[63] For a brief history of this proceeding, cf. _American History and
Government_, # 81. The code was established in 1641. See No. 78, below.

[64] This law shows that in 1641 the two orders of the Assembly had
come to sit by themselves frequently. For the final separation, see No.

[65] The "peremptory challenge" of the Plymouth Code does not appear

[66] Cf. No. 65 (8).

[67] These terms are relative. Winthrop describes, after this date, the
cruel flogging of a woman for a matter of opinion, and says that she
had her tongue put in "a cleft stick" for half an hour, for "abusing"
the magistrates who punished her.

[68] This is a protest against the occasional arbitrary action of the
Massachusetts governor in past years. Both Winthrop and Vane had been
guilty of refusing to put motions to the General Court.

[69] The coroner's jury had existed by custom in the colony from the

[70] This recognized existing local practice. Cf. No. 66.

[71] This democratic advance had been taken two years earlier in
Connecticut. Cf. No. 93.

[72] Actual practice disregarded this limitation to nine, and also the
attempt to restrict the "select men" and the voters to "freemen." 74
should have followed 66.

[73] This with the first half of the next law is based upon the Jewish

[74] This noble provision soon became a dead letter.

[75] To give the prefix Mrs. (Mistress) to this poor woman would be
wholly out of keeping with the usage of that day.

[76] Cf. also some of the entries in the extracts from the _Watertown
Records_, No. 83, below.

[77] The heading is missing (by mutilation) from the _Records_.

[78] This was a fee for a very indefinite description of title: cf.
(8), below, and note.

[79] The descriptions of such divisions of lands were exceeding
vague,--illustrated by the following entry from the _Records_ of the
Town of Plymouth,--rather clearer than the average but selected here
because of its brevity:--

            "Ordered to be Recorded pr. Thomas Southworth:

haveing order att a Townemeeting held the second day of January 1666
for the bounding of ten acrees of land graunted to Benjamine Eaton
lying above the lands that was formerly George Clarkes and betwixt
ffrancis Billingtons lott and the lotts that were John Cookes; have
layed it out on the westward side of the swamp called Bradfords Marsh
and on the south side and east end of the said land have bounded it
with a swamp wood tree standing att or in the swamp: from thence the
line extends nearest southwest and by west to a Red oake tree marked
and standing on the westward side of the Topp of a hill; and on the
north side and east end next to the swamp with a young walnutt sapling,
and from the said walnut the line extends nearest southwest and by west
unto a forked Red oake sapling; bounded Aprill 11th 1667 pr Will: Crow."

The following entry of a "deed" from the _Early Records of the Town of
Providence_ illustrates the worst cases of land titles:--

"Be it knowne unto all men by these presences that I, wissawyamake, an
Ingen about the age of 23 yeares ould, now dwilling at Sekescute ner
providinc, have barganed and sould unto thomas Clemenes of providinc
one medow Containing about 8 Akers mor or lese, a broke at each End and
a hille on the weaste sid of it and wenasbetuckit river on the other
sid of it and have sould unto him the free use of the river allso,
to which bargen I the sayd Ingen do hearby bine me my hayrs Exctors
adminstratrs and asignes to parfforme the bargon unto Thomas Clemenes
his hayrs and asignes and I the aforesaid Ingen doe here by bind me
my silfe my hayrs Exctors adminstratrs and asigns uppon the ffortner
of our silves forfite unto thomas Clemenes and to his hayrs Exstors
adminstrators and asignes if I the sayd Ingen be not the right honer of
the above sayd midowe and do herby warante to thomis Clemenes the fall
of it agaynst all Engens and men what ever under witten this 9th day of
January 1654 in the presents of Joshua ffoot"

                                                         "the mark X of

  "the marke H of henry

[80] Tenth month (December), thirty-first day.

[81] This English term for _local_ taxes was used in the early colonies.


As long as she was permitted to do so, Massachusetts secured religious
uniformity by expelling or persecuting intruders who dissented from
the established order. This was the practice and theory of all states
in that day except Holland. Some individuals had advanced further,
however, both in England and America (cf. _American History and
Government_, # 84, close, for illustrations); and religious freedom was
the fundamental principle in the Rhode Island "experiment" (No. 90,

84. Puritan Arguments for and against Persecution

_a. The Simple Cobbler of Agawam, 1647_

    Nathaniel Ward, minister of Ipswich (Agawam), was one of the few
    of the Massachusetts clergy with democratic leanings. He had been
    helpful in drafting the democratic _Body of Liberties_ (No. 78).
    But like that other democratic minister, Thomas Hooker (No. 93),
    Ward was a strict _theocrat_. His _Simple Cobbler of Aggawamm_ was
    published in London in 1647.

... FIRST, such as have given or taken any unfriendly reports of
us _New-English_, should doe well to recollect themselves. Wee
have beene reputed a Colluvies of wild Opinionists, swarmed into a
remote wildernes to find elbow-roome for our phanatick Doctrines and
practises: I trust our diligence past, and constant sedulity against
such persons and courses, will plead better things for us. I dare
take upon me, to bee the Herauld of _New-England_ so farre, as to
proclaime to the world, in the name of our Colony, that all Familists,
Antinomians, Anabaptists, and other Enthusiasts _shall have free
Liberty to keepe away from us_, and such as will come to be gone as
fast as they can, the sooner the better.

Secondly, I dare averre, that God doth no where in his word tolerate
Christian States to give Tolerations to such adversaries of his Truth,
if they have power in their hands to suppresse them....

Not to tolerate things meerly indifferent to weak consciences, argues
a conscience too strong: pressed uniformity in these, causes much
disunity: _To tolerate more then indifferents_, is not to deale
indifferently with God: He that doth it, takes his Scepter out of his
hand, and bids him stand by....

Concerning Tolerations I may further assert.

That Persecution of true Religion, and Toleration of false, are the
_Jannes_ and _Jambres_ to the Kingdome of Christ, _whereof the last is
farre the worst_....

_Frederick_ Duke of _Saxon_, spake not one foote beyond the mark when
he said. He had rather the Earth should swallow him up quick, then he
should give a toleration to any opinion against any truth of God.

He that is willing to tolerate any Religion, or discrepant way of
Religion, besides his own, unlesse it be in matters meerly indifferent,
either doubts of his own, or is not sincere in it.

He that is willing to tolerate any unsound Opinion, that his own may
also be tolerated, though never so sound, will for a need hang Gods
Bible at the Devills girdle.

Every Toleration of false Religions or Opinions hath as many Errours
and sins in it as all the false Religions and Opinions it tolerats, and
one sound one more.

That State that will give Liberty of Conscience in matters of Religion,
must give Liberty of Conscience and Conversation in their Morall Laws,
or else the Fiddle will be out of tune, and some of the strings crack.

Experience will teach Churches and Christians, that _it is farre better
to live in a State united, though a little Corrupt, then in a State,
whereof some Part is incorrupt, and all the rest divided_.

... There is talk of an universall Toleration. I would talke as
loud as I could against it, did I know what more apt and reasonable
Sacrifice _England_ could offer to God for his late performing all
his heavenly Truths then an universall Toleration _of all hellish
Errors_, or how they shall make an universall Reformation, but by
making _Christs Academy_ the _Divills University_, where any man may
commence [graduate] Heretique _per saltum_; where he that is _filius
Diabolicus_, or _simpliciter pessimus_, may have his grace to goe to
Hell _cum Publico Privilegio_; and carry as many after him, as he

It is said, Though a man have light enough himselfe to see the Truth,
yet if he hath not enough to enlighten others, he is bound to tolerate
them, I will engage my self, that all the Devills in _Britanie_ shall
sell themselves to their shirts, to purchase a Lease of this Position
for three of their Lives, under the Seale of the Parliament.

It is said, That Men ought to have Liberty of their Conscience, and
that it is persecution to debarre them of it: I can rather stand amazed
then reply to this: it is an astonishment to think that the braines of
men should be parboyl'd in such impious ignorance; Let all the wits
under the Heavens lay their heads together and finde an Assertion worse
then this (one excepted) I will petition to be chosen the universall
Ideot of the world....

The true English of all this their false Latine is nothing but _a
generall Toleration of all Opinions_....

_b. From the Wonder-working Providence, of Sions Saviour in New England
(Book III, Chapter V)_

    This quaint history was printed in London in 1654, anonymously. The
    original manuscript has never been discovered. Tradition ascribes
    the authorship to Captain Edward Johnson, one of the companions of
    Winthrop in the migration of 1630.

... and in the year 1648 they [the laws] were printed, and now are to
be seen of all men, to the end that none may plead ignorance, and that
all who intend to transport themselves hither, may know this is no
place of licentious liberty, nor will this people suffer any to trample
down this Vineyard of the Lord, but with diligent execution will cut
off from the city of the Lord the wicked doers, and if any man can shew
wherein any of them derogate from the Word of God, very willingly will
they accept thereof, and amend their imperfections (the Lord assisting)
but let not any ill-affected persons find fault with them, because they
suit not with their own humour, or because they meddle with matters of
Religion, for it is no wrong to any man, that a people who have spent
their estates, many of them, and ventured their lives for to keep faith
and a pure conscience, to use all means that the Word of God allows for
maintenance and continuance of the same, especially [when] they have
taken up a desolate Wilderness to be their habitation, and not deluded
any by keeping their profession in huggermug, but print and proclaim
to all the way and course they intend, God willing, to walk in; [and]
if any will yet notwithstanding seek to justle them out of their own
right, let them not wonder if they meet with all the opposition a
people put to their greatest straits can make; ... but ... it seems
unreasonable, and savours too much of hypocricie, that any people
should pray unto the Lord for the speedy accomplishment of his Word in
the overthrow of Antichrist, and in the mean time become a Patron to
sinful opinions and damnable errors that oppose the truths of Christ....

_c. Discussion between Saltonstall and Cotton (about 1650)_

    Hutchinson's _Collection of Original Papers_ (1769), 401-406.

    Saltonstall was the chief founder of Watertown, and one of the
    signers of the Cambridge Agreement (No. 58 _b_). Like his town,
    he was inclined to democracy in politics and to "Separation" in
    religion. This letter to the Boston pastors was written from
    England (to which he had returned in 1631) about 1650. Both letters
    are without dates.

(1) _Sir Richard Saltonstall to Mr. Cotton and Mr. Wilson_

Reverend and deare friends, whom I unfaynedly love and respect:

It doth not a little grieve my spirit to heare what sadd things are
reported dayly of your tyranny and presecutions in New-England,--=_as
that you fyne, whip, and imprison men for their consciences_=. First,
you compell such to come into your assemblyes as you know will not
joyne with you in your worship, and when they shew their dislike
thereof or witnes against it, then you styrre up your magistrates
to punish them for such (as you conceyve) their publicke affronts.
Truely, friends, this your practice of compelling any in matters of
worship to doe that whereof they are not fully persuaded, is to make
them sin; for soe the apostle (Rom. 14 and 23.) tells us; and many are
made hypocrites thereby, conforming in their outward man for feare of
punishment. We pray for you and wish you prosperitie every way, [and]
hoped the Lord would have given you so much light and love there that
you might have been eyes to God's people here, and not to practice
those courses in a wildernes which you went so farre to prevent. These
rigid wayes have layed you very lowe in the hearts of the saynts. I doe
assure you I have heard them pray in the publique assemblies that the
Lord would give you meeke and humble spirits, not to stryve soe much
for uniformity as [instead] to keepe the unity of the spirit in the
bond of peace.

When I was in Holland about the beginning of our warres, I remember
some christians there, that then had serious thoughts of planting in
New-England, desired me to write to the governor thereof to know if
those that differ from you in opinion, yet houlding the same foundation
in religion (as Anabaptists, Seekers, Antinomians, and the like), might
be permitted to live among you; to which I received this short answer
from your then governour Mr. Dudley; =_God forbid_= (said he) =_our
love for the truth should be growne soe could that we should tolerate
errours_=: and when (for satisfaction of myself and others) I desired
to know your grounds, he referred me to the books written here between
the Presbyterians and Independents;--which if that had been sufficient,
I needed not have sent soe farre to understand the reasons of your
practice. I hope you do not assume to yourselves infallibilitie of
judgment, when the most learned of the Apostles confesseth he knew but
in parte and sawe but darkely as through a glass; for God is light,
and no further than he doth illuminate us can we see, be our partes
and learning never soe great. Oh that all those who are brethren,
though yet they cannot thinke and speake the same things might be of
one accord in the Lord. Now the God of patience and consolation grant
you to be thus mynded towards one another, after the example of Jesus
Christ our blessed Savyor, in whose everlasting armes of protection hee
leaves you who will never leave to be

                   Your truly and much affectionate
                     friend in the nearest union,

                                             RIC. SALTONSTALL.

    For my reverend and worthyly much esteemed friends Mr. Cotton
    and Mr. Wilson, preachers to the church which is at Boston in
    New-England, give this.

       (2) Mr. _Cotton's Answer to Sir Richard Saltonstall_

... You thinke to compell all men in matter of worship is to make
men sinne (according to Rom. 14. 23.). If the worship be lawfull in
itselfe, the magistrate compelling him to come to it compelleth him
not to sinne, _but the sinne is in his will that needs to be compelled
to a christian duty_. Josiah compelled all Israel, or (which is all
one) made to serve the Lord their God, 2 Chron. 34. 33. yet his act
herein was not blamed but recorded amongst his virtuous actions. For a
governour to suffer any within his gates to prophane the sabbath, is a
sinne against the 4th commandment, both in the private householder and
in the magistrate; and if he requires them to present themselves before
the Lord, the magistrate sinneth not, nor doth the subject sinne so
great a sinne as if he did refraine to come....

But (say you) it doth but make men hypocrites to compell men to
conforme the outward man for feare of punishment. If it did so, yet
better to be hypocrites than prophane persons. Hypocrites give God part
of his due, the outward man, but the prophane person giveth God neither
outward nor inward man....

What you wrote out of Holland to our then governor Mr. Dudley, in
behalfe of Anabaptists, Antinomians, Seekers, and the like, it seemeth,
mett with a short answer from him, but zealous; for zeal will not beare
such mixtures as coldnesse or lukewarmenesse will, Revel. 2. 2. 14. 15.

85. Criticism by a Moderate Episcopalian and Monarchist

    Lechford's "Plaine Dealing" (1641), reprinted in _Massachusetts
    Historical Society Collections_, Third Series, III, 55 ff.

    Thomas Lechford was in New England from 1637 to 1641. His point of
    view is not seriously unfriendly.

... And I doe not this, God knoweth, as delighting to lay open the
infirmities of these well-affected men, many of them my friends,--but
that it is necessary, at this time, for the whole Church of God,
and themselves, as I take it. Besides, many of the things are not
infirmities, but such as I am bound to protest against; yet I
acknowledge there are some wise men among them who would help to mend
things, if they were able. ... And I think that wiser men then they,
going into a wildernesse to set up another strange government differing
from the settled government here, might have falne into greater errors
then they have done.

       *       *       *       *       *

[After describing the method of organizing a church.] And the generall
Court will not allow of any Church otherwise gathered.

Some Ministers have there heretofore, as I have heard, disclaimed
the power of their Ministry, received in England, but others among
them have not. Generally, for the most part, they hold the Pastors
and Teachers offices to be distinct; the Teacher to minister a word
of knowledg, the Pastor a word of wisdome, but some hold them all
one; as in the Church of Watertowne, there are two Pastors, neither
will that Church send any messengers to any other Church-gathering or

... Now _the most of the persons_ at New-England are not admitted of
their Church, and therefore are not Freemen, and when they come to be
tryed there, be it for life or limb, name or estate, or whatsoever,
they must bee tryed and judged too by those of the Church, who are in
a sort their adversaries: how equall that hath been or may be, some by
experience doe know, others may judge.

Profane swearing, drunkennesse, and beggers, are but rare in the
compasse of this Patent, through the circumspection of the Magistrates,
and the providence of God hitherto, the poore there living by their
labours and great wages, proportionably, better then the rich by their
stocks, which without exceeding great care, quickly waste....

But the people begin to complain [that] they are ruled like _slaves_,
and in short time shall have their children for the most part remain
unbaptized: and so have little more privilege than Heathens, unlesse
the discipline be amended....

_When I was to come away, one of the chiefest in the Country wished me
to deliver him a note of what things I misliked in the Country, which I
did, thus:_

I doubt,

1. Whether so much time should be spent in the publique Ordinances,
on the Sabbath day, because that thereby some necessary duties of the
Sabbath must be needs be hindered, as visitation of the sick, and
poore, and family.

2. Whether matters of offence should be publiquely handled, either
before the whole Church, or strangers.

3. Whether so much time should be spent in particular catechizing those
that are admitted to the communion of the Church, either men or women;
or that they should make long speeches; or when they come publiquely to
be admitted, any should speak contradictorily, or in recommendation of
any, unlesse before the Elders, upon just occasion.

4. Whether the censures of the Church should be ordered, in publique,
before all the Church, or strangers, other then the denunciation of the
censures, and pronunciation of the solutions.

5. Whether any of our Nation, that is not extremely ignorant or
scandalous, should bee kept from the Communion, or his children from

10. That the civill government is not so equally administered, nor can
be, divers orders or bylaws considered.

11. That unlesse these things be wisely and in time prevented, many of
your usefullest men will remove and scatter from you.

_Certain Quaeres about Church government, planting Churches, and some
other Experiments._

       *       *       *       *       *

32. Whether or no to maintain a desired purity or perfection in the
Magistracie, by election of the people, these good men of New-England,
are not forced to be too strict in receiving the brethren, and to run a
course tending to heathenisme?

33. Whether have not _popular elections_ of chiefe Magistrates beene,
and are they not, very dangerous to States and Kingdomes? Are there
not some great mysteries of State and government? Is it possible,
convenient, or necessary, for all men to attain to the knowledge of
those mysteries, or to have the like measure of knowledge, faith,
mercifulnesse, wisdome, courage, magnanimity, patience? Whence are
Kings denominated, but from their skill and knowledge to rule? whereto
they are even born and educated, and by long experience, and faithfull
Counsellors enabled, and the grace and blessing of God upon all? Doe
not the wise, good, ancient, and renowned Laws of England attribute
much, yea, very much trust and confidence to the King, as to the head
and supreame Governour, though much be also in the rest of the great
body, heart and hands, and feete, to counsell, maintain, and preserve
the whole, but especially the Head?

34. Hence what government for an Englishman but an hereditary,
successive, King, the son of Nobles, well counselled and assisted?

       *       *       *       *       *

I thank God, now I understand by experience, that there is no such
government for Englishmen, or any Nation, as a Monarchy; nor for
Christians, as by a lawfull Ministrie, under godly Diocesan Bishops....

86. A Presbyterian Demand for the Franchise, 1646

    Hutchinson's _Collection of Original Papers_ (1769), 188-194. Less
    than half the document is given here.

To the worshipful the Governor, the Deputy Governor, and the rest of
the Assistants of the Massachusets Bay in New England, together with
the Deputyes of the Generall Court now assembled at Boston.

The Remonstrance and humble Petition of us whose names are
underwritten, in behalfe of ourselves and divers others within this
jurisdiction, humbly sheweth.

THAT we cannot but with all thankfulness acknowledge your indefategable
paines, continuall care, and constant vigilancy, which, by the blessing
of the Almighty, hath procured unto this wilderness the much desired
fruits of peace and plenty ... And further, that you whom the Lord
hath placed at the helm ... are best able to foresee the clouds which
hang over our heads ... _Notwithstanding, those who are under
decks ... may perceive those leaks which will inevitably sink this
weake and ill compacted vessell_, if not by your wisdoms prevented ...
Not to trouble you ... with many words, we shall briefly referre them
to their heads....

1. Whereas this place hath been planted by the incouragement, next
under God, of letters patents given and granted by his Majesty
of England to the inhabitants thereof, with many privileges and
immunities, viz., ... Notwithstanding, we cannot, according to our
judgments, discerne a setled forme of government according to the lawes
of England, which may seeme strange to our countrymen, yea to the whole
world, especially considering we are English. Neither do we understand
and perceyve our owne lawes or libertyes, or any body of lawes here
so established, as that thereby there may be a sure and comfortable
enjoyment of our lives, libertyes, and estates, according to our due
and naturall rights, as free borne subjects of the English nation. By
which, many inconveniences flow into plantations, Viz. jealousies of
introducing arbitrary government, which manny are prone to beleeve,
construing the procrastination of such setled lawes to proceed from an
overgreedy spirit of arbitrary power (which it may be is their weaknes)
such proceedings being detestable to our English nation, and to all
good men, and at present the chief cause of the intestine warre in our
deare country.[83] Further, it gives cause to many to thinke themselves
hardly dealt with, others too much favored, and the scale of justice
too much bowed and unequally balanced. From whence also proceedeth
feares and jealousies of illegall committments, unjust imprisonments,
taxes, rates, customes, levyes of ungrounded and undoing assessments,
unjustifiable presses, undue fynes, unmeasurable expences and charges,
of unconceyvable dangers through a negative or destructive vote unduly
placed, and not well regulated,--in a word, of a non-certainty of all
things we enjoy, whether lives, liberties, or estate; and also of undue
oaths, being subject to exposition, according to the will of him or
them that gives them, and not according to a due and unbowed rule of

Wherefore our humble desire and request is, that you would be pleased
to consider of our present condition and upon what foundation we stand,
and unanimously concurr to establish the fundamentall and wholesome
lawes of our native country, and such others as are no wayes repugnant
to them, unto which all of us are most accustomed; and we suppose them
best agreeable to our English tempers, and yourselves obliged thereunto
by the generall charter and your oathes of allegiance....

2. _Whereas there are many thousands in these plantations, of the
English nation, freeborne, quiett and peaceable men, righteous in
their dealings, forward with hand, heart and purse, to advance the
publick good, knowne friends to the honorable and victorious Houses
of Parliament, lovers of their nation, etc. who are debarred from
all civill imployments_ (without any just cause that we know) not
being permitted to bear the least office (though it cannot be denied
but some are well qualifyed) no not so much as to have any vote in
choosing magistrates, captains or other civill and military officers;
notwithstanding they have here expended their youth, borne the burthen
of the day, wasted much of their estates for the subsistence of these
poore plantations, paid all assessments, taxes, rates, at least
equall, if not exceeding others, yea when the late warre was denounced
against the Narrowganset Indians, without their consent, their goods
were seized on for the service, themselves and servants especially
forced and impressed to serve in that warre, to the hazarding of
all things most dear and near unto them, whence issue forth many
great inconveniences, secret discontents, murmurings, rents in the
plantations, discouragements in their callings, unsettlednes in their
minds, strife, contention, and the Lord only knows to what a flame in
time it may kindle; also jealousies of too much unwarranted power and
dominion on the one side, and of perpetual slavry and bondage on the
other, and, which is intollerable, even by those who ought to love and
respect them as brethren.

_We therefore desire that civill liberty and freedom be forthwith
granted to all truely English, equall to the rest of their countrymen,
as in all plantations is accustomed to be done, and us all freeborne
enjoy in our native country_ (we hoping here in some things to enjoy
greater liberties than elsewhere, counting it no small losse of liberty
to be as it were banished from our native home, and enforced to lay
our bones in a strange wildernes) without imposing any oathes or
covenant on them, ... Further, that none of the English nation, who
at this time are too forward to be gone, and very backward to come
hither, be banished, unles they break the known lawes of England in
so high a measure, as to deserve so high a punishment; and that those
few that come over may settle here without having two magistrates
hands, which sometimes not being possible to obtain, hath procured a
kind of banishment to some, who might have been serviceable to this
place, as they have been to the state of England, etc. And we likewise
desire that no greater punishments be inflicted upon offenders than are
allowed and sett by the laws of our native country.

3. Whereas there are diverse sober, righteous and godly men, eminent
for knowledge and other gracious gifts of the holy spirit, no wayes
scandalous in their lives and conversation, members of the church of
England (in all ages famous for piety and learning) not dissenting from
the latest and best reformation of England, Scotland, etc. yet they and
their posterity are deteined from the seales of the covenant of free
grace, because, as it is supposed, they will not take these churches
covenants, for which as yet they see no light in Gods word; neither can
they clearly perceive what they are, every church having their covenant
differing from anothers, at least in words....

We therefore humbly intreat you, in whose hands it is to help and whose
judicious eyes discern these great inconveniences, for the glory of
God and the comfort of your brethren and countrymen, to give liberty
to the members of the church of England, not scandalous in their lives
and conversations (as members of these churches) to be taken into your
congregation and to enjoy with you all those liberties and ordinances
Christ hath purchased for them. ...[84]

These things being granted ... we hope to see the now contemned
ordinances of God highly prized ... To conclude, all businesses in
church and commonwealth (which for many years have seemed to go
backward ...) successfully thriving....

  _Robert Child_[85] [and six others].

87. Punishment for not Attending "Approved" Churches, 1666

    Thomas Hutchinson's _Collection of Original Papers_ (1769),
    399-400. Hutchinson adds in a note that the three persons here
    condemned were Baptists who were trying to set up a church in

         At a county court held at Cambridge, on adjournment,
                           Aprill 17. 1666.

THOMAS GOOLD, Thomas Osburne and John George being presented by the
grand jury of this county for absenting themselves from the publick
worship of God on the Lords dayes for one whole yeare now past,
alledged respectively as followeth, viz.

Thomas Osburne answered, that the reason of his non-attendance was,
that the Lord hath discovered unto him from his word and spirit of
truth that the society, wherewith he is now in communion, is more
agreeable to the will of God: asserted that they were a church and
attended the worship of God together, and do judge themselves bound so
to do, the ground whereof he said he gave in the general court.

Thomas Goold answered, that as for coming to publique worship they did
meet in publique worship according to the rule of Christ, the grounds
whereof they had given to the court of assistants: asserted that
they were a publique meeting, according to the order of Christ Jesus
gathered together.

John George answered, that he did attend the publique meetings on the
Lord's dayes where he was a member; asserted that they were a church
according to the order of Christ in the gospell, and with them he
walked and held communion in the publique worship of God on the Lord's

Whereas at the general court in October last, and at the court of
assistants in September last endeavours were used for their conviction
[and that] the order of the generall court declaring the said Goold and
company to be no orderly church assembly and that they stand convicted
of high presumption against the Lord and his holy appoyntments was
openly read to them and is on file with the records of this court:--

_The court sentenced_ the said Thomas Goold, Thomas Osburne, and John
George, for their absenting themselves from the publique worship of
God on the Lords dayes, to pay foure pounds fine, each of them, to
the county order. And whereas by their owne confessions they stand
convicted of persisting in their schismaticall assembling themselves
together, to the great dishonour of God and our profession of his
holy name, contrary to the act of the generall court of October last
prohibiting them therein on penalty of imprisonment, this court doth
order their giving bond respectively in 20_l._ each of them, for their
appearance to answer their contempt at the next court of assistants.

The abovenamed Thomas Goold, John George, and Thomas Osburne made
their appeale to the next court of assistants, and refusing to put in
security according to law were committed to prison.

88. Quaker Persecutions

_a. Edward Burrough's Appeal to Charles II_

    Edward Burrough's _Declaration of the Sad and Great Persecution and
    Martyrdom of Quakers in New England_ (London, 1660), 17-20. All
    italics in this extract are in the original.

... 2. TWELVE Strangers in that Country, but free-born of this Nation,
#received twenty three Whippings#, the most of them being with a Whip
_ofthree Cords_, with _Knots at the ends_, and laid on with as much
strength as they could be by the Arm of their Executioner, the stripes
amounting to _Three hundred and seventy_.

3. Eighteen Inhabitants of the Country, being free-born _English_,
received #twenty three Whippings#, the stripes amounting to #two
hundred and fifty#.

4. Sixty four Imprisonments of the Lords People, for their obedience
to his Will, amounting to #five hundred and nineteen weeks#, much of
it being _very cold weather_, and the Inhabitants kept in Prison _in
harvest time_, which was very much to their losse; besides many more
Imprisoned, of which time we cannot give a just account.

5. Two beaten with #Pitched Ropes#, the blows amounting to #an hundred
thirty nine#, by which one of them was brought near unto death, much
of his body being beat #like unto a jelly#, and one of their own
Doctors, a Member of their Church, who saw him, said, _It would be a
Miracle if ever he recovered, he expecting the flesh should rot off the
bones_; who afterwards was banished upon pain of death. There are many
Witnesses of this there.

6. Also, an Innocent man, an Inhabitant of _Boston_, they #banished#
from his Wife and Children, and put to seek a habitation in the Winter;
and in case he returned again, he was to be kept Prisoner during his
life: and for returning again, he was put in Prison, and hath been now
a Prisoner above a year.

7. Twenty five #Banishments#, upon the penalties of being #whipt#, or
having #their Ears cut#; or #branded in the Hand#, if they returned.

8. Fines laid upon the Inhabitants for meeting together, and edifying
one another, as the Saints ever did; and for #refusing to swear#, it
being contrary to Christ's Command, amounting to #about a Thousand
pound#, besides what they have done since, that we have not heard of;
many Families, in which there are many Children, are almost ruined, by
these unmerciful proceedings.

9. Five kept _Fifteen dayes_ (in all) _without food_, and _Fifty
eight_ dayes shut up close by the Jaylor, and had none that he knew
of; and from some of them he stopt up the windows, hindring them from
convenient air.

10. One laid #Neck and Heels# in Irons for _sixteen hours_.

11. One #very deeply burnt# in the right hand _with the letter_ H.
after he had been whipt with above _Thirty stripes_.

12. One chained the most part of Twenty dayes to a Logg of wood in an
open Prison in the Winter-time.

13. Five Appeals to _England_, denied at _Boston_.

14. Three #had their right Ears cut by the Hangman in the Prison#, the
Door being barred, and not a Friend suffered to be present while it was
doing, though some much desired it.

15. One of the Inhabitants of _Salem_, who since is banished upon pain
of Death, _had one half of his House and Land seized on while he was in
Prison_, a month before he knew of it.

16. At a General Court in _Boston_, they made an Order, #That those who
had not wherewithal to answer the ffines that were laid upon them# (for
their Consciences) #should be sold for Bond=men, and Bond=women to#
Barbados, Virginia, #or any of the# English #Plantations#.

17. Eighteen of the people of God were at several times banished #upon
pain of Death#, six of them were their own Inhabitants, two of which
being very aged people, and well known among their Neighbours to be of
honest Conversations, being Banished from their Houses and Families,
and put upon Travelling and other hardships, soon ended their dayes;
whose Death we can do no lesse than charge upon the Rulers of _Boston_,
they being the occasion of it.

18. Also three of the Servants of the Lord #they put to Death#, all of
them for obedience to the Truth, in the Testimony of it against the
wicked Rulers and Laws at _Boston_.

19. And since they have banished four more, _upon pain of Death_; and
twenty four of the Inhabitants of _Salem_ were presented, and more
Fines called for, and their Goods seized on, to the value of Forty
pounds, for meeting together in the fear of God, and some for _refusing
to swear_.

These things (O King) from time to time have we patiently suffered,
and not for the trangression of any Just or Righteous Law, either
pertaining to the Worship of God, or the Civil Government of _England_,
but simply and barely for our Consciences to God, of which we can more
at large give Thee (or whom thou mayest order) a full Account (if Thou
wilt let us have admission to Thee, who are _Banished upon pain of
Death_, and have had _our Ears cut_, who are, some of us, in _England_
attending upon Thee) both of the _Causes of our Sufferings_, and _the
Manner_ of their disorderly and illegal Proceeding against us; who
begun #with Immodesty#, went on in #Inhumanity# and #Cruelty#, and were
not satisfied until #they had the Blood of three of the Martyrs of#
JESUS: Revenge for all which we do not seek, but lay them before Thee,
considering Thou hast been well acquainted with Sufferings, and so
mayest the better consider them that suffer, and mayest for the future
restrain the Violence of these Rulers of _New-England_, having Power in
Thy hands; they being but the Children of the Family, of which Thou art
Chief Ruler; Who have in divers of their Proceedings #forfeited their
Patent#; as upon a strict Inquiry in many particulars will appear.

And this, O King, we are assured of, that in time to come it will
not repent Thee, if by a _Close Rebuke_ Thou stoppest the #Bloody
Proceedings# of these #Bloody Persecutors#; for in so doing, Thou wilt
engage the hearts of many honest People unto Thee, both there and here;
and for such Works of Mercy, the Blessing is obtained, and shewing it,
is the way to prosper....

_b. A Quaker Trial at Boston, 1661_[86]

    Joseph Besse's _Collection of the Sufferings of the People called
    Quakers_ (1753), II, 222-223. Italics as in the original.

ANNO 1661. At the said next General-Court, _Wenlock Christison_ was
again brought to the Bar.

The Governour asked him, _What he had to say for himself, why he should
not die?_

_Wenlock._ I have done nothing worthy of Death; if I had, I refuse not
to die.

Governour. _Thou art come in among us in Rebellion, which is as the Sin
of Witchcraft, and ought to be punished._

_Wenlock._ I came not in among you in Rebellion, but in Obedience to
the God of Heaven; not in Contempt to any of you, but in Love to your
Souls and Bodies; and that you shall know one Day, when you and all Men
must give an Account of your Deeds done in the Body. Take heed, for
you cannot escape the righteous Judgments of God.

Major-General _Adderton_. _You pronounce Woes and Judgments, and
those that are gone before you pronounced Woes and Judgments; but the
Judgments of the Lord God are not come upon us yet._

_Wenlock._ Be not proud, neither let your Spirits be lifted up; God
doth but wait till the Measure of your Iniquity be filled up, and that
you have seen your ungodly Race, then will the Wrath of God come upon
you to the uttermost; And as for thy part, it hangs over thy Head, and
is near to be poured down upon thee, and shall come as a Thief in the
Night suddenly, when thou thinkest not of it. By what Law will ye put
me to Death?

Court. _We have a Law, and by our Law you are to die._

_Wenlock._ So said the _Jews_ of Christ, _We have a Law, and by our Law
he ought to die._ Who empowered you to make that Law?

Court. _We have a_ Patent, _and are_ Patentees; _judge whether we have
not Power to make Laws?_

_Wenlock._ How! Have you Power to make Laws repugnant to the Laws of

Governour. _Nay._

_Wenlock._ Then you are gone beyond your Bounds, and have forfeited
your _Patent_, and this is more than you can answer. Are you Subjects
to the King, yea, or nay?

Secretary _Rawson_. _What will you infer from that? what Good will that
do you?_

_Wenlock._ If you are, say so; for in your Petition to the King, you
desire that he will protect you, and that you may be worthy to kneel
among his loyal Subjects.

Court. _Yes._

_Wenlock._ So am I, and for any thing I know, am as good as you, if not
better; for if the King did but know your Hearts, as God knows them,
he would see, that your Hearts are as rotten towards him, as they are
towards God. Therefore seeing that you and I are Subjects to the King,
I demand to be tried by the Laws of my own Nation.

Court. _You shall be tried by a Bench and a Jury._

_Wenlock._ That is not the Law, but the Manner of it; for if you will
be as good as your word, you must set me at Liberty, for I never heard
or read of any Law that was in _England_ to hang _Quakers_.

Governour. _There is a Law to hang_ Jesuits.

_Wenlock._ If you put me to Death, it is not because I go under the
name of a _Jesuit_, but a _Quaker_, therefore I do appeal to the Laws
of my own Nation.

Court. _You are in our Hand, and have broken our Laws, and we will try

_Wenlock._ Your Will is your Law, and what you have Power to do, that
you will do: And seeing that the Jury must go forth on my Life, this
I have to say to you in the Fear of the Living God: Jury, take heed
what you do, for you swear by the Living God, _That you will true Trial
make, and just Verdict give, according to the Evidence._ Jury, look for
your Evidence: What have I done to deserve Death? Keep your Hands out
of innocent Blood.

A Juryman. _It is good Counsel._

The Jury went out, but having received their Lesson, soon returned, and
brought in their Verdict _Guilty_.

_Wenlock._ I deny all Guilt, for my Conscience is clear in the Sight of

Governour. _The Jury hath condemned thee._

_Wenlock._ The Lord doth justify me; who art thou that condemnest?

Then the Court proceeded to vote as to the Sentence of Death, to which
several of them, _viz. Richard Russel_ and others, would not consent,
the Innocence and Stedfastness of the Man having prevailed upon them in
his Favour. There happened also a Circumstance during this Trial, which
could not but affect Men of any Tenderness or Consideration, which was,
that a Letter was sent to the Court from _Edward Wharton_, signifying,
_That whereas they had banished him on pain of Death, yet he was at
Home in his own House in_ Salem, and therefore proposing, _That they
would take off their wicked Sentence from him, that he might go about
his Occasions out of their Jurisdiction_. This Circumstance, however
affecting to others, did only enrage _Endicot_ the Governour, who was
very much displeased, and in much Anger cried out, _I could find in my
Heart to go Home_.

_Wenlock._ It were better for thee to be at Home than here, for thou
art about a bloody piece of Work.

Governour. _You that will not consent, record it. I thank God, I am
not afraid to give Judgment._ Wenlock Christison, _hearken to your
Sentence: You must return unto the Place from whence you came, and
from thence to the Place of Execution, and there you must be hanged
until you be_ dead, dead, dead, _upon the 13th Day of_ June, _being the
Fifth-day of the Week._

_Wenlock._ The Will of the Lord be done: In whose Will I came amongst
you, and in his Counsel I stand, feeling his Eternal Power, that will
uphold me unto the last Gasp, I do not question it. Known be it unto
you all, That if you have Power to take my Life from me, my Soul shall
enter into Everlasting Rest and Peace with God, where you yourselves
shall never come: And if you have Power to take my Life from me, the
which I do question, I believe you shall never more take _Quakers_
Lives from them: Note my Words. Do not think to weary out the Living
God by taking away the Lives of his Servants: What do you gain by it?
For the last Man you put to Death, here are _five_ come in his Room.
And if you have Power to take my Life from me, God can raise up the
same Principle of Life in _ten_ of his Servants, and send them among
you in my Room, that you may have Torment upon Torment, which is your
Portion: _For there is no Peace to the Wicked_, saith my God.

Governour. _Take him away. ..._


[82] The Watertown church had strong Separatist tendencies (cf. No.
64). Hence, in part, its democratic inclination.

[83] The Civil War in England between King and Parliament.

[84] The Church of England at this time was Presbyterian.

[85] In the reply of the General Court, Dr. Child is referred to as "a
Paduan Doctor (as he is reputed), lately come into the country, who
hath not so much as tasted of their grievances, nor like to doe, being
a bachelor and only a sojourner, who never payd a penny to any publick
charge, though (of his owne good will) he _hath_ done something for
publick use."

[86] This document belongs chronologically in the next general division
(_C_), below; but it is most conveniently presented here.


89. A Compact in _Civil_ Things Only, 1336(?)

    _Early Records of the Town of Providence_ (1892), 1.

    These _Records_ were printed from the original manuscript records.
    In 1800, a manuscript "transcript" had been made of those records
    (without attempt to preserve the original spelling, and with
    various errors); and this transcript was followed in the first
    printed copy of this compact in the _Rhode Island Colony Records_
    (1878), I, 14.

    The following entry was not dated. Apparently it was a paper
    presented by Williams and the first settlers to a second body of
    comers, probably in 1636.

We whose names are hereunder, desirous to inhabitt in the towne of
providence, do promise to subject ourselves in active and passive
obedience to all such orders or agreements as shall be made for publick
good of our body, in an orderly way, by the major consent of the
present Inhabitants, maisters of families, Incorporated together into a
towne fellowship, and others whome they shall admitt unto them,

  only in civill things.

  Richard Scott
  William #X#  Reynolds
  Abad browne
  John Warner [a character, probably a "mark," follows.]
  Edwarde Cope
  George Rickard
  Thomas Angell #X# _mark_
  Thomas Harris
  ffrancis weekes #X# _mark_
  Benedict Arnold
  Josua winsor
  William Wickenden
  John #X# ffeild

    [In many ways this "compact" recalls the Mayflower Compact (No.
    46); but the notable thing here is that obedience is promised in
    _civil_ things only. "Civil" is used in contradistinction with
    "ecclesiastical." Obedience is promised in matters that pertain to
    the _state_, not in those pertaining to the church. This was the
    primary force of the word "civil." Observe it in the same sense in
    the documents that follow.]

90. Religious Freedom Consonant with Civil Order

    Arnold's _History of Rhode Island_, I, 254, 255.

    The town of Providence had been disturbed by tumults, and some of
    the inhabitants reasoned loosely that their platform of freedom of
    conscience forbade them to punish the transgressors. Williams then
    wrote the following letter to the town, defining in a masterly way
    the limits of civil and religious freedom. This is a good point at
    which to review No. 84, with the Introduction thereto.

There goes many a ship to sea, with many hundred souls in one ship,
whose weal and woe is common; and [this] is a true picture of a
commonwealth. ... It hath fallen out sometimes that both Papists
and Protestants, Jews and Turks, may be embarked in one ship; upon
which supposal I affirm that all the liberty of conscience, that
ever I pleaded for, turns upon these two hinges: that none of the
Papists, Protestants, Jews, or Turks, be forced to come to the ship's
prayers or worship, nor compelled from their own particular prayers
or worship, if they practice any. I further add that I never denied
that, notwithstanding this liberty, the commander of the ship ought to
command the ship's course, yea, and also command that justice, peace,
and sobriety be kept and practised, both among the seamen and all the
passengers. If any of the seamen refuse to perform their service, or
passengers to pay their freight; if any refuse to help, in person or
purse, toward the common charges or defence; if any refuse to obey
the common laws and orders of the ship, concerning their common peace
or preservation; if any shall mutiny and rise up against their ...
officers; if any should preach or write that there ought to be no
commanders or officers because all are equal in Christ ... I say I
never denied but in such cases, whatever is pretended, the commander or
commanders may judge, resist, compel, and punish such trangressors,
according to their ... merits.[87]

91. Patent of Providence Plantations, March 14/24, 1643/1644

           _Rhode Island Colonial Records_, I, 123-146.

    The Long Parliament, at the opening of its war against Charles I,
    created a council for colonial affairs. That body, upon petition
    from Williams and his friends, issued the following grant. Section
    I (about a page of this type) recites these facts. Practically all
    the rest of the document is given here. The important consideration
    is the repetition of the word "civil." (See note on page 267,

And whereas divers well affected and industrious English Inhabitants,
of the Towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport in the tract
aforesaid, have adventured to make a nearer neighborhood and Society
with the great Body of the Narragansets, which may in Time by the
blessing of God upon their Endeavours, lay a sure Foundation of
Happiness to all America. And have also purchased, and are purchasing
of and amongst the said Natives, some other Places, which may be
convenient both for Plantations, and also for building of Ships, Supply
of Pipe Staves and other Merchandize. And whereas the said English,
have represented their Desire to the said Earl, and Commissioners,
to have their hopeful Beginnings approved and confirmed, by granting
unto them a Free Charter of Civil Incorporation and Government; that
they may order and govern their Plantation in such a Manner as to
maintain Justice and peace, both among themselves, and towards all
Men with whom they shall have to do. In due Consideration of the said
Premises, the said Robert Earl of Warwick, Governor in Chief, and
Lord High Admiral of the said Plantations, and the greater Number of
the said Commissioners, whose Names and Seals are here underwritten
and subjoined, out of a Desire to encourage the good Beginnings of
the said Planters, Do, by the Authority of the aforesaid Ordinance
of the Lords and Commons, give, grant, and confirm, to the aforesaid
Inhabitants of the Towns of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport, a free
and absolute Charter of Incorporation, to be known by the Name of the
Incorporation of Providence Plantations, in the Narraganset-Bay, in New
England.--Together with full Power and Authority to rule themselves,
and such others as shall hereafter inhabit within any Part of the said
Tract of land, by such a Form of =Civil Government=, as by voluntary
consent of all, or the greater Part of them, they shall find most
suitable to their Estate and Condition; and, for that End, to make
and ordain such =Civil Laws= and Constitutions, and to inflict such
punishments upon Transgressors, and for Execution thereof, so to place,
and displace Officers of Justice, as they, or the greatest Part of
them, shall by free Consent agree unto. Provided nevertheless, that the
said Laws, Constitutions, and Punishments, for the =Civil Government=
of the said Plantations, be conformable to the Laws of England, so far
as the Nature and Constitution of the place will admit. And always
reserving to the said Earl, and Commissioners, and their Successors,
Power and Authority for to dispose the general Government of that, as
it stands in Relation to the rest of the Plantations in America as they
shall conceive from Time to Time, most conducing to the general Good of
the said Plantations, the Honour of his Majesty, and the Service of the

92. Rhode Island and the Quakers, 1657

        Hutchinson's _Massachusetts Bay_ (1765), App. XI.

    Massachusetts had complained and threatened because Quakers,
    received in Rhode Island, swarmed thence into her territory.

_The Government of Rhode Island to the Government of Massachusetts._

Much honoured Gentlemen,

Please you to understand, that there hath come to our view a letter
subscribed by the honour'd gentlemen commissioners of the united
coloneys, the contents whereof are a request concerning certayne people
caled quakers, come among us lately, etc.

Our desires are, in all things possible, to pursue after and keepe
fayre and loving correspondence and entercourse with all the colloneys,
and with all our countreymen in New-England; and to that purpose we
have endeavoured (and shall still endeavour) to answere the desires
and requests from all parts of the countrey, coming unto us, in all
just and equall returnes, to which end the coloney have made seasonable
provision to preserve a just and equal entercourse between the coloneys
and us, by giving justice to any that demand it among us and by
returning such as make escapes from you, or from the other coloneys,
being such as fly from the hands of justice, for matters of crime
done or committed amongst you, etc. And as concerning these quakers
(so caled) which are now among us, _we have no law among us whereby
to punish any for only declaring by words, etc. their mindes and
understandings concerning the things and ways of God, as to salvation
and an eternal condition. And we, moreover, finde that in those places
where these people aforesaid, in this coloney, are most of all suffered
to declare themselves freely, and are only oposed by arguments in
discourse, there they least of all desire to come, and we are informed
that they begin to loath this place, for that they are not opposed by
the civill authority, but with all patience and meeknes are suffered
to say over their pretended revelations and admonitions, nor are they
like or able to gain many here to their way; and surely we find that
they delight to be persecuted by civill powers, and when they are soe,
they are like to gain more adherents by the conseyte of their patient
sufferings, than by consent to their pernicious sayings_. And yet we
conceive, that their doctrines trend to very absolute cutting downe and
overturning relations and civill government among men, if generally
received. But as to the dammage that may in likelyhood accrue to the
neighbour colloneys by their being here entertained, we conceive it
will not prove so dangerous (as else it might) in regard of the course
taken by you to send them away out of the countrey, as they come
among you. But, however, at present, we judge it requisitt (and doe
intend) to commend the consideration of their extravagent outgoings
unto the generall assembly of our coloney in March next, where we hope
there will be such order taken, as may, in all honest and contientious
manner, prevent the bad effects of their doctrines and endeavours;
and soe, in all courtious and loving respects, and with desire of all
honest and fayre commerce with you, and the rest of our honoured and
beloved countreymen, we rest

              Yours in all loving respects to serve you,

  From Providence, at the court  BENEDICT ARNOLD, _Pres._
    of trials, held for the      WILLIAM BAULTON,
    coloney, Oct. 13th, 1657.    RANDALL HOWLDON,
                                 ARTHUR FENNER,
                                 WILLIAM FEILD,

To the much honoured, the Generall Court, sitting at Boston, the
Colloney of Massachusitts.


[87] The editor cannot resist the desire to add that rarely in all
history has so fundamental, and at the same time so revolutionary, a
truth been stated so simply and incontrovertibly.


93. The Fundamental Orders of 1639

                         January 14/24, 1638/9

    _Connecticut Colonial Records_, I, 20-25.

    Cf. _American History and Government_, ## 87-89, for the history
    and significance of this "first written constitution known to
    history that created a government." The document is printed here in

Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Allmighty God by the wise disposition
of his divyne providence so to Order and dispose of things that we the
Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Harteford and Wethersfield are
now cohabiting and dwelling in and uppon the River of Conectecotte
and the Lands thereunto adjoyneing; And well knowing where a people
are gathered togather the word of God requires that to mayntayne the
peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent
Goverment established according to God, to order and dispose of the
affayres of the people at all seasons as occation shall require; doe
therefore assotiate and conjoyne our selves to be as one Publike
State or Commonwelth; and doe, for our selves and our Successors and
such as shall be adjoyned to us att any tyme hereafter, enter into
Combination and Confederation togather, to mayntayne and presearve
the liberty and purity of the gospell of our Lord Jesus which we now
professe, as also the disciplyne of the Churches, which according to
the truth of the said gospell is now practised amongst us; As also in
our Civell Affaires to be guided and governed according to such Lawes,
Rules, Orders and decrees as shall be made, ordered and decreed, as

1. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that there shall be yerely
two generall Assemblies or Courts, the on [_one_] the second thursday
in Aprill, the other the second thursday in September, following; the
first shall be called the Courte of Election, wherein shall be yerely
Chosen from tyme to tyme soe many Magestrats and other publike Officers
as shall be found requisitte: Whereof one to be chosen Governour
for the yeare ensueing and untill another be chosen, and noe other
Magestrate to be chosen for more than one yeare; provided allwayes
there be sixe chosen besids the Governour; which being chosen and
sworne according to an Oath recorded for that purpose shall have power
to administer justice according to the Lawes here established, and for
want thereof according to the rule of the word of God; which choise
shall be made by all that are admitted freemen and have taken the Oath
of Fidellity, and doe cohabitte within this Jurisdiction, (having beene
admitted Inhabitants by the major part of the Towne wherein they live,)
or the major parte of such as shall be then present.

2. It is Ordered, sentensed and decreed, that the Election of the
aforesaid Magestrats shall be on this manner: every person present
and quallified for choyse shall bring in (to the persons deputed to
receave them) one single paper with the name of him written in yt whom
he desires to have Governour, and he that hath the greatest number of
papers shall be Governor for that yeare. And the rest of the Magestrats
or publike Officers to be chosen in this manner: The Secretary for the
tyme being shall first read the names of all that are to be put to
choise and then shall severally nominate them distinctly, and every
one that would have the person nominated to be chosen shall bring in
one single paper written uppon, and he that would not have him chosen
shall bring in a blanke: and every one that hath more written papers
then blanks shall be a Magistrat for that yeare; which papers shall
be receaved and told by one or more that shall be then chosen by the
court and sworne to be faythfull therein; but in case there should not
be sixe chosen as aforesaid, besids the Governor, out of those which
are nominated, then he or they which have the most written papers shall
be a Magestrate or Magestrats for the ensueing yeare, to make up the
foresaid number.

3. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Secretary shall not
nominate any person, nor shall any person be chosen newly into the
Magestracy which was not propownded in some Generall Courte before, to
be nominated the next Election; and to that end yt shall be lawfull for
ech of the Townes aforesaid by their deputyes to nominate any two whom
they conceave fitte to be put to Election; and the Courte may ad so
many more as they judge requisitt.

4. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed that noe person be chosen
Governor above once in two yeares, and that the Governor be alwayes a
member of some approved congregation, and formerly of the Magestracy
within this Jurisdiction; and all the Magestrats Freemen of this
Commonwelth: and that no Magestrate or other publike officer shall
execute any parte of his or their Office before they are severally
sworne, which shall be done in the face of the Courte if they be
present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose.

5. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that to the aforesaid Courte
of Election the severall Townes shall send their deputyes, and when
the Elections are ended they may proceed in any publike searvice as
at other Courts. Also the Generall Courte in September shall be for
makeing of lawes, and any other publike occation, which conserns the
good of the Commonwelth.

6. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Governor shall, ether
by himselfe or by the secretary, send out summons to the Constables
of every Towne for the cauleing of these two standing Courts, on
[_one_] month at lest before their severall tymes: And also if the
Governor and the gretest parte of the Magestrats see cause uppon any
spetiall occation to call a generall Courte, they may give order to
the secretary soe to doe within fowerteene dayes warneing; and if
urgent necessity so require, uppon a shorter notice, giveing sufficient
grownds for yt to the deputyes when they meete, or els be questioned
for the same; And if the Governor and [_major_] parte of Magestrats
shall ether neglect or refuse to call the two Generall standing
Courts or ether of them, as also at other tymes when the occations of
the Commonwelth require, the Freemen thereof, or the Major parte of
them, shall petition to them soe to doe: if then yt be ether denyed or
neglected the said Freemen or the Major parte of them shall have power
to give order to the Constables of the severall Townes to doe the same,
and so may meete togather, and chuse to themselves a Moderator, and may
proceed to do any Acte of power, which any other Generall Courte may.

7. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed that after there are warrants
given out for any of the said Generall Courts, the Constable or
Constables of ech Towne shall forthwith give notice distinctly to the
inhabitants of the same, in some Publike Assembly or by goeing or
sending from howse to howse, that at a place and tyme by him or them
lymited and sett, they meet and assemble them selves togather to elect
and chuse certen deputyes to be at the General Courte then following to
agitate the afayres of the commonwelth; which said Deputyes shall be
chosen by all that are admitted Inhabitants in the severall Townes and
have taken the oath of fidellity; provided that non be chosen a Deputy
for any Generall Courte which is not a Freeman of this Commonwelth.

The foresaid deputyes shall be chosen in manner following: every person
that is present and quallified as before expressed, shall bring the
names of such, written in severall papers as they desire to have chosen
for that Imployment, and these 3 or 4, more or lesse, being the number
agreed on to be chosen for that tyme, that have greatest number of
papers written for them shall be deputyes for that Courte; whose names
shall be endorsed on the backe side of the warrant and returned into
the Courte, with the Constable or Constables hand unto the same.

8. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that Wyndsor, Hartford and
Wethersfield shall have power, ech Towne, to send fower of their
freemen as their deputyes to every Generall Courte; and whatsoever
other Townes shall be hereafter added to this Jurisdiction, they shall
send so many deputyes as the Courte shall judge meete, a resonable
proportion to the number of Freemen that are in the said Townes being
to be attended therein; which deputyes shall have the power of the
whole Towne to give their voats and alowance to all such lawes and
orders as may be for the publike good, and unto which the said Townes
are to be bownd.

9. It is ordered and decreed, that the deputyes thus chosen shall have
power and liberty to appoynt a tyme and a place of meeting togather
before any Generall Courte to advise and consult of all such things as
may concerne the good of the publike, as also to examine their owne
Elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the gretest
parte of them find any election to be illegall they may seclud such for
[the] present from their meeting, and returne the same and their resons
to the Courte; and if yt prove true, the Courte may fyne the party or
partyes so intruding and the Towne, if they see cause, and give out
a warrant to goe to a newe election in a legall way, either in parte
or in whole. Also the said deputyes shall have power to fyne any that
shall be disorderly at their meetings, or for not comming in due tyme
or place according to appoyntment; and they may returne the said fynes
into the Courte if yt be refused to be paid, and the Tresurer to take
notice of yt, and to estreete or levy the same as he doth other fynes.

10. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that every Generall Courte,
except such as through neglecte of the Governor and the greatest
parte of Magestrats the Freemen themselves doe call, shall consist
of the Governor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, and 4
other Magestrats at lest, with the major parte of the deputyes of the
severall Townes legally chosen; and in case the Freemen or major parte
of them, through neglect or refusall of the Governor and major parte
of the magestrats, shall call a Courte, it shall consist of the major
parte of Freemen that are present or their deputyes, with a Moderator
chosen by them: In which said Generall Courts shall consist the
supreme power of the Commonwelth, and they only shall have power to
make lawes or repeale them, to graunt levyes, to admitt of Freemen,
dispose of lands undisposed of, to severall Townes or persons, and also
shall have power to call ether Courte or Magestrate or any other person
whatsoever into question for any misdemeanour, and may for just causes
displace or deale otherwise according to the nature of the offence;
and also may deale in any other matter that concerns the good of this
commonwelth, excepte election of Magestrats, which shall be done by the
whole boddy of Freemen.

In which Courte the Governour or Moderator shall have power to order
the Courte, to give liberty of spech, and silence unceasonable and
disorderly speakeings, to put all things to voate, and in case the vote
be equall to have the casting voice. But non of these Courts shall be
adjorned or dissolved without the consent of the major parte of the

11. It is ordered, sentenced and decreed, that when any Generall
Courte uppon the occations of the Commonwelth have agreed uppon any
summe or sommes of mony to be levyed uppon the severall Townes within
this Jurisdiction, that a Committee be chosen to sett out and appoynt
what shall be the proportion of every Towne to pay of the said levy,
provided the Committees be made up of an equall number out of each

[=Hints for Study.=--=1.=--This was a great democratic
constitution,--the first that ever "created a state." =_As a whole, it
is an innovation; but very few passages in it, taken by themselves,
are new._= The great bulk of the Orders came from Massachusetts'
practice of the preceding five years (1634-1638), and most of it
came, indeed, from express statutes of the older colony. Its peculiar
democracy consisted in (1) _selecting_ all the democratic features of
the Massachusetts government (leaving out all the more aristocratic
features), and (2) in _adding_ a very few other democratic features,
some of which these men had striven for in vain in Massachusetts.

_a._ For instances of selection:

(Article 1.) Massachusetts, during most of her history, had had "two
General Courts," the Spring Court being a "Courte of Election," in
which all magistrates were chosen for one year only.

(Articles 1, 2, 7, 9.) All the details of the elections of governor,
magistrates, and town deputies, come from Massachusetts' _practice_
in the years 1635-1638, as did also the provision for preliminary
caucusing by the deputies with control over their separate meetings.

Articles 5 and 10 may be compared with the democratic legislation of
Massachusetts in 1634 (No. 67 _b_ (2), above).

Many minor resemblances will occur to the advanced student familiar
with Massachusetts history.

_b._ Provisions which the democrats had wanted, but failed to secure,
in Massachusetts: ineligibility of the governor for immediate
reëlection (Article 4), and the method of nomination (Article 3;
adopted also in Massachusetts two years later).

_c._ Democratic innovations: (1) making the sessions of the legislature
independent of the will of the executive (Articles 6 and 10).
Massachusetts had made the General Court master of its own adjournment
but not of its meetings. Both the provisions were adopted by the Long
Parliament in England two years later. (2) Leaving the franchise to be
determined practically by the towns.

2.--Connecticut =did not reject theocracy=. Cf. the preamble and the
eligibility provision for the governorship. In practice, too, the
colony maintained a close union of Church and State. The restriction
of the franchise to church members was rejected, not because it was
theocratic, but because it was undemocratic.]


94. The Constitution

    The text is printed in the _New Haven Colonial Records_ and in the
    _Plymouth Colony Records_ (IX). For the history of the formation of
    the Confederation, see _American History and Government_, ## 90, 91.




Whereas we all came into these parts of _America_, with one and the
same end and ayme, namely, to advance the Kingdome of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel, in purity with peace;
and whereas in our settling (by a wise providence of God) we are
further dispersed upon the Sea-Coast, and Rivers, then was at first
intended, so that we cannot (according to our desire) with convenience
communicate in one Government, and Jurisdiction; and whereas we live
encompassed with people of severall Nations, and strange languages,
which hereafter may prove injurious to us, and our posterity: And
forasmuch as the Natives have formerly committed sundry insolencies
and outrages upon severall Plantations of the English, and have of
late combined against us. And seeing by reason of the sad distractions
in _England_, which they have heard of, and by which they know we are
hindred both from that humble way of seeking advice, and reaping
those comfortable fruits of protection which, at other times, we might
well expect; we therefore doe conceive it our bounden duty, without
delay, to enter into a present Consotiation amongst our selves, for
mutuall help and strength in all our future concernments, that, as in
Nation, and Religion, so, in other respects, we be, and continue, One,
according to the tenour and true meaning of the ensuing Articles.

I. Wherefore it is fully Agreed and Concluded by and between the
parties, or Jurisdictions above named, and they doe joyntly and
severally by these presents agree and conclude, That they all be,
and henceforth be called by the name of, _The United Colonies of

II. The said United Colonies for themselves, and their posterties doe
joyntly and severally hereby enter into a firm and perpetuall league
of friendship and amity, for offence and defence, mutuall advice and
succour, upon all just occasions, both for preserving and propagating
the truth, and liberties of the Gospel, and for their own mutuall
safety, and wellfare.

III. It is further agreed, That the Plantations which at present are,
or hereafter shall be settled within the limits of the _Massachusets_,
shall be forever under the Government of the _Massachusets_. And shall
have peculiar Jurisdiction amongst themselves, as an intire body; and
that _Plimouth_, _Connecticut_, and _New-Haven_, shall each of them,
in all respects, have the like peculiar Jurisdiction, and Government
within their limits....

IV. It is also by these Confederates agreed, That the charge of all
just Wars, whether offensive, or defensive, upon what part or Member
of this Confederation soever they fall, shall both in men, provisions,
and all other disbursements, be born by all the parts of this
Confederation, in different proportions, according to their different
abilities, in manner following, namely, That the Commissioners for
each Jurisdiction, from time to time, as there shall be occasion,
bring a true account and number of all the Males in each Plantation,
or any way belonging to, or under their severall Jurisdictions, of
what quality, or condition soever they be, from sixteen years old,
to threescore, being inhabitants there. And that according to the
different numbers, which from time to time shall be found in each
Jurisdiction, upon a true, and just account, the service of men, and
all charges of the war, be born by the poll: Each Jurisdiction, or
Plantation, being left to their own just course, and custome, of rating
themselves, and people, according to their different estates, with due
respect to their qualities and exemptions among themselves, though
the Confederation take no notice of any such priviledge. And that,
according to the different charge of each Jurisdiction, and Plantation,
the whole advantage of the War (if it please God so to blesse their
endeavours) whether it be in Lands, Goods, or persons, shall be
proportionably divided among the said Confederates.

V. It is further agreed, That if any of these Jurisdictions, or any
Plantation under, or in Combination with them, be invaded by any enemy
whomsoever, upon notice, and request of any three Magistrates of
that Jurisdiction so invaded, The rest of the Confederates, without
any further meeting or expostulation, shall forthwith send ayde to
the Confederate in danger, but in different proportion, namely the
_Massachusets_ one hundred men sufficiently armed, and provided for
such a service, and journey. And each of the rest five and forty men,
so armed and provided, or any lesse number, if lesse be required,
according to this proportion. ... But none of the Jurisdictions to
exceed these numbers, till by a meeting of the Commissioners ... a
greater ayde appear necessary....

VI. It is also agreed, That for the managing and concluding of all
affaires proper to, and concerning the whole Confederation, two
Commissioners shall be chosen by, and out of the foure Jurisdictions,
namely two for the _Massachusets_, two for _Plimouth_, two for
_Connecticut_, and two for _New-haven_, being all in Church-fellowship
with us, which shall bring full power from their severall generall
Courts respectively, to hear, examine, weigh, and determine all
affaires of war, or peace, leagues, aydes, charges, and numbers of men
for war, division of spoyles, or whatsoever is gotten by conquest,
receiving of more confederates, or Plantations into Combination with
any of these Confederates, and all things of like nature, which are
the proper concomitants, or consequences of such a Confederation, for
amity, offence, and defence, not intermedling with the Government or
any of the Jurisdictions, which by the third Article, is preserved
entirely to themselves. But if these eight Commissioners when they
meet, shall not all agree, yet it is concluded, =That any six of the
eight agreeing, shall have power to settle and determine the businesse
in question=. =But if six doe not agree, that then such Propositions=,
with their Reasons, so far as they have been debated, =be sent, and
referred to the foure Generall Courts=, _viz._ The Massachusetts,
Plymouth, Connectecut, and New-haven. ... It is further agreed,
That these eight Commissioners shall meet once every year, besides
extraordinary meetings, according to the fifth Article to consider,
treat, and conclude of all affaires belonging to this Confederation,
which meeting shall ever be the first _Thursday_ in _September_.
[Provision for meeting at the several capital cities in rotation.]

VII. It is further agreed, That at each meeting of these eight
Commissioners, whether ordinary or extraordinary; they all, or any
six of them agreeing as before, may choose their President out of
themselves ... [to secure] a comely carrying on of all proceedings in
the present meeting. But he shall be invested with no such power or
respect, as by which, he shall hinder the propounding or progresse
of any businesse, or any way cast the scales, otherwise then in the
precedent Article is agreed.

VIII. It is also agreed, That the Commissioners for this Confederation
hereafter at their meetings, whether ordinary or extraordinary, as
they may have Commission or opportunity, doe endeavour to frame and
establish Agreements and Orders in generall cases of a civil nature,
wherein all the Plantations are interested, for preserving peace
amongst themselves, and preventing (as much as may be) all occasions of
war, or differences with others, as about the free and speedy passage
of Justice in each Jurisdiction, to all the Confederates equally,
as to their own, receiving those that remove from one Plantation to
another, without due Certificates, how all the Jurisdictions may
carry it towards the _Indians_, that they neither grow insolent, nor
be injured without due satisfaction, least War break in upon the
Confederates, through such miscarriages. It is also agreed, That
if any Servant run away from his Master, into any other of these
Confederated Jurisdictions, That in such case, upon the Certificate of
one Magistrate in the Jurisdiction, out of which the said Servant fled,
or upon other due proof, the said Servant shall be delivered either to
his Master, or any other that pursues, and brings such Certificate,
or proof. And that upon the escape of any Prisoner whatsoever, or
fugitive, for any Criminall Cause, whether breaking Prison, or getting
from the Officer, or otherwise escaping, upon the Certificate of two
Magistrates of the Jurisdiction out of which the escape is made, that
he was a prisoner or such an offendor, at the time of the escape,
the Magistrates of that Jurisdiction where for the present the said
prisoner or fugitive abideth, shall forthwith grant such a Warrant as
the case will bear, for the apprehending of any such person, and the
delivery of him into the hand of the person who pursueth him....

[IX. No one of the confederates to engage in any (offensive) war,
without the vote of the commissioners, "as in the sixth Article is

XI. It is further agreed, That if any of the Confederates shall
hereafter break any of these presents Articles, or be any other
way injurious to any one of the other Jurisdictions, such breach
of Agreement, or injury, shalbe duly considered and ordered by the
Commissioners for the other Jurisdictions, that both peace, and this
present Confederation, may be intirely preserved without violation.

Lastly, this perpetuall Confederation, and the severall Articles and
Agreements thereof, being read and seriously considered, [statement of
subscription by authority of the respective confederate governments.]

95. Massachusetts Demands More Weight

    _Plymouth Colony Records_, I, 16-17, 118-120, 126-128.

   (1) _At a meetinge of the Commissioners for the united Colonies
       in New England at Hartford the fift of September 1644_

... The Commissioners for the Massachusetts mooved that a due order
might be attended in the subscriptions of the Acts and determinacions
of this and any future meetings of the Commissioners for the united
Colonies, and expressed not onely their owne apprehensions but the
judgment of their generall Court, That by the Articles of Confederacion
the first place did of Right belong to the Massachusetts, as being
first named and so the other Colonies in like order. Which being taken
into consideracion, and the Articles of Confederacion read, It appeared
evidently to the Comissioners that no such priviledge had beene
ever ... graunted ... by the Comissioners for the Jurisdicions in
either of their former meetings, and yet the first subscription was
made in the presence of the generall Court of the Massachusetts. And
to prevent future inconvenience upon this occation, they thought fitt
to declare that this Commission is free and may not receive any thing
(not expresly agreed in the Articles) as imposed by any generall Court;
yet out of their respects to the Government of the Massachusetts they
did _willingly_ graunt that their Comissioners [those of Massachusetts]
should first subscribe after the President in this and all future
meetings, and the Comissioners for the other Colonies in such order as
they are named in the Articles; viz., Plymouth, Conectacutt, and New

       *       *       *       *       *

(2) _At a Meting of the Commissioners of the United colonyes of New
England: held at New Plymouth the 7th, 7th, 1648_

... the Comissioners for the Matathusetts presented to the Comissioners
of the other Colonyes a writeing from a Comitee of theire Generall
Courte desiering that a dew Consideracion may bee had thereof, in
answer to the Severall pticulers. The wrighting is as Followeth....

    "Wheareas in Cace sixe of the Comissioners shall not agree the
    Cause is to be refered to the fouer Generall Courtes, and by theire
    Joynte agrements to be determined, etc.,--to be considered if it
    were not more expedient to bee determined upon the agrement of any
    three of them....

    "Wheareas by the .6. Article each of the Colonyes is to have two
    Comissioners, and the Colony of the Matathusetts beares almost
    five for one in the proportion of Charge with any one of the
    rest, they desier to have one Comissioner more; or otherwise they
    shall be content that any other of the Colonyes shall have the
    same priviledg to have three Comissioners to the other twoe, if
    such Colonyes will beare the Licke proporcion of Chardg with the
    Matathusetts. ..."

The Comissioners having perused and with dew Respect Considered the
former proposicions....

In caces proper to the Comissioners wheareas by the sixth article, if
sixe Agree not, the proposicions with the Reasons are to be Refered
to the Fower Generall Courts: the Comissioners aproveing the Mocion
made by the Comity of the Masachusets doe recomend it to the Fower
Generall Courts that, if any ... three of the saide Courts agree ...
of any such proposicion, it shall passe and bee accoumpted as the
Conclusion of the united Colonyes, as it should have passed as ane
act of the Comissioners if sixe of them had consented: For the 5th,
sixth and seventh proposicions presented from the Comissioners of the
Masachusetts, Importeing a reall Chang in the tearmes and Covenants of
Confideration,--as noe alteracion Can bee made without the Consent of
all and each of the Generall Courts, soe the Comissioners Feare that
any of the Alteracions mencioned would prove dangerous and Inconvenient
to all or som of the Colonyes. The tacken [taking] of the Number of
malles they hope need not bee frequent; Nor, as it hath been Caryed by
the Comissioners, inconvenient. In point of the seventh proposicion
they Conscaive there is a mistack: the Lardge trade of the Masachusets,
besides theire Numbers, afford many advantages in Reference to estates
which the other Colonyes wante; but (it is from the Free grace of
god that all and each have what they have) they diser [them] to bee

96. Nullification by Massachusetts

    _Plymouth Colony Records_, X, 74-76. Cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 93. The following extracts from a declaration of
    the Massachusetts General Court put an end to the attempt of the
    other three colonies in the New England Confederation to force
    Massachusetts to join in a war against New Netherlands.

_The question propounded by the General Court of the Massachusetts_
[_June 2/12, 1653_].

... Whether the Comissioners of the united Collonies have power by
articles of agreement to determine the Justice of an offencive or
vindictive warr and to engage the Collonies therin;

The Answare of the Committies to the question,--first more particularly
from the Articles:

The whole power of Government and Jurisdiction is in the 3d and sixt
Articles refered to every Collonie whoe sawe not meet to divest
themselves of theire authoritie to Invest the Comissioners with any
part therof being altogether unsafe and unnessesary to attaine the end
of the Confeaderation;

The 9. and 10th Articles constituteth the Comissioners Judges of the
Justice of a defencive warr

The 4th and 5th settle Rules for Leagues, Aides, and number in a
defencive warr, and devisions of spoiles; but noe where provide for
the determination of the Justice of an offencive warr, which therfore
is refered wholy to the Determination of the Supreame Power of the
severall Confeaderate Jurisdictions, whoe would have otherwise provided
in the case.

The sixt Article, which att first view seemes to Inable the
Comissioners, will evidently evince the Contrary. For, the
Confederation being betwixt the Collonies, the 4th, and fift, 9, and
10th Articles provid Rules in severall Cases according to which the
Confeaderates have bound themselves to Acte; And the sixt Article
onely orders and appoints whoe and in what mannor the said Rules and
agreements should bee executed viz. by Comissioners Improved to acte
in cases specif[y]ed and regulated,--for theire number, mannor of
proceeding, times and places of meeting, in the sixt and seaventh
Articles; And that by nessesitie; because the supreame power of the
severall Jurisdictions Could not assemble, they were enforced to
Substitute deligates to order such things as were of present and
urgent Nessesitie, or meerly prudenciall or polliticall or of Inferior
nature, and that according to _themselves_ [the Rules] prescribed by
the Confeaderates. But such things [as] require the Choise Actes of
Authoritie; or [are] in theire nature of Morrall Consideration and may
admite of more time of Deliberation (as an offencive warr), The Wisdome
of the Countrivers of the Confederacy did not Judg meete to Refere to
Comissioners, and therfore [they] have not provided any Rules in such
cases in these Consernments as they did in all cases of an Inferior

_More Generally_:[88] The Comissioners of the united Collonies are
not, soe fare as wee can deserne, Invested with power to Conclude an
offencive warr to engage the Collonies to which they belonge to put
the same in execution further then they are enabled by Comission or
Instructions under the seale of theire Collonie; much lesse can it
stand with the Jurisdiction and Right of Government reserved to ever[y]
Collonie for six Comissioners of the other Collonies to put forth
any Acte of power in a vindictive warr wherby they shall comaund the
Collonie decenting to assist them in the same; neither can it bee the
meaning of the severall Collonies whoe are soe tender of theire power
in Governing theire owne that they should put theire power out of
theire owne hands in the most waighty points (A bondage hardly to bee
borne by the most Subjective people), And cannot bee conceived soe free
a people as the united Collonies should submite unto;

It can bee noe lesse then _a contradiction_ to affeirme the Supreame
power (which wee take to bee the Generall Courts of every Jurisdiction)
can bee comaunded by others: _an absurditie in pollicye_, that an
Intire Government and Jurisdiction should prostitute itselfe to the
Comaund of Strangers; _a Scandall in Religion_, that a generall court
of Christians should bee oblidged to acte and engage upon the faith of
six Delligates against theire Consience;--all which must bee admited in
case wee acknowlidg ourselves bound to undertake an offencive warr upon
the bare determination of the Comissioners, whoe can not nor ever did
challenge Authoritie over us, or expecte Subjection from us....

    [Observe that the Massachusetts government did flatly nullify a
    decree of the federal congress of the United Colonies. However,
    it tried to justify itself, not by an avowal of its power, but by
    a constitutional argument. Massachusetts claimed first that the
    sixth article (which made the vote of six commissioners binding
    upon the whole confederation) could apply only to such matters as
    have been plainly referred to the Commissioners by other parts
    of the Constitution; and second, that the authority claimed by
    the federal Congress was inconsistent with the fundamental idea
    of a confederation, even as it had been understood by the other

    John Fiske says that this argument begins "the development of
    constitutional law, in the American sense,"--as an attempt to
    interpret a written constitution. The whole debate makes an
    interesting prelude to the later arguments of the nullifiers and
    secessionists in the nineteenth century.]


[88] This paragraph begins the second half of the argument,--based not
on the particular Articles of Confederation, but upon the nature of
such federal government in general.


    =The documents selected for this period are much more isolated than
    those given above for the earlier colonial period. It is usually
    impossible in a class to do more than use a few illustrative
    sources for this long and difficult period; and some documents
    which might be expected are omitted because of the extracts given
    from them in the _American History and Government_.=


97. The Connecticut Charter

                        April 23/May 3, 1662

    _Connecticut Colonial Records_, II, 3-11.

    The complete document would fill some ten pages of this volume.
    Parts of it are plainly copied from the Massachusetts Bay charter
    of 1629. Indeed the whole document has the _form_ of a charter
    to a _proprietary_ "_Company_." This company, however, was a
    "_Corporation upon the place_," not a corporation in England
    managing a distant property. It was the first such corporation to
    receive a grant from the crown.

    The parts of the charter here given are selected to show (1) the
    powers of self-government and (2) the inclusion of New Haven.
    The charter was adopted as the State Constitution in 1776, and
    continued in force, with very slight change, until 1818.

#Charles the Second#, [&c.] =Whereas= ... Severall Lands, ... and
Plantations have byn ... setled in that parte of ... America called New
England, and thereby the Trade ... there hath byn of late yeares much
increased, =And whereas=, We have byn informed by the humble Petition
of our Trusty and welbeloved John Winthrop [and eighteen others], being
Persons Principally interested in our Colony ... of Conecticutt in
New England, that the same Colony ... was purchased and obteyned for
greate and valuable considerations, and thereby become a considerable
enlargment and addition of our Dominions and interest there,--=Now Know
yee=, that in Consideration thereof, and in regard the said Colony is
remote from other the English Plantations in the Places aforesaid,
And to the end the Affaires and Busines which shall from tyme to
tyme happen or arise concerning the same may bee duely Ordered and
managed, Wee ... Doe Ordeine, Constitute and Declare That they, the
said John Winthrop [and others] =_and all such others as now are or
hereafter shall bee Admitted and made free of the Company and Society
of our Collony of Conecticut in America_=, shall ... bee one Body
Corporate and Pollitique in fact and name, by the Name of _Governour
and Company of the English Collony of Conecticut in New England in
America_; ... =And= further, wee ... =Doe= Declare and appoint, that
for the better ordering and manageing of the affairs and businesse of
the said Company and their Successors, there shall be one Governour,
one Deputy Governour, and Twelve Assistants, to bee from tyme to tyme
Constituted, Elected and Chosen out of the Freemen of the said Company
for the tyme being, in such manner and forme as hereafter in these
presents is expressed. And ... =Wee doe= ... Constitute and appoint
the aforesaid John Winthrop to bee the first and present Governour of
the said Company; [appointment of Deputy Governor and Assistants]; to
continue in the said severall Offices respectively untill the second
Thursday which shall bee in the Moneth of October now next comeing.
=And= further, wee ... =Doe= Ordaine and Graunt that the Governour ...
for the tyme being, or, in his absence ... the Deputy Governour ...
shall and may ... upon all occasions give Order for the assembling
of the said Company ... to Consult and advice of the businesse and
Affaires of the said Company, And that for ever hereafter, Twice in
every yeare, (That is to say,) on every second Thursday in October
and on every second Thursday in May, or oftener, in Case it shall be
requisite, The Assistants and freemen of the said Company, or such
of them (not exceeding twoe Persons from each place, Towne or Citty)
whoe shall bee from tyme to tyme thereunto Elected or Deputed by the
major parte of the freemen of the respective Townes ... shall have a
generall meeting or Assembly, then and their to Consult and advise in
and about the Affaires and businesse of the said Company; And that the
Governour, or ... Deputy Governour ..., and such of the Assistants
and freemen of the said Company as shall be soe Elected or Deputed
and bee present att such meeting or Assembly, or the greatest number
of them (whereof the Governour or Deputy Governour and Six of the
Assistants, at least, to bee Seaven) shall be called the =_Generall
Assembly, and shall have full power and authority to alter and change
their dayes and tymes of meeting or General Assemblies for Electing
the Governour Deputy Governour and Assistants or other Officers, or
any other Courts, Assemblies or meetings, and to Choose, Nominate and
appoint such and soe many other Persons as they shall thinke fitt and
shall bee willing to accept the same, to bee free of the said Company
and Body Politique, and them into the same to Admitt and to Elect, and
Constitute such Officers as they shall thinke fitt and requisite for
the Ordering, mannageing, and disposeing of the Affaires of the said
Governour and Company and their Successors_. And wee doe hereby ...
_Establish and Ordeine, that once in the yeare ..., namely, the said
Second Thursday in May, the Governour, Deputy Governour and Assistants
of the said Company and other Officers of the said Company, or such
of them as the said Generall Assembly shall thinke fitt, shall bee,
in the said Generall Court and Assembly to bee held from that day or
tyme, newly Chosen for the yeare ensuing, by such greater part of the
said Company for the tyme being then and there present_. ... And wee
doe further= ... Graunt that it ... shall ... bee lawfull [for any
General Assembly,] to Erect and make ... Judicatories for the heareing
and Determining of all Actions ... =_And alsoe from tyme to tyme to
Make, Ordaine, and Establish All mannner of wholesome and reasonable
Lawes, Satutes, Ordinances ... and Instructions, not contrary to the
lawes of this Realme of England ... which they shall find needfull for
the Government ... of the said Colony_=. ... =And Knowe yee further=,
That Wee ... Doe give, Graunt and Confirme unto the said Governor and
Company and their Successors, All that parte of our Dominions in New
England in America bounded on the East by Norrogancett River, comonly
called Norrogancett Bay, where the said River falleth into the Sea, and
on the North by the lyne of the Massachusetts Plantation, and on the
South by the Sea, and in longitude as the lyne of the Massachusetts
Colony, runinge from East to West, (that is to say,) from the said
Norrogancett Bay on the East to the South Sea on the West....

98. The Rhode Island Charter

                            July 8/18, 1663

    _Rhode Island Colonial Records_, II, 3-20.

    John Clarke, an agent for the colony, presented a petition for a
    charter to Charles II in January, 1661.

... =Whereas= we have been informed ... on behalf of Benjamine Arnold,
William Brenton [here follow twelve names] and the rest of the
purchasers and ffree inhabitants of our island, called #Rhode-Island#,
and the rest of the colonie of Providence Plantations, in the
Narragansett Bay, in New-England, in America, that they, pursueing,
with peaceable and loyall mindes, their sober, serious and religious
intentions, of godlie edifieing themselves, and one another, in the
holie Christian ffaith and worshipp _as they were perswaded_: togother
with the gaineing over and conversione of the poore ignorant Indian
natives, in those partes of America, to the sincere professione and
obedienc of the same ffaith and worship, did, not onlie by the consent
and good encouragement of our royall progenitors, transport themselves
out of this kingdome of England into America, but alsoe, since their
arrivall there, after their first settlement amongst other our subjects
in those parts, ffor the avoideing of discorde, and those manie evills
which were likely to ensue upon some of those oure subjects not beinge
able to beare, in these remote partes, theire different apprehensiones
in religious concernments, and in pursueance of the afforesayd ends,
did once againe leave theire desireable stationes and habitationes, and
with excessive labor and travell, hazard and charge, did transplant
themselves into the middest of the Indian natives, who, as wee are
infformed, are the most potent princes and people of all that country;
where, by the good Providence of God, from whome the Plantationes have
taken their name, upon theire labour and industrie, they have not onlie
byn preserved to admiration, but have increased and prospered, and are
seized and possessed, by purchase and consent of the said natives,
to their ffull content, of such lands, islands, rivers, harbours and
roades, as are verie convenient, both for plantationes and alsoe for
buildinge of shipps, suplye of pype-staves, and other merchandize;
and which lyes verie commodious, in manie respects, for commerce,
and to accomodate oure southern plantationes, and may much advance
the trade of this oure realme, and greatlie enlarge the territories
thereof; they haveinge, by neare neighbourhoode to and friendlie
societie with the greate bodie of the Narragansett Indians, given them
encouragement, of theire owne accorde, to subject themselves, theire
people and landes, unto us; whereby, as is hoped, there may, in due
tyme, by the blessing of God upon theire endeavours, bee layd a sure
ffoundation of happinesse to all America: =#And whereas#, _in theire
humble addresse, they have ffreely declared, that it is much on their
hearts (if they may be permitted), to hold forth a livelie experiment,
that a most flourishing civill state may stand and best bee maintained,
and that among our English subjects, with a full libertie in religious
concernements; and that true pietye rightly grounded upon gospell
principles, will give the best and greatest security to sovereignetye,
and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true
loyaltie:_ #Now know yee#, _that wee beinge willinge to encourage the
hopefull undertakeinge of oure sayd loyall and loveinge subjects, and
to secure them in the free exercise and enjoyment of all theire civill
and religious rights, appertaining to them, as our loveing subjects;
and to preserve unto them that libertye, in the true Christian
ffaith and worshipp of God, which they have sought with soe much
travaill, and with peaceable myndes, and loyall subjectione to our
royall progenitors and ourselves, to enjoye; and because some of the
people and inhabitants of the same colonie cannot, in theire private
opinions, conforme to the publique exercise of religion, according
to the litturgy, formes and ceremonyes of the Church of England, or
take or subscribe the oaths and articles made and established in that
behalfe; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances
of those places, will_= (=_as wee hope_=) =_bee noe breach of the
unitie and unifformitie established in this nation: ... doe hereby ...
declare, That our royall will and pleasure is, that noe person within
the sayd colonye, at any tyme hereafter, shall bee any wise molested,
punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in
opinione in matters of religion, and_ [_i.e., if he_] _doe not actually
disturb the civill peace of our sayd colony; but that all and everye
person and persons may, from tyme to tyme, and at all tymes hereafter,
freelye and fullye have and enjoye his and theire owne judgments and
consciences, in matters of religious concernments, throughout the tract
of lande hereafter mentioned; they behaving themselves peaceablie
and quietlie, and not useing this libertie to lycentiousnesse and
profanenesse, nor to the civill injurye or outward disturbeance of
others; any lawe, statute, or clause, therein contayned, or to bee
contayned, usage or custome of this realme, to the contrary hereof,
in any wise, notwithstanding._= And that they may bee in the better
capacity to defend themselves, in theire just rights and libertyes ...
#wee# ... doe ordeyne, ... That they, the sayd William Brenton ...
[and others] and all such others as now are, or hereafter shall bee
admitted and made ffree of the company and societie of our collonie of
Providence Plantations, in the Narragansett Bay, in New-England, shall
bee, from tyme to tyme, and forever hereafter, a bodie corporate and
politique, ... by the name of #The Governour and Company of the English
Collonie of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, in New-England,
in America.# ... #And further#, wee ... doe declare ... that ... there
shall bee one Governour, one Deputie-Governour and ten Assistants, to
bee from tyme to tyme, constituted, elected and chosen, out of the
freemen of the sayd Company, for the tyme beinge, in such manner and
fforme as is hereafter in these presents expressed. ... [First set of
magistrates named, to continue until the next Court.] #And further#,
wee ... doe ordeyne ... that the Governor of the sayd Company, for
the tyme being, or, in his absence, by occassion of sicknesse, or
otherwise, by his leave and permission, the Deputy-Governor, ffor the
tyme being, shall and may, ffrom tyme to tyme, upon all occassions,
give order ffor the assemblinge of the sayd Company, and callinge
them together, to consult and advise of the businesse and affaires of
the sayd Company. #And that# forever hereafter, twice in every year,
that is to say, on every first Wednesday in the moneth of May, and
on every last Wednesday in October, or oftener, in case it shall bee
requisite, the Assistants, and such of the ffreemen of the Company,
not exceedinge six persons ffor Newport, ffoure persons ffor each of
the respective townes of Providence, Portsmouth and Warwicke, and two
persons for each other place, towne or city, whoe shall bee, from
tyme to tyme, thereunto elected or deputed by the majour parte of the
ffremen of the respective townes or places ... shall have a generall
meetinge, or Assembly then and there to ... determine ... the affaires
and businesse of the said Company and Plantations. #And further#,
wee doe ... give and graunt unto the sayd Governour and Company of
the English collony of #Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations#, in
New-England, in America, and theire successours, that the Governour,
or, in his absence, or, by his permission, the Deputy-Governour of the
sayd Company, for the tyme beinge, the Assistants, and such of the
ffreemen of the sayd Company as shall bee soe as aforesayd elected or
deputed, or soe many of them as shall bee present att such meetinge or
assemblye, as afforesayde, shall bee called the Generall Assemblye;
and that they, or the greatest parte of them present (whereof the
Governour or Deputy-Governour, and sixe of the Assistants, at least to
bee seven) shall have ... ffull power [and] authority, ffrom tyme to
tyme, and at all tymes hereafter, to apoynt, alter and change, such
dayes, tymes and places of meetinge and Generall Assemblye, as theye
shall thinke ffitt; #And further# [other powers of the Assembly, as in
the Connecticut Charter] ... wee doe ... establish and ordeyne, that
yearelie, once in the yeare, forever hereafter, namely, the aforesayd
Wednesday in May, and at the towne of Newport, or elsewhere, if urgent
occasion doe require, the Governour, Deputy-Governour and Assistants of
the sayd Company, and other officers of the sayd Company, or such of
them as the Generall Assemblye shall thinke ffitt, shall bee, in the
sayd Generall Court or Assembly to bee held from that daye or tyme,
newly chosen for the year ensueing, by such greater part of the sayd
Company, for the tyme beinge, as shall bee then and there present....

[Provisions for temporary government; for prevention of Indian troubles
in relation to other colonies; for boundaries, etc.] #And further#,
our will and pleasure is, that in all matters of publique controversy
which may fall out betweene our Collony of Providence Plantations,
and the rest of our Collonies in New-England, itt shall and may bee
lawful to and for the Governour and Company of the sayd Collony of
Providence Plantations to make their appeals therein to us, our
heirs and successours, for redresse in such cases, within this our
realme of England:[90] and that itt shall be lawfull to and for the
inhabitants of the sayd Collony of Providence Plantations, without let
or molestation, to passe and repasse with freedome, into and through
the rest of the English Collonies, upon their lawfull and civill
occasions, and to converse, and hold commerce and trade, with such of
the inhabitants of our other English Collonies as shall bee willing to
admitt them thereunto, they behaveing themselves peaceably among them;
any act, clause or sentence, in any of the sayd Collonies provided, or
that shall bee provided, to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding....


[89] For the conditions under which a despotic king granted these
amazingly liberal charters, cf. _American History and Government_.

[90] Observe, this is _not_ an appeal from the colonial court by _an
individual_. The clause has reference to the troubles, then recent,
between Rhode Island and Massachusetts--the latter having threatened to
exclude Rhode Island commerce.


99. Instructions for the Councill oppointed for Forraigne Plantations
(1660) by Charles II

    O'Callaghan's _Documents relative to the Colonial History of New
    York_ (1853), III, 34-36.

    For the significance of this first permanent "Colonial Department,"
    cf. _American History and Government_, # 95.

1. You shall informe yourselves by the best wayes and meanes you can
of the state and condicion of all Forraigne Plantac[i]ons, and by
what co[m]missions or authorities they are and have bene governed
and disposed of; and are to procure either from such persons as have
any graunts thereof from the Croun, or from the records themselves,
the copies of all such commissions or graunts, to be transcribed and
registered in a booke provided for that purpose, that you may be the
better able to understand judge and administer such affaires, as
by your commission and instruccions are intrusted to your care and

2. You shall forthwith write letters to evrie of our Governors for the
time being of all our English Plantacions and to evrie such person or
persons who by any Letters Pattents from us or any of our predcesors
doe claime or exercise a right of governement in any of the said
plantacions in which letteres you are to informe them of our gratious
care and provision in their behalfe both in erecting a General Councill
of Trade wherein their concernments are mingled and provided for with
the rest of our dominions and especially of this particular Councell
which is applyed only to the inspeccion care and conduct of Forraigne

3. You are in the said letters to require the said Governors and
persons above mesioned, to send unto you in writeing with the advise
of the Councell of evrie of the said plantacions respectively,
perticuler and exact accompt of the state of their affaires; of the
nature and constitucoin of their lawes and governement and in what
modell and frame they move and are disposed; what numbers of men; what
fortifications and other strengths and defences are upon the place, and
how furnished and provided for.

4. You are to order and settle such a continuall correspondencie
that you may be able, as often as you are required thereunto, to
give up to us an accompt of the Government of each Colonie; of their
complaints, their wants, their abundance; of their severall growths and
commodities; of every shipp trading there and its ladeing and whither
consigned; and what the proceeds of that place have beene in the late
yeares; that thereby the intrinsick value and the true condicion of
each part and of the whole may be thoroughly understood; whereby a
more steady judgement and ballance may be made for the better ordering
and disposing of trade and of the proceede and improvements of the
Plantacions; that soe each place within it selfe, and all of them being
collected into one viewe and management here, may be regulated and
ordered upon common and equall ground and principles.

5. You are to applie your selves to all prudentiall meanes for the
rendering those dominions usefull to England and England helpfull to
them, and for the bringing the severall Colonies and Plantacions,
within themselves, into a more certaine civill and uniforme goverenment
and for the better ordering and distributeing of publique justice among

6. You are to enquire diligently into the severall governments and
Councells of Colonies Plantacions and distant Dominions, belonging to
other Princes or States, and to examine by what conduct and pollicies
they governe or benefit them; and you are to consult and provide that
if such councells be good wholsome and practiceable, they may be
applied to the use of our Plantacions; or if they tend or were designed
to the prejudice or disadvantage thereof or of any of our subjects or
of trade or commerce, how they may be ballanced or turned back upon

       *       *       *       *       *

11. You are lastly required and impowered to advise order settle and
dispose of all matters relating to the good governmt improvement and
management of our Forraine Plantacôns or any of them, with your utmost
skill direccon and prudence. And in all cases wherein you shall judge
that further powers and assistants shall be necessary, you are to
addresse your selves to us [or] our Privy Councill for our further
pleasure resolucôn and direccôns therein.

100. The Commercial Policy

_a. "First"[91] Navigation Act, 1660_

    _Statutes of the Realm_, V, 246-250. The act is known as 12 Car.
    II, c. 18. The text would fill some ten pages of this volume. For
    history and references upon this and subsequent navigation acts,
    cf. _American History and Government_, ## 96, 116.

  AN ACT for the Encourageing and increasing of Shipping and

[1.] For the increase of Shiping and incouragement of the Navigation
of this Nation, (wherin, under the good providence and protection of
God, the Wealth, Safety, and Strength of this Kingdome is soe much
concerned), Bee it Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty and
by the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and
the Authoritie therof, that from and after [December 1, 1660], and
from thence forward, noe Goods or Commodities whatsoever shall be
Imported into or Exported out of any Lands, Islelands, Plantations,
or Territories to his Majesty belonging or in his possession or which
may hereafter belong unto or be in the possession of His Majesty His
Heires and Successors, in Asia, Africa, or America, in any other Ship
or Ships, Vessell or Vessells whatsoever, but in such Ships or Vessels
as doe truely and without fraude belong onely to the people of England
or Ireland, Dominion of Wales, or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede, or
are of the built of, and belonging to any of the said Lands, Islands,
Plantations, or Territories ... and whereof the Master and three
fourthes of the Marriners at least are English,[92] under the penalty
of the Forfeiture [of Vessell and Cargo]....

[III. In like words, limits the commerce of England herself to the same

[XVIII.] And it is further Enacted ... That from and after ...
[April 1, 1661] ... noe Sugars, Tobaccho, Cotton-Wool, Indicoes,
Ginger, Fustick, or other dyeing wood, of the Growth, Production, or
Manufacture of any English Plantations in America, Asia or Africa shall
be shiped, carryed, conveyed, or transported from any of the said
English Plantations to any Land, Island, Territory, Dominion, Port, or
place whatsoever, other than to such other English Plantations as doe
belong to His Majesty His Heires and Successors, or to the Kingdome of
England or Ireland or Principallity of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon
Tweede ... under penalty of forfeiture [as before]....

_b. Second Navigation Act, 1663_

    _Statutes of the Realm_, V, 449-452 (15 Car. II, c. 7).

    The act of 1660 had (1) "protected" English and colonial shipping
    by shutting out all other shipping from the English and colonial
    trade; and (2) it had "enumerated" a few semi-tropical products
    which colonies could export only to England. This act of 1663
    provides that all European imports to the colonies must be obtained
    through England.

AN ACT for the Encouragement of Trade.

[IV.] AND in reguard His Magesties Plantations beyond the Seas are
inhabited and peopled by His Subjects of this His Kingdome of England,
For the maintaining a greater correspondence and kindnesse betweene
them and keepeing them in a firmer dependance upon it, and rendring
them yet more beneficiall and advantagious unto it in the farther
Imployment and Encrease of English Shipping and Seamen, vent of
English Woollen and other Manufactures and Commodities, rendring the
Navigation to and from the same more safe and cheape, and makeing this
Kingdome a Staple not onely of the Commodities of those Plantations
but alsoe of the Commodities of other Countryes and Places for the
supplying of them, and it being the usage of other Nations to keepe
their Plantation Trade to themselves, _Be it enacted_, and it is hereby
enacted, That from and after [March 25, 1664], noe Commoditie of the
Growth, Production, or Manufacture, of Europe, shall be imported into
any Land, Island, Plantation, Colony, Territory, or Place, to His
Majestie belonging, or which shall [belong hereafter] unto, or be in
the Possession of His Majestie His Heires and Successors, in Asia,
Africa, or America, (Tangier onely excepted) but what shall be bona
fide and without fraude laden and shipped in England, Wales, [and] the
Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede, and in English built Shipping, ... and
whereof the Master and three Fourthes of the Marriners at least are
English, and which shall be carryed directly thence to the said Lands,
Islands, Plantations, Colonyes, Territories, or Places, and from noe
other place or places whatsoever, Any Law, Statute, or Usage, to the
contrary notwithstanding, under the Penaltie [of forfeiture of vessel
and cargo]....

[V.] PROVIDED alwayes ... That it shall and may be lawfull to shipp
and lade in such Shipps, and soe navigated as in the foregoeing Clause
is sett downe and expressed, _in any part of Europe_, Salt for the
Fisheries of New England and New found land, and to shipp and lade in
the Medera's Wines of the Growth thereof, and to shipp and lade in the
Westerne Islands or Azores Wines of the Growth of the said Islands,
and to shipp [or] take in Servants or Horses in Scotland or Ireland,
and to shipp or lade in Scotland all sorts of Victuall of the Growth
of Production of Scotland, and to shipp or lade in Ireland all sortes
of Victuall of the Growth or Production of Ireland, and the same to
transport into any of the said Lands, Islands, Plantations, Colonyes,
Territories, or Places, Any thing in the foregoeing Clause to the
contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

    [The extension of the navigation policy after 1690 to restrict
    American manufactures, with some additions to the "enumerated
    articles" in the First Navigation Act, is not illustrated in this
    volume. For this, with quotations from the laws, see _American
    History and Government_, # 116. But the following law (_c_) of
    the later period has so unique a significance that it is here
    inserted, out of its chronological order. Cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 116, note at close.]

_c. Sugar Act of 1733. May 17/27, 1733_

    Pickering's _Statutes at Large_, XVI, 374-379 (6 Geo. II, c. 13).
    (Italics only as in the original.)

_An act for the better securing and encouraging the trade of his
Majesty's sugar colonies in_ America.

WHEREAS _the welfare and prosperity of your Majesty's sugar colonies
in_ America _are of the greatest consequence and importance to the
trade, navigation and strength of this kingdom: and whereas the
planters of the said sugar colonies have of late years fallen under
such great discouragements, that they are unable to improve or carry on
the sugar trade upon an equal footing with the foreign sugar colonies,
without some advantage and relief be given to them from_ Great Britain:
for remedy whereof ... be it enacted ..., That from and after [December
25, 1733], there shall be raised, levied, collected and paid, unto and
for the use of his Majesty ..., upon all rum or spirits of the produce
or manufacture of any of the colonies or plantations in _America_,
not in the possession or under the dominion of his Majesty ..., which
at any time or times within or during the continuance of this act,
shall be imported or brought into any of the colonies or plantations
in _America_, which now are or hereafter may be in the possession or
under the dominion of his Majesty ..., the sum of nine pence, money of
_Great Britain_ ..., for every gallon thereof, and after that rate for
any greater or lesser quantity: and upon all molasses or syrups of such
foreign produce or manufacture as aforesaid, which shall be imported or
brought into any of the said colonies or plantations of or belonging
to his Majesty, the sum of six pence of like money for every gallon
thereof ... and upon all sugars and paneles of such foreign growth,
produce, or manufacture as aforesaid, which shall be imported into any
of the said colonies or plantations of or belonging to his Majesty, a
duty after the rate of five shillings of like money, for every hundred
weight _Avoirdupoize_....

[Sections II-VIII make provision for enforcing the act and for
extending its provisions to Ireland.]

IX. And it is hereby further enacted ..., That in case any sugar or
paneles of the growth, produce or manufacture of any of the colonies or
plantations belonging to or in the possession of his Majesty ..., which
shall have been imported into _Great Britain_ after the twenty-fourth
day of _June_ one thousand seven hundred and thirty-three, shall at
any time within one year after the importation thereof, be again
exported out of _Great Britain_, and that due proof be first made, by
certificate from the proper officers, of the due entry and payment
of the subsidies or duties charged or payable upon the importation
thereof, together with the oath of the merchant or his agent importing
and exporting the same, or in case such merchant or agent shall be one
of the people called _Quakers_, by his solemn affirmation to the truth
thereof, and that all other requisites shall be performed that are by
law to be performed in cases where any of the said subsidies or duties
are to be paid by any former statute, all the residue and remainder of
the subsidy or duty, by any former act or acts of parliament granted
and charged on such sugar or paneles as aforesaid, shall without any
delay or reward be repaid to such merchant or merchants, who do export
the same, within one month after demand thereof.[93]

[X. Rebate and bounty in England upon sugar refined from brown sugar
imported from English colonies.]

       *       *       *       *       *

101. The Duke of York's Charter for New York, March 12/22, 1663/4

    O'Callaghan's _Documents relating to the Colonial History of New
    York_, II, 295-298.

    This grant was made some months before the English were in actual
    possession of the territory. After the loss and recapture of the
    Province in 1673-1674, a second grant was issued by Charles II,
    practically identical with this one of 1664.

CHARLES the Second, ... [etc.] ... Know ye that we ... by these
presents for us Our heirs and Successors Do Give and Grant unto our
Dearest Brother James Duke of York his Heirs and Assigns All that part
of the maine Land of New England[94] ... [detailed bounds, the Duke
to pay yearly forty beaver skins, "when they shall be demanded, or
within ninety days after"]. And We do further ... Grant unto our said
Dearest Brother James Duke of York his Heirs, [etc] full and absolute
power and authority to correct, punish, pardon, govern and rule all
such the subjects of us Our Heirs and Successors who may from time
to time adventure themselves into any the parts or places aforesaid
or that shall or do at any time hereafter inhabit within the same,
_according to such Laws, Orders, Ordinances, Directions and Instruments
as by our said Dearest Brother or his Assigns shall be established_,
And in defect thereof, in cases of necessity, according to the good
discretions of his Deputies, Commissioners, Officers or Assigns
respectively, as well in all causes and matters Capital and Criminal as
civil both marine and others. So always as the said Statutes Ordinances
and proceedings be not contrary to but as near as conveniently may
be agreeable to the Laws, Statutes and Government of this Our Realm
of England And _saving and reserving to us our Heirs and Successors
the receiving, hearing and determining of the Appeal and Appeals of
all or any Person or Persons of in or belonging to the territories or
Islands aforesaid in or touching any Judgment or Sentence to be there
made or given_[95] And further that it shall and may be lawful to and
for our said Dearest Brother his Heirs and Assigns by these presents
from time to time to nominate, make, constitute, ordain and confirm by
such name or names stile or stiles as to him or them shall seem good
and likewise to revoke, discharge, change and alter as well all and
singular Governors, Officers and Ministers which hereafter shall be
by him or them thought fit and needful to be made or used within the
aforesaid parts and Islands And also to make, ordain and establish all
manner of Orders, Laws, directions, instructions, forms and Ceremonies
of Government and Magistracy fit and necessary for and Concerning the
Government of the territories and Islands aforesaid, so always as the
same be not contrary to the laws and statutes of this Our Realm of
England but as near as may be agreeable thereunto ... And We do
further ... Grant ... That it shall and may be lawful to and for
the said James Duke of York his heirs and Assigns in his or their
discretions from time to time to admit such and so many Person and
Persons to trade and traffic unto and within the Territories and
Islands aforesaid and into every or any part and parcel thereof and
to have possess and enjoy any Lands or Hereditaments in the parts
and places aforesaid, as they shall think fit, according to the Laws,
Orders, Constitutions and Ordinances by Our said Brother his Heirs,
Deputies, Commissioners and Assigns from time to time to be made and
established ... and under such conditions, reservations, and agreements
as Our said Brother his Heirs or Assigns shall set down, order, direct
and appoint, and not otherwise....

    [Observe the absence of any provision for participation by the
    settlers in lawmaking. The charter does not even contain the usual
    guarantee of the "rights of Englishmen," though the provision for
    appeals to English courts would secure such rights indirectly. Cf.
    _American History and Government_, # 109.]

102. Penn's Grant of Pennsylvania, March 4/14, 1680/88

    _Charters and Laws of Pennsylvania_ (Harrisburg, 1879), 81-90.

    Penn made the first draft of this charter from Baltimore's Maryland
    Charter of 1632, but the Attorney-General inserted several clauses
    which increased the authority of the English government, cf.
    _American History and Government_, # 110.

CHARLES THE SECOND [etc.]. ... _Whereas_ our Trustie and well beloved
Subject, William Penn, Esquire, sonn and heire of Sir William Penn,
deceased, out of a commendable desire to enlarge our English Empire,
and promote such usefull comodities as may bee of benefitt to us and
our Dominions, as alsoe to reduce the Savage Natives by gentle and
just manners to the love of civill Societie and Christian Religion
hath humbley besought leave of us to transport an ample colonie unto
a certaine Countrey hereinafter described in the partes of America
not yet cultivated and planted. And hath likewise humbley besought
our Royall Majestie to give, grant, and confirm all the said Countrey
with certaine priviledges and Jurisdiccons requisite for the good
Government and safetie of the said Countrey and Colonie, to him and his
heirs forever. =Knowe yee=, therefore, that wee favouring the petition
and good purpose of the said William Penn, and haveing regard to the
memorie and meritts of his late father ... by this Our present Charter,
for us, Our heires and successors, Doe give and grant unto the said
William Penn, his heires and assignes All that Tract or parte of land
in America, [the long and indefinite bounding clause follows.] ... and
him the said William Penn, his heires and Assignes, Wee do, by this
our Royall Charter ... make, ... the true and absolute Proprietaries
of the Countrey aforesaid, Saving unto us ... the Sovreignity of the
aforesaid Countrey ... To bee holden of us, our heires and Successors,
Kings of England, as of our Castle of Windsor, in our County of Berks,
in free and common socage by fealty only for all services, and not in
Capite or by Knights services, Yeelding and paying therefore ... two
beaver Skins to bee delivered att our said Castle of Windsor, on the
first day of Januarie, in every yeare; and also the fifth parte of
all Gold and Silver Oare, which shall from time to time happen to be
found within the Limitts aforesaid, cleare of all Charges, and ... wee
doe hereby erect the aforesaid Countrey and Islands, into a Province
and Seigniorie, and doe call itt _Pensilvania_ ..., And forasmuch as
wee have hereby made and ordeyned the aforesaid William Penn, his
heires and assignes, the true and absolute Proprietaries of all the
Lands and Dominions aforesaid. Know yee therefore, that wee reposing
speciall trust and Confidence in the fidelitie, wisdome, Justice, and
provident circumspeccon of the said William Penn ..., Doe grant free,
full and absolute power, by vertue of these presents to him and his
heires, and to his and their Deputies, and Lieutenants, for the good
and happy government of the said Countrey, to ordeyne, make, Enact,
and under his and their Seales to publish, any Lawes whatsoever, for
the raising money for the publick use of the said province, or for
any other End apperteyning either unto the publick state, peace, or
safety of the said Countrey, or unto the private utility of perticular
persons, according unto their best discretions, _by and with the
advice, assent, and approbacon of the freemen of the said Countrey,
or the greater parte of them, r of their Delegates or Deputies, whom
for the Enacting of the said Lawes, when, and as often as need shall
require, Wee will, that the said William Penn, and his heires, shall
assemble in such sort and forme as to him and them shall seeme best_,
and the same Lawes duely to execute unto, and upon all people within
the said Countrey and limitts thereof; And wee doe likewise give and
grant unto the said William Penn, and his heires, and to his and
their Deputies and Lieutenants, such power and authoritie to appoint
and establish any Judges, and Justices, Magistrates and Officers
whatsoever, for what Causes soever, for the probates of will and for
the granting of Administracons within the precincts aforesaid, and with
what power soever, and in such forme as to the said William Penn, or
his heires, shall seeme most convenient. Alsoe, to remitt, release,
pardon and abolish, whether before Judgement or after, all Crimes and
Offences whatsoever, comitted within the said Countrey, against the
said Lawes, Treason and wilfull and malicious Murder onely excepted;
and in those Cases, to Grant Reprieves untill Our pleasure may bee
knowne thereon, and to doe all and every other thing and things which
unto the compleate establishment of Justice unto Courts and Tribunals,
formes of Judicature and manner of proceedings doe belong, altho' in
these presents expresse mencon bee not made thereof; ... Provided,
Nevertheles, that the said Lawes bee consonant to reason, and bee not
repugnant or contrarie, but as neare as conveniently may bee agreeable
to the Lawes, Statutes and rights of this our Kingdome of England, _And
Saveing and reserving to us, Our heirs and Successors, the receiving,
heareing, and determining of the Appeale and Appeales, of all or any
person or persons, of, in or belonging to the Territories aforesaid, or
touching any Judgement to bee there made or given_ ... [In emergencies,
the proprietor or his representatives may make ordinances without
the consent of the freemen; the same to be agreeable to the laws of
England with limitation as in the Maryland Charter.] And our further
will and pleasure is, that the Lawes for regulateing and governing
of Propertie, within the said Province, as well for the descent and
enjoyment of lands, as likewise for the enjoyment and succession of
goods and Chattells, and likewise as to felonies, shall be and continue
the same as shall bee for the time being, by the general course of
the Law in our Kingdome of England, untill the said Lawes shall be
altered by the said William Penn, his heires or assignes, and by the
freemen of the said Province, their Delegates or Deputies, or the
greater part of them. And to the End the said William Penn, or
heires, ... may not att any time hereafter, by misconstrucon of the
powers aforesaid, through inadvertiencie or designe, depart from
that faith and due allegiance which ... they always owe unto us, Our
heires and successors, ... by force or colour of any lawes hereafter
to bee made in the said Province, ... Our further will and pleasure
is, _that a transcript or Duplicate of all lawes which shall bee soe
as aforesaid, made and published within the said province, shall
within five yeares after the makeing thereof, be transmitted and
delivered to the privy Councell, for the time being, of us, our heires
and successors_; And if any of the said Lawes within the space of
six months, after that they shall be soe transmitted and delivered,
bee declared by us, our heires or successors, in our or their privy
Councell, inconsistent with the sovereignety or lawfull prerogative of
us, our heirs or successors, or contrary to the faith and allegiance
due by [_to_] the legall Government of this realme, from the said
William Penn, or his heires or of the Planters and Inhabitants of the
said province; and that thereupon any of the said Lawes shall bee
adjudged and declared to bee void by us, our heirs or successors, under
our or their Privy Seale, _that then, and from thenceforth such Lawes
concerning which such Judgement and declaracon shall be made, shall
become voyd_, otherwise the said lawes soe transmitted, shall remaine
and stand in full force according to the true intent and meaneing

[Grant of right to export products of the province into any English
port, "and not into any other country whatsoeve," with a clause
insisting upon obedience to "the Acts of Navigation."] =And Wee doe=
further appoint and ordaine ... That he the said William penn, his
heires and assignes, may from time to time forever, have and enjoy
the Customes and Subsidies in the ports, harbours and other Creeks,
and places aforesaid, within the province aforesaid, payable or due
for merchandizes and wares, there to be Laded and unladed, the said
Customes and Subsidies to be reasonably assessed, upon any occasion by
themselves, and the people there as aforesaid, to be assembled to whom
wee Give power, by these presents for us, our heires and Successors,
upon just cause, and in a due proporcon, to assesse and impose the
same, _Saveing unto us, our heires and Successors, such imposicons and
customes as by Act of parliament are and shall be appointed_. =And=
further ... =Wee doe= ... grant ... That Wee, our heeres and Successors
shall att no time hereafter sett or make, or cause to be sett, any
imposition, custome or other taxacon, rate or contribucon whatsoever,
in and upon the dwellers and inhabitants of the aforesaid province, for
their Lands, tenements, goods or chattels, within the said province, or
in and upon any goods or merchandize within the said province, or to
be laden or unladen within the ports or harbours of the said province,
_unles the same be with the consent of the proprietary, or chiefe
Governor and assembly, or by Act of parliament in England_.[97]...

103. Penn's Grants to the Pennsylvanians

_a. "Laws Agreed upon in England," 1683_

    Hazard's _Annals of Pennsylvania_, 568-574. Penn gave a formal
    charter to the settlers in 1683, prefaced by the following "laws"
    which constitute a bill of rights and which were to be altered only
    by the consent of six sevenths of the legislature. The charter of
    1683 was replaced by that of 1701 (see _b_, below); but these
    "Lawes" were a separate instrument of government, and remained in

       *       *       *       *       *

III. That all elections of members or representatives of the
people ... of the province ... to serve in the provincial council or
general assembly, to be held within the said province, shall be free
and voluntary, and that the elector that shall receive any reward or
gift, in meat, drink, moneys, or otherwise, shall forfeit his right to
elect; and such person as shall directly or indirectly give, promise,
or bestow such reward as aforesaid, to be elected, shall forfeit his
election, and be thereby incapable to serve as aforesaid: and the
provincial council and general assembly shall be the sole judges of the
regularity or irregularity of the elections of their own respective

IV. That no money or goods shall be raised upon, or paid by any of the
people of this province, by way of public tax, custom, or contribution,
but by a law for that purpose made, and whosoever shall levy, collect,
or pay any money or goods contrary thereto, shall be held a public
enemy to the province, and a betrayer of the liberties of the people

V. That all courts shall be open, and justice shall neither be sold,
denied, or delayed.

       *       *       *       *       *

VII. That all pleadings, processes, and records in court, shall be
short, and in English, and in an ordinary and plain character, that
they may be understood, and justice speedily administered.

VIII. That all trials shall be by twelve men, and as near as may
be, peers or equals, and of the neighbourhood, and men without just
exception. In cases of life, there shall be first twenty-four returned
by the sheriffs for a grand inquest, of whom twelve at least shall
find the complaint to be true, and then the twelve men or peers, to be
likewise returned by the sheriff, shall have the final judgment. But
reasonable challenges shall be always admitted against the said twelve
men, or any of them.

IX. That all fees in all cases shall be moderate, and settled by the
provincial council and general assembly, and be hung up in a table in
every respective court, and whosoever shall be convicted of taking
more, shall pay twofold, and be dismissed his employment, one moiety of
which shall go to the party wronged.

X. That all prisons shall be workhouses for felons, vagrants, and loose
and idle persons, whereof one shall be in every county.

XI. That all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless
for capital offences, where the proof is evident, or the presumption is

XII. That all persons wrongfully imprisoned or prosecuted at law, shall
have double damages against the informer or prosecutor.

XIII. That all prisons shall be free as to fees, food, and lodging.

XIV. That all lands and goods shall be liable to pay debts, except
where there is legal issue, and then all the goods, and one-third of
the land only.

XV. That all wills in writing, attested by two witnesses, shall be of
the same force as to lands as other conveyances, being legally proved
within forty days, either within or without the said province.

XVI. That seven years quiet possession shall give an unquestionable
right, except in cases of infants, lunatics, married women, or persons
beyond the seas.

       *       *       *       *       *

XXVIII. That all children within this province, of the age of twelve
years, shall be taught some useful trade or skill, to the end none may
be idle, but the poor may work to live, and the rich, if they become
poor, may not want.

XXIX. That servants be not kept longer than their time, and such as are
careful be both justly and kindly used in their service, and put in
fitting equipage at the expiration thereof, according to custom.

       *       *       *       *       *

_b. Penn's Charter of Privileges to Pennsylvania, October 28/November
8, 1701_

    _Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of
    Pennsylvania_, I, pt. II, i-iii.

    A brief statement of the political conditions in the colony
    previous to this grant will be found in _American History and
    Government_, # 110. After a long absence in England, Penn returned
    to the colony in December, 1699, to find turmoil and confusion.
    After a few months, it became clear that Penn must again go back
    to England promptly to save his proprietary rights from attacks
    there; but before he left, he granted, and the Assembly accepted,
    this noble charter, which remained the constitution of the colony
    until 1776, and which the more conservative patriots of that
    Revolutionary day wished to have continued still longer as the
    constitution of the independent State.

    Italics are as in the original. The editor has used =_black
    italics_= sparingly to call attention to especially important

[Recital of grant of charter of 1681 to Penn, the liberal "frame of
government" established by Penn in 1683, the later distractions, and
Penn's promise either to restore the "frame" of 1683 or to grant a new
one "better adapted to ... the present circumstances."]

KNOW YE THEREFORE, That for the further Well-being and good Government
of the said Province, and Territories; and in Pursuance of the Rights
and Powers before-mentioned, I the said _William Penn_ do declare,
grant and confirm, unto all the Freemen, Planters, and Adventurers, and
other Inhabitants of this Province and Territories, these following
Liberties, Franchises and Privileges, so far as in me lieth, to be
held, enjoyed, and kept, by the Freemen, Planters and Adventurers,
and other Inhabitants of and in the said Province, and Territories
thereunto annexed, for ever.


BECAUSE no People can be truly happy, tho' under the greatest Enjoyment
of civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences,
as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being
the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the
Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship,
who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the
Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare, That no Person
or Persons, inhabiting in this Province or Territories, who shall
confess and acknowledge One almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and
Ruler of the World, ... shall be in any Case molested or prejudiced, in
his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their conscientious
Perswasion or Practice, nor be compelled to frequent or maintain any
religious Worship, Place, or Ministry, contrary to his or their Mind,
or to do or suffer any other Act or Thing, contrary to their religious

AND that all Persons who also profess to believe in _Jesus Christ_, the
Saviour of the World, shall be capable (notwithstanding their other
Perswasions and Practices in Point of Conscience and Religion) to serve
this Government in any Capacity, both legislatively and executively, he
or they solemnly promising, when lawfully required, Allegiance to the
King as Sovereign, and Fidelity to the Proprietary and Governor,...


FOR the well governing of this Province and Territories, there shall
be an Assembly yearly chosen by the Freemen thereof, to consist of
Four Persons out of each County, of most Note for Virtue, Wisdom,
and Ability (or of a greater Number at any Time, as the Governor and
Assembly shall agree) upon the first Day of _October_ for ever; and
shall sit on the fourteenth Day of the same Month at _Philadelphia_,
unless the Governor and Council for the Time being, shall see Cause to
appoint another Place within the said Province or Territories: Which
Assembly shall have Power to chuse a Speaker and other their Officers;
and shall be judges of the Qualifications and Elections of their own
Members; =_sit upon their own Adjournments_=; appoint Committees;
prepare Bills, in order to pass into Laws; impeach Criminals, and
redress Grievances; and shall have all other Powers and Privileges
of an Assembly, according to the Rights of the Freeborn Subjects
of _England_, and as is usual in any of the King's Plantations in

AND if any County or Counties, shall refuse or neglect to chuse their
respective Representatives as aforesaid, or if chosen, do not meet to
serve in Assembly, those who are so chosen and met, shall have the full
Power of an Assembly, in as ample Manner as if all the Representatives
had been chosen and met, provided they are not less than Two Thirds of
the whole Number that ought to meet.

AND that the Qualifications of Electors and Elected, and all other
Matters and Things relating to Elections of Representatives to serve in
Assemblies, tho' not herein particularly expressed, shall be and remain
as by a Law of this Government, made at _Newcastle_ in the _Year One
Thousand Seven Hundred_, intituled, _An Act to ascertain the Number of
Members of Assembly, and to regulate the Elections_.[99]


THAT the Freemen in each respective County, at the Time and Place of
Meeting for Electing their Representatives to serve in Assembly, may,
as often as there shall be Occasion, chuse a double Number of Persons
to present to the Governor for Sheriffs and Coroners, to serve for
Three Years, if so long they behave themselves well; out of which
respective Elections and Presentments, the Governor shall nominate and
commissionate one for each of the said Offices, the third Day after
such Presentment, or else the first named in such Presentment, for each
Office as aforesaid, shall stand and serve in that Office for the Time
before respectively limited; and in case of Death or Default, such
Vacancies shall be supplied by the Governor, to serve to the End of the
said Term.

PROVIDED ALWAYS, That if the said Freemen shall, at any Time, neglect,
or decline to chuse a Person or Persons for either or both the
aforesaid Offices, then and in such Case, the Persons that are or shall
be in the respective Offices of Sheriffs or Coroners, at the Time of
Election, shall remain therein, until they shall be removed by another
Election as aforesaid.

AND that the Justices of the respective Counties, shall or may nominate
and present to the Governor three Persons, to serve for Clerk of the
Peace for the said County when there is a vacancy, one of which the
Governor shall commissionate within ten Days after such Presentment, or
else the first nominated, shall serve in the said Office during good


[Style and manner of recording laws.]


THAT all Criminals shall have the same Privileges of Witnesses and
Council as their Prosecutors.


THAT no Person or Persons shall, or may, at any Time hereafter, be
obliged to answer any Complaint, Matter or Thing whatsoever relating
to Property, before the Governor and Council, or in any other Place,
but in ordinary Course of Justice, unless Appeals thereunto shall be
hereafter by Law appointed.


[Ordinaries and Taverns to be licensed by the Governor, on
recommendation of the Justices of the counties concerned,--with power
to suppress for misbehaviour.]


IF any Person, through Temptation or Melancholy, shall destroy himself,
his Estate, real and personal, shall, notwithstanding, descend to
his Wife and Children, or Relations, as if he had died a natural
Death;[100] and if any Person shall be destroyed or killed by Casualty
or Accident, there shall be no Forfeiture to the Governor by Reason

AND no Act, Law or Ordinance whatsoever shall, at any Time hereafter,
be made or done, to alter, change or diminish the Form or Effect of
this Charter, or of any Part or Clause therein, contrary to the true
Intent and Meaning thereof, =_without the Consent of the Governor for
the Time being, and Six Parts of Seven of the Assembly met_=.[2]

BUT because the Happiness of Mankind depends so much upon the Enjoying
of Liberty of their Consciences as aforesaid, I do hereby solemnly
declare, promise and grant, for me, my Heirs and assigns, That the
first Article of this Charter relating to Liberty of Conscince, and
every Part and Clause therein, according to the true Intent and Meaning
thereof, _shall be kept and remain, without any Alteration, inviolably
for ever_.[101]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Provision for separation of the Delaware "Territories" under their own
legislature, if they so desire.]

NOTWITHSTANDING which Separation of the Province and Territories, in
Respect of Legislation, I do hereby promise, grant and declare, That
the Inhabitants of both Province and Territories, shall separately
enjoy all other Liberties, Privileges and Benefits, granted jointly
to them in this Charter, any Law, Usage or Custom of this Government
heretofore made and practised, or any Law made and passed by the
General Assembly, to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.

104. Berkeley's Report on Virginia, 1671

    Hening's _Statutes_, II, 511-517.

    In 1670 the Colonial Board (No. 99, above) sent out questions,
    which, with the answers of Governor Berkeley for Virginia (1671),
    are given below. Other colonies sent like reports.

1. What councils, assemblies, and courts of judicature are within your
government, and of what nature and kind?

_Answer._ There is a governor and sixteen counsellors, who have from
his sacred majestie, a commission of _Oyer and Terminer_, who judge and
determine all causes that are above fifteen pound sterling; for what is
under, there are particular courts in every county, which are twenty in
number. _Every year, at least the assembly is called_, before whom lye
appeals, and this assembly is composed of two burgesses out of every
county. These lay the necessary taxes, as the necessity of the war with
the Indians, or their exigencies require.

[2. Courts of admiralty.]

3. Where the legislative and executive powers of your government are

_Answer._ In the governor, councel and assembly, and officers
substituted by them.

4. What statute laws and ordinances are now ... in force?

_Answer._ The secretary of this country every year sends to the lord
chancellor, or one of the principal secretaries, what laws are yearly
made; which for the most part concern only our own private exigencies;
for, contrary to the laws of England, we never did, nor dare make any,
only this, that no sale of land is good and legal, unless within three
months after the conveyance it be recorded in the general court, or
county courts.

5. What number of horse and foot are within your government, and
whether they be trained bands or standing forces?

_Answer._ All our freemen are bound to be trained every month in their
particular counties, which we suppose, and do not much mistake in the
calculation, are near eight thousand horse: there are more, but it is
too chargeable for poor people, as wee are, to exercise them.

6. (Castles and forts.)

7. What number of privitiers do frequent your coasts ... the number of
their men, and guns, and names of their commanders?

_Answer._ None to our knowledge, since the late Dutch war.

8. What is the strength of your bordering neighbors, be they Indians or
others ...?

_Answer._ We have no Europeans seated nearer to us than St.
Christophers or Mexico, that we know of, except some few ffrench that
are beyond New England. The Indians, our neighbours, are absolutely
subjected, so that there is no fear of them[102]....

9. (Arms, amunition, and stores ... "sent you upon his majestys

_Answer._ ... His majesty in the time of the Dutch warr, sent us thirty
great guns, most of which were lost in the ship that brought them. [No
others sent; some _bought_ by the colony.]

10. What monies have been paid ... by his majesty, or levied within
your government for and towards the buying of armes or making or
maintaining of any ffortifications or castles, and how have the said
monies been expended?

_Answer._ Besides those guns I mentioned, we never had any monies of
his majesty towards the buying of ammunition or building of fforts.
What monies can be spared out of the publick revenue, we yearly lay out
in ammunition.

11. What are the boundaries and contents of the land, within your

_Answer._ As for the boundaries of our land, it was once great, ten
degrees in latitude, but now it has pleased his majesty to confine us
to halfe a degree. Knowingly, I speak this. Pray God it may be for his
majesty's service, but I much fear the contrary.[103]

12. What commodities are there of the production, growth and
manufacture of your plantation; and particularly, what materials are
there already growing, or may be produced for shipping in the same?

_Answer._ Commodities of the growth of our country, we never had any
but tobacco, which in this yet is considerable, that it yields his
majesty a great revenue; but of late, we have begun to make silk,
and so many mulberry trees are planted, and planting, that if we had
skilfull men from Naples or Sicily to teach us the art of making it
perfectly, in less than half an age, we should make as much silk in an
year as England did yearly expend three score years since; but now we
hear it is grown to a greater excess, and more common and vulgar usage.
Now, for shipping, we have admirable masts and very good oaks; but for
iron ore I dare not say there is sufficient to keep one iron mill going
for seven years.

13. Whether saltpetre is or may be produced within your plantation, and
if so, at what rate may it be delivered in England?

_Answer._ Saltpetre, we know of none in the country.

14. What rivers, harbours or roads are there in or about your
plantation and government, and of what depth and soundings are they?

_Answer_. Rivers, we have four, as I named before, all able, safely and
severally to bear an harbour a thousand ships of the greatest burthen.

15. What number of planters, servants and slaves; and how many parishes
are there in your plantation?

_Answer._ We suppose, and I am very sure we do not much miscount,
that there is in Virginia above forty thousand persons, men, women
and children, and of which there are two thousand _black slaves_, six
thousand _christian servants_, for a short time; the rest are born in
the country or have come in to settle and seat, in bettering their
condition in a growing country.

16. What number of English, Scots, or Irish have for these seven years
past came yearly to plant ... within your government; as also what
_blacks_ or _slaves_ have been brought in ...?

_Answer._ Yearly we suppose there comes in, of servants, about fifteen
hundred, of which most are English, few Scotch, and fewer Irish, and
not above two or three ships of Negroes in seven years.[104]

17. [Mortality? The answer expresses inability to give exact figures,
from lack of a "register office," but insists upon improvements in
health of new immigrants as compared with earlier times.]

18. What number of ships to trade yearly to and from your plantations,
and of what burthen are they?

_Answer._ English ships, near eighty, come out of England and Ireland
every year for tobacco; few New England ketches; =_but of our own we
never had yet more than two at one time, and those not more than twenty
tons burthen_=.

19. What obstructions do you find to the improvement of trade and
navigation ...?

_Answer._ =_Mighty and destructive, by that severe act of parliament
which excludes us the having any commerce with any nation in Europe but
our own._=[105] [Navigation Acts of 1660, 1663] ... Besides this, we
cannot procure any skillfull men for our now hopefull commodity, silk;
for it is not lawfull for us to carry a pipestave or a barrel of corn
to any place in Europe out of the king's dominions.[106] If this were
for his majesty's service or the good of his subjects, we should not
repine, whatever our sufferings ... but on my soul, it is the contrary
for both. And this is the cause why no small or great vessels are
built here;[107] for we are most obedient to all laws, whilst the New
England-men break through, and trade to any place that their interests
lead them.

20. What advantages ... do you observe that may be gained to your trade
or navigation?

_Answer._ None, unless we had liberty to transport our pipe staves,
timber and corn to other places besides the king's dominions.

21. What rates and duties are charged and payable upon any goods
exported out of your plantation, whither of your own growth or
manufacture, or otherwise, as also upon goods imported?

_Answer._ No goods, either exported or imported, pay any the least
duties here, only two shillings the hogshead on tobacco exported,
which is to defray all public charges; and this year we could not get
an account of more than fifteen thousand hogsheads, out of which the
king allows me a thousand yearly, with which I must maintain the part
of my place, and one hundred intervening charges that cannot be put to
public account. And I can knowingly affirm, that there is no government
of ten years settlement, but has thrice as much allowed him. But I am
supported by my hopes, that his gracious majesty will one day consider

22. What revenues doe or may arise to his majesty within your
government, and of what nature is it; by whom is the same collected,
and how answered and accounted to his majesty?

_Answer._ There is no revenue arising to his majesty but out of the
quit-rents; and this he hath given away to a deserving servant, Col.
Henry Norwood.

23. What course is taken about the instructing the people, within your
government in the christian religion ...?

_Answer._ The same course that is taken in England out of towns; every
man according to his ability instructing his children. We have fforty
eight parishes, and our ministers are well paid, and by my consent
should be better _if they would pray oftener and preach less_. But of
all other commodities, so of this, _the worst are sent us_, and we
had few that we could boast of, since the persicution in _Cromwell's_
tiranny drove divers worthy men hither. But, I thank God, _there are
no free schools_ nor _printing_, and I hope we shall not have these
hundred years; for _learning_ has brought disobedience, and heresy,
and sects into the world, and _printing_ has divulged them, and libels
against the best government. God keep us from both!

105. The Franchise in Virginia again Restricted[108]

    Hening's _Statutes at Large_.

    For the general reaction of this period, _American History and
    Government_, ## 103, 104.

[October, 1670.]

Act III. Whereas the usuall way of chuseing burgesses by the votes
of all persons who, haveing served their tyme, are ffreemen of this
country, who, haveing little interest in the country, doe oftner make
tumults at the election to the disturbance of his majesties peace,
then by their discretions in their votes provide for the conservasion
thereof, by makeing choyse of persons fitly qualifyed for the discharge
of soe greate a trust, =_And whereas the lawes of England grant a
voyce in such election only to such as by their estates real or
personall have interest enough to tye them to the endeavour of the
publique good_=; It is hereby enacted, that none but ffreeholders and
housekeepers who only are answerable to the publique for the levies
shall hereafter have a voice in the election of any burgesses in this
country; and that the election be at the court house.

    ["Bacon's Assembly" of 1676 repealed this restriction and restored
    free manhood franchise; but that act fell with the other attempted
    reforms of that year; Nos. 106, 109, below.]

106. "Bacon's Laws," in Virginia (Political Discontent)

    Hening's _Statutes at Large_, II, 341-365.

    Cf. _American History and Government_, # 105.

_At a Grand Assemblie Holden at James Citie the fifth day of June,

Act I. [An act for carrying on a warre against the barbarous Indians.]

[Nearly ten pages. Declares war; Provides an army of 1000 men; decrees
that captives shall be made slaves; appoints Bacon "genll. and
commander in cheife."]

Act II. [Prohibits trade with Indians.]

Act III. [Reserves to the colony as a whole any deserted Indian lands.]

Act IV. [To suppress tumults.]

Act V. [Sheriffs.]

=Whereas= divers complaints have been made throughout the country of
the abuses ... of divers offices ... _Bee it enacted by the governour,
councell, and burgesses of this grand assembly, and by the authority
of the same_, that noe person whatsoever within this country shall
exercise, hold, and enjoy the office of sherriffe or under-sherriffe
more than one year successively. [Penalty, 20,000 pounds of
tobacco] ... _And bee it further enacted_ ... that noe person or
persons whatsoever shall hold or enjoy two of these offices hereafter
named at one and the same time ... viz. ... sherriffs, clerke of
courte, surveyor, and escheator. ... [Three years residence necessary
for eligibility to any office. ... Provision, in much detail, against
sheriffs or other officers exacting more than the legal fees.]

Act VI. [Vestries.]

Whereas the long continuance of vestries ... is presented as a
greivance, _Bee it enacted_ ... that it shall and may be
lawfull ... for the freeholders =_and freemen_= of every
parish ... by the majoritie of votes to elect ... certaine freeholders
or substantiall householders to the number of twelve ... which said
twelve shall be ... the vestrie of the parish ... and such election to
be made ... =_once in every three yeares_=.

Act VII [Suffrage.]

=_Bee it enacted_= ... that the act of assembly [1770; see No. 105]...
which forbids =_freemen_= to have votes in the election of burgesses
be repealed, and that they be admitted, together with freeholders and
householders, to vote as formerly in such elections.

Act VIII. [_To add representatives to the Board of County Justices_,
except for judicial purposes.]

=_Whereas_= the justices of the county courts ... have accustommarily
sett ... a rate or assessment upon the people of their counties ...
and whereas it hath been suspected ... that under colour thereof many
sums have bin raised ... =_for the interest of particular
persons._= ... =Bee= it enacted ... that some of the discreetest
and ableest of the inhabitants of each county, =_equal in number to
the number of justices_= ... be yearly chosen ... [by parishes] by
majoritie of votes of householders, ffreeholders, and ffreemen ...
which said representatives, together with the justices ... are to
meet at the usual place ... and are hereby authorized and impowered
to have equal votes with them, the said justices, =_in laying county
assessments and of_= [in] =_making wholesome by-lawes_= for the good of
their counties.

IX, X, XI. [Forms of procedure in collecting levies and administering

XII. [Abolition of exemptions from taxation.]

For the greater ease of the country ... Bee it enacted that the 55th
act of the printed laws [code of 1662], soe far as it relates to the
honorable councill of state and ministers, bee ... repealed, and that
for the future the persons of the councill and all others of their
families be liable to pay levies ... and that the person of every
minister bee exempted, ... but all other tithable persons in his
familie shall be liable to pay levies....

XIII. [Permitting wolf-bounties.]

XIV. [Regarding trespass by "unrulie horses" "within another person's

XV. [Forbids exportation of corn until next session of the assembly.]

XVI. [For temperance reform.]

Whereas it is most apparently found that the many ordinaries [taverns]
in severall parts of the country are very prejudiciall ... Bee it
therefore enacted ... that no ordinaries, ale houses, or other tipling
houses whatsoever ... be kept in any part of the country [except "at
James Citty" and "at the two great ferries" of Yorke river];
_Provided_ ... that [these exceptions] be admitted ... to sell ...
mare's meate, horse-meate, beer, and syder, but no other strong drinke
whatsoever. ... [Penalty of 1000 pounds tobacco for selling "any sorte
of drinke or liquor" _or for_ "_being drunke ... in his ... house_."]

XVII. XVIII. [Special Acts, relating to James City and two counties.]

Act XIX. [_General Pardon and Oblivion._]

Act XX. [Disabling Lt. Col. Edward Hill and Lieut. John Stith. from
bearing any office, civil or military, because these men had "bin the
greatest instruments ... of raiseing, promoteing, and stirring up
the late differences and misunderstandings ... between the honorable
governour and his majesties good and loyal subjects," Beacon's party.]

107. Bacon's Proclamation, July 30, 1676

    _Massachusetts Historical Society Collections_, Fourth Series, IX,

    The closing paragraphs (here given) follow some two pages of
    specific charges of misgovernment against Governor Berkeley and
    certain of "his wicked and pernicious counsellors, confederates,
    aides and associates against the Comonality."

_The Declaracion of the People_

... And we doe further demand that the said Sir William Berkeley with
all the persons in this list be forthwith delivered up or surrender
themselves within fower days after the notice hereof, Or otherwise we
declare as followeth.

That in whatsoever place, howse, or ship, any of the said persons
shall reside, be hidd, or protected, we declaire the owners, Masters
or inhabitants of said places, to be confederates and =trayters to the
people=; and the estates of them as alsoe of all the aforesaid persons
to be confiscated, and this we the =Commons of Virginia=, doe declare,
desiering a firme union amongst ourselves that we may joyntly and with
one accord defend ourselves against the common Enimy, and lett not the
faults of the guilty be the reproach of the inocent, or the faults or
crimes of the oppressors devide and separate us who have suffered by
theire oppressions.

These are therefore in his majesties name to command you forthwith to
seize the persons above mencioned as Trayters to the King and Country
and them to bring to Midle plantacon, and there to secure them untill
further order, and in case of opposicion, if you want any further
assistance you are forthwith to demand itt in the name of the people in
all the Counties of Virginia.

                             Nath. Bacon.

                                        Genll by Consent of the people.

108. Testimony of Political Discontent as a Cause of Bacon's Rebellion

    _Virginia Historical Magazine_, II, 166-173, 289-292.

    When Bacon's Rebellion had been crushed, royal commissioners
    arrived in the colony, with instructions to inform themselves "of
    all grievances." The commissioners met the inhabitants at various
    County Courts, and took down their complaints in writing. These
    complaints show some of the real causes of Bacon's Rebellion. Of
    course, to these royal commissioners the people as a rule would
    say little of infringements upon political liberty (because
    commissioners from Charles II could not be expected to have any
    sympathy with such complaints), and they _would_ say much about
    misgovernment and economic oppression. The following extracts from
    the commissioners' records are selected to show that complaints
    regarding political oppression did find voice, even under such
    conditions. These entries might be greatly extended.

(1) _Gloster County_

4. That severall grievances being presented to the June Assembly [1676]
upon which many good Lawes were consented to by that Assembly [No.
106] ... they Beg those good and wholesome Lawes may be confirmed.

(2) _Lower Norfolk County_

5. Request for Liberty to Transport their Tobacco to any of his
majesties Plantations without paying the Impost payable by Act of
Parliament. [This request the commissioners declare "wholly mutinous."]

(3) _Surry County_

1. That the last Assembly continued many yeares....

10. That it has been the custome of County Courts att the laying of
the levy to withdraw into a private Roome,--by which meanes the poore
people, not knowing for what they paid, did admire how their taxes
could be so high.

12. That, contrary to the lawes of England and this Country, high
sheriffs have usually continued two years, and under sheriffs 3 or
4 years together: wee humbly pray that for the future no person may
continue sheriffe above one yeare.

14. That we have not had liberty to choose vestrymen: wee humbly desire
that the wholle parish may have a free election.

15. That since his most gracious Majesty hath been most mercifully
pleased to pardon our late disloyalty, wee most earnestly and
humbly pray that this present grand assembly would make an Act of
Oblivion,--that no person may be injured by the provoking names of
Rebell, Traitor and Rogue.

(4) _Northampton County_

2. That we may have Liberty grannted us to choose a new vestery, and
that every three years a new vestery may be chosen.

6. That it may be graunted us to make a free choyse of six housekeepers
without Interposing of any Ruling Magistratre [to sit with the Justices
of the County as a Board to assess taxes], to prevent oppressions ...
as we humbly suspect ... to have Received heretofore.

15. That no Sheriff may officiate two years together.

(5) _Isle of Wight_

14. We desire wee may have libertie to chuse our Vestries once in three
yeares, and that their may noe member of the Court [County Justices] be

109. Abolition of Bacon's Reforms for Virginia

_a. The King's Orders_

    _Additional instructions [from King Charles II] for our trusty
    and well beloved_ Sir William Berkeley, Knt. _our governor of our
    colony of Virginia, November 13, 1676_

    Hening's _Statutes_, II, 424 ff.

       *       *       *       *       *

2. You shall take care that the members of the assembly be elected only
by _ffreeholders_, as being more agreeable to the custome of England,
to which you are as nigh as conveniently you can to conforme yourselfe.

       *       *       *       *       *

6. You shall declare voyd and null all the proceedings of the late
assembly ... ["Bacon's Assembly"].

_b. Repeal by the Assembly, February, 1676/1677_

Hening's _Statutes at Large_, II, 380.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Whereas= Nathaniell Bacon ... in the month of June, 1676 ... did
enter James Citty in a rebellious manner with a considerable number
of armed men ... environing and beseigeing the governour and councell
and burgesses ... threatening them with sudden death if they would not
grant his unreasonable, unlawfull, rebellious and treasonable demands,
and by his threats and ... violence did obteine to himselfe whatsoever
he soe ... demanded; =And whereas= the kings most excellent majestie
by his gratious proclamation ... hath long since declared all the
proceedings of the said assembly to be voyd in law: _Bee it therefore
enacted by this present grand assembly and the authority thereof, and
it is hereby enacted_, that all acts, orders, and proceedings of the
said grand assembly be repealed and made null and voyd.

110. Self-government in Massachusetts Decreased

_a. Randolph's Report, 1676_

    Hutchinson's _Collection of Original Papers_ (1769), 477 ff.

    Randolph had been sent to the colonies as a "commissioner" by the
    Lords of Trade.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Second Enquiry._ What lawes and ordinances are now in force there
derogatory or contrary to those of England, and what oath is prescribed
by the government?

The lawes and ordinances made in that colony are no longer observed
than as they stand with their convenience. The magistrates not so
strictly minding the letter of the law when their publick interest is
concerned, in all cases more regarding the quality and affection of the
persons to their government than the nature of their offence. They see
no evill in a church member, and therefore it is very difficult to get
any sentence or verdict against him, tho' in the smallest matters.

No law is in force or esteeme there but such as are made by the
generall court, and therefore it is accounted a breach of their
privileges and a betraying of the liberties of their commonwealth to
urge the observation of the lawes of England or his Majesties commands.

_The lawes most derogatory and contradictory to those of England._

All persons of the age of 21 years, being excommunicate or condemned,
have liberty to make wills and dispose of lands and estates.

In capital cases, dismembering or banishment; where no law is made by
the generall court, or in case of defect of a law in any particular
case, the offender to be tryed by the word of God and judged by the
generall court.

Ministers are ordained by the people and no injunction to be put
upon any church officer or member, in point of doctrine, worship
or discipline, whether for substance or circumstance, besides the
institution of the Lord.

Whoever shall observe christmasse day or the like festivity, by
forbearing to labour, feasting or other way shall pay 5s. and whosoever
shall not resort to their meeting upon the Lord's day and such days
of fasting and Thanksgiving as shall be appointed by authority, shall
pay 5_s._ no days commanded by the lawes of England to be observed or

No person shall be impressed or compelled to serve in any wars but
such as shall be enterprized by that commonwealth, by the consent of a
generall court, or by authority derived from them.

No person whatsoever shall joine any persons in marriage but a
magistrate, it being an honorable ordinance and therefore should be
accordingly sollemnized.

All strangers professing the true christian religion that shall fly to
them for succour from the tyranny or oppression of their persecutors,
or for any necessary or compulsory cause, they shall be entertained
and protected amongst them according to that power and prudence God
shall give them. By which law Whalley and Gosse and other traytors were
kindly receaved and entertained by Mr. Godkins and other magistrates.

Whosoever shall be in the possession of any land 5 years, altho' the
grant of said land was to another, and the possessor have nothing to
shew for the alienation thereof but his possession, the possessor shall
have the land confirmed to him.

No oath shall be urged or required to be taken by any person but such
oath as the generall court hath considered allowed and required.

The oaths of allegiance and supremacy are neither taken by the
magistrates nor required to be taken by the inhabitants, only an oath
of fidelity to the government is imposed upon all persons as well
strangers as inhabitants, upon the penalty of 5_l._ for every week they
shall refuse the said oath.

_b. Second Charter of Massachusetts, October 7/17, 1691_

_Acts and Resolves of the Province of Massachusetts Bay_, I, 1-20.

    The stubborn persistence of Massachusetts in resisting all
    regulation from England finally involved all New England in the
    despotic rule of Andros. On the overthrow of Andros (on the flight
    of James II and the accession of William III), Connecticut and
    Rhode Island continued their former charter governments; but the
    Massachusetts Charter of 1629 had been declared void by the English
    courts and had been formally surrendered. The best Massachusetts
    could now do was to secure a much more limited instrument. For a
    fuller history, cf. _American History and Government_, # 97.

[Recital of the creation of the Plymouth Council in 1620, of the grant
by that Council to the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1628, of the royal
charter of 1629, and of the vacating of that charter in 1684.]

#And Whereas# severall persons employed as Agents in behalfe of Our
said Collony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England have made their
humble application unto Us that Wee would be graciously pleased by Our
Royall Charter to Incorporate Our Subjects in Our said Colony and to
grant and confirme unto them such powers priviledges and
Franchises ... and Wee being graciously pleased to gratifie Our said
Subjects. And alsoe to the end Our good Subjects within Our Collony of
New Plymouth in New England aforesaid may be brought under such a forme
of Government as may put them in a better Condition of defence....

... #Wee# doe by these presents for Us Our Heirs and Successors Will
and Ordeyne that the Territories and Collonyes comonly called or known
by the Names of the Collony of the Massachusetts Bay, =and Collony of
New Plymouth=, the Province of Main, the Territorie called Accadia
or Nova Scotia, and all that Tract of Land lying betweene the said
Territories of Nova Scotia and the said Province of Main be Erected
United and Incorporated ... into one reall Province by the Name of Our
Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England And ... [grant of

#Provided# ... that all and every such Lands Tenements and
Hereditaments and all other estates which any person or persons
or Bodyes Politique or Corporate (Townes, Villages, Colledges, or
Schooles) doe hold and enjoy or ought to hold and enjoy within the
bounds aforesaid by or under any Grant or estate duely made or granted
by any Generall Court formerly held or by vertue of the Letters Patents
herein before recited or by any other lawfull Right or Title whatsoever
shall be by ... [them] ... for ever hereafter held and enjoyed
according to the purport and Intent of such respective Grant. ... And
wee doe further ... Establish and ordeyne that ... there shall be one
Governour, One Leiutenant or Deputy Governour, and One Secretary of
Our said Province or Territory, to be from time to time appointed and
Commissionated by Us ... and Eight and Twenty Assistants or Councillors
to be advising and assisting to the Governour ... for the time being
as by these presents is hereafter directed and appointed, which said
Councillors or Assistants are to be Constituted, Elected, and Chosen
in such forme and manner as hereafter in these presents is expressed.
[Appointment of first set of officers, the Assistants to continue until
the last Wednesday in May, 1693.]

#And Our# Will and Pleasure is that the Governour ... shall have
Authority from time to time at his discretion to assemble and call
together the Councillors or Assistants ... and that the said Governour
with the said Assistants or Councillors or Seaven of them at the least
shall and may from time to time hold and keep a Councill for the
ordering and directing the Affaires of Our said Province #And Further#
Wee Will ... that there shall ... be convened ... by the Governour ...
upon every last Wednesday in the Moneth of May every yeare for ever
and at all such other times as the Governour ... shall think fitt and
appoint a great and Generall Court of Assembly Which ... shall consist
of the Governour and Councill or Assistants ... and of such
Freeholders ... as shall be from time to time elected or deputed by the
Major parte of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the respective
Townes or Places who shall be present at such Elections ... To which
Great and Generall Court ... Wee doe hereby ... grant full power and
authority from time to time to direct ... what Number each County
Towne and Place shall Elect and Depute to serve for and represent them
respectively ... #Provided# alwayes that noe Freeholder or other Person
shall have a Vote in the Election of Members ... who at the time of
such Election shall not have an estate of _Freehold in Land within Our
said Province or Territory to the value of Forty Shillings per Annum
at the least, or other estate to the value of Forty pounds
Sterling ... and that the Governour for the time being shall have full
power and Authority from time to time as he shall Judge necessary to
adjourne Prorogue and dissolve all Great and Generall Courts_...
And ... Wee doe ... Ordeyne that yearly once in every yeare ... the
aforesaid Number of Eight and Twenty Councillors or Assistants shall
be by the Generall Court ... newly chosen ... [Four at least of the
Assistants to come from the former Plymouth Colony and three from
Maine. The General Court may remove Assistants from office, and may
also fill vacancies caused by removal or death.] And Wee doe further
Grant and Ordeyne that it shall and may be lawfull for the said
Governour with the advice and consent of the Councill or Assistants
from time to time to nominate and appoint Judges, Commissioners of Oyer
and Terminer, Sheriffs, Provosts, Marshalls, Justices of the Peace,
and other Officers to Our Councill and Courts of Justice belonging,
#Provided# alwayes that noe such Nomination or Appointment of Officers
be made without notice first given or summons issued out seaven
dayes before such Nomination or Appointment unto such of the said
Councillors or Assistants as shall be at that time resideing within Our
said Province ... and for the greater Ease and Encouragement of Our
Loveing Subjects Inhabiting our said Province ... and of such as shall
come to Inhabit there Wee doe ... Ordaine _that for ever hereafter
there shall be a liberty of Conscience allowed in the Worshipp of God
to all Christians (Except Papists)_ Inhabiting ... within our said
Province ... [Courts for the trial of both civil and criminal cases
may be established by the General Court, reserving to the governor and
assistants matters of probate and administration.] #And whereas# Wee
judge it necessary that all our Subjects should have liberty to Appeale
to us ... in Cases that may deserve the same Wee doe ... Ordaine that
incase either party shall not rest satisfied with the Judgement or
Sentence of any Judicatories or Courts within our said Province ...
in _any Personall Action wherein the matter in difference doth exceed
the value of three hundred Pounds Sterling that then he or they may
appeale to us ... in our ... Privy Council Provided such Appeale be
made within Fourteen dayes after the Sentence or Judgement given and
that before such Appeal be allowed Security be given by the party or
parties appealing in the value of the matter in Difference to pay or
Answer the Debt or Damages for the which Judgement or Sentence is given
With such Costs and Damages as shall be Awarded by us ... incase the
Judgement or Sentence be affirmed_ [provided that no execution shall
be stayed by reason of such appeal.] #And# we doe further ... grant
to the said Governor and the great and Generall Court ... full power
and Authority from time to time to make ... all manner of wholesome
and reasonable Orders Laws Statutes and Ordinances Directions and
Instructions either with penalties or without (soe as the same be not
repugnant or contrary to the Lawes of this our Realme of England) as
they shall Judge to be for the good and welfare of our said
Province. ... And for the Government and Ordering thereof and of the
People Inhabiting or who shall Inhabit the same and for the necessary
support and Defence of the Government thereof [and also] full power and
Authority to name and settle Annually all Civill Officers within the
said Province (such Officers Excepted the Election and Constitution
of whome wee have by these presents reserved to us ... or to the
Governor) ... and to Settforth the severall Duties Powers and Lymitts
of every such Officer ... and the forms of such Oathes not repugnant
to the Lawes and Statutes of this our Realme of England as shall be
respectively Administred unto them for the Execution of their severall
Offices and places. And alsoe to impose Fines, mulcts, Imprisonments,
and other Punishments; And to Impose and leavy proportionable and
reasonable Assessments, Rates, and Taxes, upon the Estates and Persons
of all and every the Proprietors and Inhabitants of our said
Province ... #Provided# alwaies ... that in the frameing and passing
of all such Orders ... and in all Elections and Acts of Government
whatsoever to be passed made or done by the said Generall Court ...
or in Councill, _the Governor ... shall have the Negative voice, and
that without his consent or Approbation signified and declared in
Writeing, no such Orders ... Elections or other Acts of
Government ... shall be of any Force effect or validity_ ... #And# wee
doe ... Ordaine that the said Orders Laws Statutes and Ordinances be
by the first opportunity after the makeing thereof sent or Transmitted
unto us ... under the Publique Seale to be appointed by us for
Our ... approbation or Disallowance _And that incase all or any
of them shall, at any time within the space of three yeares next
after the same shall have been presented to us ... in Our ... Privy
Councill_, be disallowed and rejected and soe signified by us ...
_unto the Governor for the time being then such ... of them as shall
be soe disallowed ... shall thenceforth cease and determine and become
utterly void and of none effect_. [Laws not disallowed within the
three years, to remain in force until repealed by the General Court.
Grants of land by the General Court, within the limits of the former
colonies of Massachusetts Bay and New Plymouth, and the Province of
Maine, excepting the region north and east of the Sagadahoc, to be
valid without further royal approval. The governor to direct the
defense of the province, and _to exercise martial law in case of
necessity_] #Provided# alwayes ... That the said Governour shall
not at any time hereafter by vertue of any power hereby granted or
hereafter to be granted to him Transport any of the Inhabitants of
Our said Province ... or oblige them to march out of the Limitts of
the same without their Free and voluntary consent or the Consent of
the Great and Generall Court ... nor grant Commissions for exercising
the Law Martiall upon any the Inhabitants of Our said Province ...
without the Advice and Consent of the Councill or Assistants of the
same ... [In case of the death, removal or absence of the governor,
the lieutenant-governor may take his place; failing both governor and
lieutenant-governor, the council, or the major part of them, are to
act.] #Provided# alwaies ... that nothing herein shall extend or be
taken to ... allow the Exercise of any Admirall Court Jurisdiction
Power or Authority but that the same be and is hereby reserved to
Us ... and shall from time to time be ... exercised by vertue of
Commissions to be issued under the Great Seale of England or under
the Seale of the High Admirall or the Commissioners for executing the
Office of High Admirall of England. ... #And lastly# for the better
provideing and furnishing of Masts for Our Royall Navy Wee doe hereby
reserve to Us ... all Trees of the Diameter of Twenty Four Inches and
upwards of Twelve Inches from the ground growing upon any soyle or
Tract of Land within Our said Province ... not heretofore granted to
any private persons.

111. Attempts by England at Closer Control after 1700

    For an outline of these natural and long-continued attempts, see
    _American History and Government_, ## 117, 118. The first attempt,
    barely avoided and only by accident, is given under _a_, below;
    _b_ represents American feeling toward such encroachments; and _c_
    illustrates the activity of a New England town meeting in this
    field of _general_ politics.

_a. Recommendation from the Board of Trade to make all the Colonies
into Royal Provinces. March 26/Apr. 5, 1701_

    _North Carolina Colonial Records_, I, 535.

             _To the King's most Excellent Majestie._

                      _May it please, etc._

Having formerly on severall occasions humbly represented to your
Majesty the state of the Government under Proprietors and Charters in
America; and perceiving the irregularities of these Governments dayly
to increase, to the prejudice of Trade and of your Majesties other
Plantations in America, as well as of your Majesties revenue arising
from the Customes here, we find ourselves obliged at present humbly to
represent to your Majesty;

That those Colonies in general have no ways answered the chief design
for which such large Tracts of Land and such Priviledges and Immunities
were granted by the Crown.

That they have not conformed themselves to the severall acts of
Parliament for regulating Trade and Navigation, to which they ought
to pay the same obedience, and submit to the same Restrictions as
the other Plantations, which are subject to your Majesties immediate
Government; on the contrary in most of these Proprieties and Charter
Governments, the Governours have not applyed themselves to your Majesty
for your approbation, nor have taken the Oaths required by the acts of
Trade, both which Qualifications are made necessary by the late Act for
preventing frauds and regulating abuses in the Plantation Trade.

That they have assumed to themselves a power to make Laws contrary and
repugnant to the Laws of England, and directly prejudicial to Trade,
some of them having refused to send hither such Laws as they had
enacted, and others having sent them but very imperfectly.

That diverse of them have denyed appeals to your Majesty in Councill,
by which not only the Inhabitants of those Colonies but others your
Majesties subjects are deprived of that benefit, enjoyed in the
Plantations, under your Majesties immediate Government, and the parties
agrieved are left without remedy from the arbitrary and Illegal
proceedings of their Courts.

That these Colonies continue to be the refuge and retreat of Pirates
and Illegal Traders, and the receptacle of Goods imported thither from
foreign parts contrary to Law: In return of which Commodities those
of the growth of these Colonies are likewise contrary to Law exported
to Foreign parts; All which is likewise much incouraged by their not
admitting appeals as aforesaide.

That by raising and lowering their coin from time to time, to their
particular advantage, and to the prejudice of other Colonies, By
exempting their Inhabitants from Duties and Customes to which the other
Colonies are subject, and by Harbouring of Servants and fugitives,
these Governments tend greatly to the undermining the Trade and Welfare
of the other Plantations, and seduce and draw away the People thereof;
By which Diminution of Hands the rest of the Colonies more beneficial
to England do very much suffer.

That these Independent Colonies do turn the Course of Trade to the
Promoting and proprogating woolen and other Manufactures proper to
England, instead of applying their thoughts and Endeavours to the
production of such commodities as are fit to be encouraged in these
parts according to the true design and intention of such settlements.

That they do not in general take any due care for their own defence
and security against an Enemy, either in Building Forts or providing
their Inhabitants with sufficient Armes and Amunition, in case they
should be attacked, which is every day more and more to be apprehended,
considering how the French power encreases in those parts.

That this cheifly arises from the ill use they make of the powers
entrusted to them by their Charters, and the Independency which they
pretend to, and that each Government is obliged only to defend its self
without any consideration had of their Neighbours, or of the general
preservation of the whole.

That many of them have not a regular militia and some (particularly the
Colonies of East and West New Jersey) are no otherwise at present than
in a state of Anarchy and confusion.

_And because the care of these and other great mischiefs in your
Majesties Plantations and Colonies aforesaid, and the introducing such
an administration of Government and fit regulation of Trade as may put
them into a better State of Security and make them duly subservient and
usefull to England, does every day become more and more necessary, and
that your Majesties frequent Commands to them have not met with due
complyance: We humbly conceive it may be expedient that the Charters
of the severall Proprietors and others intitling them to absolute
Government be reassumed to the Crown and these Colonies put into the
same State and dependency as those of your Majesties other Plantations,
without prejudice to any man's particular property and freehold. Which
being no otherwise so well to be effected as by the Legislative power
of this Kingdome._

Wee humbly submit the same to your Majesties Royal consideration.

_b. John Wise upon Englishmen and Tyranny_

    This extract comes from a pamphlet by John Wise, minister at
    Ipswich, and a leader (and sufferer) against arbitrary taxation by
    Andros twenty years earlier, and is in the nature of a warning that
    the American English will not submit to political aggression.

Englishmen hate an arbitrary power (politically considered) as they
hate the devil. ... And though many of their incautelous princes
have endeavored to null all their charter rights and immunities, and
agrandize themselves in the servile state of the subjects, by setting
up their own seperate will, for the great standard of government over
the nation, yet they have all along paid dear for their attempts, both
in the ruin of the nation, and in interrupting the increase of their
own grandeur, and their foreign settlements and conquests.

Had the late reigns, before the accession of the great _William_ and
_Mary_, to the throne of England, but taken the measures of them,
and [of] her present majesty,[109] in depressing vice, and advancing
the union and wealth, and encouraging the prowice and bravery of the
nation, they might by this time have been capable to have given laws
to any monarch on earth; but spending their time in the pursuit of
an absolute monarchy (contrary to the temper of the nation, and the
ancient constitution of the government) through all the meanders of
state craft: It has apparently kept back the glory, and dampt all
the most noble affairs of the nation. And when under the midwifry
of _Machiavilan_ art, and cunning of a daring prince, this MONSTER,
tyranny, and arbitrary government, was at last just born, upon the
holding up of a finger! or upon the least signal given, ON the whole
nation goes upon this HYDRA.[110]

The very name of an arbitrary government is ready to put an
Englishman's blood into a fermentation; but when it really comes, and
shakes its whip over their ears, and tells them it is their master, it
makes them stark mad.

_c. Boston's Action Relative to the Proposed Permanent Salary for the
Governor in 1729_

    _Boston Town Records_ (for dates given).

    The full records of the meeting are given, that the student may
    see how great matters of state were mingled with trivial and
    local business. The attempt of England to secure a fixed salary
    for the Governor of Massachusetts would, if successful, have made
    that officer wholly independent of popular control. Cf. _American
    History and Government_, # 118, for the whole story.

AT a Meeting of the Freeholders and Other Inhabitants of the Town of
Boston Duly Qualified being Regulerly Assembled in a Publick Town
meeting at the Town House Tuesday May the 6th 1729--

After Prayer by the Revd mr Thomas Prince [and after] Elisha Cooke
Esqr Chose[n] Moderator for this Meeting.

  Sundry Petitions Read Vizt
  About a place for the Grainery
  About m. [Mr.] Peleg Wiswalls Sallary
  About m. Edward Mills Sallary
  m. Samuel Oakes Petition
  m. Jer[=a] [Jeremiah] Condys Petition
  The Selectmens Report of Sundry things left to them
  Voted to Chuse 4 Representatives

  The Number of Voters Were 192

  Elisha Cooke Esqr   188 }
  m. Thomas Cushing   190 }
  m. Ezekll Lewis     190 } Chose[n] Representatives
  m. Samll Welles     184 }

Voted To Chuse a Co[=m]ittee to Prepare Instructions for the
Representatives for their Acting at the General Court at their
Approching Session, And to Lay them befor the Meeting in the Afternoon--

Voted: That John Alford Esqr mesrs Henry Dering and Nathll Cunningham
be the Said Committee--

On the Petition of Sundry Inhabitants about the Situatian of the

Voted That mr Moderator and the Selectmen be Joyned with the
Co[=m]ittee appointed for Building the Grainery, Be desired to View the
Place, And make Return of their Opinion thereof to the Meeting after
Dinner this Day--

  mr John Jeffers    Excus'd }
  mr Thomas Moffat   Excus'd }  Chosen Assessors.

  Edward Maycomb   Sworn }
  John Spooner     Sworn }    Clerks of the Market.
  Nathanll Cobbit  Sworn }

                            Post Meridiem.

Voted That the Grainery be Erected and Set up Rainging with the Line of
the Burying place on the Co[=m]on fronting Eastward, The Said Building
to be not Less then [than] forty feet distant from the [South] Corner
of the Brick wall of the Burying place--

  mr James Pemberton   Pay[111] }
  mr James Watson      Sworn    } Assessors.

In as much as the Gramer School at the North End of the Town of which
mr Peleg Wiswall is the Master is much Increaced in the Number of the
Schollers, and that no Usher is alowed to assist him in his School:

Voted That there be an Additian of Forty Pounds to the Said mr Wiswalls

Samll Oakes Petition Read and Dismist--

       *       *       *       *       *

In Answer to Mr. Edward Mills His Petitian. Voted That there be an
Addition of Twenty Pounds to the Said Mr. Edward Mills Sallary--

Upon A Motion made by Elisha Cook Esquire That the Dividing Line
between the Towns Land in the Occupation of Mr. Nathaniel Williams and
His Land on the East Side in School Street is for want of due Care
become Crucked, intrenching both upon the One and the Others Land, That
therefore they would Direct and Imp[o]wer the Selectmen to Rectifie
that line as to them Seems Just and Equitable--And Further That they
would be pleased to Accomodate him with about two feet of the Front of
his Land next Mr. Williams on Such Terms as the Selectmen Shall Agree
for with the Said Mr. Cooke--

Read and Voted That it be left with the Selectmen to Act therein as
they Judge Meet--

On the Petition of Mr. Jeramiah Condy for Addition to his Salary.

Voted that the Consideration of Said Petition be Referred for further
Consideration to the Next Town Meeting, and That in the mean time
Nathaniel Green John Alford Esquires and Mr. Thomas Cushing Junior are
desired to Inspect the Several Wrighting Schools within this Town at
Such Time as they Shall think Avisable for the year Currant, And that
they do in an Espesial Manner Vizit Mr. Condys School and Report to the
Town at their Meeting the Ability and Industry of the Said Mr. Condy
and the Proficiency of the Schollers under His Tuition--

The Comittee this day chosen and Appointed to Prepare Instructions
for the Representatives, for their Acting at the General Court at
their Approching Session And to Lay [them] before the Meeting in the
afternoon--Return as Follows: Viz.

To Elisha Cooke Esquire, Messrs. Thomas Cushing, Ezekiel Lewis and
Samuel Welles:--

       *       *       *       *       *


Your known Loyalty to His Present Majesty King George, and Sincear
Atachment to the Succession in the Illustrious House of Hannover, Your
Hearty Love to this Your native Country, Your Singuler Value for the
Liberty and Propperty of this People, your Cheerfull and Una[ni]mous
Concurrance to promote our Best Intrist, And your Approved Integrity
in those Publick Stations wherein you have bin Employed, Have fixed
the Eyes of this Town on and Determined their Choice of you as Propper
Persons to Represent them in the Next General Assembly Wherin they
Expect That you behave your Selves with your Wonted Zeal and Courage
in Prossecuting those good Designes which may tend to the Peace and
wellfair of these His Majestys Good Subjects, and Secure those Rights
and Priviledges which by the Royal Charter we have a Just claim to, and
as Englishmen do of Right appertain to us, And agreable there unto we
Recomend unto you in an Especial Manner--

That you Endeavor to Maintain all our Civil Rights and Propertys
against any Incrochments upon them.

That you Continue to Pay a due Regard to His Excellency Our Governor,
and that you Endeavor that He may have an Honourable Support, But we
desire at the Same time That you use your utmost Endeavor That the
Honourable House of Representatives may not be by any means Prevailed
upon or brought into the Fixing a Certain Sallary for any Certain time,
But that they may Improve their usual freedom in granting their Money
from time to time, as they Shall Judg the Province to be able, and in
Such a manner as they Shall think most for the Benefit and advantage
thereof, And if your Pay Should be diverted you may Depend on all the
Justice Imaginable from this Town whom you Represent:--

                                   JOHN ALFORD      }
                                   HENRY DERING     } Comittee
                                   NATHLL CUNINGHAM }

The Foregoing Return of the Committee was Presended[ted] Read Sundry
times and Voted Approved.

The Report of the Selectmen upon Several Votes of the Town at their
Meeting the 10th of March, 1728: were Read and Considered Viz.,

The Selectmen have Viewed the Marsh at the Bottom of the Common, and
not finding any Material use that can be made of it at the present, and
Considering the Present Circumstances of the Town Are of Opinion it is
best to ly in the Condition it now is.

Read and the Report Accepted--....

As to the Proposals About Bennet Street--It is thought Convenient to be
Paved if the Town thinke it Convenient to Raise Money for the Doing it
at this Meeting.

Read and Refer'd for further consideration to the Next March Meeting....

_d. Connecticut refuses to obey a Royal Officer appointed to command
her Militia against French and Indians in 1693_

_New York Colonial Documents_, IV, 71.

King William III appointed Fletcher governor of the royal province
of New York, and commissioned him to command the militia also of
Connecticut, the neighboring charter colony, in the war usually known
as King William's War. The device was eminently wise, as a military
measure; but it was stubbornly resisted by Connecticut. The historians
of that colony delight to tell a legend that when the governor arrived
and tried to have his commission read by his secretary to the militia
(drawn up in arms to repel rather than to receive him), Captain
Wadsworth drowned the reading by commanding drums to beat; three times
this was repeated; and the last time Wadsworth added, "If you try
again, I'll make daylight shine through you." The following document
gives what is probably a more accurate statement,--but one which shows
equally well that Connecticut had her way. For the general conflict of
which this was one incident between crown and colonies, cf. _American
History and Government_, ## 117, 118.

        _Governor Fletcher of New York, to Mr. Southwell_

                                            Connecticute in New England
                                                  Octoer 30th '93.


I have been in this Collony 20 dayes laboreing to perswade a stubborne
people to theire dewty. I Publis'd their Majesties [William and Mary]
Commission in theire General Court att Hartford. Assured them I had
noe pretentions to their civell adminestration. But the mallitia being
lodged in the Crowne ... I came with commission under the greate seale
to take that ... charge. They refused all obedienc. Have sepperated not
only from the Church, But Crowne of England; and allowe of noe appeale
from theire Courts, nor the Lawes of England to have any force amongst
them. _Some of the wiseest have saide "Wee are not permitted to vote
for any members of Parliamt, and therefore [are] not lyable to theire
lawes._" [Expresses military dangers due to refusal.]

I never sawe the like people. ... I could not force obedience haveing
noe Company but a few servants and two friends; nor did I think it the
King's service to carry on the contest to Bloude, tho they threaten to
draw mine for urging my Masters right ... I have just now a letter from
a sure freinde acquainting mee the mobb have a designe upon my life. I
must not goe out of the way, tho' very thinly attended....

    [The following November 10, Fletcher wrote from New York to the
    Committee on the Colonies urging that the Connecticut Charter be
    proceeded against under a writ of quo warranto, with a view of
    uniting that colony with New York. The same letter describes in
    detail the serious perils from French and Indians. One paragraph
    should be quoted: "Our hardships grow upon us. Canada ... hath
    received seven hundred men and stores of Warr from France this last
    Summer. Our Indians falter ... _These small Colonies ... are [as]
    much divided in theire interest and affection as Christian and
    Turk. ..._"]

112. Commission of a Royal Governor

    _New Hampshire Provincial Papers_, VI, 908 (edited by N. Benton).

    This commission, in compact form, describes the government of a
    royal colony just before the Revolution. The omissions (indicated
    by ...) are mainly tautological phrases.

George the Third, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France, and
Ireland, King....

To our Trusty and well beloved Benning Wentworth Esquire, Greeting:
=Know you=, that Wee, reposing especial Trust and Confidence in the
Prudence, Courage, and Loyalty of you Benning Wentworth, of our
Especial grace, certain Knowledge, and meer motion, Have thought
fit to constitute and appoint you ... to be our Governour and
Commander-in-Chief of our Province of New Hampshire ... with all ...
the authoritys hereby granted you ... during our will and Pleasure:

=And We= do hereby require ... you to ... execute all things ... that
shall belong unto your said Command ... according to the several
Powers ... granted ... you by this Present Commission ... or by such
further powers, Instructions, and Authorities as shall at any time be
granted or appointed you under our ... sign manual ... and according
to such reasonable Laws and Statutes as now are in force or hereafter
shall be made and agreed upon by you with the advice and consent of our
Council and the Assembly of our said Province....

=And wee= do hereby give ... you full Power ... to suspend any of
the members of our said Council from sitting, Voting, and assisting
therein, if you shall find just cause for so doing: and if it shall
at any time happen that by the Death or Departure out of our said
Province, suspension of any of our said Councillors, or otherwise,
there shall be a Vacancy in our said Council (any three whereof we
do hereby appoint to be a Quorum), our Will and Pleasure is that you
signify the same to us by the first opportunity, that we may ...
appoint others in their stead; but that our affairs at that Distance
may not suffer for want of a due number of Councillors, if ever it
shall happen that there shall be less than seven of them residing in
our said Province, =Wee do= hereby give ... unto you ... full Power ...
to choose as many Persons out of the Principal Freeholders, Inhabitants
thereof, as will make up the full Number of our said Council to be
seven, and no more....

=And wee= do hereby give ... you full Power ... with the advice and
consent of our said Council from time to time, as need shall require,
to summon and call General Assemblys of the said Freeholders and
Planters within your Government, in manner and form according to the
usage of our Province of New Hampshire:

=Wee do= hereby Declare that the Persons so elected and qualified shall
be called and Deemed the General Assembly of our said Province ... and
that you ... with the consent of our said Council and Assembly, or the
major part of them respectively, shall have full Power ... to make,
Constitute, and ordain Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances, for the Publick
Peace, Welfare, and good Government of our said Province ... and for
the Benefit of us our Heirs and Successors,--which said Laws ... are
not to be repugnant, but, as near as may be, agreeable to the laws ...
of this our Kingdom of Great Britain.

=Provided that= all such Statutes and Ordinances, of whatever nature
and Duration soever, be, within three months ... after the making
thereof, transmitted unto us ... for our approbation or Disallowance
[as also Duplicates of the same by the next conveyance]; and in case
any or all of the said Laws ..., not before confirmed by us, shall
at any time be disallowed ... and so signified by us our Heirs or
Successors ... unto you ... or to the Commander-in-Chief of our said
Province for the time being, then such and so many of the said Laws ...
shall from thence cease, Determine, and become utterly void....

=And= to the end that nothing may be passed or done by our said Council
or Assembly to the Prejudice of us, our Heirs and Successors, We will
and ordain that you ... shall have ... a negative Voice in the making
and Passing of all Laws and Statutes and ordinances ... =and= you
shall and may ... from time to time, as you shall judge it necessary,
adjourn, Prorogue, and Dissolve all General Assemblies as aforesaid....

=And We= do hereby authorize ... you to constitute ... Judges, and, in
cases requisite, Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, Justices of the
Peace, and other necessary officers ... in our said Province for the
better administration of Justice and putting the Laws in execution....

=And we= do hereby give ... you full Power ... where you shall see
cause, or shall Judge any offenders ... fit objects for our mercy,
to Pardon all such ... offenders, and to remit all ... fines and
forfeitures, Treason and Willfull murder only excepted ... in which
cases you shall likewise have Power, upon extraordinary occasions, to
grant reprieves ... until ... our royal Pleasure may be known....

=And We= do hereby give ... unto you ..., by yourself or by your
Captains ... by you to be authorized, full Power ... to Levy, arm,
muster, command, and Employ all persons whatsoever residing within our
said Province ... for the resisting and withstanding of all enemies,
Pyrates, and rebels ... and to transport such forces to any of our
Plantations in America, if necessity shall require, for the Defence of
the same ... and to Execute martial Law in time of Invasion, or other
times when by Law it may be executed, and to do and execute every other
thing ... which to our Commander-in-Chief doth or ought of right to

=And We= do hereby command all officers ... civil and military, and all
other Inhabitants ... to be obedient aiding and assisting unto you, the
said Benning Wentworth, in the Execution of this our Commission ... and
in case of your Death, or absence out of our Province, unto such person
as shall be appointed by us to be our Lieutenant Governor ... to whom
we do therefore by these Presents give and grant all and singular the
Powers and authorities aforesaid [and, if no Lieutenant Governor has
been named, then] the Eldest Councillor, whose Name is first placed
in our Instructions to you ... shall take upon him the administration
of the government and Execute our said Commission ... and the several
Powers therein contained.

113. Free Speech Vindicated

              (_Trial of John Peter Zenger, 1735._)

    Zenger, in 1738, published a "Brief Narrative of the Case and
    Tryall," somewhat in the form of a modern "Report," though he
    speaks in the first person. In 1735 the governor of New York
    removed the chief justice of the colony for personal reasons.
    Zenger, in his _Weekly Journal_, vigorously criticized this and
    _other despotic_ actions of the governor. He was prosecuted for
    criminal libel; and the new chief justice showed a determination
    to secure a conviction, trying to limit the jury to deciding only
    whether Zenger was responsible for the publication, and reserving
    to himself the decision whether the words were punishable. This was
    the custom in English courts of the day in government prosecutions.

    Italics and black-faced type are as in the original.

[The Attorney General's complaint, as Zenger reports, characterized
him as "a seditious person and a frequent Printer and Publisher of
false news and seditious Libels, and charged specifically that he]
"did falsely, seditiously, and scandalously print and publish ... a
certain false, malicious, seditious, scandalous Libel ... concerning
His Excellency the Governour ... [in which publication he represented a
former inhabitant explaining that he had left the colony, as he doubts
not others will, because, among other reasons] They ... think ... that
their LIBERTIES and PROPERTIES are precarious, and that SLAVERY is
likely to be intailed on them and their Posterity if some past Things
be not amended ... (meaning, the past Proceedings of his Excellency
the Governor ...) ... [and] WE ... SEE MENS DEEDS DESTROYED, JUDGES

"_Who then [can] call any Thing his own, or enjoy any Liberty ...
longer than those in the Administration ... will condescend to let

[This publication, the Attorney General charges, was] to the great
disturbance of the Peace of the ... Province ... to the Great Scandal
of Our said Lord the King, of His Excellency the Governor [etc];
whereupon the said Attorney General of Our said Lord the King, for Our
said Lord the King, prays ... the due Process of the Law against him
the said _John Peter Zenger_ ... in the Premises.

[The Report continues:]

To this Information the Defendant has pleaded _Not Guilty_, and we are
ready to prove it....

Then Mr. _Hamilton_,[112] who at the Request of some of my Friends, was
so kind as to come from _Philadelphia_ to assist me on the Tryal, spoke.

Mr. _Hamilton_, "May it please your Honour; I am concerned in this
Cause on the Part of Mr. _Zenger_ the Defendant. The Information
against my Client was sent me, a few days before I left Home, with some
Instructions to let me know how far I might rely upon the Truth of
those Parts of the Papers set forth in the Information, and which are
said to be libellous ... I cannot think it proper for me (without doing
Violence to my own Principles) to deny the Publication of a Complaint,
which I think is the Right of every free-born Subject to make, when the
Matters so published can be supported with Truth; and therefore I'll
save Mr. Attorney the Trouble of Examining his Witnesses to that Point;
and I do (for my Client) confess, that he both printed and published
the two News Papers set forth in the Information, and I hope in so
doing he has committed no Crime. ..."

Mr. _Attorney_, ... "The Case before the Court is, whether Mr. _Zenger_
is guilty of Libelling his Excellency the Governor of _New-York_, and
indeed the whole administration of the Government? Mr. _Hamilton_ has
confessed the Printing and Publishing, and I think nothing is plainer,
than that the Words in the Information are =_scandalous, and tend to
Sedition, and to disquiet the Minds of the People of this Province_=.
And if such Papers are not Libels, I think it may be said, there can be
no such Thing as a Libel."

Mr. _Hamilton_, "May it please your Honour; I cannot agree with Mr.
Attorney: For tho' I freely acknowledge, that there are such Things
as Libels, yet I must insist at the same Time, that what my Client
is charged with, is not a Libel; and I observed just now, that Mr.
Attorney in defining a Libel, made use of the Words =_scandalous,
seditious, and tend to disquiet the People_=; but (whether with Design
or not I will not say) he omitted the Word =_false_=."

Mr. _Attorney_, I think I did not omit the Word =_false_=: But it has
been said already, that it may be a Libel, notwithstanding it may be

Mr. _Hamilton_, In this I must still differ with Mr. Attorney; for I
depend upon it, we are to be tried upon this Information now before
the Court and Jury, and to which we have pleaded =_Not Guilty_=, and
by it we are charged with printing and publishing, =_a certain false,
malicious, seditious and scandalous Libel_=. This Word =_false_= must
have some Meaning, or else how came it there?...

Mr. _Ch. Justice_, You cannot be admitted, Mr. =_Hamilton_=, to give
the Truth of a Libel in Evidence. A Libel is not to be justified; for
it is nevertheless a Libel that [i.e. tho'] it is =_true_=.

Mr. _Hamilton_, I am sorry the court has so soon resolved upon that
Piece of Law; I expected first to have been heard to that Point. I have
not in all my Reading met with an Authority that says, we cannot be
admitted to give the Truth in Evidence, upon an Information for a Libel.

Mr. _Ch. Justice_, The Law is clear, That you cannot justify a Libel....

Mr. _Hamilton_, I thank your Honour. Then, Gentlemen of the Jury, it is
to you we must now appeal, for Witnesses, to the Truth of the Facts we
have offered, and are denied the Liberty to prove; and let it not seem
strange, that I apply my self to you in this Manner, I am warranted so
to do both by Law and Reason. The Last supposes you to be summones,
_out of the Neighbourhood where the Fact is alledged to be committed_;
and the Reason of your being taken out of the Neighbourhood is,
_because you are supposed to have the best Knowledge of the Fact that
is to be tried_. And were you to find a Verdict against my Client, you
must take upon you to say, the Papers referred to in the Information,
and which we acknowledge we printed and published, are, _false,
scandalous and seditious_; but of this I can have no Apprehension.
You are Citizens of _New-York_; you are really what the Law supposes
you to be, _honest and lawful Men_; and, according to my Brief, the
Facts which we offer to prove were not committed in a Corner; they are
notoriously known to be true; and therefore in your Justice lies our
Safety. And as we are denied the Liberty of giving Evidence, to prove
the Truth of what we have published, I will beg Leave to lay it down as
a Standing Rule in such Cases, _That the suppressing of Evidence ought
always to be taken for the strongest Evidence_; and I hope it will have
that Weight with you....

... It is true in Times past it was a Crime to speak Truth, and in that
terrible Court of Star-Chamber, many worthy and brave Men suffred for
so doing; and yet even in that Court, and in those bad Times, a great
and good Man durst say, what I hope will not be taken amiss of me to
say in this Place, _to wit, the Practice of Informations for Libels
is a Sword in the Hands of a wicked king and_ [of] _an arrand Coward
to cut down and destroy the innocent; the one cannot, because of his
high station, and the other dares not, because of his Want of Courage,
revenge himself in another Manner._

Mr. _Attorney_, Pray Mr. _Hamilton_, have a Care what you say, don't go
too far neither, I don't like those Liberties.

Mr. _Hamilton_, Sure, Mr. Attorney, you won't make any Applications;
all Men agree that we are governed by the best of Kings, and I cannot
see the Meaning of Mr. Attorney's Caution. ... May it please Your
Honour, I was saying, That notwithstanding all the Duty and Reverence
claimed by Mr. Attorney to Men in Authority, they are not exempt from
observing the Rules of common Justice, either in their private or
publick Capacities; the Laws of our Mother Country know no Exception....

I hope to be pardon'd, Sir, for my Zeal upon this Occasion: It is an
old and wise Caution, _That when our Neighbour's House is on Fire, We
ought to take Care of our own_. For tho', blessed be God, I live in
a Government where Liberty is well understood, and freely enjoy'd;
yet Experience has shewn us all (I'm sure it has to me) that a bad
Precedent in one Government, is soon set up for an Authority in
another; and therefore I cannot but think it mine, and every Honest
Man's Duty, that (while we pay all due Obedience to Men in Authority)
we ought at the same Time to be upon our Guard against Power [i.e.,
arbitrary power], wherever we apprehend that it may effect Ourselves or
our Fellow-Subjects.

I am truly very unequal to such an Undertaking on many Accounts. And
you see I labour under the Weight of many Years, and am born down
with great Infirmities of Body; yet Old and Weak as I am, I should
think it my Duty, if required, to go to the utmost Part of the land,
where my Service cou'd be of any Use in assisting to quench the flame
of Prosecutions upon Informations, set on Foot by the Government, to
deprive a People of the Right of Remonstrating (and complaining too) of
the arbitrary Attempts of Men in Power. Men who injure and oppress the
People under their Administration provoke them to cry out and complain;
and then make that very Complaint the foundation for new Oppressions
and Prosecutions. ... But to conclude; the Question before the Court
and you, Gentlemen of the Jury, is not of small nor private Concern,
it is not the Cause of a poor Printer, nor of _New-York_ alone, which
you are now trying; No! It may in its Consequence, affect every Freeman
that lives under a British Government on the Main of _America_. It
is the best Cause. It is the Cause of Liberty; and I make no Doubt
but your upright Conduct, this Day, will not only entitle you to the
Love and Esteem of your Fellow-Citizens; but every Man, who prefers
Freedom to a Life of Slavery, will bless and honour You, as Men who
have baffled the Attempt of Tyranny; and by an impartial and uncorrupt
Verdict, have laid a noble Foundation for Securing to ourselves, our
Posterity, and our Neighbours, That to which Nature and the Laws of
our Country have given us a Right,--the Liberty--both of exposing and
opposing arbitrary Power (in these Parts of the World, at least) by
speaking and writing Truth....

Mr. _Ch. Just._ Gentlemen of the Jury. The great pains Mr. _Hamilton_
has taken, to shew how little Regard Juries are to Pay to the Opinion
of the Judges; and his insisting so much upon the Conduct of some
Judges in Tryals of this kind; is done, no doubt, with a Design that
you should take but very little Notice of what I may say upon this
Occasion. I shall therefore only observe to you that, as the Facts or
Words in the Information are confessed: The only Thing that can come
in Question before you is, Whether the Words, as set forth in the
Information, make a Libel. And that is a Matter of Law, no doubt, and
which you may leave to the Court. But I shall trouble you no further
with any Thing more of my own, but read to you the Words of a learned
and upright Judge in a Case of the like Nature.

_To say that corrupt Officers are appointed to administer Affairs,
is certainly a Reflection on the Government. If People should not be
called to account for possessing the People with an ill Opinion of the
Government, no Government can subsist. For it is necessary for all
Governments that the People should have a good Opinion of it. ..._

[Zenger adds]

The Jury withdrew, and in a small Time returned, and being asked by the
Clerk, Whether they were agreed of their Verdict, and whether _John
Peter Zenger_ was guilty of Printing and Publishing the Libels in the
Information mentioned? They answered by _Thomas Hunt_, their Foreman,
_Not Guilty_. Upon which there were three Huzzas in the Hall which
was crowded with People, and the next Day I was discharged from my

114. Franklin's "Albany Plan," July 10, 1754[113]

    On the eve of the French and Indian War, in June 19, 1754, there
    met at Albany, on the call of the Lords of Trade, a colonial
    congress to agree upon measures of defense. Seven colonies
    were represented,--New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
    Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland,--none south of
    the Potomac. Massachusetts had authorized her commissioners to
    "enter into articles of union and confederation" with the other
    colonies "as well in time of peace as of war." On the sixth day
    of the session, the Congress voted unanimously that a union of
    all the colonies was "absolutely necessary for their security." A
    committee, representing each of the colonies present, was created
    to consider various plans, and, after almost daily discussions,
    a general plan was accepted on July 9. Franklin was appointed to
    draft the detailed plan,--and, the next day, a form submitted by
    him was adopted. Franklin afterward said of the result: "the Fate
    of this Plan was singular ... The Crown disapproved it, as having
    too much Weight in the Democratic Part of the Constitution; and
    every Assembly, as having allowed too much to Prerogative. So it
    was totally rejected."

    The text of a number of other plans for colonial federation,
    between 1696 and 1754, are collected in No. 14 of the _American
    History Leaflets_.

_a. Motives_

    The following extract is part of the "introduction" to the Plan
    afterward drawn up by Franklin and printed in his _Works_ (Smyth
    edition, III, 203-204).

The commissioners from a number of the northern colonies, being met
at Albany, and considering the difficulties that have always attended
the most necessary general measures for the common defence, or for
the annoyance of the enemy, when they were to be carried through the
several particular Assemblies of all the colonies; some Assemblies
being before at variance with their governors or councils, and the
several branches of the government not on terms of doing business with
each other: others taking the opportunity, when their concurrence is
wanted, to push for favorite laws, powers, or points, that they think
could not at other times be obtained, and so creating disputes and
quarrels; one Assembly waiting to see what another will do, being
afraid of doing more than its share, or desirous of doing less, or
refusing to do anything because its country is not at present so
much exposed as others, or because another will reap more immediate
advantage; from one or other of which causes, the Assemblies of six out
of seven colonies applied to, had granted no assistance to Virginia
when lately invaded by the French, though purposely convened, and the
importance of the occasion earnestly urged upon them;--considering
moreover, that one principal encouragement to the French, in invading
and insulting the British American dominions, was their knowledge
of our disunited state, and of our weakness arising from such want
of union; and that from hence different colonies were, at different
times, extremely harassed, and put to great expense both of blood
and treasure, who would have remained in peace, if the enemy had had
cause to fear the drawing on themselves the resentment and power of
the whole;--the said commissioners, considering also the present
encroachments of the French, and the mischievous consequences that may
be expected from them, if not opposed with our [united] force, came to
an unanimous resolution; _That a union of the colonies is absolutely
necessary for their preservation_.

_b. The Plan_

    _Broadhead's Documents relative to the Colonial History of New
    York_, VI, 589-591.

_Plan of a proposed Union of the several Colonies of Massachusetts
    Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New
    Jerseys, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and
    South Carolina,[114] for their mutual defence and security, and for
    extending the British Settlements in North America._

That humble application be made for an Act of the Parliament of Great
Brittain, by virtue of which, one General Government may be formed
in America, including all the said Colonies, within and under which
Government each Colony may retain its present Constitution, except in
the particulars wherein a [_change_] may be directed by the said Act,
as hereafter follows.

That the said General Government be administered by a president
General, to be appointed and supported by the Crown, and a grand
Council _to be chosen by the representatives of the people of the
severall Colonies_, [_met_] in their respective Assemblies.[115]

[Provision for election of first grand council, of forty-eight
members,--Massachusetts and Virginia to have _seven_ each, Pennsylvania
_six_, Connecticut _five_, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and
South Carolina each _four_, New Jersey _three_, New Hampshire and Rhode
Island each _two_.]

Who shall meet for the present time at the City of Philadelphia
in Pennsylvania, being called by the President General as soon as
conveniently may be after his appointment.

That there shall be a New Election of the Members of the Grand Council
every three years, and on the death or resignation of any Member, his
place should be supplyed by a new choice at the next sitting of the
Assembly of the Colony he represented.

That after the first three years, when the proportion of money arising
out of each Colony to the General Treasury can be known, the number of
Members to be chosen, for each Colony shall from time to time in all
ensuing Elections be regulated by that proportion (yet so as that the
Number to be chosen by any one province be not more than seven nor less
than two).

That the Grand Council shall meet once in every year, and oftener if
occasion require, at such time and place as they shall adjourn to at
the last preceding meeting, or as they shall be called to meet at by
the President General, on any emergency, he having first obtained in
writing the consent of seven of the Members to such call, and sent due
and timely notice to the whole.

That the Grand Council have power to chuse their speaker, and =_shall
neither be dissolved prorogued, nor continue sitting longer than six
weeks at one time without their own consent,_[116] _or the special
command of the Crown_=.

That the Members of the Grand Council shal be allowed for their service
ten shillings sterling per diem, during their Sessions or [_and_]
Journey to and from the place of Meeting; twenty miles to be reckoned a
days Journey.

=_That the Assent of the President General be requisite to all Acts of
the Grand Council_=, and that it be his Office and duty to cause them
to be carried into execution.

That the President General with the advice of the Grand Council, hold
or direct all Indian Treaties in which the general interest of the
Colonys may be concerned; and make peace or declare War with Indian
Nations. That they make such Laws as they judge necessary for the
regulating all Indian Trade. That they make all purchases from Indians
for the Crown, of lands not [now] within the bounds of particular
Colonies, or that shall not be within their bounds when some of
them are reduced to more convenient dimensions. That they make new
settlements on such purchases by granting Lands, [in the King's name]
reserving a Quit rent to the Crown, for the use of the General Treasury.

That they make Laws for regulating and governing such new settlements,
till the Crown shall think fit to form them into particular Governments.

That they raise and pay Soldiers, and build Forts for the defence of
any of the Colonies, and equip vessels of Force to guard the Coasts and
protect the Trade on the Ocean, Lakes, or great Rivers; but they shall
not impress men in any Colonies without the consent of its Legislature.
That for these purposes they have power to make Laws and lay and Levy
such general duties, imposts or taxes, as to them shall appear most
equal and just, considering the ability and other circumstances of the
Inhabitants in the several Colonies, and such as may be collected with
the least inconvenience to the people, rather discouraging luxury, than
loading Industry with unnecessary burthens.--That they might appoint a
General Treasurer and a particular Treasurer in each Government when
necessary, and from time to time may order the sums in the Treasuries
of each Government, into the General Treasury, or draw on them for
special payments as they find most convenient; yet no money to issue
but by joint orders of the President General and Grand Council, except
where sums have been appropriated to particular purposes, and the
President General is previously impowered by an Act to draw for such

That the General accounts shall be yearly settled and reported to the
several Assemblies.

That a Quorum of the Grand Council impowered to act with the President
General, do consist of twenty five Members, among whom there shall be
one or more from a majority of the Colonies. That the laws made by them
for the purposes aforesaid, shall not be repugnant, but as near as may
be agreeable to the Laws of England, and shall be transmitted to the
King in Council for approbation, as soon as may be after their passing,
and if not disapproved within three years after presentation to remain
in Force.

That in case of the death of the President General, the Speaker of the
Grand Council for the time being shall succeed, and be vested with the
same powers and authority, to continue until the King's pleasure be

[Commissions, military and civil, for officers acting under this
constitution, to be issued jointly by President-General and
Grand Council.]--That the particular, Military as well as Civil
establishments in each Colony remain in their present State this
General constitution notwithstanding. And that on sudden emergencies
any Colony may defend itself, and lay the accounts of expence, thence
arisen, before the President General and Grand Council, who may allow
and order payment of the same if judged reasonable.

    [In 1789 Franklin wrote, with good reason, that the adoption of
    the Albany Plan would have probably delayed the separation of the
    colonies from England, "perhaps during another century." There
    would have been a central legislature to vote supplies and prepare
    defense against Indians and French, and the British reasons for the
    Stamp Act would not have existed.]


[91] The first part of this act is copied almost word for word from
an act of the Long Parliament in 1651. That act, however, was not
enforced. It applied only to shipping. The Act of 1660 added the
"enumerating" clause (XVIII).

[92] Question having arisen in regard to the definition of
English-built ships and English mariners, these terms were defined in
section V of the Act of 1662 (14 Car. II, c. 11). The portion of the
section relating to mariners follows: "And whereas it is required by
the said Act that in sundry cases the Master and three fourths of the
Mariners are to be English, it is to be understood that any of His
Majesties Subjects of England, Ireland, _and His Plantations_ are to
bee accounted English, and no others. ..."--_Statutes of the Realm_, V,

[93] The sugar from the English colonies also paid duties on admission
into English ports (lower than these here prescribed for _foreign_
sugars); but such duties were to be rebated, according to this section
IX, upon reëxportation.

[94] The name "New England" still applied to all English America north
of Delaware Bay.

[95] This was the first charter provision for appeal from a colonial
court to England. The question had arisen just before in connection
with the New England colonies. Cf. _American History and Government_, #

[96] This was the first provision for a direct English veto upon
colonial laws.

[97] All italics are by the editor. The Pennsylvania charter distinctly
recognized the right of Parliament to tax the colonists. These clauses,
with those regarding appeals and the royal veto, were added to Penn's
draft by the King's Attorney-General.

[98] This grant was also in the "Laws Agreed upon in England," XXXV.

[99] That act decreed that, in order to vote, a man must own "fifty
acres of land, ... twelve acres thereof, or more, cleared and improved;
or be otherwise worth fifty pounds lawful money" above all indebtedness.

[100] By the law of England, the property of a suicide, like that of a
man convicted of a felony, escheated to the crown. The other half of
this same paragraph abolished another ancient legal cruelty.

[101] This provision (adopted also from the "Laws Agreed upon in
England") is the first attempt in a constitution to establish _a
regular method of amendment_. The attempt to exclude a portion of the
document from amendment, so common for long afterward, begins here also
(next paragraph).

[102] Five years later came an Indian uprising in which at least 300
colonists lost their lives.

[103] As governor of Virginia, Berkeley is disposed to side with the
colony against the English policy. Cf. 19, note, below.

[104] Even as negroes were packed, the slaver of that time rarely
carried a hundred slaves.

[105] Italicized by the editor. Cf. 11, above, and the note.

[106] This is a gross overstatement on Berkeley's part. Cf. _American
History and Government_, # 96. It is notable, however, that even a
courtier, like Berkeley, as a colonial governor, takes the point of
view of his province against English policy. Cf. _ib._, # 118.

[107] Then why no Virginia ships _before_ 1660?

[108] Cf. No. 35, above.

[109] Queen Anne.

[110] A reference to the expulsion of James II.

[111] Paid a fine for refusing to serve.

[112] James Hamilton, an aged Pennsylvania lawyer.

[113] The "New Style" chronology was adopted by England in 1752.

[114] Georgia was not included. Franklin seems originally to have
contemplated a union of the northern colonies only.

[115] In Franklin's comments upon the sections of this plan (_Works_,
Smyth edition, III, 208 ff.), he adds to this section: " ... it being
proposed by the gentlemen of the Council of New York ... to alter the
plan in this particular, and _to give the governors and council_ of the
several provinces a share in the choice of the grand council [or at
least a veto upon the selections], it was said,....

"That it is essential to English liberty, that the subject should
not be taxed but by his own consent, or the consent of his elected

"That taxes to be laid and levied by this proposed constitution will
be proposed and agreed to by the representatives of the people, if the
plan in this particular be preserved.

"But if the proposed alteration should take place, it seemed as if
matters may be so managed as that the crown shall finally have the
appointment, not only of the president-general, but of a majority of
the grand Council....

"And so the people in all the colonies would in effect be taxed by
their governors.

[Some three pages more of like argument.]

"Upon the whole the commissioners were of opinion that the choice was
most properly placed in the representatives of the people."

[116] Franklin's comment was (see note above): "Governors have
sometimes wantonly exercised the power of ... continuing the sessions
of Assemblies, merely to harass the members and compel a compliance;
and sometimes dissolve them on slight disgusts." This provision may
have been suggested to Franklin by the fact that in his own colony the
legislative sittings were independent of the governor's will (No. 103,
_b_, above).


115. Legal Punishment in Virginia, 1662-1748

    Hening's _Statutes_, II, 75. The following statute was enacted in
    March, 1662. It was reënacted, in similar words, in 1705 and in
    1748 (_ib._ 367-368 and 507-508), and was in force at the opening
    of the Revolution.

Whereas many offences are punishable by the laws of England and of this
country with corporall punishments, for executeing whereof noe such
provision hath been made as the said laws doe require; _Be it therefore
enacted_, that, in every county, the court cause to be sett up a
pillory, a pair of stocks, and a whipping post, neere the courthouse,
and a ducking-stoole in such a place as they shall think convenient ...
And the courts not causeing the said pillory and whipping post, stocks
and ducking stoole to be erected within six months, after the date of
this act shall be fined five thousand pounds of tobacco to the use of
the publique.

116. White Servants in 1774

    William Eddes, _Letters from America_.

    These _Letters_, written in 1774, were printed in London in 1792.
    Eddes was a customs official at Annapolis.

PERSONS in a state of servitude are under four distinct denominations:
negroes, who are the entire property of their respective owners:
convicts, who are transported from the mother country for a limited
term: indented servants, who are engaged for five years previous to
their leaving England; and free-willers, who are supposed, from their
situation, to possess superior advantages....

Persons convicted of felony, and in consequence transported to this
continent, if they are able to pay the expense of passage, are free
to pursue their fortune agreeably to their inclinations or abilities.
Few, however, have means to avail themselves of this advantage. These
unhappy beings are, generally, consigned to an agent, who classes them
suitably to their real or supposed qualifications; advertises them for
sale, and disposes of them, for seven years, to planters, to mechanics,
and to such as choose to retain them for domestic service.

       *       *       *       *       *

The generality of the inhabitants in this province are very little
acquainted with those fallacious pretences, by which numbers are
continually induced to embark for this continent. On the contrary,
they too generally conceive an opinion that the difference is merely
nominal between the indented servant and the convicted felon: nor will
they readily believe that people, who had the least experience in life,
and whose characters were unexceptionable, would abandon their friends
and families, and their ancient connexions, for a servile situation,
in a remote appendage to the British Empire. From this persuasion
they rather consider the convict as the more profitable servant, his
term being for seven, the latter only for five years; and, I am sorry
to observe, that there are but few instances wherein they experience
different treatment. Negroes being a property for life, the death of
slaves, in the prime of youth or strength, is a material loss to the
proprietor; they are, therefore, almost in every instance, under more
comfortable circumstances than the miserable European, over whom the
rigid planter exercises an inflexible severity. They [white servants]
are strained to the utmost to perform their allotted labour....

The situation of the free-willer is, in almost every instance more to
be lamented than either that of the convict or the indented servant;
the deception which is practised on those of this description being
attended with circumstances of greater duplicity and cruelty. ... They
are told, that their services will be eagerly solicited, in proportion
to their abilities; that their reward will be adequate to the hazard
they encounter by courting fortune in a distant region; and that the
parties with whom they engage will readily advance the sum agreed on
for their passage; which, being averaged at about nine pounds sterling,
they will speedily be enabled to repay, and to enjoy, in a state of
liberty, a comparative situation of ease and affluence. ... It is,
therefore, an article of agreement with these deluded victims, that if
they are not successful in obtaining situations, on their own terms,
within a certain number of days after their arrival in the country,
they are then to be sold, in order to defray the charges of passage....

117. Runaway Servants and Apprentices

    From "Newspaper Extracts," 1770-1771, in _New Jersey Archives_,
    First Series, XXVII. The editor of this volume is responsible for
    the italics.

                                       Trenton Goal, December 28, 1769.

This is to give notice, there was committed to my custody, by William
Clayton, Esq., as a runaway apprentice on the 24th day of October last,
THOMAS SANDAMAN. This is to inform his master or sheriff that he run
away from, that they come and pay charges and take him away, _or he
will be sold_ to pay cost and charges, on Saturday the 20th day of
January, 1770, by me

                               PETER HANKINSON, _Goaler_.

     --_The Pennsylvania Journal, No. 1413, January 4, 1770._

                     THREE POUNDS REWARD

Run-away on Friday the 12th Inst. from the Subscriber at Hunterdon
County, in New-Jersey, an Apprentice, named DAVID COX, about Twenty
Years of Age, a Carpenter and Joiner by Trade, but its likely he may
pass for a Mill-Wright, as he has two Brothers of that Trade, that
works near Albany. He is about 5 Feet 10 Inches high, large boned,
knock kneed, of a dark Complexion, down Look, black Eyes, black Hair,
and wears it tied. Had on when he went away, a grey coloured Coat and
Jacket, pretty much worn, with Horn Buttons on them, new Leather
Breeches, with black Horn Buttons, Russia Shirt, black Yarn Stockings,
new Shoes, also a rusty Castor Hat, wears it cocked: It is also
suspected he has stole his Indentures, and will very likely show them
for a Pass, as he is near of Age. Whoever apprehends said Apprentice,
and secures him in any Goal, so that his Master may have Notice
thereof, shall have the above Reward, paid by me.

                        JAMES TAYLOR.

N. B. Perhaps he may change his Cloaths, that he may not be discovered.

--_The N. Y. Gazette, or Weekly Post Boy, No. 1412, January 22, 1770._

                                         New Jersey, November 24, 1769.

Run-away the 22d September, from the Subscriber, living in Monmouth
County, in the Township of Shrewsbury, in the Province of East
New-Jersey; an indented Servant Man, named Walter Clark, _born in the
Jerseys_, about Twenty-four Years of Age, a Black-Smith by trade, and
understands farming Business; he is about six Feet high, has black
curled Hair, and keeps his Mouth much open: He took several Suits of
Apparel with him, all of a brownish Colour, some Broad Cloth, and some
thin Stuff; also one striped double-breasted Jacket. Whoever takes up
the above said Servant and delivers him to me the Subscriber, shall
have Three Pounds Reward, and reasonable Charges paid, by me.

                                             BENJAMIN JACKSON.

--_The N. Y. Journal or General Advertiser, No. 1412, January 25, 1770._

Run away from the subscriber, living near Morris-Town, in New-Jersey,
on Christmas-day last, a servant man, named Thomas Clay, a Cooper by
trade, _near 50 years of age_, about 5 feet 10 inches high, brown
curled hair, will drink to excess, and then is noisy, likes to sing
songs; had on, when he went away, a blue great coat, and jacket of the
same, leather breeches, and felt hat. Whoever takes up and secures
said servant, so that his master may have him again, shall have Three
Pounds Reward, and reasonable charges, paid by

                                        DANIEL GERARD, junior.

--_Pennsylvania Gazette, No. 2146, February 8, 1770_.

                                 BURLINGTON, December 3, 1770.

This Day was committed to the Goal of this City, a certain Thomas
Gearn, _upon suspicion of being a runaway Servant_; he says that he
belongs to William Withers, living in Cecil County, Maryland, and that
he left his said Master about 14 or 15 Weeks ago. Said Servant is about
20 Years of Age, and says when he left his Master he had _an Iron
Collar on his Neck_, but soon got it off. Whoever owns the said Thomas
Gearn, is desired to come or send; pay Charges immediately, and take
him away.

                            --EPHRAIM PHILLIPS, _Goaler_.

         GLOUCESTER COUNTY GOAL, September 12, 1771.

Taken up _on suspicion_, as a runaway servant and now confined here, a
young man about 5 feet 6 inches high, marked with the small-pox, has on
a blue coat, homespun shirt, and check trousers, says his name is Hugh
M'Cage, and that he belongs to one William or John Miller, living near
Lancaster. His master, if any he has, is desired to fetch him away,
_and pay charges_; otherwise he will be _sold out_ in 3 weeks from the
date hereof.

                               RICHARD JOHNSON, _Goaler_.

--_Pennsylvania Gazette_, Sept. 12, 1771.

    [These advertisements all relate to _White_ men. Like entries
    continue through the early Revolutionary days, often in the same
    column with flaming expressions of the spirit of political liberty,
    in a manner somewhat amazing to a modern reader. This one volume
    of newspaper extracts for the years 1770-1771, has _seventy-seven_
    such advertisements of run-away White servants for New Jersey
    alone,--many times as many as there were for runaway Negroes.]


[117] Cf. _American History and Government_, ## 120-124.



    On the history and subdivisions of this period, cf. _American
    History and Government_, ## 126-144. Many documents which might be
    expected for the Revolution are omitted in this volume because of
    the short quotations from them in _American History and Government_.

118. Sugar Act of 1764

    Pickering's _Statutes at Large_, XXVI, 33-52 (4 Geo. III, c. 15).
    On the bearing of this and the Stamp Act (following) upon the
    Revolution, cf. _American History and Government_, ## 131, 132.

_An act for granting certain duties in the_ British _colonies and
plantations in_ America; _for continuing, amending, and making
perpetual, an act passed in the sixth year of the reign of his late
Majesty King_ George _the Second_, (_intituled_, An act for the better
securing and encouraging the trade of his Majesty's sugar colonies in
_America_;) _for applying the produce of such duties, and of the duties
to arise by virtue of the said act, towards defraying the expences of
defending, protecting, and securing the said colonies and
plantations; ... and for altering and disallowing several drawbacks
on exports from this kingdom, and more effectually preventing the
clandestine conveyance of goods to and from the said colonies and
plantations, and improving and securing the trade between the same and
Great Britain._

WHEREAS _it is expedient that new provisions and regulations should
be established for improving the revenue of this Kingdom, and for
extending and securing the navigation and commerce between_ Great
Britain _and your Majesty's dominions in_ America, _which, by the
peace, have been so happily enlarged: and whereas it is just and
necessary, that a revenue be raised, in your Majesty's said dominions
in_ America, _for defraying the expences of defending, protecting,
and securing the same_ ... be it enacted ..., That from and after
[September 29, 1764], there shall be raised, levied, collected, and
paid, unto his Majesty ..., for and upon all white or clayed sugars of
the produce or manufacture of any colony or plantation in _America_,
not under the dominion of his Majesty ...; for and upon indico, and
coffee of foreign produce or manufacture; for and upon all wines
(except _French_ wine;) for and upon all wrought silks, bengals, and
stuffs, mixed with silk or herba, of the manufacture of _Persia_,
_China_, or _East India_, and all callico painted, died, printed,
or stained there; and for and upon all foreign linen cloth called
_Cambrick_ and _French_ Lawns, which shall be imported or brought into
any colony or plantation in _America_ ... under the dominion of his
Majesty ..., the several rates and duties following; that is to say,

For every hundred weight avoirdupois of such foreign white or clayed
sugars, one pound two shillings, over and above all other duties
imposed by any former act of parliament....

For every hundred weight avoirdupois of such foreign coffee, which
shall be imported from any place except _Great Britain_, two pounds,
nineteen shillings, and nine pence.

For every ton of wine of the growth of the _Madeiras_, or of any other
island or place from whence such wine may be lawfully imported ..., the
sum of seven pounds.

For every ton of _Portugal_, _Spanish_, or any other wine (except
_French_ wine) imported from _Great Britian_, the sum of ten shillings.

For every pound weight avoirdupois of wrought silks, bengals, and
stuffs, mixed with silk or herba, of the manufacture of _Persia_,
_China_, or _East India_, imported from _Great Britain_, two shillings.

For every piece of callico painted, dyed, printed, or stained, in
_Persia_, _China_, or _East India_, imported from _Great Britain_, two
shillings and six pence.

For every piece of foreign linen cloth, called _Cambrick_, imported
from _Great Britain_, three shillings....

II. And it is hereby further enacted ... That from and after [September
29, 1764] there shall also be raised, levied, collected, and paid, unto
his Majesty ..., for and upon all coffee and pimento of the growth and
produce of any _British_ colony or plantation in _America_, which shall
be there laden on board any _British_ ship or vessel, to be carried out
from thence or any other place whatsoever, except _Great Britain_, the
several rates and duties following; that is to say,

III. For every hundred weight avoirdupois of such _British_ coffee,
seven shillings.

For every pound weight avoirdupois of such _British_ pimento, one half

[IV, V, VI. The Sugar Act of 1733 (No. 100_c_) to continue in force
perpetually with a decrease of one half in the rate upon imports from
British colonies.]

       *       *       *       *       *

XI. And it is further enacted ... That all the monies which ... shall
arise by the several rates ... herein ... granted ... shall be paid
into the receipt of his Majesty's Exchequer, =and shall be entered
separate and apart from all other monies paid or payable to his
Majesty ...: and shall be there reserved, to be, from time to time,
disposed of by parliament, towards defraying the necessary expences
of defending, protecting, and securing, the _British_ colonies and
plantations in _America_=.

       *       *       *       *       *

XVIII. And be it further enacted ..., That from and after ...
[September 29, 1764] ..., no rum or spirits of the produce or
manufacture of any of the colonies or plantations in _America_, not
in the possession or under the dominion of his Majesty ..., shall
be imported or brought into any of the colonies or plantations in
_America_ which now are, or hereafter may be, in the possession or
under the dominion of his Majesty ... upon forfeiture of all such
ruin or spirits, together with the ship or vessel in which the same
shall be imported, with the tackle, apparel, and furniture thereof;
to be seized by any officer or officers of his Majesty's customs, and
prosecuted in such manner and form as herein is after expressed; any
law, custom, or usage, to the contrary notwithstanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

XXVII. And it is hereby further enacted ..., That from and after ...
[September 29, 1764] ..., all coffee, pimento, cocoa nuts, whale
fins, raw silk, hides, and skins, pot and pearl ashes, of the growth,
production, or manufacture, of any _British_ colony or plantation in
_America_, shall be imported directly from thence into this kingdom, or
some other _British_ colony or plantation.

[XXVIII Adds iron and lumber of all sorts to the "enumerated" list of
articles to be exported by the colonies only to Great Britain.]

    [Most of the omitted sections of this long act have to do with
    providing a costly but efficient machinery of bonds, inspectors,
    etc., to enforce the navigation laws. The stringent section, XXXV,
    designed to prevent any trade whatever with the French West Indies
    is added.]

XXXV. And, in order to prevent any illicit trade or commerce between
his Majesty's subjects in _America_, and the subjects of the crown of
France in the islands of _Saint Pierre_ and _Miquelon_, it is hereby
further enacted ..., That from and after [September 29, 1764], if any
_British_ ship or vessel _shall be found standing into, or coming out
from, either of those islands, or hovering or at anchor within two
leagues of the coasts thereof_, or shall be discovered to have taken
any goods or merchandizes on board at either of them, or to have been
there for that purpose; such ship or vessel, and all the goods so taken
on board there, shall be forfeited and lost, and shall and may be
seized and prosecuted by any officer of his Majesty's customs; and the
master or other person having the charge of such ship or vessel, and
every person concerned in taking any such goods on board, shall forfeit
treble the value thereof.

119. Stamp Act

                            March 22, 1765

    Pickering's _Statutes at Large_, XXVI, 179-204 (5 Geo. III, c. 12).

_An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other
duties, in the_ British _colonies and plantations in_ America, _towards
further defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing
the same; ..._

_WHEREAS ... it is just and necessary, that provision be made for
raising a further revenue within your Majesty's dominions in_ America,
_towards defraying the ... expences_ [of the colonies] ... be it
enacted ..., That from and after the first day of _November_, one
thousand seven hundred and sixty five, there shall be raised, levied,
collected, and paid unto his Majesty, his heirs, and successors,
throughout the colonies and plantations in _America_....

For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece
of paper, on which shall be ingrossed, written or printed, any
declaration, plea, replication, rejoinder, demurrer, or other pleading,
or any copy thereof, in any court of law within the _British_ colonies
and plantations in _America_, a stamp duty of three pence.

[Fifty-five paragraphs follow, each imposing a duty (varying from a
penny to several pounds) for different legal or governmental papers, or
upon the sale of certain articles, or upon pamphlets, with many pages
of provisions for the enforcement of the law.]

LIV. And be it further enacted ..., That all the monies which shall
arise by the several rates and duties hereby granted (except the
necessary charges of raising, collecting, recovering, answering,
paying, and accounting for the same, and the necessary charges from
time to time incurred in relation to this act, and the execution
thereof) shall be paid into the receipt of his Majesty's exchequer, and
shall be entered separate and apart from all other monies, and shall
be there reserved to be from time to time disposed of by parliament,
=_towards further defraying the necessary expences of defending,
protecting, and securing, the said colonies and plantations_=.

       *       *       *       *       *

120. Reception of the Stamp Act in America

_a. Patrick Henry's Resolutions, May 27, 1765_

    _Journals of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1761-1765_,

    The text below gives the resolutions as approved in committee of
    the whole, May 27. The last two failed to pass the House, May 28;
    and May 29 the last of the others was expunged from the record.
    The full text was published by newspapers, however, and it was
    generally supposed that Virginia had approved them all as here

_Whereas_, The Honorable House of Commons, in _England_, have of late
drawn into question how far the General Assembly of this colony hath
power to enact laws for laying of taxes and imposing duties payable by
the people of this, his Majesty's most ancient colony; for settling and
ascertaining the same to all future times, the House of Burgesses of
this present General Assembly have come to the following resolves.

_Resolved_, That the first adventurers, settlers of this his Majesty's
colony and dominion of _Virginia_, brought with them and transmitted to
their posterity, and all other his Majesty's subjects, since inhabiting
in this his Majesty's colony, all the privileges and immunities that
have at any time been held, enjoyed, and possessed by the people of
_Great Britain_.

_Resolved_, That by two royal charters, granted by King _James_
the First, the colony aforesaid are declared and entitled to all
privileges, and immunities of natural born subjects, to all intents
and purposes as if they had been abiding an born within the realm of

_Resolved_, That his Majesty's liege people of this ancient colony have
enjoyed the right of being thus governed by their own Assembly in the
article of taxes and internal police, and that the same have never
been forfeited, or any other way yielded up, but have been constantly
recognized by the King and people of _Great Britain_.

_Resolved_, Therefore, that the General Assembly of this colony,
together with his Majesty or his substitutes, have, in their
representative capacity, the only exclusive right and power to lay
taxes and imposts upon the inhabitants of this colony; and that every
attempt to vest such power in any other person or persons whatever
than the General Assembly aforesaid, is illegal, unconstitutional, and
unjust, and has a manifest tendency to destroy _British_ as well as
_American_ liberty.

_Resolved_, That his Majesty's liege people, the inhabitants of this
colony, are not bound to yield obedience to any law or ordinance
whatever, designed to impose any taxation whatsoever upon them, other
than the laws or ordinances of the General Assembly aforesaid.

_Resolved_, That any person who shall, by speaking or writing, assert
or maintain that any person or persons, other than the General Assembly
of this colony, have any right or power to impose or lay any taxation
on the people here, shall be deemed an enemy to his Majesty's colony.

    [The sixth and seventh resolutions point to _forcible resistance_,
    not merely to _protest_. This is the peculiarity which marks off
    this document from many others of the time. A few months later,
    that tone was common. Cf. _b_, below.]

_b. An Association against the Stamp Act in a Virginia County, 1766_

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses_, 1761-1765, lxxii. These
    Resolutions were drawn by Richard Henry Lee.

[County] resolutions passed at _Leedstown_, on the 27th day of February

... We, who subscribe this paper, have associated, and do bind
ourselves to each other, to God, and to our country, by the firmest
ties that religion and virtue can frame, most sacredly and punctually
to stand by, and with our lives and fortunes, to support, maintain, and
defend each other in the observance and execution of these following

       *       *       *       *       *

_Thirdly._ As the Stamp Act does absolutely direct the property of
the people to be taken from them without their consent expressed by
their representatives, and as in many cases it deprives the _British
American_ subject of his right to trial by jury; we do determine, at
every hazard, and, paying no regard to danger or to death, we will
exert every faculty, to prevent the execution of the said Stamp Act
in any instance whatsoever within this Colony. And every abandoned
wretch, who shall be so lost to virtue and public good, as wickedly
to contribute to the introduction or fixture of the Stamp Act in this
Colony, by using stampt paper, or by any other means, we will, with the
utmost expedition, convince all such profligates that immediate danger
shall attend their prostitute purpose.

_Fourthly._ That the last article may most surely and effectually be
executed, we engage to each other, that whenever it shall be known to
any of this association, that any person is so conducting himself as to
favor the introduction of the Stamp Act, that immediate notice shall
be given to as many of the association as possible; and that every
individual so informed, shall, with expedition, repair to a place of
meeting to be appointed as near the scene of action as may be....

_Sixthly._ If any attempt shall be made on the liberty or property
of any associator for any action or thing to be done in consequence
of this engagement, we do most solemnly bind ourselves by the sacred
engagements above entered into, at the utmost risk of our lives and
fortunes, to restore such associate to his liberty, and to protect him
in the enjoyment of his property....

[One hundred and fifteen names are signed,--among them, a Washington
and six Lees.]

_c. Resignation of Stamp Distributor in Virginia, 1765 (Letter of the
Governor to the Lords of Trade)_

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1762-1765_, lxviii-lxxi.

                                    WILLIAMSBURG Nov. 3d 1765.

The present unhappy state of this Colony, will, to my great concern,
oblige me to trouble Your Lordships with a long and very disagreeable
letter. We were for some time in almost daily expectations of the
arrival of Colonel Mercer with the Stamps for the use of this Colony,
and rumours were industriously thrown out that at the time of the
General Court parties would come down from most parts of the country to
seize on and destroy all Stamped Papers....

Very unluckily, Colonel Mercer arrived at the time this town was
the fullest of Strangers. On Wednesday the 30th October he came up
to town. I then thought proper to go to the Coffee house ... that I
might be an eye witness of what did really pass, and not receive it
by relation from others. The mercantile people were all assembled
as usual. The first word I heard was "One and all"; upon which, as
at a word agreed on before between themselves, they all quitted the
place to find Colonel Mercer at his Father's lodgings where it was
known he was. This concourse of people I should call a mob, did I not
know that _it was chiefly if not altogether composed of gentlemen of
property_ in the Colony, some of them at the head of their respective
Counties, _and the merchants of the country_, whether English, Scotch
or Virginian; for few absented themselves. They met Colonel Mercer on
the way, just at the Capitol: there they stopped and demanded of him
an answer whether he would resign or act in this office as Distributor
of the Stamps. He said it was an affair of great moment to him; he
must consult his friends; and promised to give them an answer at 10
o'clock on Friday morning at that place. This did not satisfy them;
and they followed him to the Coffee house, in the porch of which I had
seated myself with many of the Council and the Speaker, who had posted
himself between the crowd and myself. We all received him with the
greatest marks of welcome; with which, if one may be allowed to judge
by their countenances, they [the "mob"] were not well pleased, tho'
they remained quiet and were silent. Now and then a voice was heard
from the crowd that Friday was too late; the Act would take place,
they would have an answer tomorrow. Several messages were brought to
Mr. Mercer by the leading men of the crowd, to whom he constantly
answered he had already given an answer and he would have no other
extorted from him. After some little time a cry was heard, "let us
rush in." Upon this we that were at the top of the [steps], knowing
the advantage our situation gave us to repell those who should attempt
to mount them, advanced to the edge of the Steps, of which number I
was one. I immediately heard a cry, "See the Governor, take care of
him." Those who before were pushing up the steps, immediately fell
back, and left a small space between me and them. If your Lordships
will not accuse me of vanity I would say that I believe this to be
partly owing to the respect they bore to my character and partly to
the love they bore to my person. After much entreaty of some of his
friends, Mr. Mercer was, against his own inclination, prevailed upon
to promise them an answer at the Capitol the next evening at five. The
crowd did not yet disperse; it was growing dark, and I did not think
it safe to have to leave Mr. Mercer behind me, so I again advanced to
the edge of the steps and said aloud I believed no man there would do
me any hurt, and turned to Mr. Mercer and told him if he would walk
with me through the people I believed I could conduct him safe to my
house; and we accordingly walked side by side through the thickest of
the people, who did not molest us, tho' there was some little murmurs.
By me thus taking him under my protection, I believe I saved him from
being insulted at least. When we got home we had much discourse on the
subject. ... He left me that night in a state of uncertainty what part
he should act.

Accordingly Mr. Mercer appeared at the Capitol at 5, as he had
promised. The number of people assembled there was much increased, by
messengers having been sent into the neighborhood for that purpose.
Colonel Mercer then read to them the answer which is printed in the
Supplement of the Gazette, of which I enclose your Lordships a copy, to
which I beg leave to refer.[118]...

[Mercer offered to resign his commission to the governor--who refused
to accept the resignation.] If I accepted the resignation, I must
appoint another, and I was well convinced I could not find one to
accept of it, in those circumstances, which would render the office
cheap. Besides if I left Mr. Mercer in possession of the place he would
be always ready to distribute the Stamped papers, whenever peoples eyes
should be opened and they should come to their senses, so as to receive

                                             FRANCIS FAUQUIER.

Colonel Mercer has informed me that he proposes to apply to the
Commanders of His Majesty's ships of War, to take the Stamped Papers
on board their ships for His Majesty's, service: it being the place of
the greatest if not the only security for them: for I am convinced, as
well as himself, that it would be extremely dangerous to attempt to
land them during the present fermented state of the Colony. If these
Gentlemen should refuse to take charge of them, and Mr. Mercer should
apply to me, I will do my duty to His Majesty and save them from being
destroyed, to the best of my power, tho' I can by no means answer for
the success of my endeavors....

          I am with the greatest respect and esteem, my Lords
                     Your Lordships most obedient
                         and devoted Servant.

                                             FRANCIS FAUQUIER.

_d. Terrorizing the Respecters of the Law in New Jersey_

    _The New York Gazette or Weekly Post Boy_, February 27, 1766;
    reproduced in _New Jersey Archives_, First Series, XXV, 38.

A large Gallows was erected in Elizabeth-Town last Week, with a Rope
ready fixed thereto; and the Inhabitants there vow and declare that the
first Person that either distributes and [or] takes out [_i.e._, uses]
Stamped Paper, shall be hung thereon without Judge or Jury.

121. Origin of the Virginia Non-importation Agreement

_a. Protest of the Burgesses against the Proposal of the English
Government to send Americans, accused of Treason, to England for Trial._

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses_, 1766-1769, 212-218.

              Tuesday, the 16th of May. 9 Geo. III. 1769.

       *       *       *       *       *

... The Order of the Day being read, for the House to resolve itself
into a Committee of the whole House, to consider of the present State
of the Colony;

_Ordered_, That ... one other Statute made in the Thirty-fifth Year of
the same King's Reign [Henry VIII], entituled, _An Act for the Trial
of Treasons committed out of the King's Dominions_, be referred to the
said Committee.

Then the House resolved itself into the said Committee.

Mr. _Speaker_ left the Chair.

Mr. _Blair_ took the Chair of the Committee.

Mr. _Speaker_ resumed the Chair.

Mr. _Blair_ reported, from the Committee, that they had come to several
Resolutions; which he read in his Place, and afterwards delivered in
at the Clerk's Table, where the same were read, and are as followeth,

[Resolutions I and II repeat familiar clauses as to right of taxation
only by the Virginia Assembly, and as to right of petition for redress
of grievances.]

[III] _Resolved_, That it is the Opinion of this committee, that all
Trials for Treason, Misprison of Treason, or for any Felony or Crime
whatsoever, committed and done in this his Majesty's said Colony and
Dominion, by any Person or Persons residing therein, ought of Right to
be had, and conducted in and before his Majesty's Courts, held within
the said Colony, according to the fixed and known Course of Proceeding;
and that the seizing any Person or Persons, residing in this Colony,
suspected of any Crime whatsoever, committed therein, and sending
such Person, or Persons, to Places beyond the Sea, to be tried, is
highly Derogatory of the Rights of _British_ Subjects; as thereby the
inestimable Privilege of being tried by a _Jury from a Vicinage_ as
well as the Liberty of summoning and producing Witnesses on such Trial,
will be taken away from the Party accused....

[A fourth resolution declared the purpose of memorializing King George
upon the matter of the third resolution.]

The said _Resolutions_ being severally read a second Time;

_Resolved, Nemine Contradicente,_

That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolutions.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved_, That this House will, To-morrow, resolve itself into a
Committee of the whole House, to consider further of the present State
of the Colony.

=_Ordered_, That the Speaker of this House do transmit without Delay,
to the Speakers of the several Houses of Assembly, on this Continent, a
Copy of the Resolutions now agreed to by this House, requesting their
Concurrence therein.=

_Ordered_, That a Committee be appointed to draw up an Address, to be
presented to his Majesty, upon the fourth Resolution of the Committee
of the whole House, this Day reported, and agreed to by the House.

       *       *       *       *       *

Wednesday, the 17th of May. 9 Geo. III. 1769.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ordered_, That the Resolutions of the Committee of the whole House,
Yesterday reported to the House, and by them agreed to, be printed in
the _Virginia Gazette_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Mr. _Blair_, previously appointed to draft an address to the King,
read the address, as follows.]

When we consider, that by the established Laws and Constitution of this
Colony, the most ample Provision is made for apprehending and punishing
all those who shall dare to engage in any treasonable Practices against
your Majesty, or disturb the Tranquility of Government, we cannot,
without Horror, think of the new, unusual, and permit us, with all
Humility, to add, unconstitutional and illegal Mode, recommended to
your Majesty, of seizing and carrying beyond the Sea, the Inhabitants
of America, suspected of any Crime; and of trying such Persons in
any other Manner than by the ancient and long established Course of
Proceeding: For how truly deplorable must be the Case of a wretched
American, who, having incurred the Displeasure of any one in Power, is
dragged from his native Home, and his dearest domestick Connections,
thrown into Prison, not to await his Trial before a Court, Jury,
or Judges, from a Knowledge of whom he is encouraged to hope for
speedy Justice; but to exchange his Imprisonment in his own Country,
for Fetters amongst Strangers? Conveyed to a distant Land, where no
Friend, no Relation, will alleviate his Distresses, or minister to
his Necessities; and where no Witness can be found to testify his
Innocence; shunned by the reputable and honest, and consigned to the
Society and Converse of the wretched and the abandoned; he can only
pray that he may soon end his Misery with his Life....

The said _Address_ being read a second Time;

_Resolved, Nemine Contradicente_,

That the House doth agree with the Committee, in the said Address, to
be presented to his Majesty.

_Ordered_, That Mr. _Speaker_ do transmit the said Address to the Agent
for this Colony, with Directions to cause the same to be presented to
his Most Excellent Majesty; and afterwards to be printed and published
in the _English_ Papers.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Message from the Governor, by Mr. _Walthoe_:

"Mr. Speaker, the Governor commands the immediate Attendance of your
House in the Council Chamber."

Accordingly, Mr. _Speaker_, with the House, went up to attend the
Governor in the Council Chamber; where his Excellency was pleased to
say to them:

"Mr. Speaker, and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses, I have heard of
your Resolves and augur ill of their Effect: You have made it my Duty
to dissolve you; and you are dissolved accordingly."

_b. Association of the Ex-Burgesses, May 18, 1769_

_Journals of House of Burgesses, 1766-1769_, xxxix ff.

    "The late representatives of the people" then judging it necessary
    that some action should be taken to relieve their "distressed
    situation, and for preserving the true and essential interests of
    the Colony, resolved upon a meeting" and at once repaired to the
    house of Mr. _Anthony Hay_, when it was proposed that such matters
    as demanded attention might be considered. This body, according to
    adjournment, met next day and continued its session. The minutes of
    both meetings, not being included in the regular Journals of the
    House of Burgesses, were ordered by the Burgesses to be printed, as

                    Wednesday, the 17th May. 1769.

About 12 o'Clock his Excellency the Governor was pleased, by his
Messenger, to command the Attendance of the House of Burgesses in the
Council Chamber, whereupon, in Obedience to his Lordship's Command,
the House, with their Speaker, immediately waited upon his Excellency,
when he thought fit to dissolve the General Assembly.

The late Representatives of the People then judging it necessary
that some Measures should be taken in their distressed Situation,
for preserving the true and essential Interests of the Colony,
resolved upon a Meeting for that very salutary Purpose, and therefore,
immediately, with the greatest Order and Decorum, repaired to the House
of Mr. Anthony Hay in this City, where being assembled, it was first
proposed, for the more decent and regular Discussion of such Matters
as might be taken into Consideration, that a Moderator should be
appointed, and, on the Question being put, Peyton Randolph, Esq; _late
Speaker of the House of Burgesses_, was unanimously elected.

The true state of the Colony, being then opened and fully explained,
and it being proposed that a regular Association should be formed,
a Committee was appointed to prepare the necessary and most proper
Regulations for that Purpose, and they were ordered to make their
Report to the General Meeting the next Day at 10 o'clock.

                           Thursday. May 18.

At a farther Meeting, according to Adjournment, the Committee appointed
Yesterday, made their Report, which being read, seriously considered
and approved, was signed by a great Number of the Principal Gentlemen
of the Colony then present, and is as follows:

We his Majesty's most dutiful Subjects, the late Representatives of
all the Freeholders of the Colony of Virginia, avowing our inviolable
and unshaken Fidelity and Loyalty to our most gracious Sovereign, our
Affection for all our Fellow Subjects of Great Britain protesting
against every Act or Thing which may have the most distant Tendancy to
interrupt, or in any wise disturb his Majesty's Peace, and the good
Order of his Government in this Colony, which we are resolved, at the
Risque of our Lives and Fortune, to maintain and defend; but at the
same Time, being deeply affected with the Grievances and Distresses
with which his Majesty's American Subjects are oppressed, and dreading
the Evils which threaten the ruin of ourselves and our posterity, by
reducing us from a free and happy People, to a wretched and miserable
State of Slavery; and having taken into our most serious Consideration
the present State of the Trade of this Colony, and of the American
Commerce in general, observe with Anxiety, that the Debt due Great
Britain for Goods imported from thence is very great, and that the
Means of paying this Debt, in the present Situation of Affairs, are
likely to become more and more precarious; that the Difficulties, under
which we now labour, are owing to Restrictions, Prohibitions, and
ill advised Regulations in several late Acts of Parliament of Great
Britain; in particular, that the late unconstitutional Act, imposing
Duties on Tea, Paper, Glass, etc., for the sole Purpose of raising
a Revenue in America, is injurious to Property; and destructive to
Liberty, hath a necessary Tendency to prevent the Payment of the Debt
due from this Colony to Great Britain, and is, of Consequence, ruinous
to Trade; that, notwithstanding the many earnest Applications already
made, there is little reason to expect a Redress of those Grievances:
Therefore, in Justice to ourselves and our Posterity, as well as to
the Traders of Great Britain concerned in the American Commerce, we,
the Subscribers, have voluntarily and unanimously entered into the
following Resolutions, in Hopes that our Example will induce the
good People of this Colony to be frugal in the Use and Consumption
of British Manufactures, and that the Merchants and Manufacturers of
Great Britain may, from Motives of Interest, Friendship, and Justice,
be engaged to exert themselves to obtain for us a Redress of those
Grievances, under which the Trade and Inhabitants of America at present
labour: We do therefore most earnestly recommend this our Association
to the serious inhabitants of this Colony, in Hopes, that they will
very readily and cordially accede thereto.

_First_, It is UNANIMOUSLY agreed on and resolved this 18th day of
May, 1769, that the Subscribers, as well by their own Example, as all
other legal Ways and Means in their Power, will promote and encourage
Industry and Frugality, and discourage all Manner of Luxury and

_Secondly_, That they will not at any Time hereafter, directly or
indirectly import, or cause to be imported, any Manner of Goods,
Merchandise, or Manufactures, which are, or shall thereafter be taxed
by Act of Parliament, for the Purpose of raising a Revenue in _America_
(except Paper, not exceeding Eight Shillings Sterling per Reem, and
except such Articles only, as Orders have been already sent for) nor
purchase any such after the First Day of September next, of any Person
whatsoever, but that they will always consider such Taxation, in
every Respect, as an absolute Prohibition, and in all future Orders,
direct their Correspondents to ship them no Goods whatever, taxed as
aforesaid, except as is above excepted. ...[119]

        89 members.]

The business being finished, the following TOASTS were drank, and
Gentlemen retired.



His Excellency Lord BOTETOURT [the Governor], and Prosperity to

The speedy and lasting Union between Great Britain and her Colonies.

The constitutional British Liberty in America, and all true Patriots,
the Supporters thereof....

122. The Origin of Massachusetts Town-Committees of Correspondence, 1772

    _Boston Town Records, 1770-1777_ (Report of the Record
    Commissioners, 1887), pp. 90-93.

    A Boston town meeting of October 28 had been concerned with the
    report that "Stipends are affixed by order of the Crown to the
    offices of the Judges of Superior Court." This action had been
    taken by the British government to render the judges independent
    of the Assembly and of public opinion in Massachusetts. The
    meeting had voted that "a decent ... Application" be made to the
    governor asking for information as to the truth of the report. The
    Governor's refusal appears in the first part of the document. This
    crisis, and the refusal of Governor Hutchinson (below) to permit
    the Assembly to meet, brought about the organization of committees
    of correspondence. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 140.

_Fryday October 30_, 10 O'Clock Before Noon, Met according to

The Committee to present the Governor an Address Reported the following
answer which his Excellency delivered to them in Writing--Viz--


It is by no means proper for me to lay before the Inhabitants of any
Town whatsoever in consequence of their Votes and Proceedings in a Town
Meeting any part of my Correspondence as Governor of this Province
or to acquaint them whether I have or have not received any advice
relating to the public Affairs of the Government. This reason alone if
your Address to me had been in other respects unexceptionable, would
have been sufficient to restrain me from complying with your desire--

I shall always be ready to gratify the Inhabitants of the Town of
Boston upon every regular Application to me on business of public
concernment to the Town as far as I shall have it in my power
consistent with fidelity to the trust which his Majesty has reposed in

                                                T. HUTCHINSON.

The aforegoing answer, having been considered--It was moved and the
Question put--Whether application shall be now made to his Excellency
by the Town that he would be pleased to permit the General Assembly to
meet at the time to which they stand prorogued, which passed in the
Affermative _Nem Con._--It was then Voted, that

  The Honorable James Otis, Esq.
  Mr. Samuel Adams
  The Honorable Thomas Cushing, Esq.

be a Committee to prepare a Petition to his Excellency for the purpose

The Petition of a number of the Inhabitants--"That another public
School may be Established at the South part of the Town," was read,
and after debate had thereon--the Question was put--Whether the
Consideration of the same shall be referred to March Meeting--Passed in
the affermative.

The Committee appointed by the Town at a late Meeting to consider what
was proper to be done to prevent the ruin of Beacon Hill, were desired
to make Report as soon as may be.

Voted, that the Town Clerk be directed to lay the Original Grant of
Beacon Hill before the Town at their adjournment.

Upon a Motion made--Voted, that the Selectmen be added to the Committee
relative to Beacon Hill--

The Committee chosen to prepare a Petition to the Governor, relative to
the Meeting of the General Court--Reported the following Draft--Viz--

The Petition of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of
Boston legally Assembled by Adjournment in Faneuil Hall on Fryday 30 of
October 1772--

Humbly Sheweth--

That your Petitioners are still greatly alarmed at the Report which has
been prevalent of late Viz. That Stipends are affixed to the Offices
of the Judges of the Superior Court of Judicature of this Province by
Order of the Crown for their support--

Such an Establishment is contrary not only to the plain and obvious
sense of the Charter of this Province but also some of the fundamental
Principles of the Common Law, to the benefit of which all British
Subjects, wherever dispersed throughout the British Empire, are
indubitably entitled--...

It is therefore their earnest and humble request that your Excellency
would be pleased to allow the General Assembly to meet at the time to
which they now stand prorogued; in order that in that _Constitutional_
Body, with whom it is to enquire into Grievances and Redress them,
the Joint Wisdom of the Province may be employed, in deliberating and
determining on a matter so important and alarming--

The Town having considered the foregoing Draft of a Petition to
Governor Hutchinson--It was Voted, that the same be accepted, _Nem.
Con._ Also Voted, that [seven names] be a Committee to present the
Petition to his Excellency--

Voted, that this Meeting be Adjourned to Monday next 3. O'Clock P.M.

_Monday November 2d_ 3. O'Clock P.M. Met According to Adjournment.

The Committee appointed to present a Petition To his Excellency the
Governor of this Province, Reported and laid before the Town the
following Reply which his Excellency had been pleased to deliver them
in writing--Viz. [A firm claim that the town-meeting was meddling
with matters that were beyond its province, and a refusal to call the

The foregoing Reply having been read several times and duly considered;
it was moved and the Question accordingly put Whether the same be
satisfactory to the Town; which passed in the Negative _Nem. Con._ And

Resolved as the Opinion of the Inhabitants of this Town that they
have ever had, and ought to have, a right to Petition the King or his
Representatives for the Redress of such Grievances as they feel or for
preventing of such as they have reason to apprehend, and to communicate
their Sentiment to other Towns.

=It was then moved by Mr. Samuel Adams, That a Committee of
Correspondence be appointed to consist of twenty-one Persons--to state
the Rights of the Colonists and of this Province in particular, as
Men, as Christians, and as Subjects; to communicate and publish the
same to the several Towns in this Province and to the World as the
sense of this Town, with the Infringements and Violations thereof that
have been, or from time to time may be made--Also requesting of each
Town a free communication of their Sentiments on this Subject--And
the Question being accordingly put--Passed in the Affermative. _Nem.
Con._=--Also Voted, that [a list headed with the names of Samuel Adams,
James Otis, and Joseph Warren] be and hereby are appointed a Committee
for the purpose aforesaid, and that they be desired to Report to the
Town as soon as may be--....

Then the Meeting was dissolved.

123. Creation of Standing Intercolonial Committees of Correspondence,

    This was the most important step in America between the Stamp Act
    Congress and the First Continental Congress. Cf. _American History
    and Government_, # 140.

_a. Jefferson's Account of the Origin of the Movement (written at a
Later Date)_

    Ford's _Writings of Jefferson_, I is, 7, 8.

Not thinking our old and leading members up to the point of forwardness
and zeal which the times required, Mr. _Henry_, _Richard Henry Lee_,
_Francis L. Lee_, Mr. _Carr_ and myself agreed to meet in the evening
in a private room of the _Raleigh_, to consult on the state of things.
There may have been a member or two more whom I do not recollect. We
were all sensible that the most urgent of all measures was that of
coming to an understanding with all the other colonies, to consider
the British claims as a common cause to all, and to produce a unity
of action; and for this purpose that a committee of correspondence
in each colony would be the best instrument for intercommunication;
and that their first measure would probably be, to propose a meeting
of deputies from every colony, at some central place, who should be
charged with the direction of the measures which should be taken by
all. We therefore drew up the resolutions. The consulting members
proposed to me to move them, but I urged that it should be done by Mr.
_Carr_, my friend and brother in law, then a member, to whom I wished
an opportunity should be given of making known to the house his great
worth and talents. It was so agreed; he moved them. They were agreed
to _nem. con._, and a committee of correspondence appointed, of whom
Peyton Randolph, the Speaker, was chairman.

_b. The Action, of the Virginia Burgesses_

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1775-1776_, 26-28.

Friday, the 12th of March, 13 Geo. III. 1773.

       *       *       *       *       *

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, upon the
State of the Colony.

Mr. _Speaker_ left the chair.

Mr. _Bland_ took the Chair of the Committee.

Mr. _Speaker_ resumed the Chair.

Mr. _Bland_ reported from the Committee, that they had directed him to
make the following Report to the House, _viz_.[120]

_Whereas_, the minds of his Majesty's faithful Subjects in this Colony
have been disturbed, by various Rumours and Reports of proceedings
tending to deprive them of their ancient, legal and constitutional

And _whereas_, the affairs of this Colony are frequently connected with
those of Great Britain, as well as of the neighboring _Colonies_, which
renders a Communication of Sentiments necessary; in Order therefore to
remove the Uneasiness, and to quiet the minds of the People, as well as
for the other good purposes above mentioned:

Be it _resolved_, that a standing Committee of Correspondence and
inquiry be appointed, to consist of eleven Persons, to wit, the
Honourable _Peyton Randolph_, Esquire, _Robert Carter Nicholas_,
_Richard Bland_, _Richard Henry Lee_, _Benjamin Harrison_, _Edmund
Pendleton_, _Patrick Henry_, _Dudley Digges_, _Dabney Carr_, _Archibald
Cary_, and _Thomas Jefferson_, Esquires, any six of whom to be a
Committee, =whose business it shall be to obtain the most early and
authentic intelligence of all such Acts and _Resolutions_ of the
_British Parliament_, or proceedings of Administration, as may relate
to or affect the British Colonies in America, and to keep up and
maintain a Correspondence and Communication with our Sister Colonies,
respecting these important Considerations; and the result of such their
proceedings, from Time to Time, to lay before this House.=

_Resolved_, that it be an instruction to the said Committee, that they
do, without delay, inform themselves particularly of the principles and
Authority, on which was constituted a _Court of Inquiry_, said to have
been lately held in _Rhode Island_, with Powers to transmit Persons,
accused of Offences committed in America, to places beyond the Seas, to
be tried.

The said _Resolutions_, being severally read a second Time, were upon
the Question severally put thereupon agreed to by the House, _nemine

=_Resolved_, that the Speaker of this House do transmit to the Speakers
of the different Assemblys of the British Colonies, on the Continent,
Copies of the said Resolutions, and desire that they will lay them
before their respective Assemblies; and request them to appoint some
Person or Persons, of their respective Bodies, to communicate, from
Time to Time, with the said Committee.=

_c. Letters received by the Virginia Committee of Correspondence, 1773_

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1773-1767_, 47-50.

       *       *       *       *       *

  (1)                        Rhode Island.
                                              New Port, May 15th, 1773.


I had the Pleasure of receiving your Favour of the 19th of March with
the Resolves of the House of Burgesses of Virginia; which with the
Letter from your Committee of Correspondence I laid before the House of
Deputies of this Colony at their meeting the last Week.

The House thoroughly convinced that a firm Union of the Colonies is
absolutely necessary for the Preservation of their ancient, legal and
constitutional Rights, and that the Measures proposed by your House
of Burgesses will greatly promote so desirable an End, came, Nemine
contradicente, into the Resolutions of which I have the honor now to
enclose you a Copy.

I am desired to inform you that the Committee apointed by our House
of Deputies, will, as soon as possible, transmit to the Committee of
Correspondence of Virginia, the best Accounts they shall be able to
obtain, respecting the Court of Inquiry lately held in this Colony.

I am with great Respect, your most obedient Servant,

                                              Metcalf Bowler [Speaker].

                 [The Resolves inclosed, as follows.]
                May 7th 1773. In the House of Deputies.

_Resolved_ that a standing _Committee of Correspondence and Inquiry_
be appointed to consist of seven Persons, _to wit_ the honorable
_Stephen Hopkins_, Esquire, _Metcalf Bowler_, _Moses Brown_, _John
Cole_, _William Bradford_, _Henry Ward_, and _Henry Merchant_ Esquires,
and four of whom to be a Committee, whose Business it shall be to
obtain the most early and authentick Intelligence of all such Acts and
Resolutions of the British Parliament or Proceedings of Administration
as may relate to or affect the British Colonies in America, and
to keep up and maintain a Correspondence with our Sister Colonies
respecting these important Considerations; and the Result of such their
Proceedings from Time to Time to lay before this House.

                                      Voted Per Order J. Lyndon, Clerk.

The above written is a true _Copy_ of a Vote of the House of Deputies
of Lower House of Assembly of the Colony of _Rhode Island_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_May_ 7th 1773. In the House of Deputies.

_Resolved_, that the Speaker of this House be requested to write to
the _Speaker_ of the House of Burgesses in _Virginia_, and to all
other _Speakers_ of Assemblies in North America, informing them of the
Proceedings of this House relating to the Preservation of the Rights of
the Colonies.

                                      Voted Per Order J. Lyndon, Clerk.

       *       *       *       *       *

  (2)         From a Massachusetts Legislative Committee.
                         Province of Massachusetts Bay, June 3d., 1773.


The very judicious and important Resolves entered into by the House of
Burgesses of his Majesty's most ancient Colony of Virginia on the 12th
March last, together with your obliging Letter inclosing the same, have
been laid before the house of Representatives of this Province.

The Wisdom of the Measures proposed in those Resolves, and the great
and good Effects that may reasonably be expected to flow from them,
not only to the Colonies but the Parent State, were so obvious, that
the House immediately adopted them; and appointed a Committee to keep
up and maintain a free Communication with Virginia and the Rest of the
Sister Colonies.

       *       *       *       *       *

                [Similar replies from other colonies.]

124. Tea Riots

    From a Philadelphia Handbill to the Delaware Pilots, September,
    1773, given in Scharf and Westcott's _History of Philadelphia_, I,

... We need not point out to you the steps you ought to take if the
tea-ship falls in your way. You cannot be at a loss how to prevent, or
if that cannot be done, how to give the merchants of the city timely
notice of her arrival. But this you may depend upon, that whatever
pilot brings her into the river, such pilot will be marked for his
treason. ... Like Cain, he will be hung out as a spectacle to the
nations, and be forever recorded as the _damned traitorous pilot who
brought up the tea-ship_....


    [Another broadside was addressed as a warning to Captain Ayers of
    the expected tea-ship. "What think you, Captain, of a Halter round
    your Neck, ten gallons of liquid Tar decanted on your Pate, with
    the feathers of a doxen wild Geese lain over that, to enliven your

    All this activity preceded the Boston "Tea-Party." The Philadelphia
    ship, however, did not arrive until some weeks after she was
    expected--on Christmas Day at Gloucester Point, near the city. The
    Captain was escorted to the city, where a mass meeting of 8000
    people persuaded him to sail at once for England, without breaking


[118] Mercer promised not to act unless first he should have secured
permission from the Virginia Assembly. He was then borne in triumph to
his lodgings by the joyful "mob."

[119] George Washington and George Mason (as their preserved letters
show) had been in correspondence regarding such a non-importation
agreement for some weeks. Mason drew the resolutions; Washington
was to have presented them to the Assembly. Now he did so (in
person or by deputy) to the informal meeting at Mr. Hay's. See
Washington's _Writings_, first edition, II, 263; and _Mason's Life and
Correspondence_, I, 136 ff.

[120] Only the _result_ of the action of the Committee of the Whole
goes on record. Cf. No. 121.


    =The colonies between 1768 and 1773 had each organized, more or
    less perfectly, local committees--town or county--to enforce
    non-importation agreements, and these committees often acted as
    "committees of correspondence" to organize the province as a unit
    for action. Then in 1773 the Intercolonial Committees (No. 123)
    gave the germ of a standing continental union.

    "The next step toward revolutionary government was to develop from
    the local committees the _Provincial_ Congresses in individual
    colonies, and from the intercolonial committees of the continent a
    _Continental_ Congress. These things developed _in the summer and
    fall of 1774_, as the result of _three events_: (1) the attempt of
    the ministry to force taxed tea down the throats of the colonists
    [see # 121 for colonial resistance]; (2) the rather animated
    protest of the Boston Tea Party; and (3) the punishment of Boston
    by the Port Bill."= (_American History and Government_, # 141. Cf.
    remainder of the same section for additional explanation.)

    =The documents for this period are very numerous, and many of the
    most valuable are not suitable for condensation and are too long
    for insertion here. It has seemed well to draw primarily upon one
    colony; and Virginia has been selected, partly because of her
    leadership, partly because her documents excel in form.=

125. The Virginia Burgesses suggest an Annual Continental Congress

    A detailed account is given in _American History and Government_, #

_a. Extract from a Letter by a Member of the Assembly to a London

    Force's _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 340. The Assembly
    had met May 6. Very little business had been transacted when the
    news of the Boston Port Bill arrived; but Virginia had been in high
    good humor with her governor, and the Burgesses had appointed May
    30 for a great state ball, in honor of the governor's wife, the
    Lady Countess of Dunmore, just arrived from England.

                                   WILLIAMSBURG, May 20, 1774.

Infinite astonishment, and equal resentment, has seized every one here
on account of the war sent to Boston. It is the universal determination
to stop the exportation of tobacco, pitch, tar, lumber, etc., and
to stop all importation from _Britain_ while this act of hostility
continues. We every day expect an express from _Boston_, and it
appears to me incontestabl[y] certain, that the above measures will be
universally adopted. We see with concern, that this plan will be most
extensively hurtful to our fellow-subjects in _Britain_; nor would we
have adopted it, if _Heaven_ had left us any other way to secure our
_liberty_, and prevent the total ruin of ourselves and our posterity to
endless ages. A wicked Ministry must answer for all the consequences.
I hope the wise and good on your side will pity and forgive us. The
House is now pushing on the public business for which we were called
here at this time; but before we depart, our measures will be settled
and agreed on. The plan proposed is extensive; it is wise, and I hope,
under _God_, it will not fail of success. _America_ possesses virtue
unknown and unfelt by the abominable sons of corruption who planned
this weak and wicked enterprise.

_b. Thomas Jefferson's Account of the Feeling aroused by News of the
Port Bill, and of the Action taken Thereon_

    _Works_, Washington edition, I, 6, 7. The _Autobiography_ in which
    this passage occurs was composed many years after the event.

The lead in the House ... being no longer left to the old members,
Mr. Henry, R. H. Lee, Fr. L. Lee, three or four other members whom I
do not recollect, and myself, agreeing that we must boldly take an
unequivocal stand in the line with Massachusetts, determined to meet
and consult on proper measures ... We were under conviction of the
necessity of arousing our people ... and thought that ... a day of
general fasting and prayer would be most likely to ... alarm their
attention. No example of such a solemnity had existed since. ... our
distresses in the war of of '55, since which a new generation had grown
up. With the help, therefore, of Rushworth [_Historical Collections_],
whom we rummaged over for the revolutionary precedents and forms of the
Puritans of that day [England, in the Seventeenth century], we cooked
up a resolution, somewhat modernizing the phrases, for appointing the
first day of June, on which the Port Bill was to commence, as a day of
fasting, humiliation, and prayer. ... To give greater emphasis to our
proposition, we agreed to wait the next morning on Mr. Nicholas, whose
grave and religious character was more in unison with the tone of our
resolution, and to solicit him to move it ... He moved it the same
day ... and it passed without opposition [_c_, below.]

_c. Resolution of the Burgesses_

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1773-1776_, 123-136.

Tuesday, the 24th of May. 14 Geo. III. 1774.

       *       *       *       *       *

This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great
dangers, to be derived to british _America_, from the hostile Invasion
of the City of _Boston_, in our Sister Colony of _Massachusetts_
bay, whose commerce and harbour are, on the first Day of June next,
to be stopped by an Armed force, deem it highly necessary that the
said first day of June be set apart, by the Members of this House, as
a day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, devoutly to implore the
divine interposition for averting the heavy Calamity which threatens
destruction to our Civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us
one heart and one Mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper means,
every injury to American Rights; and that the Minds of his Majesty and
his Parliament, may be inspired from above with Wisdom, Moderation, and
Justice, to remove from the loyal People of America all cause of danger
from a continued pursuit of Measures pregnant with their ruin.

       *       *       *       *       *

_d. Dissolution_

Thursday, the 26th of May. 14 Geo. III. 1774.

The Order of the Day being read;

Mr. _Speaker_ laid before the House the Letters from the Speakers of
the lower Houses of Assembly of the British Colonies in _America_,
with other Papers, upon the subject matter, which were referred to the
standing Committee of Correspondence and Inquiry.

And the said _Letters_ and _Papers_ were read.

_Resolved_, that the said Letters and Papers be taken into
Consideration upon this Day Sevenight....

A _Message_ from the Governor by Mr. _Blair_:

"Mr. _Speaker_: the Governor commands this House to attend his
Excellency immediately, in the Council Chamber."

Accordingly Mr. _Speaker_ with the House, went up to attend his
Excellency in the Council Chamber, where his Excellency was pleased to
say to them.

"Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses,

"I have in my hand a Paper published by Order of your House, conceived
in such Terms as reflect highly upon his Majesty and the Parliament of
Great Britain; which makes it necessary for me to dissolve you; and you
are dissolved accordingly."

_e. Virginia Ex-burgesses propose an Annual Continental Congress_

    _Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1773-1776_, xiii, xiv.

    This is the first such proposal by any body of men so nearly
    approaching a "government."

_ ... an Association signed by eighty nine members of the House of
Burgesses, in session in the old Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, on May
27th, 1774:_

We his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the late
representatives of the good people of this country, having been
deprived by the sudden interposition of the executive part of this
government from giving our countrymen the advice we wished to convey to
them in a legislative capacity, find ourselves under the hard necessity
of adopting this, the only method we have left, of pointing out to our
countrymen such measures as in our opinion are best fitted to secure
our dearest rights and liberty from destruction, by the heavy hand of
power now lifted against _North America_: With much grief we find that
our dutiful applications to _Great Britain_ for security of our ancient
and constitutional rights, have been not only disregarded, but that a
determined system is formed and pressed for reducing the inhabitants of
_British America_ to slavery by subjecting them to the payment of taxes
imposed without the consent of the people or their representatives;
and that in pursuit of this system, we find an act of the British
parliament, lately passed, for stopping the harbour and commerce of the
town of _Boston_, in our sister colony of _Massachusetts Bay_, until
the people there submit to the payment of such unconstitutional taxes,
and which act most violently and arbitrarily deprives them of their
property, in wharfs erected by private persons, at their own great
and proper expense, which act is, in our opinion, a most dangerous
attempt to destroy the constitutional liberty and rights of all _North
America_. It is further our opinion, that as Tea, on its importation
into _America_, is charged with a duty imposed by parliament for the
purpose of raising a revenue, without the consent of the people,
it ought not to be used by any person who wishes well to the
constitutional rights and liberty of British America. And _whereas_ the
_India Company_ have ungenerously attempted the ruin of _America_ by
sending many ships loaded with tea into the colonies, thereby intending
to fix a precedent in favor of arbitrary taxation, we deem it highly
proper, and do accordingly recommend it strongly to our countrymen,
not to purchase or use any kind of _East India_ commodity whatsoever,
=except saltpetre and spices=, until the grievances of _America_ are
redressed. We are further clearly of opinion, that an attack, made on
one of our sister colonies to compel submission to arbitrary taxes, is
an attack made on all British America, and threatens ruin to the rights
of all, unless the united wisdom of the whole be applied. =And for this
purpose it is recommended to the Committee of Correspondence, that
they communicate, with their several corresponding committees, on the
expediency of appointing deputies from the several colonies of British
America, to meet in general congress, at such place _annually_ as
shall be thought most convenient; there to deliberate on those general
measures which the united interests of America may from time to time

_f. Letters from the Virginia Committee of Correspondence, according to
direction above_

_Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1773-1776_, 138.

At a Committee of Correspondence held in Williamsburg on Saturday the
28th May, 1774.


  The honorable _Peyton Randolph_, Esquire
  _Robert C. Nicholas_, _Richard Bland_,
  _Edmund Pendleton_, _Benjamin Harrison_,
  _Richard Henry Lee_, _Dudley Digges
  and Thomas Jefferson_, Esquires.

_Ordered_, that Letters be prepared to the several Committees of
Correspondence requesting their Sentiments on the Appointments of
Deputies from the several Colonies to meet annually in general
Congress. ... A Letter was accordingly prepared to the Committee of
Correspondence for _Maryland_, which being read and approved of the
Committee is as follows:

                                           Williamsburg, May 28th 1774.


The inclosed Papers will explain to you our present political State
here, with respect to the unhappy Dispute with our Mother Country.
The Propriety of appointing Deputies from the several Colonies of
British America to meet annually in general Congress, appears to be
a Measure extremely important and extensively useful, as it tends so
effectually to obtain the united Wisdom of the Whole, in every Case
of General Concern. We are desired to obtain your Sentiments on this
Subject which you will be pleased to furnish us with. Being very
desirous of communicating to you the Opinion and Conduct of the late
Representatives on the present Posture of American Affairs as quickly
as possible we beg Leave to refer you to a future Letter on these

                      We are, with great Respect,
                                           Your most obedient Servants,
                                                    Peyton Randolph.
                                                    Robert C. Nicholas.
                                                    Dudley Digges.

  To the Committee of Correspondence for Maryland.

Also Letters of the same Import, to the Committe of Correspondence
for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachuset's Bay, Connecticut, New
Hampshire, Rhode Island, [Delaware], North Carolina, South Carolina,
and Georgia.

_Ordered_, that the said Letters be sent by this Day's Post.

[On the arrival of these letters in Maryland, a Baltimore town meeting
(May 31) called a Provincial Assembly, to appoint delegates to the
proposed Continental Congress. Other counties took like action; and
(June 22, before the time set for the Virginia Convention), the
Maryland Convention met and named representatives. Two days earlier
still, action had been taken in Rhode Island, after receipt of the
Virginia suggestion, as appears below.]

_Answer to Virginia from the Rhode Island Assembly [with Appointment of

_Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1773-1776_, 152-153.

                                                New Port June 20. 1774.


_Agreeable to the Directions of the General Assembly I have the honor
to inclose you a Copy of certain Resolutions entered into by them
respecting the very alarming Situation of the Colonies._

_I have also to inform you that upon this Occasion the Assembly have
adjourned to the fourth Monday in August next._

  _I am with very great Regard_,
                 _Sir, your most humble Servant._
                                           =Metcalf Bowler.=

                         Resolutions inclosed.

At the general Assembly of the Governor and Company of the English
colony of _Rhode Island_ and Providence Plantations in _New England_ in
America begun and holden by Adjournment at _Newport_ within and for the
said Colony on the second _Monday_ in _June_ in the Year of our LORD
one thousand seven hundred and seventy four and fourteenth of the Reign
of his most sacred Majesty _George_ the third by the grace of GOD king
of Great Britain etc.

This Assembly taking into the most serious Consideration several Acts
of the British Parliament for levying Taxes upon his Majesty's Subjects
in America without their Consent, and particularly an Act lately
passed for blocking up the Port of _Boston_, which Act even upon the
Supposition that the People of _Boston_ had justly deserved Punishment,
is scarcely to be parallelled in History for the Severity of the
Vengeance executed upon them; and also considering to what a deplorable
State this and the other Colonies are reduced, when by an Act of
Parliament in which the Subjects in _America_ have not a single Voice,
and without being heard, they may be divested of Property and deprived
of Liberty, do upon mature Deliberation, _resolve_

_That_ it is the Opinion of this Assembly that a firm and inviolable
Union of all the Colonies in Counsels and Measures is absolutely
necessary for the preservation of their Rights and Liberties; and that
for that purpose, a Convention of the Representatives from all the
Colonies ought to be holden in some suitable Place, as soon as may be,
in Order to consult upon proper Measures to obtain a Repeal of the said
Act, and to establish the Rights and Liberties of the Colonies upon a
just and solid Foundation.

_That_ the honorable _Stephen Hopkins_ and the honorable _Samuel Ward_
Esquires be and they are hereby appointed by this Assembly to represent
the People of this Colony in a general Congress of Representatives from
the other Colonies at such Time and place as shall be agreed upon by
the major part of the Committees appointed or to be appointed by the
Colonies in general.

_That_ they consult and advise with the Representatives of the
other Colonies who shall meet in such Congress upon a loyal and
dutiful Petition and Remonstrance to be presented to his Majesty
as the united Voice of his faithful Subjects in _America_ setting
forth the grievances they labour under, and praying his gracious
Interposition for their Relief: _And_ that in Case a major part of the
Representatives of all the Colonies shall agree upon such Petition
and Remonstrance they be empowered to sign the same on behalf of this

_That_ they also consult upon all such reasonable and lawful Measures
as may be expedient for the Colonies, in an united Manner to persue in
Order to procure a Redress of their Grievances, and to ascertain and
establish their Rights and Liberties.

_That_ they also endeavor to Procure a regular annual Convention of
Representatives from all the Colonies to consider of Proper Means for
the preservation of the Rights and Liberties of the Colonies. ...[122]

(Witnessed) Henry Ward, _Sect'y_.

126. Another "Call" for the Continental Congress

    June 17, 1774, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, under
    the lead of Samuel Adams (and after a carefully planned, secret
    campaign), adopted the following resolutions.

That a meeting of committees from the several colonies on this
continent is highly expedient and necessary, to consult upon the
present state of the colonies, and the miseries to which they are
and must be reduced by the operation of certain acts of Parliament
respecting America, and to deliberate and determine upon wise and
proper measures, to be by them recommended to all the colonies, for
the recovery and establishment of their just rights and liberties,
civil and religious, and the restoration of union and harmony between
Great Britain and the colonies, most ardently desired by all good men:
Therefore, resolved, that the Hon. James Bowdoin, Esq., the Hon. Thomas
Cushing, Esq., Mr. Samuel Adams, John Adams and Robert Treat Paine,
Esqrs., be, and they are hereby appointed a committee on the part of
this province, for the purposes aforesaid, any three of whom to be a
quorum, to meet such committees or delegates from the other colonies
as have been or may be appointed, either by their respective houses of
burgesses or representatives, or by convention, or by the committees
of correspondence appointed by the respective houses of assembly, in
the city of Philadelphia, or any other place that shall be judged most
suitable by the committee, on the 1st day of September next; and that
the speaker of the house be directed, in a letter to the speakers of
the houses of burgesses or representatives in the several colonies, to
inform them of the substance of these resolves.

    [This is often referred to as "the call" for the Continental
    Congress. It was the first action by a colonial legislature in
    regular session. It did not, however, have "legal" validity
    under the Charter to which the men of Massachusetts constantly
    appealed. That charter (1691) required the assent of the upper
    House and the approval of the governor for every resolution and
    every appointment; and these elements, of course, were lacking.
    The dramatic story of Sam Adams' plot is well told in many
    places,--notably in Dr. Hosmer's _Samuel Adams_.]

127. A Virginia County Suggests a Continental Congress and a General

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 392-393.

At a Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the County of
_Frederick_, in _Virginia_ ... the 8th day of June, 1774 [to consider
the Boston Port Bill].

The Reverend Charles M. Thurston, Moderator.

A Committee of the following gentlemen, viz: the Reverend Charles M.
Thurston, Isaac Zane, George Rootes, Angus McDonald, Alexander White,
George Johnston, and Samuel Beall, 3d, were appointed to draw up
Resolves suitable to the same occasion, who, withdrawing for a short
time, returned with the following votes, viz:

_Voted_, 1st. That we will always cheerfully pay due submission to such
Acts of Government as his Majesty has a right =by law= to exercise over
his subjects, as Sovereign of the _British_ Dominions, =and to such

2d. That it is the inherent right of _British_ subjects to be governed
and taxed by Representatives chosen by themselves only; and that every
Act of the British Parliament respecting the internal policy of North
America, is a daring and unconstitutional invasion of our said rights
and privileges.

3d. That the Act of Parliament above mentioned is not only in itself
repugnant to the fundamental law of natural justice, in condemning
persons for a supposed crime unheard, but also =a despotic exertion of
unconstitutional power=, calculated to enslave a free and loyal people.

=_4th. That the enforcing the execution of the said Act of Parliament
by a military Power, will have a necessary tendency to raise a civil
war, thereby dissolving that union which has so long happily subsisted
between the mother country and her Colonies; ..._=

5th. It is the unanimous opinion of this meeting, that a joint
resolution of all the Colonies to stop all importations from _Great
Britain_, and exportations to it, till the said Act shall be repealed,
will prove the salvation of North America and her liberties....

    7th. That it is the opinion of this meeting that Committees ought
    to be appointed for the purpose of effecting a general Association,
    that the same measures may be pursued through the whole Continent.
    That the Committees ought to correspond with each other, and to
    meet at such places and times as shall be agreed on, in order to
    form such General Association, and that when the same shall be
    formed and agreed on by the several Committees, we will strictly
    adhere thereto; and till the general sense of the Continent shall
    be known, we do pledge ourselves to each other and our country,
    that we will inviolably adhere to the votes of this day.

8th. That Charles M. Thurston, Isaac Zane, Angus McDonald, Samuel
Beall, 3d, Alexander White, and George Rootes, be appointed a Committee
for the purposes aforesaid; and that they or any three of them, are
hereby fully empowered to act.

Which being read, were unanimously assented to and subscribed.

    [This meeting makes no reference to the action of the ex-Burgesses
    at Williamsburg some ten days before, but probably it originated
    from that action.]

128. The First Call for a Provincial Convention (Virginia)

_a. Suggestion from the Ex-Burgesses (May 30, 1774)_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, p. 351.

    The ex-Burgesses, many of them, remained in Williamsburg to attend
    the state ball on the 30th and for the day of prayer, June 1 (cf.
    No. 122 c). On the day after the call for a Continental Congress
    (May 29), letters arrived from committees of correspondence in
    the northern colonies, as below noted; and the following day,
    twenty-five of the ex-Burgesses called a meeting of the whole
    number for August 1, as below. That meeting was expanded into
    a true representative convention by modifications in the plan
    indicated in _b_ and _c_ below. Force does not indicate the source
    of the following statement; but presumably it was printed by
    order of the meeting in the Williamsburg papers. Such proceedings
    were ordered printed in almost every case by the various county
    meetings; but the clause referring to printing is usually omitted
    in these extracts.

... Immediately upon receipt of these letters the Honorable Peyton
Randolph, Esquire, moderator of the Committee of the late House of
Representatives, thought it proper to convene all the members that were
then in town; who on considering those important papers [suggesting the
need of uniform action in the various colonies], came to a resolution
to call together several other members near this city, to whom notice
could be given. [Twenty-five of them met next day, Monday, May 30,
at ten o'clock, when] it was unanimously agreed to refer the further
consideration of this matter to _the first day of August next_; at
which time it is expected there will be a very general attendance of
the late members of the House....

    [This notice is referred to in a letter of June 23 by Richard Henry
    Lee to Samuel Adams as follows, after describing the meeting of the
    ex-Burgesses on May 27--No. 125, _e._] ... "Most of the members,
    myself among the rest, had left Williamsburg before your message
    from Boston arrived. Twenty-five of them, however, were assembled
    to consider that message, and they determined to invite a general
    meeting of the whole body on the first of August." (Force, Fourth
    Series, I, 446.)

    [Presumably the committee of correspondence sent out a circular
    letter to the various counties. The editor of this volume has
    not been able to find any such letter, but some of the documents
    just following assume such action. After June 1, the remaining
    ex-Burgesses at Williamsburg departed home, in order to arouse
    their respective counties to appoint delegates for the August

_b. Sample Notice to a Virginia County by an Ex-Burgess_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 418. Thomas Mason
    writes from Williamsburg on June 16, portraying the situation,
    through several pages. Only the close of the letter is given here.

If the governour should be restrained by the instructions of a wicked
Minister from relieving the distresses of the Colony by calling an
Assembly, immediately, and writs should not be issued for that purpose
before the 1st day of July, I advise the freeholders of each county
in the Colony to convene themselves and choose two of the most able
and discreet of their inhabitants to accompany and assist their late
Representatives at the meeting at Williamsburg, on the 1st of August;
and let the whole Colony unanimously support whatever may be there
resolved upon.

    [Lord Dunmore did issue writs that same day for a new Assembly, to
    meet August 11. No doubt he hoped this would induce the Virginia
    counties not to appoint delegates to the meeting called for August
    1. Such a purpose was suspected and defeated. (See below, # 129,

    Some counties sent only their ex-burgesses to the August
    Convention; some elected new burgesses for the Assembly called for
    August 11, but instructed them to attend the Convention also on the
    1st; and some (as Mason suggested) sent not only their "burgesses,"
    but also certain additional deputies.]

_c. Sample Call for a County Meeting to give Instructions for the
August Convention_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 451.

_At a meeting of the Committee of Correspondence for Norfolk ... held
at the Court House, on Monday, the 27th day of June, 1774. Present [six

_Voted_ That the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the County and Borough
of Norfolk be earnestly requested to attend at the Court House of the
said County on Wednesday, the 6th day of July next, at ten o'clock in
the forenoon, that the late Burgesses may collect their sentiments
previous to the meeting appointed to be held at Williamsburg, on the
1st day of August next.

                                           William Davis, _Clerk_.

As late Burgesses for Norfolk ... we heartily concur ... with the
Committee of Correspondence, and propose to attend at the time
appointed. [Signatures of the ex-burgesses for the County.]

    [The meeting was held at the appointed time (Force, IV, 1, 518),
    and adopted ten resolutions--directing "our late Burgesses" to
    attend the Williamsburg Convention on August 1; to try to secure a
    "general association" there for the Colony of Virginia, "against
    all importations and exportations (medicines excepted) to and from
    Great Britain"; to try to extend such association against every
    part of the colonies which should refuse to accept the measure;
    and to secure the appointment in each County of Virginia of a
    Committee "of respectable men ... to prevent any breach of such ...
    Association as may be adopted."]

129. Typical Virginia County Instructions to Delegates to the First
Provincial Convention

    Force has preserved records of meetings in thirty-one Virginia
    counties, to appoint and instruct delegates to the Provincial
    Convention called for the 1st of August. Many of these sets of
    instructions rank as great state papers, quite equal in logic,
    rhetoric, and statesmanship to the documents put forth by the
    Continental Congress three months later at Philadelphia. The
    Fairfax County resolutions, which are given in about a third part
    below, seem to have been in exceptional degree the model for the
    resolutions adopted by the August Convention, which, in turn, with
    the same Fairfax document, must have been before the committees of
    the Continental Congress which drew up the famous documents issued
    by that body.

    Brief extracts from a few other Virginia county resolutions follow
    the main document (_a_), to show the drift of feeling in certain
    plain matters. When the exact location in Force is omitted, to save
    space, it can readily be found from the index to that work.

_Virginia Counties appoint Delegates to the First Virginia Convention_

_a. Westmoreland County (Virginia) Resolutions_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 437, 438.

At a respectable Meeting of the Freeholders =and other Inhabitants= of
the County of Westmoreland, assembled on due notice, at the Court House
of the said County, on Wednesday, the 22d of June, 1774.

[The Reverend Mr. Thomas Smith, having been appointed _Moderator_],
Several papers containing the Proceedings of the late House of
Burgesses of this Colony, and the subsequent determinations of the late
Representatives after the House was dissolved, together with extracts
of several Resolves of the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay, Maryland,
etc., being read, the meeting proceeded seriously to consider the
present dangerous and truly alarming crisis, when ruin is threatened to
the ancient constitutional rights of _North America_, and came to the
following Resolves:

       *       *       *       *       *

    =7th. This meeting do heartily concur with the late Representative
    body of this country, to disuse tea, and not purchase any other
    commodity of the East Indies, _except saltpetre_, until the
    grievances of _America_ are redressed. (Cf. No. 125 _e_, above.)=

8th. We do most heartily concur in these preceding Resolves, and
will, to the utmost of our power, take care that they are carried
into execution; and that we will regard every man as infamous who
now agree[s] to, and shall hereafter make a breach of all or any of
them; subject however to such future alterations as shall be judged
expedient, at a general meeting of Deputies from the several parts of
this Colony, or a general Congress of all the Colonies.

=9th. We do appoint _Richard Henry Lee_, and _Richard Lee_, Esquires,
the late Representatives of this county, to attend the general meeting
of Deputies from all the counties [August 1]; and we desire that they
do exert their best abilities to get these, our earnest desires for the
security of public liberty, assented to.=

=10th. And as it may happen that the Assembly now called to meet on
the 11th of August, may be prorogued to a future day, and many of
the Deputies appointed to meet on the 1st of August, trusting to the
certainty of meeting in Assembly on the 11th may fail to attend on the
first, by which means decisive injury may arise to the common cause of
liberty, by the general sense of the country not being early known at
this dangerous crisis of _American_ freedom, we do, therefore, direct
that our Deputies now chosen fail not to attend at Williamsburg, on
the said 1st of August; and it is our earnest wish that the Deputies
from other counties be directed to do the same, for the reasons above

    [Other counties responded to this wish. Thus, seven days later, a
    "respectable meeting of =Freeholders and Freemen= of the County of
    Richmond," called to choose and instruct delegates to the August
    Convention, did so with the following caution:

       *       *       *       *       *

    "8th. This meeting do appoint Robert Wormeley Carter and Francis L.
    Lee, gentlemen, as their Deputies for the purposes afore said; and
    they do request them that they fail not to attend in Williamsburg
    on the said first day of August, and do not trust to meeting in
    Assembly on the 11th ... as it is in the power of Government either
    to prorogue the Assembly to a future day, or dissolve the same,--by
    which means the sense of this Colony may not be known." (Force, IV,
    1, 492, 493.)]

_b. Fairfax County (Virginia) Resolutions_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 597-602.

At a General Meeting of the Freeholders and =other Inhabitants= of the
County of Fairfax, at the Court House in the Town of Alexandria, on
Monday, the 18th day of July, 1774.

  =George Washington=, Esquire, _Chairman_, and
  =Robert Harrison=, Gentleman, _Clerk_.

_Resolved_, That this Colony and Dominion of Virginia cannot be
considered as a conquered country, and, if it was, that the present
inhabitants are the descendants, not of the conquered, but of the
conquerors. That the same was not settled at the national expense of
England, but at the private expense of the adventurers, our
ancestors ... [and] that our ancestors ... brought with them, even if
the same had not been confirmed by Charters, the civil Constitution and
form of Government of the country they came from, and were by the laws
of nature and Nations entitled to all its privileges, immunities, and
advantages, which have descended to us, their posterity....

_Resolved_, That the most important and valuable part of the British
Constitution, upon which its very existence depends, is the fundamental
principle of the people's being governed by no laws to which they
have not given their consent by Representatives freely chosen by
themselves, =who are affected by the laws they enact equally with their
constituents, to whom they are accountable and whose burthens they

[The colonies "are not, and from their situation, cannot be,
represented in the British Parliament"; and therefore "legislative
power here can, _of right_, be exercised only by our Provincial
Assemblies, or =Parliaments=, subject to the assent or negative of the
British crown ..."; but it is recognized as reasonable that the British
Parliament should, _in practice_, regulate trade "for the general good
of that great body politick of which we are a part, although in some
degree repugnant to the principles of the Constitution," but only when
such power is exercised "with wisdom and moderation."]

_Resolved_, That the claim lately assumed and exercised by the
_British_ Parliament, for making all such laws as they think fit to
govern the people of these Colonies, and to extort from us our money
without our consent, is not only diametrically contrary to the first
principles of the Constitution and the original compacts by which we
are dependent upon the _British_ Crown and Government, but is totally
incompatible with the privileges of a free people and the natural
rights of mankind, will render our own Legislatures merely nominal and
nugatory, and is calculated to reduce us from a state of freedom and
happiness to slavery and misery.

_Resolved_, That taxation and representation are in their nature
inseparable; that the right of withholding, or of giving and granting
their own money, is the only effectual security to a free people
against the encroachments of despotism and tyranny; and that whenever
they yield the one, they must quickly fall a prey to the other.

_Resolved_, That the powers over the people of America, now claimed by
the British House of Commons,--=in whose election we have no share;
in whose determinations we have no influence; whose information must
be always defective, and often false; who in many instances may have
a separate, and in some an opposite interest to ours; and who are
removed from those impressions of tenderness and compassion, arising
from personal intercourse and connection, which soften the rigours of
the most despotick Government=, must, if continued, establish the most
grievous and intolerable species of tyranny and oppression that ever
was inflicted upon mankind.

_Resolved_, That it is our greatest wish and inclination, as well as
interest, to continue our connection with, and dependence upon, the
British Government; but though we are its subjects, we will use every
means which Heaven hath given us to prevent our becoming its slaves.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved_, That the several Acts of Parliament for raising a revenue
upon the people of America without their consent; the erecting new and
dangerous jurisdictions here [the "special commissions"]; the taking
away our trials by jury; the ordering persons, on criminal accusations,
to be tried in another country than that in which the fact is charged
to have been committed; the Act inflicting Ministerial vengeance upon
the town of Boston; the two Bills lately brought into Parliament for
abrogating the charter of Massachusetts Bay, and =for the protection
and encouragement of murderers= in the said Province,[123] are part of
the above-mentioned iniquitous system....

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved_, That nothing will so much contribute to defeat the
pernicious designs of the common enemies of Great Britain and her
Colonies, as a firm union of the latter, who ought to regard every act
of violence or oppression inflicted upon any one of them, as aimed at
all; and to effect this desirable purpose, =that a Congress should be
appointed, to consist of Deputies from all the Colonies, to concert
a general and uniform plan for the defence and preservation of our
common rights=, and continuing the connection and dependence of the
said Colonies upon Great Britain, under a just, lenient, permanent, and
constitutional form of Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved_, That ... all manner of luxury and extravagance ought
immediately to be laid aside, as totally inconsistent with the
threatening and gloomy prospect before us; that it is the indispensable
duty of all the gentlemen and men of fortune to set examples of
temperance, fortitude, frugality, and industry ... [and] that great
care and attention should be had to the cultivation of flax, cotton,
and other materials for manufactures; and we recommend it to such
of the inhabitants as have large stocks of sheep, to sell to their
neighbors at a moderate price, as the most certain means of speedily
increasing our breed of sheep and quantity of wool.[124]

[Some pages of resolves as to non-importation with much of the detail
afterward copied by the Continental Congress--especially the following

"That the merchants and vendors of goods ought not to take advantage of
our present distress, but continue to sell the goods and merchandise
which they now have, or which may be shipped to them before the 1st
of September next [when non-importation was recommended to begin], at
the same rates and prices they have been accustomed to do within one
year past; and that if any person shall sell such goods on any other
terms ... that no inhabitant of this colony should, at any time forever
thereafter, deal with him, his agent, factor, or storekeeper, for any
commodity whatsoever"; with provisions for depositing goods of later
shippings with the committees of their counties, _i.e._, as adopted by
the Continental Congress; resolutions against importing slaves, and
against exporting lumber to the West Indies, and, after November 1,
1775 (unless redress of grievances should come), against _all_ exports
to Great Britain. "And ... as the people will thereby be disabled
from paying their debts, that no judgments should be rendered by the
Courts ... for any debt, after imformation of the said measures being
determined upon."]

       *       *       *       *       *

=_Resolved_, That _George Washington_, Esquire, and _Charles
Broadwater_, Gentleman, lately elected our Representatives to serve
in the General Assembly, attend the Convention at Williamsburg, on
the first day of August next, and present these Resolves as the sense
of the people of this county upon measures proper to be taken in the
present alarming and dangerous situation of America.=

=_Resolved_, That George Washington Esquire, [and 24 others] be a
Committee for this county; that they, or a majority of them, on any
emergency, have power to call a general meeting, and to concert and
adopt such measures as may be thought most expedient and necessary.=

=_Resolved_, That a copy of these Proceedings be transmitted to the
Printer at Williamsburg, to be published.=

=[It is possible to find in these instructions by Fairfax County to its
delegates to Williamsburg almost every provision of the "Association"
adopted three months later by the Continental Congress at Philadelphia.
For a very large part of the two documents, the language is almost
identical. Much alike as many such papers of the time were, it is
impossible to read these two together without being convinced that the
committee which framed the Association at Philadelphia had a copy of
the Fairfax instructions before them.]=

_c. Nansemond County (July 11)_

[10] Resolved that every kind of luxury, dissipation, and extravagance,
ought to be banished from amongst us....

[12] Resolved That the African [Negro] trade is injurious to
this Colony, obstructs the population of it by freemen, prevents
manufactures and useful emigrants from Europe from settling amongst us
and occasions an annual increase of the balance of trade against the

[14] Resolved that to be clothed in manufactures fabricated in this
Colony ought to be considered as a badge and distinction of respect and
true patriotism.

_d. York County (July 18)_

[Instructions to delegates for the August Convention, after urging
appointment of Virginia delegates to a "General Congress of America,"

"That these Representatives be instructed to form a Declaration of
American Rights [a page of suggestions follows].

[That _imports_ be stopped at once, and that _exports_ be regulated by
the General Congress when it comes.]

="That industry and frugality be adopted, in their largest extent,
throughout this Colony; and that horse-racing, and every species of
expensive amusement, be laid aside, as unsuitable to the situation of
the country, and unbecoming men who feel for its distress."=

_e. Middlesex County (July 15)_

[This county alone takes a royalist tone.]

    _Resolved_, That we do not approve of the conduct of the people of
    Boston in destroying the tea ... and notwithstanding the tax on tea
    must be esteemed a violent infringement of one of the fundamental
    privileges ... yet we apprehend violence cannot justify violence.
    ... A desistance from the consumption of tea, and a confidence in
    the virtue of our countrymen, whose sense of the spirit of the law
    will no doubt induce a total disuse of it, are much more eligible
    means, and more probably will work a repeal of the Act, than
    disorders, outrages, and tumults.

130. The First Continental Congress

_a. Method of Voting, etc._

    John Adams' "Diary" (_Works_, II, 366 ff.).

[Sept.] 5. Monday. At ten the delegates all met at the City Tavern, and
walked to the Carpenters' Hall, where they took a view of the room,
and of the chamber where is an excellent library; there is also a long
entry where gentlemen may walk, and a convenient chamber opposite to
the library. The general cry was, that this was a good room, and the
question was put, whether we were satisfied with this room? and it
passed in the affirmative. A very few were for the negative, and they
were chiefly from Pennsylvania and New York. Then Mr. Lynch arose, and
said there was a gentleman present who had presided with great dignity
over a very respectable society, greatly to the advantage of America,
and he therefore proposed that the Honorable Peyton Randolph, Esquire,
one of the delegates from Virginia, and the late Speaker of their House
of Burgesses; should be appointed Chairman, and he doubted not it would
be unanimous.

The question was put, and he was unanimously chosen.

Mr. Randolph then took the chair, and the commissions of the delegates
were all produced and read.

Then Mr. Lynch proposed that Mr. Charles Thomson, a gentleman of
family, fortune, and character in this city, should be appointed
Secretary, which was accordingly done without opposition, though Mr.
Duane and Mr. Jay discovered at first an inclination to seek further.

Mr. Duane then moved that a committee should be appointed to prepare
regulations for this Congress. Several gentlemen objected.

I then arose and asked leave of the President to request of the
gentleman from New York an explanation, and that he would point out
some particular regulations which he had in his mind. He mentioned
particularly the method of voting, whether it should be by Colonies,
or by the poll, or by interests.

Mr. Henry then rose, and said this was the first General Congress which
had ever happened; that no former Congress could be a precedent; that
we should have occasion for more general congresses, and therefore
that a precedent ought to be established now; that it would be
great injustice if a little Colony should have the same weight in
the councils of America as a great one, and therefore he was for a

Major Sullivan [from New Hampshire] observed that a little Colony had
its all at stake as well as a great one....

Mr. _Henry._ Government is dissolved. Fleets and armies and the present
state of things show that government is dissolved. Where are your
landmarks, your boundaries of Colonies? We are in a state of nature,

The distinctions between Virginians Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and
New Englanders, are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American.

Slaves are to be thrown out of the question, and if the freemen can be
represented according to their numbers, I am satisfied.

Mr. _Lynch._ I differ in one point from the gentleman from Virginia,
that is, in thinking that numbers only ought to determine the weight
of Colonies. I think that property ought to be considered, and that it
ought to be a compound of numbers and property that should determine
the weight of the Colonies.[126]

I think it cannot be now settled.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. _Lee._ But one reason ... prevails with me [for favoring one vote
to each colony] ... that we are not at this time provided with proper
materials [to assign proper proportions]....

Mr. _Gadsen._ I can't see any way of voting but by Colonies.

Mr. _Pendleton._ If the committee should find themselves unable to
ascertain the weight of the Colonies, by their numbers and property,
they will report this, and this will lay the foundation for the
Congress to take some other steps to procure evidence of numbers and
property at some future time.

_Mr Henry._ I agree that authentic accounts cannot be had, if by
authenticity is meant attestations of officers of the Crown.

I go upon the supposition that government is at an end. All
distinctions are thrown down. All America is thrown into one mass. We
must aim at the minutiæ of rectitude.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The argument that the delegates lacked information (such as a
    census would have provided) to arrange a proper apportionment of
    votes to different colonies prevailed. October 10, the Connecticut
    delegates wrote to the governor of their colony: "The mode of
    voting ... was first resolved upon; which was that each colony
    should have one voice; but, as this was objected to as unequal,
    an entry was made in the journals to prevent its being drawn into
    precedent in future."

_b. John Adams' Impressions toward the Close_

    _Diary_, as above.

[Oct.] 10. Monday. The deliberations of the Congress are spun out to an
immeasurable length. There is so much wit, sense, learning, acuteness,
subtlety, eloquence, etc., among fifty gentlemen, each of whom has been
habituated to lead and guide in his own Province, that an immensity of
time is spent unnecessarily.

       *       *       *       *       *

24. Monday. In Congress, nibbling and quibbling as usual. There is no
greater mortification than to sit with half a dozen wits, deliberating
upon a petition, address, or memorial. These great wits, these subtle
critics, these refined geniuses, these learned lawyers, these wise
statesmen, are so fond of showing their parts and powers, as to make
their consultations very tedious. Young Ned Rutledge is a perfect
Bob-o-Lincoln,--a swallow, a sparrow, a peacock; excessively vain,
excessively weak, and excessively variable and unsteady; jejune, inane,
and puerile. Mr. Dickinson is very modest, delicate, and timid. Spent
the evening at home. Colonel Dyer, Judge Sherman, and Colonel Floyd
came in, and spent the evening with Mr. [Samuel] Adams and me. Mr.
Mifflin and General Lee came in. Lee's head is running upon his new
plan of a battalion....

26. Wednesday. Dined at home. This day the Congress finished. Spent
the evening together at the City Tavern; all the Congress, and several
gentlemen of the town....

28. Friday. Took our departure, in a very great rain, from the
happy, the peaceful, the elegant, the hospitable, and polite city of
Philadelphia. It is not very likely that I shall ever see this part
of the world again, but I shall ever retain a most grateful, pleasing
sense of the many civilities I have received in it, and shall think
myself happy to have an opportunity of returning them.

    [Delegates from eleven colonies to the First Continental Congress
    assembled at Philadelphia, September 5, 1774. Delegates from North
    Carolina appeared on the 14th. Georgia was not represented. For
    elections and credentials, cf. _American History and Government_, #

_c. Declaration of Rights_

    _Journals of the Continental Congress_ (Ford edition), I, 63 ff.
    A committee, appointed on September 7, reported on the 22d. The
    report was taken up October 12, and adopted October 14.

Whereas, since the close of the last war, the British parliament,
claiming a power, of right, to bind the people of America by statutes
in all cases whatsoever, hath, in some acts, expressly imposed taxes
on them, and in others, under various pretences, but in fact for
the purpose of raising a revenue, hath imposed rates and duties
payable in these colonies, established a board of commissioners, with
unconstitutional powers, and extended the jurisdiction of courts of
admiralty, not only for collecting the said duties, but for the trial
of causes merely arising within the body of a county.

And whereas, in consequence of other statutes, judges, who before held
only estates at will in their offices, have been made dependant on the
crown alone for their salaries, and standing armies kept in times of
peace: And whereas it has lately been resolved in parliament, that by
force of a statute, made in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King
Henry the Eighth, colonists may be transported to England, and tried
there upon accusations for treasons and misprisions, or concealments of
treasons committed in the colonies, and by a late statute, such trials
have been directed in cases therein mentioned:

And whereas, in the last session of parliament, three statutes were
made; one entitled, "An act to discontinue, in such manner and for
such time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging,
lading, or shipping of goods, wares and merchandize, at the town, and
within the harbour of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts-Bay in
North-America;" another entitled, "An act for the better regulating the
government of the province of Massachusetts-Bay in New England;" and
another entitled, "An act for the impartial administration of justice,
in the cases of persons questioned for any act done by them in the
execution of the law, or for the suppression of riots and tumults, in
the province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New England;" and another
statute was then made, "for making more effectual provision for the
government of the province of Quebec, etc." All which statutes are
impolitic, unjust, and cruel, as well as unconstitutional, and most
dangerous and destructive of American rights:

And whereas, assemblies have been frequently dissolved, contrary to the
rights of the people, when they attempted to deliberate on grievances;
and their dutiful, humble, loyal, and reasonable petitions to the
crown for redress, have been repeatedly treated with contempt, by his
Majesty's ministers of state:

The good people of the several colonies of New-Hampshire,
Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations,
Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Newcastle, Kent,
and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, and
South-Carolina, justly alarmed at these arbitrary proceedings of
parliament and administration, have severally elected, constituted,
and appointed deputies to meet, and sit in general Congress, in the
city of Philadelphia, in order to obtain such establishment, as that
their religion, laws, and liberties, may not be subverted: Whereupon
the deputies so appointed being now assembled, in a full and free
representation of these colonies, taking into their most serious
consideration, the best means of attaining the ends aforesaid, do, in
the first place, as Englishmen, their ancestors in like cases have
usually done, for asserting and vindicating their rights and liberties,

That the inhabitants of the English colonies in North-America, by the
immutable laws of nature, the principles of the English constitution,
and the several charters or compacts, have the following RIGHTS:

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 1. That they are entitled to life, liberty and
property: and they have never ceded to any foreign power whatever, a
right to dispose of either without their consent.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 2. That our ancestors, who first settled these
colonies, were at the time of their emigration from the mother country,
entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immunities of free and
natural-born subjects, within the realm of England.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 3. That by such emigration they by no means
forfeited, surrendered, or lost any of those rights, but that they
were, and their descendants now are, entitled to the exercise and
enjoyment of all such of them, as their local and other circumstances
enable them to exercise and enjoy.

_Resolved_, 4. That the foundation of English liberty, and of all
free government, is a right in the people to participate in their
legislative council: and as the English colonists are not represented,
and from their local and other circumstances, cannot properly be
represented in the British parliament, they are entitled to a free
and exclusive power of legislation in their several provincial
legislatures, where their right of representation can alone be
preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity, subject
only to the negative of their sovereign, in such manner as has been
heretofore used and accustomed: But, from the necessity of the case,
and a regard to the mutual interest of both countries, we cheerfully
consent to the operation of such acts of the British parliament,
as are, _bona fide_, restrained to the regulation of our external
commerce, for the purpose of securing the commercial advantages of the
whole empire to the mother country, and the commercial benefits of
its respective members; excluding every idea of taxation internal or
external, for raising a revenue on the subjects, in America, without
their consent.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 5. That the respective colonies are entitled
to the common law of England, and more especially to the great and
inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage,
according to the course of that law.

_Resolved_, 6. That they are entitled to the benefit of such of the
English statutes, as existed at the time of their colonization; and
which they have, by experience, respectively found to be applicable to
their several local and other circumstances.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 7. That these, his majesty's colonies, are
likewise entitled to all the immunities and privileges granted and
confirmed to them by royal charters, or secured by their several codes
of provincial laws.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 8. That they have a right peaceably to assemble,
consider of their grievances, and petition the king; and that all
prosecutions, prohibitory proclamations, and commitments for the same,
are illegal.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 9. That the keeping a standing army in these
colonies, in times of peace, without the consent of the legislature of
that colony, in which such army is kept, is against law.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ 10. It is indispensably necessary to good
government, and rendered essential by the English constitution, that
the constituent branches of the legislature be independent of each
other; that, therefore, the exercise of legislative power in several
colonies by a council appointed, during pleasure, by the crown, is
unconstitutional, dangerous and destructive to the freedom of American

All and each of which the aforesaid deputies, in behalf of themselves,
and their constituents, do claim, demand, and insist on, as their
indubitable rights and liberties; which cannot be legally taken
from them, altered or abridged by any power whatever, without their
own consent, by their representatives in their several provincial

In the course of our inquiry, we find many infringements and violations
of the foregoing rights, which, from an ardent desire that harmony and
mutual intercourse of affection and interest may be restored, we pass
over for the present, and proceed to state such acts and measures as
have been adopted since the last war, which demonstrate a system formed
to enslave America.

_Resolved, N. C. D._ That the following acts of parliament are
infringements and violations of the rights of the colonists; and that
the repeal of them is essentially necessary, in order to restore
harmony between Great-Britain and the American colonies, viz.

The several acts of 4 Geo. III. ch. 15, and ch. 34.--5 Geo. III. ch.
25.--6 Geo. III. ch. 52.--7 Geo. III. ch. 41, and ch. 46.--8 Geo. III.
ch. 22. which impose duties for the purpose of raising a revenue in
America, extend the power of the admiralty courts beyond their ancient
limits, deprive the American subject of trial by jury, authorise the
judges certificate to indemnify the prosecutor from damages, that
he might otherwise be liable to, requiring oppressive security from
a claimant of ships and goods seized, before he shall be allowed to
defend his property, are subversive of American rights.

Also 12 Geo. III. ch. 24. intituled, "An act for the better securing
his majesty's dockyards, magazines, ships, ammunition, and stores,"
which declares a new offence in America, and deprives the American
subject of a constitutional trial by jury of the vicinage, by
authorising the trial of any person, charged with the committing any
offence described in the said act, out of the realm, to be indicted
and tried for the same in any shire or county within the realm.

Also the three acts passed in the last session of parliament, for
stopping the port and blocking up the harbour of Boston, for altering
the charter and government of Massachusetts-Bay, and that which is
entitled, "An act for the better administration of justice, etc."

Also the act passed in the same session for establishing the Roman
Catholic religion, in the province of Quebec, abolishing, the equitable
system of English laws, and erecting a tyranny there, to the great
danger, (from so total a dissimilarity of religion, law and government)
of the neighbouring British colonies, by the assistance of whose blood
and treasure the said country was conquered from France.

Also the act passed in the same session, for the better providing
suitable quarters for officers and soldiers in his majesty's service,
in North-America.

Also, that the keeping a standing army in several of these colonies, in
time of peace, without the consent of the legislature of that colony in
which such army is kept, is against law.

To these grievous acts and measures, Americans cannot submit, but in
hopes their fellow subjects in Great-Britain will, by a revision of
them, restore us to that state, in which both countries found happiness
and prosperity, we have for the present, only resolved to pursue the
following peaceable measures: 1. To enter into a non-importation,
non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement or association. 2. To
prepare an address to the people of Great-Britain, and a memorial to
the inhabitants of British America: and 3. To prepare a loyal address
to his majesty, agreeable to resolutions already entered into.

    [This "Declaration" confines itself almost wholly, it will be
    observed, to "concrete" English rights, which had been infringed
    by recent acts of government. There is little suggestion of the
    more general principles soon to appear, first in the Virginia
    bill of rights and then in the Declaration of Independence.
    Advanced students will find in John Adams' _Works_ (II, 373 ff.)
    an autobiographical extract, _composed in 1804_, giving Adams'
    recollections of the drawing up of the Declaration.]

_d. The Association_

(October 20, 1774)

    _Journals of Congress_ (Ford edition), I, 75 ff. For conflict
    between this plan and Galloway's moderate proposal, cf. _American
    History and Government_, 141. The wording of much of the plan,
    and the efficient machinery for putting it in operation (Eleventh
    Article), were common property by this time. In particular, cf. No.
    129 _b_, above, and comment at close.

WE, his majesty's most loyal subjects, the delegates of the several
colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island,
Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower
counties of Newcastle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware,[127] Maryland,
Virginia, North-Carolina, and South-Carolina, deputed to represent
them in a continental Congress, held in the city of Philadelphia,
on the fifth day of September, 1774, avowing our Allegiance to his
majesty, our affection and regard for our fellow-subjects in Great
Britain and elsewhere, affected with the deepest anxiety, and most
alarming apprehensions, at those grievances and distresses with which
his majesty's American subjects are oppressed; and having taken under
our most serious deliberation the state of the whole continent, find,
that the present unhappy situation of our affairs is occasioned by
a ruinous system of colony administration, adopted by the British
ministry about the year 1763, evidently calculated for inslaving these
colonies, and, with them, the British Empire. In prosecution of which
system, various acts of parliament have been passed, for raising a
revenue in America, for depriving the American subjects, in many
instances, of the constitutional trial by jury, exposing their lives
to danger, by directing a new and illegal trial beyond the seas, for
crimes alleged to have been committed in America: And in prosecution
of the same system, several late, cruel, and oppressive acts have been
passed, respecting the town of Boston and the Massachusetts-Bay, and
also an act for extending the province of Quebec, so as to border on
the western frontiers of these colonies, establishing an arbitrary
government therein, and discouraging the settlement of British subjects
in that wide extended country; thus, by the influence of civil
principles and ancient prejudices, to dispose the inhabitants to act
with hostility against the free Protestant colonies, whenever a wicked
ministry shall chuse so to direct them.

To obtain redress of these grievances, which threaten destruction
to the lives, liberty, and property of his majesty's subjects,
in North-America, we are of opinion, that a non-importation,
non-consumption, and non-exportation agreement, faithfully adhered to,
will prove the most speedy, effectual, and peaceable measure: And,
therefore, we do, for ourselves, and the inhabitants of the several
colonies, whom we represent, firmly agree and associate, under the
sacred ties of virtue, honour and love of our country, as follows:

First, That from and after the first day of December next, we will
not import, into British America, from Great-Britain or Ireland, any
goods, wares, or merchandize whatsoever, or from any other place, any
such goods, wares, or merchandize, as shall have been exported from
Great-Britain or Ireland; nor will we, after that day, import any
East-India tea from any part of the world; nor any molasses, syrups,
paneles, coffee, or pimento, from the British plantations or from
Dominica; nor wines from Madeira, or the Western Islands; nor foreign

Second, We will neither import nor purchase, any slave imported after
the first day of December next; after which time, we will wholly
discontinue the slave trade, and will neither be concerned in it
ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels, nor sell our commodities or
manufactures to those who are concerned in it.

Third, As a non-consumption agreement, strictly adhered to, will be
an effectual security for the observation of the non-importation, we,
as above, solemnly agree and associate, that from this day, we will
not purchase or use any tea, imported on account of the East-India
company, or any on which a duty hath been or shall be paid; and from
and after the first day of March next, we will not purchase or use any
East-India tea whatever; nor will we, nor shall any person for or under
us, purchase or use any of those goods, wares, or merchandize, we have
agreed not to import, which we shall know, or have cause to suspect,
were imported after the first day of December, except such as come
under the rules and directions of the tenth article hereafter mentioned.

Fourth, The earnest desire we have not to injure our fellow-subjects
in Great-Britain, Ireland, or the West-Indies, induces us to suspend a
non-exportation, until the tenth day of September, 1775; at which time,
if the said acts and parts of acts of the British parliament herein
after mentioned, are not repealed, we will not directly or indirectly,
export any merchandize or commodity whatsoever to Great-Britain,
Ireland, or the West-Indies, except rice to Europe.

Fifth, Such as are merchants, and use the British and Irish trade,
will give orders, as soon as possible, to their factors, agents and
correspondents, in Great-Britain and Ireland, not to ship any goods
to them, on any pretence whatsoever, as they cannot be received in
America; and if any merchant, residing in Great-Britain or Ireland,
shall directly or indirectly ship any goods, wares or merchandize, for
America, in order to break the said non-importation agreement, or in
any manner contravene the same, on such unworthy conduct being well
attested, it ought to be made public; and, on the same being so done,
we will not, from thenceforth, have any commercial connexion with such

Sixth, That such as are owners of vessels will give positive orders
to their captains, or masters, not to receive on board their vessels
any goods prohibited by the said non-importation agreement, on pain of
immediate dismission from their service.

Seventh, We will use our utmost endeavours to improve the breed of
sheep, and increase their number to the greatest extent; and to that
end, we will kill them as seldom as may be, especially those of the
most profitable kind; nor will we export any to the West-Indies or
elsewhere; and those of us, who are or may become overstocked with,
or can conveniently spare any sheep, will dispose of them to our
neighbours, especially to the poorer sort, on moderate terms.

Eighth, We will, in our several stations, encourage frugality,
[oe]conomy, and industry, and promote agriculture, arts and the
manufactures of this country, especially that of wool; and will
discountenance and discourage every species of extravagance and
dissipation, especially all horse-racing, and all kinds of gaming,
cock-fighting, exhibitions of shews, plays, and other expensive
diversions and entertainments; and on the death of any relation or
friend, none of us, or any of our families, will go into any further
mourning-dress than a black crape or ribbon on the arm or hat, for
gentlemen, and a black ribbon and necklace for ladies, and we will
discontinue the giving of gloves and scarves at funerals.

Ninth, Such as are venders of goods or merchandize will not take
advantage of the scarcity of goods that may be occasioned by this
association, but will sell the same at the rates we have been
respectively accustomed to do, for twelve months last past.--And if any
vender of goods or merchandize shall sell such goods on higher terms,
or shall, in any manner, or by any device whatsoever, violate or depart
from this agreement, no person ought, nor will any of us deal with any
such person, or his or her factor or agent, at any time thereafter, for
any commodity whatever.

Tenth, In case any merchant, trader, or other person, shall import any
goods or merchandize, after the first day of December, and before the
first day of February next, the same ought forthwith, at the election
of the owner, to be either re-shipped or delivered up to the committee
of the county or town, wherein they shall be imported, to be stored at
the risque of the importer, until the non-importation agreement shall
cease, or be sold under the direction of the committee aforesaid;
and in the last-mentioned case, the owner or owners of such goods
shall be reimbursed out of the sales, the first cost and charges, the
profit, if any, to be applied towards relieving and employing such poor
inhabitants of the town of Boston, as are immediate sufferers by the
Boston port-bill; and a particular account of all goods so returned,
stored, or sold, to be inserted in the public papers; and if any goods
or merchandizes shall be imported after the said first day of February,
the same ought forthwith to be sent back again, without breaking any of
the packages thereof.

Eleventh, That a committee be chosen in every county, city, and
town, by those who are qualified to vote for representatives in the
legislature, whose business it shall be attentively to observe the
conduct of all persons touching this association; and when it shall
be made to appear, to the satisfaction of a majority of any such
committee, that any person within the limits of their appointment has
violated this association, that such majority do forthwith cause the
truth of the case to be published in the gazette; to the end, that
all such foes to the rights of British-America may be publicly known,
and universally contemned as the enemies of American liberty; and
thenceforth we respectively will break off all dealings with him or her.

Twelfth, That the committee of correspondence, in the respective
colonies, do frequently inspect the entries of their custom-houses, and
inform each other, from time to time, of the true state thereof, and
of every other material circumstance that may occur relative to this

Thirteenth, That all manufactures of this country be sold at reasonable
prices, so that no undue advantage be taken of a future scarcity of

Fourteenth, And we do further agree and resolve, that we will have no
trade, commerce, dealings or intercourse whatsoever, with any colony or
province, in North-America, which shall not accede to, or which shall
hereafter violate this association, but will hold them as unworthy
of the rights of freemen, and as inimical to the liberties of their

And we do solemnly bind ourselves and our constituents, under the
ties aforesaid, to adhere to this association, until such parts of
the several acts of parliament, passed since the close of the last
war, as impose or continue duties on tea, wine, molasses, syrups,
paneles, coffee, sugar, pimento, indigo, foreign paper, glass, and
painters colours, imported into America, and extend the powers of the
admiralty courts beyond their ancient limits, deprive the American
subject of trial by jury, authorise the judge's certificate to
indemnify the prosecutor from damages, that he might otherwise be
liable to, from a trial by his peers, require oppressive security from
a claimant of ships or goods seized, before he shall be allowed to
defend his property, are repealed.--And until that part of the act of
the 12. G. 3. ch. 24. entitled, "An act for the better securing his
majesty's dockyards, magazines, ships, ammunition, and stores," by
which any persons charged with committing any of the offences therein
described, in America, may be tried in any shire or county within the
realm, is repealed--and until the four acts, passed the last session
of parliament, viz. that for stopping the port and blocking up the
harbour of Boston--that for altering the charter and government of the
Massachusetts-Bay--and that which is entitled, "An act for the better
administration of justice, etc."--and that "For extending the limits
of Quebec, etc." are repealed. And we recommend it to the provincial
conventions, and to the committees in the respective colonies, to
establish such farther regulations as they may think proper, for
carrying into execution this association.

131. Prince William County (Virginia) Committee, Approval of the

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 1034.

In consequence of the eleventh Resolution of the Continental Congress,
the Freeholders of the County of Prince William, being convened at
the house of William Reno on Monday, the 9th day of December, 1774,
proceeded to elect the following gentlemen as a Committee for the said
County: [25 names].

[Notice of the organization of the Committee by election of its
chairman and clerk--and then a series of six resolutions adopted by it.
Four of them are given below.]

_Resolved_, That the thanks of the Committee are due to the Deputies of
this Colony, for their wise, firm, and patriotick conduct in the late
Continental Congress.

_Resolved_, That whenever there appears ... cause to suspect that
any Merchant ... of this County has violated the Association ... by
raising the price of his Goods, such Trader be called upon to show his
day-books and invoices, to clear up such suspicion; and that, in case
of refusal, he be deemed guilty ... and subject to the penalties in
such case provided....

_Resolved_, That all publick Balls and Entertainments be
discountenanced in this county from this time, as contrary to the
sentiments of the Continental Congress....

_Resolved_, That no person in this County ought to purchase more Goods
in one year than he has been accustomed to do ... that the poor ... may
not be distressed by wealthy designing men.

By order--                                 Evan Williams, _Clerk_.

132. Virginia County "Conventions" become De Facto Governments

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, I, 1145.

    For the occasion for the "second conventions" in the various
    colonies in the winter of 1774-5, cf. _American History and
    Government_, # 143.

    The Virginia Convention of August 1-6, 1774, had appointed
    delegates to the Continental Congress to be held in September at
    Philadelphia, and adjourned after authorizing its chairman to
    call another convention when necessary. _It was only an informal

    In December, a _Second Maryland Convention_ virtually became a
    _de facto_ government, arming the province for defense against
    England. This example was followed promptly in single _counties_ in
    Virginia,--first in George Washington's County.

[_Extracts from the Proceedings of the Committee of Fairfax County, on
the 17th of January 1775._]

  =George Washington=, Esquire, _Chairman_,
  =Robert H. Harrison=, _Clerk_:

_Resolved_, That the defenceless state of this County renders it
indispensably neccessary that a quantity of Ammunition should be
immediately provided; and as the same will be for the common benefit,
protection, and defence of the inhabitants thereof, it is but just and
reasonable that the expenses incurred in procuring the same should
be defrayed by a general and equal contribution. It is therefore
recommended that the sum of three Shillings per poll, for the purpose
aforesaid, be paid by and for every tithable person in this County, to
the Sheriff, or such other Collector as may be appointed, who is to
render the same to this Committee, with a list of the names of such
persons as shall refuse to pay the same, if any such there be.

_Resolved_, That this Committee do concur in opinion with the
Provincial Committee of the Province of Maryland, that a well regulated
Militia, composed of gentlemen freeholders, and other freemen, is the
natural strength and only stable security of a free Government, and
that such Militia will relieve our mother country from any expense in
our protection and defence, will obviate the pretence of a necessity
for taxing us on that account, and render it unnecessary to keep
Standing Armies among us--ever dangerous to liberty; and therefore it
is recommended to such of the inhabitants of this County as are from
sixteen to fifty years of age, to form themselves into Companies of
sixty-eight men; to choose a Captain, two Lieutenants, an Ensign, four
Sergeants, four Corporals, and one Drummer, for each Company; that they
provide themselves with good Firelocks, and use their utmost endeavours
to make themselves masters of the Military Exercise, published by order
of his Majesty in 1764, and recommended by the Provincial Congress of
the Massachusetts Bay, on the 29th of October last.

133. Virginia Provincial Conventions become Governments

                          (March-July, 1775)

_a. County Instructions to Delegates_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, II, 3.

        Instructions from the Freeholders of Cumberland County

To John Mayo and William Fleming, Gentlemen [Delegates of Cumberland
    County to the Second Virginia Convention, to be held in March,

We, the Freeholders of Cumberland County, having elected you to
represent us in a Provincial Convention,[128] to be held in the Town of
Richmond, on Monday, the 20th of this instant, and being convinced that
the safety and happiness of British America depend upon the unanimity,
firmness and joint efforts of all the Colonies, we expect you will,
on your parts, let your measures be as much for the common safety as
the peculiar interests of this Colony will permit, and that you, in
particular, comply with the recommendation of the Continental Congress,
in appointing Delegates to meet in the City of Philadelphia, in May

       *       *       *       *       *

=The means of Constitutional legislation in this Colony being now
interrupted, and entirely precarious, and being convinced that some
rule is necessary for speedily putting the Colony in a state of
defence, we, in an especial manner, recommend this matter to your
consideration in Convention; and you may depend that any general tax,
by that body imposed, for such purposes, will be cheerfully submitted
to, and paid by the inhabitants of this County.=[129]

_b. The Second Virginia Convention (March 20-27, 1775) arms the Colony
for War_

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, II, 165-172.

At a Convention of Delegates for the Counties and Corporations in the
Colony of Virginia, at the Town of Richmond, in the County of Henrico,
on Monday, the 20th of March, 1775. [Present: 120 names.]...

       *       *       *       *       *

The Honourable _Peyton Randolph_, Esquire, was unanimously elected
President of this Convention, and Mr. _John Tazewell_, Clerk thereof.

The President then recommended it to the Convention to proceed in the
deliberation and discussion of the several important matters which
should come before them, with that prudence, decency, and order which
had distinguished their conduct on all former occasions; and laid
before the Convention the proceedings of the Continental Congress....

_Resolved_, That this Convention will observe, in their debates, the
same rules and orders as are established in the House of Burgesses in
this Colony.

Adjourned till to-morrow 10 o'clock.

       *       *       *       *       *

=March 21. ... _Resolved unanimously_, That this Convention doth
entirely and cordially approve the Proceedings and Resolutions of the
_American_ Continental Congress [the "First Continental Congress"],
and that they consider this whole Continent as under the highest
obligations to that very respectable body, for the wisdom of their
counsels, and their unremitted endeavours to maintain and preserve
inviolate the just rights and liberties of His Majesty's dutiful and
loyal subjects in _America_.=

_Resolved unanimously_, That the warmest thanks of this Convention,
and all the inhabitants of this Colony, whom they represent, are
particularly due, and that this just tribute of applause be presented,
to the Honourable _Peyton Randolph_ Esquire, _Richard Henry Lee_,
_George Washington_, _Patrick Henry_, Junior, _Richard Bland_,
_Benjamin Harrison_, and _Edmund Pendleton_, Esquires, the worthy
Delegates deputed by a former Convention to represent this Colony
in General Congress, for their cheerful undertaking, and faithful
discharge of the very important trust reposed in them.

Adjourned till to-morrow 10 o'clock.

=March 22. ... _Resolved_, That a well regulated Militia, composed of
Gentlemen and Yeomen, is the natural strength, and only security of
a free Government; that such a Militia in this Colony would for ever
render it unnecessary for the Mother Country to keep among us, for the
purpose of our defence, any Standing Army of mercenary forces, always
subversive of the quiet, and dangerous to the liberties of the people,
and would obviate the pretext of taxing us for their support.=

That the establishment of such Militia is at this time peculiarly
necessary, by the state of our laws for the protection and defence
of the Country, some of which have already expired, and others will
shortly do so; and that the known remissness of Government, in calling
us together in a legislative capacity renders it too insecure, in this
time of danger and distress to rely, that opportunity will be given of
renewing them in General Assembly, or making any provision to secure
our inestimable rights and liberties from those farther violations with
which they are threatened.

_Resolved therefore_, That this Colony be immediately put into a
posture of defence; and that Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Robert
Carter Nicholas, Benjamin Harrison, Lemuel Riddick, George Washington,
Adam Stephen, Andrew Lewis, William Christian, Edmund Pendleton, Thomas
Jefferson, and Isaac Zane, Esquires, be a Committee to prepare a plan
for the embodying, arming, and disciplining such a number of men as may
be sufficient for that purpose.

Adjourned till to-morrow 10 o'clock....

Saturday, March 25, 1775. ... _Resolved_, As the opinion of this
Convention, that, on account of the unhappy disputes between Great
Britain and the Colonies, and the unsettled state of this Country, the
lawyers, suitors, and witnesses ought not to attend the prosecution or
defence of civil suits at the next General Court; and it is recommended
to the several Courts of Justice not to proceed to the hearing or
determination of suits on their dockets, except attachments; nor to
give judgments but in the case of Sheriffs or other collectors for
Money or Tobacco received by them; in other cases, where such judgment
shall be voluntarily confessed; or upon such amicable proceedings as
may become necessary for the settlement, division, or distribution of
estates. And, during this suspension of the administration of justice,
it is earnestly recommended to the people to observe a peaceable and
orderly behaviour; to all creditors to be as indulgent to their debtors
as may be; to all debtors to pay as far as they are able; and where
differences may arise which cannot be adjusted between the parties,
that they refer the decision thereof to judicious neighbours, and abide
by their determination.

The Convention then took into their consideration, according to the
order of yesterday, the plan for embodying, arming and disciplining the
Militia; which, being read, and amended, was unanimously agreed to, as

       *       *       *       *       *

The committee are further of opinion that, as from the expiration of
the above-mentioned latter laws, and various other causes, the legal
and necessary disciplining the Militia has been much neglected, and
a proper provision of Arms and Ammunition has not been made, to the
evident danger of the community in case of invasion or insurrection,
=it be recommended to the inhabitants of the several Counties of this
Colony that they form one or more volunteer Companies of Infantry and
Troops of Horse, in each County, and to be in constant training and
readiness to act on any emergency=.

       *       *       *       *       *

=That, in order to make a further and more ample provision of
Amunition, it be recommended to the Committees of the several
Counties, that they collect from their Constituents, in such manner as
shall be most agreeable to them, so much money as will be sufficient
to purchase half a pound of Gunpowder, one pound of Lead, necessary
Flints and Cartridge Paper, and dispose thereof, when procured, in such
place or places of safety as they may think best; and it is earnestly
recommended to each individual to pay such proportion of the money
necessary for these purposes as by the respective Committees shall be
judged requisite.=

That as it may happen that some Counties, from their situation, may
not be apprized of the most certain and speedy method of procuring the
articles before-mentioned, one General Committee should be appointed,
whose business it should be to procure, for such Counties as may make
application to them, such articles, and so much thereof as the moneys
wherewith they shall furnish the said Committee with purchase, after
deducting the charges of transportation, and other necessary expenses.

_Resolved_, That Robert Carter Nicholas, Thomas Nelson, and Thomas
Whiting, Esquires, or any two of them, be a Committee for the purpose

... _Resolved_, That _Robert Carter Nicholas_, _Richard Bland_, _James
Mercer_, _Edmund Pendleton_, _Archibald Cary_, _Charles Carter_
of _Stafford_, _Benjamin Harrison_, _Richard Henry Lee_, _Josias
Clapham_, _George Washington_, _Patrick Henry_, _James Holt_, and
_Thomas Newton_, Esquires, be a Committee to prepare a plan for the
encouragement of Arts and Manufactures in this Colony.

=The Convention then proceeded to the election of Delegates by ballot,
to represent this Colony in General Congress, to be held at the City
of _Philadelphia_, on the 10th day of _May_ next; when the Honourable
_Peyton Randolph_, Esquire, _George Washington_, _Patrick Henry_,
_Richard Henry Lee_, _Edmund Pendleton_, _Benjamin Harrison_, and
_Richard Bland_, Esquires, were chosen for that purpose.=

=_Resolved_, That _Robert Carter Nicholas_, Esquire, be desired to
lay before the Convention, on Monday next, an account of the Money
received from the several Counties and Corporations in this Colony,
for the use of the Delegates sent to represent this Colony in General

Adjourned till Monday, 10 o'clock.

March 27 ... _Resolved unanimously_, That from and after the first day
of _May_ next, no person or persons whatever ought to use, in his or
their families, unless in case of necessity, and on no account to sell
to butchers, or kill for market, any Sheep under four years old; and
where there is necessity for using any mutton in his, her, or their
families, it is recommended to kill such only as are least profitable
to be kept.

_Resolved unanimously_, That the setting up and promoting Woollen,
Cotton, and Linen Manufactures ought to be encouraged in as many
different branches as possible, especially Coating, Flannel, Blankets,
Rugs, or Coverlids, Hosiery, and coarse Cloths, both broad and narrow.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved unanimously_, As Salt is a daily and indispensable
necessary of life, and the making of it amongst ourselves must be
deemed a valuable acquisition, it is therefore recommended that the
utmost endeavours be used to establish Salt Works, and that proper
encouragement be given to Mr. _James Tait_, who hath made proposals,
and offered a scheme to the publick, for so desirable a purpose.

=_Resolved unanimously_, That Saltpetre and Sulphur, _being articles of
great and necessary use_, the making, collecting, and refining them to
the utmost extent, be recommended, the Convention being of opinion that
it may be done to great advantage.=

=_Resolved unanimously_, That the making of Gunpowder be recommended.=

=_Resolved unanimously_, That the manufacturing of iron into Nails and
Wire, and other necessary articles, be recommended.=

=_Resolved unanimously_, That the making of Steel ought to be largely
encouraged, as there will be a great demand for this article.=

_Resolved unanimously_, That the making of different kinds of Paper
ought to be encouraged; and as the success of this branch depends on a
supply of old Linen and Woollen Rags, the inhabitants of this Colony
are desired, in their respective families, to preserve these articles.

_Resolved unanimously_, That whereas Wool Combs, Cotton and Wool Cards,
Hemp and Flax Heckles, have been for some time made to advantage in
some of the neighbouring Colonies, and are necessary for carrying on
Linen and Woollen Manufactures, the establishing such Manufactures be

_Resolved unanimously_, That the erecting Fulling Mills and mills for
breaking, swingling, and softening Hemp and Flax, and also the making
Grindstones be recommended.

_Resolved unanimously_, That the brewing Malt Liquors in this Colony
would tend to render the consumption of foreign Liquors less necessary.
It is therefore recommended that proper attention be given to the
cultivation of Hops and Barley.

_Resolved unanimously_, That it be recommended to all the inhabitants
of this Colony, that they use, as the Convention engageth to do, our
own Manufactures, and those of other Colonies, in preference to all

       *       *       *       *       *

The Members of the Convention then, in order to encourage Mr. _James
Tait_, who is about to erect Salt Works, undertook, for their
respective Counties, to pay the sum of Ten Pounds to _Robert Carter
Nicholas_, Esquire, for the use of the said _James Tait_, on or before
the 10th day of _May_ next.

       *       *       *       *       *

=_Resolved_, That this Convention doth consider the delegation of its
members as now at an end; and that it is recommended to the People of
this Colony to choose Delegates to represent them in Convention _for
one year_, as soon as they conveniently can.=

                    Peyton Randolph, President.
                    John Tazewell, Clerk of the Convention.

    _c._ [_The Third Virginia Convention_, pursuant to the call in
    the closing recommendation of the Second, met July 17, 1775,
    and adopted the forms of a legislative body, giving bills three
    readings, etc. The first resolution read....

    "That this Convention will observe, in their debates _and
    proceedings_, the same Rules and Orders as are established in the
    House of Burgesses of this Colony." Cf. with the corresponding
    Resolution of the Second Convention above; note significance of the
    two additional words. That significance is brought out clearly in
    the postscript of a letter from George Mason to a friend, August 22:

    "P. S. Every ordinance goes thro' all the Formalities of a Bill
    in the House of Burgesses, has three Readings, etc. before it is
    passed, and in every respect wears the Face of Law,--Resolves,
    as recommendations, being no longer trusted to. ..." (Virginia
    Calendar of State Papers, I, 269.)

    Thus the Third Convention was a "government" in style as well as in
    fact. It held two busy sessions; and, in January, 1776, though its
    "year" was not up, it adjourned, to give place to a new Convention
    freshly instructed from the people.]


[121] A letter from Richard Henry Lee to Samuel Warren (June 23) states
that he had intended to present such a resolution in the Assembly,
but, on advice of friends, waited for the completion of important
business,--and then came the dissolution. Washington went from this
meeting, over which he had presided, to dine with Lord and Lady
Dunmore. The tone of Virginia intercourse with the governor remains
suave for some time.

[122] The resolutions so reported on June 20 to the Virginia committee,
had been adopted on the 15th. Rhode Island, therefore, was the first
colony to appoint delegates. The resolutions, of course, are given also
in the _Rhode Island Colonial Records_.

[123] This final clause refers to a provision withdrawing from trial in
colonial courts any servants of the government accused of violence in
the performance of duty. The list of offending statutes is repeated,
somewhat less impressively but more specifically, in the Continental
Congress's =Declaration= (130 _c_).

[124] Upon this passage was based the Sixth Article of the Virginia
Association, recommended August 1, by the Convention as follows:--

"6th. We will endeavor to improve our breed of sheep, and increase
their number to the utmost extent; and to this end, we will be as
sparing as we conveniently can, in killing sheep, especially those of
the most profitable kind; and if we should at any time be overstocked,
or can conveniently spare any, we will dispose of them to our
neighbors, especially the poorer sort of people, on moderate terms."

In time, this passage was copied even more closely in the Association
of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia (No. 130 _d_).

[125] This resolution is found in identical words in the resolutions
of Caroline County (Virginia), July 14, 1774; and the sentiment, in
more varied forms, appears often in the county meetings. Thus Hanover
(Patrick Henry's county) declared: "The African trade for slaves we
consider most dangerous to virtue and the welfare of this country. We
therefore most earnestly wish to see it totally discouraged."

[126] Mr. Lynch was from South Carolina. This position here taken
as to "numbers _and_ property" was taken thirteen years later by
South Carolina delegates in the Convention which framed our present

[127] This was the "style" of the three "counties" soon to form the
state of Delaware.

[128] This convention had finally been called in January by Peyton
Randolph, chairman of the preceding convention, according to
authorization by body. Cf. introduction to No. 137, above. The work of
the Convention is given in No. 139.

[129] Observe the authorization to raise money by taxation,--a special
prerogative of government.


    Cf. _American History and Government_ (## 146-150) for additional
    comment and narrative, and suggestions as to bibliography, on each
    of the following numbers, 134-139. Many short extracts are there
    given from documents which, on that account, are not reproduced
    here,--notably from Paine's _Common Sense_.

134. Virginia County Instructions for Independence, April 23, 1776

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, V, 1034-1035.

    The following instructions from a county meeting of Charlotte
    County, Virginia, to delegates for the next Virginia Convention [to
    meet May 6] show that that body was at least partially authorized
    to take its momentous action of adopting a State constitution and
    of instructing the Virginia delegates at Philadelphia to move for
    independence. Note that the King, to whom all earlier documents
    had professed loyalty, is here coupled with the ministry and
    parliament. Other counties gave similar instruction. Cf. Force, V,

_To Paul Carrington, and Thomas Read, Esq's.:_

Gentlemen: When we consider the despotick plan adopted by the King,
Ministry and Parliament of _Great Britain_, insidiously pursued for
these twelve years past, to enslave _America_; when we consider that
they have turned a deaf ear to the repeated petitions and remonstrances
of this and our sister Colonies, and that they have been equally
inattentive to the rights of freemen and the British Constitution;
and when we consider that they have for some time been endeavouring
to enforce their arbitrary mandates by fire and sword, and likewise
encouraging, by every means in their power, our savage neighbours,
and our more savage domestics, to spill the blood of our wives and
children; and to crown the whole, they have added insult to their
injustice and cruelty, by repeatedly pretending to hold out the olive
branch of peace in such a way as teacheth us that they are determined
to persist in their hellish designs, and that nothing is intended for
us but the most abject slavery....

Therefore despairing of any redress of our grievances from the King
and Parliament of _Great Britain_, and all hopes of a reconciliation
between her and the United Colonies being now at an end, and being
concious that their treatment has been such as loyal subjects did not
deserve, and to which as freemen, we are determined not to submit;
by the unanimous approbation and direction of the whole freeholders,
and all the other inhabitants of this County, we advise and instruct
you, cheerfully to concur and give your best assistance in our
Convention, to push to the utmost a war offensive and defensive until
you are certified that such proposals of peace are made to our General
Congress as shall by them be judged just and friendly. And because
the advantages of a trade will better enable us to pay the taxes, and
procure the necessaries for carrying on a war, and in our present
circumstances this cannot be had without a Declaration of Independence;
therefore, if no such proposals of peace shall be made, we judge it to
be a dictate of the first law of nature, to continue to oppose every
attempt on our lives and properties; and we give it you in charge, to
use your best endeavours =that the Delegates which are sent to the
General Congress be instructed immediately to cast off the _British_
yoke=, and to enter into a commercial alliance with any nation or
nations friendly to our cause. And as King George the Third of Great
Britain etc., has manifested deliberate enmity towards us, and under
the character of a parent persists in behaving as a tyrant, that they,
in our behalf renounce allegiance to him for ever; =and that, taking
God of Heaven to be our King, and depending upon His protection and
assistance, they plan out that form of Government which may the more
effectually secure to us the enjoyment of our civil and religious
rights and privileges, to the latest posterity. ...=

Ordered, That the above Resolves be published in the _Virginian

By order: William Jameson, Clerk.

135. Instructions for Independence in the Virginia Convention (and
Resolutions for an Independent State Government), May 15, 1776[130]

    Force, _American Archives_, Fourth Series, VI, 461-462.

    The Fourth Virginia Convention met May 6, elected on the
    recommendation of the preceding Convention (see No. 133 c, close).
    On the 9th the Convention voted to go next day into Committee of
    the Whole to consider the state of the colony (which meant to take
    up the matter of independence and a State government). Military
    needs, however, delayed the consideration until the 14th. On that
    day and the 15th, the questions were debated, and, on the 15th,
    the Committee rose and reported to the Convention the resolutions
    below, which were unanimously adopted. For a more detailed story,
    see _American History and Government_, # 148; but it should be
    seen here clearly that the Convention instructed its delegates
    in the Continental Congress to secure a _general_ declaration of
    Independence for all the colonies, and that, at the same time, it
    began the work of a permanent independent constitution for Virginia.

[The first half of the document is a preamble stating the grievances
of the colonies.] ... In this state of extreme danger, we have no
alternative left but an abject submission to the will of those
overbearing tyrants or a total separation from the crown and government
of Great Britain, uniting and exerting the strength of all America
for defence, and forming alliances with foreign powers for commerce
and aid in war: Wherefore, appealing to the Searcher of Hearts
for the sincerity of former declarations expressing our desire to
preserve the connection with that nation, and that we are driven from
that inclination by their wicked councils and the eternal laws of

_Resolved_, unanimously, That the delegates appointed to represent
this colony in General Congress be instructed to propose to that
respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent
States, absolved from all allegiance to or dependence upon the Crown
or parliament of Great Britain; and that they give the assent of this
colony to such declaration, and to whatever measures may be thought
proper and necessary by the Congress for forming foreign alliances and
a confederation of the colonies, at such time, and in such manner, as
to them shall seem best: Provided that the power of forming government
for, and the regulation of, the internal concerns of each colony, be
left to the respective colonial legislatures.

_Resolved unanimously_, That a committee be appointed to prepare
a DECLARATION OF RIGHTS and such a plan of government as will be
most likely to maintain peace and order in this colony, and secure
substantial and equal liberty to the people.

136. The Virginia Bill of Rights, June 12, 1776

    Poore, _Charters and Constitutions_, II, 1908-1909. Cf. No. 135
    for history. This bill of rights was reported by a committee to
    the Virginia Convention on May 27, and adopted unanimously on June
    12. It was the model, often followed closely, for similar bills in
    other states. See comment at close.

_A declaration of rights made by the representatives of the good people
of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention; which rights do
pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of

SECTION 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent,
and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a
state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their
posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of
acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness
and safety.

SECTION 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from,
the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at
all times amenable to them.

SECTION 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the
common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or
community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is
best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness
and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of
maladministration; and that, when any government shall be found
inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community
hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform,
alter, or abolish it in such manner as shall be judged most conducive
to the public weal.

SECTION 4. That no man, or set of men, are entitled to exclusive
or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in
consideration of public services; which, not being descendible, neither
ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

SECTION 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the State
should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the
members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling
and participating in the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed
periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from
which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by
frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part of
the former members to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws
shall direct.

SECTION 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of
the people, in assembly, ought to be free; and that all men, having
sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment
to, the community, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed
or deprived of their property for public uses, without their own
consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any
law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public

SECTION 7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws,
by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people,
is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

SECTION 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man hath
a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be
confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in
his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men
of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found
guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that
no man be deprived of his liberty, except by the law of the land or the
judgment of his peers.

SECTION 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive
fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

SECTION 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger
may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a
fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose
offence is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are
grievous and oppressive, and ought not to be granted.

SECTION 11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits
between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any
other, and ought to be held sacred.

SECTION 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks
of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

SECTION 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the
people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a
free State; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided,
as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be
under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

SECTION 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and,
therefore, that no government separate from, or independent of the
government of Virginia, ought to be erected or established within the
limits thereof.

SECTION 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty,
can be preserved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice,
moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent
recurrence to fundamental principles.

SECTION 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator,
and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and
conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally
entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of
conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian
forbearance, love and charity towards each other.

       *       *       *       *       *

[The failure of historians to give due credit to this bill of rights is
remarkable. I call attention to two illustrations.

(1) Cushing's _Transition from Provincial to Commonwealth Government
in Massachusetts_ (Columbia University Studies, VII, 1896) states
incorrectly (p. 246, note 1) that the constitution of Virginia
contained no preamble (cf. No. 137 below): and, on page 247 and notes,
it quotes precedents from the Maryland bill of rights instead of from
the Virginia document from which the Maryland statement was taken;
while page 248, in referring to "others [than Massachusetts that]
realized keenly the vital importance of a clear and abiding statement
of the immunities and privileges of man in civil society," adds the
note: "A Declaration of Rights was adopted by Delaware, Maryland,
New Hampshire (1784), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, _and_
Virginia" (!) The order of statement is ingeniously misleading. All the
others named drew mainly from the one named last.

(2) Merriam's _History of American Political Theories_ (1902) contains
several such misleading statements. On page 49, to illustrate the
fact that some State constitutions (as well as the Declaration of
Independence) asserted the doctrine of "inalienable rights," including
"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," reference is made in
detail to the New Hampshire bill of rights (eight years later than
the Declaration), but not at all to the Virginia bill of rights,
which preceded the Continental Declaration. So, too, especially on
page 153, a footnote is inserted expressly to show how the idea of
"frequent recurrence to fundamental principles" was often expressed in
Revolutionary State constitutions, as follows: "Massachusetts (1780),
Art. 18; Pennsylvania (1776), Art. 14; New Hampshire, Art. 38; North
Carolina, Art. 21; Vermont, Art. 16." Would it not have been well to
recognize in such a list the State in whose constitution the phrase was
first used?]

137. The First Declaration of Independence by a State

      _Preamble to the Virginia Constitution, June 29, 1776_

    The Virginia constitution, adopted on June 29, 1776, consisted of
    three parts: (1) a declaration of independence; (2) the bill of
    rights; (3) the frame of government. The original intention (No.
    135, close) had been to include the last two only, and to leave
    the declaration of independence to Congress. But on June 24, when
    the convention had nearly completed its consideration of the
    constitution, it received from Jefferson a draft of a constitution
    prefaced by a declaration of independence. Of the adoption of this
    preface, Jefferson wrote in 1825:

    "I was then at Philadelphia ... knowing that the Convention of
    Virginia was engaged in forming a plan of government, I turned my
    mind to the same subject, and drew a sketch ... of a Constitution
    with a preamble, which I sent to Mr. Pendleton, president of the
    Convention ... He informed me ... that he received it on the day
    on which the Committee of the Whole had reported to the House the
    plan they had agreed to; and that it had been so long in hand,
    so disputed inch by inch ... that they were worried with the
    contentions it had produced, and could not, from mere lassitude,
    have been induced to open the instrument again; but that, being
    pleased with the Preamble to mine, they adopted it in the House,
    by way of amendment to the report of the committee [June 29]; and
    thus my Preamble was tacked to the work of George Mason, ... _The
    Preamble was prior in composition to the Declaration_ [of July

Whereas George Guelf, king of Great Britain ... and heretofore
entrusted with the exercise of the kingly office in this government
[Virginia], hath endeavored to pervert the same into a detestable and
insupportable tyranny:

    by putting his negative on laws the most wholesome and necessary
        for the public good;

    by ... [21 indictments follow--similar to the charges in the
        Declaration soon after adopted at Philadelphia] by which
        several acts of mis-rule the said George Guelf has forfeited
        the kingly office, and has rendered it necessary for the
        preservation of the people that he should be immediately
        deposed from the same....

Be it therefore enacted by the authority of the people that the said
George Guelf be, and he hereby is deposed from the kingly office within
this government, and absolutely divested of all its rights, powers,
and prerogatives: and that he and his descendants, and all persons
acting by or through him, and all other persons whatsoever, shall be
and forever remain incapable of the same: and that the said office
shall henceforth cease, and never more either in name or substance be
reestablished within this colony.

138. Revolutionary State Governments

_a. Recommendation of Congress, May 15, 1776_

    _Journals of Congress_ (Ford edition), V, 357 ff.

IN CONGRESS, May 15, 1776.

_Whereas_, his Britannic majesty, in conjunction with the lords and
commons of Great Britain, has, by a late act of parliament, excluded
the inhabitants of these united colonies from the protection of his
crown--And whereas no answer whatever to the humble petitions of the
colonies for redress of grievances and reconciliation with Great
Britain, has been, or is likely to be given, but the whole force of
that kingdom, aided by foreign mercenaries, is to be exerted for the
destruction of the good people of these colonies--and whereas it
appears absolutely irreconcilable to reason and good conscience, for
the people of these colonies NOW to take the oaths and affirmations
necessary for the support of any government under the crown of Great
Britain; =and it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of
authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed, and all
the powers of government exerted under the authority of the people of
the colonies=, for the preservation of internal peace, virtue, and
good order, as well as for the defence of their lives, liberties and
properties, against the hostile invasions and cruel depredations of
their enemies--Therefore,

=_Resolved_, That it be recommended to the respective assemblies, and
conventions, of the united colonies, where no government sufficient to
the exigencies of their affairs has been heretofore established, to
adopt such government as shall, in the opinion of the representatives
of the people, best conduce to the happiness and safety of their
constituents in particular, and America in general.=

_b. John Adams' Comment upon the Bearing of that Action (#a# above)
upon Independence_

    _Letters of John Adams to His Wife_, I, 109-111. Adams had been
    the special champion of the action finally recommended by Congress
    as above. On the following Sunday, he wrote as follows of that
    memorable action, and of the earlier action in South Carolina in
    adopting a _temporary_ government of its own.

                  _John Adams to Abigail Adams_

                                            Philadelphia, May 17, 1776.

I have this morning heard Mr. Duffield, upon the signs of the
times. ... He concluded, that the course of events indicated strongly
the design of Providence, that we should be separated from Great
Britain, etc....

Is it not a saying of Moses, "who am I, that I should go in and out
before this great people?" When I consider the great events which
are passed, and those greater which are rapidly advancing, and that
I may have been instrumental in touching some springs, and turning
some small wheels, which have had and will have such effects, I feel
an awe upon my mind, which is not easily described. Great Britain has
at last driven America to the last step, a complete separation from
her; a total absolute independence, not only of her Parliament, but
of her crown, _for such is the amount of the resolve of the 15th.
Confederation among ourselves, or alliances with foreign nations, are
not necessary to a perfect separation from Britain. That is effected by
extinguishing all authority under the crown, Parliament, and nation, as
the resolution for instituting governments has done, to all intents and
purposes._ Confederation will be necessary for our internal concord,
and alliances may be so for our external defence.

_I have reasons to believe that no colony, which shall assume a
government under the people, will give it up._ There is something
very unnatural and odious in a government a thousand leagues off. A
whole government of our own choice, managed by persons whom we love,
revere, and can confide in, has charms in it, for which men will
fight. Two young gentlemen from South Carolina in this city, who were
in Charlestown when their new constitution was promulgated, and when
their new Governor and Council and Assembly walked out in procession,
attended by the guards, company of cadets, light horse, etc., told me,
that they were beheld by the people with transports and tears of joy.
The people gazed at them with a kind of rapture. They both told me,
that the reflection, that these were gentlemen whom they all loved,
esteemed and revered, gentlemen of their own choice, whom they could
trust, and whom they could displace, if any of them should behave
amiss, affected them so, that they could not help crying. _They say,
their people will never give up this government. ..._

139. Instructions by "State" Conventions _against_ Independence
(January-May, 1776)

    _Proceedings of the Conventions of Maryland in 1774, 1775, and
    1776_, pages 82-84, 140-142, 176.

    Similar instructions were given in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

                (1) _In Convention, January 12th,_

To the honorable Matthew Tilgham, Esq., Thomas Jefferson, Jr., Robert
Goldsborough, William Paca, Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, Robert
Alexander, and John Rogers, Esquires.

The convention taking into their most serious consideration the present
state of the unhappy dispute between Great Britain and the united
colonies, think it proper to deliver you their sentiments, and to
instruct you in certain points, relative to your conduct in congress,
as representatives of this province.

The experience we and our ancestors have had of the mildness and equity
of the English constitution, under which we have grown up to and
enjoyed a state of felicity, not exceeded among any people we know of,
until the grounds of the present controversy were laid by the ministry
and parliament of Great Britain, has most strongly endeared to us that
form of government from whence these blessings have been derived, and
makes us ardently wish for a reconciliation with the mother country,
upon terms that may insure to these colonies an equal and permanent

To this constitution we are attached, not merely by habit, but by
principle, being in our judgments persuaded [that] it is of all known
systems best calculated to secure the liberty of the subject, to guard
against despotism on the one hand, and licentiousness on the other.

Impressed with these sentiments, we warmly recommend to you, to keep
constantly in your view the avowed end and purpose for which these
colonies originally associated,--the redress of American grievances and
[the] securing the rights of the colonists.

       *       *       *       *       *

We further instruct you, =_that you do not without the previous
knowledge and approbation of the convention of this province, assent
to any proposition to declare these colonies independent of the crown
of Great Britain, nor to any proposition for making or entering into
alliance with any foreign power, nor to any union or confederation
of these colonies_=, which may necessarily lead to a separation from
the mother country, unless in your judgments of any four of you, or
of a majority of the whole of you, if all shall be then attending in
congress, it shall be thought absolutely necessary for the preservation
of the liberties of the united colonies; and =_should a majority of the
colonies in congress, against such your judgment, resolve to declare
these colonies independent of the crown of Great Britain, or to make
or enter into alliance with any foreign power, or into any union or
confederation of these colonies, which may necessarily lead to a
separation from the mother country, then we instruct you immediately
to call the convention of this province, and repair thereto with such
proposition and resolve, and lay the same before the said convention,
for their consideration, and this convention will not hold this
province bound by such majority in congress, until the representative
body of the province in convention assent thereto._=

Desirous as we are of peace with Great Britain upon safe and honourable
terms, we wish you nevertheless, and instruct you to join with the
other colonies in such military operations as may be judged proper and
necessary for the common defence, until such a peace can be happily

    [May 15, came the recommendation of Congress for extinguishing
    all authority under the British crown and the setting up of
    state governments (No. 138_a_ above), and also the instructions
    of the Virginia Convention for Independence and Confederation.
    The response in Maryland was merely a repetition of her previous
    instructions, in the passage given below. Note the jealous
    disposition to deny authority to Congress and to resent the wording
    of its recommendations.]

(2) _Tuesday, May 21, 1776_

       *       *       *       *       *

The convention took into their consideration the report from the
committee appointed to report on the resolution of congress of the 15th
instant, and thereupon came to the following resolutions.

_Resolved unanimously_, That the people of this province have the sole
and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police of
this province.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved unanimously_, That this province has hitherto exerted itself,
and will upon all occasions continue to exert itself, with cheerfulness
and alacrity, in the common cause, agreeable to the faith pledged in
the union of the colonies: and _if it shall appear to this province_
necessary to enter into a further compact for the preservation of the
constitutional rights of America, this province will enter into such
further engagement for that purpose.

_Resolved unanimously_, That this convention, by a resolution of the
15th day of this instant, hath made sufficient provision to prevent a
necessity for any person within this province now taking the oaths for
the support of government under the crown of Great Britain, and that it
is the opinion of this convention, that =_it is not necessary that the
exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be now
totally suppressed_= in this province, and all the powers of government
exerted under the authority of the people.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Resolved unanimously_, That as this convention is firmly persuaded
that a re-union with Great Britain on constitutional principles would
most effectually secure the rights and liberties, and increase the
strength and promote the happiness of the whole empire, objects which
this province hath ever had in view, =_the said deputies are bound and
directed to govern themselves by the instructions given to them by this
convention in its session of December[133] last, in the same manner as
if the said instructions were particularly repeated_=.

[These instructions continued in force until revoked on _June_ 28 as

(3) _Resolved unanimously_, That the instructions given by the
convention of December last (and renewed by the convention in May)
to the deputies of this colony in Congress be recalled, and the
restrictions therein contained removed; and that the deputies of this
colony attending in Congress ... be authorized and empowered to concur
with the =_other_=[134] united colonies, or a majority of them, in
declaring the united colonies free and independent states, in forming
such further compact and confederation between them, in making foreign
alliances, and in adopting such other measures as shall be judged
necessary for securing the liberties of America; and this colony
will hold itself bound[135] by the resolutions of a majority of the
united colonies in the premises: provided the sole and exclusive right
of regulating the internal government and police of this colony be
reserved to the people thereof.

140. Motion in Congress for Independence

    _Journals of Congress_, V, 425. In obedience to the instructions
    from the Virginia Convention, Richard Henry Lee, on June 7,
    moved in Congress the following resolutions. After delays, to
    permit certain delegates to secure permission for their colonial
    assemblies, the resolution was finally adopted July 2, by the vote
    of all colonies but New York. For further detail, cf. _American
    History and Government_, # 150.

That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and
independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the
British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the
State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for
forming foreign alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the
respective colonies for their consideration.

141. The Continental Declaration of Independence

    While the debate was proceeding on Lee's resolutions (No. 140), to
    save time, in case those resolutions should be adopted, Congress
    appointed a committee (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin
    Franklin, Roger Sherman, and R. R. Livingston) to draft a full
    "Declaration of Independence." Jefferson, the member from the
    colony which had moved the resolution,[136] was naturally made
    chairman and drew the document, which with slight modification
    was presented to Congress on June 28. After the adoption of the
    resolutions on July 2, this formal Declaration was taken up by
    Congress, considered on the 2d, 3d, and 4th of July, and passed.
    August 2, a copy, engrossed on parchment, was signed by the members
    of Congress there present. Other signatures were added later until
    all thirteen States were represented. The following capitalization,
    paragraphing, and punctuation follow the original parchment.

                  IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

                        STATES OF AMERICA

#When# in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.--We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that
among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to
secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed.--That whenever
any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the
Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient
causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are
more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right
themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But
when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the
same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and
to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the
patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity
which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this,
let Facts be submitted to a candid world.--He has refused his Assent
to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.--He
has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should
be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend
to them.--He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation
of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish
the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable
to them and formidable to tyrants only.--He has called together
legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant
from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of
fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.--He has dissolved
Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness
his invasions on the rights of the people.--He has refused for a long
time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby
the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to
the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the
mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and
convulsions within.--He has endeavoured to prevent the population of
these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization
of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration
hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.--He
has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to
Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.--He has made Judges dependent
on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and
payment of their salaries.--He has erected a multitude of New Offices,
and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out
their substance.--He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing
Armies without the Consent of our legislature.--He has affected to
render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.--He
has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to
our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent
to their acts of pretended legislation:--For quartering large bodies
of armed troops among us:--For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from
Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants
of these States:--For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the
world:--For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:--For depriving
us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:--For transporting
us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offence:--For abolishing the
free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing
therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to
render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the
same absolute rule into these Colonies:--For taking away our Charters,
abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the
Forms of our Governments:--For suspending our own Legislature, and
declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all
cases whatsoever.--He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us
out of his Protection and waging War against us.--He has plundered
our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the
lives of our people.--He is at this time transporting large armies of
foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and
tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely
paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head
of a civilized nation.--He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken
Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become
executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by
their Hands.--He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless
Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished
destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these
Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms:
Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A
Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define
a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We
been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned
them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend
an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the
circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed
to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by
the ties of common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would
inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too
have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation,
and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace

#We, therefore,# the Representatives of the #united States of America#,
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of
the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and
by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish
and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to
be, #free and Independent States#; that they are Absolved from all
Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection
between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be
totally dissolved; and that as FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES, they have
full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish
Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES
may of right do.--And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm
reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to
each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

                                                          JOHN HANCOCK.

[Signatures of the other representatives of the thirteen States.]

142. Anti-Social Tendencies of the Pre-Revolutionary Measures

_a. Closing of the Courts_

    From "Passages from an Autobiography" in John Adams' _Works_ (II,

    The passage illustrates one of the forces that drove many of the
    respectable classes into Tory ranks.

       *       *       *       *       *

An event of the most trifling nature in appearance, and fit only to
excite laughter in other times, struck me into a profound reverie, if
not a fit of melancholy. I met a man who had sometimes been my client,
and sometimes I had been against him. He, though a common horse-jockey,
was sometimes in the right, and I had commonly been successful in his
favor in our courts of law. He was always in the law, and had been
sued in many actions at almost every court. As soon as he saw me, he
came up to me, and his first salutation to me was, "Oh! Mr. Adams,
what great things have you and your colleagues done for us! We can
never be grateful enough to you. There are no courts of justice now
in this Province and I hope there never will be another." Is this the
object for which I have been contending? said I to myself, for I rode
along without any answer to this wretch. Are these the sentiments of
such people, and how many of them are there in the country? Half the
nation, for what I know; for half the nation are debtors, if not more,
and these have been, in all countries, the sentiments of debtors.
If the power of the country should get into such hands, and there is
great danger that it will, to what purpose have we sacrificed our time,
health and every thing else? Surely we must guard against this spirit
and these principles, or we shall repent of all our conduct. However,
the good sense and integrity of the majority of the great body of the
people came into my thoughts, for my relief, and the last resource was
after all in a good Providence.

_b. Mob Violence, to enforce the "Association"_

    From an anonymous parody, expressing the loyalist's dilemma, in
    Moore's _Diary of the American Revolution_, I, 169.

    To sign, or not to sign!--That is the question:
    Whether 'twere better for an honest man
    To sign--and so be safe; or to resolve,
    Betide what will, against 'associations'
    And, by retreating, shun them. To fly--I reck
    Not where--and by that flight to 'scape
    Feathers and tar, and thousand other ills
    That Loyalty is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To fly--to want--
    To want--perchance to starve! Ay there's the rub!

       *       *       *       *       *

_c. Correspondence between a Tory and a Committee_

    Niles' _Principles and Acts of the Revolution_, 260-261.

I acknowledge to have wrote a piece, and did not sign it, since said to
be an extract of a letter from Kent county, on Delaware, published in
Humphreys' Ledger, No. 3. It was not dated from any place, and is some
altered from the original. I folded it up and directed the same to J.
F. and Sons. I had no intention to have it published; and further, I
let them know the author thought best it should not be published; nor
did I think they would.--I am sincerely sorry I ever wrote it, as also
for its being published, and hope I shall be excused for this, my first
breach in this way, and I intend it shall be the last.

                                                                  R. H.

_To the committee of correspondence for Kent county, on Delaware. May
2d, 1775._

SIR.--The president of the committee of correspondence, by and with the
advice of such other of the members of that committee as he was able to
collect and consult, this day laid before the committee of inspection
for this county, your letter wherein you confess yourself to be the
author of the Kentish letter (commonly so called) published in 3d No.
of Humphreys' Ledger.

The committee took the same into consideration, and have unanimously
resolved that it is unsatisfactory, and you are requested to attend
the committee at their next meeting on Tuesday the 9th inst. at French
Battell's, in Dover and render such satisfaction to the committee,
as will enable them to clear the good people of this county from the
aspersions of that letter, and justify them in the eyes of the public.

Signed by order of the committee.

_To R. H._

GENTLEMEN.--With sorrow and contrition for my weakness and folly, I
confess myself the author of the letter, from which an extract was
published in the 3d No. of Humphreys' Ledger, said to be from Kent
county, on Delaware; but at the same time to declare it was published
without my consent, and not without some alterations.

I am now convinced that the political sentiments therein contained,
were founded on the grossest error; more especially that malignant
insinuation, that "if the king's standard were now erected, nine out of
ten would repair to it," could not have been suggested, but from the
deepest infatuation. True indeed it is, the people of this county have
ever shewn a zealous attachment to his majesty's person and government,
and whenever he raised his standard in a just cause, were ready to
flock to it: but let the severe account I now render to an injured
people, witness to the world, that none are more ready to oppose
tyranny or to be first in the cause of liberty, than the inhabitants of
Kent county.

Conscious that I can render no satisfaction adequate to the injury I
have done my country, I can only beg the forgiveness of my countrymen,
upon those principles of humanity, which may induce them to consider
the frailty of human nature--and I do profess and promise, that I
will never again oppose those laudable measures, necessarily adopted
by my countrymen, for the preservation of American freedom: but will
cooperate with them to the utmost of my abilities, in their virtuous
struggle for liberty (so far as is consistent with my religious

                                                                  R. H.

    Resolved unanimously, that the committee do think the above
    recantation fully satisfactory.

                                               THO'S. NIXON, Jr. Clerk.

  _May 9th, 1775._

143. An Oath of Allegiance to a New State, 1777

    A facsimile from Scharf and Westcott's _History of Philadelphia_,
    I, 338.

[Illustration: Oath of Allegiance A.D. 1777.

I DO hereby CERTIFY, That Fransis Hopkinson of the City of Philad
Esquire hath voluntarily taken and subscribed the Oath [or Affirmation]
of Allegiance and Fidelity, as directed by an Act of General Assembly
of Pennsylvania, passed the 13th day of June, A.D. 1777. Witness my
hand and seal, the first day of July _A.D._ 1777

(L.S.) Jon Ord No: 662.


144. A Loyalist's Suggestion of the Danger to American Liberty in the
French Alliance, 1779

    Tyler's _Literary History of the Revolution_, II, 75-76. The
    extracts come from a keen pamphlet by a Tory, with the style of a
    "diary" of the year 1789--ten years later than the publication, to
    intimate what would then be the condition in America under French

Boston, November 10, 1789.--His Excellency, Count Tyran, has this
day published, by authority from his majesty, a proclamation for the
suppression of heresy and establishment of the inquisition in this
town, which has already begun its functions in many other places of the
continent under his majesty's dominion.

The use of the Bible in the vulgar tongue is strictly prohibited, on
pain of being punished by discretion of the inquisition.

November 11.--The Catholic religion is not only outwardly professed,
but has made the utmost progress among all ranks of people here, owing,
in a great measure, to the unwearied labors of the Dominican and
Franciscan friars, who omit no opportunity of scattering the seeds of
religion, and converting the wives and daughters of heretics. We hear
that the building formerly called the Old South Meeting, is fitting up
for a cathedral, and that several other old meeting-houses are soon to
be repaired for convents.

November 12.--This day being Sunday, the famous Samuel Adams read his
recantation of heresy, after which he was present at mass, and we hear
he will soon receive priest's orders to qualify him for a member of the
American Sorbonne....

The king has been pleased to order that five thousand of the
inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay should be drafted to supply his
garrisons in the West Indies; the officers for them are already arrived
from France.

       *       *       *       *       *

New York, November 15.--The edict for prohibiting the use of the
English language, and establishing that of the French in all law
proceedings, will take place on the 20th instant. At the same time, the
ordinance for abolishing trials by juries, and introducing the imperial
law, will begin to take effect....

November 17.--A criminal of importance, who has been long imprisoned
in the New Bastille, was this day privately beheaded. He commanded the
American forces against Great Britain for a considerable time, but
was confined by order of the government on suspicion of possessing a
dangerous influence in a country newly conquered, and not thoroughly

The king has been pleased to parcel out a great part of the lands in
America to noblemen of distinction, who will grant them again to the
peasantry upon leases at will, with the reservation of proper rents and

His majesty has been graciously pleased to order that none of the
natives of America shall keep any firearms in their possession, upon
pain of being sentenced to the galleys....

November 22.--We hear from Williamsburg, in Virginia, that some
commotions took place there when the new capitation tax was first
executed. But the regiment of Bretagne, being stationed in that
neighborhood, speedily suppressed them by firing upon the populace, and
killing fifty on the spot. It is hoped that this example will prevent
any future insurrection in that part of the country.

November 23.--His majesty has directed his viceroy to send five hundred
sons of the principal inhabitants of America, to be educated in France,
where the utmost care will be taken to imbue them with a regard for the
Catholic faith, and a due sense of subordination to government.

145. How the Revolution set free Social Forces

    David Ramsey's _History of the American Revolution_ (1789), II, 315
    ff. Dr. Ramsey was a citizen of South Carolina.

When the war began, the Americans were a mass of husbandmen,
merchants, mechanics, and fishermen; but the necessities of the country
gave a _spring_ to the active powers of the inhabitants, and set them
on thinking, speaking, and acting, in a line far beyond that to which
they had been accustomed. The difference between nations is not so much
owing to nature, as to education and circumstances. While the Americans
were guided by the leading strings of the mother country, they had no
scope nor encouragement for exertion. All the departments of government
were established and executed _for_ them, but not _by_ them. In
the years 1775 and 1776, the country, being suddenly thrown into a
situation that needed the abilities of all its sons, these generally
took their places, each according to the bent of his inclination. As
they severally pursued their objects with ardor, _a vast expansion of
the human mind speedily followed_. This displayed itself in a variety
of ways. It was found that the talents for great stations did not
differ in kind, but only in degree, from those which were necessary for
the proper discharge of the ordinary business of civil society....


[130] For the recommendation of Congress, on this same day, regarding
setting up State governments, cf. _American History and Government_,
# 148. (For earlier recommendations as to temporary governments, cf.
_ib._) This action, of course, was not known in Virginia when this
Convention took action regarding independence and a permanent State

[131] The sixth article seems to have been designed by George Mason,
who drew it, as an argument for extending the franchise to heads of
families. Mason drew also a plan for the _frame of government_, which
the convention in the main adopted on _June 29_. In this plan he
proposed to "extend" the franchise to leaseholders with seven-year
terms, and to any "housekeeper" who was also the father of three
children (Article V of Mason's Plan; printed in full in Kate Mason
Rowland's _Life and Correspondence of George Mason_, I, 444 ff.). The
convention, however, left the franchise as "now established by law"--on
a freehold basis (_American History and Government_, ## 105, 107).
Mason, in his plan, suggested graded landed qualifications for holding
office: £500 freehold to act as a member of his proposed electoral
college to choose state senators; £1000 freehold to sit in the lower
House; £2000 freehold to sit in the upper House.

It is often said that Mason proposed a £1000-freehold qualification
for the franchise. The language of Section III of his "plan," _taken
by itself_, would so indicate. But the clauses III and IV are very
loosely worded and punctuated; and, when they are read in conjunction
with Section V, the only possible conclusion is the one stated above.
In proposing so liberal a franchise, however, Mason stood alone in
Virginia in his day. Even Jefferson's plan for a Virginia constitution
called for "a freehold of 1/4 of an acre of land in a town, or 25 acres
in the country" (_Works_, Ford edition, II, 7 ff.).

Eleven years later at the Philadelphia convention, Mason used the same
language as in the Virginia bill of rights, in opposing a real-estate
qualification for the national franchise; but he still advocated a
landed qualification for membership in even the lower House of Congress.

[132] Jefferson's plan was indorsed. " ... It is proposed that this
bill, after correction by the Convention, shall be referred by them to
the people, to be assembled in their respective counties; and that the
suffrages of two-thirds the counties shall be necessary to establish
it." Jefferson always contended that the Virginia constitution, since
it was not so submitted to popular ratification, was not a "fundamental
law," but was subject to repeal, like any other statute, by ordinary
legislative action. Cf. _American History and Government_, # 152.

[133] The action of January 12 in (1) above belonged to the session
beginning in December.

[134] Is the following word "united" then, in this place, part of a
proper noun, or merely an adjective?

[135] Would that colony have felt itself "bound" _before_ it gave them
instructions, if Congress had acted on these matters? Cf. _American
History and Government_, # 187, for a discussion of this and allied

[136] Lee was about to return to Virginia, and so was not placed on the

[137] The student will see that Washington is here designated.



146. Debates in the Continental Congress on the Articles of

    John Adams (_Works_, II, 492-502) preserved fairly full notes upon
    part of the discussion on the Articles. The parts dealing with
    western lands, with basis of taxation, and with the equality of
    the States in Congress are reproduced here. The form is rather
    fragmentary; and, in some cases, allusions are made which it would
    take too long to explain here. But the student can at least get the
    general drift and the alignment of the States on the opposing sides.

                   _In Committee of the Whole_

1776. July 25. Article 14 of the confederation. Terms in this Article
equivocal and indefinite.[138]

_Jefferson._ The limits of the Southern Colonies are fixed. Moves an
amendment, that all purchases of lands, not within the boundaries of
any Colony, shall be made by Congress of the Indians in a great Council.

_Sherman_ seconds the motion.

_Chase_ [Maryland]. The intention of this Article is very obvious and
plain. The Article appears to me to be right and the amendment wrong.
It is the intention of some gentlemen to limit the boundaries of
particular States. No Colony has a right to go to the South Sea; they
never had; they can't have. It would not be safe to the rest. It would
be destructive to her sisters and to herself.

ARTICLE 15. _Jefferson._ What are reasonable limits? What security have
we, that the Congress will not curtail the present settlements of the
States? I have no doubt that the Colonies will limit themselves.

_Wilson._ Every gentleman has heard much of claims to the South Sea.
They are extravagant. The grants were made upon mistakes. They were
ignorant of the Geography. They thought the South Sea within one
hundred miles of the Atlantic Ocean. It was not conceived that they
extended three thousand miles. Lord Camden considers the claims to the
South Sea, as what never can be reduced to practice. Pennsylvania has
no right to interfere in those claims, but she has a right to say, that
she will not confederate unless those claims are cut off. I wish the
Colonies themselves would cut off those claims....

July 30. Article 17. "In determining questions, each Colony shall have
one vote."

_Dr. Franklin._ Let the smaller Colonies give equal money and men, and
then have an equal vote. But if they have an equal vote without bearing
equal burthens, a confederation upon such iniquitous principles will
never last long.

_Dr. Witherspoon._ [New Jersey]. We all agree that there must and shall
be a confederation for this war. ... The greatest danger we have, is
of disunion among ourselves. Is it not plausible that the small States
will be oppressed by the great ones? The Spartans and the Helots. The
Romans and their dependents. Every Colony is a distinct person....

_Clark._ We must apply for pardons if we don't confederate.

_Wilson._ We should settle upon some plan of representation.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Wilson._ If the war continues two years, each soul will have
forty dollars to pay of the public debt. It will be the greatest
encouragement to continue slave-keeping and to increase it, that can
be, to exempt them from the numbers which are to vote and pay. Slaves
are taxables in the Southern Colonies. It will be partial and unequal.
Some Colonies have as many black as white; these will not pay more than
half what they ought.[139] Slaves prevent freemen from cultivating a
country. It is attended with many inconveniences.

_Lynch_ [South Carolina]. If it is debated, whether their slaves are
their property, there is an end of the confederation. Our slaves being
our property, why should they be taxed more than the land, sheep,
cattle, horses, etc.?

Freemen cannot be got to work in our Colonies; it is not in the ability
or inclination of freemen to do the work that the negroes do. Carolina
has taxed their negroes; so have other Colonies their lands.

_Dr. Franklin._ Slaves rather weaken than strengthen the State, and
there is therefore some difference between them and sheep; sheep will
never make any insurrections.

_Rutledge._ I shall be happy to get rid of the idea of slavery. The
slaves do not signify property; the old and young cannot work. The
property of some Colonies is to be taxed, in others, not. The Eastern
Colonies will become the carriers for the Southern; they will obtain
wealth for which they will not be taxed.

August 1. _Hooper._ North Carolina is a striking exception to the
general rule that was laid down yesterday, that the riches of a country
are in proportion to the numbers of inhabitants. A gentleman of three
or four hundred negroes don't raise more corn than feeds them. A
laborer can't be hired for less than twenty-four pounds a year in
Massachusetts Bay. The net profit of a negro is not more than five
or six pounds per annum. I wish to see the day that slaves are not
necessary. Whites and negroes cannot work together. Negroes are goods
and chattels are property. A negro works under the impulse of fear, has
no care of his master's interest.[140]

_The Consideration of the Seventeenth Article resumed_

Article 17. _Dr. Franklin_ moves that votes should be in proportion to
numbers. Mr. _Middleton_ moves that the vote should be according to
what they pay.

_Sherman_ thinks we ought not to vote according to numbers. We are
representatives of States, not individuals. States of Holland. The
consent of every one is necessary. Three Colonies would govern the
whole, but would not have a majority of strength to carry those votes
into execution. =The vote should be taken two ways; call the Colonies,
and call the individuals, and have a majority of both=.[141]

_Dr. Rush._ Abbé Raynal has attributed the ruin of the United Provinces
[Netherlands] to three causes. The principal one is, that the consent
of every State is necessary; the other, that the members are obliged
to consult their constituents upon all occasions. We lose an equal
representation; we represent the people. It will tend to keep up
colonial distinctions. We are now a new nation. ... If we vote by
numbers, liberty will be always safe. Massachusetts is contiguous to
two small Colonies, Rhode Island and New Hampshire; Pennsylvania is
near New Jersey and Delaware; Virginia is between Maryland and North
Carolina. ... Montesquieu pronounces the confederation of Lycia the best
that ever was made; the cities had different weights in the
scale. ... I would not have it understood that I am pleading the cause
of Pennsylvania; when I entered that door, I considered myself a
citizen of America.

       *       *       *       *       *

_G. Hopkins_ [Rhode Island]. A momentous question; many difficulties on
each side; four larger, five lesser, four stand indifferent. Virginia,
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, make more than half the people.

... It can't be expected that nine Colonies will give way to be
governed by four. The safety of the whole depends upon the distinctions
of Colonies.

_Dr. Franklin._ I hear many ingenious arguments to persuade us that an
unequal representation is a very good thing. If we had been born and
bred under an unequal representation, we might bear it; but to set out
with an unequal representation is unreasonable. It is said the great
Colonies will swallow up the less. Scotland said the same thing at the

       *       *       *       *       *

August 2. "Limiting the bounds of States, which by charter, &c. extend
to the South Sea."

_Sherman_ thinks the bounds ought to be settled. A majority of
States have no claim to the South Sea. Moves this amendment to be
substituted in place of this clause, and also instead of the fifteenth
article;--"No lands to be separated from any State, which are already
settled, or become private property."

_Chase_ [Maryland] denies that any Colony has a right to go to the
South Sea.

_Harrison_ [Virginia]. How came Maryland by its land, but by its
charter? By its charter, Virginia owns to the South Sea. Gentlemen
shall not pare away the Colony of Virginia. Rhode Island has more
generosity than to wish the Massachusetts pared away. Delaware does not
wish to pare away Pennsylvania.

_Huntington._ Admit there is danger from Virginia, does it follow that
Congress has a right to limit her bounds? The consequence is, not to
enter into confederation....

_Stone_ [Maryland] ... Is it meant that Virginia shall sell these lands
for their own emolument? All the Colonies have defended these lands
against the King of Britain, and at the expense of all. Does Virginia
intend to establish quit rents?...

_Jefferson._ I protest against the right of Congress to decide upon the
right of Virginia. Virginia has released all claims to the land settled
by Maryland, &c.

    [This clause, as to limiting the western claims, was stricken
    out in committee. The subsequent history of the struggle is well
    known, terminating in the acts of cession of claims to the western
    territory. For details, cf. _American History and Government_, ##

    Jefferson's Notes on this same debate (_Journals of Congress_, VI,
    1104,--from a MS. of Jefferson's) contain the following additional
    item: "_John Adams_ advocated voting in proportion to numbers. He
    said that we stand here as representatives of the people; that in
    some States the people are many, in others they are few ... that
    the individuality of the colonies is a mere sound. ... =_It has
    been said we are independent individuals making a bargain together:
    the question is not what we are now, but what we ought to be when
    our bargain shall be made._= The Confederacy IS TO MAKE US ONE
    individual only; it is to form us, like separate parcels of metal,
    into one common mass. ..."[142]]

147. Articles of Confederation.

                           November 15, 1777

                             March 2, 1781

    Text from _Revised Statutes_ of 1878. For history, cf. _American
    History and Government_, ## 179, 186-188 ff. The editor has used
    black-faced type to indicate a few passages especially important
    for study.

    The Articles were adopted by Congress, and recommended to the
    States, November 15, 1777. The delegates from the several States
    signed as follows: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island
    and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania,
    Virginia, and South Carolina, July 9, 1778; North Carolina, July
    21, 1778; Georgia, July 24, 1778; New Jersey, Nov. 26, 1778;
    Delaware, May 5, 1779; Maryland, March 1, 1781. Congress met under
    the Articles, March 2, 1781.

_To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates
of the States affixed to our Names send greeting._

Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress
assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the year of our
Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-seven, and in the Second
Year of the Independence of America, agree to certain articles of
Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New-Hampshire,
Massachusetts-bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations,
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia in the Words
following, viz.

_Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States
of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode-Island and Providence
Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia._

ARTICLE I.--The stile of this Confederacy shall be, "The United States
of America."

=_Art. II.--Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and
independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not
by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in
Congress assembled._=

Art. III.--The said States hereby severally enter into a =_firm
league of friendship with each other_=, for their common defence, the
security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare,
binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to,
or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion,
sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.

Art. IV.--The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and
intercourse among the people of the States in this Union, =_the
free inhabitants of each of these states_=, paupers, vagabonds, and
fugitives from justice excepted, =_shall be entitled to all privileges
and immunities of free citizens in the several States_=; and the people
of each State shall have free ingress and egress to and from any
other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and
commerce subject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as
the inhabitants thereof respectively; provided that such restrictions
shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported
into any State to any other State of which the owner is an inhabitant:
provided also that no imposition, duties, or restriction shall be laid
by any State on the property of the United States, or either of them.

=If any person guilty of, or charged with treason, felony, or other
high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found
in any of the United States, he shall upon demand of the Governor or
Executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and
removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offence.=

=Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the
records, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates
of every other State.=

ARTICLE V.--For the more convenient management of the general interest
of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed =in such
manner as the legislature of each State shall direct=, to meet in
Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, =with a power
reserved to each State, to recall its delegates=, or any of them, at
any time within the year, and to send others in their stead, for the
remainder of the year.

No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by more
than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate
for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any
person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the
United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, receives any
salary, fees or emolument of any kind.

=Each State shall maintain its own delegates= in a meeting of the
States, and while they act as members of the committee of the States.

In determining questions in the United States, in Congress assembled,
each State shall have one vote.

=Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or
questioned in any court, or place out of Congress, and the members
of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and
imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and
attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the

=Article VI. No State without the consent of the United States in
Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy
from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with
any king, prince or state; nor shall any person holding any office of
profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept of
any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from any
king, prince or foreign state; nor shall the United States in Congress
assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.=

=No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or
alliance whatever between them=, without the consent of the United
States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for
which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.

No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with
any stipulations in treaties entered into by the United States, in
Congress assembled, with any king, prince, or state, in pursuance of
any treaties already proposed by Congress to the courts of France and

No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except
such number only as shall be deemed necessary by the United States, in
Congress assembled, for the defence of such State or its trade, nor
shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace,
except such number only as, in the judgment of the United States, in
Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts
necessary for the defence of such State; but every State shall always
keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed
and accoutred, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use in
public stores a due number of field-pieces and tents, and a proper
quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage.

No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the United
States, in Congress assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by
enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being
formed by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger
is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the United States,
in Congress assembled, can be consulted; nor shall any State grant
commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or
reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the United States,
in Congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or state,
and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and
under such regulations as shall be established by the United States,
in Congress assembled, unless such State be infested by pirates, in
which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept
so long as the danger shall continue, or until the United States, in
Congress assembled, shall determine otherwise.

ART. VII.--When land forces are raised by any State for the common
defence, all officers of or under the rank of Colonel shall be
appointed by the Legislature of each State respectively by whom such
forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct,
and all vacancies shall be filled up by the States which first made the

ART. VIII.--All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be
incurred for the common defence or federal welfare, and allowed by the
United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common
treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States, in proportion
to the value of all land within each State, granted to or surveyed for
any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon
shall be estimated according to such mode as the United States in
Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint.

The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the
authority and direction of the Legislatures of the several States
within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled.

ARTICLE IX.[143]--The United States in Congress assembled, shall have
the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war,
except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article--of sending and
receiving ambassadors--entering into treaties and alliances, provided
that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative
power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such
imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected
to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species
of goods or commodities whatsoever--of establishing rules for deciding
in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in
what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the
United States shall be divided or appropriated--of granting letters of
marque and reprisal in times of peace--appointing courts for the trial
of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and establishing
courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of
captures, provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed a
judge of any of the said courts.

The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last resort
on appeal in all disputes and differences now subsisting or that
hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning boundary,
jurisdiction or any other cause whatever; which authority shall always
be exercised in the manner following. [A long passage as to method of
constituting commissioners to decide such contests.]

The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole
and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of
coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective
States--fixing the standard of weights and measures throughout the
United States--regulating the trade and managing all affairs with
the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the
legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed
or violated--establishing and regulating post-offices from one State
to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such
postage on the papers passing thro' the same as may be requisite
to defray the expenses of the said office--appointing all officers
of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting
regimental officers--appointing all the officers of the naval forces,
and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United
States--making rules for the government and regulation of the said land
and naval forces, and directing their operations.

The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to appoint
a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to be denominated "a
Committee of the States," and to consist of one delegate from each
State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may
be necessary for manageing the general affairs of the United States
under their direction--to appoint one of their number to preside,
provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president
more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the
necessary sums of money to be raised for the service of the United
States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public
expenses--to borrow money, or emit bills on the credit of the United
States, transmitting every half year to the respective States an
account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted,--to build and
equip a navy--to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make
requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to the
number of white inhabitants in such State; =which requisition shall be
binding=; and thereupon the Legislature of each State shall appoint the
regimental officers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and equip them in
a soldier-like manner, at the expense of the United States; and the
officers and men so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the
place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States, in
Congress assembled; but if the United States, in Congress assembled,
shall, on consideration of circumstances, judge proper that any State
should not raise men, or should raise a smaller number than its quota,
and that any other State should raise a greater number of men than the
quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed,
armed, and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such State,
unless the Legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number
cannot be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall
raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip as many of such extra number as
they judge can be safely spared, and the officers and men so clothed,
armed, and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the
time agreed on by the United States, in Congress assembled.

The United States, in Congress assembled, shall never engage in a war,
nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter
into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value
thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defence
and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills,
nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate
money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or
purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor
appoint a commander-in-chief of the army or navy, =unless nine States
assent to the same=; nor shall a question on any other point, except
for adjourning from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of a
majority of the United States, in Congress assembled.

The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any
time within the year, and to any place within the United States, so
that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space
of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings
monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances,
or military operations as in their judgment require secrecy; and the
yeas and nays of the delegates of each State, on any question shall be
entered on the journal, when it is desired by any delegate; and the
delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or their request shall be
furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such parts as
are above excepted, to lay before the Legislatures of several States.

ARTICLE X.--The committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be
authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers
of Congress as the United States in Congress assembled, by the consent
of nine States, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them
with; provided that no power be delegated to the said committee, for
the exercise of which, by the articles of confederation, the voice of
nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled is requisite.

ARTICLE XI.--Canada acceding to this confederation, and joining in the
measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to
all the advantages of this Union: but no other colony shall be admitted
into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.

ARTICLE XII.--All bills of credit emitted, monies borrowed and
debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before
the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present
confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the
United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United
States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.

=Article XIII.--Every State shall abide by the determinations of
the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which
by this confederation are submitted to them. And the articles of
this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and
the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time
hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to
in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the
Legislatures of every State.=

And whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline
the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in Congress,
to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said =articles of
confederation and perpetual union=. Know ye that we the undersigned
delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that
purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our
respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each
and every of the said articles of confederation and =perpetual union=,
and all and singular the matters and things therein contained. =And
we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective
constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United
States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by the said
Confederation are submitted to them; and that the Articles thereof
shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively represent,
and that the Union shall be perpetual.=

    In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress.
    Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day
    of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and
    seventy-eight, and in the third year of the independence of America.

[The signatures follow. Cf. introduction, on p. 475, for the dates.]


[138] The draft then read: "No purchases of lands hereafter to be made
of the Indians, by Congress or private persons, before the limits of
the Colonies are ascertained, to be valid." The purpose was to prevent
Virginia and other large States from selling their western lands for
their private profit. This was part of the "Small-State" plan, and was
not adopted.

[139] The plan then was that the colonies should contribute money in
proportion to their white population. This was afterward amended. See

[140] Mr. Chase's amendment (to count slaves in apportioning
representatives in Congress) was lost. Seven States, New Hampshire,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania voted against it. Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and
South Carolina voted for it. Georgia was divided.

[141] A suggestion almost of a two-house Congress, similar to the
"Connecticut Compromise" adopted for our present Constitution.

[142] Did Adams then think that, _before_ the new Articles should have
been accepted, the states were constitutionally one nation or thirteen?
Cf. _American History and Government_, # 187 and notes.

[143] Summarize briefly the enumeration of powers in this Article.


148. Desire for Statehood; Self-confidence of the West

    Early in 1784, North Carolina ceded her western territory
    (afterward Tennessee) to Congress, giving that body two years in
    which to accept. The Westerners, already bitterly dissatisfied, now
    complained loudly that the mother State had cast them off; they
    would not wait two years, in anarchy, for possible action by the
    dilatory Congress; they would take their fate at once into their
    own hands. Accordingly, the three counties of eastern Tennessee
    (the outgrowth of the Watauga settlement, numbering now some 10,000
    souls) established themselves for a time as the State of Frankland
    ("Land of the Freemen").

    The militia had been organized by territorial units, each "company"
    from one group of hamlets, or "stations." Each "company" now
    chose delegates to a central convention. This "preliminary"
    convention recommended the people to choose another "constitutional
    convention,"[144] with full powers to set up a government. August
    23, 1784, this second convention, composed of forty delegates with
    John Sevier as president, resolved on immediate statehood, and put
    forth an interesting address to justify that action. The following
    passage from that address illustrates the wild hopes of the West
    as to immediate development. (Cf. also _American History and
    Government_, ## 173-175.)

"If we should be so happy as to have a separate government, vast
numbers from different quarters, with a little encouragement from the
public, would fill up our frontier; which would strengthen us, improve
agriculture, perfect manufactures, encourage literature and everything
truly laudable. The seat of government being among ourselves would
evidently tend, not only to keep a circulating medium in gold and
silver among us,[145] but would draw it from many individuals living in
other States, who claim large quantities of land that would lie within
the bounds of the new State."

    [A constitution was adopted by yet a third convention, and
    government instituted under it. North Carolina, however, repealed
    her cession before Congress had accepted it, and reasserted her
    authority over "Frankland," not without long and bitter conflict.]

149. Organization by Congress

_a. A Plan for a Temporary Government of the Western Territory. April
23, 1784_

    _Journals of Congress_ (1801 edition), IX, 109-110.

    This act is usually known as Jefferson's Territorial Ordinance of
    1784. For history, cf. _American History and Government_, # 181. It
    is given here mainly for comparison with the Or