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Title: The Development of Religious Liberty in Connecticut
Author: Greene, M. Louise (Maria Louise)
Language: English
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The following monograph is the outgrowth of three earlier and shorter
essays. The first, "Church and State in Connecticut to 1818," was
presented to Yale University as a doctor's thesis. The second, a
briefer and more popularly written article, won the Straus prize
offered in 1896 through Brown University by the Hon. Oscar S. Straus.
The third, a paper containing additional matter, was so far approved
by the American Historical Association as to receive honorable mention
in the Justin Winsor prize competition of 1901.

With such encouragement, it seemed as if the history of the
development of religious liberty in Connecticut might serve a larger
purpose than that of satisfying personal interest alone. In
Connecticut such development was not marked, as so often elsewhere, by
wild disorder, outrageous oppression, tyranny of classes, civil war,
or by any great retrograde movement. Connecticut was more modern in
her progress towards such liberty, and her contribution to advancing
civilization was a pattern of stability, of reasonableness in
government, and of a slow broadening out of the conception of liberty,
as she gradually softened down her restrictions upon religious and
personal freedom.

And yet, Connecticut is recalled as a part of that New England where
those not Congregationalists, the unorthodox or radical thinkers,
found early and late an uncomfortable atmosphere and restricted
liberties. By a study of her past, I have hoped to contribute to a
fairer judgment of the men and measures of colonial times, and to a
correct estimate of those essentials in religion and morals which
endure from age to age, and which alone, it would seem, must
constitute the basis of that "ultimate union of Christendom" toward
which so many confidently look.  The past should teach the present,
and one generation, from dwelling upon the transient beliefs and
opinions of a preceding, may better judge what are the non-essentials
of its own.

Connecticut's individual experiment in the union of Church and State
is separable neither from the New England setting of her earliest days
nor from the early years of that Congregationalism which the colony
approved and established.  Hence, the opening chapters of her story
must treat of events both in old England and in New. And because
religious liberty was finally won by a coalition of men like-minded in
their attitude towards rights of conscience and in their desire for
certain necessary changes and reforms in government, the final
chapters must deal with social and political conditions more than with
those purely religious. It may be pertinent to remark that the passing
of a hundred years since the divorce of Church and State and the
reforms of a century ago have brought to the commonwealth some of the
same deplorable political conditions that the men of the past, the
first Constitutional Reform Party, swept away by the peaceful
revolution of 1818.

For encouragement, assistance, and suggestions, I am especially
indebted to Professor George B. Adams and Professor Williston Walker
of Yale University, to Professor Charles M. Andrews of Bryn Mawr, to
Dr. William G.  Andrews, rector of Christ Church, Guilford, Conn., and
to Professor Lucy M. Salmon of Vassar College. Of numerous libraries,
my largest debt is to that of Yale University.


NEW HAVEN, October 20, 1905.




Preparation of the English nation for the two earliest forms of
Congregationalism, Brownism and Barrowism.--Rise of Separatism and
Puritanism.--Non-conformists during Queen Mary's reign.--Revival of
the Reformation movement under Queen Elizabeth.--Development of
Presbyterianism.--Three Cambridge men, Robert Browne, Henry Greenwood,
and Henry Barrowe.--Brownism and Barrowism.--The Puritans under
Elizabeth, her early tolerance and later change of policy.--Arrest of
the Puritan movement by the clash between Episcopal and Presbyterian
forms of polity and the pretensions of the latter.--James the First
and his policy of conformity.--Exile of the Gainsborough and Scrooby
Separatists.--Separatist writings.--General approachment of Puritans
and Separatists in their ideas of church polity.--The Scrooby exiles
in America.--Sympathy of the Separatists of Plymouth Colony with both
the English Established Church and with English Puritans.


English Puritans decide to colonize in America.--Friendly relations
between the settlements of Salem and Plymouth.--Salem decides upon the
character of her church organization.--Arrival of Higginson and
Skelton with recruits.--Formation of the Salem church and election of
officers.--Governor Bradford and delegates from Plymouth present.--The
beginning of Congregational polity among the Puritans and the break
with English Episcopacy.--Formation and organization of the New
England churches.


Church and State in the four New England colonies.--Early theological
dissensions and disturbances.--Colonial legislation in behalf of
religion.--Development of state authority at the cost of the
independence of the church.--Desire of Massachusetts for a platform of
church discipline.--Practical working of the theory of Church and
State in Connecticut.


Necessity of a church platform to resist innovations, to answer
English criticism, and to meet changing conditions of colonial
life.--Summary of the Cambridge Platform.--Of the history of
Congregationalism to the year 1648.--Attempt to discipline the
Hartford, Conn., church according to the Platform.--Spread of its
schism.--Petition to the Connecticut General Court for some method of
relief.--The Ministerial Convention or "Synod" of 1657.--Its Half-Way
Covenant.--Attitude of the Connecticut churches towards the
measure.--Pitkin's petition to the General Court of Connecticut for
broader church privileges.--The Court's favorable reply.--Renewed
outbreak of schism in the Hartford and other churches.--Failure in the
calling of a synod of New England churches.--The Connecticut Court
establishes the Congregational Church.--Connecticut's first toleration
act.--Settlement of the Hartford dispute.--The new order and its
important modifications of ecclesiastical polity.


Drift from religious to secular, and from intercolonial to individual
interests.--Reforming Synod of 1680.--Religious life in the last
quarter of the seventeenth century.--The "Proposals of 1705" in
Massachusetts.--Introduction in Connecticut of the Saybrook System of
Consociated Church government.


The Confession of Faith.--Heads of Agreement.--Fifteen
Articles.--Attitude of the churches towards the Platform.--Formation
of Consociations.--The "Proviso" in the act of establishment.--Neglect
to read the proviso to the Norwich church.--Contention arising.--The
Norwich church as an example of the difficulty of collecting church


Toleration in the "Proviso" of the act establishing the Saybrook
Platform.--Reasons for passing the Toleration Act of 1708.--Baptist
dissenters.--Rogerine-Baptists, Rogerine-Quakers or Rogerines, and
their persecution.--Attitude toward the Society of Friends or
Quakers.--Toward the Church of England men or
Episcopalians.--Political events parallel in time with the dissenters'
attempts to secure exemption from the support of the Connecticut
Establishment.--General Ineffectiveness of the Toleration Act.


General dissatisfaction with the Toleration Act.--Episcopalians resent
petty persecution.--Their desire for an American
episcopate.--Conversion of Cutler, Rector of Yale College, and
others.--Bishop Gibson's correspondence with Governor Talcott.
--Petition of the Fairfield churchmen.--Law of 1727 exempting
Churchmen.--Persecution growing out of neglect to enforce the
law.--Futile efforts of the Rogerines to obtain exemption.--Charges
against the Colony of Connecticut.--The Winthrop case.--Quakers
attempt to secure exemption from ecclesiastical rates.--Exemption
granted to Quakers and Baptists.--Relative position of the dissenting
and established churches in Connecticut.


Minor revivals in Connecticut before 1740.--Low tone of moral and
religious life.--Jonathan Edwards's sermons at Northampton.--Revival
of religious interest and its spread among the people.--The
Rev. George Whitefield.--The Great Awakening.--Its immediate results.


The Separatist churches.--Old Lights and New.--Opposition to the
revival movement.--Severe colony laws of 1742-43--Illustrations of
oppression of reformed churches, as the North Church of New Haven, the
Separatist Church of Canterbury, and that of Enfield.--Persecution of
individuals, as of Rev.  Samuel Finlay, James Davenport, John Owen,
and Benjamin Pomeroy.--Persecution of Moravian missionaries,--The
colony law of 1746, "Concerning who shall vote in Society
meeting."--Change in public opinion.--Summary of the influence of the
Great Awakening and of the great schism.


Revision of the laws of 1750.--Attitude of the colonial authorities
toward Baptists and Separatists.--Influence on colonial legislation of
the English Committee of Dissenters.--Formation of the Church of Yale
College.--Separatist and Baptist writers in favor of
toleration.--Frothingham's "Articles of Faith and Practice."--Solomon
Paine's "Letter."--John Bolles's "To Worship God in Spirit and in
Truth."--Israel Holly's "A Word in Zion's Behalf."--Frothingham's "Key
to Unlock the Door."--Joseph Brown's "Letter to Infant
Baptizers."--The importance of the colonial newspaper.--Influence of
English non-conformity upon the religious thought of New England.--The
Edwardean School.--Hopkinsinianism and the New Divinity.--The clergy
and the people.--Controversy over the renewed proposal for an American
episcopate.--Movement for consolidation among all religious
bodies.--Influences promoting nationalism and, indirectly, religious
toleration.--Connecticut at the threshold of the
Revolution.--Connecticut clergymen as advocates of civil
liberty.--Greater toleration in religion granted by the laws of
1770.--Development of the idea of democracy in Church and
State.--Exemption of Separatists by the revision of the laws in
1784.--Virtual abrogation of the Saybrook Platform.--Status of


Expansion of towns.--Revival of commerce and industries.--Schools and
literature.--Newspapers.--Rise of the Anti-Federal party.--Baptist,
Methodist, and Separatist dissatisfaction.--Growth of a broader
conception of toleration within the Consociated churches.


Opposition to the Establishment from dissenters, Anti-Federalists, and
the dissatisfied within the Federal ranks.--Certificate law of 1791 to
allay dissatisfaction.--Its opposite effect.--A second Certificate law
to replace the former.--Antagonism created by legislation in favor of
Yale College.--Storm of protest against the Western Land bills of
1792-93.--Congregational missions in Western territory.--Baptist
opposition to legislative measures.--The revised Western Land bill as
a basis for Connecticut's public school fund.--Result of the
opposition roused by the Certificate laws and Western Land bills.


Government according to the charter of 1662.--Party tilt over town
representation.--Anti-Federal grievances against the Council or
Senate, the Judiciary, and other defective parts of the machinery of
government.--Constitutional questions.--Rise of the
Democratic-Republican party.--Influence of the French Revolution.--The
Federal members of the Establishment or "Standing Order," the
champions of religious and political stability.--President Dwight, the
leader of the Standing Order.--Leaders of the
Democratic-Republicans.--Political campaigns of 1804-1806.--Sympathy
for the defeated Republicans.--Politics at the close of the War of


Waning of the power of the Federal party in Connecticut.--Opposition
to the Republican administration during the War of
1812.--Participation in the Hartford Convention.--Economic benefits of
the war.--Attitude of the New England clergy toward the war.--The
Toleration party of 1816.--Act for the Support of Literature and
Religion.--Opposition.--Toleration and Reform Ticket of 1817.--New
Certificate Law.--Constitution and Reform Ticket of 1818.--Its
victory.--The Constitutional Convention.--New Constitution of
1818.--Separation of Church and State.






    The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the
    corner.--Psalm cxviii, 22.

The colonists of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven
were grounded in the system which became known as Congregational, and
later as Congregationalism. At the outset they differed not at all in
creed, and only in some respects in polity, from the great Puritan
body in England, out of which they largely came.[a]

For more than forty years before their migration to New England there
had been in old England two clearly developed forms of
Congregationalism, Brownism and Barrowism. The term Congregationalism,
with its allied forms Congregational and Congregationalist, would not
then have been employed. They did not come into general use until the
latter half of the seventeenth century, and were at first limited in
usage to defining or referring to the modified church system of New
England. The term "Independent" was preferred to designate the
somewhat similar polity among the nonconformist churches in old
England.[b] Brownism and Barrowism are both included in Dr. Dexter's
comprehensive definition of Congregationalism, using the term "to
designate that system of thought, faith, and practice, which starting
with the dictum that the conditions of church life are revealed in the
Bible, and are thence to be evolved by reverent common-sense, assisted
but never controlled by all other sources of knowledge; interprets
that book as teaching the reality and independent competency of the
local church, and the duty of fraternity and co-working between such
churches; from these two truths symmetrically developing its entire
system of principles, privileges, and obligations." [1] The
"independent competency of the local church" is directly opposed to
any system of episcopal government within the church, and is
diametrically opposed to any control by king, prince, or civil
government. Yet this was one of the pivotal dogmas of Browne and of
the later Separatists; this, a fundamental doctrine which Barrowe
strove to incorporate into a new church system, but into one having
sufficient control over its local units to make it acceptable to a
people who were accustomed to the autonomy and stability of a church
both episcopal and national in character.

In order to appreciate the changes in church polity and in the
religious temper of the people for which Browne and Barrowe labored,
one must survey the field in which they worked and note such
preparation as it had received before their advent. It is to be
recalled that Henry VIII substituted for submission to the Pope
submission to himself as head of a church essentially Romish in
ritual, teaching, and authority over his subjects. The religious
reformation, as such, came later and by slow evolution through the
gradual awakening of the moral and spiritual perceptions of the
masses. It came very slowly notwithstanding the fact that the first
definite and systematic opposition to the abuses and assumptions of
the clergy had arisen long before Henry's reign. As early as 1382, the
itinerant preachers, sent out by Wyckliff, were complained of by the
clergy and magistrates as teachers of insubordinate and dangerous
doctrines. Thenceforward, outcroppings of dissatisfaction with the
clergy appear from time to time both in English life and
literature. This dissatisfaction was silenced by various acts of
Parliament which were passed to enforce conformity and to punish
heresy. Their character and intent were the same whether the head of
the church wore the papal tiara or the English crown. Two hundred
years after Wyckliff, in 1582, laws were still fulminated against
"divers false and perverse people of certain new sects," for
Protestant England would support but one form of religion as the moral
prop of the state. She regarded all innovations as questionable, or
wholly evil, and their authors as dangerous men. Chief among the
latter was Robert Browne. But before Browne's advent and in the days
of Henry the Eighth, there had been a large, respectable, and steadily
increasing party whose desire was to remain within the English church,
but to purify it from superstitious rites and practices, such as
penances, pilgrimages, forced oblations, and votive offerings.  They
wished also to free the ritual from many customs inherited from the
days of Rome's supremacy. It was in this party that the leaven of
Protestantism had been working. Luther and Henry, be it remembered,
had died within a year of each other. Under the feeble rule of Edward
the Sixth, the English reform movement gained rapidly, and, in 1550,
upon the refusal of Bishop Hooper to be consecrated in the usual
Romish vestments, it began to crystallize in two forms, Separatism and
Puritanism.[c] In spite of much opposition, the teachings of Luther,
Calvin, and other Continental reformers took root in England, and
interested men of widely different classes. They stirred to new
activity the scattered and persecuted groups, that, from time to time,
had met in secret in London and elsewhere to read the Scriptures and
to worship with their elected leaders in some simpler form of service
than that prescribed by law. Under Mary's persecution, these
Separatists increased, and with other Protestants swelled the roll of
martyrs. In her severity, the Queen also drove into exile many able
and learned men, who sought shelter in Geneva, Zurich, Basle, and
Frankfort, where they were hospitably entertained. Upon their return,
there was a marked increase in the Calvinistic tone both of preaching
and teaching in the English church and in the university lecture
rooms, especially those of Cambridge. Among the most influential
teachers was Thomas Cartwright,[d] in 1560-1562, Lady Margaret
Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. While having no sympathy with the
nonconformist or Separatist of his day, Cartwright accepted the polity
and creed of Calvin in its severer form. He became junior-dean of
St. John's, major-fellow of Trinity, and a member of the
governing-board. In 1565 he went to Ireland to escape the heated
controversy of the period which centred in the "Vestiarian"
movement. He was recalled in 1569 to his former professorship, and in
September, 1571, was forced out of it because, when controversy
changed from vestments to polity, he took extreme views of church
discipline and repudiated episcopal government.[e] While Cartwright
was very pronounced in his views, his desire at first was that the
changes in church polity should be brought about by the united action
of the Crown and Parliament. Such had been the method of introducing
changes under the three sovereigns, Henry, Mary, and Elizabeth. With
this brief summary of the reform movements among the masses and in the
universities covering the years until Cartwright, through the
influence of the ritualistic church party, was expelled from
Cambridge, and Robert Browne, as a student there, came under the
strong Puritan influence of the university, we pass to a consideration
of Brownism.

Robert Browne was graduated from Cambridge in 1572, the year after
Cartwright's expulsion. The next three years he taught in London and
"wholly bent himself to search and find out the matters of the church:
as to how it was guided and ordered, and what abuses there were in the
ecclesiastical government then used." [2] When the plague broke out in
London, Browne went to Cambridge. There, he refused to accept the
bishop's license to preach, though urged to do so, because he had come
to consider it as contrary to the authority of the
Scriptures. Nevertheless, he continued preaching until he was silenced
by the prelate. Browne then went to Norwich, preaching there and at
Bury St. Edmunds, both of which had been gathering-places for the
Separatists. At Norwich, he organized a church. Writing of Browne's
labors there in 1580 and 1581, Dr. Dexter says: "Here, following the
track which he had been long elaborating, he thoroughly discovered and
restated the original Congregational way in all its simplicity and
symmetry. And here, by his prompting and under his guidance, was
formed the first church in modern days of which I have any knowledge,
which was intelligently and one might say philosophically
Congregational in its platform and processes; he becoming its pastor."
[3] Persecution followed Browne to Norwich, and in order to escape it
he, in 1581, migrated with his church to Middelburg, in
Zealand. There, for two years, he devoted himself to authorship,
wherein he set forth his teachings. His books and pamphlets, which had
been proscribed in England, were printed in Middelburg and secretly
distributed by his friends and followers at home. But Browne's
temperament was not of the kind to hold and mould men together, while
his doctrine of equality in church government was too strong food for
people who, for generations, had been subservient to a system that
demanded only their obedience. His church soon disintegrated. With but
a remnant of his following, he returned in 1583 by way of Scotland
into England, finding everywhere the strong hand of the government
stretched out in persecution. Three years later, after having been
imprisoned in noisome cells some thirty times within six years,
utterly broken in health, if not weakened also in mind, and never
feeling safe from arrest while in his own land, Browne finally sought
pardon for his offensive teachings and, obtaining it, reentered the
English communion. Though he was given a small parish, he was looked
upon as a renegade, and died in poverty about 1631, at an extreme old
age. He died while the Pilgrim Separatists were still a struggling
colony at Plymouth, repudiating the name of Brownists; before the
colonial churches had embodied in their system most of the
fundamentals of his; and long before the value of his teachings as to
democracy, whether in the church or by extension in the state, had
dawned upon mankind.

The connecting link between Brownism and Barrowism, whose similarities
and dissimilarities we shall consider together, or rather the
connecting link between Robert Browne and Henry Barrowe, was another
Cambridge student, John Greenwood. He was graduated in 1581, the year
that Browne removed to Middelburg. Greenwood had become so enamored
with Separatist doctrines, that within five years of his graduation he
was deprived of his benefice, in 1586, and sent to prison. While
there, he was visited by his friend, Henry Barrowe, a young London
lawyer, who, through the chance words of a London preacher, had been
converted from a wild, gay life to one devout and godly. During a
visit to Greenwood, Barrowe was arrested and sent to Lambeth Palace
for examination. Upon refusing to take the oath required by the
bishop, Barrowe was remanded to prison to await further
examination. Later, he damaged himself and his cause by an
unnecessarily bitter denunciation of his enemies and by a too dogmatic
assertion of his own principles. Accordingly, he was sent back to
prison, where, together with Greenwood, he awaited trial until March,
1593. Then, upon the distorted testimony of their writings, both men
were sentenced as seditious fellows, worthy of death. Though twice
reprieved at the seemingly last hour, they were hanged together on
April 6, 1593.

Both Greenwood and Barrowe frequently asserted that they never had
anything to do with Browne. [4] Yet it is probable that it was
Browne's influence which turned Greenwood's puritanical convictions to
Separatist principles. Barrowe had been graduated from Clare Hall,
Cambridge, in 1569-70; Browne, from Corpus Christi in 1572.  The two
men, so different in character, probably did not meet in university
days, and certainly not later in London, where one went to a life of
pleasure and the other to teaching and to the study of the
Scriptures. Greenwood, however, had entered Cambridge in 1577-78, and
left it in 1581. Thus he was in college during the two years that
Browne was preaching in and near Cambridge. It is safe to assume that
the young scholar, soon to become a licensed preacher, and overflowing
with the Puritan zeal of his college, might be drawn either through
curiosity or admiration to hear the erratic and almost fanatic
preacher. Later, when Browne's writings were being secretly
distributed in England, both Barrowe and Greenwood had come in contact
with the London congregations to whom Browne had preached. The fact
that many men in England were thinking along the same lines as the
Separatists; that Browne had recanted just as Barrowe and Greenwood
were thrust into prison; and that they both disapproved in some
measure of Browne's teachings, might account for a denial of
discipleship. Browne's influence might even have been unrecognized by
the men themselves.  Be that as it may, during their long
imprisonment, both Barrowe and Greenwood, in their teachings, in their
public conferences, and in their writings strove to outline a system
of church government and discipline, which was very similar to and yet
essentially different from Browne's.

Thus it happened that in the last decade of the sixteenth century two
forms of Congregationalism had developed, Brownism and Barrowism.
Neither Browne nor Barrowe felt any need, as did their later
followers, to demonstrate their doctrinal soundness, because in all
matters of creed they "were in full doctrinal sympathy with the
predominantly Calvinistic views of the English Established Church from
which they had come out."

"Browne, first of all English writers, set forth the Anabaptist
doctrine that the civil ruler had no control over the spiritual
affairs of the church and that State and Church were separate realms."
[5] In the beginning, Browne's foremost wish was not to establish a
new church system or polity, but to encourage the spiritual life of
the believer. To this end he desired separation from the English
church, which, like all other state churches, included all baptized
persons, not excommunicate, whether faithful or not to their baptismal
or confirmation vows to lead godly lives. [6] Moreover, as Browne did
not believe that the magistrates should have power to coerce men's
consciences, teaching, as he did, that the mingling of church offices
and civil offices was anti-Christian,[7] he was unwilling to wait for
a reformation to be brought about by the changing laws of the
state.[8] He further advocated such equality of power [9] among the
members of the church that in its government a democracy resulted, and
this theory, pushed to a logical conclusion, implied that a democratic
form of civil government was also the best.[f] Browne roughly
draughted a government for the church with pastors, teachers, elders,
deacons, and widows. He insisted, however, that these officers did not
stand between Christ and the ordinary believer, "though they haue the
grace and office of teaching and guiding.... Because eurie one of the
church is made Kinge, and Priest and a Prophet, under Christ, to
vpholde and further the kingdom of God."

Browne and Barrowe both made the Bible their guide in all matters of
church life. From its text they deduced the definition of a true
church as, "A company of faithful people gathered by the Word unto
Christ and submitting themselves in all things;" of a Christian, as
one who had made a "willing covenant with God, and thereby did live a
godly and Christian life."[10] This covenanting together of Christians
constituted a church. From their interpretation of the New Testament,
Browne and Barrowe held that this covenanting included repentance for
sin, a profession of faith, and a promise of obedience. Moreover, to
their minds, primitive Christianity had insisted upon a public,
personal narration of each covenanter's regenerative experience. From
sacred writ they derived their church organization also.[ll] Their
pastors were for exhorting or "edifying by all comfortable words and
promises in the Scriptures, to work in our hearts the estimate of our
duties with love and zeal thereunto." Their teachers were for teaching
or "delivering the grounds of Religion and meaning of the Scriptures
and confirming the same." Both officers were to administer baptism and
the Lord's supper, or "the Seals of the Covenant." The elders included
both pastors and teachers and also "Ruling Elders," all of whom were
for "oversight, counsel, and redressing things amiss," but the ruling
elders were to give special attention to the public order and
government of the church. According to both Browne and Barrowe, these
officers were to be the mouthpiece of the church in the admission,
censure, dismissal, or readmission of members.  They were to prepare
matters to be brought before the church for action. They were also to
adjust matters, when possible, so as to avoid overburdening the church
or its pastor and teacher with trivial business. In matters spiritual,
they were to unite with the pastor and teacher in keeping watch over
the lives of the people, that they be of good character and godly

Browne taught that the church had power which it shared with its
officers as fellow-Christians, but which lifted it above them and
their office. It lay with the church to elect them. It lay with the
church to censure them. Barrowe also maintained that the church was
"above its institutions, above its officers," [12] and that every
officer was responsible to the church and liable to its censure as
well as indebted to it for his election and office. But he further
maintained that the members of the church should render meek and
submissive, faithful and loving obedience to their chosen
elders. Barrowe thus taught that guidance in religious matters should
be left in the hands of those to whom by election it had been
delegated. The elders were to be men of discernment, able to judge
"between cause and cause, plea and plea," to redress evil, and to see
that both the people and their officers[g] did their full duty in
accordance with the laws of God and the ordinances of the
church. Barrowe had seen the confusion and disintegration of Browne's
church, and he planned by thus introducing the Calvinistic theory of
eldership to avoid the pitfalls into which the Brownists had plunged
while practicing their new-found principle of religious
equality. Barrowe hoped by his system to secure the independence of
the local churches and also to avoid the repellent attitude of a
nation that was as yet unprepared to welcome any trend towards
democracy.[h] Having devised this system of compromise, Barrowe made a
futile attempt to interest Cartwright, but the latter regarded the
reformer as too heretical. Yet Cartwright himself, tired of waiting
for the better day when his desired reforms should be brought about
through the operation of Parliamentary laws, was attempting in
Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to test his system of

To the list of church officers already enumerated, both reformers
added deacons and widows.  The deacons were to attend to the church
finances and all temporal cares, and, in their visiting of the sick
and afflicted, they were to be aided by the widows. The latter office,
however, soon fell into disuse, for it was difficult to find women of
satisfactory character, attainments, and physical ability, since, in
order to avoid scandal or censoriousness, those filling the office had
to be of advanced years.[i]

With respect to the relation of the churches among themselves, Browne
and Barrowe each insisted upon the integral independence and
self-governing powers of the local units. Both approved of the
"sisterly advice" of neighboring churches in matters of mutual
interest. Both held that in matters of great weight, synods, or
councils of all the churches should be summoned; that the delegates to
such bodies should advise and bring the wisdom of their united
experience to questions affecting the welfare of all the churches, and
also, when in consultation upon serious cases, that any one church
should lay before them. Browne insisted that delegates to synods
should be both ministerial and lay, while Barrowe leaned to the
conviction that they should be chosen only from among the church
officers. Both reformers limited the power of synods, maintaining that
they should be consultative and advisory only. [13] Their decisions
were not to be binding upon the churches as were those of the
Presbyterian synods,[j] whose authority both reformers regarded as a
violation of Gospel rule. The church system, outlined by these two
men, became, in time, the organization of the churches of Plymouth,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven. The character of their
polity fluctuated, as we shall see, leaning sometimes more to
Barrowism and sometimes, or in some respects, emphasizing the greater
democracy which Browne taught. In England, and because of the pressure
of circumstances among English exiles and colonists, Barrowe's
teachings at first gained the stronger hold and kept it for many
years. Moreover, as Barrowe's almost immediate followers embraced
them, there was no objection to the customary union of church and
state. And furthermore, if only the state would uphold this peculiar
polity, it might even insist upon the payment of contributions, which
both Browne and Barrowe had distinctly stated were to be voluntary and
were to be the only support of their churches.  Though Barrowism was
more welcomed, eventually--yet not until long after the colonial
period--Brownism triumphed, and it predominates in the
Congregationalism of to-day.

The immediate spread of Barrowism was due to the poor Separatists of
London. Doubtless among them were many who in the preceding years had
listened to Browne and had begun to look up to him as their
Luther. While Barrowe and Greenwood were in prison, many of these
Separatists had gone to hear them preach and had studied their
writings. During the autumn of 1592, there had been some relaxation in
the severity exercised toward the prisoners, and Greenwood was allowed
occasionally to be out of jail under bail. He associated himself with
these Separatists, who, according to Dr. Dexter, had organized a
church about five years before, and who at once elected Greenwood to
the office of teacher. Dr. John Brown, writing later than Dr. Dexter,
claims this London church as the parent of English Congregationalism.
To make good the claim, he traces the history of the church by means
of references in Bradford's History, Fox's "Book of Martyrs," and in
recently discovered state papers to its existence as a Separate church
under Elizabeth, when, as early as 1571, its pastor, Richard Fitz, had
died in prison. Dr. Brown believes he can still farther trace its
origin to Queen Mary's reign, when a Mr. Rough, its pastor, suffered
martyrdom, and one Cuthbert Sympson was deacon. [l4] After the death
of Greenwood and Barrowe, this London congregation was sore pressed.
Their pastor, Francis Johnson, having been thrown into prison, they
began to make their way secretly to Amsterdam. There Johnson joined
them in 1597, soon after his release.  To this London-Amsterdam church
were gathered Separatist exiles from all parts of England, for
converts were increasing,[k] especially in the rural districts of the
north, notwithstanding the fact that persecution followed hard upon

The policy of Elizabeth during the earlier years of her reign was one
of forbearance towards inoffensive Catholics and of toleration towards
all Protestants. Caring nothing for religion as such, her aim was to
secure peace and to increase the stability of her realm. This she did
by crushing malcontent Catholics, by balancing the factions of
Protestantism, and by holding in check the extremists, whether
High-Churchmen or the ultra-Puritan followers of Cartwright. She had
forced on the contending factions a sort of armed truce and silenced
the violent antagonism of pulpit against pulpit by licensing
preachers. The Acts of Supremacy and of Uniformity placed all
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as well as all legislative power, in the
hands of the state. They outlined a system of church doctrine and
discipline from which no variation was legally
permitted. Notwithstanding the enforced outward conformity, the Bible
was left open to the masses to study, and private discussion and
polemic writing were unrestrained. The main principles of the
Reformation were accepted, even while Elizabeth resisted the sweeping
reforms which the strong Calvinistic faction of the Puritan party
would have made in the ceremonial of the English church. This she did
notwithstanding the fact that about the time Thomas Cartwright,
through the influence of the ritualists under Whitgift, had been
driven from Cambridge, Parliament had refused to bind the clergy to
the Three Articles on Supremacy, on the form of Church government, and
on the power of the Church to ordain rites and ceremonies. Parliament
had even suggested a reform of the liturgy by omitting from it those
ceremonies most obnoxious to the Puritan party.[l] That representative
assembly had but reflected the desire of all moderate statesmen, as
well as of the Puritans. But, in the twelve years between Cartwright's
dismissal from Cambridge and Browne's preaching there without a
license, a great change took place, altering the sentiment of the
nation. All but extremists drew back when Cartwright pushed his
Presbyterian notions to the point of asserting that the only power
which the state rightfully held over religion was to see that the
decrees of the churches were executed and their contemners punished,
or when this reformer still further asserted that the power and
authority of the church was derived from the Gospel and consequently
was above Queen or Parliament. Cartwright claimed for his church an
infallibility and control of its members far above the claims of Rome,
and, tired of waiting for a purification of existing conditions by
legislative acts, he had, as has been said, boldly organized, in
accordance with his system, the clergy of Warwickshire and
Northamptonshire. The local churches were treated as self-governing
units, but were controlled by a series of authoritative Classes and
Synods. Having done this, Cartwright called for the establishment of
Presbyterianism as the national church and for the vigorous
suppression of Episcopacy, Separatism, and all variations from his
standard. As he thus struck at the national church, at the Queen's
supremacy, and, seemingly to many Englishmen, at the very roots of
civil government and security, there was a sudden halt in the reform
movement. The impetus which would have probably brought about all the
changes that the great body of Puritans desired was arrested. Richard
Hooker's "Ecclesiastical Polity" swept the ground from under Thomas
Cartwright's "Admonition to Parliament." Hooker's broad and
philosophic reasoning showed that no one system of church-government
was immutable; that all were temporary; and that not upon any man's
interpretation of Scripture, or upon that of any group of men alone,
could the divine ordering of the world, of the church or of the state,
be based. Such order depended upon moral relations, upon social and
political institutions, and changed with times and nations.

The death of Mary Queen of Scots crushed the Catholic party, and the
defeat of the Armada left Elizabeth free to turn her attention to the
phases of the Protestant movement in her own realm. While Browne was
preaching in Norwich, the Queen raised Whitgift to the See of
Canterbury. He was the bitter opponent of all nonconformity, and
immediately the persecution both of Separatists and of Puritans became
severe. Elizabeth, sure at last of her throne and of her position as
head of the Protestant cause in Europe, gave her minister a free
hand. She demanded rigid conformity, but wisely forbore to revive many
of the customs which the Puritans had succeeded in rendering
obsolete. Notwithstanding such modifications, the English liturgy had
been so slightly altered that, "Pius the Fifth did see so little
variation in it from the Latin service that had been formerly used in
that Kingdom that he would have ratified it by his authority, if the
Queen would have so received it."[m] Elizabeth now forbade all
preaching, teaching, and catechising in private houses, and refused to
recognize lay or Presbyterian ordination. Ministers who could no
longer accept episcopal ordination, or subscribe to the Thirty-nine
Articles, or approve the Book of Common Prayer and conform to its
liturgy were silenced and deprived of their salaries. In default of
witnesses, charges against them were proved by their own testimony
under oath, whereby they were made to incriminate themselves. The
censorship of the press was made stringent, printing was restricted to
London and to the two universities, and all printers had to be
licensed. Furthermore, all publications, even pamphlets, had to
receive the approval of the Primate or of the Bishop of London. In
addition, the Queen established the Ecclesiastical Commission of
forty-four members, which became a permanent court where all authority
virtually centred in the hands of the archbishops. English law had not
as yet defined the powers and limitations of the Protestant
clergy. Consequently, this Commission assumed almost unlimited powers
and cared little for its own precedents. Its very existence undid a
large part of the work of the Reformation, and the successive
Archbishops of Canterbury, Parker, Whitgift, Bancroft, Abbott, and
Laud, claimed greater and more despotic authority than any papal
primate since the days of Augustine. The Commission passed upon all
opinions or acts which it held to be contrary to the Acts of Supremacy
and Uniformity. It altered or amended the Statutes of Schools and
Colleges; it claimed the right of deprivation of clergy and held them
at its mercy; it passed from decisions upon heresy, schism, or
nonconformity to judgment and sentence upon incest and similar
crimes. It could fine and imprison at will, and employ any measures
for securing information or calling witnesses. The result was that all
nonconformists and all Puritans drew closer together under
trial. Another result was that the Bible was studied more earnestly in
private, and that there was a public eager to read the religious books
and pamphlets published abroad and cautiously circulated in
England. Though the Presbyterians were confined to the nonconformist
clergy and to a comparatively small number among them, they were
rising in importance, and were accorded sympathetic recognition as a
section of the Puritan party. This party, as a whole, continued to
increase its membership. The Separatists also increased, for, as of
old, the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the church.

The hope that times would mend when James ascended the throne was soon
abandoned. As he had been trained in Scotch Presbyterianism, the
Presbyterians believed that he would grant them some favor, while the
Puritans looked for some conciliatory measures. Eight hundred Puritan
ministers, a tenth of all the clergy, signed the "Millenary Petition,"
asking that the practices which they most abhorred, such as the sign
of the cross in baptism, the use of the surplice, the giving of the
ring at marriage, and the kneeling during the communion service,
should be done away with. The petition was not Presbyterian, but was
strictly Puritan in tone. It asked for no change in the government or
organization of the church. It did ask for a reform in the
ecclesiastical courts, and it demanded provision for the training of
godly ministers. James replied to the petition by promising a
conference of prelates and of Puritan ministers to consider their
demands; but at the conference it was found that he had summpned it
only to air the theological knowledge upon which he so greatly prided
himself. His answer to the petition was that he would have "one
doctrine, one religion, in substance and in ceremony," and of the
remonstrants he added, "I will make them conform or I will harry them
out of the land." The harrying began. The recently organized
Separatist church at Gainsborough-on-Trent endured persecution for
four years, and then emigrated with its pastor, John Smyth, M.A., of
Christ's College, Cambridge. It found refuge in Amsterdam by the side
of the London-Amsterdam church and its pastor, Francis Johnson, who
had been Smyth's tutor in college days. The next year, after more of
the King's harrying, the future colonists of Plymouth, the Separatist
Church of Scrooby, an offshoot of the Gainsborough church, attempted
to flee over seas to Holland. The magistrates would not give them
leave to go, and to emigrate without permission had been counted a
crime since the reign of Richard II. Their first attempt to leave the
country was defeated and their leaders imprisoned. During their second
attempt, after a large number of their men had reached the ship with
many of their household goods, and while their wives and children were
waiting to embark, those on the beach were surprised and arrested, and
their goods confiscated. Public opinion forbade sending helpless women
and children to prison for no other offense than agreeing with and
wishing to join their husbands and fathers.  Consequently the
magistrates let their prisoners go, but made no provision for
them. Helpless and destitute, they were taken in and cared for by the
people of the countryside, and sheltered until their men returned. The
latter had suffered shipwreck, because the Dutch captain had attempted
to sail away when he saw the approach of the English officers. When
the church had once more raised sufficient funds for the emigration,
the magistrates gave them a contemptuous permission to depart, "glad
to be rid of them at any price."  So, in 1608, they also joined the
English exiles in Amsterdam. The rank injustice and cruelty of their
treatment, together with their patience and forbearance under their
sufferings, drew people's attention to the character and worth of the
pious "pilgrims" and Separatists whom James was constantly driving
forth from England.

Meanwhile, both in England and on the continent, the Separatists held
fast to the principles of their leaders, of which the cardinal ones
were a church wherein membership was not by birthright, but by
"conversion;" over which magistrates or government should have no
control; in which each congregation constituted an independent unit,
coequal with all others; and with which the state should have nothing
more to do than to see that members respected the decrees of the
church and were obedient to its discipline.

On the continent, the Separatists elaborated these fundamentals and
developed detailed and systematic expression of them. Such were the
"True Description out of the Word of God of the Visible Church" of the
London-Amsterdam church, put forth in 1589, and in which Barrowe
himself outlined his system; the "True Confession," issued by the same
church about ten years later; "The Points of Difference," some
fourteen in number, in which the London-Amsterdam church set forth
wherein it differed from the English church; and the "Seven Articles,"
signed by John Robinson and William Brewster.  This last document the
exiled Scrooby church sent from Leyden to the English Council of State
in 1617, with the hope of convincing King James that if allowed to go
to America under the Virginia patent, and to worship there in their
own fashion, they would be desirable colonists and law-abiding
subjects. The "True Confession"[n] sets forth the nature, powers,
order, and officers of the church. It limits the sacraments to the
members, and baptism to their children.  It insists upon the wisdom of
churches seeking advice from one another, and of their use of
certificates of membership so as to guard against the admission of
strangers coming from other churches, and possibly of unworthy
character. In the definition of eldership, the "True Confession"
passes out of the haze in which Barrowe's "True Description" left the
conflicting powers of the eldership, and of the church. It plainly
asserts that the elders have the power of guidance and also of
control, should members attempt to censure them or to interfere in
matters beyond their knowledge. This platform also insists that
magistrates should uphold the church which it defines, because it is
the one true church, and that they should oppose all others as
anti-Christian. [15] In the "Points of Difference," stress is again
laid upon the covenant-nature of the church, upon its voluntary
support, upon the right of election of officers, and upon the
abolishment of "Popish Canons, Courts, Classes, Customs or any human
inventions," including the Popish liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer,
and "all Monuments of Idolatry in garments or in other things, and all
Temples, Chapels, etc." Many of the Puritans desired these same
changes. Many favored a polity giving the local churches some degree
of choice in the election of their officers.  If the "Points of
Difference" aimed to lay bare the errors of Episcopacy and of
Presbyterianism as well as to demonstrate the superior merits of the
new aspirant for the status of a national church, the "Seven Articles"
[16] aimed to minimize differences in church usage by omitting mention
of them when possible and by emphasizing agreement. The evident
advance along the line of a more authoritative eldership had developed
out of the experience of the first two English churches in
Amsterdam. John Robinson and his followers had held more closely to
Robert Browne's standard of Congregationalism, for Robinson maintained
that the government of the church should be vested in its membership
rather than in its eldership alone. In order to maintain this
principle in greater purity, Robinson withdrew his fold from their
first resting-place in Amsterdam to Leyden. Richard Clyfton, who had
been pastor of the church in Scrooby, remained in Amsterdam, partly
because he felt too old to migrate again, and partly because he leaned
to Francis Johnson's more aristocratic theories of church
government. These divergent views caused trouble in the Amsterdam
churches, and Robinson wished to be far enough away to be out of the
vortex of doctrinal eddies. For eleven years his people lived a
peaceful and exemplary church life in Leyden, and it was chiefly their
longing to rear their children in an English home and under English
influences that made them anxious to emigrate to America. As the years
passed, Robinson sympathized more with the Barrowistic standards of
other churches and came also to regard more leniently the English
Established Church as one having true religion under corrupt forms and
ceremonies, and accordingly one with which he could hold a limited
fellowship. This was a step in the approachment of Separatist and
Puritan, and Robinson was a most influential writer. Of necessity, his
work was largely controversial, but he wrote from the standpoint of
defense, and rarely departed from a broad and kindly spirit. In the
"Seven Articles" Robinson admits the royal supremacy in so far as to
countenance a passive obedience.  His teaching had the greatest
influence in shaping the religious life of the first and second
generation of New Englanders.

The Separatists who remained in England devoted themselves to the
discussion of particular topics rather than to platforms of faith and
discipline. Many of the writers were men who, like the pastors of two
of the exiled churches, were at first ministers in good standing in
the English church; but, later, had allowed their Puritan tendencies
to outrun the bounds of that party and to become convictions that the
Bible commanded their separation from the Establishment as witnesses
to the corruptions it countenanced. Poring over the Bible story, they
had become enamored with the simplicity of the Gospel age.

From the days of Elizabeth, the English nation became more and more a
people of one book, and that book the Bible. As, deeply dyed with
Calvinism, they read over and over its sacred pages, they became a
serious, sombre, purposeful--and almost fanatic people. The faults and
extravagances of the Puritan party and of the later Commonwealth do
not at this time concern us. It is with their purposefulness, their
determination to make the church a home of vigorous and visible
righteousness, and to preserve their ecclesiastical and civil
liberties from the encroachment of Stuart pretensions, that we have to
do. More and more, as has been said, the Puritan was coming to the
conviction that the best way to reform the church would be to
substitute some restrictive policy for her all-embracing membership,
or, at least, to supplement it by such measures of local church
discipline as should practically exclude the unregenerate and the
immoral. Again, the Church of England could be arraigned as a
politico-ecclesiastical institution, and in the pages of the Bible,
King James's theory of the divine right of kings and bishops found no
support. It was obnoxious alike to Separatist and Puritan, and James's
Puritan subjects had the sympathy of more than three fourths of the
squires and burgesses in the king's first Parliament of 1604, while
the Separatists counted some twenty thousand converts in his
realm. The Puritan opposition was a formidable one to provoke. Yet
"the wisest fool in Christendom" jeered at its clergy and scolded its
representatives in Parliament for daring to warn him, in their reply
to his boasted divine right of kings, that

    Your majesty would be misinformed if any man should deliver that
    the Kings of England have any absolute power in themselves either
    to alter religion, or to make any laws concerning the same,
    otherwise than as in temporal causes, by consent of Parliament.

It was the extravagant claims for himself and his bishops, coupled
with his lawless overriding of justice and his profligate use of the
national wealth, that undermined the king's throne and prepared the
downfall of the House of Stuart.  Notwithstanding the remonstrance of
Parliament, James's insistence upon his divine right, by very force of
reiteration, whether his own or that of the clergy who favored
royalty, won a growing recognition from a conservative people.  For
his king as the political head of the nation, the Puritan had all the
Englishman's half-idolatrous reverence, until James's own acts
outraged justice and substituted contempt.

The self-restraint for which every Separatist, every Puritan, strove,
was characteristic of the great reform party. They asked only for
ecclesiastical betterment, for the reform of the ecclesiastical
courts, for provision for a godly ministry, and for the suppression of
"Popish usages."  These requests of the "Millenary Petition" were,
after the Guy Fawkes plot, urged with all the intensity of a people
who, as they looked abroad upon the feeble and warring Protestantism
of Europe, and at home upon the attempt to revive Romanism, believed
themselves the sole hope and savior of the Protestant
cause. Persecution had created a small measure of tolerance throughout
all nonconformist bodies. Fear of the revival of Catholicism, the
renewed attempt to enforce the Three Articles, the dismissal from
their parishes of three hundred Puritan ministers, and the hand and
glove policy of the king and his bishops, welded together the variants
in the Puritan party. The desire for personal righteousness, for
morality in church and state, which had seized upon the masses in the
nation, stood aghast at the profligacy of the king and his courtiers.
Reason seemed to cry aloud for reform, preferably for a reform that
should be free from every trace of the old hypocrisies, but which
should be strong within the old episcopal system which had endured for
centuries and which still kept its hold upon the vast majority of the
people.  And to this idea of reform the great Puritan party clung,
until the exactions of the Stuarts, their suppression of both
religious and civil rights, forced upon it a civil war and the
formation of the Commonwealth. As a preliminary training of the men of
the Puritan armies and of the Commonwealth, and for their great
contest, all the years of Bible study, of controversial writing, of
individual suffering, were needed.  These brought forth the necessary
moral earnestness, the mental acumen, the enduring strength.  These
qualities, though most noticeable in the leaders, were well-nigh
universal traits. Every common soldier felt himself the equal of his
officer as a soldier of God, a defender of the faith, and a necessary
builder of Christ's new kingdom upon earth. To this growing sense of
democracy, to this sense of personal responsibility and
self-sacrifice, the teaching, the writings, and the sufferings of the
oppressed Separatists, as well as those of the persecuted Puritans,
had contributed.

When, in 1620, James I permitted the Pilgrims of Leyden to emigrate,
they planted in Plymouth of New England the first American
Congregational church and erected there the first American
commonwealth. The influence of this Separatist church upon New England
religious life belongs to another chapter. Here it is only necessary
to repeat that its members differed not at all in creed, only in
polity, from the English established church out of which they had
originally come. With the English Puritan they were one in faith,
while they differed little from him in theories of church government,
though much in practice. In America, the Plymouth colonists at once
set up the same church polity as in Leyden, one from which, as has
been shown, many of the English Puritans would have borrowed the
features of a converted or covenant membership and of local
self-government, or at least some measure of it. Eight years were to
elapse before the great Puritan exodus began.  In those eight years
both parties, through the discipline of time, were to be brought still
nearer to a common standard of church life. When the vanguard of the
Puritans reached the Massachusetts shore, the Plymouth church stood
ready to extend the right hand of fellowship. How it did so, and how
it impressed itself upon the church life in the three colonies of
Massachusetts, New Haven, and Connecticut, is a part of the story of
the earliest period of colonial Congregationalism.


[a] "Our pious Ancestors transported themselves with regard unto
Church Order and Discipline, not with respect to the Fundamentals in
Doctrine."--Richard Mather, _Attestation to the Ratio
Disciplina_, p. 10.

"The issue on which the Pilgrims and Puritans alike left sweet fields
and comfortable homes and settled ways of the land of their birth for
this raw wilderness, was primarily an issue of politics rather than of
the substance of religious life."--G. L. Walker, _Some Aspects of
Religious Life in New England_, p. 19.

[b] "After the 17th century 'Independent' was chiefly used in England,
while 'Congregational' was decidedly preferred in New England, where
the 'consociation' of the churches formed a more important feature of
the system." "Congregational" first appeared in manuscript in 1639, in
print in 1642. "Congregationalist" appeared in 1692, and
"Congregationalism," not until 1716.--J. Murray, _A New English
Dict.  on Hist. Principles._

[c] Separatism is commonly said to date from the year 1554.  About
1564, the other branch of the reform party was nicknamed
"Puritan."--G. L. Walker, _History of the First Church in
Hartford_, p. 6.

[d] Another noted preacher who left an indelible impression upon
several early New England ministers was William Perkins, who was in
discourse "strenuous, searching, and ultra-Calvinistic." He was a
Cambridge man, filling the positions of Professor of Divinity, Master
of Trinity, and Chancellor of the University.--G. L. Walker, _Some
Aspects of the Religious Life in New England_, p. 14.

[e] Cartwright in 1574, the year of its publication, translated
Travers's _Ecclesiasticae Disciplinae et Anglicanae Ecclesiae ab
illa Aberrationis, plena e verbo Dei & dilucida Explicatio_, and
made it the basis of a practical attempt to introduce the Presbyterian
system into England. More than five hundred of the clergy seconded his
attempt, subscribing to the principles that (1) there can be only one
right form of church government, but one church order and one form of
church, namely, that described in the Scriptures; (2) that every local
church should have a presbytery of elders to direct its affairs; and
(3) that every church should obey the combined opinion of all the
churches in fellowship with it. In this declaration lay a blow at the
Queen's supremacy.--H. M. Dexter, _Congregationalism as seen in
Lit_. p. 55.

[f] "Browne's polity was essentially, though unintentionally,
democratic, and that gives it a closer resemblance in some features to
the purely democratic Congregationalism of the present century, than
to the more aristocratic, one might almost say semi-Presbyterianized,
Congregationalism of Barrowe and the founders of New England. His
picture of the covenant relation of men in the church, under the
immediate sovereignty of God, he extended to the state; and it led him
as directly, and probably as unintentionally, to democracy in the one
field as in the other. His theory implied that all governors should
rule by the will of the governed, and made the basis of the state on
its human side essentially a compact."--W. Walker, _Creeds and
Platforms_, pp. 15, 16. See also H. M. Dexter, _Congregationalism
as seen in Lit_., pp. 96-107; 235-39; 351; R. Browne, _Book which
Sheweth, Def_., 51.

[g] Barrowe wrote, "Though there be communion in the Church, yet is
there no equality." This is in strong contrast to Browne's, "Every one
of the church is made King and Priest and Prophet under Christ to
uphold and further the kingdom of God." Barrowe continues, "The Church
of Christ is to obey and submit unto her leaders.... The Church
knoweth how to give reverence unto her leaders." In his _True
Description_ there is a hazy attempt to define how far the
membership of the church may judge its elders. This authority of the
elders was defined more clearly and elaborated by Barrowe's followers
in their _True Confession_, published in Amsterdam in
1596-98.--H. Barrowe, _A True Description; Discovery of False
Churches_, p. 188; _A Plain Refutation of Mr. Gifford_, p. 129
(ed. of 1605).

[h] "Traces of this (Barrowe's) innovation on apostolic
Congregationalism have been aptly characterized as a Presbyterian
heart within a Congregational body, and are seen long after the
denomination grew to be a power in New England."--A. E.  Dunning,
_Congregationalists in America_, p. 61.

[i] Barrowe says, "over sixty."

[j] The first English Presbytery was organized in 1572. Among its
organizers, there was the seeming determination to treat the Episcopal
system as a mere legal appendage.--F. J. Powicke, _Henry
Barrowe_, p. 139.

[k] At the height of its prosperity this church contained about three
hundred communicants, with representatives from twenty-nine English
counties. Among them was one John Bolton, who had been a member of
Mr. Fitz's church in 1571. At the beginning of James the First's
reign, 1603, Separatist converts numbered 20,000 souls in England.

[l] "The wish for a reform in the Liturgy, the dislike of
superstitious usages, of the use of the surplice, the sign of the
cross in baptism, the gift of the ring in marriage, the posture of
kneeling at the Lord's Supper, was shared by a large number of the
clergy and laity alike. At the opening of Elizabeth's reign almost all
the higher churchmen but Parker were opposed to them, and a motion for
their abolition in Convocation was lost but by a single
vote."--J. R. Green, _Short History of the English People_,
p. 459.

[m] John Davenport, in his _Answer to the Letter of Many Ministers
in Old England_, p. 3.

[n] Its full title is "A True Confession of the Faith and Humble
Acknowledgement of the Allegeance which wee his Majestes Subjects
falsely called Brownists, doo hould towards God and yeild his Majestie
and all others that are over us in the Lord."



    Those who cross the sea change not their affection but their

The rule of absolutism forced the transplanting of a democratic
church. The arrogance of the House of Stuart compelled English
Puritans to seek refuge in America. The exercise of the divine right
of kings and of the divine power of bishops provoked the commonwealths
of New England and the development there of the Congregational church,
as later it brought the Commonwealth of Cromwell, with its tolerance
of Independent and Presbyterian.

When the Pilgrims left England, the Puritans had entered upon their
long contest with James over their ecclesiastical and also their
constitutional rights. At his accession, the king had seemed inclined
to tolerate the Catholics. Yet only a short time elapsed before many
Romanists were found upon the proscribed lists. The Guy Fawkes plot
followed. Its scope, its narrow margin of failure, coupled with the
king's previous leniency towards Catholics and his bitter persecution
of nonconformists, created a frenzy of fear among
Protestants. Immediately the Puritans saw in every objectionable
ceremonial of the English church some hidden purpose, some Jesuitical
contrivance for overthrowing Protestantism.  And as the ritualistic
clergy made their pulpits resound with the doctrines of the divine
right of kings, the divine right of bishops, and of passive obedience,
and as they thundered at the preachers who opposed or denied these
principles, the high-church party came to be associated more and more
with the unconstitutional policy of the king.  And this was so,
notwithstanding the praiseworthy efforts of Archbishop Abbott to
modify the practical working of these royal notions. This archbishop
of Canterbury was a man of great learning and of gentle spirit. His
name stands second among the translators of King James's version,
while as head of the Ecclesiastical Commission his power was great,
his influence far reaching. So earnestly did he strive to moderate the
king's severity toward nonconformists, to bring about a compromise
between the two great church parties, and so simple was the ritual in
his palace at Lambeth, that many people believed the kindly prelate
was more than half a Puritan at heart. He even refused to license the
publication of a sermon that most unduly exalted the king's
prerogative, and he forbade the reading of James's proclamation
permitting games and sports on Sunday. This proclamation was the
famous "Book of Sports," and many Puritan clergymen paid dearly for
refusing to read it to their congregations. Its issue exasperated and
discouraged the reform party, and, from this time, the Puritans began
to lose hope that any moral or religious betterment would be permitted
among the people.

In the constitutional imbroglio, James resented the attempt of
Parliament to curb his extravagance by its method of granting him
money on condition that he would make ecclesiastical reforms and grant
the redress of other grievances.  When the king grew angry and
attempted to rule without a Parliament, the Puritan party broadened
its purpose and became the champion also of civil liberty. Among his
offenses, James refused to restore to their pulpits three hundred
Puritan ministers whom, in 1605, he silenced for not accepting the
Three Articles, notwithstanding the fact that Parliament itself had
refused to make them binding upon the clergy. The king also refused to
define the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, and to respect
the limitation of the powers of the High Court of Commission when they
were determined by the judges. And further, James positively refused
to admit that with Parliament alone rested the power to levy imposts
and duties. After wrangling with his first Parliament for seven years
over these and similar questions, the king ruled for the next three
without that representative body. Finding it necessary, in 1614, to
convene his lords, squires, and burgesses, the king was disappointed
to find that the new Parliament was no more pliable to his will than
its predecessor had been, and he shortly dissolved it. The great
leaders of the opposition, such as Coke, Eliot, Pym, Selden and
Hampden, were not all Puritans, but these men, and others of their
kind, joined with the reform party in demanding that the rights of the
people should be respected and the evils of government
redressed. James's whole reign was marked by quarrels with a stubborn
Parliament and by periods of absolute rule that were characterized by
forced loans and other unlawful extortions.

Upon the death of James, in 1625, the nation turned hopefully to the
young prince, who thus far had pleased them in many ways. In contrast
to the ungainly, rickety, garrulous James, Charles was kingly in
appearance, bearing, and demeanor.  He was reserved in speech and
manner. So far, the stubbornness which he had inherited from his
father was mistaken for a strong will, and his attitude towards Spain,
after the failure of the Catholic marriage which had been arranged for
him, was regarded as indicating his strong Protestantism. It took but
a short time, however, to reveal his stubbornness, his vanity, pique,
extravagance, and insincerity. Within four years, he had dissolved
Parliament three times, had sent Sir John Eliot to the Tower for
boldly defending the rights of the people, had dismissed the Chief
Justice from office for refusing to recognize as legal taxes laid
without consent of Parliament, had thrown John Hampden into prison for
refusing to pay a forced loan, and, finally, had signed the "Petition
of Rights" [17] in 1628, only to violate it almost as soon as the
contemporary bill for subsidies had been passed.  Charles, finding he
could not coerce Parliament, dissolved it, and entered upon his twelve
years of absolute rule, marked by imprisonments, by arbitrary fines,
forced loans, sales of monopolies, and illegal taxes, which raised the
annual revenue from £500,000 to £800,000. [18]

It was during the first years of Charles's misrule--to be specific,
in 1627--that "some friends being together in Lincolnshire fell into
discourse about New England and the planting of the Gospel there."
Among them were, probably, Thomas Dudley (who mentions the discussion
in a letter to the Countess of Lincoln), Atherton Hough, Thomas
Leverett, and possibly also John Cotton and Roger Williams, for all
these men were wont to assemble at Tattersall Castle, the family seat
of Lord Lincoln. The latter was, in religious matters, a staunch
Puritan, and in political, a fearless opponent of forced loans and
illegal measures. Thomas Dudley was his steward and confidential
adviser, and the others were his personal friends and, in politics,
his loyal followers.  These men, afterwards prominent in New England,
had watched with interest the fortunes of the Plymouth Colony, and now
concluded that since England lay helpless in the grasp of Charles the
time had come to prepare somewhere in the American wilderness a refuge
and home for oppressed Englishmen and persecuted Puritans.  This
little group of men began at once to correspond with others in London
and also in the west of England who were like-minded with
themselves. Men of the west, in and about Dorchester, had for some
four years or more been interested in the New England fisheries
between the Kennebec and Cape Ann. On that promontory they had landed
some fourteen men, hoping to start a permanent settlement. The plan
had failed, the partnership had been dissolved, and a few of the
settlers had removed to Salem, Massachusetts.  The Rev. John White,
the Puritan rector of Salem, England, saw a great opportunity. He at
once interested some wealthy merchants to make Salem, in
Massachusetts, the first post in a colonization scheme of great
magnitude, and as leader of an advance party they secured John
Endicott.  From the council for New England the company secured a
patent on March 19, 1628, for the lands between the Merrimac and the
Charles rivers.  On June 20, 1628, thirteen days after Charles had
signed the "Petition of Rights" that he was so soon to violate, the
advance guard of the colonists set sail for Salem, in the New World,
arriving there early in the following September.

In America, friendly relations were soon established between the
settlers of Salem and Plymouth. On the voyage over, sickness, due to
the unwholesome salt in which some of their provisions had been
packed, broke out among the Salem colonists, and continuing in the
settlement, forced Endicott to send to Plymouth for Dr.  Samuel
Fuller, deacon in the church there. He was skilled both in medicine
and in church-lore, for he had also been one of the two deacons in the
church during its Leyden days. He worked among the disabled at Salem,
and, later, among the sick colonists at Boston, paving the way for a
better understanding and closer friendship with the Plymouth
settlers. There had been a tendency to look upon these earlier
colonists as extremists. Their enemies in derision called them
"Brownists." They did in truth cling most firmly to Browne's doctrine
that the civil magistrate had no control over the church of Christ. In
their opinion, the function of the civil power in any union of church
and state was limited to upholding the spiritual power by approving
the church's discipline, since that had for its object the moral
welfare of the people. As Endicott and Fuller talked together of all
that in their hearts they both desired for the church of the future,
they realized that they agreed on many points.  The Plymouth church
had been virtually under the sole rule of its elder, William Brewster,
during the greater part of its life in America, for its aged pastor
had died before he could rejoin his flock. Such government had tended
to modify the early insistence upon the principle that the power of
the church was "above that of its officers." This doctrine was
associated in men's minds more with Robert Browne, who had originated
it, than with Henry Barrowe, who had modified it, and it was towards
Barrowism that the larger body of Puritans were drawn.

The Salem people, in their isolation three thousand miles from the
home-land, felt the necessity of some form of church organization. As
they had fled from the offensive ceremonial of the English Church,
they determined to be free from cross and prayer-book, and from
anything suggestive of offense. In the great matter of membership and
constitution, their new church was to be brought still nearer to the
requirements and simplicity of Gospel standards. More and more
Puritans were coming to prefer the church of "covenant membership" to
the birthright membership of the English Establishment. Many were
urging a limited independence in the organization, management, and
discipline of members of local churches. Some among the Puritans had
adopted the Presbyterian polity, while many preferred that form of
ordination. Such ordination had been accepted as valid for English
clergymen during the earlier part of Elizabeth's reign.  It was still
so recognized by all the English clergy for the ministers of the
Reformed churches on the Continent, and with such, English clergymen
of all opinions still continued to hold very friendly intercourse. It
was not until Laud's ascendency that claims for the divine right of
Episcopacy, to the exclusion of other branches of the Christian faith,
were strenuously urged.  Thus it happened that after many conferences,
Endicott could write to Governor Bradford in May of 1629, that:--

    I acknowledge myself much bound to you for your kind love and care
    in sending Mr. Samuel Fuller among us, and rejoice much that I am
    by him satisfied touching your judgment of the outward form of
    God's worship. It is, as far as I can gather, no other than is
    warranted by the evidence of truth, and the same which I have ever
    professed and maintained ever since the Lord in mercy revealed
    Himself unto me: being far from the common report that hath been
    spread of you touching that particular.

Endicott further expresses the wish that they may all "as Christian
brethren be united by a heavenly and unfeigned love;" that as servants
of one Master and of one household they should not be strangers, but
be "marked with one and the same mark, and sealed with one and the
same seal, and have, for the main, one and the same heart guided by
one and the same Spirit of truth," and that they should bend their
hearts and forces to the furthering of the work for which they had
come into the wilderness. Thus, Salem had decided upon the type of
church her people wanted, while she still waited for the ministers who
were coming with the larger number of her colonists, and whom she
believed competent to guide her religious life.

Only a few weeks after the sending of Endicott's letter to Governor
Bradford, five vessels arrived, bringing several hundred well-equipped
colonists. They had been sent out by the Governor and Company of
Massachusetts Bay. This corporation had bought out the Salem Company,
and was backed by the most influential Puritans of wealth and social
prominence, by men who had lost all hope of either religious or civil
freedom when Laud had been raised to the bishopric of London and when
Charles persisted in his despotic government. By the elevation of Laud
to the bishopric of London, Charles offended the most puritanically
inclined diocese in England, and the whole Puritan party. In his new
office, Laud quickly succeeded in severing communication between the
Reformed churches on the Continent and those in England. He strictly
prohibited the common people from using the annotated pocket-Bibles
sent out by the Genevan press. He forbade the entrance into office of
nonconformists as lecturers or chaplains. He put an end to feofments,
so that puritanically inclined men of wealth could no longer control
the livings. He excluded suspended ministers from teaching, and also
from the practice of medicine, and even forbade their entering
business life. He required absolute conformity to his own high-church
standards. He insisted upon doing away with all Calvinistic
innovations tending to simplicity of ritual, and upon reviving many
ecclesiastical ceremonies which had fallen into disuse. Hence, English
Puritans saw in America the only hope of the future, and began that
exodus which, during the next ten years, or more, annually sent two
thousand emigrants to the Massachusetts shore to find homes throughout
New England. Of these, the Salem colonists were the first large body
of Puritans to emigrate. Among them were three ministers, Endicott's
former pastor Samuel Skelton, Francis Higginson, and Francis Bright.

When Higginson and Skelton learned of the friendship with Plymouth,
and that Endicott had adopted the system of church organization
established in the older settlement, they accepted it as being in
accord with the principles of the Reformed churches on the Continent,
whose pattern they had themselves resolved to follow in organizing the
church at Salem. Not so Francis Bright. He could not agree with the
others, and so withdrew to Charlestown in order not to embarrass the
young church. Higginson and Skelton were each, in turn questioned as
to their conception of a minister's calling. Replying that it was
twofold: a call from within to a conviction that a man was chosen of
God to be His minister, and thereby endowed with proper gifts, and a
call from without by the free choice of a "covenanted church" to be
its pastor, they were accepted as satisfactory candidates for the two
highest offices in the Salem church. Later, upon an appointed day of
prayer and fasting, July 20, 1629, the people by written ballot chose
Francis Skelton to be their pastor and Thomas Higginson their
teacher. When they had accepted their election, "first Mr. Higginson,
with three or four of the gravest members of the church, laid their
hands upon Mr. Skelton, using prayer therewith. This being done, there
was imposition of hands upon Mr. Higginson also."  Upon a still later
day of prayer and humiliation, August 6, elders and deacons were
chosen and ordained. Upon this day, the two ministers and many among
the people gave their assent to the Confession and Covenant which the
pastor and teacher had revised. At the second of these two important
meetings, Governor Bradford and delegates from the Plymouth church
were present. "Coming by sea they were hindered by cross-winds that
they could not be there at the beginning of the day; but they came
into the assembly afterward, and gave them the right hand of
fellowship, wishing all prosperity and all blessedness to such good
beginnings." [19] The Salem covenant in its original form was a single
sentence: "We covenant with the Lord and with one another; and doe
bynd ourselves in the presence of God to walk together in all his
wayes, according as he is pleased to reveale him' self unto us in his
Blessed word of truth." [20]

The formation of the church of Salem by covenant practice[a] marked
the beginning of the Congregational polity among the Puritan body;
their local ordination of their minister, the break with English
Episcopacy, though, for a considerable while longer, the colonists
still spoke of themselves as members of the Church of England, for
both the colonial and the home authorities were equally anxious to
avoid the stigma of Separatism.

The next large body of colonists to leave England was Governor
Winthrop's company, and, upon their arrival, the Boston church quickly
followed the example of Salem. Next, the Dorchester church, afterwards
the church of Windsor, Connecticut, emigrated as a body from Plymouth,
England, where, before embarking, its members seem to have taken some
form of membership pledge,--an unusual proceeding, but operating to
put this church in line with those already organized in Plymouth and
Massachusetts. The Watertown church, whence emigrants were to settle
Wethersfield, Connecticut, also organized with a covenant similar to
that of Salem and Boston. These four oldest congregations set the type
for the thirty-five New England churches that were founded previous to
1640, as well as for the later ones that followed the standard thus
early set up by Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. There was
some variation in the form of covenant,[b] and to it a brief
confession of faith, or creed, was early added. There was some
variation also in the interpretation of the laying on of hands in
ordination as to whether it was to be considered, in cases where the
candidate had previously been ordained in England, as ordination or as
confirmation of that previously received.[c] In regard to officers,
the churches at first provided themselves with pastor, ruling elders
(one or two, but generally only one), and deacons.  There were
exceptions among them, as at Plymouth, where there was no pastor for
ten years, and in which there had never been a teacher, for John
Robinson had filled both offices. As the first generation of colonists
passed away, partly because of lack of fit candidates, partly because
of the kinship of the two offices of pastor and teacher, and partly
because of the heavy expense in supporting both, the office of teacher
was dropped. The ruling eldership also was gradually discontinued; but
at first the churches generally had, with the exception of widows, the
full complement of officers as appointed by Browne and Barrowe. The
usual order of worship was (1) Prayer. (2) Psalm. (3) Scripture
reading, followed by the pastor's preaching to explain and apply
it. (4) Prophesying or exhortation, the elders calling for speakers,
whether members or guests from other churches. (5) Questions from old
or young, women excepted.  (6) Occasional administration of the Lord's
Supper or of Baptism, rites known as the administration of "the Seals
of the Covenant."  (7) Psalm. (8) Collection. (9) Dismissal with
blessing. Such were the New England churches, the churches of a
transplanted creed and race.  They were Calvinistic in dogma,
democratic in organization, and of extreme simplicity in their order
of worship.


[a] This fundamental principle of Congregationalism belonged to the
Separatists and was one of their distinctive tenets. It was never
adopted by the English Puritans as a body, nor was ordination by a
local church. The Dorchester church had some form of pledge at the
time of its organization. So also, possibly, because influenced by
Dutch example, did Rev. Hugh Peter's church in Rotterdam. But these
were exceptions.--W. Walker, _Hist, of Cong._, p. 192.

[b] The evolution of the Salem covenant and creed is given in detail
in W. Walker's _Creeds and Platforms_, pp. 99-122.

The Windsor Creed of 1647, though not covering the range of Christian
doctrine, contained in simple phrase the essentials of Gospel
redemption from sin through repentance and faith in the atoning work
of Christ and a life of love toward God and our neighbor, through the
strength which comes from him.--W. Walker, _Creeds and
Platforms_, p. 154.

[c] The evolution of the Salem covenant and creed is given in detail
in W. Walker's _Creeds and Platforms_, pp. 99-122.

The Windsor Creed of 1647, though not covering the range of Christian
doctrine, contained in simple phrase the essentials of Gospel
redemption from sin through repentance and faith in the atoning work
of Christ and a life of love toward God and our neighbor, through the
strength which comes from him.--W. Walker, _Creeds and
Platforms_, p. 154.



    For God and the Church!

With the great Puritan body in England, and with the great mass of the
English nation, whatever their religious opinions, the colonists of
Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven held in common one
foremost theory of civil government. Pausing for a brief consideration
of this fundamental and far-reaching theory, which created so many
difficulties in the infant commonwealths, and which confronts us again
and again as we follow their later history, we find that the Pilgrim
Separatist of Plymouth, the strict Puritan of Massachusetts, the voter
in the theocratic commonwealth of New Haven, and the holder of the
liberal franchise in Connecticut, all clung to the proposition that
the State's first duty was the maintenance and support of religion.
Thereby they meant enforced taxation for the support of its
predominant type, conformity to its mode of worship, and in the last
analysis supervision or control of the Church by the State or by the
General Court of each colony. As a corollary to this proposition, the
duty of the churches was to define the creed, to set forth the church
polity, and to determine the bounds of morality within the state. Two
of the colonies held the corollary to be so important that it almost
changed places with the proposition when Massachusetts and New Haven
became rigid theocracies.[a]

With respect to taxation in the four colonies the statement should be
modified, inasmuch as the support of religion was at first voluntary
in all four: in Plymouth until 1657, in Massachusetts from 1630 to
1638, in Connecticut before 1640; yet both New Haven and Connecticut
accepted the suggestion made by the Commissioners of the United
Colonies on September 5, 1644, "that each man should be required to
set down what he would voluntarily give for the support of the gospel,
and that any man who refused should be rated according to his
possessions and compelled to pay" the sum so levied. Since in
religious affairs strict conformity was required by the three Puritan
colonies, and since the liberty accorded to the few early dissenters
in Plymouth was not such as to modify her prevailing polity or
worship, these first few years of voluntary assessment do not nullify
the dominant truth of the preceding statement.

In the intimate relation of Church and State, the people of these four
New England colonies regarded the magistrates as "Nursing Fathers" of
the Church, [2l] who were to take "special note and care of every
Church and provide and assign allotments of land for the maintenance
of each of them." [22] The State, accepting the same view of
caretaker, carried its supervision still farther and devised a system
for the maintenance of the ministry in accordance with sundry laws
made to insure the people's support, respect, and obedience.  The
churches reciprocated. First of all, they provided their members with
the approved and accepted essentials of religious life, and they
further exercised a rigorous supervision over the moral welfare of the
whole community. Secondly, they aided the State through the influence
of their ministers, who, on all important occasions, were expected to
meet with the magistrates to consult and advise upon affairs whether
spiritual or temporal. But the framers of governments were not
satisfied with these measures that aimed to present a strongly
established church, capable of extending a fine moral, ethical, and
religious influence over the colonists, and also to enforce upon the
wayward, the careless, or the indifferent among them its support and
their obedience. If these measures provided for the ordinary welfare
of the community and for the usual relations b between the ministers
and their people, there were still possibilities of factional strife
to guard against, and such warfare in that age might or might not
confine itself within the limits of theological controversy or within
the lines of church organization. Consequently, the better to preserve
the churches from schism or corrupting innovations and the
commonwealth from discord, the supreme control of the churches was
lodged in the General Court of each colony. It could, whenever
necessary to secure harmony, whether ecclesiastical or civil,
legislate with reference to all or any of the churches within its
jurisdiction.  Examples of such legislation occur frequently in the
religious history of the colonies, especially of Massachusetts and
Connecticut. Such interdependence of the spiritual and temporal power
practically amounted to a union of Church and State. Indeed, in
Massachusetts and New Haven, to be a voter, a man must first be a
member of a church of approved standing.[b] In more liberal Plymouth
and Connecticut, the franchise, at first, was made to depend only upon
conduct, though it was early found necessary to add a property
qualification in order to cut off undesirable voters.[23] In the
Connecticut colony, it was expressly enacted that church censure
should not debar from civil privilege. When advocating this amount of
separation between church and civil power, Thomas Hooker was not moved
by any such religious principle as influenced the Separatists of
Plymouth. On the contrary, it was his political foresight which made
him urge upon the colonists a more representative government[c] than
would be obtainable from a franchise based upon church-membership
where, as in the colonial churches, admission to such membership was
conditioned upon exacting tests. The great Connecticut leader was far
in advance of the statesmen of his time, for they held that the
religion of a prince or government must be the religion of the people;
that every subject must be by birthright a member of the national
church, to leave which was both heretical and disloyal and should be
punished by political and civil disabilities. This union of Church and
State was the theory of the age,--a principle of statecraft throughout
all of Europe as well as in England. Naturally it emigrated to New
England to be a foundation of civil government and a fortress for that
type of nonconformity which the colonists chose to transplant and make
predominant. The type, as we have seen, was Congregationalism, and the
Congregational church became the established church in each of the
four colonies.

This theory of Church and State was the cause at bottom of all the
early theological dissensions which disturbed the peace and threatened
the colony of Massachusetts. Moreover, their settlement offers the
most striking contrast between the fundamental theory of
Congregationalism and the theory of a union between Church and
State. With the power of supervision over the Church lodged in the
General Court, whatever the theory of Congregationalism as to the
independence of the individual churches, in practice the civil
authority disciplined them and their members, and early invaded
ecclesiastical territory. In Salem, Endicott took it upon himself to
expel Ralph Smith for holding extreme Separatist principles, and
shipped the Browns back to England for persisting in the use of the
Book of Common Prayer. He considered both parties equally dangerous to
the welfare of the community, because, according to the new standard
of church-life, both were censurable. Endicott held that to tolerate
any measure of diversity in religious practices was to cultivate the
ferment of civil disorder. Considering the bitterness, narrowness,
intensity, and also the irritating conviction that every one else was
heretical and anti-Christian, with which men of that age clung to
their religious differences, Endicott had some reason for holding this
opinion. The Boston authorities believed in no less drastic measures
to maintain the civil peace and consequent good name of the
colony. John Davenport of New Haven voiced the Massachusetts sentiment
as well as his own in: "Civil government is for the common welfare of
all, as well in the Church as without; which will then be most
certainly effected, when Public Trust and Power of these matters is
committed to such men as are most approved according to God; and these
are Church-members."[24] Consequently, the Massachusetts law of 1631
[25] forbade any but church members to become freemen of the colony,
and to these only was intrusted any share in its government. A similar
law was later formulated for the New Haven colony. John Cotton echoed
the further sentiment of a New England community when, writing of the
relations between the churches and the magistrates, he defined the
church as "subject to the Magistrate in the matters concerning the
civil peace, of which there are four sorts:" (1) with reference to
men's goods, lives, liberty, and lands; (2) with establishment of
religion in doctrine, worship, and government according to the Word of
God, as also the reformation of corruption in any of these; (3) with
certain public spiritual administrations which may help forward the
public good, as fasts and synods; (4) and finally the church must be
subject to the magistrates in patient suffering of unjust persecution,
since for her to take up the sword in her own defense would only
increase the disturbance of the public peace. [26] As a result of such
public sentiment, churches were not to be organized without the
approval of the magistrates, nor were any "persons being members of
any church ... gathered without the approbation of the magistrates and
the greater part of said churches" (churches of the colony) to be
admitted to the freedom of the commonwealth. [27] This law, or its
equivalent, with reference to church organization was found upon the
statute books of all four colonies.

In a pioneer community and a primitive commonwealth, developing slowly
in accord with the new democratic principles underlying both its
church and secular life, the "maintenance of the peace and welfare of
the churches,"[28] which was intrusted to the care of the General
Court, was frequently equivalent to maintaining the civil peace and
prosperity of the colony. Endicott's deportation of the Browns and the
report of the exclusiveness and exacting tests of membership in the
colonial churches had early led the members of the Massachusetts Bay
Company, resident in England, to fear that the emigrants had departed
from their original intent and purpose.  And the colonists began to
feel that they were in danger of falling under the displeasure of
their king and of their Puritan friends at home. Consequently, there
entered into the settling of all later religious differences in the
colony the determination to avoid appeals to the home country, and
also to avoid any report of disturbance or dissatisfaction that might
be prejudicial to her independence, general policy, or commercial
prosperity.  The recognition of such danger made many persons
satisfied to submit to government by an exclusive class, comprising in
Massachusetts one tenth of the people and in the New Haven colony one
ninth. These alone had any voice in making the laws. In submitting to
their dictation, the large majority of the people had to submit to a
"government that left no incident, circumstance, or experience of the
life of an individual, personal, domestic, social, or civil, still
less anything that concerned religion, free from the direct or
indirect interposition of public authority." [29] Such inquisitorial
supervision was due to the close alliance of Church and State within
the narrow limits of a theocracy. In more liberal Plymouth and
Connecticut, the "watch and ward" over one's fellows, which the early
colonial church insisted upon, was extended only over church members,
and even over them was less rigorous, less intrusive.  Something of
the development of the great authority of the State over the churches
and of its attitude and theirs towards synods may be gleaned from the
earliest pages of Massachusetts ecclesiastical history. The
starting-point of precedent for the elders of the church to be
regarded as advisors only and the General Court as authoritative seems
to have been in a matter of taxation, when, in February, 1632, the
General Court assessed the church in Watertown. The elders advised
resistance; the Court compelled payment.  In the following July, the
Boston church inquired of the churches of Plymouth, Salem, Dorchester,
and Watertown, whether a ruling elder could at the same time hold
office as a civil magistrate.  A correspondence ensued and the answer
returned was that he could not. Thereupon, Mr. Nowell resigned his
eldership in the Boston church. [30] Winthrop mentions eight[d]
important occasions between 1632 and 1635 when the elders, which term
included pastors, teachers, and ruling elders, were summoned by the
General Court of Massachusetts to give advice upon temporal
affairs. In March of 1635-36 the Court "entreated them (the elders)
together with the brethren of every church within the jurisdiction, to
consult and advise of one uniforme order of discipline in the churches
agreable to Scriptures, and then to consider how far the magistrates
are bound to interpose for the preservation of that uniformity and
peace of the churches." [31] The desire of the Court grew in part out
of the influx of new colonists, who did not like the strict church
discipline, and in part out of the tangle of Church and State during
the Roger Williams controversy.  The Court had disciplined Williams as
one, who, having no rights in the corporation, had no ground for
complaint at the hostile reception of his teachings. These the
authorities regarded as harmful to their government and dangerous to
religion.  His too warm adherents in the Salem church were, however,
rightful members of the community, and they had been punished for
upholding one whom the General Court, advised by the elders of the
churches, had seen fit to censure.  Punished thus, ostensibly, for
contempt of the magistrates by the refusal to them of the land they
claimed as theirs on Marblehead Neck, and feeling that the
independence of their church life and their rightful choice in the
selection of their pastor had really been infringed, the Salem church
sent letters to the elders of all the other churches of the Bay,
asking that the magistrates and deputies be admonished for their
decision as a "heinous sin." The Court came out victorious, by
refusing at its next general session to seat the Salem deputies "until
they should give satisfaction by letter" for holding dangerous
opinions and for writing "letters of defamation," and by proceeding to
banish Roger Williams. Before the session of the Court, the elders of
the Massachusetts churches, jointly and individually, labored with the
Salem people and brought the majority to a conviction of their error
in supporting Roger Williams. [e]

The platform of church discipline which the Court advised in 1635-36
was not forthcoming, and the matter was allowed to rest.[f] In 1637,
with the consent of the General Court, a synod of elders and lay
delegates from all the New England churches was called to harmonize
the discordant factions created by the heated Antinomian
controversy. During the synod, the magistrates were present all the
time as hearers, and even as speakers, but not as members. The
dangerous schism was ended more by the Court's banishment of
Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchinson, together with their more prominent
followers, than by the work of the synod. However, Governor Winthrop
was so delighted with the conferences of the synod that, in his
enthusiasm, he suggested that it would be fit "to have the like
meeting once a year, or at least the next year, to settle what yet
remained to be agreed, or if but to nourish love."[32] But his
suggestion was voted down, for the Synod of 1637 was considered by
some to be "a perilous deflection from the theory of
Congregationalism."[33] Even the fortnightly meeting of ministers who
resided near each other, and which it had become a custom to call for
friendly conference, was looked at askance by those[g] who feared in
it the germ of some authoritative body that should come to exercise
control over the individual churches. When this custom was endorsed
and permitted in the "Body of Liberties," in 1641, the assurance that
these meetings "were only by way of Brotherly conference and
consultation" was felt to be necessary to appease the
opposition. When, two and four years later, Anabaptist converts and a
flood of Presbyterian literature called for measures of repression,
and the Court summoned councils to consult upon a course of action, it
was most careful in each case to reassert the doctrine of the complete
independence of the individual church.  Synods, from the purely
Congregational standpoint, were to be called only upon the initiative
of the churches, and were authoritative bodies, composed of both
ministerial and lay delegates from such churches, and their duty was
to confer and advise upon matters of general interest or upon special
problems. In cases where their decisions were unheeded, they could
enforce their displeasure at the contumacious church only by cutting
it off from fellowship. Consequently, though there was some opposition
to the Court's calling of synods and a resultant general restlessness,
there was none when the Court confined its supervision and commands to
individually schismatic churches or to unruly members. The time had
not yet come for the recognition of what this double system of church
government--government by its members, supervision by the Court
--foreboded. The colonists did not see that within it was the embryo
of an authoritative body exercising some of the powers of the
Presbyterian General Assembly. The supervising body might be composed
of laymen acting in their capacity as members of the General Court,
but the powers they exercised were none the less akin to the very ones
that Congregationalism had declared to be heretical and
anti-Christian. Moreover, the tendency was toward an increase of this
authoritative power every time it was exercised and each time that the
colonists submitted to its dictation.

Of the two colonies founded after Massachusetts, Connecticut and New
Haven, the latter preserved the complete independence of her original
church until the admission of the shore towns[h] to her jurisdiction,
when she instituted that friendly oversight of the churches which had
begun to prevail elsewhere. Thereafter her General Court kept a
rigorous oversight over the purity of her churches and the conduct of
their members. The General Court of Connecticut early compelled a
recognition of its authority[i] over the religious life of the people
and its right of special legislation.[j] For example, in 1643, the
Court demanded of the Wethersfield church a list of the grievances
which disturbed it. In the next year, when Matthew Allyn petitioned
for an order to the Hartford church, commanding the reconsideration of
its sentence of excommunication against him, the Court "adjudged his
plea an accusation upon the church" which he was bound to prove.
These incidents from early colonial history in some measure illustrate
the practical working of the theory of Church and State. The
conviction that the State should support one form of religion, and
only one, was ever present to the colonial mind. If confirmation of
its worth were needed, one had only to glance at the turmoil of the
Rhode Island colony experimenting with religious liberty and a
complete separation of Church and State. Like all pioneers and
reformers, she had gathered elements hard to control, and would-be
citizens neither peaceable nor reasonable in their interpretation of
the new range of freedom.  Watching Rhode Island, the Congregational
men of New England hugged more tightly the conviction that their
method was best, and that any variation from it would work havoc. It
was this theory and this conviction, ever present in their minds, that
underlay all ecclesiastical laws, all special legislation with
reference to churches, to their members, or to public fasts and
thanksgivings. This deep-rooted conviction created hatred toward and
fear of all schismatical doctrines, enmity toward all dissenting
sects, and opposition to any tolerance of them.


[a] "The one prime, all essential, and sufficient qualiiy of a
theocracy ... adopted as the form of an earthly government, was that
the civil power should be guided in its exercise by religion and
religious ordinances."--G. E. Ellis, _Puritan Age in Massachusetts,_
p. 188.

[b] "Noe man shal be admitted to the freedome of this body politicke,
but such as are members of some of the churches within the lymitts of
the same."--Mass. Col. Rec. i, 87, under date of May 28, 1631.

"Church members onely shall be free burgesses and they onely shall
chuse magistrates and officers among themselves to haue the power of
transacting in all publique and ciuill affayres of this
plantatio."--New Haven Col. Rec. i, 15; also ii, 115, 116.

The governments of Massachusetts and New Haven "never absolutely
merged church and state." The franchise depended on church-membership,
but the voter, exercising his right in directing the affairs of the
colony, was speaking, "not as the church but as the civil Court of
Legislation and adjudication."--W. Walker, _History of the
Congregational Churches_, p. 123.

Yet it was due to this merging and this dependence that on October 25,
1639, there were only sixteen free burgesses or voters out of one
hundred and forty-four planters in the New Haven Colony.--See
N. H. Col. Rec. i, 20.

"Theoretically Church and State (in Connecticut) were separated:
practically they were so interwoven that separation would have meant
the severance of soul and body."--C. M.  Andrews, _Three River Towns
of Conn_. p. 22.

[c] To John Cotton's "democracy, I do not conceive that ever God did
ordain, as a fit government for church or commonwealth," and to
Gov. Winthrop's objections to committing matters to the judgment of
the body of the people because "safety lies in the councils of the
best part which is always the least, and of the best part, the wiser
is always the lesser," Hooker replied that "in all matters which
concern the common good, a general council, chosen by all, to transact
the business which concerns all, I conceive under favor, most suitable
to rule and most safe for the relief of the whole."--Hutchinson,
_Hist. of Mass._ i, App. iii.

[d] (1) To adjust a difference between Governor Winthrop and Deputy
Dudley in 1632; (2) about building a fort at Nantasket, February,
1632; (3) in regard to the settlement of the Rev. John Cotton,
September, 1633; (4) in consultation concerning Roger Williams's
denial of the patent, January, 1634; (5) concerning rights of trade at
Kennebec, July, 1634; (6) in regard to the fort on Castle Island,
August, 1634; (7) concerning the rumor in 1635 of the coming of a
Governor-General; and (8) in the case of Mr. Nowell.--_Winthrop_,
i, pp. 89, 99, 112, 122, 136-137, 159-181.

[e] Roger Williams was the real author of the letters which the Salem
church was required to disclaim.

[f] Upon a further suggestion from the General Court, John Cotton
prepared a catechism entitled, _Milk for Babes_.

[g] Governor Winthrop replied to Dr. Skelton's objections that "no
church or person could have authority over another church."--See
H. M. Dexter, _Ecclesiastical Councils of New England_, p. 31;
_Winthrop_, i. p. 139.

[h] Guilford, Branford, Milford, Stamford, on the mainland, and
Southold, on Long Island.

[i] The General Court was head of the churches. "It was more than
Pope, or Pope and College of Cardinals, for it exercised all
authority, civil and ecclesiastical. In matters of discipline, faith,
and practice there was no appeal from its decisions. Except the right
to be protected in their orthodoxy the churches had no privileges
which the Court did not confer, or could not take away."--Bronson's
_Early Gov't. in Conn._ p.  347, in
_N. H. Hist. Soc. Papers_, vol. iii.

[j] On August 18, 1658, the court refused, upon complaint of the
Wethersfield church, to remove Mr. Russell. In March, 1661, after duly
considering the matter, the court allowed Mr. Stow to sever his
connection with the church of Middletown.  It concerned itself with
the strife in the Windsor church over an assistant pastor from 1667 to
1680. It allowed the settlement of Woodbury in 1672 because of
dissatisfaction with the Stratford church. It permitted Stratford to
divide in 1669.  These are but a few instances both of the authority
of the General Court over individual churches and of that discord
which, finding its strongest expression in the troubles of the
Hartford church, not only rent the churches of Connecticut from 1650
to 1670, but "insinuated itself into all the affairs of the society,
towns, and the whole community." Another illustration of the court's
oversight of the purity of religion was its investigation in 1670 into
the "soundness of the minister at Rye." For these and hosts of similar
examples see index _Conn. Col. Rec._ vols. i, ii, iii, and iv.



    It is always right that a man should be able to render a reason
    for the faith that is within him.--Sydney Smith.

In each of the New England colonies under consideration, the settlers
organized their church system and established its relation to the
State, expecting that the strong arm of the temporal power would
insure stability and harmony in both religious and civil life. As we
know, they were speedily doomed to disappointment. As we have seen,
they failed to estimate the influences of the new land, where freedom
from the restraint of an older civilization bred new ideas and
estimates of the liberty that should be accorded men. Within the first
decade Massachusetts had great difficulty in impressing religious
uniformity upon her rapidly increasing and heterogeneous
population. She found coercion difficult, costly, dangerous to her
peace, and to her reputation when the oppressed found favorable ears
in England to listen to their woes. Ecclesiastical differences of less
magnitude, contemporary in time and foreshadowing discontent and
opposition to the established order of Church and State, were settled
in more quiet ways.  John Davenport, after witnessing the Antinomian
controversy, declined the pressing hospitality of Massachusetts, and
led his New Haven company far enough afield to avoid theological
entanglements or disputed points of church polity. Unimpeded, they
would make their intended experiment in statecraft and build their
strictly scriptural republic. Still earlier Thomas Hooker, Samuel
Stone, and John Warham led the Connecticut colonists into the
wilderness because they foresaw contention, strife, and evil days
before them if they were to be forced to conform to the strict policy
of Massachusetts.[a] They preferred, unhindered, to plant and water
the young vine of a more democratic commonwealth. And even as
Massachusetts met with large troubles of her own, so smaller ones
beset these other colonies in their endeavor to preserve uniformity of
religious faith and practice. Until 1656, outside of Massachusetts,
sectarianism barely lifted its head. Religious contumacy was due to
varying opinions as to what should be the rule of the churches and the
privileges of their members.  As the churches held theoretically that
each was a complete, independent, and self-governing unit, their
practice and teaching concerning their powers and duties began to show
considerable variation. Such variation was unsatisfactory, and so
decidedly so that the leaders of opinion in the four colonies early
began to feel the need of some common platform, some authoritative
standard of church government, such as was agreed upon later in the
Cambridge Platform of 1648 and in the Half-Way Covenant, a still later
exposition or modification of certain points in the Platform.

The need for the Platform arose, also, from two other causes: one
purely colonial, and the other Anglo-colonial. The first was, since
everybody had to attend public worship, the presence in the
congregations of outsiders as distinct from church members. These
outsiders demanded broader terms of admission to holy privileges and
comforts. The second cause, Anglo-colonial in nature, arose from the
inter-communion of colonial and English Puritan churches and from the
strength of the politico-ecclesiastical parties in England. Whatever
the outcome there, the consequences to colonial life of the rapidly
approaching climax in England, when, as we now know, King was to give
way to Commonwealth and Presbyterianism find itself subordinate to
Independency, would be tremendous.

In the first twenty years of colonial life, great changes had come
over New England. Many men of honest and Christian character--"sober
persons who professed themselves desirous of renewing their baptismal
covenant, and submit unto church discipline, but who were unable to
come up to that experimental account of their own regeneration which
would sufficiently embolden their access to the other sacrament"
(communion) [34]--felt that the early church regulations, possible
only in small communities where each man knew his fellow, had been
outgrown, and that their retention favored the growth of
hypocrisy. The exacting oversight of the churches in their "watch and
ward" over their members was unwelcome, and would not be submitted to
by many strangers who were flocking into the colonies. The
"experimental account" of religion demanded, as of old, a public
declaration or confession of the manner in which conviction of
sinfulness had come to each one; of the desire to put evil aside and
to live in accordance with God's commands as expressed in Scripture
and through the church to which the repentant one promised
obedience. This public confession was a fundamental of
Congregationalism. Other religious bodies have copied it; but at the
birth of Congregationalism, and for centuries afterwards, the bulk of
European churches, like the Protestant Episcopal Church to-day,
regarded "Christian piety more as a habit of life, formed under the
training of childhood, and less as a marked spiritual change in
experience." [35]

It followed that while many of the newcomers in the colonies were
indifferent to religion, by far the larger number were not, and
thought that, as they had been members of the English Established
Church, they ought to be admitted into full membership in the churches
of England's colonies. They felt, moreover, that the religious
training of their children was being neglected because the New England
churches ignored the child whose parents would not, or could not,
submit to their terms of membership.  Still more strongly did these
people feel neglected and dissatisfied when, as the years went by,
more and more of them were emigrants who had been acceptable members
of the Puritan churches in England. They continued to be refused
religious privileges because New England Congregationalism doubted the
scriptural validity of letters of dismissal from churches where the
discipline and church order varied from its own. Within the membership
of the New England churches themselves, there was great uncertainty
concerning several church privileges, as, for instance, how far infant
baptism carried with it participation in church sacraments, and
whether adults, baptized in infancy, who had failed to unite with the
church by signing the Covenant, could have their children baptized
into the church. Considerations of church-membership and baptism, for
which the Cambridge Synod of 1648 was summoned, were destined, because
of political events in England, to be thrust aside and to wait another
eight years for their solution in that conference which framed the
Half-Way Covenant as supplementary to the Cambridge Platform of faith
and discipline.

What has been termed the Anglo-colonial cause for summoning the
Cambridge Synod finds explanation in the frequent questions and
demands which English Independency put to the New England churches
concerning church usage and discipline, and in the intense interest
with which New England waited the outcome of the constitutional
struggle in England between King and Parliament.

When the great controversy broke out in England between Presbyterians
and Independents, the fortunes of Massachusetts (who felt every wave
of the struggle) and of New England were in the balance. Presbyterians
in England proclaimed the doctrine of church unity, and of coercion if
necessary, to procure it; the Independents, the doctrine of
toleration. Puritans, inclining to Presbyterianism, were disturbed
over reports from the colonies, and letters of inquiry were sent and
answers returned explaining that, while the internal polity of the New
England churches was not far removed from Presbyterianism, they
differed widely from the Presbyterian standard as to a national church
and as to the power of synods over churches, and that they also held
to a much larger liberty in the right of each church to appoint its
officers and control its own internal affairs. At the opening of the
Long Parliament (1640-1644), many emigrants had returned to England
from the colonies, and, under the leadership of the influential Hugh
Peters, had given such an impetus to English thought that the
Independent party rose to political importance and made popular the
"New England Way."[b] The success of the Independents brought relief
to Massachusetts, yet it was tinctured with apprehension lest
"toleration" should be imposed upon her. The signing of the "League
and Covenant" with England in 1643 by Scotland, the oath of the
Commons to support it, and the pledge "to bring the churches of God in
the three Kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in
religion, confession of faith, form of church government and
catechizing" (including punishment of malignants and opponents of
reformation in Church and State), carried menace to the colonies and
to Massachusetts in particular.  The supremacy of Scotch or English
Nonconformity meant a severity toward any variation from its
Presbyterianism as great as Laud had exercised.[c]

In 1643 Parliament convened one hundred and fifty members[d] in the
Westminster Assembly to plan the reform of the Church of
England. Their business was to formulate a Confession which should
dictate to all Englishmen what they should believe and how express it,
and should also define a Church, which, preserving the inherent
English idea of its relation to the State, should bear a close
likeness to the Reformed churches of the Continent and yet approach as
nearly as possible both to the then Church of Scotland and to the
English Church of the time of Elizabeth. The work of this assembly,
known as the Westminster Confession, demonstrated to the New England
colonists the weakness of their church system and the need among them
of religious unity.[e]

Many among the colonists doubted the advisability of a church
platform, considering it permissible as a declaration of faith, but of
doubtful value if its articles were to be authoritative as a binding
rule of faith and practice without "adding, altering, or omitting."
Men of this mind waited for controversial writings,[f] to clear up
misconception and misrepresentation in England, but they waited in
vain. Moreover, the Puritan Board of Commissioners for Plantations of
1643 threatened as close an oversight and as rigid control of colonial
affairs from a Presbyterian Parliament as had been feared from the
King. Furthermore, a Presbyterian cabal in Plymouth and Massachusetts,
1644-1646, gathered to it the discontent of large numbers of
unfranchised residents within the latter colony, and under threat of
an appeal to Parliament boldly asked for the ballot and for church
privileges. In view of these developments, nearly all the colonial
churches, though with some hesitation, united in the Synod of
Cambridge, which was originally called for the year 1646.

In the calling of the synod Massachusetts took the lead. Several years
before, in 1643, the four colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts,
Connecticut, and New Haven had united in the New England Confederacy,
or "Confederacy of the United Colonies," for mutual advantage in
resisting the encroachments of the Dutch, French, and Indians, and for
"preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospel." In
the confederacy, Massachusetts and Connecticut soon became the
leaders. Considering how much more strongly the former felt the
pulsations of English political life, and how active were the
Massachusetts divines as expositors of the "New England way of the
churches," the Bay Colony naturally took the initiative in calling the
Cambridge Synod. But mindful of the opposition to her previous
autocratic summons, her General Court framed its call as a "desire"
that ministerial, together with lay delegates, from all the churches
of New England should meet at Cambridge. There, representing the
churches, and in accordance with the earliest teachings of
Congregationalism, they were to meet in synod "for sisterly advice and
counsel." They were to formulate the practice of the churches in
regard to baptism and adult privileges, and to do so "for the
confirming of the weak among ourselves and the stopping of the mouths
of our adversaries abroad." During the two years of unavoidable delay
before the synod met in final session, these topics, which were
expected to be foremost in the conference, were constantly in the
public mind. Through this wide discussion, the long delay brought much
good. It brought also misfortune in the death of Thomas Hooker in
1647, and by it loss of one of the great lights and most liberal minds
in the proposed conference.  Nearly all the colonial churches[g] were
represented in the synod. When, during its session, news was received
that Cromwell was supreme in England, its members turned from the
discussion of baptism and church-membership to a consideration of what
should be the constitution of the churches. The supremacy of Cromwell
and of the Independents who filled his armies cleared the political
background. All danger of enforced Presbyterianism was over. The
strength of the Presbyterian malcontents, who had sought to bring
Massachusetts and New England into disrepute in England, was
broken. Since the colonists were free to order their religious life as
they pleased, the Cambridge Synod turned aside from its purposed task
to formulate a larger platform of faith and polity.

When the Cambridge Synod adjourned, the orthodoxy of the New England
churches could not be impugned. In all matters of faith "for the
substance thereof" they accepted the Westminster Confession of Faith,
but from its measures of government and discipline they differed.[h]
This Cambridge Platform was more important as recognizing the
independence of the churches and the authority of custom among them
than as formulating a creed. It governed the New England churches for
sixty years, or until Massachusetts and Connecticut Congregationalism
came to the parting of the way, whence one was to develop its
associated system of church government, and the other its consociated
system as set forth in the Saybrook Platform, formulated at Saybrook,
Connecticut, in 1708. Meanwhile, the Cambridge Platform[i] gave all
the New England churches a standard by which to regulate their
practice and to resist change.[j]

A study of the Platform yields the following brief summary of its
cardinal points:--

(a) The Congregational church is not "National, Provincial or
Classical,"[k] but is a church of a covenanted brotherhood, wherein
each member makes public acknowledgment of spiritual regeneration and
declares his purpose to submit himself to the ordinances of God and of
his church.[l] A slight concession was made to the liberal church
party and to the popular demand for broader terms of membership in the
provision for those of "the weakest measure of faith," and in the
substitution of a written account of their Christian experience by
those who were ill or timid. This written "experimental account" was
to be read to the church by one of the elders. In the words of the
Platform, "Such charity and tenderness is to be used, as the weakest
Christian if sincere, may not be excluded or discouraged. Severity of
examination is to be avoided."[m]

(b) The officers of the church are elders and deacons, the former
including, as of old, pastors, teachers, and ruling elders. That the
authority within the church had passed from the unrestrained democracy
of the early Plymouth Separatists to a silent democracy before the
command of a speaking aristocracy[n] is witnessed to by the Platform's
declaration that "power of office" is proper to the elders, while
"power of privilege"[o] belongs to the brethren. In other words, the
brethren or membership have a "second" and "indirect power," according
to which they are privileged to elect their elders. Thereafter those
officers possess the "direct power," or authority, to govern the
church as they see fit.[p] In the matter of admission, dismission,
censure, excommunication, or re-admission of members, the brotherhood
of the church may express their opinion by vote.[q] In cases of
censure and excommunication, the Platform specifies that the offender
could be made to suffer only through deprivation of his church rights
and not through any loss of his civil ones.[r] In the discussion of
this point, the more liberal policy of Connecticut and Plymouth

(c) In regard to pastors and teachers, the Platform affirms that they
are such only by the right of election and remain such only so long as
they preside over the church by which they were elected.[s]

Their ordination after election, as well as that of the ruling elders
and deacons, is to be by the laying on of hands of the elders of the
church electing them. In default of elders, this ordination is to be
by the hands of brethren whom because of their exemplary lives the
church shall choose to perform the rite.[t]

A new provision was also made, one leaning toward Presbyterianism,
whereby elders of other churches could perform this ceremony, "when
there were no elders and the church so desired."

(d) Church maintenance, amounting to a church tax, was insisted upon
not only from church-members but from all, since "all that are taught
in the word, are to contribute unto him that teacheth." If necessary,
because corrupt men creep into the congregations and church
contributions cannot be collected, the magistrate is to see to it that
the church does not suffer.[u]

(e) The Platform defined the intercommunion of the churches[v] upon
such broad lines as to admit of sympathetic fellowship even when
slight differences existed in local customs. In so important a matter
as when an offending elder was to be removed, consultation with other
churches was commanded before action should be taken against him. The
intercommunion of churches was defined as of various kinds: as for
mutual welfare; for sisterly advice and consultation, in cases of
public offense, where the offending church was unconscious of fault;
for recommendation of members going from one church to another; for
need, relief, or succor of unfortunate churches; and "by way of
propagation," when over-populous churches were to be divided.

(f) Concerning synods,[w] the Platform asserts that they are
"necessary to the well-being of churches for the establishment of
truth and peace therein;" that they are to consist of elders, or
ministerial delegates, and also of lay delegates, or "messengers;"
that their function is to determine controversies over questions of
faith, to debate matters of general interest, to guide and to express
judgment upon churches, "rent by discord or lying under open scandal."
Synods could be called by the churches, and also by the magistrates
through an order to the churches to send their elders and messengers,
but they were not to be permanent bodies. On the contrary, unlike the
synods of the Presbyterian system, they were to be disbanded when the
work of the special session for which they were summoned was
finished. Moreover, they were not "to exercise church censure in the
way of discipline nor any other act of authority or jurisdiction;" yet
their judgments were to be received, "so far as consonant to the word
of God," since they were judged to be an ordinance of God appointed in
his Word.

(g) The Platform's section "Of the Civil Magistrate in matters
Ecclesiastical"[x] maintains that magistrates cannot compel subjects
to become church-members; that they ought not to meddle with the
proper work of officers of the churches, but that they ought to see to
it that godliness is upheld, and the decrees of the church obeyed. To
accomplish these ends, they should exert all the civil authority
intrusted to them, and their foremost duty was to put down blasphemy,
idolatry, and heresy. In any question as to what constituted the last,
the magistrates assisted by the elders were to decide and to determine
the measure of the crime. They were to punish the heretic, not as one
who errs in an intellectual judgment, but as a moral leper and for
whose evil influence the community was responsible to God. The civil
magistrates were also to punish all profaners of the Sabbath, all
contemners of the ministry, all disturbers of public worship, and to
proceed "against schismatic or obstinately corrupt churches."

These seven points summarize the important work of the Cambridge Synod
and the Platform wherein it embodied the church usage and fixed the
ecclesiastical customs of New England.  Concerning its own work, the
Synod remarked in conclusion that it "hopes that this will be a proof
to the churches beyond the seas that the New England churches are free
from heresies and from the character of schism," and that "in the
doctrinal part of religion they have agreed entirely with the Reformed
churches of England." [36]

Let us in a few sentences review the whole story thus far of colonial
Congregationalism.  With the exception of the churches of Plymouth and
Watertown, the colonists had come to America without any definite
religious organization.  True, they had in their minds the example of
the Reformed churches on the Continent, and much of theory, and many
convictions as to what ought to be the rule of churches. These
theories and these convictions soon crystallized out. And the
transatlantic crystallization was found to yield results, some of
which were very similar to the modifications which time had wrought in
England upon the rough and embryonic forms of Congregationalism as set
forth by Robert Browne and Henry Barrowe. The characteristics of
Congregationalism during its first quarter of a century upon New
England soil were: the clearly defined independence or self-government
of the local churches; the fellowship of the churches; the development
of large and authoritative powers in the eldership; a more exact
definition of the functions of synods, a definite limitation of their
authority; and, finally, a recognition of the authority of the civil
magistrates in religious affairs generally, and of their control in
special cases arising within individual churches. In the growing power
of the eldership, and in the provision of the Platform which permits
ordination by the hands of elders of other churches, when a church had
no elders and its members so desired, there is a trend toward the
polity of the Presbyterian system. In the Platform's definition of the
power of the magistrates over the religious life of the community,
there is evident the colonists' conviction that, notwithstanding the
vaunted independence of the churches, there ought to be some strong
external authority to uphold them and their discipline; some power to
fall back upon, greater than the censure of a single church or the
combined strength and influence derived from advisory councils and
unauthoritative synods. In Connecticut, this control by the civil
power was to increase side by side with the tendency to rely upon
advisory councils. From this twofold development during a period of
sixty years, there arose the rigid autonomy of the later Saybrook
system of church-government, wherein the civil authority surrendered
to ecclesiastical courts its supreme control of the churches.

Turning from the text of the Cambridge Platform to its application, we
find among the earliest churches "rent by discord," schismatically
corrupt, and to be disciplined according to its provisions, that of
Hartford, Connecticut. From the earliest years of the Connecticut
colony there had been within it a large party, constantly increasing,
who, because they were unhappy and aggrieved at having themselves and
their children shut out of the churches, had advocated admitting all
of moral life to the communion table. The influence of Thomas Hooker
kept the discontent within bounds until his death in 1647, the year
before the Cambridge Synod met.  Thereafter, the conservative and
liberal factions in many of the churches came quickly into open
conflict. The Hartford church in particular became rent by dissension
so great that neither the counsel of neighboring churches nor the
commands of the General Court, legislating in the manner prescribed by
the Cambridge instrument, could heal the schism. The trouble in the
Hartford church arose because of a difference between Mr. Stone, the
minister, and Elder Goodwin, who led the minority in their preference
for a candidate to assist their pastor. Before the discovery of
documents relating to the controversy, it was the custom of earlier
historians to refer the dispute to political motives. But this church
feud, and the discussion which it created throughout Connecticut, was
purely religious, and had to do with matters of church privileges and
eventually with rights of baptism.[y] The conflict originated through
Mr. Stone's conception of his ministerial authority, which belonged
rather to the period of his English training and which was concisely
set forth by his oft-quoted definition of the rule of the elders as "a
speaking aristocracy in the face of a silent democracy."[z] Mr. Stone
and Elder Goodwin, the two chief officers in the Hartford church, each
commanded an influential following. Personal and political
affiliations added to the bitterness of party bias in the dispute
which raged over the following three questions: (a) What were the
rights of the minority in the election of a minister whom they were
obliged to support? (b) What was the proper mode of ecclesiastical
redress if these rights were ignored? (c) What were those baptismal
rights and privileges which the Cambridge Platform had not definitely
settled? The discussion of the first two questions precipitated into
the foreground the still unanswered third. The turmoil in the Hartford
church continued for years and was provocative of disturbances
throughout the colony. Accordingly, in May, 1656, a petition was
presented to the General Court by persons unknown, asking for broader
baptismal privileges. Moved by the appeal, the Court appointed a
committee, consisting of the governor, lieutenant-governor and two
deputies, to consult with the elders of the churches and to draw up a
series of questions embodying the grievances which were complained of
throughout the colony as well as in the Hartford church. The Court
further commanded that a copy of these questions be sent to the
General Courts of the other three colonies, that they might consider
them and advise Connecticut as to some method of putting an end to
ecclesiastical disputes. As Connecticut was not the only colony having
trouble of this sort, Massachusetts promptly ordered thirteen of her
elders to meet at Boston during the following summer, and expressed a
desire for the cooperation of the churches of the confederated
colonies. Plymouth did not respond. New Haven rejected the proposed
conference. She feared that it would result in too great changes in
church discipline and, consequently, in her civil order,--changes
which she believed would endanger the peace and purity of her
churches;[aa] yet she sent an exposition, written by John Davenport,
of the questions to be discussed. The Connecticut General Court, glad
of Massachusetts' appreciative sympathy, appointed delegates, advising
them to first take counsel together concerning the questions to be
considered at Boston, and ordered them upon their return to report to
the Court.

The two questions which since the summoning of the Cambridge Synod had
been under discussion throughout all New England were the right of
non-covenanting parishioners in the choice of a minister, and the
rights of children of baptized parents, that had not been admitted to
full membership. These were the main topics of discussion in the
Synod, or, more properly, Ministerial Convention, of 1657, which
assembled in Boston, and which decreed the Half-Way Covenant. The
Assembly decided in regard to baptism that persons, who had been
baptized in their infancy, but who, upon arriving at maturity, had not
publicly professed their conversion and united in full membership with
the church, were not fit to receive the Lord's Supper:--

    Yet in case they understood the Grounds of Religion and are not
    scandalous, and solemnly own the Covenant in their own
    persons,[ab] wherein they give themselves and their own children
    unto the Lord, and desire baptism for them, we (with due reverence
    to any Godly Learned that may dissent) see not sufficient cause to
    deny Baptism unto their children. [37]

Church care and oversight were to be extended to such children. But in
order to go to communion, or to vote in church affairs, the old
personal, public profession that for so many years had been
indispensable to "signing the covenant" was retained [38] and must
still be given.

This Half-Way Covenant, as it came to be called, enlarged the terms of
baptism and of admission to church privileges as they had been set
forth in the Cambridge Platform. The new measure held within itself a
contradiction to the foundation principle of Congregationalism. A dual
membership was introduced by this attempt to harmonize the Old
Testament promise, that God's covenant was with Abraham and his seed
forever, with the Congregational type of church which the New
Testament was believed to set forth. The former theory must imply some
measure of true faith in the children of baptized parents, whether or
no they had fulfilled their duty by making public profession and by
uniting with the church. This duty was so much a matter of course with
the first colonists, and so deeply ingrained was their loyalty to the
faith and practice which one generation inherited from another, that
it never occurred to them that future descendants of theirs might view
differently these obligations of church membership.  But a difficulty
arose later when the adult obligation implied by baptism in infancy
ceased to be met, and when the question had to be settled of how far
the parents' measure of faith carried grace with it. Did the
inheritance of faith, of which baptism was the sign and seal, stop
with the children, or with the grandchildren, or where?  To push the
theory of inherited rights would result eventually in destroying the
covenant church, bringing in its stead a national church of mixed
membership; to press the original requirements of the covenant upon an
unwilling people would lessen the membership of the churches, expose
them to hostile attack, and to possible overthrow.  The colonists
compromised upon this dual membership of the Half-Way Covenant. As its
full significance did not become apparent for years, the work of the
Synod of 1657 was generally acceptable to the ministry, but it met
with opposition among the older laity. It was welcomed in Connecticut,
where Henry Smith of Wethersfield as early as 1647, Samuel Stone of
Hartford, after 1650, and John Warham of Windsor, had been earnest
advocates of its enlarged terms.  As early as in his draft of the
Cambridge Platform, Ralph Partridge of Duxbury in Plymouth colony had
incorporated similar changes, and even then they had been seconded by
Richard Mather.[ac] They had been omitted from the final draft of that
Platform because of the opposition of a small but influential group
led by the Rev.  Charles Chauncey. As early as 1650, it had become
evident that public opinion was favorable to such a change, and that
some church would soon begin to put in practice a theory which was
held by so many leading divines. Though the Half-Way Covenant was
strenuously opposed by the New Haven colony as a whole, Peter Prudden,
its second ablest minister, had, as early as 1651, avowed his earnest
support of such a measure.

The Half-Way Covenant was presented to the Connecticut General Court,
August, 1657.  Orders were at once given that copies of it should be
distributed to all the churches with a request for a statement of any
exceptions that any of them might have to it. None are known to have
been returned. This was not due to any great unanimity of sentiment
among the churches, for in Connecticut, as elsewhere, many of the
older church-members were not so liberally inclined as their
ministers, and were loth to follow their lead in this new
departure. But when controversy broke out again in the Hartford
church, in 1666, because of the baptism of some children, it was found
that in the interval of eleven years those who favored the Half-Way
covenant had increased in numbers in the church,[ad] and were rapidly
gaining throughout the colony, especially in its northern half. By the
absorption of the New Haven Colony, its southern boundary in 1664 had
become the shore of Long Island Sound.

Though public opinion favored the Half-Way Covenant, the practice of
the churches was controlled by their exclusive membership, and, unless
a majority thereof approved the new way, there was nothing to compel
the church to broaden its baptismal privileges.[ae] This difference
between public opinion and church practice, between the congregations
and the coterie of church members, was provocative of clashing
interests and of factional strife. For several years these factional
differences were held in check and made subordinate to the urgent
political situation which the restoration of the Stuarts had
precipitated, and which demanded harmonious action among the
colonists. A royal charter had to be obtained, and when obtained, it
gave Connecticut dominion over the New Haven colony.  The lower colony
had to be reconciled to its loss of independence, in so much as the
governing party, with its influential following of conservatives,
objected to the consolidation. The liberals, a much larger party
numerically, preferred to come under the authority of Connecticut and
to enjoy her less restrictive church policy and her broader political
life. Matters were finally adjusted, and delegates from the old New
Haven colony first took their seats as members of the General Court of
Connecticut at the spring session of 1665. Thereafter, in Connecticut
history, especially its religious history, the strain of liberalism
most often follows the old lines of the Connecticut colony, while that
of conservatism is more often met with as reflecting the opinions of
those within the former boundaries of that of New Haven.

It was in the year following the union of the two colonies that the
quarrel in the Hartford church broke out afresh. The fall preceding
the consolidation of the colonies, an appeal was made to the
Connecticut General Court which helped to swell the dissatisfaction in
the Hartford church and to bring it to the bursting point.  In
October, 1664, William Pitkin, by birth a member of the English
Established Church[af] and a man much esteemed in the colony, as
shown, politically, by his office of attorney,[39] and socially by his
marriage with Elder Goodwin's daughter, petitioned the General Court
in behalf of himself and six associates that it--

    would take into serious consideration our present state in this
    respect that wee are thus as sheep scattered haveing no shepheard,
    and compare it with what wee conceive you can not but know both
    God and our King would have it different from what it now is.  And
    take some speedy and effectual course of redress herein, And put
    us in full and free capacity of injoying those forementioned
    Advantages which to us as members of Christ's visible Church doe
    of right belong.  By establishing some wholesome Law in this
    Corporation by vertue whereof wee may both clame and receive of
    such officers as are, or shall be by Law set over us in the Church
    or churches where wee have our abode or residence those
    forementioned privileges and advantages.

    Further wee humbly request that for the future no Law in this
    corporation may be of any force to make us pay or contribute to
    the maintenance of any Minister or officer in the Church that will
    neglect or refuse to baptize our Children, and to take charge of
    us as of such members of the Church as are under his or their
    charge and care--

    Admitted freeman
      Oct. 9th, 1662,  Hartford,  Wm. Pitkin.

    Admitted freeman
      May 21, 1657,    Windsor,   Michael Humphrey.

    Admitted freeman
      May 18, 1654,    Hartford,  John Stedman.
                       Windsor,   James Eno.

    Admitted freeman
      May 20, 1658,       --      Robart Reeve.
                       Windsor,   John Morse.

    Admitted freeman
      May 20, 1658,    Windsor,   Jonas Westover. [40]

Eno and Humphrey had been complained of because their insistence upon
what they considered their rights had caused disturbance in the
Windsor church. Now, with the other petitioners, they based their
appeal in part upon the King's Letter to the Bay Colony of June 26th,
1662, wherein Charles commanded that "all persons of good and honest
lives and conversation be admitted to the sacrament of the Lord's
supper, according to the said book of common prayer, and their
children to baptism."

This petition of Pitkin and his associates was the first notable
expression of dissatisfaction with the Congregationalism of
Connecticut.  Several Episcopal writers have quoted it as the first
appeal of Churchmen in Connecticut. In itself, it forbids such
construction. The petitioners had come from England and from the
church of the Commonwealth. They were asking either for toleration in
the spirit of the Half-Way Covenant or for some special legislation in
their behalf. Further, they were demanding religious care and baptism
for their children from a clergy who, from the point of view of any
strict Episcopalian, had no right to officiate; and, again, it was
nearly ten years before the first Church-of-England men found their
way to Stratford.[41]

The Court made reply to Pitkin's petition by sending to all the
churches a request that they consider--

    whither it be not their duty to entertaine all such persons, who
    are of honest and godly conuersation, hauing a competency of
    knowledge in the principles of religion, and shall desire to joyne
    with them in church fellowship, by an explicitt couenant, and that
    they haue their children baptized, and that all the children of
    the church be accepted and acco'td reall members of the church and
    that the church exercise a due Christian care and watch ouer them;
    and that when they are grown up, being examined by the officer in
    the presence of the church, it appeares in the judgment of
    charity, they are duly qualified to participate in the great
    ordinance of the Lord's Supper, by their being able to examine and
    discerne the Lord's body, such persons be admitted to full

    The Court desires y't the seuerall officers of y'e respectiue
    churches, would be pleased to consider whither it be the duty of
    the Court to order churches to practice according to the premises,
    if they doe not practice without such an order.[42]

The issue was now fairly before the churches of the colony. The
delegates of the people had expressed the opinion of the majority. The
Court had invited the expression of any dissent that might exist, yet,
despite the invitation, it had issued almost an order to the churches
to practice the Half-Way Covenant, and with large interpretation,
applying it, not only to the baptism of children who had been born of
parents baptized in the colonial church, but also to those whose
parents had been baptized in the English communion, at least during
the Commonwealth.[ag] Pitkin at once proceeded in behalf of himself
and several of his companions to apply for "communion with the church
of Hartford in all the ordinances of Christ." [43] This the church
refused, and wrought its factions up to white heat over the baptism of
some child or children of non-communicants.  The storm broke. Other
churches felt its effects. Windsor church was rent by faction,
Stratford was in turmoil over the Half-Way Covenant, and other
churches were divided.

Some means had to be found to put an end to the increasing
disorder. Accordingly the Court in October, 1666, commanded the
presence of all the preaching elders and ministers within the colony
at a synod to find "some way or means to bring those ecclesiastical
matters that are in difference in the severall Plantations to an
issue." The Court felt obliged to change the name of the appointed
meeting from "synod" to "assembly" to avoid the jealousy of the
churches.  They were afraid that the civil power would overstep its
authority, and by calling a synod, composed of elders only, establish
a precedent for the exclusion of lay delegates from such bodies.
Before this "assembly" could meet, it was shorn of influence through
the politics of the conservative Hartford faction, who succeeded in
passing a bill at the session of the Commissioners of the United
Colonies, which read:--

    That in matters of common concern of faith or order necessitating
    a Synod, it should be a Synod composed of messengers from all the
    colonies. [44]

Accordingly, Connecticut's next step was to invite Massachusetts to
join in a synod to debate seventeen questions of which several had
been submitted to the Synod of 1657, and had remained
unanswered. Among them were the questions of the right to vote in the
choice of minister; of minority rights; and where to appeal in cases
of censure believed to be unmerited.[ah]

Massachusetts courteously replied that the questions would be
considered if submitted in writing; but she was at heart so
indifferent that negotiations for a colonial synod lapsed, and
Connecticut was left to adjust the differences in her
churches. Consequently, in May, 1668, the Court,--

    for promoting and establishing peace in the churches and
    plantations because of various apprehensions in matters of
    discipline respecting membership and baptism,--

appointed a committee of influential men in the colony to search out
the rules for discipline and see how far persons of "various
apprehensions" could walk together in church fellowship. This
committee reported at the October session, and the Court, after
accepting their decision, formally declared the Congregational church
established and its older customs approved, asserting that--

    Whereas the Congregationall churches in these partes for the
    generall of their profession and practice have hitherto been
    approued, we can doe no less than still approue and countenance
    the same to be without disturbance until a better light in an
    orderly way doth appeare; but yet foreasmuch as sundry persons of
    worth for prudence and piety amongst us are otherwise perswaded
    (whose welfare and peaceable satisfaction we desire to
    accommodate) This Court doth declare that all such persons being
    also approued to lawe as orthodox and sound in the fundamentals of
    Christian religion may haue allowance of their perswasion and
    profession in church wayes or assemblies without disturbance.

The liberal church party had won the privileges for which they had
contended, but the conservatives were not beaten, for it was upon
their conception of church government that the Court set its seal of
approval. The Court had been tolerant, and the churches must be also.
Upon such terms, the old order was to continue "until a better light
should appear." The tolerance toward changing conditions, thus
expressed, was further emphasized by the Court's command to the
churches to accept into full membership certain worthy people who
could not bring themselves to agree fully with all the old order had
demanded. The second part of the enactment just quoted was, strictly
speaking, Connecticut's first toleration act; yet it must be realized
that now, as later, the degree of toleration admitted no release from
the support of an unacceptable ministry or from fines for neglect of
its ministrations. Tolerance was here extended not to dissenters, but
only to varying shades of opinions within a common faith and fold.

In the spirit of such legislation, the Court advised the Hartford
church to "walk apart." The advice was accepted, the church divided,
and the members who went out reorganized as the Second Church of
Hartford. Other discordant churches quickly followed this example. The
Second Church of Hartford immediately put forth a declaration,
asserting that its Congregationalism was that of the old original New
England type.  The force of public opinion was so great, however, that
despite its declaration, the Second Church began at once to accept the
Half-Way Covenant. "The only result of their profession was to give a
momentary name to the struggle as between Congregationalist and
Presbyterian." [45] It was no effective opposition to the onward
development in Connecticut of the new order. When the churches found
that neither the old nor the new way was to be insisted upon, the
violence of faction ceased. The dual membership was accepted. For a
while, its line of cleavage away from the old system, with its local
church "as a covenanted brotherhood of souls renewed by the experience
of God's grace," was not realized, any more than that the new system
was merging the older type of church "into the parish where all
persons of good moral character, living within the parochial bounds,
were to have, as in England and Scotland, the privilege of baptism for
their households and of access to the Lord's table."[46] Another move
in this direction was taken when the splitting off of churches, and
the forming of more than one within the original parish bounds,
necessitated a further departure from the principles of
Congregationalism, and when the sequestration of lands for the benefit
of clergy became a feature of the new order.[47] In this formation of
new churches, the oldest parish was always the First Society.[ai]
Those formed later did not destroy it or affect its antecedent
agreements.[48] Only sixty-six years had passed (1603-1669) since the
publication of the "Points of Difference" between the Separatists, the
London-Amsterdam exiles, and the Church of England, wherein insistence
had been laid upon the principles of a covenanted church, of its
voluntary support, and of the unrighteousness of churches possessing
either lands or revenue.  The pendulum had swung from the broad
democracy and large liberty of Brownism through Barrowism, past the
Cambridge Platform (almost the centre of its arc), and on through the
Half-Way Covenant to the beginning of a parish system. It had still
farther to swing before it reached the end of the arc, marked by the
Saybrook Platform, and before it began its slower return movement, to
rest at last in the Congregationalism of the past seventy years.


[a] Among the causes assigned for the removal of the Connecticut
colonists were the discontent at Watertown over the high-handed
silencing by the Boston authorities of Pastor Phillips and Teacher
Brown for daring to assert that the "churches of Rome were true
churches;" the early attempt of the authorities to impose a general
tax; the continued opposition to Ludlow; their desire to oppose the
Dutch seizure of the fertile valley of the Connecticut; their want of
space in the Bay Colony; and the "strong bent of their spirits to
remove thither," i.e. to Connecticut.

[b] The _New England Way_ discarded the liturgy; refused to
accept the sacrament or join in prayer after such an "anti-Christian
form;" limited communion to church members approved by New England
standards, or coming with credentials from churches similarly
approved; limited the ministerial office, outside the pastor's own
church, to prayer and conference, denying all authority; and assumed
as the right of each church the power of elections, admissions,
dismissals, censures, and excommunications. The result, in that day of
intense championship of religious polity and custom, was to create
disturbance and discord among the English Independent churches. The
correspondence between the divines of New England and old England was
in part to avoid the "breaking up of churches."

[c] J. R. Green, _Short Hist. of the English People_,
534-538. The great popular signing of the Covenant in Scotland was in

[d] The original intention, in 1642, in regard to the composition of
the Westminster Assembly was to have noted divines from abroad. It was
proposed to invite Rev. John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, and John Davenport
from New England.  Rev. Thomas Hooker thought the subject was not one
of sufficient ecclesiastical importance for so long and difficult a
journey, while the Rev. John Davenport could not be spared because of
the absence of other church officers from New Haven.--H. M. Dexter,
_Congr. as seen_, etc., p. 653.

Congregationalists or Independents in the sittings of the Assembly
pleaded for liberty of conscience to all sects, "provided that they
did not trouble the public peace." (Later, Congregationalists
differentiated themselves from the Independents by adding to the
principle of the independence of the local church the principle of the
local sisterhood of the churches.) In the Assembly, averaging sixty or
eighty members, Congregationalism was represented by but five
influential divines and a few of lesser importance. There were also
among the members some thirty laymen. The Assembly held eleven hundred
and sixty-three sittings, continuing for a period of five years and
six months. During these years the Civil War was fought; the King
executed; the Commonwealth established with its modified state-church,
Presbyterian in character. Intolerance was held in check by the power
of Cromwell and of the army, for the Independents had made early and
successful efforts to win the soldiery to their standard.--Philip
Schaff, _Creeds of Christendom_, 727-820.

[e] W. Walker, _Creeds and Platforms_, p. 136, note 2.

[f] The _New England Way_ defended its changes from English
custom under three heads: (1) That things, inexpedient but not utterly
unlawful in England, became under changed conditions sinful in New
England. (2) Things tolerated in England, because unremovable, were
shameful in the new land where they were removable. (3) Many things,
upon mature deliberation and tried by Scripture, were found to be
sinful.  But: "We profess unfeignedly we separate from the
corruptions, which we conceive to be left in your Churches, and from
such Ordinances administered therein as we feare are not of God but of
men; and for yourselves, we are so farre from separating as visible
Christians as that you are under God in our hearts (if the Lord would
suffer it) to live and die together; and we look at sundrie of you as
men of that eminent growth in Christianitie, that if there be any
visible Christians under heaven, amongst you are the men, which for
these many years have been written in your forehead ('Holiness to the
Lord'): and this is not to the disparagement of ourselves or our
practice, for we believe that the Church moves on from age to age, its
defects giving way to increasing purity from reformation to
reformation."--J. Davenport, _The Epistle Returned, or the Answer to
the Letter of Many Ministers_.

A number of treatises upon church government and usage were printed in
the memorable year 1643, several of which had previously circulated in
manuscript. In 1637 was received the _Letter of Many Ministers in
Old England, requesting the Judgment of their Reverend Brethren in New
England and concerning Nine Positions_. It was answered by John
Davenport in 1639. _A Reply and Answer_ was also a part of this
correspondence, which was first published in 1643, as was also Richard
Mather's _Church Government and Church Covenant Discussed_, the
latter being a reply to _Two and Thirty Questions_ sent from
England. By these, together with J.  Cotton's _Keyes_ and other
writings, and by Thomas Hooker's great work _Survey of the Summe of
Church Discipline_ (approved by the Synod of 1643), every aspect of
church polity and usage was covered.

[g] Hingham church preferred the Presbyterian way. Concord was absent,
lacking a fit representative. Boston and Salem at first refused to
attend, questioning the General Court's right to summon a synod and
fearing lest such a summons should involve the obedience of all the
represented churches to the decisions of the conference. The
modification of the summons to the "desire" of the court, and the
entreaty of their leaders, finally overcame the opposition in these
churches. In fact, delegates to the Court, representing at least
thirty or forty churches, had hesitated to accept the original summons
of the Court when reported as a bill for calling the synod.  Although
the Court "made no question of their lawful power by the word of God
to assemble the churches, or their messengers upon occasion of
counsell, or anything which may concern the practice of the churches,"
it decided to modify the phrasing of the order.--H. M. Dexter,
_Congr. as seen_, p. 436. _Magnalia_, ii,
209. _Mass. Col. Rec._ ii, 154-156, also iii, 70-73.

[h] "This Synod having perused with much gladness of heart the
confession of faith published by the late reverend assembly in
England, do judge it to be very holy, orthodox and judicious, in all
matters of faith, and do hereby freely and fully consent thereto for
the substance thereof. Only in those things which have respect to
church-government and discipline, we refer ourselves to the Platform
of Church-discipline, agreed upon by this present assembly."--Preface
to the Cambridge Platform, quoted in W. Walker, _Creeds and
Platforms_, p. 195.

[i] In many parts the wording of the Platform is almost identical with
passages from the foremost ecclesiastical treatises of the period,
and, naturally, since John Cotton, Richard Mather, and Ralph Partridge
were each requested to draft a "Scriptural Model of Church
Government." The Platform conformed most closely to that of Richard
Mather. The draft by Ralph Partridge of Plymouth still
exists. Obviously, the Separatist clergyman did not emphasize so
strongly the rule of the eldership which New England church life in
general had developed. Otherwise his plan did not differ essentially
from that of Mather.

[j] "Even now, after a lapse of more than two hundred years the
Platform (notwithstanding its errors here and there in the application
of proof texts, and its one great error in regard to the power of the
civil magistrate in matters of religion) is the most authentic
exposition of the Congregational church as given in the
scriptures."--Leonard Bacon, in _Contributions to the Ecclesiastical
History of Connecticut_, ed. of 1865, p. 15.

[k] Cambridge Platform, chap. ii.

[l] _Ibid._ chap. ii.

[m] Cambridge Platform, chap. iii.

[n] The definition of the rule of the elders, given by the Rev. Samuel
Stone of Hartford, was "A speaking aristocracy in the face of a silent

[o] Cambridge Platform, chaps, iv-x.

[p] "We do believe that Christ hath ordained that there should be a
Presbytery or Eldership and that in every Church, whose work is to
teach and rule the Church by the Word and laws of Christ and unto whom
so teaching and ruling, all the people ought to be obedient and submit
themselves. And therefore a Government merely Popular or
Democratieal...  is far from the practice of these Churches and we
believe far from the mind of Christ." However, the brethren should not
be wholly excluded from its government or its liberty to choose its
officers, admit members and censure offenders.--R. Mather, _Church
Government and Church Covenant Discussed,_ pp. 47-50.

"The Gospel alloweth no Church authority or rule (properly so called)
to the Brethren but reserveth that wholly to the Elders; and yet
preventeth tyrannee, and oligarchy, and exorbitancy of the Elders by
the large and firm establishment of the liberties of the
Brethren."--J. Cotton, _The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,_
p. 12.

"In regard to Christ, the head, the government of the Church, is
sovereign and Monarchicall: In regard to the rule of the Presbytery,
it is stewardly and Aristocraticall: In regard to the people's power
in elections and censures, it is Democraticall."--_The Keys,_
p. 36; see also _Church-Government and Church Covenant,_
pp. 51-58.

[q] Cambridge Platform, chap, x.

[r] _Ibid._ chap. xiv.

[s] Cambridge Platform, chap. ix.

[t] _Ibid_. chap. ix.

[u] _Ibid_. chap. xi.

[v] _Ibid_. chap. xv.

[w] Cambridge Platform, chap. xvi.

[x] Cambridge Platform, chap. xvii.

According to Hooker's _Survey_ the magistrates had the right to
summon synods because they have the right to command the faculties of
their subjects to deliberate concerning the good of the
State.--_Survey_, pt. iv, p. 54 _et seq_.

[y] "However the controversy of the Connecticut River churches was
embittered by political interests, it was essentially nothing else
than the fermentation of that leaven of Presbyterianism which came
over with the later Puritan emigration, and which the Cambridge
Platform, with all its explicitness in asserting the rules given by
the Scriptures, had not effectually purged."--L. Bacon, in
_Contrib. to Eccl. Hist. of Conn_., p. 17.

See also H. M. Dexter, _Congr. as seen in Lit_., pp. 468-69.

Of the twenty-one contemporaneous documents, by various authors, none
mention baptism as in any way an issue in debate. "Dr. Trumbull
probably touches the real root of the affair when he speaks of the
controversy as one concerning the 'rights of the brotherhood,' and the
conviction, entertained by Mr. Goodwin, that these rights had been
disregarded." The question of baptism ran parallel with the question
under debate, incidentally mixed itself with and outlived it to be the
cause of a later quarrel that should split the church.--G. L. Walker,
_First Church in Hartford_, p. 154.

[z] Mr. Stone admitted: "(1) I acknowledge yt it is a liberty of ye
church to declare their apprehensions by vote about ye fitness of a
p'son for office upon his tryall.

(2) "I look at it as a received truth yt an officer may in some cases
lawfully hinder ye church from putting forth at this or yt time an act
of her liberty.

(3) "I acknowledge ye I hindered ye church fro declaring their
apprehensions by vote (upon ye day in question) concerning
Mr. Wigglesworth's fitness for office in ye church of
Hartford."--_Conn. Historical Society Papers_, ii. 51-125.

[aa] In the New Haven letter, she wrote, "We hear the petitioners, or
others closing with them, are very confident they shall obtain great
alterations both in civil government and church discipline, and that
some of them have procured and hired one as their agent, to maintain
in writing (as it is conceived) that parishes in England, consenting
to and continuing their meetings to worship God, are true churches,
and such persons coming over thither, (without holding forth any work
of faith) have all right to church privileges."--_New Haven
Col. Records_, iii, 186.

[ab] That is, they assent to the main truths of the Gospel and promise
obedience to the church they desire to join.

[ac] Among Massachusetts clergymen, Thomas Allen of Charlestown, 1642,
Thomas Shepherd, Cambridge, 1649, John Norton, Ipswich, 1653, held
that the baptismal privileges should be widened, and John Cotton
himself was slowly drifting toward this opinion.

The Windsor church was the first in Connecticut to practice the
Half-Way Covenant, January 31, 1657-58, to March 19, 1664-65, when the
pastor, having doubts as to its validity, discontinued the practice
until 1668, when it was again resumed.--Stiles, _Ancient
Windsor_, p. 172.

[ad] Stone held his party on the ground that over a matter of internal
discipline a synod had no control, and that he could exercise
Congregational discipline upon any seceders. The immediate result was
the removal of the discontented to Boston or to Hadley; where,
however, they could not be admitted to another church until Stone had
released them from his. This he refused to do. Thus, he showed the
power of a minister, when backed by a majority, to inflict virtual
excommunication. This could be done even though his authority was open
to question.--J. A. Doyle, _Puritan Colonies_, ii, p. 77.

[ae] Meanwhile the Massachusetts Synod (purely local) of 1662 stood
seven to one in favor of the Half-Way Covenant practice, and had
reaffirmed the fellowship of the churches according to the synodical
terms of the Cambridge Platform, as against a more authoritative
system of consociation, proposed by Thomas Shepherd of Cambridge.

[af] It must be remembered that the "Church of England meant the
aggregate of English Christians, whether in the upshot of the
movements which were going on (1630-1660), their polity should turn
out to be Episcopal or Presbyterian, or something different from
either."--Palfrey, _Comprehensive Hist.  of New England_, i,
p. 111. J. R. Green, _Short Hist. of the Eng. People_, p. 544.

In England, Pitkin had been a member of the church of the
Commonwealth, and in all probability was not an Episcopalian or
Church-of-England man in the usual sense.

[ag] Such an order could only produce further disturbance. Stratford
and Norwalk protested. As a rule the order was most unwelcome in the
recently acquired New Haven colony. Mr.  Pierson of Branford, with
some of the conservative church people of Guilford and New Haven, went
to New Jersey to escape its consequences.

[ah] Among the questions, still unanswered, which had been submitted
in 1657 were: (9) "Whether it doth belong to the body of a town,
collectively taken, jointly, to call him to be their minister whom the
church shall choose to be their officer."  (13) "Whether the church,
her invitation and election of an officer, or preaching elder,
necessitates the whole congregation to sit down satisfied, as bound to
accept him as their minister though invited and settled without the
town's consent." (ll) "Unto whom shall such persons repair who are
grieved by any church process or censure, or whether they must
acquiesce in the churches under which they belong."--Trumbull,
_Hist. of Conn. i_, 302-3.

[ai] In New England Congregationalism, the church and the
ecclesiastical society were separate and distinct bodies. The church
kept the records of births, deaths, marriage, baptism, and membership,
and, outside these, confined itself to spiritual matters; the society
dealt with all temporal affairs such as the care and control of all
church property, the payment of ministers' salaries, and also their
calling, settlement, and dismissal.



    Alas for piety, alas for the ancient faith!

Though Massachusetts had been indifferent and had left Connecticut to
work out, unaided, her religious problem, the two colonies were by no
means unfriendly, and in each there was a large conservative party
mutually sympathetic in their church interests. The drift of the
liberal party in each colony was apart. The homogeneity of the
Connecticut people put off for a long while the embroilments, civil
and religious, to which Massachusetts was frequently exposed through
her attempts to restrain, restrict, and force into an inflexible mould
her population, which was steadily becoming more numerous and
cosmopolite. The English government received frequent complaints about
the Bay Colony, and, as a result, Connecticut, by contrast of her
"dutiful conduct" with that of "unruly Massachusetts," gained greater
freedom to pursue her own domestic policy with its affairs of Church
and State. Many of its details were unknown, or ignored, by the
English government. The period when the four colonies had been united
upon all measures of common welfare, whether temporal or spiritual,
had passed. There were now three colonies. One of these, much weaker
than the others, was destined within comparatively few years to be
absorbed by Massachusetts as New Haven had been by
Connecticut. Meanwhile, Massachusetts and Connecticut were developing
along characteristic lines and had each its individual problems to
pursue. While in ecclesiastical affairs the conservative factions in
the two colonies had much in common and continued to have for a long
time, the Reforming Synod of 1679-80, held in Boston, was the last in
which all the New England churches had any vital interest, because a
period of transition was setting in. This period of transition was
marked by an expansion of settlements with its accompanying spirit of
land-grabbing, and by a lowering of tone in the community, as material
interests superseded the spiritual ones of the earlier generations,
and as the Indian and colonial wars spread abroad a spirit of
license. In the religious life of the colonists, this transition made
itself felt not alone in the character of its devotees, but in the
ecclesiastical system itself, as it changed from the polity and
practice embodied in the Cambridge Platform to that of a later day,
and to the almost Presbyterian government expressed in the Saybrook
Platform of 1708.  The transition in Massachusetts, in both secular
and religious development, varied greatly from that in
Connecticut. Hence, from the time of the Keforming Synod, the history
of Connecticut is almost entirely the story of its own career,
touching only at points the historical development of the other New
England colonies. On the religious side, it is the story of the
evolution of Connecticut's peculiar Congregationalism.  The Reforming
Synod of 1679-80 had been called by the Massachusetts General Court
because, in the words of that old historian, Thomas Prince:--

    A little after 1660, there began to appear Decay, And this
    increased to 1670, when it grew very visible and threatening, and
    was generally complained of and bewailed bitterly by the pious
    among them (the colonists): and yet more to 1680, when but few of
    the first Generation remained. [49]

The reasons of this falling away from the standards of the first
generation were many. In the first place, the colonists had become
mere colonials. Upon the Stuart restoration, the strongest ties which
bound them to the pulsing life of the mother country, the religious
ones, were severed. The colonists ceased to be the vanguard of a great
religious movement, the possible haven of a new political
state. Though they received many refugees from Stuart conformity, the
religious ties which bound them to the English nonconformists were
weakened, and still more so when both the once powerful wings of the
Puritan party, Presbyterian and Independent, were alike in danger of
extinction. Shortly after the Revolution of 1688, when, under the
larger tolerance of William and Mary, the Presbyterians and
Independents strove to increase their strength by a union based upon
the "Heads of Agreement," English and colonial nonconformity moved for
a brief time nearer, and then still farther apart. The "Heads of
Agreement"[a] was a compromise so framed as to admit of acceptance by
the Presbyterian who recognized that he must, once for all, give up
his hope of a national church, and by the Independent anxiously
seeking some bond of authority to hold together his weak and scattered
churches. After this compromise, the religious life of the colonies
ceased to be of vital importance to any large section of the English
people. After the Restoration the colonial agents became preeminently
interested in secular affairs, in political privileges, and commercial
advantages. The reaction was felt in the colonies by generations who
lacked the heroic impulses of their fathers, their constant incentive,
and their high standards.  Moreover, the education of the second and
third generation could not be like that of the first.  The percentage
of university men was less.  New Harvard could not supply the place of
old Cambridge. If life was easier, it was more material.

Against such conditions as these, the Reforming Synod made little
headway.[b] It set forth in thirteen questions the offenses of the day
and in the answer to each suggested remedies.  To these questions and
answers the synod added a confession of faith. This last was a
reaffirmation of the Westminster Confession of Faith as amended and
approved by Parliament, or that found in the Savoy Declaration.[c] In
respect to church government, the Reforming Synod confirmed the
"substance of the Platform of Discipline agreed upon by the messengers
of these Churches at Cambridge, Anno Domini, 1648," [50] desiring the
churches to "continue steadfast in the _Order of the Gospel_
according to what is therein declared from the Word of God." Cotton
Mather in the "Magnalia," [5l] writing twenty years later, gives four
points of departure from the Cambridge polity by the Reforming
Synod. First, occasional officiations of ministers outside their own
churches were authorized; secondly, there was a movement to revive the
authority and office of ruling elder and other officers; thirdly,
"plebeian ordination," or lay ordination, ordination by the hands of
the brethren of the church in the absence of superior officers, was no
longer allowed;[d] and fourthly, there was a variation from the
"personal and public confession" in favor of a private examination by
the pastor of candidates for church-membership, though the earlier
custom was still regarded as "lawful, expedient and useful."  With
reference to the office of ruling elder, it had been done away with in
many churches, partly because of lack of suitable men to fill the
office, partly because of the mistakes of incompetents, and partly
because of a growing doubt as to the Scriptural sanction for such an
office.  In many churches the office of teacher had also been
abolished, the pastor inheriting all the authority formerly lodged in
the eldership, and as he retained his power of veto, it came about
that the churches were largely in the power of one man.

Plymouth and Connecticut colonies strongly approved the work of this
local Massachusetts synod. As a result of the interest excited by its
suggestions to increase church discipline, for laws to encourage
morality and Christian instruction, and for renewed zeal on the part
of individuals in godly living, a goodly number of converts were
immediately added to the churches throughout all the colonies. Of
these, the larger number were admitted on the Half-Way Covenant. But
times had changed, and the churches could not keep pace. The attempts
to enforce religion were fruitless,[e] and only go to show that
political interests, that wars,[f] with their accompanying excitement
and license, and that engrossing civil affairs had torn men's minds
from the old interests in religious controversies and in religious

The Church itself had deteriorated as the towns in their civil
capacity had undertaken the support of the minister and to collect his
rates.  Even earlier began, also, the gradual change by which the
election of the minister passed from the small group of church
communicants, or full membership, to the larger body of the Society,
and finally to the town. This change was partly brought about through
the increasing acceptance of the Half-Way Covenant with its attendant
results. In some localities, "owning the Covenant" and presenting
one's children for baptism came to be considered not as a necessary
fulfilling of inherited duties (because of inherited baptismal
privileges) and the consequent recognition of moral obligations, but
as meritorious acts, having of themselves power to benefit the
participants. Further, the rite of baptism, confined at first to
children one at least of whose parents had been baptized, was later
permitted to any for whom a satisfactory person--any one not
flagrantly immoral--could be found to promise that the child should
have religious training. Still another factor in the lowering of
religious life was Stoddardeanism, or the teaching of the Rev. Solomon
Stoddard of Northampton, Massachusetts, a most powerful preacher and
for many years the most influential minister throughout the
Connecticut valley. As early as 1679, he began to teach that baptized
persons, who had owned the covenant, should be admitted to the Lord's
Supper, so that the rite itself might exercise in them a regenerating
grace. In its origin, this teaching was probably intended as a protest
against a morbid, introspective, and weakening self-examination on the
part of many who doubted their fitness to go to communion. But as a
result of the interworking of this teaching and of the practice of the
Half-Way Covenant, church membership came in time to include almost
any one not openly vicious, and willing to give intellectual, or
nominal, assent to church doctrines and also to a few church
regulations.  With the change, the large body of townsmen became the
electors of the minister. Cotton Mather in the "Ratio Disciplinæ" [52]
illustrates these changing conditions when he tells us that the
communicants felt that the right to elect the minister was invested in
them as the real church of Christ, and that, in order to avoid strife
or the defeat of their candidate by the majority of the town, they
would customarily propose a choice between two nominees.

Carelessness of the churches in admitting members had had its
counterpart in the carelessness of the towns in admitting
inhabitants. Very early, as early as 1658, the Connecticut General
Court had been obliged to call them to order.  The March session of
1658-59 had limited the franchise to all inhabitants of twenty-one
years of age or over who were householders (that is, married men), and
who had thirty pounds estate, or who had borne office. This was
shortly changed to "thirty pounds of proper _personal_ estate,"
or who had borne office. The ratable estate in the colony averaged
sixty pounds per inhabitant at this time. Up to March, 1658-59, the
towns had admitted inhabitants by a majority vote. These admitted
inhabitants, armed with a certificate of good character from their
town, presented themselves before the General Court as candidates for
the freeman's franchise, and were admitted or not as the Court saw
fit. Disfranchisement was the penalty for any scandalous behavior on
the part of the successful candidate. One reason for the new and
restrictive legislation was that from 1657 to 1660, from some cause
unknown, large numbers of undesirable colonists flocked into the
Connecticut towns, and thus it happened that, as the Church broadened
her idea of membership, the State had need to limit its conception of
democracy. Consequently, it narrowed the franchise by adding to the
original requirements a large property qualification, and continued to
demand the certificates of good character. Moreover, the candidates
were further required to present their credentials in October, and
they were not to be passed upon until the next session of the Court in
the following April. This two-fold change in the religious and
political life of the colony gave greater flexibility and greater
security, for "with church and state practically intertwined, the
theory of the one had been too narrow and of the other too broad."
[53] After the change in the franchise, records of the towns show that
there was less disorder in admitting inhabitants and more care taken
as to their personal character.

As the townsmen became the electors of the minister, and when the new
latitude in membership had been accepted by the churches, there soon
appeared a growing slackness of discipline and also an increase of
authority in the hands of the ministers and their subordinate
deaconry.  This excess of authority in the hands of one man tended to
one-man rule and to frequent friction between the minister and his
people. As a result councils might be called against councils in the
attempt to settle questions or disputes between pastors and
people. Consequently, among conservatives, there came to be the
feeling that there ought to be some authoritative body to supervise
the churches,--one to which both pastor and people could appeal
disputed points.

In Massachusetts, the Connecticut colonists saw a strenuous attempt to
establish such an authority. Between 1690 and 1705, the Massachusetts
clergy had revived the early custom of fortnightly meetings of
neighboring ministers.  The new associations were purely voluntary
ones for mutual assistance, for debate upon matters of common
interest, or for consultation over special difficulties, whether
pertaining to churches or to their individual members, which might be
brought before them. These associations grew in favor, and later
became a permanent feature of New England Congregationalism. Because
they were received with so much, favor at the time of their revival,
the conservative Massachusetts clergy attempted in the "Proposals of
1705" to increase the ministerial and synodical power within the
churches, and to bring about a reformation in manners and morals by
giving to these associations very large and authoritative powers. The
Proposals provided that all ministers should be joined in Associations
for mutual help and advice; for licensing candidates for the ministry;
for providing for pastorless churches; for a general oversight of
religion, and for the examination of charges brought against their own
members. Standing Councils, composed of delegates from the
Associations and also of a proper number of delegates (apparently
laymen) to represent the membership of the churches, were to be
established. These were to control all church matters throughout the
colony that were "proper for the consideration of an ecclesiastical
council," and obedience to their judgments was to be enforced under
penalty of forfeiture of church-fellowship. The Proposals were
approved by the majority of the Massachusetts clergy; but the liberal
party within the churches would not accede to their demands, and the
General Court would not sanction the Proposals in the face of such
opposition. Consequently, the essential feature of the Proposals, the
Standing Councils, was never adopted. But the attempt to establish
them invigorated the Associations, and the licensing of candidates was
arranged for.

Many people in Connecticut approved the tenor of the Proposals and
desired a similar system. Moreover, there never was a time when the
General Court was so ready to delegate to an ecclesiastical body the
control of the churches.  The trustees of the young college, Yale, the
most representative gathering of clergymen in the colony, were anxious
to have the Court establish some system of ecclesiastical government
stronger than that existing among the churches, and to have it send
out some approved confession of faith and discipline. Consequently,
when, in 1708, Guerdon Saltonstall,[g] the popular ex-minister of New
London, was raised to the governor's chair, the time seemed ripe for a
move to satisfy the widespread demand. In response to it, the May
session of the General Court--

    from their own observation and the complaints of many others,
    being made sensible of the defects of the discipline of the
    churches of this government, arising from want of a more explicit
    asserting of the rules given for that in the holy scriptures [saw
    fit] to order and require the ministers of the several churches in
    the several counties of this government to meet together at their
    respective countie towns, _with such messengers as the churches
    to which they belong_ shall see cause to send with them on the
    last day of June next, there to consider and agree upon those
    methods and rules for the management of ecclesiastical discipline
    which shall be judged agreable and conformable to the word of God,
    and shall at the same meeting appoint two or more of their number
    to meet together at Saybrook... where they shall compare the
    results of the ministers of the several counties, and out of which
    and from them to draw a form of ecclesiastical discipline, which
    by two or more persons delegated by them shall be offered this
    Court ... and be confirmed by them. [54]

The bill was passed by the Upper House of the legislature and sent to
a conference from the Lower, May 22, 1708. It became a law May 22.  In
the interim the words in italics were inserted in order to eliminate
any possible loss of liberty to the churches and to protect them from
a system of government, planned by ministers only, and enforced by the
General Court. [55]

No records of the preliminary meeting have come down to us, but the
Preface of the Saybrook Platform reports such a meeting and that their
delegates met at Saybrook, September 9, 1708.  At this second
convention, twelve ministers, of whom eight were trustees of Yale, and
four messengers were present. Their work, known as the Saybrook
Platform, declares in its Preface that--

    we agree that the confession of faith owned & consented unto by
    the Elders and messengers of the Chhs assembled at Boston in New
    England, May 12, 1680 being the Second Session of that Synod be
    Recommended to the Honbl. the Gen. Assembly of this Colony at the
    next Session for their Publick testimony thereto as the faith of
    the Chhs of this Colony.

    We agree also that the Heads of Agreement assented to by the
    vnited Ministers formerly Called Presbyterian & Congregationall be
    observed by the Chhs throout this Colony.

The work of the synod, including also a series of authoritative
"Articles," was laid before the October session of the Court and
received its approval, the Court declaring its "great approbation of
such a happy agreement" and ordaining "that all churches within this
government that are or shall be thus united in doctrine, worship and
discipline, be and for the future shall be owned and acknowledged
established by law." [58]

The period of transition was over. Connecticut had passed from the
individual consecration and democratic organization of the Cambridge
Platform to the comprehensive membership of a parish system and to the
authoritative councils, or ecclesiastical courts, provided for by the
Saybrook Articles. A consideration of them as the main points of the
Platform is next in order.


[a] The "Heads of Agreement" was destined to have more influence in
America than in England.

[b] The order of the Massachusetts Court was "for the revisall of the
discipline agreed upon by the churches, 1647, and what else may
appeare necessary for the preventing schism, haeresies, prophaneness,
and the establishment of the churches in one faith and order of the
gospell." There was no questioning of the Court's right to
_summon_ this synod, as there had been in 1646-48.

[c] The Savoy Declaration of October, 1658, was put forth by the
English leaders of the Independent, or Congregational, churches as a
confession of faith, and in its thirty articles contained a
declaration of church order. The formulated principles of church order
were suggested by the Cambridge Platform but were neither so clear nor
so fully stated as in the New England document. The Westminster
Confession, the Savoy Declaration, and the later Heads of Agreement,
were destined to have more influence in New England than in England,
where the effect was transient. The Reforming Synod preferred the
Savoy Declaration to the Westminster Confession because the terms of
the former were more strictly Congregational, and also because they
wished to hold a confession in common with their trans-Atlantic
brethren. The Massachusetts synod changed here and there a word in
order to emphasize the church-membership of children as a right
derived through the Half-Way Covenant, and also to state explicitly
the right of the civil authority to interfere in questions of

[d] In 1660 the lay ordination of the Rev. Thomas Buckingham of
Saybrook, Conn., was strongly opposed by a council of churches, but it
was reluctantly yielded to the insistent church.--J. B. Felt,
_Eccl. History_, ii, 207.

[e] "Whereas this Court [the General Court of Connecticut] in the
calamitous times of '75 and '76 were moved to make some laws for the
suppression of some provoaking evils which were feared to be growing
up amongst us: viz.--prophanation of the Sabbath; neglect of
catechizing children and servants and famaly prayer; young persons
shaking off the government of parents or masters; boarders and inmates
neglecting the worship of God in famalyes where they reside; tipling &
drinkeing; uncleanness; oppression in workmen and traders; which laws
have little prevailed. It is therefore ordered by this Court that the
selectmen constables and grand-jury men in their several plantations
shall have a special care in their respective places to promote the
due and full attendance of these aforementioned orders of this Court."

[f] King Philip's War, 1675-76; the usurpation of Andros; King
William's War, 1689-97, with its expedition against Quebec; Queen
Anne's War, 1702-13.

[g] Governor Saltonstall "was more inclined to synods and formularies
than any other minister of that day in the New England colonies." His
influence over the clergy was almost absolute. "The Saybrook Platform
was stamped with his seal and was for the most part an embodiment of
his views."--Hollister, _Hist. of Conn._ vol. ii, p. 585.



    A Government within a Government.

The Saybrook Platform subdivides into a Confession of Faith, the Heads
of Agreement, and the Fifteen Articles.

The Confession of Faith is merely a recommendation of the Savoy
Confession as reaffirmed by the Synod of Boston or the Reforming Synod
of 1680.

The Heads of Agreement are but a repetition of the articles that,
under the same title, were passed in London, in 1691, by fourteen
delegates from the Presbyterian and English Congregational
churches. Both parties to the Agreement had hoped thereby to establish
more firmly their churches and to give them the strength and dignity
of a strongly united body. The Heads of Agreement were drafted by
three men, Increase Mather, the Massachusetts colonial agent to
England, Matthew Mead, a Congregationalist, and John Hone, a
Presbyterian, who in his earlier years and by training was a
Congregationalist.  Naturally, between the influence of the framers
and the necessity for including the two religious bodies, this
platform inclined towards Congregationalism, but equal necessity led
it away from the freedom of the Cambridge Platform, after which it was

In the Heads of Agreement, the composition of the church is defined
according to Congregational standards, as is also the election of its
officers. The definition of the powers of the church is not strictly
Congregational, because initiative action and governing powers are
intrusted to the eldership, while, to the brethren, there is given
only the privilege of assenting to such measures as the elders may
place before them. The membership in the church, as defined, is
semi-Congregational; i. e., in order to become members, persons must
be "grounded in the Fundamental Doctrines of religion" and lead moral
lives, but they are eligible to communion only after the declaration
of their desire "to walk together according to Gospel Rule."
Concerning this declaration the statement is made that "different
degrees of _Expliciteness_ shall in no way hinder such Churches
from owning each other as _Instituted Churches_."  Furthermore,
no one should be pressed to declare the time and manner of his
conversion as proof of his fitness to be received as a communicant.
Such an account would, however, be welcome.  With reference to
parochial bounds, introduced into the primitive Congregationalism of
New England, but always existing in the English Presbyterian system,
the Heads of Agreement declare them to be "not of Divine Right" but--

    for common Edification that church members should live near one
    another, nor ought they to forsake their church for another
    without its consent and recommendation.

In respect to the ministry, the Heads of Agreement affirm that it
should be learned and competent and approved; that ordinarily, pastors
should be considered as ministers only while they continue in office
over the church that elected them to its ministry; that ordinarily, in
their choosing and calling, advice should be sought from neighboring
churches, and that they should be ordained with the aid of neighboring
pastors.  In the matter of installation into a new office of an elder,
previously ordained, churches are to exercise the right of individual
judgment and of preference as to reordination. This same right of
preference is to be exercised in deciding whether or not a church
should support a ruling elder. The Heads of Agreement assert that in
the intercommunion of churches there is to be no subordination among
them, and that there ought to be frequent friendly consultations
between their "_Officers_." There are to be "Occasional Meetings
of Ministers" of several churches to consult and advise upon "weighty
and difficult cases," and to whose judgments, "particular Churches,
their respective _Elders_ and _Members_, ought to have a
reverential regard, and not dissent therefrom, without _apparent_
grounds from the word of God." The Heads of Agreement command churches
to yield obedience and support to the civil authority and to be ready
at all times to give the magistrates an account of their affairs.

The Heads of Agreement were the most liberal part of the Saybrook
Platform, and were not considered sufficiently
authoritative. Accordingly,--

    for the Better Regulation of the Administration of Chh Discipline
    in Relation to all Cases Ecclesiastical both in Particular Chhs
    and In Councils to the full Determining and Executing of the Rules
    in all such cases,[57]--

were added certain resolutions, known as the "Fifteen Articles." They
are in reality the Platform, for all that goes before them is but a
reaffirmation of principles already accepted, and the new thing in the
document, the advance in ecclesiasticism, is the increased authority
permitted and, later, enforced by these Fifteen Articles.

The Articles affirm that power and discipline in connection with all
cases of scandal that may arise within a church, ought, the brethren
consenting, to be lodged with the elder or elders; and that in all
difficult cases, the pastor should take advice of the elders of the
neighboring churches before proceeding to censure or pass judgment. In
order to facilitate both discipline and mutual oversight, the Articles
provide that elders and pastors are to be joined in Associations,
meeting at least twice a year, to consult together upon questions of
ministerial duty and upon matters of mutual benefit to their
churches. From these Associations, delegates were to be chosen
annually to meet in one General Association, holding its session in
the spring, at the time of the general elections. The Associations
were to look after pastorless churches and to recommend candidates for
the ministry. Up to this time a man's bachelor of arts degree had been
considered sufficient guarantee that he would make a capable
minister. Henceforth, there could no longer be complaint that "there
was no uniform method of introducing candidates to the ministry nor
sufficient opportunity for churches to confer together in order to
their seeing and acting harmoniously." [58] In order that there should
be no more confusion arising from calling councils against councils
with their often conflicting judgments, the Articles formed
Consociations, or unions of churches within certain limits, usually
those of a county. These Consociations were to assist upon all great
or important ecclesiastical occasions.  They were to preside over all
ordinations or installations; they were to decide upon the dismissal
of members, and upon all difficulties arising within any church within
their district. If necessary, Consociations could be joined in
council.  Their decisions were to have the force of a judgment or
sentence _only_ when they were "approved by the major part of the
elders present and by such a number of the messengers"--one or two
from each church--as should constitute a majority vote. A church could
call upon its Consociation for advice before sentencing an offender,
but the offender could not appeal to the Consociation without the
consent of his church. By these last provisions, authority and power
tended still more to concentrate in the hands of the elders.  The
Fifteen Articles, though they did not make the judgments of the
Consociations decisive, urged upon individual churches a reverent
regard for them.

The attitude of the churches towards these Fifteen Articles varied,
and it was already known in the Synod that such would be the case.
Some churches would find them more palatable than others. Many were
already converts to the Rev. Solomon Stoddard's insistent teaching
that "a National Synod is the highest ecclesiastical authority upon
earth," [59] that every man must stand to the judgment of a National
Synod.  Even five years before the convening of the Synod at Saybrook,
there had issued from a meeting of the Yale trustees,[a] "altogether
the most representative ecclesiastical gathering in the colony," a
circular letter which urged the Connecticut ministers to agree on some
unifying confession of creed, and that such be recommended by the
General Court to the consideration of the people. The immediate answer
to the letter, if any, is unknown. Trumbull says that--

    the proposal was universally acceptable, and the churches and the
    ministers of the several counties met in a consociated council and
    gave their assent to the Westminster and Savoy Confessions of
    Faith. [60]

It seems that they also "drew up certain rules of ecclesiastical
discipline as preparatory to a General Synod which they still had in
contemplation,"[61] but took no further step to obtain the approval of
the Court. This first definite move toward the Saybrook system bore
fruit when the Fifteen Articles were added to the Platform.  Their
authoritative tone was to satisfy those within the churches who
preferred Presbyterian classes and synods, while their interpretation
could be modified to please the adherents of a purer Congregationalism
by reading them in the light of the Heads of Agreement which preceded
them. Of their possible purport two great authorities upon
Congregationalism speak as follows. Dr. Bacon writes:--

    The "Articles" by whomsoever penned, were obviously a compromise
    between the Presbyterian interest and the Congregational; and like
    most compromises, they were (I do not say by design) of doubtful
    interpretation. Interpreted by a Presbyterian, they might seem to
    subject the Churches completely to the authoritative government of
    classes or presbyteries under the name of consociations.
    Interpreted by a Congregationalist, they might seem to provide for
    nothing more than a stated Council, in which neighboring Churches,
    voluntarily confederate, could consult together, and the proper
    function of which should be not to speak imperatively, but, when
    regularly called, to "hold forth light" in cases of difficulty or

Dr. Dexter sums them up in the following words:--

    Taken by themselves, the fifteen articles were stringent enough to
    satisfy the most ardent High Churchmen among the
    Congregationalists of that day; taken, however, in connection with
    the London document previously adopted, and by the spirit of
    which--apparently--they were always to be construed, their
    stringency became matter of differing judgment, so that what on
    the whole was their intent has never been settled to this
    day. [63]

In accordance with the system of government outlined in the Platform,
the churches of the colony were at once formed into five Associations
and five Consociations, one each in New Haven, New London, and
Fairfield counties, and two in Hartford. In later years, new bodies
were organized, as the other four Connecticut counties were set off
from these original ones. The churches of the New Haven county
Consociation, long cleaving to the purest Congregationalism, refused
to adopt the Platform until they had recorded their liberal
construction of it. Fairfield went to the other extreme, and put on
record their acceptance of the Consociations as church
courts. Hartford and New London accepted the Platform as a whole, as
it came from the synod, leaving to time the decision as to its loose
or strict construction.

A legislative act was necessary to make the Platform the legal
constitution of the Congregational Establishment. Such an act
immediately followed the presentation of the report by the committee,
whom the Saybrook convention, in accordance with the Court's previous
command, sent to the Assembly. Having examined the Platform, the
Legislature declared its strong approval of such a happy agreement,
and in October, 1708, enacted that--

    all the Churches within this government that are, and shall be
    thus united in doctrine, worship and discipline, be, and for the
    future shall be, owned and acknowledged, established by law:

    Provided always that nothing herein shall be intended or construed
    to hinder or prevent any society or church that is or shall be
    allowed by the laws of this government, who soberly differ or
    dissent from the united churches hereby established, from
    exercising worship and discipline in their own way, and according
    to their conscience. [64]

The purport of this proviso was to safeguard churches which had been
approved according to the standards formerly set up by the Court, and
also to prevent the Act of Establishment from seeming to contradict a
"Toleration Act for sober dissenters" from the colony church that had
been passed at the preceding May session.  Out of this proviso grew a
misunderstanding in the Norwich church, which happens also to furnish
a typical illustration of the difficulties sometimes encountered in
trying to collect a minister's salary.

When Mr. Woodward, pastor of the Norwich church, read the act
establishing the Saybrook Platform, he omitted the proviso. The
Norwich deputies, who had been present at the passage of the act,
immediately informed the people of the provision which the Court had
made for the continuance of those churches of which it had previously
approved and which might be reluctant to adopt the stricter terms of
the new system, at least until their value had been demonstrated. For
this behavior, the deputies were censured by the pastor and by the
majority of the church, who sided with him. Thereupon, the minority
withdrew and for three months worshiped apart. Then the breach was
healed, though seeds of discord remained. By 1714, six years later,
they had germinated and had attained such development that it was very
difficult to collect the minister's salary. In Norwich, as elsewhere,
there had formerly been a custom of collecting the ministerial rates
together with those of the county. This custom had arisen because of
difficulty in collecting the former, and in 1708 [65] this practice
was legalized, provided that in each case the minister made formal
application to have his rates thus collected. In the year 1714 and the
following year the General Court was obliged to issue a special order
commanding the town of Norwich to fulfill its agreement with their
minister and to pay his salary in full. The second year, the Court
added the injunction that the money should be collected by the
constables. But at the session following the order, the Norwich
deputies informed the Court that, owing to differences existing among
their townsmen, they had not seen fit to urge its commands upon their
people.  Upon learning that Mr. Woodward's family were actually
suffering, the Court appointed a date, and ordered the Norwich
constables to produce at the time set a receipt, signed by Mr.
Woodward, and showing that his salary had been paid in full. If the
receipt was not forthcoming at the appointed time, the secretary of
the colony was empowered to issue, upon application, a warrant to
distrain all or any unpaid portion of the minister's salary from the
constables, and, also, any additional costs. This legislation seems to
have had due effect, though feeling ran so high that, in the following
year, it was decided to divide the church. When the two parishes were
formed, Mr. Woodward retired, and the life of the divided church was
continued under new ministers.

From the adoption of the Saybrook Platform, the Connecticut churches
were for many years preeminently Presbyterian in character.  The terms
Congregational and Presbyterian were often used interchangeably. As
late as 1799, the Hartford North Association, speaking of the
Connecticut churches, declared them "to contain the essentials of the
Church of Scotland or Presbyterian Church in America." The General
Association in 1805 affirmed that "The Saybrook Platform is the
constitution of the Presbyterian Church in Connecticut."[b] Whether
called by the one name or the other, Presbyterianized
Congregationalism was the firmly established state religion, for under
the Saybrook system the local independence of the churches was largely
sacrificed. The system further exalted the eldership and the pastoral
power.  It replaced the sympathetic help and advisory assistance of
neighboring churches by organized associations and by the authority of

In the new system the ecclesiastical machinery which, at first,
brought peace and order, soon developed into a barren autonomy and
gave rise to rigid formalism in religion, with its consequent baneful
results upon the spiritual and moral character of the people. The
Established Church had attained the height of its security and power,
with exclusive privileges conferred by the legislature. That body had
turned over to the "government within a government" the whole control
of the church and of the religious life of the colony, and had endowed
it with ecclesiastical councils which rapidly developed into
ecclesiastical courts.

"There was no formal coercive power; but the public provision for the
minister's support, and the withdrawal of it from recalcitrant members
formed a coercive power of no mean efficiency." [66]


[a] The charter for the college, together with an annual grant of
three hundred dollars, was granted in 1701. None but ministers were to
be trustees.

[b] The Hartford North Association in 1799 gave "information to all
whom it may concern that the Constitution of the Churches in the State
of Connecticut, founded on the common usage and confession of faith,
Heads of Agreement, Articles of discipline adopted at the earliest
period of the settlement of the State, is not Congregational, but
contains the essentials of the Church of Scotland, or Presbyterian
Church in America, particularly, as it gives a decisive power to
Ecclesiastical Councils and a Consociation consisting of Ministers and
Messengers, or lay representatives, from the churches, is possessed of
substantially the same authority as a Presbytery." The fifteen
ministers at this meeting of the Hartford North Association declared
that there were in the state not more than ten or twelve
Congregational churches, and that the majority were not, and never had
been, constituted according to the Cambridge Platform, though they
might, "loosely and vaguely, though improperly," be "termed
Congregational Churches."--See MS. Records. Also G. L. Walker,
_First Church in Hartford_, p. 358.



    They keep the word of promise to our ear and break it to our
    hope.--_Macbeth,_ Act V, Sc. viii.

The Connecticut General Court incorporated in the act establishing the
Saybrook Platform the proviso--

    that nothing herein shall be intended or construed to hinder or
    prevent any Society or Church that is or shall he allowed by the
    laws of this government, who soberly differ or dissent from the
    United Churches hereby established from exercising worship and
    discipline in their own way, according to their conscience.

Here then was the measure of such religious toleration as could be
expected. It appears a liberal measure. It was liberal in that day and
generation, when men's minds were so firmly possessed by the belief
that civil order was closely dependent upon religious uniformity. The
exact purport of the proviso, however, can best be gauged by
considering it in connection with a legislative act that immediately
preceded it, and by studying the conditions which prompted or enforced
this earlier legislation, known as the Toleration Act of 1708.[a]

As conditions were at its passage, the proviso applied only to certain
Congregational churches that, preferring the polity of the Cambridge
Platform, were determined to adhere to it. In earlier years, these
churches, with their exacting test of regenerative experience, had
constituted the majority. In later years, the Half-Way Covenant
practice and Stoddardeanism had shifted the relative position of
church parties.  Now, the proviso represented that liberal-minded
party within the church who would extend tolerance to the minority who
still clung to the outgrown convictions and principles of an earlier
age.  This tolerance was extended from a two-fold motive: for the
reason just assigned, and because the government hoped, by permitting
a liberal interpretation of the Saybrook Articles, to win over these
tolerated Congregational churches. It trusted that the anticipated
benefits, proceeding from the new order of church government, would
further convince them of the superior advantages derivable from the
Presbyterian or more authoritative rendering of the Saybrook
instrument, and that through such a policy, the ready acceptance of
the Saybrook Platform by all the churches in the colony would be
secured. Furthermore, it would not do for the colony to make an
important law, following the great English precedent of 1689 which had
granted toleration to dissenters, and then, within six months, frame a
constitution for its Established Church, so rigid that no room could
be found in the colony for any fundamental differences in faith or
practice. Consequently, the proviso was made to include both tolerated
Congregationalists and any dissenters who might in the future be
permitted to organize their own churches, or, in the words of the
Court, "any Society or Church that is or shall be allowed by the laws
of this government." Thus the proviso was practically forced into the
October legislation of the General Court by the passing of the
Toleration Act at its spring session, notwithstanding the fact that
its inclusion was in accord with the sentiment of the liberal party.

Toleration Act and proviso notwithstanding, no rival church was
desired at this time in Connecticut. No rival creed was
recognized. True, there were a few handfuls of dissenters scattered
through the colony, but Congregationalism, with a strong tincture of
Presbyterianism, was almost the unanimous choice of the people. It was
largely outside pressure that had forced the passage of the Toleration
Act, even if it accounts for itself as a loyal following of the
English precedent of 1689. Although it had always been understood that
the colonies should make no laws repugnant to the organic or to the
common law of England, Connecticut was determined to protect as much
as possible her own approved church, to keep it free from the
contamination not only of infidels and heretics, but also from
Church-of-England dissenters and from all others. Accordingly she
placed side by side upon her statute book a Toleration Act with a
proviso in favor of her Established Church, and a Church platform with
a proviso for "sober dissenters" therefrom.

The circumstances which led up to and enforced the passage of the
Toleration Act were many and varied. The motives were complex.
Considerations religious, political, social, and economic entered into
the problem which met the Connecticut legislators when they found
their colony falling into disfavor with the King. This problem,
resolved into its simplest terms, consisted in securing continued
exemption from external interference. If Connecticut could retain the
King's approval, she could prevent the intrigues of her enemies at the
English court and could control the situation in the colony, whatever
its aspects, secular or religious. And with reference to the latter,
she would still be able to exalt her Establishment and to keep
dissenters, however they might increase in kinds or numbers, in a
properly subordinated position.

In order to obtain a grasp of the situation within the colony at the
time when its government concluded that the passing of the Toleration
Act would be politic, it is necessary to examine the status of the
dissenters there. Of these there were four classes, the Quakers or
Society of Friends, the Episcopalians, the Baptists, and the
Rogerines. Of these, the Quakers and the Episcopalians were the first
to make the Connecticut government forcibly realize that, if she
interfered with what they believed to be their rights, there would
probably have to be a settlement with the home government. But as the
efforts of these sects to interest the English government in their
behalf run parallel with and mix themselves up with other complaints
against Connecticut, it will make the history of the times clearer if
the early story of the Baptists and Rogerines is first told.

The Baptists early appeared in New England, but it was not until 1665
that Massachusetts permitted their organization into churches, and not
until 1700, only eight years before the Saybrook Platform, that Cotton
Mather wrote of them, "We are willing to acknowledge for our brethren
as many of them as are willing to be acknowledged." In her dislike of
them, Massachusetts had the full sympathy of Connecticut.  And it was
with great dissatisfaction that the authorities of the latter colony
saw these dissenters, early in the eighteenth century, crossing the
Rhode Island boundary to settle within her territory. Accordingly, in
1704, the General Court of Connecticut refused them permission to
incorporate in church estate. When in the following year, in spite of
the legislature's refusal, they organized a church at Groton under
Valentine Wightman,[b] the Assembly proceeded to inflict the full
penalties of the law. While the Baptists had cheerfully paid all
secular taxes, they had made themselves liable to fines and
imprisonments by their refusal, on the ground of conscience, to pay
the ecclesiastical ones, and, as they continued to refuse, fines and
imprisonment and even flogging became their portion. Governor
Saltonstall, mild in his personal attitude toward the three other
groups of dissenters, thoroughly disapproved of the Baptists, seeming
to fear their growing influence in New England and their increasing
importance in the mother country. He believed in a policy of
restriction and oppression toward the mere handful of them that had
settled within his jurisdiction.

Apart from the main body of the Baptists, there were in Connecticut a
number of Seventh-day Baptists and Rogerine Baptists or Rogerine
Quakers. There were a very few of them,--not more than a dozen in
1680.[c] Setting aside the earliest persecution of the Quakers, these
Rogerines were the first dissenters to fall under the displeasure of
the Connecticut authorities. They were the first to be systematically
fined, whipped, and imprisoned for conducting themselves contrary to
the laws for the support and honor of the Connecticut
Establishment. For this reason, though they were weak in numbers and
often an exasperating set of fanatics, they deserve a hearing. Their
persecution began about 1677, while these people were chiefly resident
in New London and the Seventh-day men were mostly members of the
Rogers family. Later, the Rogerines spread to Norwich and Lebanon and
their immediate vicinity.

This sect of Rogerines arose from the intercourse through trade of two
brothers, John and James Rogers of New London, with the Sabbatarians
or Seventh-day Baptists of Rhode Island.  These brothers were baptized
in 1674 and 1675, and their parents in the following year. All were
received as members of the Seventh-day church at Newport. This did not
trouble the Connecticut authorities, who appear not to have interfered
with the converts until they committed a flagrant offense and put
public dishonor upon the colony church; as in 1677, when elders of the
Rhode Island church arrived in New London to baptize the wife of
Joseph Rogers, another brother of the first two converts. The elders
selected for their baptismal ceremony a quiet spot about two miles
from the town. This did not suit John Rogers, who insisted that the
town was the only proper place, and led the little procession into
it. Mr.  Hiscox, one of the elders, was seized while preaching and
carried before the magistrates, but was soon released. Deprived of
their leader, the Sabbatarians withdrew to another place, and John
Rogers, arrogating to himself the office of elder, performed the
baptismal service. From this time forth he began to draw disciples to
himself.  When he pushed his personal opinions too far, the Newport
church attempted to discipline both him and his following, but, this
attempt failing, the Rogerines became henceforth a distinct sect.

The Rogerines, though strictly orthodox in the fundamental articles of
the Christian faith, were opposed by the Connecticut magistrates as
teachers of doctrines tending to undermine religion, as a persistently
rebellious sect, and as notorious breakers of the peace. In faith and
practice, these Rogerines bore some resemblance to the Baptists and
also to the Quakers. Hence, they were often called Rogerine-Baptists
or Rogerine-Quakers. Like the earlier Baptists and the Quakers, they
believed it wrong to take an oath.  They differed from the
Congregationalists chiefly in their form of administering baptism and
the Lord's supper and in their opposition to any paid ministry. Rogers
also claimed that there were certain tests of personal regeneration
which the Congregationalists denied. John Bolles, one of the later
leaders of the sect, declared the Congregational Sunday to be "a great
Idol in this Country, and all the Religion built on the Holiness of
the pretended Sabbath is Hypocrisy and further that it is contrary to
Scripture, for Christians to exercise Authority over one another in
matters of Religion." [67] Rogers, with less dignity and more
pugnaciousness, called the authorities "the scarlet beast" and the
Establishment a "harlot," hurling scriptural texts with rankling,
exasperating abusiveness in his determination to prove her customs
evil and anti-Christian. Not content with such railing, the Rogerines
determined to show no respect to their adversaries' opinions and
worship. Thus, while maintaining that there should be no _public_
worship, Rogers, after his separation from the Seventh-day Baptists,
perversely chose Sunday as the day most convenient for the Rogerines
to hold their meetings. They not only exhorted and testified in the
streets, but forced their way into the churches, pestering the
ministers to argue disputed points.  They offended in another way,
for, according to the colony law, they profaned the Sabbath by
working, claiming that, as all days were holy, all were alike good for
work. Fines and imprisonment began in 1677. They were continued in the
hope, held by the authorities, that they could suppress the Rogerines
by exactions which should melt away their estates. Sometimes these
penalties were unjust, as when John Rogers could rightly claim that he
was sentenced without benefit of jury, and, at another, that the
authorities had seized his son's cattle to settle the father's fines.
John Bolles pleaded against the injustice of forcing men "to pay Money
for his (the minister's) preaching when they did not hear him and
professed it was against their Consciences." [68] But such a plea was
many, many years in advance of his time. The Rogerines, important, in
their own estimate, as called of God, and angered by opposition,
seized upon every scriptural passage that bade them exhort and
testify, feeling it their duty to do so both in season and out. Had
they been willing to give up this practice in public, they would
probably have been left in comparative peace, for Governor Saltonstall
wrote to Rogers offering him protection for his followers if they
would consent to give up "testifying" and would hold their services
quietly and privately. Rogers refused upon the ground that he had a
right to use the colony churches for his preaching, since he and his
people were obliged to contribute to their maintenance. This was
logical, but not acceptable to the Connecticut magistrates, who
continued to cool the enthusiasm of the Rogerines by occasional heavy
penalties, and to look upon them as a set of fanatics, doomed to

The attitude of the Connecticut authorities at this time toward the
Quakers, or Society of Friends, was quite different from that assumed
toward the Baptists and Rogerines. A retrospect of their history in
the colony shows them to have been the earliest dissenters, and also
the ones to whom concessions, though only temporary, were first
made. Previous to the Restoration, the Quakers were the only
dissenters with whom Connecticut had to deal. They appeared in
Massachusetts in 1655, and in the following year New Haven colony
found no laws could be too severe for the "cursed sect of the
Quakers."  The General Court of Connecticut seconded the efforts of
both New Haven and Massachusetts to exclude the obnoxious and
determined sect, but it soon decided that its fears had been greatly
exaggerated, and that mild laws and town legislation were
sufficient. Accordingly, town officers were instructed to prevent
Quakers settling in the colony, to forbid their books and writings,
and to break up their meetings. It was forbidden, however, to lay upon
them a fine of more than ten pounds or, under any circumstances, the
death penalty.

While New Haven whipped, branded, and transported Quakers,[d]
Connecticut mildly enforced her laws against them, [69] and how mildly
the following incidents will show. In 1658, John Rous and John
Copeland, traveling preachers, reached Hartford. They were allowed to
hold a discussion in the presence of the governor and magistrates upon
"God is a Spirit." At its close, they were courteously informed that
the laws of the colony forbade their remaining in it, and were
requested to continue without further delay their journey into Rhode
Island. This request was heeded, but while on their way, to quote
Rous, "The Lord gave us no small dominion." It would seem as if the
wise Quaker had taken the benefit of the law which forbade his
remaining "more than fifteen days in a town," and, also, of the
friendly curiosity of the people along his route. Rous further
testified in behalf of Connecticut that "Among all the colonies found
we not like moderation as this; most of the magistrates being more
noble than those of the others." [70] A short time after Rous's visit,
two Quakers, who persisted in holding services, were arrested and
banished.[e] Still later, two women who attempted to conduct services
in Hartford met with similar treatment, of whom their historian
records: "Except that some extra apparel which they took with them was
sold by the jaoler to pay his fee, no act of persecution befell them
at Hartford."  [71] As late as 1676, when the Congregationalists and
the constables of New London, with great violence, broke up a Friends'
meeting, held by William Edmundson, he tells us that "the sober people
were offended at them," [72] and that on the following Sunday, at "New
Hartford" (Hartford), after the regular morning service, he was
allowed to speak unhindered. The same afternoon, when he attempted to
speak in another meeting-house, the officers, urged on by the
minister, "haled me," he writes, "out of the worship-house, and hurt
my arm so that it bled." When he asked them if they thought that was
the right treatment of a man faint from fasting all day, they, with
excuses for the conduct of the minister and the magistrates, hurried
him to an inn. There the people were allowed to listen to his
discourse, and, the next morning, he was bidden to go freely on his

Most of the Connecticut Quakers were in the border towns. Few, if any,
organized societies were formed in Connecticut until about the time of
the Revolution. Their scattered converts were ministered to by
traveling preachers, and, where possible, members would cross the
boundaries to attend the Quarterly or Monthly Meetings in neighboring
Rhode Island, or possibly Massachusetts, or on Long Island. These
dissenters had quickly perceived the strength of union, and as early
as 1661 the Rhode Island Yearly Meeting had been established, with its
system of subordinate Quarterly and Monthly Meetings. Soon after,
Yearly Meetings at Philadelphia brought reports from the southern and
middle colonies.  Those at Flushing, Long Island, collected news of
converts from New York as far east as the Connecticut River, while the
Yearly Meeting at Newport, Rhode Island, heard from all members east
of that river. The custom of exchanging yearly letters, giving the
gist of these three annual meetings, was soon instituted. After the
establishment of the London Yearly Meeting, the frequent exchange of
letters with the colonial Quakers, begun in 1662, was reinforced by
the exchange of English and American preachers.  By similar means, the
whole Society the world over was bound closely together. Their common
interests were guarded, and every infraction of their liberties
known. If in any of the colonies, as in Connecticut, they were
oppressed for their refusal to pay ecclesiastical taxes and to bear
arms, the facts were known in England. Secular taxes they cheerfully
met, but others were against their conscience. They were excellent
citizens, and they were everywhere friendly with the Indians. Because
of this friendship, and because the Connecticut colony desired the
good offices of the Rhode Island authorities during the dangerous King
Philip's War, the General Court had decided to show favor to the few
Quakers who were then within the colony. Accordingly, in 1675, a bill
was passed temporarily releasing the Quakers from fines for absence
from public worship, provided "that they did not gather into
assemblies within the colony or make any disturbance." How long this
law was operative is uncertain, but probably until about 1702. It, is
omitted in the revision of the laws of that year, and Gough, in his
"History of the People called Quakers," says that the persecuting
spirit died away, but was renewed by Connecticut in 1702.[f] We know
some of the causes that probably led to its revival, such as the
extravagances of the Rogerines, the increase of the Baptists, and the
general feeling that the Congregational churches were inherently weak
among themselves before this threatening increase of external
foes. Moreover, in this same year, there began a very definite
propaganda in behalf of an American episcopate. The attempt to revive
persecution against the Quakers was unfortunate. They believed in
liberty of conscience as a natural, inalienable right, and its
practical exercise they meant to have. Their leaders were constant in
their loyal addresses and dignified petitions to the throne. The great
English Toleration Act had befriended them, and the Act of 1693 had,
by substituting affirmation for oath, allowed them to take full
advantage of the toleration measure. Such religious liberty as they
enjoyed in England, they meant to possess in England's colonies; and
when Connecticut, in 1702, again put on the thumb-screws of
persecution, these dissenters at once sent a protest across the seas.
Their great leader, William Penn, was again in favor at court and with
the Queen, who, in Privy Council, October 11, 1705, favorably heard
their petition and promptly annulled the Connecticut law of 1657
against "Heretics, Infidels and Quakers," declaring it void and
repealed. "The repealing of this Act put a final period to the
persecuting of Quakers in New England." [73] To be more exact, it put
an end to persecution, but not to occasional fines or to legalized
taxes which the Quakers still considered unjust. But as Connecticut
had many serious problems on her hands at this time, she thought it
prudent to follow the lead of the Crown, and repealed the law of 1657,
in so far as it applied to the Quakers.

The year that the Quakers scored this victory, the Episcopalians
lodged with the home government a serious complaint of the intolerance
that Connecticut showed towards members of the Church of England. They
complained that--

    they have made a law that no Christians who are not of their
    community, shall meet to worship God, or have a minister without
    lycence from their Assembly; which law even extends to the Church
    of England, as well as other professions tolerated in
    England. [74]

This was not the first time that such a complaint had been carried to
England. As early as 1665 [g] it had been made, within a year after
Connecticut had satisfied the Commissioners of Charles II, sending
them home convinced that the Church of England services would be
allowed in the colony as soon as there were settlers who desired
them."[h] As there were no Episcopalians in the colony then, nor for
nearly thirty years afterwards, and as Connecticut was in high favor
with the Stuarts, little heed was paid to the complaint at the time,
nor until long years afterwards, when it was coupled with graver

Back of the personal affront to the sovereign in the persecution or
oppression of members of the Church of England, there were graver
causes of offense such as the Crown regarded as mistakes, or even
misdemeanors. For many years Connecticut had been virtually an
independent and sovereign state within her own borders. Her charter
was a most liberal one. She had sought approval for it from the
sovereigns, William and Mary, and, while she had been unable to obtain
for it the crown's expressed approval, she had secured from the best
legal talent a judgment declaring it still valid. She continued to be
practically exempt from external interference with her domestic policy
for a number of years after the Revolution of 1688, yet from that time
on there was always at the English court a party, at first largely
influenced by Sir Edmund Andros and his following, who were either
jealous of Connecticut's charter or envious of her prosperity. They
were always scheming and ready to prejudice the king against his
colony, or to antagonize the Board of Trade.

Within her own borders, Connecticut was peaceful, prosperous, and
contented. For the most part, she was free from the harassing danger
of Indian war. She readily contributed her share for the common
defense of the colonies, and sent her loyal quotas to fight for
England's territorial claims. For many years, Connecticut was shrewd
enough to steer clear of the disastrous inflation of paper currency
which overtook her sister colonies. Many strangers were attracted by
her prosperity, so that, notwithstanding frequent emigrations of her
people, she trebled her population about once in twenty years all
through the first century of her existence.[i] With this increasing
population came, in the latter part of the seventeenth century,
members of the Church of England, who settled in Stratford and in the
towns adjacent to New York.[j] They quickly found that their previous
impressions were erroneous, and that Connecticut would not tolerate
their religious services. Consequently, a report of the religious
condition in Connecticut was made in England, in 1702, at about the
time the Quakers complained of renewed persecution and at a time when
the enemies of the colony were extremely active in charging her with

A report of Connecticut's ecclesiastical constitution and of her
oppression of dissenters was made to the Bishop of London by John
Talbot, who, with George Keith, had traveled through Connecticut on
his way from New York to Boston. These men were missionary priests of
the Church of England. In New London, Governor Saltonstall, then the
minister of that town, knowing that there were a few Church-of-England
men in the place, had met the travelers, "civilly entertained them at
his house," and "invited them to preach in his church." [75] The
Governor might not, the magistrates certainly did not, feel so kindly
disposed toward Talbot a year or so later, when it was found that,
upon his return to New York, he had written home to his superiors in
England, earnestly advocating an American episcopate. True, he urged
that the American bishop should have ecclesiastical powers only, and
that those ecclesiastico-civil in character, such as the probating of
wills, granting of marriage licenses, and the presentation of livings,
should remain in the hands of the colonial governors. But the
Connecticut authorities were not forgetful of Laud's purpose in 1638
to appoint a bishop over New England, and its frustration by the
political unrest at home. They recalled that the revival of such a
project had floated as a rumor about those royal commissioners of 1664
to whom they had given such satisfactory, if evasive,
answers. Moreover, an Order in Council of 1685, of which there is
external evidence, though the order itself is not recorded, had vested
ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the colonies in the Bishop of
London. [76] Connecticut knew also that four years later, in 1689 (the
year that Episcopacy erected King's Chapel, Boston, with its royal
endowment of £100 per year), the first commissary had been dispatched
to Virginia to superintend the churches there. The Crown, as yet, had
deemed it unwise to thrust an episcopate upon its dissenting colonies,
and, except for a short time before Queen Anne's death, it was to take
no interest in the plans for the American episcopate until some forty
years later, when the King thought to discern in it some political
advantage. But early in 1700, when complaints were lodged against
Connecticut, there was a strong party within the English Church itself
who were most anxious to see the episcopal bond between the mother
country and her colonies strengthened. For this purpose, they had sent
to America, in 1695, the Reverend Thomas Bray to report upon the
conditions and churchly sentiment within the colonies.  His report was
published under the title, "A Memorial representing the State of
Religion in the Continent of North America." It was an appeal for
episcopal oversight, and resulted in the formation in England, in
1701, of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign
Parts.  To this organization belonged all the English bishops with all
their influential following. The Society regularly maintained
missionary churches and missionary priests throughout the colonies.
Candidates for this priesthood were required to submit to a thorough
examination as to their fitness. Before sailing, they were required to
report to the Bishop of London as their Diocesan and to the Archbishop
of Canterbury as their Metropolitan. They were required to send full
semi-annual reports of their work and to include in them any other
information that promised to be of interest or advantage to the
Society. John Talbot and George Keith were two of these missionaries.

Talbot's appeal for the American episcopate was seconded in 1705 by
fourteen clergymen from the middle colonies who convened at
Burlington, N. J., to frame a petition to the English archbishop and
bishops. In it they set forth the necessity in America of a bishop to
ordain and to supply other ecclesiastical needs.  The petitioners
added that a bishop was also necessary to counteract "the
inconveniences which the church labors under by the influence which
seditious men's counsels have upon the public administration and the
opposition which they make to the good inclinations of well-affected
persons." [77] In this appeal for a bishop stress was laid upon the
cost and dangers of a trip to England for ordination, [78] and also to
the frequent loss of converts from the independent ministry because of
the lack of ordination privileges in America. These references, and
also that to the "counsel of seditious men," could not be agreeable to
large numbers of dissenting colonists. They would not be viewed with
favor in Connecticut, where, by 1705, Episcopalians had become so
numerous that a wealthy New Yorker, Colonel Heathcote by name, and a
man thoroughly acquainted with his New England neighbor, undertook to
look after the Church-of-England men as unfortunate brethren of a
common faith. He appealed to the English Society for the
Propagating[k] of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to extend its missions
into Connecticut.  He asked that Rector Muirson be stationed at Rye,
New York. Colonel Heathcote's idea was:--

    to first plant the church securely in Westchester on the border of
    Connecticut; and secondly, from that point to act upon
    Connecticut, which was wholly Puritan and withal not a little
    bigoted and uncharitable.

Naturally, whatever of tolerance the Connecticut people might have
shown two traveling preachers would turn to opposition when they saw
the deliberate and well-organized attempt of this proselyting church,
this old enemy of their forefathers, to invade their colony and
undermine their own Establishment. Consequently, when, in company with
Mr. Muirson, Colonel Heathcote began itinerating through southwestern
Connecticut, ministers and magistrates frequently opposed and
threatened them. The people occasionally welcomed them. They did not
object to hear and to criticise the strangers, and were sometimes
willing to have their good neighbors, if they chanced to be
Church-of-England men, enjoy the ministrations of these passing
visitors.  In some places, however, the civil officers went so far as
to go about among the people, even from house to house, to dissuade
them from attending Mr. Muirson's services,[l] and, at Fairfield, the
meeting-house was closed lest it should be "defiled by idolatrous
worship and superstitious ceremonies." [79] The Episcopalians
themselves later acknowledged that, until 1709, they suffered little
persecution beyond "that of the tongue." [m] When they were not
permitted to organize churches, and were forced to pay taxes for the
support of Congregationalism, they complained bitterly to their
friends in England, and such oppression was listed among the many
other misdemeanors, which, at this time, were cited against the former
"dutiful colony of Connecticut."

One of the schemes that Connecticut's enemies sought to carry out,
both for their own advancement, and as a proposed punishment for an
unruly colony, was a consolidation of the New England provinces under
a royal governor. This consolidation was approached when Governor
Fletcher of New York was appointed military chief of Connecticut. His
attempt, in 1693, to enforce his military authority over Connecticut
troops engaged in protecting the northern frontier, resulted in his
failure, and in his angry report to the home authorities of
Connecticut's insubordination and disloyalty. The colony at great
expense sent Major Fitz-John Winthrop to England to answer these
charges. He was successful in proving that Connecticut had not
exceeded her charter rights in her determination to appoint her own
military officers; that, in the wars, she had faithfully contributed
her share to the common defense; and moreover, that it was essential
that she should have the immediate control of her own troops to quell
internal disorder, should it arise, or to repel the sudden approach of
an enemy upon her exposed borders.  Major Winthrop also succeeded in
having the colony's military obligations defined as the furnishing to
the common defense of a number of her militia, proportionate to her
population and to be under their own officers, and in war time a
further draft of a hundred and twenty men to be under the direct
control of the governor of New York. Notwithstanding the splendid
success of Winthrop's mission, this same charge of insubordination was
repeated in a long and later list of grievances against the colony.

The consolidation scheme was revived by the appointment of Governor
Bellomont over New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and
as military head of Rhode Island and Connecticut; but the governor
never tried to enforce his authority in Connecticut. In 1701 and 1706,
bills aiming at this proposed consolidation were introduced into
Parliament. That of 1701 failed of consideration from "shortness of
time and multiplicity of issues." In 1704 an attempt was made to
secure the appointment of a royal governor over Connecticut through an
Order in Council, but that body preferred to leave the matter to
Parliament,--hence the bill of 1706 favoring consolidation which
failed of passage in the Lords. It failed largely because of the
energy and eloquence of Sir Henry Ashurst, the Connecticut agent.

Sir Henry also succeeded in getting a copy of the various charges
against the colony, which were thought to justify annulling her
charter, and in obtaining a grant of time to submit them to the
Connecticut General Court for a reply.  The colony found that it was
charged with encouraging violations of the Navigation Laws; with
holding in contempt the Courts of Admiralty; with failing to furnish
troops and to place them under officers of the Crown; with executing
capital punishment without any authority in her charter; with
encouraging manufactures, contrary to the known wishes of the Crown;
with irregular and unjust court proceedings; with treating
contumaciously the royal commissioners sent to settle the Mohegan land
controversy; with injustice to the Quakers; with forbidding services
of the Church of England; and with disallowing appeals to
England. These were the more important complaints. In behalf of the
colony, Sir Henry appeared before the Privy Council, and in able
argument showed that many of the charges were without foundation; that
some of the colony's acts which were complained of as unlawful were
well within her charter privileges; and that the decisions of her
courts, far from being illegal, had, in nearly every case, when
brought to the attention of the English government, been approved by
it. Further than this, the Connecticut agent obtained a stay in the
proceedings of the Mohegan case,[n] though it was soon reopened and
seriously menaced the colony until the settlement in her favor in
1743. In the famous Liveen or Hallam case, Connecticut opposed an
appeal to the Crown, because such an appeal would give the Privy
Council the right to interpret the charter and pass upon the colony
laws.[o] Though Sir Henry Ashurst had succeeded in having many of the
charges dropped, the danger had been so great to the colony that he
privately advised the government to conciliate the Crown by protesting
its immediate readiness to fulfill all military obligations, and, as a
further proof of loyalty, to repeal at once the old law of 1657
against heretics which Queen Anne had just annulled (October 11, 1705)
at the request of the Quakers.  The General Court, as we have seen,
followed his advice, and repealed the law in so far as it concerned
Quakers. But this was not enough to satisfy other dissenters in the
colony.  The Rev. John Talbot had arrived in England in 1706 to plead
in person [80] for an American bishop, and Colonel Heathcote in 1707
wrote [81] with respect to the Episcopalians in Connecticut that it
would be absolutely necessary to procure an order from the Queen
freeing the Church of England people from the established rates, or
they would always be so poor as to be dependent upon the Society for
Propagating the Gospel.  He further asked the repeal of the law
whereby the Connecticut magistrates "refuse liberty of conscience to
those of the established (English) church." Colonel Heathcote adds
that it would not be much more than had been granted to the Quakers,
and that it "would be of the greatest service to the Church than can
at first sight be imagined."

So great was the importunity of the Connecticut Episcopalians, that,
in 1708, Governor Saltonstall wrote to England to disarm their
complaints against the colony. It looked as if religious discontent
might become a dangerous thing. Royal disfavor certainly would be. It
might be better to condone the lack of religious uniformity among a
few scattered dissenters, differing among themselves, and to endure
it,--obnoxious as it was,--than to suffer the loss of the Connecticut
charter. Moreover, this tendency to the spread of nonconformity might
be controlled by judicious legislation. Furthermore, it would be
politic to have upon the colony lawbook some relief for dissenters
from its Establishment similar to the English statutes relieving
nonconformists there from adherence to the Church of England. Hence
the Toleration Act, and, of necessity, the proviso in the act of the
following session of the General Court whereby it approved the
Saybrook Platform.

The Toleration Act was of no benefit to Rogerine or Quaker, who by
their principles were forbidden to take the oath of allegiance that it
demanded. It was of little practical advantage to Baptist or
Episcopalian, but it was a move in the right direction. According to
its terms, dissenters, before the county courts, could qualify for
organization into distinct religious bodies by taking the oath of
fidelity to the crown, by denying transubstantiation and by declaring
their sober dissent from Congregationalism. They could have such
liberty, provided that it in no way worked to the detriment of the
church established in the colony,--that is, the law did not exclude
any dissenter "from paying any such (established) minister or town
dues as are or shall hereafter be due from him."

At best, such toleration would provide a rigorous test of a
dissenter's sincerity. He would have nothing of worldly advantage to
gain and much to lose as a "come-outer" from the Establishment.
Social prestige would remain almost entirely within the state
church. It would be to a man's pecuniary advantage to stay within its
fold.  Without it, he would be doubly taxed; by the State for the
support of Congregationalism, by his conscience to maintain the church
it approved.  If he lapsed in duty toward his own, he would easily
become a marked man among his few co-religionists. If he failed to
attend regularly the church of his choice, the ancient law of the
colony would hale him before the judge for neglect of public worship,
and fine him for the benefit of a form of religion which he viewed
with aversion as unscriptural, if not also anti-Christian. In a new
and thinly settled country where life was hard and money scarce, this
double taxation was of itself almost prohibitive of dissent. And yet
this Toleration Act, notwithstanding its meagre terms, and which,
considered in the light of the twentieth century, implies one of the
worst forms of tyranny, was a measure of undreamed-of and dangerous
liberality if looked at from the point of view of the sixteenth
century, or even from that of many princes of the eighteenth. The very
summer following the passage of this act saw London crowded with
refugees from the religious tyranny of the Palatinate, whose Elector
was determined to force the people, after over a hundred and thirty
years of Protestantism, back to Rome because he was himself a
Romanist, and IMPERII RELIGIO RELIGIO POPULI. The Connecticut
law-makers had a good deal of faith in this same principle, though
they never had resorted, and did not wish to do so, to extreme
penalties to secure religious uniformity. The solidarity of the people
and the geographical position of the colony had contributed largely to
a uniform church life. Far from the usual ports of entry, the early
dissenters had for the most part passed her by. But at the beginning
of the eighteenth century, watching the signs of the times elsewhere,
and aware of the cosmopolitan element creeping into her population,
the Connecticut authorities were ready to admit that soon it might be
necessary to modify somewhat the old dictum that the religion of the
government must be the religion of all its people. England had seen
fit to make such modification, and her test of roughly twenty years
had shown conclusively that religious toleration and civil disorders
were not synonymous, as had formerly been believed. The Connecticut
colony had no particular desire to follow in England's steps. If it
had, after-history would have associated it in men's minds less with
the Puritanical narrowness of New England and more with such tolerance
as was shown in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Tolerance,
Connecticut thought, might work well under a government like that of
England, but her leaders were not convinced that it would be
altogether wise for their own land. They, therefore, had preferred to
postpone as long as they could the possible evil day. Now that
toleration could no longer be delayed, they had admitted it most
guardedly, and at once had proceeded to strengthen their own church
foundations by the establishment of the Saybrook system of
ecclesiastical government.


[a] "For the ease of such as soberly dissent from the way of worship
and ministrie established by the ancient laws of this government, and
still continuing, that if any such persons shall at the countie court
of the countie they belong to, qualifie themselves according to an act
made in the first year of the late King William and Queen Mary,
granting libertie of worshipping God in a way separate from that which
is by law established, they shall enjoy the same libertie and
privilege in any place in this colonie without let, or hindrance or
molestation whatsoever. Provided always that nothing herein shall be
construed to the prejudice of the rights and privileges of the
churches as by law established or to the _excluding any person from
paying any such minister or town dues as are or shall hereafter be due
from him_." (The italics are mine. M. L. G.)
_Conn. Col. Rec_. v, 50.

Failure to comply with the law was punished by a heavy fine, and in
default thereof, by heavy bail or by imprisonment until the time for

[b] Later in 1707, Mr. Wightman and Mr. John Bulkley,
Congregationalist minister of Colchester, by permission of the
authorities, who were troubled by the rumor that the Baptists and
Seventh-day Baptists were about to begin proselytizing in earnest in
Connecticut, entered into a public debate as to the merits of their
respective religious beliefs. Not much came of it to the
Congregationalists, who had expected to see Mr.  Wightman's arguments
annihilated, while the Baptists had a fine opportunity to publish
broadcast their views. Such a discussion was steadily forbidden Browne
and Barrowe in 1590.  A century had developed sufficient toleration to
make interesting, as well as permissible, a public discussion of
divergent beliefs.

[c] The report to the Commission of Trade and Foreign Plantations made
in 1680 gave:

"26 Answ. Our people in this colony are some strict Congregational
men, others more large Congregational men, and some moderate
Presbyterians, and take the Congregational men of both sorts, they are
the greatest part of the people in the colony.

"There are 4 or 5 Seven-day men, in our Colony, and about so many

"17 Answ. (1) Great care is taken for the instruction of ye people in
ye X'tian religion, by ministers catechising of them and preaching to
them twice every Sabbath daye and sometimes on lecture dayes; and so
by masters of famalayes instructing and catechising the children and
servants being so required by law. In our corporation there are
twenty-six towns and twenty-one churches. There is in every town in
the colony a settled minister except in two towns newly begun."--This
was equivalent to one minister to 460 persons, or to about 90
families.--_Conn. Col. Rec._ iii, 300. Trumbull's _Hist. of
Conn._ i, 397.

[d] Humphrey Norton in the New Haven colony was whipped severely,
burnt in the hand with the letter "H" for heretic, and banished for
being a Quaker. The next year, for testifying against the treatment of
Norton, William Bond, Mary Dyer, and Mary Whetherstead were
apprehended by the same authorities, and forcibly carried back to
Rhode Island.--H. Rogers, _Mary Dyer_, p. 36. For the Quaker Laws
of both colonies see Note 69.

[e] The notorious William Ledra of later Massachusetts fame was one of

[f] This year a law was passed requiring every person to carefully
apply himself on the Lord's day to the duties of religion.  See _New
Haven Hist. Soc. Papers_, ii, 399.

[g] "Articles of Misdemeanor vs. Connecticut, July, 1665. "They deny
to the inhabitants the exercise of the religion of the church of
England; arbitrarily fining those who refuse to come to their
congregational assemblies."

Law Book of Conn, printed 1670. "It is ordered that when the ministry
of the word is established according to the Gospel, throughout this
Colony, every person shall duly resort and attend thereunto
respectively upon the Lord's day, upon public fast days and days of
thanksgiving as are generally kept by appointment of authority; and
any person ... without necessary cause, withdrawing himself from the
public ministry of the word, he shall forfeit for his absence from
every such meeting five shillings."--_Conn. Col. Rec_. iii, 294.

[h] They reported that the colony would "not hinder any from enjoying
the sacraments and using the common prayer book, provided that they
hinder not the maintenance of the public minister."--Hutchinson,
_Hist, of Mass._, p. 412.

Dr. Beardsley suggests that influential citizens may have assured them
that the laws would be modified to accommodate
Episcopalians.--E. E. Beardsley, _Hist. of the Episcopal Church_,
i, p. 116.

[i] Population in 1656, 800; 1665, 9000; 1670-80, 10,000-14,000; 1689,
17,000-20,000; 1730, approximately, 50,000; 1756, 130,000; 1761,
145,000; 1776, 200,000; 1780, 237,946--F. B. Dexter, Estimates of the
Population of the American Colonies, in _American Antiquarian
Society Proceedings_, 2d series, vol. 5.

[j] Up to 1680, there was only one Episcopal clergyman in New England,
Father Jordan, of Portsmouth, N. H. There was an Episcopal clergyman
at the fort in New York, and outside of Virginia and Maryland only two
others in North America. There were a few Episcopal families in
Stratford in 1690.

[k] Or "Propagation,"--as it is most frequently called.

[l] Mr. Muirson's report after his first visit to Stratford was that
he had had "a very numerous congregation both forenoon and afternoon."
He continues, "I baptized about twenty-four persons the same
day.... "The Independents threatened me and all who were instrumental
in bringing me thither, with prison and hard usage. They are very much
incensed to see the Church (Rome's sister, as they ignorantly call
her) is likely to gain ground among 'em, and use all stratagem they
can invent to defeat my enterprise,"--_Church Doc. Conn._, i,
p. 17.

Colonel Heathcote wrote, "The Ministers are very uneasy at our coming
amongst them, and abundance of pains were taken to persuade and
terrify the people from hearing Mr.  Muirson, but it availed
nothing;"--not even the threat to jail the rector for holding services
contrary to the colony law which the magistrates had read to him at
his lodgings.--_Church Doc. Conn._, i, p. 20.

[m] "We received no persecution than that of the tongue until
December, 1709."--_Ibid._, i, p. 42.

[n] The Mohegan Indians had sold certain lands to the colony in 1659,
Major John Mason acting as agent. These lands had been conveyed to
English proprietors. John Mason, the major's grandson, representing
his own and other interests, pretended that both his grandfather and
the Indians had been overreached and wronged by the colony in the
transaction; that the colony had taken more land than agreed upon from
the Indians, and had also seized some that belonged by private
purchase to the Mason heirs. For the sake of peace and the credit of
magnanimity, the government offered to the chief, Owaneco, who
represented the Indians, to pay them again for the land, but Mason and
his party resolved to prevent such a settlement. One of them went to
England with a false report of extortion practiced upon the savages,
and a commission was sent out to investigate. Connecticut was willing
to answer the commissioners if they sought facts for a report, but
when they assumed the right to decide the question judicially, the
colony could only protest against their pretensions. The commissioners
adjudged the land in dispute to the Indians and the Mason party, and
charged the colony nearly £600 and costs. The colony appealed to the
Crown and won the case in 1743; but it was again appealed by Mason,
and in this fashion dragged along until after the Revolution, when the
Indians were content to accept the reservation allotted by the State
to them.--C. W. Bowen, _Boundary Disputes_, pp. 25-27.

[o] John Liveen of New London in 1689 left property to the "ministry
of the town." Major Fitz-John Winthrop and his brother-in-law Edward
Palmes were executors. Major Winthrop was absent with the army on the
northern frontier, but made no objection to the probating of the will
at a special court in New London in 1689. This probating Major Palmes,
a former friend of Andros, declared void, since Andros had ruled that
all wills should be probated at Boston. Upon special application of
Mrs. Liveen, in 1690, the county court probated a copy of the will,
since Palmes held the original. To this probating the latter also
objected on the ground that, though the court had been again
legalized, the "ministry" referred to must be that recognized by the
English law and not the Congregational ministry of the town,--the only
one then existing. The colonial courts decided against him, and John
and Nicholas Hallam, the widow's sons by a former marriage, virtually
accepted the terms of the will and the court's decision by being
parties to the sale of a portion of the Liveen estate, the ship
"Liveen." The estate could not be wholly settled; so the town
continued to receive a regular dividend until after the widow's death
in 1698. Then the sons attempted to contest the will. The Court of
Assistants confirmed the proceedings of the lower courts. Not
satisfied with this decision, Nicholas Hallam went to England in
1700-1702, and was allowed to plead his case before the Privy
Council. Sir Henry Ashurst held that the charter gave the right of
final decision, but the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations
thought otherwise, and it looked as if Hallam was to win his case,
when he was ordered to return to America and, because of
technicalities, to retake all the testimony. In 1704, because of his
acknowledged signature in the sale of the "Liveen," the suit was
decided in favor of the colony.--F. M. Caulkins, _Hist. of New
London_, pp. 222-228.



    Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear
    thy God; for I am the Lord your God.--Leviticus, xxv, 17.

The dissenters found the terms of the Toleration Act too narrow; the
conditions under which they could enjoy their own church life too
onerous.  Consequently, they almost immediately began to agitate for a
larger measure of liberty, and persisted in their demands for almost
twenty years before obtaining any decided success.

Foremost among the dissenters pressing for greater liberty, for
exemption from taxes for the benefit of Congregational worship, and
for the same privileges in the support of their own churches as the
members of the Connecticut Establishment enjoyed, were the
Episcopalians. The year following the passage of the Toleration Act
witnessed the first persecution of these people beyond that of tongue
and pen. Fines and imprisonments began in earnest and were continued,
more or less frequently, for many years. Even as late as 1748, the
Episcopalians of Reading were fined for reading the Prayer-book and
for working on public fast-days. Still later, in 1762, there was
occasional oppression, as in the case of the New Milford
Episcopalians. They desired to build a church, but had to wait for the
county court to approve the site chosen. The court was averse to the
building of the church, and accordingly was a long time in complying
with this technicality. Meanwhile, the Episcopalians could not build,
neither would they attend Congregational worship, and the magistrates,
refusing to recognize the services held in private houses, fined them
for absence from public worship. This treatment was abandoned as soon
as it became known that the rector had counseled his people to submit,
as he intended to send a copy of the court's proceedings to England to
be passed upon as to their legality. It was such petty, yet costly,
persecution as this that became frequent after 1709, and from which
the Episcopalians were determined to escape.

These Church-of-England men were increasing in numbers in the colony,
and, at the passage of the Toleration Act, were quite hopeful that the
Rev. John Talbot's mission to England to secure a bishop for America
would prove successful.  Although he was not successful in obtaining
the episcopate, his mission received so much encouragement from those
in high places that, upon Talbot's return, a home for the prospective
bishop was purchased, in 1712, in Burlington, New Jersey. It was known
that Queen Anne was much interested in the proposed bishopric, and
letters were exchanged between the leaders of the movement in England
and the prominent Independent clergymen in the colonies, in order to
sound the state of public opinion. A bill for the American expansion
of the Church of England, as a branch to be severed from the
jurisdiction of the Bishop of London and to be planted in the colonies
under a bishop with full ecclesiastical powers, was prepared and was
ready for presentation in Parliament when the Queen's death, August 1,
1714, caused its withdrawal, and felled the hopes of Churchmen. George
I had too many temporal affairs to occupy his mind to burden himself
with the intricate rights, powers, and privileges of a new episcopate,
sought by a few colonials scattered through the American
wilderness;--too many vexatious secular affairs in the colonies, and
too heavy war-clouds darkening his European horizon. The Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel, in 1715, made one futile attempt to
interest the king, and then gave up any hope of the immediate
appointment of an American bishop.

In the Connecticut colony, the Episcopalians had so increased that, in
1718, there was in Stratford a church of one hundred baptized persons,
thirty-six communicants, and a congregation that frequently numbered
between two and three hundred people. They were ministered to by
traveling missionaries of the Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel. When these Stratford people appealed to the Society for a
settled minister, they complained that "there is not any government in
America but has our settled Church and minister, but this of
Connecticut." [82] Still all the Society could then do was to send a
missionary priest, and to keep alive in England, among the powerful
Church party there, so keen an interest that it would seize upon the
first opportunity to use its great influence and to compel the English
government to force the Connecticut authorities to comply with the
demands of the colonial Churchmen for the unrestricted enjoyment of
their religion. Such an interest was kept up by the regular, full
reports which the Society required of all its missionaries.  And these
reports, be it remembered, were expected to contain news of any kind,
and of everything that happened in the colony of Connecticut, or
elsewhere, that could possibly be turned to advantage in influencing
the home authorities, in pushing the interests of the English
Establishment in America, and in strengthening its membership
there. Although, after the death of Queen Anne, the king's
indifference checked the movement for the American episcopate, its
friends did not abandon it, and a persistent effort for its success
was soon begun. One of its prime movers was the Rev. George Pigott,
missionary to Stratford, Connecticut, in 1722.

Under Mr. Pigott, the Church of England in Connecticut made a most
encouraging and important gain, when, in 1722, Timothy Cutler, Rector
of Yale College, and six of his associates proclaimed their
dissatisfaction with Congregationalism, or, as they termed it, "the
Presbyterianism" of the Connecticut established church.  They asserted
that "some of us doubt the validity, and the rest are more fully
persuaded of the invalidity of the Presbyterian ordination in
opposition to the Episcopal."

Three of these men remained in "doubt," and continued within the
Congregational church.[a] Four of them, Rector Timothy Cutler, Tutor
Daniel Brown, Rev. James Wetmore of North Haven, and Rev. Samuel
Johnson of West Haven, went to England to receive Episcopal
ordination.[b] The story of their conversion is to Churchmen an
illustration of the scriptural command, "Cast your bread upon the
waters and it will return to you after many days." The Connecticut
authorities had chosen the Rev. Timothy Cutler because of his
eloquence, and had sent him to Stratford to counteract the early
successes of the Church-of-England missionary priests, who were at
work among the people there. Later, in 1719, Cutler, because of his
abilities, was chosen President, or Rector, of Yale, as, in the early
days, the head of the college was called. The seeds of doubt had
entered his mind during his Stratford pastorate. He and his associates
found many books in the college library that, instead of lessening,
increased their doubts. After presiding for three years over the
greatest institution of learning in the colony, which had for its
object the preparation of men for service in civil office and, even
more in those days, for service in religion, Rector Cutler, together
with his associates, announced their change of faith. The colony was
taken by storm, and there spread throughout its length and breadth,
and throughout New England also, a great fear that Episcopacy had made
a _coup d'etat_ and was shortly to become the established church
of her colonies as well as of England herself. Naturally, among the
colonial Churchmen, it excited the largest hope "of a glorious
revolution among the ecclesiastics of the country, because the most
distinguished gentlemen among them are resolutely bent to promote her
(the Church's) welfare and embrace her baptism and discipline, and if
the leaders fall in there is no doubt to be made of the people." [83]

These hopes were in a degree confirmed by the conversion of one or two
more ministers, and by the Yale men that the classes of 1723, 1724,
1726, 1729, and 1733 gave to Episcopacy. By the impetus of these
conversions, within a generation, "the Episcopal Church under a native
born minister had penetrated every town, had effected lodgment in
every Puritan stronghold, and had drawn into her membership large
numbers of that sober-minded, self-contained, tenacious people who
constitute the membership of New England to-day."[84] After the
conversions of 1722, the movement for the apostolic episcopate in
America became more determined, and never wholly ceased until the
consecration of Samuel Seabury as bishop of Connecticut in 1784.

A decided change took place in Connecticut's policy upon the death of
Governor Saltonstall in 1724, and under his successor in office,
former Lieutenant-Governor Joseph Talcott. The new governor was a
Hartford man, more liberal in his ecclesiastical opinions and opposed
to severe measures against dissenters. Hardly had Governor Talcott
taken office when Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London, wrote him, urging
in behalf of the Episcopalians a remittance of ecclesiastical
taxes. "If I ask anything," wrote the Bishop, "inconsistent with the
laws of the country, I beg pardon; but if not, I hope my request for
favors for the Church of England will not appear unreasonable." The
Bishop accompanied his letter with a paper, a copy of a circular
letter to the different colonial governors, in which, among other
matters relating to his clergy, he professed his readiness to
discipline them if necessary "in order to contribute to the peace and
honor of the government." This proposal was due, in part, to the
scandalous reputation in New England which the southern settled clergy
bore. Because of this reputation, the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel had from the first made a special point of the morals of
their missionary priests. Indeed, these priests, themselves, had
warned the Society that, if it expected any returns from its missions
in New England, it would have to take great pains to send out a
superior class of men. Governor Talcott replied to Bishop Gibson,
under date of December 1, 1725,[c] "that there is but one Church of
England minister in this colony, [d] and the church with him have the
same protection as the rest of our Churches and are under no
constraint to contribute to the support of any other minister." After
reflecting upon the number and character of the few persons in another
town or two "who claim exemption from rates," Governor Talcott quotes
the colony law for the support of the ministry in every town, and adds
that, upon the death of an incumbent, the townspeople "are quickly
supplied by persons of our own communion, educated in our public
schools of Learning; which through divine blessing afforded us, we
have sufficiency of those who are both learned and exemplary in their
lives." This was a polite way of informing the bishop that Connecticut
preferred to do without his missionaries.  It was one thing for the
tolerant governor to grant exemption from Congregational taxes in the
case of an influential church like that of Stratford, and quite
another to extend the same toleration to every scattered handful of
people who might claim to be members of the Church of England, and who
might welcome the coming of her missionary priests.

The Episcopalians, however, were not content to rest their privileges
upon their numerical power in each little town, or upon the personal
favor of the magistrates. They therefore continued their agitation for
exemption from support of Congregationalism and from fines for
neglecting its public worship. Under the lead of the wardens and
vestry of Fairfield, they obtained favor with the General Court in
1727,[e] when an act was passed, "providing how taxes levied upon
members of the Church of England for the support of the Gospel should
be disposed of," and exempting said members from paying any taxes "for
the building of meeting houses for the present established Churches of
this government." The law further declared that if within the parish

    there be a Society of y'e Church of England, where there is a
    person in orders, according to y'e Canons of y'e Church of
    England, settled and abiding among them and performing divine
    service so near to any person that hath declared himself of y'e
    Church of England, that he can conveniently and doth attend y'e
    public worship there, then the collectors, having first
    indifferently levied y'e tax, as aforesaid, shall deliver y'e
    taxes collected of such persons declaring themselves, and
    attending as aforesaid, unto y'e minister of y'e Church of
    England, living near unto such persons; which minister shall have
    power to receive and recover y'e same, in order to his support in
    y'e place assigned to him.

    But if such proportion of any taxes be not sufficient in any
    Society of y'e Church of England to support y'e incumbent there,
    then such Society may levy and collect of them who profess and
    attend as aforesaid, greater taxes, at their own discretion, to
    y'e support of their ministers.

    And the parishoners of y'e Church of England, attending as
    aforesaid, are hereby excused from paying any taxes for y'e
    building meeting houses for y'e present Established Churches of
    this government.[85]

After the passing of this law, the magistrates contented themselves
with occasional unfair treatment of the weaker churches. They
sometimes haggled over the interpretation of the terms "near" and
"conveniently" as found in the law. They objected to the appointment
of one missionary to several stations or towns.  They also did not
always enforce upon the Presbyterian collectors strict accuracy in
making out their lists, and when the Episcopalians sought redress for
unreturned taxes or unjust fines, they found their lawsuits blocked in
the courts.  The magistrates, also, showed almost exclusive preference
for Congregationalists as bondsmen for strangers settling in the
towns, while the courts continued to frequently refuse or to delay the
approval of sites chosen for the erection of Episcopal churches.

Finally, there was a certain amount of political and social ostracism
directed against Churchmen. A notable attempt to defraud the
Episcopalians of a due share of the school money, derived from the
sale of public lands and from the emission of public bills, was
defeated in 1738 by a spirited protest, setting forth the illegality
of the proceeding, the probable indignation of the King at such
treatment of his good subjects and brethren in the faith, and by
pointing to the fact, as recently shown by a test case in
Massachusetts, that the Connecticut Establishment itself could not
exist without the special consent of the King. [86] The petition was
signed by six hundred and thirty-six male inhabitants of the
colony. They asserted in their protest that they had a share in equity
derived from the charter; that they bore their share of the expenses
of the government; and that the teaching of the Church of England made
just as good citizens as did that of the Presbyterian Church. The
public lands, from the sale of which the school money was derived,
were those along the Housatonic river.  The money was appropriated
according to a law enacted in 1732 which distributed it among the
older towns as a reward for good schools. But, in 1738, the
legislature passed a bill by which a majority vote of the town or
parish could divert the money to the support of "the gospel ministry
as by law in the colony established." Naturally this new law operated
against all dissenters, who, equally anxious with the
Congregationalists to have good schools, were an ignored minority
whenever the latter chose to vote the money to the support of their
church. As a result of this spirited protest of the Episcopalians, the
enactment of 1738 was repealed two years later "because of
misunderstanding." Notwithstanding such hardships as the Episcopalians
suffered in Connecticut, their own writers declare that, at this
period of colonial history, the Churchmen in Connecticut had less to
complain of than their co-religionists in New York and in the southern

While the Episcopalians were agitating for a larger liberty than that
granted by the Toleration Act, the other dissenters, Rogerines,
Quakers, and Baptists, were not idle.

The efforts of the Rogerines were marked more by violence than by
success. They had become less fanatic, and persecution had died away
during the first ten years following the passage of the Toleration
Act. All might have gone smoothly had they not suddenly stirred
Governor Saltonstall to renewed dislike, the magistrates to fresh
alarm, and the people to great contempt and indignation. This they
accomplished by a sort of mortuary tribute to their leader, John
Rogers, who died in 1721. This tribute took the form of renewed zeal,
and was marked by a revival of some of their most obnoxious
practices. The Rogerines determined to break up the observance of the
Puritan Sabbath. Immediately, an "Act for the Better Detecting and
more effectual Punishment of Prophaneness and Immorality" was
passed. It was especially directed against the Rogerines. Its most
striking characteristic was that it changed the policy of the
government from the time-honored Anglo-Saxon theory that every man is
innocent until proved guilty, to the doctrine that a man, accused,
must be guilty until proved innocent. In so oft-recurring a charge as
that of being absent from public worship, it became lawful to exact
fines unless the accused could prove before a magistrate that he had
been present. But this first act did not dampen sufficiently the
renewed zeal of the Rogerines, and for two years there was a
continuance of sharp legislation to reduce their disorderliness. They
were fined five shillings for leaving their houses on Sunday unless to
attend the orthodox worship, and twenty shillings for gathering in
meeting-houses without the consent of the ministers. They were given a
month, or less, in the house of correction, and at their own expense
for board, for each offense of unruly or noisy behavior on Sunday near
any meeting-house; for unlawful travel or behavior on that day; and
for refusal to pay fines assessed for breaking any of the colony's
ecclesiastical laws. These laws [87] were enforced one Sunday in 1725
against a company of Rogerines who were going quietly on their way
through Norwich to attend services in Lebanon.  The outburst of
religious fervor spent itself in two or three years. Governor Talcott
did not believe in strong repressive measures, and it was soon
conceded that the ignoring of their eccentricities, if kept within
reasonable bounds, was the most efficient way to discourage the
Rogerines.  Summarizing the influence of this sect, we find that they
contributed nothing definite to the slow development of religious
toleration in Connecticut.  If anything, their fanaticism hindered its
growth, and they gained little for themselves and nothing for the
cause. As the years went on and their little sect were permitted to
indulge their peculiar notions, and the props of the State were not
weakened nor the purity of religion vitally assailed, the Rogerines
contributed their mite towards convincing mankind, and the Connecticut
people in particular, that brethren of different creeds and religious
practices might live together in security and harmony without danger
to the civil peace.

During the seventeen years that Governor Talcott held office, 1724-41,
the life of the colony was marked by its notable expansion through the
settlement of new towns, [f] and by the dexterity with which its
foreign affairs--its relations to England and its boundary disputes
with its neighbors--were conducted. The last dragged on for years,
calling for several expensive commissions and causing much
confusion. The Massachusetts line was determined in 1713; that of
Rhode Island in 1728; and that of New York in 1735. Connecticut, in
all these cases, had to be wary lest the attempts to settle these
disputed claims should weary, antagonize, or anger the King.[88] Many
of the old charges were renewed, and Connecticut was no longer
regarded as a "dutiful" colony, but rather as one altogether too
independent, from whom it might be wise to wrest her charter,
subjecting her to a royal governor. As early as 1715, her colonial
agent had been advised to procure a peaceable surrender of the
charter. To this proposal, Governor Saltonstall had returned a
courteous and dignified refusal. But the danger was always cropping
up.  Governor Talcott's English official correspondence is full of
details concerning Connecticut's increasing anxiety concerning the
attitude and the decisions of the home government; over the dangers
consequent to her institutions or to her charter. It was repeatedly
suggested that that charter should be surrendered, modified in favor
of the King's supervision, or annulled. In the Governor's letters, one
follows the intricacies of the boundary disputes, of the complicated
Mohegan case, and sounds the dangers to the colony from the
disposition and decisions of the Crown.[89]

One case in particular demands a passing consideration because of its
far-reaching effects, and because it paralleled in time the
legislation in the colony which broadened the Toleration Act. This was
the famous case of John Winthrop against his brother-in-law, Thomas
Lechmere, to recover real estate left by the elder Winthrop to his son
and daughter. The suit brought up the whole question of land entail in
Connecticut, and, with it, the possibility of an economic and social
revolution in the colony which would have been the death-blow to its
prosperity. Winthrop, by appealing the case to England, brought
Connecticut into still greater disfavor, and risked the loss of the
charter, together with many special privileges in religion and
politics which the colony enjoyed through a liberal interpretation of
that instrument. In the course of the suit, the constitutional
relations of Crown and colony had to be threshed out.

John Winthrop's father died in 1717, when, according to Connecticut,
but not English, law of primogeniture, Winthrop received as eldest son
a double portion of his father's real estate, and his sister, Thomas
Lechmere's wife, the rest.  Winthrop's brother-in-law was not a man
wholly to be trusted to deal justly with his wife's property; but
this, in itself, was a very small factor in the suit. Winthrop was at
variance with the Connecticut authorities, and was dissatisfied with
his share both of his father's property and of his uncle's, whose heir
he was. No matter how much his own personal interests might endanger
the colony, Winthrop resolved to have all the property due him as
eldest son and heir under English law. He appealed his case to
England, taking it directly from the local probate court, and ignoring
the Court of Assistants, where he might have obtained some
redress. Moreover, to influence the decision in his favor he included
in his list of grievances many of the old offenses charged against
Connecticut. He did this, even while acknowledging that the colonial
Intestate Act, framed in 1699,[90] was but the embodiment of custom
that had existed from the beginning of the colony. While this case
dragged on, it was again intimated to Connecticut that the surrender
of her charter, or at least the substitution of an explanatory
charter, might be an acceptable price for the royal confirmation of
her Intestate Law. Finally, Winthrop went to England, and was given a
private hearing, at which no representative of the colony was present.
As a result of this hearing, an order in Council was issued February
15, 1728, annulling the Connecticut Intestate Act as contrary to the
laws of England and as exceeding charter rights. Moreover, the
colonial authorities were ordered to measure off the lands, claimed by
Winthrop, and to restore them to him.

Of course, it would take some time to obey the order. Meanwhile, if
this restitution were made, if the decision were submitted to, it
would invalidate so many land titles as to threaten the very existence
of Connecticut's economic structure.  The colony sought the best legal
talent obtainable. For seventeen years Connecticut continued this
expensive lawsuit, urging always her willingness to comply in the case
of Winthrop, if only the decision be made a special one and not a
precedent,--if only an order in Council, or an act of Parliament,
would reinstate the Connecticut Intestate Law. Her agents in England
were instructed to demonstrate how well the colonial division of
property had worked, and that under the English division, where all
real estate went to the eldest son, if it were practiced in a new and
heavily wooded country, whose chief wealth was agriculture, the rental
of lands would yield income barely sufficient to pay taxes and repair
fences, and there could be no dowry for the daughters. A still further
result would be, that the younger sons would be driven into
manufacturing or forced to emigrate. In each case the Crown would
suffer, either by the loss of a colonial market for its manufactured
products, or by an impoverished colony, incapable of making
satisfactory returns to the royal treasury. [91] Moreover, in the case
of emigration, when Connecticut, lacking men to plow her fields, could
no longer produce the foodstuffs the surplus of which she sold to the
"trading parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island" to supply the
fisheries, the Crown would feel still another baneful effect from its
attempt to enforce the English law of entail. Again, there was another
aspect from which to view the annulment of the Connecticut Intestate
Law. Its annulment would render worthless many past and present
land-titles.  Creditors who had accepted land for debt would
suffer. Titles to lands, held by towns, as well as individuals, would
become subject to litigation; the whole colony would be plunged into
lawsuits, and its economic framework would be rent in pieces. The
Intestate Law was in accordance with custom throughout New
England. When in 1737 a similar statute in Massachusetts was sustained
by the King in Council in the appeal of Phillips _vs._ Savage,
Connecticut, notwithstanding the renewed and repeated suggestions to
give up her charter, took courage to continue the contest.

During these years the question of the constitutional relation of
colony and Crown was frequently raised, and Connecticut was called
upon to show that her laws were not contrary to the laws of
England. She had to prove that they were not contrary to the common
law of England; nor to the statute law, existing at the founding of
the colony; nor to those acts of Parliament that had been expressly
extended to the colony. This was the most commonly held of the three
interpretations of "not contrary to the laws of England." The most
restricted interpretation was that all colonial laws higher than
by-laws, and "which even within that term touched upon matters already
provided for by English common or statute law, were illegal" or
"contrary." Under this interpretation, "the colonies were as towns
upon the royal demesne."  Connecticut herself held to a third
construction, maintaining that, as her own charter nowhere stipulated
that her administration should accord with the civil, common, or
statute law of England, she, at least, among the colonies was free to
frame her own laws according to her own needs and desires. Holding to
this opinion, which had never been corrected by the Crown, Connecticut
maintained that "contrary to the laws of England" was limited in its
intent to contrary to those laws expressly designed by Parliament to
extend to the plantations. Moreover, Connecticut insisted that the
colonies were not to be compared to English towns, because, unlike the
towns, they had no representation in Parliament. The Connecticut
Intestate Act was opposed to the English law according to the first
two interpretations, but not according to the third. Further, the
Connecticut authorities felt that if the conditions which had given
rise to the law were fully realized in England, the apparent
insubordination of the colony would disappear in the light of the real
equity of the colonial statute. In Governor Talcott's letter, dated
November 3, 1729, under "The Case of Connecticut Stated," there is a
summary of the reasons why the colony hesitated to appeal directly to
Parliament for a confirmation of the Intestate Act. She was afraid of
exciting still greater disfavor by seeming to ask privileges in
addition to those already conferred upon her in her very liberal
charter. She was afraid of courting inquiry in regard to her
ecclesiastical laws, her laws relating to the collegiate school, and
also sundry civil laws. The colony feared that the result of such an
investigation would be that she would thereafter be rated, not as a
government or province, but as a corporation with a charter permitting
only the enactment of by-laws. Moreover, she dreaded to be ranked with
"rebellious Massachusetts," and thus further expose herself to a
probable loss of her charter.

After contesting the decision against her for many years, at last in
1746 she virtually won her case through a decision given in England in
the suit of Clarke _vs._ Tousey,[92]--a suit which had been
appealed from the colony, and which presented much the same claim as
Winthrop's.  The decision in favor of Clarke was equivalent to a
recognition of Connecticut's Intestacy Law.  It has been pointed out
that, important as the Winthrop controversy was from the economic
standpoint, it was equally important as fore-shadowing the legislation
of the English government some thirty years later, and as defining the
relation of colony and Crown. Moreover, in 1765, as in 1730, "economic
causes and conditions," writes Professor Andrews in his discussion of
the Connecticut Intestacy Law, "drove the colonists into opposition to
England quite as much as did theories of political independence, or of
so-called self-evident rights of man."

It was during the continuance of this troublesome Winthrop suit, while
boundary lines were still unsettled, while as yet the Mohegan titles
remained in dispute, while the most grievous charge of encouraging
home manufactures, and many other complaints were brought against
Connecticut,--it was in the midst of her perplexities and conflicting
interests that the dissenters within her borders sought greater
religious liberty. They sought it, not only through their own local
efforts, but through the strength of their friends in England, who
brought all their influence to bear upon the home government. With
such help Episcopalians had won exemption in 1727, and within two
years Quakers and Baptists were accorded similar freedom.

Connecticut Quakers, though few in numbers, were very determined to
have their rights. From 1706, the Newport Yearly Meeting had
encouraged the collecting and recording of all cases of "sufferance."
In 1714, at the close of Queen Anne's War (1702-13), the Newport
Yearly Meeting reported to that of London that "there is much
suffering on account of the Indians at the Eastward, yet not one (of
ours) had fallen during the last year, Travelling preachers having
frequently visited those parts without the least harm.... Friends in
several places have suffered deeply on account of not paying
presbyterian priests, and for the Refusing to bear Armes, an Account
of which we Doe herewith Send." In 1715, the English law had granted
them the perpetual privilege of substituting affirmation for oath. The
Quakers were determined to have the same freedom in the colonies as in
England. Accordingly, they watched with interest the test case between
the Quaker constables of Duxbury and Tiverton,--both, then, under the
jurisdiction of Massachusetts,--and the authorities of that
colony. Fines and persecutions were so much alike in Connecticut and
Massachusetts that a dissenter's victory in one colony would go far
towards obtaining exemption in the other. The Quaker constables had
refused to collect the church rate, and for this refusal were thrown
into prison. Thereupon a petition, with many citations from the colony
law books, was sent to England, begging that the prisoners be released
and excused from their fines, and that such unjust laws be annulled.
The Privy Council ordered the prisoners released and their fine
remitted. This decision was rendered in 1724, and, with the success of
the Episcopalians three years later, still further encouraged both
Quakers and Baptists to seek relief from ecclesiastical taxes and
fines. Two years later, in May, 1729, the Quakers appealed to the
Connecticut Court for such exemption, and were released from
contributing to the support of the established ministry and from
paying any tax levied for building its meeting-houses, provided they
could show a certificate from some society of their own (either within
the colony or without it, if so near its borders that they could
regularly attend its services) vouching for their support of its
worship and their presence at its regular meetings. [93]

Turning to the Baptists, the oppressive measures employed to make them
violate their conscience ceased on the inauguration of Governor
Talcott in 1724. Thereafter, those among them who conformed to the
requirements of the Toleration Act received some measure of freedom.
To the neighborly interest of the Association of Baptist Churches of
North Kingston, Rhode Island, and to the influence of leading Baptists
in that colony, including among them its governor (who subjoined a
personal note to the Association's appeal to the Connecticut General
Court), was due the favor of the Court extended in October, 1729, [94]
to the Baptists, whereby they were granted exemption upon the same
terms as those offered the Quakers.

Thus in barely twenty years from the passage of the Toleration Act,
Episcopalian, Quaker, and Baptist had driven the thin edge of a
destroying wedge into the foundations of the Connecticut
Establishment. Each dissenting body was pitifully small in absolute
strength, and they had no inclination toward united action. Quakers
and Baptists were required to show certificates, a requirement soon to
be considered in itself humiliating. The new laws were negative, in
that they empowered the assessor to _omit_ to tax those entitled
to exemption, but they provided no penalty to be enforced against
assessors who failed to make such omission. Indeed, in individual
cases, the laws might seem to be scarcely more than an admission of
the right to exemption. However, it was an admission that a century's
progress had brought the knowledge that brethren of different
religious opinions could dwell together in peace. It was an exemption
by which the government admitted, as well as claimed, the right of
choice in religious worship.  It was a far cry to the acknowledgment
that a man was free to think his own thoughts and follow his own
convictions, provided they did not interfere with the rights of other
men. The new laws were a concession by a strongly intrenched church to
the natural rights of weaker ones, whose title to permanency it
greatly doubted.  They were a concession by a government whose best
members felt it to be the State's moral and religious obligation to
support one form of religion and to protect it at the cost, if
necessary, of all other forms,--a concession, by such a government, to
a very small minority of its subjects, holding the same appreciation
of their religious duty as that which had nerved the founders of the
colony. It was a concession by the community to a very few among their
number, who were divergent in church polity and practice, but who were
united in a Protestant creed and in the conviction, held then by every
respectable citizen, that every man should be made to attend and
support some accepted and organized form of Christian worship.


[a] The Rev. John Hart of East Guilford, Samuel Whittlesey of
Wallingford, and Jared Ellis of Killingworth. These men were always
friendly to the Churchmen.

[b] The Rev. Daniel Brown died in England.  In the next forty years,
one tenth of those who crossed the sea for ordination perished from
dangers incident to the trip.

[c] This year the home influence of the Church of England had been
brought to bear with sufficient pressure to forbid the calling of a
general synod of the New England churches which had been desired, and
towards which Massachusetts had taken the initial step. See
A. L. Cross, _Anglican Episcopate_, pp. 67-70.

[d] Stratford.

[e] This same year, George I granted to Bishop Gibson a patent
confirming the jurisdiction which, as Bishop of London, he claimed
over the Church of England in the colonies. George II renewed the
patent in 1728-29.

[f] Between 1700 and 1741 more than thirty new towns were organized,
making twice as many as in 1700.



    Wake, awake, for night is flying:
    The watchmen on the heights are crying,
    Awake, Jerusalem, arise!--Advent Hymn.

The opposition of Episcopalian, Quaker, and Baptist to the Connecticut
Establishment, if measured by ultimate results, was important and
far-reaching. But it was dwarfed almost to insignificance, so feeble
was it, so confined its area, when compared to that opposition which,
thirty-five years after the Saybrook Synod and a dozen years after the
exemption of the dissenters, sprang up within the bosom of the
Congregational church itself, as a protest against civil enactments
concerning religion. This protest was a direct result of the moral and
spiritual renascence that occurred in New England and that became
known as the "Great Awakening."  History in all times and countries
shows a periodicity of religious activity and depression.  It would
sometimes seem as if these periodic outbreaks of religious aspirations
were but the last device of self-seeking,--were but attempts to find
consolation for life's hardships and to secure happiness
hereafter. Fortunately such selfish motives are transmuted in the
search for larger ethical and spiritual conceptions. An enlarged
insight into the possibilities of living tends to slough off
selfishness and to make more habitual the occasional, and often
involuntary, response to Christlike deeds and ideals. But so ingrained
is our earthly nature that, in communities as in nations, periods
alternate with periods, and the pendulum swings from laxity to
morality, from apathy to piety, gradually shortening its arc. So in
Connecticut, numbers of her towns from time to time had been roused to
greater interest in religion before the spiritual cyclone of the great
revival, or "Great Awakening," swept through the land in 1740 and the
two following years.  The earlier and local revivals were generally
due to some special calamity, as sickness, failure of harvest,
ill-fortune in war, or some unusual occurrence in nature, such as an
earthquake or comet, with the familiar interpretation that Jehovah was
angry with the sins of his people.  Sometimes, however, the zeal of a
devoted minister would kindle counter sparks among his people. Such a
minister was the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, who mentions five notable
revivals, or "harvests,"[a] as he calls them, during his sixty years
of ministry in the Northampton church.  A few other New England towns
had similar revivals, but they were brief and rare.

Notwithstanding these occasional local "stirrings of the heart," at
the beginning of the second quarter of the eighteenth century a cold,
formal piety was frequently the covering of indifferent living and of
a smug, complacent Christianity, wherein the letter killed and the
spirit did not give life. This was true all over New England, and
elsewhere. Nor was this deadness confined to the colonies alone, for
the Wesleys were soon to stir the sluggish current of English
religious life. In New England, the older clergymen, like the Mathers
of Massachusetts, conservative men, whose memories or traditions were
of the golden age of Puritanism, had long bemoaned the loss of
religious interest, the inability of reforming synods to create
permanent improvement, and the helplessness of ecclesiastical councils
or of civil enactments to rouse the people from the real "decay of
piety in the land," and from their indifference to the immorality that
was increasing among them. This indifference grew in Connecticut after
the Saybrook Platform had laid a firm hold upon the churches. Its
discipline created a tendency, on the one hand, to hard and narrow
ecclesiasticism, and, on the other, to careless living on the part of
those who were satisfied with a mere formal acceptance of the
principles of religion and with the bare acknowledgment of the right
of the churches to their members' obedience.[b]

It is a great mistake [writes Jonathan Edwards] if any one imagines
that all these external performances (owning the covenant, accepting
the sacraments, observing the Sabbath and attending the ministry), are
of the nature of a _profession_ of anything that belongs to
_saving grace_, as they are commonly used and
understood.... People are taught that they may use them all, and not
so much as make any pretence to the least degree of _sanctifying
grace_; and this is the established custom. So they are used and so
they are understood.... It is not unusual ... for persons, at the same
time they come into the church and pretend to own the covenant, freely
to declare to their neighbors, that they have no imagination that they
have any true faith in Christ or love to Him.[95]

The General Court, relieved from the oversight of the churches, had
bent itself to preserving the colony's charter rights from its enemies
abroad, and to the material interests involved in a conservative,
wise, and energetic home development. The people's thoughts were with
the Court more than with the clergy, who had fallen from a healthy
enthusiasm in their profession into a sort of spiritual deadness and
dull acceptance of circumstances. [96] As a sort of corollary to
Stoddard's teaching that the Lord's Supper was itself a means toward
attaining salvation, it followed that clergymen, though they felt no
special call to their ministry, were nevertheless believed to be
worthy of their office. The older theology of New England had tended
to morbid introspection. Stoddard, in avoiding that danger, had thrown
the doors of the Church too widely open, and the result was a gradual
undermining of its spiritual power. The continued acceptance of the
Half-Way Covenant, "laxative rather than astringent in its nature,"
helped to produce a low estimate of religion. The tenderness that the
Cambridge Platform had encouraged towards "the weakest measure of
faith" had broadened into such laxity that, in many cases, ministers
were willing to receive accounts of conversions which had been written
to order for the applicants for church membership. The Church,
moreover, had come directly under the control of politics, a condition
never conducive to its purity. The law of 1717, "for the better
ordering and regulating parishes or societies," had made the minister
the choice of the majority of the townsmen who were voters. This
reversed the early condition of the town, merged by membership into
the church, to a church merged into the town. [97] There was still
another factor, often the last and least willingly recognized in times
of religious excitement, namely, the commercial depression throughout
the country, resulting from years of a fluctuating currency. This
depression contributed largely to the revival movement, and helped to
spread the enthusiasm of the Great Awakening. Connecticut's currency
had been freer from inflation than that of other New England
colonies. But her paper money experiments in the years from 1714 to
1749 grew more and more demoralizing. Up to 1740, Connecticut had
issued £156,000 in paper currency. At the time of the Great Awakening
she had still outstanding £39,000 for which the colony was
responsible. Of this, all but £6000 had been covered by special
taxation.  There still remained, however, about £33,000 which had been
lent to the various counties.  Taxation was heavy, wages low and
prices high, and there was not a man in the colony who did not feel
the effect of the rapidly depreciating currency.[98] This general
depression fell upon a generation of New Englanders whose minds no
longer dwelt preëminently upon religious matters, but who were, on the
contrary, preëminently commercial in their interests.

Such were the general conditions throughout New England and such the
low state of religion in Connecticut, when, in the Northampton church,
Solomon Stoddard's grandson, the great Jonathan Edwards, in December,
1734, preached the sermons which created the initial wave of a great
religious movement. This religious revival spread slowly through
generally lax New England, and through the no less lax Jerseys, and
through the backwoods settlements of Pennsylvania, until it finally
swept the southern colonies.  At the time, 1738, the Rev. George
Whitefield was preaching in Carolina, and acceptably so to his
superior, Alexander Garden, the Episcopal commissary to that
colony. Touched by the enthusiasm of the onflowing religious movement,
Whitefield's zeal and consequent radicalism, as he swayed toward the
Congregational teaching and practices, soon put him in disfavor with
his fellow Churchmen. Such disfavor only raised the priest still
higher in the opinion of the dissenters, and they flocked to hear his
eloquent sermons. Whitefield soon decided to return to England. There
he encountered the great revival movement which was being conducted,
principally by the Wesleys, and he at once threw himself into the
work. Meanwhile, he had conceived a plan for a home for orphans in
Georgia, and, a little later, he determined upon a visit to New
England in its behalf. Upon his arrival in Boston in 1740, the
Rev. George Whitefield was welcomed with open arms. Great honor was
paid him. Crowds flocked to hear him, and he was sped with money and
good-will throughout New England as he journeyed, preaching the
gospel, and seeking alms for the southern orphanage.  His advent
coincided in time with the reviving interest in religion, especially
in Connecticut.  Interest over the revival of 1735 had centred on that
colony the eyes of the whole non-liturgical English-speaking
world. Whitefield's preaching was to this awakening religious
enthusiasm as match to tinder.

The religious passion, kindled in 1735 by Edwards, and hardly less by
his devoted and spiritually-minded wife, had in Connecticut swept over
Windsor, East Windsor, Coventry, Lebanon, Durham, Stratford, Ripton,
New Haven, Guilford, Mansfield, Tolland, Hebron, Bolton, Preston,
Groton, and Woodbury. [99] The period of this first "harvest" was
short. The revival had swept onward, and indifference seemed once more
to settle down upon the land. But the news of the revival in
Connecticut had reached England through letters of Dr. Benjamin
Coleman of Boston. His account of it had created so much interest that
Jonathan Edwards was persuaded to write for English readers his
"Narrative of the Surprising Work of God." Editions of this book
appeared in 1737-38 in both England and America, and all Anglo-Saxon
non-prelatical circles pored over the account of the recent revival in
Connecticut. Religious enthusiasm revived, and was roused to a high
pitch by Whitefield's itinerant preaching, as well as by that of
Jonathan Edwards, and by the visit to New England of the Rev. Gilbert
Tennant, one of two brothers who had created widespread interest by
their revival work in New Jersey.  A religious furor, almost mania,
spread through New England, and the "Great Awakening" came in earnest.

The Rev. George Whitefield reached Newport, Rhode Island, in
September, 1740. Crowds flocked to hear him during his brief visit
there.  In October, he proceeded to Boston, where he preached to
enthusiastic audiences, including all the high dignitaries of Church
and State. During his ten days' sojourn in the city, no praise was too
fulsome, no honor too great. Whitefield next went to Northampton,
drawn by his desire to visit Edwards. After a week of conference with
the great divine, Whitefield passed on through Connecticut, preaching
as he went, and devoted the rest of the year to itinerating through
the other colonies. Already his popularity had been too much for him,
and he frequently took it upon himself to upbraid, in no measured
terms, the settled ministry for lack of earnestness in their calling
and lack of Christian character. This visit of Whitefield was followed
by one from the Rev. Gilbert Tennant, who arrived in Boston in
December, and spent his time, until the following March, preaching in
Massachusetts and Connecticut. Tennant was also outspoken in his
denunciations, and both men, while sometimes justified in their
criticisms, were frequently hasty and censorious in their judgments of
those who differed from them.

Ministers throughout New England were quick to support or to oppose
the revival movement, and a goodly number of them, as itinerants, took
up the evangelical work. Dr. Colman and Dr. Sewall of Boston, Jonathan
Edwards and Dr. Bellamy of Connecticut, were among the most
influential divines to support the Great Awakening,--to call the
revival by the name by which it was to go down in
history. Unfortunately, among the aroused people, there were many who
pressed their zeal beyond the reverent bounds set by these
leaders. The religious enthusiasm rushed into wild ecstasies during
the preaching of the almost fanatic Rev. James Davenport of Southold,
and of those itinerant preachers who, ignorant and carried away by
emotions beyond their control, attempted to follow his example.

During this religious fever there were times when all business was
suspended. Whole communities gave themselves up to conversion and to
passing through the three or more distinct stages of religious
experience which Jonathan Edwards, as well as the more ignorant
itinerants, accepted as signs of the Lord's compassion.  Briefly
stated, these stages were, first, a heart-rending misery over one's
sinfulness; a state of complete submissiveness, expressing itself in
those days of intense belief both in heaven and in a most realistic
hell, as complete willingness "to be saved or damned,"[c] whichever
the Lord in his great wisdom saw would fit best into His eternal
scheme. Finally, there was the blessed state of ecstatic happiness,
when it was borne in upon one that he or she was, indeed, one of the
few of "God's elect." [100] The revival meetings were marked by
shouting, sobbing, sometimes by fainting, or by bodily contortions.
All these, in the fever of excitement, were believed by many persons
to be special marks of supernatural power, and, if they followed the
words of some ignorant and rash exhorter, they were even more likely
to be considered tokens of divine favor,--illustrations of God's
choice of the simple and lowly to confound the wisdom of the
world. The strong emotional character of the religious meetings of our
southern negroes, as well as their frequent sentimental rather than
practical or moral expression of religion, has been credited in large
measure to the hold over them which this great religious revival of
the eighteenth century gained, when its enthusiasm rolled over the
southern colonies. Be that as it may, any adequate appreciation of the
frequent daily occurrences in New England during the Great Awakening
would be best realized by one of this twentieth century were it
possible to form a composite picture, having the unbridled
emotionalism of our negro camp-meetings superimposed upon the solid
respectability and grave reasonableness of the men of that earlier
day.  As the lines of one and the other constituent of this composite
picture blend, the momentary feeling of impatience and disgust
vanishes in a wave of compassion as the irresistible earnestness and
the pitiless logic of those days press, for recognition, and we
realize the awful sufferings of many an ignorant or sensitive soul. It
was not until the religious revival had passed its height that the
people began to realize the folly and dangers of the hysteria that had
accompanied it. It was not until long afterward that many of its
characteristics, which had been interpreted as supernatural signs,
were known and understood, and correctly diagnosticated as outward
evidence of physical and nervous exhaustion.

Such, outwardly, were the marked features of the Great Awakening. Yet
its incentives to noble living were great and lasting. Its immediate
results were a revolt against conventional religion, a division into
ecclesiastical parties, and a great schism within the Establishment,
which, before the breach was healed, had improved the quality of
religion in every meeting-house and chapel in the land and broadened
the conception of religious liberty throughout the colony.


[a] At Northampton in 1680, 1684, 1697, 1713, and 1719.

[b] As early even as 1711, the Hartford North Association suggested
some reformation in the Half-Way Covenant practice because it noted
that persons, lax in life, were being admitted under its terms of
church membership.

[c] This "to be saved or damned" was, later, a marked characteristic
of Hokinsianism, or the teaching of the Rev. Samuel Hopkins,



    If a house be divided against itself.--Mark iii, 25.

From such a revival as that of the Great Awakening, parties must of
necessity arise. Upon undisciplined fanaticism, the Established church
must frown. But when it undertook to discipline large numbers of
church members or whole churches, recognizedly within its embracing
fold and within their lawful privileges, a great schism resulted, and
the schismatics were sufficiently tenacious of their rights to come
out victorious in their long contest for toleration.

The proviso of the Saybrook Platform had arranged for the continued
existence of churches, Congregational rather than Presbyterian in
their interpretation of that platform; yet, as late as 1730, when but
few remained, the question had arisen whether members of such
churches, "since they were allowed and under the protection of the
laws," ought to qualify according to the Toleration Act. The Court
decided in the negative, [101] arguing that, although they differed
from the majority of the churches in preferring the Cambridge Platform
of church discipline, they had been permitted under the colony law of
May 13, 1669, establishing the Congregational church, and had been
protected by the proviso of 1708.  The Court in its decision of 1730
seems also to have included a very few churches that had revolted from
the religious formalism creeping in under the Saybrook system, and
that had returned to the earlier type of Congregationalism.  After the
Great Awakening, churches "thus allowed and under the protection of
our laws" were found to increase so rapidly that the movement away
from the Saybrook Platform threatened to undermine the ecclesiastical
system, and to endanger the Establishment. Seeing this, the Court, or
General Assembly,[a] began to enforce the old colony law that with it
alone belonged the power to approve the incorporating of churches. And
shortly after it began to harass these separating churches, and to
enact laws to prevent the farther spread of reinvigorated
Congregationalism unless of the Presbyterian type.  Soon after 1741,
the churches that drew away from the Saybrook system of government
became known as Separate churches, and their members as
Separatists. When these people found that the Assembly would no longer
approve their organizing as churches, they attempted, as sober
dissenters from the worship established in the colony, to take the
benefit of the Toleration Act.  The Assembly next "resolved that those
commonly called Presbyterians or Congregationalists should not take
the benefit of that Act." [102]

Here was a difficulty indeed. There was no place for the Separatist,
yet there was need of him, and he felt sure there was. Furthermore,
there were others who felt the need to the community of his strong
religious earnestness, though they might deplore his
extravagances. His strong points were his assertion of the need of
regeneration, his reassertion of the old doctrines of justification by
faith and of a personal sense of conversion, including, as a duty
inseparable from church membership, the living of a highly moral
life. The weakness of the Separatist lay in his assertion, first, that
every man had an equal right to exercise any gifts of preaching or
prayer of which he believed himself possessed; secondly, of the value
of visions and trances as proofs of spirituality; and finally, of
every one's freedom to withdraw from the ministry of any pastor who
did not come up to his standard of ability or helpfulness. It followed
that the Separatists insisted upon the right to set up their own
churches and to appoint their own ministers, although the latter might
have only the doubtful qualification of feeling possessed with the
gift of preaching. The Separatists organized between thirty and forty
churches. Some of them endured but a short time, suffering
disintegration through poverty. Others fell to pieces because of the
unrestrained liberty of their members in their exhortations, in their
personal interpretation of the Scriptures, and in their exercise of
the right of private judgment, with the consequent harvest of
confusion, censoriousness, and discord that such practices created. In
years later, many of the Separate churches, tired of the struggle for
recognition and weighed down by their double taxation for the support
of religion, buried themselves under the Baptist name. Indeed they
"agreed upon all points of doctrine, worship, and discipline, save the
mode and subject of baptism." A few Separatist churches, a dozen or
more, continued the struggle for existence until victory and
toleration rewarded them.  After the teachings of Jonathan Edwards had
purified the churches and had driven out the Half-Way Covenant,
against which the Separatists uttered their loudest protests, many of
these reformers returned to the Established church.

In the practice of--their principles, the Separatists, both as
churches and as individuals, were often headstrong, officious,
intermeddling, and censorious. They frequently stirred up ill-feeling
and often just indignation. The rash and heedless among them accused
the conservative and regular clergy of Arminianism, when the latter,
influenced by the Great Awakening, revived the doctrines of original
sin, regeneration, and justification by faith, but were careful to add
to these Calvinistic dogmas admonitions to such practical Christianity
as was taught by Arminian preachers. The Separatists feared lest the
doctrine of works would cause men to stray too far from the doctrine
of justification by faith alone, and they were often very intemperate
in their denunciation of such "false teachers." It was a day of freer
speech than now, and at least two of the great leaders in the revival
had set a very bad example of calling names. Mr. Whitefield considered
Mr. Tennant a "mighty charitable man," yet here are a few of the
latter's descriptive epithets, collected from one of his sermons and
published by the Synod of Philadelphia. Dr. Chauncey of Boston quotes
them in an adverse criticism of the revival movement.  Mr. Tennant
speaks of the ministers thus:--hirelings, caterpillars, letter-learned
Pharisees, Hypocrites, Varlets, Seed of the Serpent, foolish Builders
whom the Devil drives into the ministry, dead dogs that cannot bark,
blind men, dead men, men possessed of the devil, rebels and enemies of
God. [103]

Naturally, party lines were soon drawn in New England. There were the
Old Calvinists or Old Lights on the one side, and the Separatists and
New Lights on the other. The New Lights were those within the churches
who were moved by the revival and who desired to return to a more
vital Christianity. In many respects they sympathized with the
Separatists, although disapproving their extravagances. In many
churches, hounded by the opposition of the conservatives, the New
Lights drew off and formed churches of their own. Thus while the
Separatists may be compared to the early English Separatists, the New
Lights would correspond more to the Puritan party that desired reform
within the Establishment. In the eighteenth century movement, in
Connecticut, the Old Lights held the political as well as the
ecclesiastical control until, in the process of time, the New Lights
gained an influential vote in the Assembly. Always, there was a good,
sound stratum of Calvinism in both the Old and the New Light parties,
and also among the Separatists, and the latter were generally included
in the New Light party, especially if spoken of from the point of view
of political affiliations.  The idiosyncrasies of the Separatists
softened down and fell away in time. The Calvinism of Old and New
Lights became a rallying ground whereon each, in after years, gathered
about the standard of a reinvigorated church life; and then the terms
Old Light and New, with their suggestions of party meaning, whether
religious, or political, passed away. The term Separatist was retained
for a while longer, merely to distinguish the churches that preferred
to be known as strict Congregationalist rather than as
Presbyterianized Congregationalist, or, for short, Presbyterian.

From the time of the Great Awakening, there were nearly forty years of
party contest over religious privileges, many of which had been
previously accorded but which were speedily denied to the Separatists
by a party dominant in the churches and paramount in the legislature;
by a party which was determined to bring the whole machinery of Church
and State to crush the rising opposition to its control. Accordingly,
it was nearly forty years before the Separatists received the same
measure of toleration as that accorded to Episcopalian, Quaker, and
Baptist.  It was ten years before the New Lights in the Assembly
could, as a preliminary step to such toleration, force the omission
from the revised statutes of all persecuting laws passed by the Old
Light party.

The keynote to the long struggle was sounded at a meeting of the
General Consociation at Guilford, November 24, 1741. This was the
first and only General Consociation ever called.  It was convened at
the expense of the colony, to consider her religious condition and the
dangers threatening her from the excitement of the Great Awakening,
from unrestrained converts, from rash exhorters, and from itinerant
preachers, who took possession of the ministers' pulpits with little
deference to their proper occupants.  The General Consociation

    that for a minister to enter another minister's parish, and preach
    or administer the seals of the Covenant, without the consent of,
    or in opposition to the set tied minister of the parish, is
    disorderly, notwithstanding if a considerable number of the people
    in the parish are desirous to hear another minister preach,
    provided the same be orthodox, and sound in the faith and not
    notoriously faulty in censuring other persons, or guilty of any
    scandal, we think it ordinar rily advisable for the minister of
    the parish to gratify them by giving his consent upon their
    suitable application to him for it, unless neighboring ministers
    advise him to the contrary. [104]

This was not necessarily an intolerant attitude, but it was hostile
rather than friendly to the revival. It left neighboring ministers,
that is, the Associations, if one among their number seemed to be too
free in lending his pulpit to itinerant preachers, to curb his
friendliness. Intolerance might come through this limitation, for the
local Association might be prejudiced. If its advice were disregarded
and disorders arose, the Consociation of the county could step in to
settle difficulties and to condemn progressive men as well as
fanatics. In its phrasing, this ecclesiastical legislation left room
for the ministrations of reputable itinerants, for among many, some of
whom were ignorant and self-called to their vocation, there were
others whose abilities were widely recognized. Foremost among such men
in Connecticut were Jonathan Edwards himself, Dr. Joseph Bellamy of
Bethlem, trainer of many students in theology, Rev. Eleazer Whelock of
Lebanon, Benjamin Pomroy of Hebron, and Jonathan Parsons of
Lyme. Among itinerants coming from other colonies, the most noted,
after Whitefield and Tennant, was Dr. Samuel Finley of New Jersey,
later president of Princeton.  Naturally men like these, who felt
strongly the need of a revival and believed in supporting the "Great
Awakening," despite its excitement and errors, did not countenance the
rash proceedings of many of the ignorant preachers, who ran about the
colony seeking audiences for themselves.

The measures of the General Consociation were mild in comparison with
the laws passed by the legislature in the following May. Governor
Talcott, tolerant toward all religious dissenters, had recently died,
and the conservative Jonathan Law of Milford was in the chair of the
chief magistrate. Governor Law had grown up among the traditions of
that narrow ecclesiasticism which had always marked the territory of
the old New Haven Colony. Moreover, the measures of the Consociation
had been futile. One of the chief offenders against them was the
Rev. James Davenport of Southold, Long Island, who not only went
preaching through the colony, stirring up by his fanaticism, his
visions, and his ecstasies, the common people, and finding fault with
the regular clergy as "unconverted men," but who pushed his religious
enthusiasm to great extremes by everywhere urging upon excitable young
men the duty to become preachers like himself. He had introduced a
kind of intoning at public meetings. This tended to create nervous
irritability and hysterical outbursts of religious emotionalism, and
these, Davenport taught his disciples, were the signs of God's
approval of them and their devotion to Him. The government, watching
these tumultuous meetings, concluded that it was time to show its
ancient authority and to save the people from "divisions and
contentions," the ecclesiastical constitution from destruction, and
the ministry from "unqualified persons entering therein." Accordingly,
in May, 1742, the Assembly passed a series of laws, [105] so severe
that even ordained ministers were forbidden to preach outside their
own parishes without an express invitation and under the penalty of
forfeiting all benefits and all support derived from any laws for the
encouragement of religion ever made in the colony. The new enactments
also forbade any Association to license a candidate to preach outside
its own bounds or to settle any disputes beyond its own
territory.[106] These laws also permitted any parish minister to lodge
with the society clerk a certificate charging that a man had entered
his parish and had preached there without first obtaining
permission. Furthermore, there was no provision for confirming the
truth or proving the falsity of such a statement. In connection with
the certificate clause, it was also enacted that no assistant, or
justice of the peace, should sign a warrant for collecting a
minister's rates until he was sure that nowhere in the colony was
there such a certificate lodged against the minister making
application for this mode of collecting his ministerial dues. [107]
Finally, the laws provided that a bond of £100 should be demanded of a
stranger, or visiting minister, who had preached without invitation,
and that he should be treated as a vagrant, and sent by warrant "from
constable to constable, out of the bounds of this Colony."[108]

    These laws restrained both _ordained Ministers_ and
    _licensed candidates_ from preaching in _other_ Men's
    Parishes without _their_ and the _Church's_ consent and
    wholly prohibited the _Exhortations of Illiterate Laymen_.

    These laws were a high-handed infringement of the rights of
    conscience, and in a few years fell and buried with them the party
    that had enacted them.  These were the laws which he (Davenport)
    exhorted his hearers to set at defiance; and seldom, it must be
    acknowledged, has a more plausible occasion been found in New
    England to preach disregard for the law.

The laws were framed to repress itinerants and exhorters through loss
of their civil rights. By them, a man's good name was dishonored and
he was deprived of all his temporal emoluments. By many, in their own
day, the laws were regarded as contrary to scriptural commands, and to
the opinion and practice of all reformers and of all Puritans. These
laws, with others that followed, were not warranted by the
ecclesiastical constitution of the colony, and could find no parallel
either in England or in her other colonies. Trumbull calls them--

    a concerted plan of the Old Lights or Arminians both among the
    clergy and civilians, to suppress as far as possible, all zealous
    Calvinistic preachers, to confine them entirely to their own
    pulpits; and at the same time to put all the public odium and
    reproach upon them as wicked, disorderly men, unfit to enjoy the
    common rights of citizens. [109]

Yet for these laws the Association of New Haven sent a vote of thanks
to the Assembly when it convened in their city in the following fall.

Jonathan Edwards opposed both the spirit of the General Consociation
and also the legislation of the Assembly. He expressed his attitude
toward the Great Awakening both at the time and later. In 1742 he

    If ministers preached never so good a doctrine, and are never so
    laborious in their work, yet if at such a day as this they show
    their people that they are not well affected to this work [of
    revival], they will be very likely to do their people a great deal
    more hurt than good.

Six years later Edwards wrote a preface to his "An Humble Inquiry into
the Qualifications for Full Communion in the Visible Church of God," a
treatise severely condemning the Half-Way Covenant, and urging the
revival of the early personal account of conversion. In this preface
he excuses his hesitation in publishing the work, on the ground that
he feared the Separatists would seize upon his arguments to encourage
them and strengthen them in many of their reprehensible
practices. These, Edwards reminds his reader, he had severely
condemned in his earlier publications, notably in his "Treatise on
Religious Affections," 1746, and in his "Observations and Reflections
on Mr. Brainerd's Life."  In his preface Edwards repeats his
disapproval of the Separatist "notion of a _pure church_ by means
of a _spirit of discerning_; their _censorious outcries_
against the standing ministers and churches in general, their _lay
ordinations_, their _lay-preaching_ and _public
exhortings_ and administering sacraments; and their
self-complacent, presumptuous spirit." Edwards believed that
enthusiasts, though unlettered, might exhort in private, and even in
public religious gatherings might be encouraged to relate in a proper,
earnest, and modest manner their religious experiences, and might also
entreat others to become converted. He maintained that much of the
criticism of an inert ministry was well founded, that much of the
enthusiastic work of laymen and of the itinerants deserved to be
recognized by the regular clergy, and that they ought to bestir
themselves in furthering such enthusiasm among their own
people. Edwards urged also his belief in the value of good works, not
as meriting the reward of future salvation, but as manifesting a heart
stirred by a proper appreciation of God's attributes. Jonathan Edwards
held firmly to the foundation principles of the conservative school,
while he sympathized with and supported the best elements in the
revival movement.

This attitude of Edwards eventually cost him his pastorate, for he
judged it best to resign from the Northampton church, in 1750, because
of the unpopularity arising from his repeated attacks upon the
Half-Way Covenant and the Stoddardean view of the Lord's
supper. Nevertheless, it was the influence of Jonathan Edwards and of
his following which gradually brought about a union of the religious
parties, after the Separatists had given up their eccentricities and
the leaven of Edwards' teachings had brought a new and invigorated
life into the Connecticut churches. This preacher, teacher, and
evangelist was remarkable for his powerful logic, his deep and tender
feeling, his sincere and vivid faith. These characteristics urged on
his resistless imagination, when picturing to his people their
imminent danger and the awful punishment in store for those who
continued at enmity with God. Of his work as a theologian, we shall
have occasion to speak elsewhere.

Some illustrations of church life in the troublous years following the
Great Awakening will best set forth the confusion arising, the
difficulties between Old and New Lights, and the hardships of the
Separatists. Among the colony churches, the trials of three may be
taken as typical,--the New Haven church[110], the Canterbury
church,[111] and the church of Enfield.[112] Nor can the story of the
first two be told without including in it an account of later acts of
the Assembly and of the attitude of the College during the years of
the great schism.

The pastor of the New Haven church was Mr. Noyes, whom many of his
parishioners thought too noncommittal, erroneous, or pointless in
discussing the themes which the itinerant preachers loved to dwell
upon. Moreover, Mr.  Noyes had refused to allow the Rev. George
Whitefield to preach from his pulpit while on his memorable pilgrimage
through New England. Mr.  Noyes had also forbidden the hot-headed
James Davenport to occupy it. As a result of their minister's actions,
the New Haven church was divided in their estimate of their
pastor. There were the friendly Old Lights and the hostile New.
Neither party wished to carry their trouble before the Consociation of
New Haven county, for that had come at last to be a tribunal "whose
decision was at that time considered _judicial_ and
_final_." Moreover, at the meeting of the General Consociation at
Guilford in November, 1741, it was known that Mr. Noyes had been a
most active worker in favor of suppressing the New Light
movement. Consequently the New Lights, though at the time in the
minority, sought to find a way out from under the jurisdiction of the
Saybrook Platform and its councils by declaring that the church had
never _formally_ been made a Consociated church. This was
literally true, but the weight of precedent and their own observances
were against them. Like other churches in the county, which had come
slowly to the acceptance of the Saybrook councils as ecclesiastical
courts, it had finally accepted them in their most authoritative
character. Such being the case, the New Lights hesitated to appeal
against their minister before a court presumably favorable to
him. After the New Lights had declared the church not under the
Saybrook system, Mr. Noyes determined to take the vote of his people
as to whether they considered themselves a Consociated church. But as
he was a little fearful of the result of the vote, he secured the
victory for his own faction by excluding the New Lights from
voting. Thereupon, the New Lights took the benefit of the Toleration
Act as "sober dissenters," and became a Separate church. The
committee, appointed for the organization of the new church, declared
that "they were reestablished as the original church." The benefit of
the Toleration Act accorded to these New Light dissenters in New
Haven, to some in Milford,[b] and to several other reinvigorated
churches in the southern part of the colony, roused the opposition of
the Old Lights in the Assembly, and, as they counted a majority, they
repealed the act in the following year, 1743. Three or four weeks
after the New Haven New Lights had formed what was afterwards known as
the North Church, the General Assembly met for its fall session in
that city, and, as has been said, the New Haven Association
immediately sent a vote of thanks for the stringent laws passed at the
May meeting. The Court, moved by this indication of the popular
feeling, by the importance of the church schism and its influence
throughout the colony, by the conservative attitude of Yale College,
and also by having among its delegates large numbers of Old Lights,
proceeded to enact yet more stringent measures than those of the
preceding session. The result was that the North Church could hire no
preacher until they could find one acceptable to the First Church and
Society, because the pastor elected by the First Church was the only
lawfully appointed minister, since he owed his election to the
majority votes of the First Society. Furthermore, the Court, in 1743,
refused a special application of the North Church for permission to
settle their chosen minister, and it was some five or six years before
it ceased this particular kind of persecution and permitted the church
to have a regular pastor.

The story of this New Haven church extends beyond the time-limit of
this chapter, but it is better completed here. The stringency of the
laws only increased the bitterness of faction. In 1745, feeling ran so
high that a father refused to attend his son's funeral merely because
they belonged to opposing factions, and an attempt to build a house of
worship for this Separate church resulted in serious disturbances and
in the charge of incendiarism. The New Lights preferred imprisonment
to the payment of taxes assessed for the benefit of the First
Church. At last, in 1751, the October session of the General Assembly
thought it best "for the good of the colony and for the peace and
harmony of this and other churches" infected by its example, to advise
that the differences within it be healed by a council to be composed
of both Old and New Lights.[113] The suggestion bore no fruit, and a
year later the New Lights themselves again asked for a council, even
offering to apologize to the First Church for their informality in
separating from it, and for their part in the heated controversy that
followed; but Mr. Noyes induced his party to refuse to accede to the
proposed conference. As the North Church had grown strong enough by
this time to support a regular pastor, Mr. Bird accepted its call; yet
for six years longer, because the Assembly refused to divide the
society, the New Lights were held to be members of the First Society
and taxable for its support. But in 1757, the New Lights gained the
majority both in church and society, a majority of _one_. At
once, the New Lights were released from taxes to the First Church. Now
the dominant party, they attempted to pay back old scores, and
accordingly demanded a division of both church and society
property. The claim to the first was unfair, and they eventually
abandoned it.  The church quarrel finally ceased in 1759, after a
duration of eighteen years, and in 1760 Mr.  Bird was formally
installed with fitting honors.

In the early days of the Great Awakening, the Canterbury church became
divided into Old Lights and New, and a separation took place.  Before
the separation, a committee, who were appointed to look up the church
records, gave it as their opinion that the church was not and never
had been pledged to the Saybrook Platform.  Nevertheless, the very men
who gave this decision became the leaders of the minority, who
determined to support the government in carrying out its oppressive
laws of 1742. These laws had been passed while the committee were
searching the church records. The majority of the church, incensed at
having their liberty curtailed, proceeded to defy the law by listening
to lay exhorters and to itinerants just as they had been in the habit
of doing ever since the church had felt the quickening influences of
the Great Awakening. This majority declared that it was "regular for
this church to admit persons into this church that are in full
communion with other churches and come regularly to this." This
decision the minority characterized as unlawful according to the
recent acts of the Assembly.  The majority proceeded to argue the
right of the majority in the church as above the right of the majority
in the society, or parish, to elect the minister and to guide the
church. In an attempt to satisfy both parties, candidates were tried,
but they could not command a sufficient number of votes from either
side to be located permanently.  A meeting in 1743 of the Consociation
of Windham (to whose jurisdiction the Canterbury church belonged),
together with a council of New Lights, brought temporary peace. A
candidate was agreed upon; but in a few months the New Lights became
dissatisfied with him because of his approval of the Saybrook system
of church government, his acceptance of the Half-Way Covenant, and
other opinions. Controversy revived. The majority of the church
withdrew, and for a while met in a private house for services, which
were conducted by Solomon Paine or by some other layman. As a result,
the Windham Association passed a vote of censure against the
seceders. Paine wrote a sharp retort, for which he was arrested,
although ostensibly on the charge of unlawfully conducting public
worship.  He refused to give bonds and was committed to Windham jail
in September, 1744. Such crowds flocked to the prison yard to hear him
preach, and excitement ran so high, that the officer who had conducted
his trial appeared before the Assembly to protest that such legal
proceedings did but tend to increase the disorders they were intended
to cure. Accordingly, Paine was released in October.

The interest of the whole colony was now centred on the defiant and
determined Canterbury Separate church, and the November meeting of the
Windham Association had the schism under consideration, when Yale
expelled two Canterbury students whose parents were members of that

In October, 1742, in order to protect the college and the ministry and
to deal a blow at the "Shepherd's Tent," a kind of school or academy
which the New Lights had set up in New London for qualifying young men
as exhorters, teachers, and ministers, the General Assembly had
decided that no persons should presume to set up any college, seminary
of learning, or any public school whatever, without special leave of
the legislature.[115] The Court had also enacted that no one should
take the benefit of the laws respecting the settlement and support of
ministers unless he were a graduate of Yale or Harvard, or some other
approved Protestant university. It had also given explicit directions
for the supervision of the schools throughout the colony and of their
masters' orthodoxy,[116] and had advised Yale to take especial care
that her students should not be contaminated by the New Lights.  The
Congregationalists had reported the "Shepherd's Tent" as a noisy,
tumultuous resort, because it was occasionally used for meetings, and
had added that it was openly taught in that school that there would
soon be a change in the government, and that disobedience to the civil
laws was not wrong. The Assembly, fearing that it might "train up
youth in ill practices and principles," sought to put an end to it. As
to the advice to the college, Yale was only too eager to follow it,
and the same year expelled the saintly David Brainerd[117] for
criticising the prayers of the college preachers as lacking in
fervor. His offense was against a college law of the preceding year
which forbade students to call their officers "hypocritical, carnal or
unconverted men." The college, as the New Light movement increased,
came to the further conclusion that--

    since the principal design of erecting this college was to train
    up a succession of learned and orthodox ministers by whose example
    people might be directed in the ways of religion and good order
    ... it would be a contradiction to the civil government to support
    a college to educate students to trample upon their own laws, to
    break up the churches which they establish and protect, especially
    since the General Assembly in May 1742, thought proper to give the
    governors of the college some special advice and direction upon
    that account, which was to the effect that proper care should be
    taken to prevent the scholars from imbibing those or like errors;
    and those who would not be orderly and submissive, should not be
    allowed the privileges of the college.

Solomon Paine made answer to this law. With fine irony, he assured the
people that in effect it forbade all students attending Yale College
to go to any religious meeting even with their parents, should they be
Separatists or New Lights, because--

    no scholar upon the Lord's day or other day, under pretence of
    religion, shall go to any public or private meeting, not
    established or allowed by public authority or approved by the
    President, under penalty of a fine, confession, admonition or
    otherwise, according to the state and demerit of the offence, for
    fear that such preaching would end in "Quakerism," open
    infidelity, and the destruction of all Christian religion, and
    make endless divisions in the Christian church till nothing hut
    the name of it would be left in the world.

The two Cleveland brothers, John and Ebenezer, had spent the fall
vacation of 1744 [c] with their parents at their home in Canterbury,
and by request of their elders had frequented the Separatist church
there. On their return to Yale, the boys were admonished. They
professed themselves ready to apologize, but not in such words as the
authorities thought sufficiently submissive, for the latter considered
that the boys had broken the laws "of God, of the Colony and of the
College."[119] The boys very ably argued that, under the
circumstances, there had been nothing else for them to do but to go to
church with their parents when requested to do so, and held to their
position. Yale expelled them, and there followed a sensation
throughout the colony.[120]

The leaders of the New Light party in the church of Canterbury were
the nearest relatives and friends of the Cleveland boys, who came to
be regarded as martyrs to their religion. Their treatment opened the
question as to whether the steadily increasing numbers of New Lights
were to lose for their children the benefit of the college, that they
helped to support. Must they, in order to send their sons to college,
deprive them for four years of a "Gospel ministry" and lay them open
to consequent grave perils? Why should New Lights be required to make
such a sacrifice, or why, in vacation, should their children be
required to submit to the ecclesiastical laws of the college? If
Episcopalians were permitted to have their sons, students at Yale,
worship with them during the vacations, why should not the same
liberty be granted to equally good citizens who differed even less in
theological opinions?

Because of this college incident the difficulties in the Canterbury
church attracted still more attention, but the end of the schism was
at hand.  In the month that witnessed the expulsion of the Clevelands,
the minority of the original First Church voted that they were "The
Church of Canterbury," and that those who had gone forth from among
them in the January of the preceding year, 1743, as Congregationalists
after the Cambridge Platform, had abrogated that of
Saybrook. Consequently, to the minority lawfully belonged the election
of the minister, the meeting house, and the taxes for ministerial
support.  Having thus fortified their position, they by a later vote

    That those in the society who are differently minded from us, and
    can't conscientiously join in ye settlement of Mr. James
    Coggeshall as our minister may have free liberty to enjoy their
    own opinion, and we are willing they should be released and
    discharged from paying anything to ye support of Mr. Coggeshall,
    or living under his ministry any longer than until they have
    parish privileges granted them and are settled in church by
    themselves according to ye order of ye Gospel, or are lawfully
    released.  [121]

At the repeal of the Toleration Act in 1743, a new method had been
prescribed for sober dissenters who wished to separate from the state
church, and who were not of the recognized sects.  The method of
relief, thereafter, was for the dissenters, no matter how widely
scattered in the colony, to appeal in person to the General Assembly
and ask for special exemption. Moreover, they were promised only that
their requests would be listened to, and the Assembly was growing
steadily more and more averse to granting such petitions. As a result
of this policy, the Separatist church of Canterbury did not have a
very good prospect of immediate ability to accept the good-will of the
First Church, which went even farther than the resolution cited
above. The First Church offered to assist the Separatists in obtaining
recognition from the Assembly. This offer the Separatists refused,
preferring to submit to double taxation, and thus to become a standing
protest to the injustice of the laws.

After the expulsion of the Clevelands, Yale made one more pronounced
effort to discipline its students and to repress the growth of the
liberal spirit. She attempted to suppress a reprint of Locke's essay
upon "Toleration" which the senior class had secretly printed at their
expense.  An attempt to overawe the students and to make them confess
on pain of expulsion was met by the spirited resistance of one of the
class, who threatened to appeal to the King in Council if his diploma
were denied him. His diploma was granted; and some years after, when
the sentiment in the colony had further changed, the college gave the
Cleveland brothers their degree.

The church in Enfield[122] had an experience somewhat similar to that
of Canterbury, to which it seems to have looked for spiritual advice
and example. The Enfield Separate church was probably organized
between 1745 and 1751, though its first known documents are a series
of letters to the Separate church in Canterbury covering the period
1751-53. These letters sought advice in adjusting difficulties that
were creating great discord in the church, which had already separated
from the original church of Enfield. In 1762, the Enfield Separatists,
once more in harmony, renewed their covenant, and called Mr. Nathaniel
Collins to be their pastor.  They struggled for existence until 1769,
when they appealed to the General Assembly for exemption from the
rates still levied upon them for the benefit of the First
Society. They asked for recognition, separation, and incorporation as
the Second Society and Church of Enfield. They were refused; but in
May of the following year,--a year to be marked by special legislation
in behalf of dissenters,--the Enfield Separatists again memorialized
the Assembly, and in response were permitted to organize their own
church. [123] This permission, however, was limited to the
memorialists, eighty in number; to their children, if within six
months after reaching their majority they filed certificates of
membership in this Separate church; and to strangers, who should enter
the new society within one year of their settling in the town.  The
history of the Enfield Separatists gives glimpses of the frequent
double discord between the New Lights and the Old and among the New
Lights themselves. The period of the Enfield persecution extended over
years when, elsewhere in the colony, Separatists had obtained
recognition of their claims to toleration, if only through special
acts and not by general legislation.

If churches suffered from the severe ecclesiastical laws of 1742-43,
individuals did also.  Under the law which considered traveling
ministers as vagrants, and which the Assembly had made still more
stringent by the additional penalty "to pay down the cost of
transportation," so learned a man as the Rev. Samuel Finley,
afterwards president of Princeton, was imprisoned and driven from the
colony because he insisted upon preaching in Connecticut. Indeed, it
was his persistence in returning to the colony that caused the
magistrates to increase the severity of the law.[124] When the
ministers John Owen of Groton and Benjamin Pomeroy of Hebron, as well
as the itinerant James Davenport of Southold, criticised the laws, all
of them were at once arraigned for the offense before the Assembly.
There was so much excitement over the arrest of Pomeroy and Davenport
that it threatened a riot. All three men were discharged, but
Davenport was ordered out of the colony for his itinerant preaching
and for teaching resistance to the civil laws. Pomeroy, his friend,
had declared that the laws forbade any faithful minister, or any one
faithful in civil authority, to hold office. Events bore out his
statement, for ministers were hounded, and the New Light justices of
the peace, and other magistrates, were deprived of office.  Pomeroy,
himself, was discharged only to be complained of for irregular
preaching at Colchester and in punishment to be,deprived of his salary
for seven years.[125] The Rev. Nathan Stone of Stonington was
disciplined for his New Light sympathies. Philemon Bobbins of Branford
was deposed for preaching to the Baptists at Wallingford. This last
procedure was the work of the Consociation of New Haven county, which
thereby began a six years' contest, 1741-47, with the Branford
church. In 1745 this church attempted to throw off the yoke of the
Consociation by renouncing the Saybrook Platform.

During these years of persecution, the opposition to the Old Light
policy was gradually gaining effective power, although the college had
expelled Brainerd, and Mr. Cook, one of the Yale corporation, had
found it expedient to resign because of his too prominent part in the
formation of the North Church of New Haven. The Old Lights in the
legislature of 1743 passed the repeal of the Toleration Act because
the New Lights had no commanding vote; but they were increasing
throughout the colony. Fairfield East Consociation had licensed
Brainerd the year that Yale expelled him. Twelve ministers of New
London and Windham county had met to approve the revival,
notwithstanding the repeal of the Toleration Act and the known
antagonism of the Windham Association to the Separatists.  Windham
Consociation and that of Fairfield East favored the revival. Large
numbers of converts were made in these districts, and many also in
Hartford county. In the New Haven district the spirit of antagonism
and of persecution was strongest.

It was in accordance with the laws of 1742-43 that Mack, Shaw, and
Pyrlæus, Moravian missionaries, on a visit in 1744 to their mission
stations among the Indians in Connecticut, were seized as Papists and
hustled from sheriff to sheriff for three days until "the Governor of
Connecticut honorably dismissed them," though their accusers insisted
upon their being bound over under a penalty of £100 to keep the law.
"Being not fully acquainted with all the special laws of the country,
they perceived a trap laid for them and thought it prudent to retire
to Shekomeko" (Pine Plains, Dutchess County, N. Y.). Missionaries sent
out from Nazareth and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had established this
sub-centre for work in New York and Connecticut, and in the latter
colony, in 1740-43, had made Indian converts at Sharon, Salisbury
Indian Pond, near Newtown, and at Pachgatgoch, two miles southwest of
Kent. Here was their principal station in Connecticut. They had made,
in all, some twenty converts among the Indians, and had reclaimed
several of their chief men from drunkenness and idleness. Moravian
principles forbade these missionaries to take an oath. Consequently,
the greed of traders, the rivalry of creeds, together with the belief
that there was something wrong about men who would not swear
allegiance to King George,--notwithstanding their willingness to
affirm it, and notwithstanding their denial of the Pretender,--gave
rise to the conviction that they must be Papists[d] in league with the
French and their Indian allies. Accordingly both magistrates and
ministers arrested the missionaries, and hurried them before the court
at Poughkeepsie or at New Milford. Though the governors of both states
recognized the value of the mission work, popular feeling ran so high
that New York, in September, 1744, passed a law requiring them to take
the oaths prescribed or to leave the country, and also commanding that
"vagrant Teachers, Moravians, and disguised Papists should not preach
or teach in public or private" without first obtaining a license. In
Connecticut, as has been said, the laws of 1742-1743 were enforced
against them; later, when during the Old French War groundless rumors
of their intrigues with hostile Indians were circulated against them,
a vain hunt was made for three thousand stands of arms that were said
to be secreted in their missions. The severe persecution in New York
had driven these missionaries into Pennsylvania and into Connecticut,
but these rumors of intrigue broke up their work and caused the
abandonment of their stations in the latter colony. Some of these,
such as Kent, Sharon, and Salisbury, were revived in 1749-1762, at the
request of the English settlers as well as of the Indian

Returning to the main story of the progress of dissent, we find that
in 1746 the General Court of Connecticut felt obliged to safeguard the
Establishment by the passage of a law entitled, "Concerning who shall
vote in Society Meetings."[127] Its preamble states that persons
exempted from taxes for the support of the established ministry,
because of their dissenting from the way of worship and ministry of
the Presbyterian, Congregational, or Consociated churches, "ought not
to vote in society meetings with respect to the support or to the
building and maintaining of meeting houses," yet some persons,
exempted as aforesaid, "have adventured to vote and act therein," as
there was no express law to the contrary. The new law forbade such
voting, and limited the ecclesiastical ballot to members of the
Establishment who "were persons of full age and in full communion with
the church," and to other unexempted persons who held a freehold rated
at fifty shillings per year, or personal property to the value of
forty pounds. This law was just, in that it excluded all dissenters
who had received exemption from Presbyterian rates. It included all
others having the property qualification, whether they wanted to vote
or not. That it was felt to be a necessity is a witness to the
increasing recognition of the strength of the dissenting element.

In 1747, the Consociation of Windham sent forth a violent pamphlet
describing the Separatists as a people in revolt against God and in
rebellion against the Church and government.  But the tide of public
opinion was turning, and popular sentiment did not support the writers
of this pamphlet. Moreover, the secular affairs of the colony were
calling minds away from religious contentions as the stress of the Old
French War was more and more felt. In 1748, venturing upon the
improvement in public sentiment, Solomon Paine sent to the legislature
a memorial signed by three hundred and thirty persons and asking for a
repeal of such laws as debarred people from enjoying the liberty
"granted by God and tolerated by the King."[128] It was known to these
memorialists that a revision of the laws, first undertaken in 1742,
was nearing completion, and their desire was that all obnoxious or
unfair acts should be repealed. The petition met with a sharp rebuff,
and, as a punishment, three members were expelled from the Assembly
for being Separatists. But by such measures the Old Lights were
overreaching themselves. A mark of the turning of public opinion was
given this same year, when, upon the request of his old church in
Hebron, the church vouching for his work and character, the Assembly
restored to his ministerial rights and privileges the Rev.  James
Pomeroy. The unjust laws of 1742-43 and of the following years were
never formally repealed, but were quietly dropped out of the revision
of the laws issued in 1750.

Thenceforth the people began to tolerate variety in religious opinions
with better grace, and the dominant authoritative rule of the Saybrook
Platform began to wane, though for twenty years more it strove to
assert its power. In 1755, the Middletown Association advised
licensing candidates for the ministry for a term of years. The idea
was to prevent errors arising from the personal interpretation of the
Scriptures and indifference to dogmatic truths of religion from
creeping into the churches. About the same time, the Consociation of
New Haven invited their former member, Mr. Bobbins of Branford, to sit
with them again at the installation of Mr.  Street of East
Haven. Conciliatory acts and measures such as these originated with
both the Old and New Lights, and did much to lessen the division
between them. Discussion turned more and more from personal opinions,
character, and abilities, to considerations of doctrinal points. The
churches found more and more in common, while worldly interests left
the masses with only a half-hearted concern in church discussions.

To summarize the effect of the Great Awakening as evidenced by the
great schism and its results thus far considered: The strength of the
revival movement, as such, was soon spent. The number of its converts
throughout New England was estimated by Dr. Dexter to be as high as
forty or fifty thousand, while later writers put it as low as ten or
twelve thousand, out of the entire population of three hundred
thousand souls. The years 1740-42 were the years of the Great
Awakening, and after them there were comparatively few conversions
during any given time. Even in Jonathan Edwards's own church in
Northampton there were no converts between 1744 and 1748.  The
influence of the Great Awakening was not, however, transient, nor was
it confined to the Congregational churches, whether of the Cambridge
or the Saybrook type. Baptist churches felt the impetus, receiving
many directly into their membership, and also indirectly, from those
Separatist churches which found themselves too weak to
endure. Episcopalians added to their numbers from among religiously
inclined persons who sought a calm and stable church home unaffected
by church and political strife. The Great Awakening created the
Separatist movement and the New Light party, revitalized the
Established churches, invigorated others, and through the persecution
and counter-persecution that the great schism produced, taught the
Connecticut people more and more of religious tolerance, and so
brought them nearer to the dawn of religious liberty.  Such liberty
could only come after the downfall of the Saybrook, Platform, and
after a complete severance of Church and State. The last could not
come for three quarters of a century. Meanwhile the leaven of the
great revival would be working. On its intellectual side, the Great
Awakening led to the discussion of doctrinal points, an advance from
questions of church polity. These themes of pulpit and of religious
press led, finally, to a live interest in practical Christianity and
to a more genial religion than that which had characterized the
Puritan age.  The Half-Way Covenant had been killed. Education had
received a new impulse, Christian missions were reinvigorated, and the
monthly concert of prayer for the conversion of the world was
instituted.  [129] True, French and Indian wars, the Spanish
entanglement with its West Indian expedition, and the consuming
political interests of the years 1745-83, shortened the period of
energetic spiritual life, and ushered in another half century of
religious indifference. But during that half century the followers of
Edwards and Bellamy were to develop a less severe and more winning
system of theology, and the fellowship of the churches was to suggest
the colonial committees of safety as a preliminary to the birth of a
nation, founded upon the inherent equality of all men before the
law. This conception of political and civil liberty was to develop
side by side with a clearer notion of the value of religious freedom.


[a] This term came with the royal charter of 1662, but only gradually
displaced the familiar "General Court."

[b] The Milford church, like that of New Haven, suffered for many
years from unjust exactions and taxation.

[c] Commencement then came in September.

[d] And this notwithstanding their willingness to include in their
affirmation a denial of Mariolatry, purgatory, and other vital Romish



    That house cannot stand.--Mark iii, 25.

    The times change and we change with them.--Proverb.

The omission of all persecuting acts from the revision of the laws in
1750 was evidence that the worst features of the great schism were
passing, that public opinion as a whole had grown averse to any great
severity toward the Separatists as dissenters. But the continuance in
the revised statutes of the Saybrook Platform as the legalized
constitution of the "Presbyterian, Congregational or Consociated
Church," and the almost total absence of any provision for exempting
Congregational Separatists from the taxes levied in its behalf,
operated, notwithstanding the many acts of conciliation between these
two types of churches, to revive at times the milder forms of
persecution. And such injustice would continue until the Separatists
as a body were legally exempted from ecclesiastical rates, and until
the Saybrook Platform was either formally annulled or, in its turn,
quietly dropped from the statute book. But henceforth, the measure of
intolerance would be determined more by local sentiment and less by
the text of the law, more by the proportion of Old Lights to New in a
given community. And the measure of toleration must eventually take
the form of legalized rights rather than of special privileges, and
this through a growing appreciation of the value of the Separatists as
citizens. The abrogation of the Saybrook Platform might follow upon a
reaffiliation of all Presbyterians and all Congregationalists in a new
spirit of mutual tolerance and helpfulness. Whatever the events or
influences that should bring about this reaffiliation, the new bonds
of church life would necessarily lack the stringency of the palmy days
of Saybrook autocratic rule. Consequently when such a time arrived,
the Platform, at least in its letter, could be dropped from the
law-book. The old colonial laws for the support of religion would
still suffice to protect and exalt the Establishment, and to preserve
it as the spiritual arm of the State. It so happened that toleration
was granted to the Separatists at the beginning of the Revolutionary
struggle, and that the abrogation of the Saybrook Platform followed
close upon its victorious end. Many influences, both religious and
secular, had their part in bringing about these progressive steps
toward religious freedom, toward full and free liberty of conscience.

The revision of the laws completed in 1750 had been under
consideration since 1742. At the beginning of the great schism, the
important task had been placed in the hands of a committee consisting
of Roger Wolcott, Thomas Fitch, Jonathan Trumbull, and John Bulkley,
Judge of the Superior Court. The first three names are at once
recognized as Connecticut's chief magistrates in 1750-54, 1754-66,
1769-1783, respectively. During the eight years that the revision was
in the hands of this committee, the church quarrel had passed its
crisis; the Old Lights had slowly yielded their political, as well as
their ecclesiastical power; and their controlling influence was
rapidly passing from them.  The Old French War, with its pressing
affairs, had so affected the life of the colony as to lessen religious
fervor, weaken ecclesiastical animosities, and, at the same time, to
develop a broader conception of citizenship.

English influence, moreover, had modified the ecclesiastical laws in
the revision of 1750. The Connecticut authorities, when imbued with
the persecuting spirit, did not always stop to distinguish between the
legally exempt Baptist dissenters and the unexempted Separatists. This
was due in part to the fact that many of the latter, like the church
of which Isaac Backus was the leader, went over to the Baptist
denomination. The two sects held similar opinions upon all subjects,
except that of baptism. It was much easier to obtain exemption from
ecclesiastical taxes by showing Baptist certificates than to run the
risk of being denied exemption when appeal was made to the Assembly,
either individually or as a church body, the form of petition demanded
of these Separatists. The persecuted Baptists at once turned to
England for assistance, and to the Committee of English Dissenters, of
which Dr. Avery was chairman.

This committee had been appointed to look after the interests of all
dissenters, both in England and in her colonies, for the English
dissenting bodies were growing in numbers and in political
importance. To this committee the Connecticut Baptists reported such
cases of persecution as that of the Saybrook Separatist church, which
in 1744 suffered through the arrest of fourteen of its members for
"holding a meeting contrary to law on God's holy Sabbath day."  These
fourteen people were arraigned, fined, and driven on foot through deep
mud twenty-five miles to New London, where they were thrust into
prison for refusing to pay their fines, and left there without fire,
food, or beds. There they were kept for several weeks, dependent for
the necessaries of life upon the good will of neighboring
Baptists.[130] The Separatists could report the trials of the Separate
church of Canterbury, of that of Enfield, of the First Separate church
of Milford, hindered in the exercise of its legal rights for over
twenty years, and they could also recount the persecution of churches
and of individuals in Wethersfield, Windsor, Middletown, Norwich, and
elsewhere. Upon receiving such reports, Dr. Avery had written, "I am
very sorry to hear of the persecuting spirit which prevails in
Connecticut.... If any gentleman that suffers by these coercive laws
will apply to me, I will use my influence that justice be done them."
The letter was read in the Assembly, and is said to have influenced
the committee of revision, causing them to omit the persecuting laws
of 1742-44, in order that they might no longer be quoted against the
colony. Governor Law replied to Dr. Avery that the disorders and
excesses of the dissenters had compelled the very legislation of which
they complained. To which Dr. Avery returned answer that, while
disorders were to be regretted, civil penalties were not their proper
remedy. This was a sentiment that was gaining adherents in the colony
as well as in England. Among other instances of persecution among the
Baptists was that of Samuel, brother of Isaac Backus, who in 1752,
with his mother and two members of the Baptist society, was imprisoned
for thirteen days on account of refusal to pay the ecclesiastical
taxes.[131] Another was that of Deacon Nathaniel Drake, Jr.,[132] of
Windsor, who, in 1761, refused to pay the assessment for the Second
Society's new meeting-house. For six years the magistrates wrestled
with the Deacon, striving to collect the assessment. But the Deacon
was obstinate, and rather than pay a tax of which his conscience
disapproved, he preferred to be branded in the hand. Outside of
Baptist or Separatist, there were other afflicted churches, such as
that of Wallingford,[133] where the New Lights could complain that, in
1758, the Consociation of New Haven county had refused to install the
candidate of the majority, Mr. Dana; and had attempted to discipline
the twelve ministers who had united in ordaining him; and that as a
result the twelve were forced to meet in an Association by themselves
for fourteen years, or until 1772.

The Separatists attempted to obtain exemption through petitions to the
Assembly, trusting that, as each new election sent more and more New
Lights to that body, each prayer for relief would be more favorably
received. One of the most important of these petitions was that of
1753, when more than twenty Separatist churches, representing about a
thousand members, united in an appeal wherein they complained of the
distraining of their goods to meet assessments and taxes for the
benefit of the Established churches; of imprisonments, with consequent
deprivation of comforts for their families; and of the danger to the
civil peace threatened by these evils. The Assembly refused
redress. Whereupon the petition was at once reconstructed,[a] and,
with authentic records and testimonies, to which Governor Fitch set
the seal of Connecticut, was sent, in 1756, [134] to London.  The
Committee in behalf of Dissenters were to see that it was presented to
the King in Council.  The petition charged violation of the colony's
charter, excessive favoritism, and legislation in favor of one
Christian sect to the exclusion of all others and to the oppression,
even, of some.  The English Committee thought that these charges might
anger the King and endanger the Connecticut charter. Accordingly, they
again wrote to the Connecticut authorities, remonstrating with them
because of their treatment of dissenters.  At the same time, they sent
a letter advising the petitioners to show their loyalty to the best
interests of the colony by withdrawing their complaint. These
dissenters were further advised to begin at once a suit in the
Connecticut courts for their rights, and with the intent of carrying
their case to England, should the colony fail to do them
justice. Legal proceedings were immediately begun, but were allowed to
lapse, partly because of the press of secular interests, for the
colonial wars, the West India expedition, and other affairs of great
moment claimed attention, and partly because there were indications
that the government would regard the Separatists more favorably.

In the colony itself a change was taking place through which the
college was to go over to the side of the New Lights. In 1755,
President Clap had established the College Church in order to remove
the students from the party strife that was still distracting the
churches. In order to avoid a conflict over the matter, he refused to
ask the consent of the Assembly, claiming the right of an incorporated
college and the precedent of the English universities, since, in 1745,
the Assembly had formally incorporated "The President and Fellows of
Yale College," vesting in them all the usual powers appertaining to
colleges. In the same year, also, the initial step toward establishing
a chair of divinity had been taken, and it became the first toward the
founding of the separate College Church. President Clap always
maintained that "the great design of founding Yale was to educate
ministers in our way,"[135] and the chair of divinity had been
established in answer to the suggestion of the Court that the college
take measures to protect its students from the New Light
movement. President Clap was hurried on in his policy of establishing
the College Church both by his desire to separate the students from
the New Light controversy in Mr. Noyes's church, where they were wont
to attend, and by an appeal to him, in 1753, of Rector Punderson, the
priest recently placed in charge of the Church-of-England mission in
New Haven. The rector had two sons in college, and he asked that they
and such other collegians as were Episcopalians might be permitted to
attend the Church-of-England services.  President Clap refused to give
the desired permission, except for communion and some special
services, and he at once proceeded to organize a church within the
college. The trustees and faculty upheld him, but the Old Lights, then
about two-thirds of the deputies to the Assembly, opposed his course
of action, and succeeded in taking away the annual grant that, at the
incorporation of the college, had been given to Yale. After this, they
regarded President Clap as a "political New Light," but as the latter
party increased in the Assembly, and became friendly to Yale, the
college gradually reinstated itself in the favor of the legislature.

If in his petitions the Separatist demanded only exemption, only that
much toleration, in his controversial writings he ably argued the
right of all men to full liberty of conscience.  Unfortunately, the
ignorance and follies of many of the Separatists, when battling in
advance of their age for religious liberty, militated against the
logic of their position. Harmony among themselves would have commended
and strengthened their cause, and given it a forceful dignity.  They
blundered, as did their English predecessors of a much earlier date,
by laying too much stress upon the individual, upon his
interpretations of Scripture, and upon his right of criticism. Much of
their work in behalf of religious liberty took the form of
pamphleteering. Again, it was their misfortune that the Establishment
could boast of writers of more ability and of greater training. Yet
the Separatists had some bold thinkers, some able advocates, and, as
time wore on, and their numbers were increased and disciplined, the
strength and quality of their petitions and published writings
improved greatly.  Sometimes these dissenters were helped by the
theories of their opponents, which, when pushed to logical conclusions
and practical application, often became strong reasons for granting
the very liberty the Separatists sought. Sometimes an indignant member
of the Establishment, smarting under its interference, was roused to
forceful expression of the broader notions of personal and church
liberty that were slowly spreading through the community. A few
extracts from typical pamphlets of the time will give an idea of the
atmosphere surrounding the disputants.

In 1749, a tract was issued from the New London press by one
E. H. M. A. entitled, "The present way of the Country in maintaining
the Gospel ministry by a Public Rate or Tax is Lawful, Equitable, and
agreable to the Gospel; As the same is argued and proved in way of
Dialogue between John Queristicus and Thomas Casuisticus, near
Neighbors in the County." In answer to this, and for the purpose of
vindicating the religious practices and opinions of the Separatists,
Ebenezer Frothingham, a Separatist minister, took the field in 1750 as
the champion of religious liberty. His book of four hundred and fifty
pages had for its title "The Articles of Faith and Practice with the
Covenant that is confessed by the Separate Churches of Christ in this
land. Also a discourse." So influential and so characteristic was this
work, that rather long extracts from it are permissible, and, with a
few arguments from other writers, will serve to reflect the thought
and feeling of the day, and will best give the point of view of both
dissenter and member of the Establishment, of liberal and
conservative; for the pamphlet of the period was apt to be religious
or political, or more likely both.

Frothingham, speaking of the injustice done the Separatists, writes:--

    That religion that hath not authority and power enough within
    itself to influence its professors to support the same, without
    Bargains, Taxes or Rates, and the Civil Power, and Prisons, &c. is
    a false Religion.  ... Now, if the Religion generally professed
    and practiced in this land, be the Religion of Jesus Christ, why
    do they strain away the Goods of the Professors of it, and waste
    their substance to support it? which has frequently been done. And
    which is worse, why do they take their Neighbors (that don't
    worship with them, but have solemnly covenanted to worship God in
    another place) by the throat, and cast them into Prison? or else
    for a Rate of Twenty Shillings, Three or Six Pounds, send away
    Ten, Twenty, or Thirty Pounds worth of Goods, and set them up at
    Vendue; where they will generally assemble the poor, miserable
    Drunkard, and the awful foul-mouthed Swearer, and the bold,
    covetous, Blasphemous Scoffer at things Sacred and Divine, and the
    Scum of Society for the most part will be together, to count and
    make their Games about the Goods upon Sale, and at the owners of
    them too, and at the Holy Religion that the Owners thereof
    profess; and at such Vendues there are rarely any solid, thinking
    men to be found there; or if there are any such present, they do
    not care to act in that oppressive way of supporting the
    Gospel. Such men find something is the matter. God's Vice-regent
    in their Breasts, tells them it is not equal to make such Havock
    of men's Estates, to support a Worship they have nothing to do
    with; yes, the Consciences of these persons will trouble them so
    that they had rather pay twice their part of the Rates, and so let
    the oppressed Party go free.

Upon the difficulty of securing collectors, Frothingham remarks: "If
it be such a good Cause, and no good men in the Society, to undertake
that good Work, surely then such a Society is awfully declined, if
that is the case." Frothingham quotes the Suttler of the "Dialogue" as
saying, "We have good reason to believe, that if this Hedge of human
Laws, and Enclosure of Order round the Church, were wholly broken
down, and taken away, there would not be, ('t is probable) one regular
visible Church left subsisting in this land, fifty years hence, or, at
most, not many. "To this, Frothingham replied that if by the "visible
church, here spoken of," is meant "Anti-Christ's Church, we should be
apt to believe it," for "it needs Civil Power, Rates and Prisons to
support it. But if the Gospel Church, set up at first without the aid
of civil power could continue and spread, why can't it subsist without
the Civil Power now as well as then?" "To this day," this author adds,
"the true Church of Christ is in bondage, by usurping Laws that
unrighteously intrude upon her ecclesiastical Rights and civil
Enjoyments; .... And Wo! Wo! to New England! for the God-provoking
Evil, which is too much indulged by the great and mighty in the
Land. The cry of oppression is gone up into the ears of the Lord God
of Sabbaoth."

Frothingham thrusts at the payment or support of the ministry by
taxation in his assertion that "there is no instance of Paul's
entering into any civil Contract or Bargain, to get his wages or Hire,
in all his Epistles; but we have frequent accounts of his receiving
free contributions."[136] (Here, he but repeats a part of the Baptist
protest in the Wightman-Bulkley debate of 1707.) Frothingham states
that "the scope and burden of it [his book] were to shew ...  both
from scripture and reason that the standing ministers and Churches in
this Colony [Connecticut] are not practising in the rule of God's

The book at once commanded the attention desired by its author. It
drew upon Frothingham the concentrated odium of the Rev.  Moses
Bartlett, pastor of the Portland church, in a fifty-four-paged
pamphlet entitled "False and Seducing Teachers." Among such Bartlett
includes and roundly denounces Frothingham and the two Paines, Solomon
and his brother Elisha.  Elisha Paine had removed to Long
Island. Returning to Canterbury for some of his household goods, he
was seized by the sheriff for rates overdue, and thrown into Windham
jail.[137] After waiting some weeks for his release, he sent the
following bold and spicy letter to the Canterbury assessors:--

    To you gentlemen, practioners of the law from your prisoner in
    Windham gaol, because his conscience will not let him pay a
    minister that is set up by the laws of Connecticut, contrary to
    his conscience and consent.

    The Roman Emperor was called Pontifex Maximus, because he presided
    over civil and ecclesiastical affairs; which, is the first beast
    that persecuted the Christians that separated from the Established
    religion, which they call the holy religion of their forefathers;
    and by their law, fined, whipped, imprisoned and killed such as
    refused obedience thereto. We all own that the Pope or Papal
    throne is the second beast, because he is the head of the
    ecclesiastical, and also meddles in civil affairs.... He also
    compels all under him to submit to his worship, decrees and laws,
    by whips, fines, prisons, fire and fagots. Now what your prisoner
    requests of you is a clear distinction between the Ecclesiastical
    Constitution of Connecticut, by which I am now held in prison, and
    the aforesaid two thrones or beasts in the foundation,
    constitution and support thereof. For if by Scripture and reason
    you can show they do not all stand on the throne mentioned in
    Psalm xciv: 20, [b] but that the latter is founded on the Rock
    Christ Jesus, I will confess my fault and soon clear myself of the
    prison.  But if this Constitution hath its rise from _that
    throne_ ... better is it to die for Christ, than to live
    against him.

    From an old friend to this civil constitution, and long your


    WINDHAM JAIL, Dec. 11, 1752.

In 1744, in addition to his memorials and letters, Solomon Paine had
published "A Short View of the Constitution of the Church of Christ,
and the Difference between it and the Church Established in
Connecticut." Frothingham, when alluding to Moses Bartlett's
denunciation of himself and Paine, refers to this book in his remark,
"Elder Paine and myself have labored to prove, and I think it evident,
that the religious Constitution of this Colony is not founded upon the
Scriptures of truth, but upon men's inventions."

In the year 1755, the same in which he established the college church,
President Clap issued his "History and Vindication of the doctrines
received and established in the Churches of New England," [c] to which
Thomas Darling's "Some Remarks on President Clap's History" was a
scathing rejoinder. Darling asserted that for the President to uphold
the Saybrook System of Consociated Churches was to set up the
standards of men, a thing the forefathers never did;[138] that the
picture of the Separatists' "New Scheme," which the President drew,
was a scandalous _spiritual_ libel;[139] and then, falling into
the personal attacks permitted in those days, Darling adds that
President Clap was an overzealous sycophant of the General Assembly, a
servant of politics rather than of religion, and that it would be
better for him to trust to the real virtues of the Consociated Church
to uphold it than to strive for legal props and legislative favors for
his "ministry-factory,"[140] the college. To raise the cry of heresy,
Darling declared, was the President's political powder, and "The
Church, the Church is in danger!" his rallying cry. He concluded his
arraignment with:--

    But would a man be tried, judged and excommunicated by such a
    standard as this? No! Not so long as they had one atom of
    _common_ sense left. These things will never go down in a
    free State, where people are bred in, and breathe the free air,
    and are formed upon principles of liberty; they might answer in a
    popish country, or in _Turkey_, where the common people are
    sank and degraded almost to the state of brutes.... But in a free
    state they will be eternally ridiculed and abhorred.... 'T is too
    late in the Day for these things, these gentlemen should have
    lived twelve or thirteen hundred years ago.

Among the champions of religious liberty was the Seventh-day Baptist,
John Bolles. He wrote "To worship God in Spirit and in Truth, is to
worship him in true Liberty of Conscience," and also "Concerning the
Christian Sabbath, which that Sabbath commanded to Israel, after they
came out of Egypt, was a Sign of. Also Some Remarks upon a Book
written by Ebenezer Frothingham." These works were published in 1757,
and, five years later, called out in defense of the Establishment
Eobert Ross's "Plain Address to the Quakers, Moravians, Separates,
Separatist-Baptists, Rogerines, and other Enthusiasts on immediate
impulses, and Revelation, &c," wherein the author considers all those
whom he addresses as on a level with Frothingham, whom he names and
scores for "trampling on all Churches and their Determinasions, but
your own, with the greatest disdain."[141]

In the same year, 1762, the Separatist Israel Holly published a
defense of his opinions, quoting freely from Dr. Watts and from his
own earlier work, "A Seasonable Plea for Liberty of Conscience, and
the Eight of private Judgment in matters of Religion, without any
control from Human Authority." This "A Word in Zion's Behalf" [d]
boldly ranges itself with Frothingham and Bolles, arguing against, and
emphatically opposing, the state control of religion.  Holly also
engaged in a printed controversy, publishing in connection with it
"The Power of the Congregational Church to ordain its officers and
govern itself."

In 1767, while the Separatists still outnumbered the Baptists in
Connecticut, Ebenezer Frothingham put forth another powerful and
closely argued tract, "A Key to unlock the Door, that leads in, to
take a fair view of the Religious Constitution Established by Law in
the Colony of Connecticut," [e] etc. In his preface he states:--

    The main Thing I have in View thro' the whole of this Book is free
    Liberty of Conscience... the Right of thinking and choosing and
    acting for one's self in matters of Religion, which respects God
    and Conscience ... for my Readers may see Liberty of Conscience,
    was the main and leading Point in View in planting this Land and

Frothingham defines the Religious Constitution as "certain Laws in the
Colony Law Book, called ecclesiastical, with the Confession of Faith,
agreed upon by the Elders and Messengers of the Churches, met at
Saybrook, especially the Articles of Administration of Church
Discipline." This Constitution Plan "gives the General Assembly (which
is, and always should so remain, a civil body to transact in civil and
moral things) power to constitute or make a spiritual or
ecclesiastical body."[142]

Such power, Frothingham maintains, is contrary to reason. Citing from
the Colony Law Book the statute, "Concerning who shall vote in town or
Society meeting" Frothingham comments thus:--

    This supposes no person to have a right to form themselves into a
    religious society without their [the Assembly's] leave. No,--not
    King George the Third himself would have liberty to worship God
    according to his conscience. [Yet] any Atheist, Deist, Arian,
    Socinian, a Prophane Drunkard, a Sorcerer, a Thief, if they have
    such a freehold (as the law demands), can vote to keep out a
    minister. [Such a] plan challenges the sole right of making
    religious societies and the government of conscience. Yea, I think
    it assumes the prerogative that belongs to the Son of God

    The fines for the neglect of the established worship and for
    assembling for worship approved by conscience [leave] no gap for
    one breath of gospel liberty. For if we exercise our gifts and
    graces in the lawful assemblies, we are had up, and carried to
    prison, for making disturbance on the Sabbath.  I myself have been
    confined in Hartford prison near five months, for nothing but
    exhorting and warning the people, after the public worship was
    done and the assembly dismissed. And while I was there confined,
    three more persons were sent to prison; one for exhorting, and two
    for worshipping God in a private house in a separate meeting. And
    quick after I was released, by the laws being answered by natural
    relations unbeknown to me, then two brethren more was committed
    for exhorting and preaching, and several afterward, for attending
    the same duties and I myself was twice more sent to prison for the
    ministers rates.[144]

    I have no Man or Men's persons as such, in View in my Writings,
    But would as much as is proper, separate Ministers, Civil Rulers,
    and Churches, from the Constitution, and consider this Religious
    Constitution as it is compiled or written, as though it was not
    established in this Colony; but presented here from some remote
    part of Christendom, for Examination, to see if it was according
    to the Word of God, and the sacred Right of Conscience.[145]

In scathing terms, Frothingham attacks the "Anti-Christian" character
of the Establishment and its fear that, by granting liberty of
conscience, an open door for church separation would result, and
thereby its speedy downfall, because of the multiplication of churches
and the loss of taxes enforced for its support. Experience had taught
the authorities that, even when all the people favored one form of
religion, compulsory support had to be resorted to as a spur to
individual contributious. Moreover, the best governments of which they
knew had recourse to a similar system in order to maintain purity of
religion and the moral welfare of the state. The authorities could not
see, as did the champion of religious liberty, the opportunities of
oppression that such a system afforded; nor could they feel with him
the harshness of its taxation, nor the injustice of distraining
dissenters' goods,--or, as he phrased it, "their lack of faith in God
and in God's people to uphold religion." They certainly would not
acknowledge Frothingham's charge that they seriously feared the loss
of political power through the granting of soul liberty, and as a
consequence the probable disintegration of the Establishment.

Frothingham argues that to suffer the existence of different sects
would really strengthen the authority of the colony; since,--

    when persons know that the Most High is alone the absolute Lord of
    Conscience; that no mortal breathing has any right to hinder them
    from thinking and acting for themselves, in religious
    affairs... the law of nature, reason and grace will lay subjects
    under strong obligations to their rulers, when equal justice is
    ministered to them of different principles, in the practice of
    religion. [l46]

Frothingham confutes the declaration that there was liberty of
conscience in the colony, "for the separates have gone to the General
Assembly with their prayers, from year to year, asking nothing but
their just rights, full and free liberty of conscience, and have been,
and still are, denied their request."

Furthermore, the colony law supported criminals in prison and gave the
poor man's oath to debtors, but nothing to the man who was in prison
for conscience's sake. Such a one was dependent upon the charity of
his friends for the very necessities of life. Such laws and the
ecclesiastical constitution which they support become--

    a forfeiture of the charter grant because they exercise that
    oppression and persecution contrary to its first intent, and are
    the direct cause of contention and disunion, which is repugnant to
    the principal design of constituting the colony; viz. that it "May
    be so religiously, peaceably and civilly governed as may win and
    invite the natives to the Christian faith." [l47]

This "Key to unlock the Door" was probably the strongest work put
forth from the dissenter's standpoint, and within three years it was
followed by a legislative act granting a measure of toleration. But
there were other important books of similar character. Two among these
were Robert Bragge's "Church Discipline,"[f] reprinted in 1768, and
Joseph Brown's (Baptist) "Letter to the Infant Baptizers of North
Parish in New London." Brown closes his book with a mild and
reasonable appeal to every one to try to put himself in the place of
the oppressed dissenter.[g] In Brown's argument, as in that of the
majority of the dissenters, the plea is for toleration in the choice
of the form of religion to be supported, and not for liberty to
support or neglect religion itself. Those who believed in the
voluntary support of religion were not seeking exemption as
individuals, but as organized societies or churches, whose highest
privilege it was to support Christ's teachings. Considered from this
point of view, they were only seeking those privileges which had been
granted the Episcopalians, the Quakers, and Baptists in
1727-29. Looked at from the point of view of the government, however,
these Separatists varied so slightly from the legalized polity and
worship, and yet withal so dangerously, that they did not deserve to
be classed as "sober dissenters." To recognize them as such would be
to set the seal of approval upon all who chose to question the
authority, or the righteousness, of the Saybrook system. With the fear
of such an undermining of authority, and realizing the increasing
tendency of churches throughout the colony to renounce the Saybrook
Platform, the very conservative people felt that to grant toleration
to the Separatists might prove disastrous both to Church and civil

While the Baptists and the Separatists were waging the battle for
toleration and for religious liberty with the great weapon of their
time,--the pamphlet,--the Consociated Churches were also making
valiant use of it, not only in defense of the Establishment, but in
controversial warfare among themselves, for in the New England of the
second half of the eighteenth century, two schools of religious
thought were slowly developing. They gained converts more rapidly as
the means of communication, of publication, and of exchange of opinion
increased. The improvement of roads, the introduction of carriages and
coaches, the establishment of printing-presses, and the founding of
newspapers, were important agents in developing and moulding public
opinion. Of these, the printing-press was foremost, for with its
pamphlet and its newspaper it gained a hearing not only in the cities,
but in the isolated farmhouses of New England, carrying on its weekly
visit the gist of the secular and religious news.

The newspaper made its first appearance in Connecticut in 1755, when
the "Connecticut Gazette" [h] issued from the recently established New
Haven press. The newspaper arrived later in the distant colony of
Connecticut than in those on the seaboard that were in closer touch
with European thought by reason of their more direct and frequent
sailing vessels. Among American newspapers, the year 1704 saw the
birth of the "Boston News Letter"; the year 1719, of the "Boston
Gazette" and of the "American Weekly Mercury" of Philadelphia.  Boston
added a third paper, the "New England Courant," in 1721, while New
York issued its first sheet in 1725. Benjamin Franklin founded the
"Pennsylvania Gazette" in 1729, and, in 1741, began the publication of
the "General Magazine and Historical Chronicle for, all the British
Plantations in America." In 1743, Boston sent out the "American
Magazine and Historical Chronicle," containing, along with European
news, not only lists of new books and excerpts therefrom, but full
reprints of the best essays from the English magazines. New York, in
1752, issued the "Independent Reflector," a magazine of similar
character. Thus, through papers and magazines, as well as through a
limited importation of books, and through personal correspondence, the
life of Europe, and preeminently of England, was brought home to the

In the religious non-prelatical world of England, the Presbyterian
churches were undergoing a transformation, and were, by 1750,
prevailingly Arian. The English Congregationalists resisted Arianism,
but they, also, felt its influence, as well as that of Arminianism,
and they began to attach less importance to creeds, and to develop a
broader tolerance of many shades of religious belief. New England
sympathized more with the Congregational movement, but, as interest in
both was awakened, English thought came to have great influence in the
religious development of New England during the next half-century.
Broadly speaking of these progressive changes, Connecticut, and
Connecticut-trained men in western Massachusetts, developed the
so-called New Divinity, while Massachusetts clergy, especially those
of her eastern section, favored that liberal theology which, after the
Revolutionary period, gave rise to the Unitarian conflict.

The older religious controversies had concerned themselves with church
polity, or, popularly speaking, with what men thought concerning their
relation to God through his church, in distinction from doctrine, or
what men felt should be their attitude towards God and their
fellow-men. Pushing aside polity and doctrine, the twentieth century
emphasizes action, or man's reflection of the life of Christ. Doctrine
came to the front with Jonathan Edwards. In his opposition to the
Arminian teaching of the value of a sincere obedience to God's laws
and "the efficacy of means of grace," Jonathan Edwards asserted the
Calvinistic idea of the sovereignty of God, and maintained that
justification was by faith alone; but his idea of justification held
within it the duty of personal responsibility in loving and obeying
God. Edwards, though defining love as general benevolence, a delight
in God's holiness, and the essence of all true virtue, did introduce,
as factors in personal religion, the will and the emotions. These
characteristics of true, personal religion, as his mind, influenced by
the Great Awakening, conceived and elaborated them, he set forth in
his "Religious Affections," published in 1746. In his "Qualifications
for Full Communion," 1749, he again dwelt upon the same theme; but his
main purpose was to uproot the Half-Way Covenant practice and the
Stoddardean view of the Lord's supper. He attempted to do this by
exposing the inefficiency of "means," and at English Arminianism in
particular Edwards leveled his "Freedom of the Will," [i] published in
1754. His friend and disciple, Joseph Bellamy, put forth in 1750 "True
Religion Delineated," wherein he advances from Edwards's limited
atonement theory to that of a general one. [j] In 1758, Bellamy, in
brilliant dialogue, replied to "A Winter's Evening Conversation Upon
the Doctrine of Original Sin in which the Notion of our having sinned
in Adam and being on that Account only liable to eternal Damnation, is
proved to be unscriptural," a book by Rev. Samuel Webster of
Salisbury, Massachusetts, and of which a reprint had appeared from the
New Haven Press in 1757, the year of its publication. Bellamy took
sides with the Rev. Peter Clark of Danvers, Massachusetts, who replied
in "A Summer Morning's Conversation."  Both men summoned as their
authority a work of Edwards, "Original Sin Defended," which was about
to appear from the press, and to which Edwards's followers were
looking forward as the last work of their master, he having died while
its pages were still in press. Edwards had destined the book to be a
refutation of English Arianism of the Taylor school, of which Webster
was a follower. This same year, 1758, Bellamy discoursed upon "The
Wisdom of God in the Permission of Sin," and gave a series of sermons
on "The Divinity of Jesus Christ," a defense of the Trinity, which
Jonathan Mayhew of Boston had attacked. Bellamy may have felt that
this defense was due from a Connecticut man because the colony,
strenuously orthodox, had in the revision of the laws in 1750 added
the requirement of a belief in the Trinity, and caused the denial
thereof to be ranked as felony.  Denial of the Trinity, or of the
divine inspiration of the Scriptures, was punishable, for the first
offense, by ineligibility to office, whether ecclesiastical, civil, or
military, and, upon a second conviction, by disability to sue, to act
as guardian or as administrator. [148] Though there was never a
conviction under the statute, the presence of such a law in the colony
code indicates the religious temper of her people at a time when
radical changes were creeping into man's conception of religion.

Joseph Bellamy's influence, great as it was as writer and preacher,
was even greater as a teacher.  His home in Bethlehem from 1738 to
1790 was virtually a divinity school, and it is estimated that at
least sixty students, trained in his system of theology and in his
antagonism to the Half-Way Covenant, [k] spread through New England
an influence counter to that of the Mayhews, Briant, [l] Webster, and
other disciples of the Liberal Theology. Upon Bellamy, as a leader,
fell Edwards's mantle.

While Bellamy was the great exponent of Jonathan Edwards's teachings
in Connecticut, another friend and famous pupil of the great divine's,
Samuel Hopkins, taught at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 1743-69,
and in Newport, Ehode Island, 1770-1803, urging an extension of his
master's principles--especially of that of "benevolence." Hopkins,
however, attributed a certain value to "means of grace," while
teaching that sin and virtue consist in exercise of the will, or in
definite acts. [m] Consequently, he included in his theology a denial
of man's responsibility for Adam's sin, which Edwards had
maintained. Hopkins advocated also a willing and disinterested
submission to'God's will, the Hopkinsian "to be saved or damned,"
since God, in his wisdom, will do that which is best for his
universe. These characteristic doctrines, both of Bellamy and Hopkins,
were modified by the younger generation of students, notably by
Stephen West, John Smalley, Jonathan Edwards, Jr., and--greatest of
all--Nathaniel Emmons, who, together with the first Timothy Dwight,
were to introduce two sub-schools of the New Divinity. [n] Emmons,
following Hopkins, developed extreme views of sin, even in little
children; held the theories of reprobation and election; and was most
intensely Calvinistic. Dwight developed a more conciliatory and benign
system of theology, but his influence, as founder of a school of
religious thought, belongs to the post-Revolutionary era.  Emmons held
one long pastorate at Franklin, Massachusetts, 1773-1827, [o] where,
as a trainer of youth for the ministry, his influence was greatest,
and his powers at their best. Nearly a hundred ministers passed to
their pulpits from his tutelage.

Such were the teachings that fashioned a generation of preachers, of
ministers, wielding a tremendous influence over the men and measures
of pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary days. The clergy were then the
close friends of their parishioners; their counselors in all matters,
spiritual or worldly; and frequently their arbitrators in disputed
rights, for the legal class was still small, and its services
costly. The pastor knew intimately every soul in his parish. He was
the State's moral guardian. He was the intellectual leader and more,
for, in the scarcity of books and newspapers, not alone in his Sunday
sermon but in those on fast days and thanksgivings, and on all public
and semi-public occasions, he talked to his people upon current
events. The story is told of a clergyman who in his Sunday prayer
recounted the life of his parish during the preceding week, making
personal mention of its actors; who then passed, still praying, from
local history to the welfare of the nation, including a tribute to
Washington and a description of a battle; and who did not end his
hour-long prayer until he had anathematized the enemy, and circled the
globe for recent examples of divine wrath and benevolence. Such a
clergyman is by no means a myth. Each pastor made his own
contribution, inconspicuous or notable as it might be, to the
broadening of thought, and contributed his part to the development
among his people of ideas of personal liberty, even as the colonial
wars were developing confidence in the ability to defend that liberty
should it be endangered. A voluntary theocracy may uphold a faith
which teaches that only a very limited number are of the "elect," but,
under the ordinary conditions of life, such a belief is discouraging,
deadening, and as men threw off this idea of spiritual bondage, they
advanced to a larger conception of personal responsibility, dignity,
and freedom. Such enlargement of ideas necessitated a mutual tolerance
of diverse opinions. It also tended to create revolt against
infractions of civil liberty or violations of political justice. The
colonists were not so badly taxed--as colonial policy went--when they
made their stand for "no taxation without representation," when they
exhausted their resources in a long war because of acts of Parliament
that, had they submitted to them, would have offered a precedent for
still more repressive measures and for the overthrow of the
Englishman's right to determine, through the representatives of the
people, how the people's money should be spent.

If the town-meeting, the sermon, the religious or political pamphlet,
and the newspaper did each its part in developing a people, there was
also another factor that, starting as part of a discussion of
ecclesiastical polity, brought before all men important questions of
civil, political, and personal liberty, and of constitutional rights.
However unnecessary the severe anguish of Jonathan Mayhew's spirit,
due to his exaggerated fear of the American episcopate, he did but
express "the sincere thought of a multitude of his most rational
contemporaries." [l49] A review of events will show some reason for
the antagonism and horror that filled New England when the project of
the episcopate was revived. After the death of Queen Anne in 1714, the
Crown took no interest in the project of an American episcopate until
Thomas Sherlock became Bishop of London in 1748. The Connecticut
clergy of the Church of England, together with others of New England
and the Middle colonies, had, however, never ceased their efforts to
secure an American bishop; and now, in Bishop Sherlock, their
Metropolitan in London, they had one who firmly believed in the
necessity of colonial bishops, who deliberately refused to exercise
the traditional powers of his office, or to obtain a legal renewal of
them (in so far as they applied to the colonies), because he had
determined that by such a policy he would force the English government
to appoint one--or preferably several--American bishops. He defined
his scheme for the episcopate as one in which the Bishop was: (1) to
have no coercive power over the laity, only regulative over the
clergy; (2) to have no share in the temporal government; (3) to be of
no expense to the colonists; (4) and to have no authority, except to
ordain the clergy, in any of the colonies where the government was in
the hands of dissenters from the Church of England. This plan was
essentially the same as that advocated later by Bishops Secker and
Butler, and by succeeding bishops to the time of the
Revolution. Bishop Sherlock obtained the King's permission to submit
his plan to the English ministers of state. So great was the dread
inspired in America by the rumors of a revival of active measures for
a colonial episcopate, that a deputation, sent to England in 1749,
appointed a committee of two to wait upon those nearest to the King
and to advise them that the appointment would be "highly Prejudicial
to the Interests of Several of the Colonies." [150] This committee
redoubled its energies in 1750, and it was due to its watchfulness as
well as to the clearer foresight of the King's ministers that Bishop
Sherlock's plan was frustrated. The chief advisers of the government
objected to it on the ground that it would be repugnant to the
dissenting colonies, to the dissenters of all sorts in England, and
would also rouse in the home-land party-differences that had slumbered
since the overthrow of the Pretender in 1745.

Despite the English opposition to Bishop Sherlock's scheme, its
discussion in England and the journey of the bishop's agent through
the several American colonies to sound their sentiment had created so
much apprehension that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
enjoined its missionaries, in 1753, "that they take special care to
give no offence to the civil government by intermeddling with affairt,
not relating to their calling or function." Even Bishop Seeker of
Oxford, a strong adherent of Bishop Sherlock, saw fit, in 1754, to
suppress Dr. Johnson of Stratford, Connecticut, bidding his enthusiasm
wait until a more propitious season, and advising him, and the rest of
his clergy, to conciliate the dissenters. Bishop Sherlock, himself, in
1752, withdrew sufficiently from his first position to assume the
ecclesiastical oversight of the colonies, although he would not take
out a commission to renew that which had expired by the death of
Bishop Gibson. Meanwhile, Sherlock's demonstration that the Bishop of
London had little authority in law, or in fact, over the American
colonies created two parties. One [p] held that the colonies were a
part of the English nation and consequently were subject to the civil
and religious laws existing in the home country, and that the
authority of the Church of England extending to the colonies had been
reinforced by the Gibson patent of 1727-28.  The other party
maintained that the colonists were not members of the Church of
England, nor subject to its rules. They quoted the Lord Chief Justice,
who declared to Governor Dummer, in 1725, that "there was no regular
establishment of any national or provincial church in these
plantations" (of New England), and that Bishop Gilman, in his letter
of May 24, 1735, to Dr. Colman had written, "My opinion has always
been that the religious state of New England is founded on an equal
liberty to all Protestants, none of which can claim the name of a
national establishment, or of any kind of superiority over the rest."
This party further maintained that no acts of Parliament, passed after
the founding of the colonies, were binding upon them, unless such acts
were specially extended to the colonies. Here again was the old
contention that had appeared in the earlier controversy over the
Connecticut Intestacy Act.

An American controversy, parallel in time with the attempt to
establish the episcopate, roused the always latent New England
hostility to the Episcopal church as one contrary to gospel
teaching. This controversy of 1747-51 [q] broke out over the validity
of Presbyterian ordination versus Episcopal. The battle surged about
the contingent questions of (1) whether the Church of England extended
to the colonies; (2) whether it was prudent for the long established
New England churches to go over to the English communion; and (3)
whether it would be lawful. In debating the last two, incidental
matters of expense, of unwise ecclesiastical dependence, and of the
consequent decay of practical godliness in the land, were discussed by
the Rev. Noah Hobart of Stratford, Conn., who represented the
Consociated churches, while Episcopacy was defended by Rev. James
Wetmore of Rye, N. Y., Dr. Johnson of Stratford, Conn., Rev. John
Beach of Reading, Conn., and by the Rev. Henry Caner of Boston.

This discussion at once suggested to a few far-sighted men that the
bishops recently proposed, and which at the end of the Seven Years'
War, in 1763, were again earnestly advocated by Bishop Seeker (who had
become Archbishop of Canterbury) should not acquire any powers in
addition to those suggested by Bishop Sherlock.  The growing fear of
such increased authority flamed out again in the Mayhew controversy of
1763-65, when all the inherited Puritan dislike to the Church of
England as a religious body, and all the terror of such a hierarchy,
as a part of the English state, hurled itself into argument, and threw
to the front the discussion of the American episcopate as a measure of
English policy,--an attempt to transplant the Church as an arm of the
State; an attempt to "episcopize," to proselyte the colonies, and
eventually to overturn the New England ecclesiastical and civil
governments.[r] "It was known," wrote John Adams fifty years later,
"that neither the king nor ministry nor archbishop could appoint
bishops in America without Act of Parliament, and if Parliament could
tax us, it could establish the Church of England with all its creeds,
articles, ceremonies, and prohibit all other churches as conventicles
and schism-shops." [s] Therefore, when England declared her right to
tax the colonies, and followed it by Sugar Act and Stamp Act, the
political situation threw a lurid light about the Chandler-Chauncy
controversy [t] of 1767-71 as it rehearsed the _pros_ and
_cons_ of the proposed episcopate. The New England colonies were
greatly excited, and others shared the unrest, for, even where the
Church of England was strongest, the laity as a body preferred the
greater freedom accorded them under commissaries as sub-officers of
the Bishop of London.  The indifference of the American laity as a
whole to the project of the episcopate; the impotence of the English
bishop to attain it, thwarted as he was by the threefold opposition of
the ministry, the colonial agents, and the great body of English
dissenters, did not lessen the prevailing suspicion and fear among the
colonists, especially among those of New England.  They felt no
confidence in the profession [u] that authority purely ecclesiastical
would alone be accorded to the bishop, or that American churchmen
themselves would long be satisfied with a bishopric so shorn of
power. And already, on November 1, 1766, the Episcopalians of New
York, New Jersey, and Connecticut had met together in their first
annual convention at Elizabethtown. [v] The avowed object of their
conference was the defense of the liberties of the Church of England,
and "to diffuse union and harmony, and to keep up a correspondence
throughout the united body and with their friends abroad."  [151]

It was a time of drawing together, whether of the colonies as
political bodies, or of their people as groups of individuals
affiliating with similar groups beyond the local boundaries. Upon
November 5, 1766, also at Elizabethtown, the Consociated Churches of
Connecticut had united with the Presbyterian Synod of New York and
Philadelphia in their first annual convention, which was composed of
Presbyterian delegates to the Synod and of representatives from the
Associations in Connecticut. While the general object was the
promotion of Christian friendship between the two religious bodies,
the spread of the gospel, and the preservation of the liberties of
their respective churches, the conventions of 1769-75 determined to
prosecute measures for preserving these same liberties, threatened "by
the attempt made by the friends of Episcopacy in the Colonies and
Great Britain, for the establishment of Diocesan Bishops in America."
[152] Accordingly this representative body at once entered into
correspondence with the Committee of Dissenters in England. In
recalling these movements towards combination, one remembers that,
among the dissenters, the Quakers had long held to their system of
Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Meetings, to their correspondence with
the London Annual Meeting, and to the frequent interchange of
traveling preachers. In the years 1767-69, the scattered Baptists of
New England had united in the Warren (Rhode Island) Association. It
was a council for advice only, yet its approval lent multiple weight
to the influence of any Baptist preacher. It urged the collection of
all authentic reports of oppression or persecution, and a firm, united
resistance on the part of the weaker churches. [w] The founding of
Brown University, Rhode Island, as a Baptist College in 1764, gave the
sect prestige by marking their approval of education and of a "learned

To return to the subject of the episcopate, the Chandler controversy
had been precipitated by Dr. Johnson of Connecticut, who, at the
Elizabeth convention, urged that the opposition to the American
bishops was largely caused by ignorance concerning their proposed
powers and office, and that if some one would put the scheme more
fully before the people, they might be won over. The task was assigned
to Thomas Bradbury Chandler, who published his "An Appeal to the
Public," 1767. Dr. Charles Chauncy of Boston replied to Chandler,
giving the New England view of bishops in "The Appeal Answered."
Chandler, as has been said, retorted with his "The Appeal Defended,"
and the newspapers took up the controversy. The discussion turned
immediately and almost entirely from the ecclesiastical aspect, with
its dangers to New England church-life, to the political and
constitutional phases of this proposed extension of the Church of
England. The New York and Philadelphia press agitated the subject in
1768-69, while all New England echoed Mayhew's earlier denunciations
of the evils to be anticipated. In the pulpit, by the study fire, and
at the tavern-bar, leaders, scholars, people discussed the possible
loss of civil and personal liberty. Let the bishops once be seated;
and would they not introduce ecclesiastical courts, demand uniformity,
and impose a general tax for their church which might be perverted to
any use that the whim of the King and of his subservient bishops might
propose? There is no question that this subject of the episcopate,
with its political and constitutional phases, and with the
considerations of personal and civil liberty involved, did much to
familiarize the people with those principles upon which they made
their final break with England, and helped to prepare their minds for
the separation from the mother country.

In considering the various elements that contributed to the
development of the national spirit, to the destruction of that
provincialism so marked in the colonies before 1750, and to the
creation in each of breadth of thought and clearness of vision, trade
and commerce had their part. Because of them, came increasing
knowledge of the widely different habits of life in the thirteen
colonies. It came also from the association of the people of the
different sections when as soldiers of their King they were summoned
to the various wars. Still another impetus was given to the national
idea by the fashion of long, elaborate correspondence. Especially was
this true after the Albany convention of 1754, called to discuss
Franklin's Plan of Union, had introduced men of like minds, abilities,
and purpose, and also the needs of their respective sections, and had
interested them in the common welfare of all. Moreover, Franklin was
the highest representative of still another movement that roused the
slumbering intelligence of men by opening their minds to impressions
from the vast and unexplored world of natural science.  He founded, in
1743, the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical
Society.  The recognition, in 1753, [x] of his work by European
scholars was an honor in which every American took pride as marking
the entrance of the colonies into the world of scientific
investigation.  Such honorable recognition produced a widespread
interest in the stuiy of the physical world and its forces. Following
this awakening and broadening of the intellectual life, there came, at
the very dawn of the Revolution, the first out-cropping of genuine
American literature in the satires and poems of Philip Freneau of New
York, a graduate of Princeton, and in those of John Trumbull and Joel
Barlow [y] of Yale. New Haven became a centre of literary life, and
the cultivation of literature took its place beside that of the
classics, broadening the preeminently ministerial groove of the Yale

In considering some of the individual acts leading up to Connecticut's
part in the Revolution, we find that the colony had disapproved
Franklin's Plan of Union of 1754. She thought it lacking in efficiency
and in dispatch in emergencies, and possibly dangerous to the
liberties of the colonies. She also believed it liable to plunge the
colonies into heavy expense, when many of them were already
floundering in debt. Yet Connecticut had, with Massachusetts,
willingly borne the brunt of expense and loss necessary to protect the
colonies in the wars arising from French and English claims. She,
accordingly, greatly rejoiced at the Peace of Ryswick, 1763, for it
gave security to her borders by the cession of Canada to England,
brought safety to commerce and the fisheries, and promised a new era
of prosperity.  The attempt of England to recoup herself for the
expenses of the war by a rigid enforcement of the Navigation Laws--an
enforcement that paralyzed commerce, and turned the open evasion of
honorable merchantmen into the treasonable acts of smugglers--grieved
Connecticut; the Sugar Act provoked her, and the proposed Stamp Act
drove her to remonstrance. Her magistrates issued the dignified and
spirited address, "Reasons why the British Colonies in America should
not be charged with Internal Taxes by Authority of Parliament." [z] It
was firmly believed in the colony that when the severity of the
English acts should be demonstrated, they would at once be removed and
some substitute, such as the proposed tax on slaves or on the fur
trade, would be adopted. Jared Ingersoll, the future stamp-officer,
carried the address to England. There it received praise as an able
and temperate state-paper. Ingersoll is credited with having succeeded
in slightly modifying the Stamp Act and in postponing somewhat the
date for its going into effect. Having done what he could to modify
the measure, and not appreciating the growth of opposition to it
during his absence, he accepted the office of Stamp-Distributer, and
returned to America, where he was straightway undeceived as to the
desirability of his office, but made his way from Boston to
Connecticut, hoping for better things. On reaching New Haven, he was
remonstrated with for accepting his office and urged to give it
up. But learning that Governor Fitch, after mature deliberation, had
resolved to take the oath to support the Stamp Act, and had done so,
though seven of his eleven Councilors, summoned for the ceremony, had
refused to witness the oath, Ingersoll decided to push on to
Hartford. Starting alone and on horseback, he rode unmolested through
the woods; but as he journeyed through the villages, group after group
of stern-looking men, bearing in their hands sticks peeled bare of
bark so as to resemble the staves carried by constables, silently
joined him, and, later, soldiers and a troop of horse. Thus he was
escorted into Wethersfield, where, virtually a prisoner, he was made
to resign his commission. The cavalcade, ever increasing, proceeded
with him to Hartford, [aa] where he publicly proclaimed his
resignation and signed a paper to that effect. Everywhere the towns
burned him in effigy. Everywhere the spirit of indignation and of
opposition spread. The "Norwich Packet" discussed the favored East
Indian monopolies and the Declaratory and Revenue Acts of
Parliament. The "Connecticut Courant" (founded in Hartford in 1764),
the "Connecticut Gazette," the "Connecticut Journal and New Haven
Post-Boy," [ab] and the "New London Gazette" encouraged the spirit of
resistance.  A Norwich minister[153] preached from the text "Touch not
mine anointed," referring to the people as the "anointed" and arguing
that kings, through Acts of Parliament which take away, infringe, or
violate civil rights, touch the "anointed" people in a way forbidden
by God.  This Norwich minister was not alone among the clergy, for the
sermons of the three sects, Baptist, Separatist, and Congregational,
"connected with one indissoluble bond the principles of civil
Government and the principles of Christianity."  The laity of the
Episcopal church were, as a body, patriots, and so, also, were many of
their clergy; but party spirit, roused by the discussion of the
episcopate and of their relation to the King, as head of their church
as well as head of the State, tended to Toryism. From their pulpits
was more frequently heard the doctrine of passive obedience. But in
all the opposition to the Stamp Act, in all the preparations for
resistance, in the carrying out of non-importation agreements, in the
movement that created small factories and home industries to supply
the lack of English imports, and later during the struggle for
independence, the Connecticut colonists, whether Congregationalists,
patriotic Episcopalians, Baptists, or Separatists, worked as one.

Toward the Separatists, oppressed dissenters yet loyal patriots, there
began to be the feeling that some legislative favor should be
shown. Accordingly the Assembly, having them in mind, in 1770 passed
the law that--

    no person in this Colony, professing the Christian protestant
    religion, who soberly and conscientiously dissent from the worship
    and ministry established or approved by the laws of this Colony
    and attend public worship by themselves, shall incur any of the
    penalties ... for not attending the worship and ministry so
    established on the Lord's day or on account of their meeting
    together by themselves on said day for the public worship of God
    in a way agreeable to their consciences.

And in October of the same year, it was further decreed that--

    all ministers of the gospel that now are or hereafter shall be
    settled in this Colony, during their continuance in the ministry,
    shall have all their estates lying in the same society as well as
    in the same town wherein they dwell exempted out of the lists of
    polls and rateable estates. [154]

But for the Separatists to obtain exemption from ecclesiastical taxes
for the benefit of the Establishment required seven more years of
argument and appeal. During the time, they and the Baptists continued
to increase in favor. The Separatist, Isaac Holly, preached and
printed a sermon upholding the Boston tea-party. The Baptists were so
patriotic as to later win from Washington his "I recollect with
satisfaction that the religious society of which you are members have
been throughout America uniformly and almost unanimously the firm
friends of civil liberty, and the persevering promoters of our
glorious revolution." [155] In 1774, good-will was shown to the
Suffield Baptists by a favorable answer to their memorial to be
relieved from illegal fines. In behalf of these Baptists, Governor
Trumbull frequently exerted his influence.  He also wrote to those of
New Roxbury, who were in distress as to whether they had complied with
the law, assuring them that the act of 1770 had done away with the
older requirement of a special application to the General Assembly for
permission to unite in church estate. [156] Notwithstanding such
favor, there was still so much injustice that the Baptists of Stamford
wrote, during the rapid increase of the sect through the local
revivals of 1771-74, that the emigration from Connecticut of Baptists
was because "the maxims of the land do not well suit the genius of our
Order, and beside, the country is so fully settled, as population
increases, the surplusage must go abroad for settlements."

Among the Baptists, the most vigorous champion for mutual toleration
and for liberty of conscience was Isaac Backus, "the father of
American Baptists," and their first historian. In _An Appeal to the
Public for Religious Liberty_, Boston, 1773, after calling
attention to the lack of state provision in Massachusetts as well as
in Connecticut for ecclesiastical prisoners,[157] he thus defines the
limits of spiritual and temporal power:--

    And it appears to us that the true difference and exact limits
    between ecclesiastical and civil government is this. That the
    church is armed with _light and truth_, to pull down the
    strongholds of iniquity and to gain souls to Christ and into his
    church to be governed by his rules therein; and again to exclude
    such from their communion who will not be so governed; while the
    state is armed with _the sword to guard the peace and to punish
    those who violate the same_. Where they have been confounded
    together no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that
    have ensued.

He proceeds to argue that every one has an equal right to choose his
religion, since each one must answer at God's judgment seat for his
own choice and his life's acts. Consequently, there is no warrant for
the making of religious laws and the laying of ecclesiastical
taxes. With this premise, it followed that the Baptist exemption act
of 1729 was defective and unjust, in that it demanded certificates;
and from this time there began a steadily increasing opposition to the
giving of these papers. Backus objected to the certificates upon
several grounds, chief of which were:--

    (1) Because the very nature of such a practice implies an
    acknowledgement that the civil power has right to set one
    religious sect up above another....  It is a tacit allowance that
    they have the right to make laws about such things which we
    believe in our own conscience they have not.

    (2) The scheme we oppose tends to destroy the purity and life of

    (3) The custom which they want us to countenance is very hurtful
    to civil society.... What a temptation then does it not lay for
    men to contract guilt when temporal advantages are annexed to one
    persuasion and disadvantages laid upon another? _i.e._, in
    plain terms, how does it tend to lying hypocrisy and lying? [159]

In all his writings this man pleads the cause of religious liberty,
and, whenever possible, he emphasizes the likeness of the struggle of
the dissenters for freedom of conscience to that of the colonists for
civil liberty, and argues the injustice of wresting thousands of
dollars from the Baptists for the support of a religion to them
distasteful, while they exert themselves to the utmost to win
political freedom for all; "with what heart can we support the

Two remarkable little books of some eighty or ninety pages that were
issued from the Boston press in 1772 require a word of notice because
of their hearty welcome. Two editions were called for within the year,
and more than a thousand copies of the second were bespoken before it
went to press. They had originally been put forth, the first in 1707,
"The Churches Quarrel Espoused: or a Reply In Satyre to certain
Proposals made, etc." (the Massachusetts "Proposals of 1705"), and the
second in 1717, "A Vindication of the Government of the New England
Churches, Drawn from Antiquity; Light of Nature; Holy Scripture; the
Noble Nature; and from the Dignity Divine Providence has put upon it."
In 1772 their author, the Rev. John Wise, a former pastor of the
church in Ipswich, Massachusetts, had been dead for over forty
years. In his day, he had regarded the "Proposals" as treasonable to
the ancient polity of Congregationalism, and had attacked what he
considered their assumptions, absurdities, and inherent tyranny. His
books were forceful in their own day, serving the churches, persuading
those of Massachusetts to hold to the more democratic system of the
Cambridge Platform, and largely affecting the character of the later
polity of the New England churches. The suffering colonist of 1772,
smarting under English misrule, turned to the vigorous, clear, and
convincing pages wherein John Wise set forth the natural rights of
men, the quality of political obligation, the relative merits of
government, whether monarchies, aristocracies, or democracies, and the
well developed concept that civil government should be founded upon a
belief in human equality. In his second attempt to defend the
Cambridge Platform, Wise had advanced to the proposition that
"Democracy is Christ's government in Church and State." [160]

Such expositions as these, and those in Isaac Backus's "The Exact
Limits between Civil and Ecclesiastical Government," published in
1777, and in his "Government and Liberty described," of 1778, together
with the discussion prevalent at the time, and with the logic of the
Revolutionary events, opened the mind of the people to a clearer
conception of liberty of conscience, though their practical
application of the notion was deferred. For many years longer, persons
had to be content with a toleration that was of itself a contradiction
to religious liberty. Yet in May, 1777, such toleration was broadened
by the "Act for exempting those Persons in this State, commonly styled
Separates from Taxes for the Support of the established Ministry and
building and repairing Meeting Houses," on condition that they should
annually lodge with the clerk of the Established Society, wherein they
lived, a certificate, vouching for their attendance upon and support
of their own form of worship. Said certificate was to be signed by the
minister, elder, or deacon of the church which "they ordinarily did
attend." [161]

Israel Holly's "An Appeal to the Impartial, or the Censured Memorial
made Public, that it may speak for itself. To which is added a few
Brief Remarks upon a Late Act of the General Assembly of the State of
Connecticut, entitled an 'Act for Exempting those Persons in this
State Commonly styled Separates, from Taxes for the Support of the
Established Ministry &c.'"  gave in full an "Appeal" of eleven
Separatist churches to the General Assembly in May, 1770.  That body
would not suffer the petition to be read through, stopping the reader
in the midst, while some of its members went so far as to declare that
"all, who had signed it, ought to be sent for to make answer to the
Court for their action." But the majority of the legislature were not
so intolerant, so that during the session the act above mentioned was
passed. Holly, in his book, includes with the "Appeal" a severe
criticism of the new law, and, in quoting the petition, he gives a
full explanation of its text as well as the comments of the Assembly
upon it and their objections to parts of it. When recounting the long
struggle for toleration and in detail the persecutions of the Suffield
Separatists, Holly dwells upon the fact that before the recent
legislation of the Assembly, the spirit of fair dealing had in some
communities influenced the members of the Establishment in their
treatment of the Separatists. Holly also enlarges upon the
inconsistency between demanding freedom in temporal affairs from Great
Britain and refusing it in spiritual ones to fellow-citizens. The
"Censured Memorial" closes [162] with an expressed determination on
the part of the Separatists to appeal to tte Continental Congress if
the state continue to refuse to do them justice. Holly, remarking upon
the act of 1777, expresses great dissatisfaction with it as falling
short of the liberty desired, and, particularly, with its retention of
the certificate clause.

Such continued agitation of the rights of individuals and of churches
eventually created a broader public opinion, one that, permeating the
Establishment itself, tended to make its ministers resent any great
exercise of authority on the part of those among them who clung to the
strong Presbyterian construction of the Saybrook
Articles. Communications upon the subject of religious liberty were to
be found in many of the newspapers. Two governors of Connecticut wrote
pamphlets that tended to weaken the hold of the Saybrook Platform over
the people.  Governor Wolcott in 1761 wrote against it, and in 1765
Governor Fitch (anonymously) explained away its authoritative
interpretation. The term "Presbyterian" came to be applied more
frequently to the conservative churches of the Establishment, and
"Congregational" to those wherein the New Light ideas prevailed. Some
years later, while the two terms were still used interchangeably, the
term "Congregational" rose in favor, and, after the Revolution,
included even the few Separatist churches. As for the latter, they had
by 1770 concluded that with reference "to our Baptist brethren we are
free to hold occasional communion with such as are regular churches
and ... make the Christian profession and acknowledge us to be
baptized." [163] For some years these two religious parties attempted
to unite in associations, but finding that they disagreed too much on
the question of baptism, they mutually decided to give up the attempt,
and separated with the greatest respect and good will toward each
other. In 1783, the Presbyterians refused to meet the Separatists in
the attempt to devise some plan of union between them, but did advance
to the concession "to admit Separatists to Ordination with the
greatest care." [164] The Presbyterians were beginning to realize that
if the Saybrook Platform was to govern the churches of the
Establishment, its old judicial interpretation must give way. An
example of the revolt to be anticipated, if such interpretation were
insisted upon, followed the attempt by the Consociation of Windham in
1780 to discipline Isaac Foster, a Presbyterian minister, for "sundry
doctrines looked upon as dangerous and contrary to the gospel;" [ac]
and a similar attempt to reprove Mr. Sage of West Simsbury drew forth
such stirring retorts from Isaac Foster and from Dan Foster, minister
of Windsor (who defended Mr. Sage), that church after church promptly
renounced the Saybrook Platform. These churches agreed with Isaac
Foster in his declaration of the absolute independence of each church
and that--

    no clergyman or number of clergymen or ecclesiastical council of
    whatever denomination have right to make religious creeds, canons
    or articles of faith and impose them upon any man or church on
    earth requiring subscription to them.... A church should be the
    sole judge of its pastor's teachings so long as he teaches nothing
    _expressly_ contrary to the Bible.  ... The Consociation has
    no right to pretend that it is a divinely instituted assembly with
    the Saybrook Platform for its charter, imposing a tyranny more
    intolerable on the people than that from which they are trying to
    free themselves.  [165]

The result of all this agitation for liberty of conscience, emphasized
by its counterpart in the political life of the state and nation, was
that in the first edition of the "Laws and Acts of the State of
Connecticut in America," [ad] appearing in 1784, all reference to the
Saybrook Platform was omitted, and all ecclesiastical laws were
grouped under the three heads entitled Eights of Conscience,
Regulations of Societies, and the Observation of the Sabbath. [166]
Under the Sunday laws, together with numerous negative commands, was
the positive one that every one, who, for any trivial reason, absented
himself from public worship on the Lord's day should pay a fine of
three shillings, or fifty cents. The society regulations remained much
the same, with the added privilege that to all religious bodies
recognized by law permission was given to manage their, temporal
affairs as freely as did the churches of the Establishment. Dissenters
were even permitted to join themselves to religious societies in
adjoining states, [ae] provided the place of worship was not too far
distant for the Connecticut members to regularly attend services. To
these terms of toleration was affixed the sole condition of presenting
a certificate of membership signed by an officer of the church of
which the dissenter was a member, and that the certificate should be
lodged with the clerk of the Established society wherein the dissenter
dwelt. While legislation still favored the Establishment, toleration
was extended with more honesty and with better grace. All strangers
coming into the state were allowed, a choice of religious
denominations, but while undecided were to pay taxes to the society
lowest on the list. Choice was also given for twelve months to
resident minors upon their coming of age, and also to widows. In any
question, or doubt, the society to which the father, husband, or head
of the household belonged, or had belonged, determined the church home
of members of the household unless the certificates of all dissenting
members were on file. If persons were undecided when the time of
choice had elapsed, and they hadjiot presented certificates, they were
counted members of the Establishment.  Thus the Saybrook Platform, no
longer appearing upon the law-book, was quietly relegated to the
status of a voluntarily accepted ecclesiastical constitution which the
different churches might accept, interpreting it with only such
degrees of strictness as they chose. Consequently, all Congregational
and Presbyterian churches drew together and remained intimately
associated with the government as setting forth the form of religion
it approved.

As toleration was more freely extended, oppression quickly ceased. The
smaller and weaker sects [af] that appeared in Connecticut after 1770
received no such persecution as their predecessors. Among them the
Sandemanians [ag] appeared about 1766, and from the first created
considerable interest. The Shakers were permitted to form a settlement
at Enfield in 1780. The Universalists began making converts among the
Separatist churches of Norwich as early as 1772.  The year 1784 saw
the organization of the New London Seventh-day Baptist church, the
first of its kind in Connecticut.

The abrogation of the Saybrook Platform was implied, not expressed, by
dropping it out of the revised laws of 1784. The force of custom, not
the repeal of the act of establishment, annulled it. As in the
revision of 1750, certain outgrown statutes were quietly sloughed off.
After the abrogation of the Saybrook system, the orthodox dissenters
felt most keenly the humiliation of giving the required certificates,
and the favoritism shown by the government towards Presbyterian or
Congregational churches. This favoritism did not confine itself to
ecclesiastical affairs, but showed itself by the government's
preference for members of the Establishment in all civil, judicial,
and military offices. If immediately after the Revolution this
favoritism was not so marked, it quickly developed out of all
proportion to justice among fellow-citizens.


[a] As a petition "To the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council."

[b] "Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which
frameth mischief by law?"

[c] The "History" is brief, and the "Vindication" is largely of
President Clap's own reasons for establishing the college church. See
F. B. Dexter, "President Clap and his Writings," in _New Haven
Hist. Soc. Papers_, vol. v, pp. 256-257.

[d] "Let no man, orders of man, Civil or Ecclesiastical Rulers,
majority, or any whoever pretend they have a right to enjoyn upon me
what I shall believe and practice in matters of Religion, and I bound
to subject to their Injunctions, unless they can convince me, that in
case there should happen to be a mistake, that they will suffer the
consequences, and not I; that they will bear the wrath of God, and
suffer Damnation, in my room and stead. But if they can't do this,
don't let them pretend to a right to determine for me what religion I
shall have. For if I must stand or fall for myself, then, pray let me
judge, and act and choose (in Matters of Religion) for myself
now. Yea, when I view these things in the Light of the Day of Judgment
approaching, I am ready to cry out Hands off! Hands off! Let none
pretend a right to my subjection in matters of Religion, but my Judge
only; or, if any do require it, God strengthen me to refuse to grant
it." _A Word in Zion's Behalf._ Quoted by E. H. Gillett in
_Hist.  Magazine,_ 2d series, vol. iv, p. 16.

[e] _A Key to unlock the Door, that leads in, to take a fair view of
the Religious Constitution Established by Law in the Colony of
Connecticut; With a Short Observation upon the Explanation of the
Say-Brook-Plan; and Mr. Hobart's Attempt to establish the same
Plan,_ by Ebenezer Frothingham.

[f] Robert Bragge, _Church Discipline_, London, 1738. The author
takes for his text 1 Peter ii, 45, and under ten heads considers the
Congregational church as the true Scriptural church, its rights,
privileges, etc. Under topic four, "The Charter of this House," he
says: "The charter of this house exempts all its inhabitants from
obeying the whole ceremonial law:...  from the doctrines of men in
matters of faith,... from man's commands in the worship of God. Man
can no more prescribe how God shall be worshipped, under the new
testament than he could under the old.... He alone who is in the bosom
of the Father hath declared this. To worship God according to the will
and pleasure of men is, in a sense to attempt to dethrone him: for it
is not only to place man's will on a level with God's, but above
it."--_Church Discipline_, p. 39.

[g] "Now suffer me to say something respecting the unreasonableness of
compelling the people of our persuasion to hear or support the
minister of another. Can a person who has been redeemed, be so
ungrateful as to hire a minister to preach up a doctrine which in his
heart he believes to be directly contrary to the institutions of his
redeemer? How if one of you should happen to be in the company with a
number of Roman Catholicks, who should tell you that if you would not
hire a minister to preach transubstantiation and the worshipping of
images to your children and to an unlearned people, they would cut off
your head; would you do it? Can you any better submit to hire a
minister to preach up a doctrine which you in your heart believe
contrary to the institution of Christ? I do not doubt but that many of
you, and I do not know but that all of you know what it is to
experience redeeming love; and if so, now can you take a person of
another persuasion, and put him in gaol for a trifling sum, destroy
his estate and ruin his family (as you signify the law will bear you
out) and when he is careful to support the religion which he in his
conscience looks upon to be right, who honestly tells you it is
wronging his conscience to pay your minister, and that he may not do
so though he suffer?... Is it not shame? Are we sharers in redemption,
and do we grudge to support religion? No: let us seek for the truth of
the gospel. If we can't think alike, let us not be cruel one to

[h] _Connecticut Gazette_ (New Haven) April 1755-Apr. 14, 1764;
suspended; revived July 5, 1765-Feb. 19, 1768. The _New London
Gazette_, founded in 1763, was after 1768 known as the _
Connecticut Gazette _, except from Dee. 10, 1773, to May 11, 1787,
when it was called _The Connecticut Gazette and Universal

Maryland published her first newspaper in 1727, Khode Island and Sonth
Carolina in 1732, Virginia in 1736, North Carolina in 1755, New
Hampshire in 1756, while Georgia fell into line in 1763.

[i] Edwards's _Nature of True Virtue_, written about 1755, was
not published until 1765.

[j] This book, otherwise essentially Edwardean, was second only to
Edwards's _Religious Affections_ in popularity and in its success
in spreading the influence of this school of theology, and it did
much, in Connecticut, to break down the opposition to the New
Divinity. Edwards himself approved its manuscript, and in his writings
recommended it highly.

[k] In 1769-70, Bellamy wrote a series of tracts and dialogues
against this practice. They were very effective in causing its
abandonment by those conservative churches that had so long clung to
its use.

[l] Experience Mayhew in his _Grace Defended_, of 1744.

Lemuel Briant's _The Absurdity and Blasphemy of Depreciating Moral
Virtue_, 1749. This was replied to in Massachusetts, by Rev. John
Porter of North Bridgewater in _The Absurdity and Blasphemy of
Substituting the Personal Righteousness of Men_, etc.; also by a
sermon of Rev. Thomas Foxcroft, Dr.  Charles Chauncy's colleague; and
by Rev. Samuel Niles's _Vindication of Divers Important Gospel
Doctrines_.  Jonathan Mayhew, son of Experience, wrote his
_Sermons_ (pronouncedly Arian) in 1755, and in 1761 two sermons,
_Striving to Enter at the Strait Gate_.

Other ministers were affected by these unorthodox views, notably
Ebenezer Gay, Daniel Shute, and John Rogers. This religious
development was cut short by the early death of the leaders and by the
Revolutionary contest. Briant died in 1754, Jonathan Mayhew in 1766,
and his father in 1758.--See W. Walker, _Hist. of the Congregational
Churches in the United States_, chap. viii.

[m] Hopkins replied in 1765 to Jonathan Mayhew's sermons of
1761. Mayhew died before he could answer, but Moses Hemenway of Wells,
Maine, and also Jedediah Mills of Huntington, Conn, (a New Light
sympathizer), answered Hopkins's extreme views in 1767 in _An
Inquiry concerning the State of the Unregenerate under the
Gospel_. This involved Hopkins in further argumentation in 1769,
and drew into the discussion William Hart (Old Light) of Saybrook, and
also Moses Mather of Darien, Conn, (also Old Light). This attack upon
Hopkins resulted in 1773 in his greatest work, _An Inquiry into the
Nature of True Holiness_. The whole question at stake between the
Old Calvinists and the followers of the New Divinity was how to class
men, morally upright, who made no pretensions to religious experience.

[n] West, in his _Essay on Moral Agency_, defended Edwards's
_Freedom of the Will_ against the Rev. James Dana of New Haven in
1772, but his _Scripture Doctrine of Atonement_, published in
1785, was his best-known work. In his doctrinal views, he was greatly
influenced by Hopkins. Both West and Smalley trained students for the
ministry. The latter was the teacher of Nathaniel Emmons. Smalley was
settled in what is now New Britain, Conn., from 1757-1820.

[o] Emmons died there, in 1840, at the age of ninety-five.  Apart from
his influence upon the development of doctrine, he did more than any
other man to bring back the early independence of the churches and to
create the Congregational polity of the present day.

[p] To fortify their position, this party cited various acts of
Parliament and the Act of Union, 1707, wherein Scotland is distinctly
released from subjection to the Church of England,--an exemption,
they maintained, that had never formally been extended to the

[q] On January 30, 1750, Jonathan Mayhew preached a forceful sermon
upon the danger of being "unmercifully priest-ridden."

[r] Rev. East Apthorpe, S. P. G. missionary at Cambridge, Mass., had
replied to a newspaper criticism upon the policy of the Society for
Propagating the Gospel in New England, in his _Considerations on the
Institutions and Conduct of the Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel in Foreign Parts_. Jonathan Mayhew published in answer his
_Observations on the Character and Conduct of the Society_,
censuring the Society not only for intruding itself into New England,
but for being the champion of the proposed episcopate, which he
denounced. This was in 1763. For two years the controversy
raged. There were four replies to Mayhew. Two were unimportant, a
third presumably from Rev. Henry Caner, and the fourth, _Answer to
the Observations_, an anonymous English production, really by
Archbishop Seeker. Mayhew wrote a _Defense_, and Apthorpe summed
up the whole controversy in his _Review_.--A. L. Cross,
_Anglican Episcopate_, p. 145 _et seq._; footnote 1, p. 147.

[s] John Adams's _Works_, x, 288.

[t] Dr. Charles Chauney attacked the S. P. G. as endeavoring to
increase their power, not to proselytize among the Indians, but to
episcopize the colonists. Dr. Chandler, of Elizabethtown, N. J.,
replied in _An Appeal to the Public_. Chauney retorted with
_The Appeal Answered_, and Chandler with _The Appeal
Defended_. The newspapers of 1768-69 took up the controversy.

[u] In 1767, Dr. Johnson in a letter to Governor Trumbull assured him
that "It is not intended, at present, to send any Bishops into the
American Colonies,... and should it be done at all, you may be assured
that it will be done in such manner as in no degree to prejudice, nor
if possible even give the least offense to any denomination of
Protestants."--E. E.  Beardsley, _Hist, of the Epis. Church in
Conn._, i, 265.

[v] There were nine clergymen from Connecticut, and twenty-five from
New York and vicinity.

[w] The Association had sent petitions in behalf of the Baptists to
the legislatures of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Both were
refused. For its Circular Letter of 1776, see Hovey's _Life of
Backus_, p. 289; also p. 155.

[x] This year the Royal Society awarded him the Copley medal for his
discovery that lightning was a discharge of electricity.

In 1761 the medal of the Royal Society was also awarded to the
Rev. Jared Eliot of Killingworth, Conn., for making iron and steel
from black ferruginous sand.

[y] John Trumbull, b. 1750, d. in Michigan, 1831; Joel Barlow,
b. 1754, d. in Poland, 1812; Gen. David Humphreys, b.  1752, d. in New
Haven, 1818. These Yale men, together with Dr. Lemuel Hopkins, were
the leadjng spirits in the club known as "The Hartford Wits."
Dr. Dwight was a fellow collegian with them. Trumbull and Dwight did
much to interest the students in literature. The latter was also tutor
in rhetoric and professor of belles-lettres and oratory.

[z] Conn. Col. Rec. xii, Appendix. This was drawn up by the Governor
and three members of the General Assembly, May, 1761.

[aa] With grim humor, he turned to one of his escort, saying that he
at last realized the description in Revelation of "Death riding a
white horse and hell following behind."

[ab] The latter half of the title was omitted about 1775.

[ac] Foster replied: "One man is not to be called a 'heretick,' purely
because he differs from another, as to the articles of faith. For
either we should all be 'hereticks' or there would be no 'heresy'
among us.... Heresy does not consist in opinion or sentiments: it is
not an error of head but of will."--Foster, _A Defense of Religious
Liberty_, p. 47.

[ad] This revision of the laws was in charge of Roger Sherman and
Richard Law.

[ae] Quakers and Baptists frequently crossed the state line to attend
services in Rhode Island.

[af] There was only an occasional Romanist; Unitarians first took
their sectarian name in 1815; Universalists were few in number until
the second quarter of the new century.

[ag] This sect received its name from Robert Sandeman, the son-in-law
of its founder, the Rev. John Glass of Scotland.  Sandeman published
their doctrines about 1757. In 1764, he left Scotland and came to
America, where he began making converts near Boston, in other parts of
New England, and in Nova Scotia. He died at Danbury, Connecticut,
1771. The members of the sect are called Glassites in Scotland, where
the Rev. John Glass labored. He died there in 1773. See W.  Walker, in
_American Hist. Assoc. Annual Report_, 1901, vol. i.



    The piping times of peace.

During the fifteen years following the ratification of the
Constitution of the United States by Connecticut, January 9, 1788, no
conspicuous events mark her history. These years were for the most
part years of quiet growth and of expansion in all directions, and,
because of this steady advancement, she was soon known as "the land of
steady habits" and of general prosperity.

Even in the dark days of the Revolution, Connecticut's energetic
people had continued to populate her waste places, and had carved out
new towns from old townships,--for the last of the original plats had
been marked off in 1763. In 1779-80, the state laid out five towns;
from 1784 to 1787, twenty-one,--twelve of them in one year, 1786. [a]
Tolland County was divided off in 1786 as Windham had been in 1726,
Litchfield in 1751, and Middlesex in 1765.  These, with, the four
original counties of Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford, and New London,
made the present eight counties of the state.  The cities of Hartford,
New Haven, New London, Middletown, and Norwich were incorporated in
1784. They were scarcely more than villages of to-day, for New Haven
approximated 3,000 inhabitants, and Hartford, as late as 1810, only
4,000. The Litchfield of the post-Revolutionary days, ranking, as a
trade-centre, fourth in the state, was as familiar with Indians in her
streets as the Milwaukee of the late fifties, and "out west" was no
farther in miles than the Connecticut Reserve of 3,800,000 acres in
Ohio which, in 1786, the state had reserved, when ceding her western
lands to the new nation. Thither emigration was turning, since its
check on the Susquehanna and Delaware by the award, in 1782, to
Pennsylvania of the contested jurisdiction over those lands, and of
the little town of Westmoreland, which the Yankees had built
there. [b] After the decision new settlements were discouraged by the
bitter feuds between the Connecticut and Pennsylvanian claimants to
the land.

The Revolution had left Connecticut exhausted in men and in means. Her
largest seaboard towns had suffered severely. With her commerce and
coasting trade almost destroyed, she found herself, during the period
preceding the adoption of the national Constitution and the
establishment of the revenue system, a prey to New York's need on the
one hand and to Massachusetts' sense of impoverishment on the other;
and thus, for every article imported through either state, Connecticut
paid an impost tax. It was estimated that she thus provided one third
of the cost of government for each of her neighbors. Consequently she
attempted to reinstate and to enlarge her early though limited
commerce, and was soon sending cargoes, preëminently of the field and
pasture, [c] to exchange for West India commodities, while with her
larger vessels she developed an East Indian trade. As another means to
wealth, the state, in 1791, passed laws for the encouragement of the
small factories [d] that the necessity of the war had created; but it
was not until after the act of 1833, creating the joint-stock
companies, that Connecticut turned from a purely agricultural
community to the great manufacturing state we know to-day. She shared
in the national prosperity, which, as early as 1792, proved the wisdom
of Hamilton's financial policy, and about 1795 her citizens wisely
bent themselves to the improvement of internal communication. This was
the era of the development of the turnpike and of the multiplicity of
stage-lines. Kegular stages plied between the larger cities. Yet up to
1789 there was not a post-office or a mail route in Litchfield county,
and the "Monitor" was started as a weekly paper to circulate the
news. In 1790 Litchfield had a fortnightly carrier to New York and a
weekly one to Hartford, while communication with the second capital
[e] of the state was frequent.  From 1800, there was a daily stage to
Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, Poughkeepsie, and Albany. [167] Wagons
and carriages began to multiply and to replace saddle-bags and
pillions, yet as late as 1815 Litchfield town had only "one phaeton,
one coachee, and forty-six two-wheeled pleasure-wagons." [168]

Towns continued to commend and encourage good public schools. Every
town or parish of seventy families had to keep school eleven months of
the year, and those of less population for at least six
months. Private schools and academies sprang up. [f] Harvard and Yale,
as the best equipped of the New England colleges, competed for its
young men, and drew others from the central and southern sections of
the nation.  Neither had either Divinity or Law School. [g] Young men
after completing their college course usually went to some famous
minister for graduate training. Rev. Joseph Bellamy, John Smalley, and
Jonathan Edwards, Junior, were the foremost teachers in Connecticut,
though the first-named had ceased his active work in 1787. [h] The New
Divinity was very slowly spreading. Even as late as 1792, President
Stiles of Yale declared that none of the churches had accepted it. [i]
This versatile minister interested himself in languages, literatures,
natural science, and in all religions, as well as in the phases of New
England theology.  He esteemed piety and sound doctrine, whether in
Old or New Divinity men, and welcomed to his communion all of good
conscience who belonged to any Christian Protestant sect. He was
liberal-minded and tolerant beyond the average of his colleagues. His
tolerance, however, was more for the old Calvinistic principles in the
New Divinity, and not for its advanced features, for which he had
little regard. President Stiles held very firmly to the belief that
his ministerial privileges and authority remained with him after he
became president of the college, although he was no longer pastor by
the election of a particular church.

The first law school in America was established in Litchfield in 1784
by Judge Tappan Reeve, later chief justice of Connecticut. He
associated with him in 1798 Judge James Gould.  "Judge Keeve loved law
as a science and studied it philosophically." He wished "to reduce it
to a system, for he considered it as a practical application of moral
and religious principles to business life." His students were drilled
in the study of the Constitution of the United States and on the
current legislation in Congress. Under Judge Gould, the common law was
expounded methodically and lucidly, as it could be only by one who
knew its principles and their underlying reasons from _a_ to
_z_. [169] In 1789, Ephraim Kirby of Litchfield published the
first law reports ever issued in the United States. [j] Law students
from many states were attracted to the town. The roll of the school,
kept regularly only after 1798, included over one thousand lawyers,
among them one vice-president of the United States, several foreign
ministers, five cabinet ministers, [k] two justices of the United
States Supreme Court, ten governors of states, sixteen United States
senators, fifty members of Congress, forty judges of the higher state
courts, and eight chief justices of the state. [170]

Among Connecticut towns, the two capitals of the state were also
literary centres, while Norwich, New Haven, and New London were fast
becoming commercial ports. Middletown soon had considerable coasting
trade. Wethersfield had vessels of her own. Even Saybrook and Milford
sent a few vessels to the West and East Indies.  Farmington was a big
trading centre, shipping produce abroad and importing in vessels of
her own that sailed from Wethersfield or New Haven.  Some few towns
developed a special industry, like Berlin and New Britain, that made
the Connecticut tin-peddler a familiar figure even in the Middle and
Southern states. There were also several towns with large shipyards,
where some of the largest ships were built. But back of all such
centres of activity, the whole state was solidly agricultural.
Connecticut's commerce was an import commerce exchanging natural
products for foreign ones, such as sugar, coffee, and molasses from
the West Indies; tea and luxuries from the East; and obtaining, either
directly or indirectly, from Europe, all the fine manufactured
products, whether stuffs for personal use or tools for labor.

In measuring the prosperity and intelligence of the Connecticut people
neither the parish library nor the newspaper must be overlooked.  "I
am acquainted," wrote Noah Webster in 1790, "with parishes where
almost every householder, has read the works of Addison, Sherlock,
Atterbury, Watts, Young, and other familiar writings: and will
conversely handsomely on the subjects of which they treat." [171] "By
means of the general circulation of the public papers," wrote the same
author, "the people are informed of all political affairs; and their
representatives are often prepared to debate upon propositions made in
the legislature." [172]

Through the agricultural communities of Connecticut, as well as in the
towns, the weekly newspapers of the state began to circulate freely as
soon as carriers or mail routes were established. Even by 1785 there
was in Connecticut a newspaper circulation of over 8000 weekly copies,
which was equal to that published in the whole territory south of
Philadelphia. [173] These papers lacked locals and leaders, leaving
the former to current gossip, and for the latter substituting, to some
extent, letters and correspondence. The newspapers gave foreign news
three months old, the proceedings of Congress in from ten to twelve
days after their occurrence, and news from the Connecticut elections
three weeks late. Subjects relating to religion and politics were
heard _pro_ and _con_ in articles, or rather letters, signed
with grandiloquent pseudonyms and frequently marked "Papers, please
copy" in order to secure for them a larger public.  Fantastic bits of
natural science, or what purported to be such, and stilted admonitions
to virtue, as well as poems, eulogies, and obituaries, were admitted
to the columns of these colonial papers. In 1786, the "Connecticut
Courant" apologized for its meagre reports of legislative proceedings,
especially of those of the Upper House, Council, or Senate, and
promised to give full details. This reporting was a new thing, and it
was fully five years more before the practice became general among the
half dozen papers published in Connecticut. [l] Space was also given
in the papers to the reproduction of selections, even whole chapters,
from current and popular writers. Among such letters was a series on
"the Establishment of the Worship of the Deity essential to National
Happiness." In one of the letters, the author suggests:--

    To secure the advantages ... allow me to propose _a general and
    equitable tax collected from all the rateable members of a state,
    for the support of the public teachers of religion, of all
    denominations, within the state...._ Let a moderate poll tax be
    added to a tax of a specified sum on the pound, and levied on all
    the subjects of a state and collected with the public tax, and
    paid out to the public teachers of religion of the several
    denominations in proportion to the number of polls or families,
    belonging to each respectively; or according to their
    estimates. [For]

    1. It would be equitable.

    2. It would be for the good order of the civil state.

    3. All ought to contribute to such a religious education of the
    people as would conduce to civil order.

    4. It would promote the peace in towns and societies.

    5. It would do away with the legal expenses consequent upon
    difficulties in collecting rates.

    6. It would "extinguish the ardor of the founders of new delusions
    and their weak and mercenary abettors."

    7. It would prevent separation except upon the firmest principles;
    "the powerful motive of saving a penny or two in the pound, would
    cease to operate, because their tax would continue still the same,
    go where they will." [174]

It was also suggested that the Assembly should fix ministers' salaries
at so much per hundred families, and that congregations should be
permitted to add to the annual grant by voluntary contributions. These
are but examples of the reaching out of the public mind for some
equitable method of enforcing the support of public worship,--a
principle to which the majority still adhered.

The Laws of the State of Connecticut, under which after the Revolution
parishes were organized, contained no reference to the Episcopal
church as such. All societies and congregations were placed on the
same footing precisely, _i.e._, they "had power to provide for
the support of public worship by the rent or sale of pews or slips in
the meeting-house, by the establishment of funds, or in any other way
they might deem expedient." With this amount of freedom Episcopalians
were content, since by the consecration, in 1784, of Samuel Seabury,
Bishop of Connecticut, their ecclesiastical equipment was complete.[m]
Further, many of them had been Tories, and, satisfied with the
clemency shown them at the close of the war by the authorities, they
gladly affiliated with them in all Federal measures of national
importance, and also, for over thirty years, in all local issues.

From 1783 to 1787 there was throughout the United States a general
disintegration of political parties. [175] Federalists and nascent
Anti-Federalists were alike seeking some basis for a safe national
existence. The Constitution once established, political parties
differentiated themselves as the party in power and the "out-party"
developed their respective interpretations of the Constitution and of
measures permitted under it. The Anti-Federalist party in Connecticut
is sometimes said to have been born in 1783 out of opposition both to
the Commutation Act of the Continental Congress, voting five years'
full pay instead of half-pay for life to the Revolutionary officers,
and to the formation of the Cincinnati. Both of these measures touched
the main spring of party difference. America had caste as well as
Europe. Though of a different type, it existed in every town and
county. There were the people of position, attained by family
standing, professional prominence, superior intelligence (rarely by
wealth alone), and then, as now, by natural leadership. There were the
common people of ordinary abilities and meagre possessions, who looked
up to this first class.  Between the two there was an invisible
barrier.  The customs of the day emphasized it. Yet the institutions
of the land and its democracy demanded that this barrier, not
impassable to men of parts and character who could push up from the
masses, should never become insurmountable, as it often did under a
monarchy; that it should be steadily leveled by intrusting the
governing power more and more to the whole people, rather than to a
few leaders; and by educating the masses up to their responsibilities.
But many of the leading Federalists preferred to concentrate power in
the hands of the few, hesitating to trust the judgment of the great
body of citizens with the new and novel government. And to the people
at large any measure that bore a remote resemblance to monarchical
institutions or monarchical aspirations--however far remote from
either--was subject to suspicion and antagonism.  The Cincinnati might
be the beginning of a nobility, and half-pay or five years' full pay
to the officers ignored the common soldiery who had done most of the
fighting, and who had suffered even more severely in their
fortunes.[n] When the measures of the first Congress pressed hardest
upon the impoverished landed proprietors of the South and upon the
small farmers in other sections, of the country, they welded the
landed aristocracy of the South and the democracy of the North into
the Anti-Federal party. Add to their sense of impoverishment, their
common hatred of England, and these classes would hold their prejudice
longer than the merchants, the lawyers, and the clergy, whose
business, studies, and labors would tend to soften the antagonism
created by the war. New England, however, was largely Federal, and
Connecticut was one of the strongholds of that party, priding herself
upon returning Federal electors as long as there was the shadow of the
Federal name to vote for.  Moreover, the "Presbyterian Consociated
Congregational Church" and the Federalists were so closely allied that
the party of the government and the party of the Establishment were
familiarly and collectively known as the "Standing Order." During the
early years of statehood, by far the larger number of the dissenters
were also good Federalists. But they drew away from the party at a
later date, when the Democratic-Republicans began, in their
Connecticut state politics, to call for a broader suffrage and full
religious liberty, while the Federal Standing Order still continued to
claim, as within its patronage, legal favors, political office, and
the honors of judicial, military, and civil life.

After the Revolution, the rapidly increasing Baptists continued their
warfare waged against certificates and in behalf of religious liberty.
Methodists soon sympathized, for Methodist itinerants, entering
Connecticut in 1789, gained a footing, in spite of much opposition and
real oppression through fines and imprisonments, [o] and quickly made
many converts. Their preachers urged upon penurious and backward
members the importance of voluntary support of the gospel in almost
the same words as those of the Baptist leader: "It is as real
_robbery_ to neglect the _ordinances_ of God, as it is to
force people to support preachers who will not trust his influence for
a temporal living." [176] Baptists, Methodists, and many other
dissenters were far from satisfied with their status, and the
government from time to time was forced to take notice of the
dissatisfaction. Temporary legislation was enacted to allay the
unrest, but, as there was a settled determination to protect the
Establishment and to keep the political leadership among its friends,
the various measures were not successful. For instance, the
legislature in 1785-86 had arranged for the sale of the Western Lands
and for the money expected from their sale to be divided among the
various Christian bodies, and it had also enacted--

    that there shall be reserved to the public five hundred acres of
    land in each township for the support of the gospel ministry and
    five hundred acres more for the support of schools in such towns
    forever; and two hundred and forty acres of good ground in each
    town to be granted in fee simple to the first gospel minister who
    shall settle in such town. [177]

Nothing is here said of the Presbyterians, or of any other sect, yet
that denomination was sure to receive the greater benefit under the
working of the law. They were a wealthy body, and in the next year,
they began, under the General Association of Connecticut, to renew
their earlier efforts for an organized planting of missions.  Attempts
to establish missionary posts were begun as early as 1774, but they
had been interrupted by the war, and were not revived until 1780, when
two missionaries were sent to Vermont. After a little, the missionary
spirit languished through lack of support; but interest had been
roused again by the promised lands and money from the sales in the
Western Reserve, and by the contributions that, flowing in from 1788
to 1791, warranted the dispatch of missionaries into the western field
in 1792, and regularly thereafter. [178]

Turning to the religious and more strictly theological side of the
development of toleration, there was within the Establishment itself a
gradual modification of opinion concerning membership. It was
witnessed to by the contents of a book entitled "Christian Forbearance
to Weak Consciences a Duty of the Gospel," by John Lewis of Stepney
parish, Wethersfield. It was sent out in 1789 for the purpose of
"Attempting to prove that Persons, absenting themselves from the
Lord's Table, through honest scruples of Conscience, is not such a
breach of Covenant but that they partake other Privileges." One may
recall that twenty years previous, 1769-71, Dr. Bellamy was thundering
not only against the Half-Way Covenant, but also against the
Stoddardean view of the Lord's Supper as a "means" of grace,--as a
sacrament the partaking of which would help unworthy or unconverted
men to conversion and to the leading of moral and holy lives. One
might, for a moment, anticipate that the Wethersfield pastor was
harking back to the old idea. But this was not his point of view. "I
reprobate," he writes,"the idea of a Half-Way Covenant, or sealing of
such a covenant." [179] Lewis contended that all seekers after
holiness were to enter the church through the "very same covenant,"
but that to all of them were to be extended the same and all church
privileges, and that they were to accept them "as far as in their
conscience they can see their way clear, hoping for further light." If
they could accept baptism and church oversight, and could not, because
of honest scruples of conscience (lest they were not worthy), approach
the Lord's Table, they were not for that reason to be considered
reprobates. As to such charity opening a way for persons of immoral
lives to creep into the churches or to put off willfully the partaking
of communion, the author's experience of many years had proved the
contrary, though he could not deny that the possibility of hypocrisy
and backsliding might exist under any form of membership.

As a side light upon the growth of toleration during twenty years
within the churches of the Establishment, two entries in President
Stiles's diary may be quoted. Writing in 1769, to the Rev. Noah Wells
of Stamford, Conn., with reference to the call of the Rev. Samuel
Hopkins to a pastorate in Newport, R. I., where Dr. Stiles was then
preaching, the latter says: "If I find him (Hopkins) of a Disposition
to live in an honorable Friendship, I shall gladly cultivate it.  But
he must not expect that I recede from my Sentiments both in Theology
and ecclesiastical Polity more than he from his, in which I presume he
is immovably fixed. We shall certainly differ in some things. I shall
endeavor to my utmost to live with him as a Brother; as I think (it)
dishonorable that in almost every populous place on this Continent,
where there are two or more Presb.[yterian] or Cong.[regational] Chhs.
[churches], they should be at greater variance than Prot. [estants]
and Romanists: witness every city or Town from Georgia to Nova Scotia
(except Portsm'th) [p] where there are more Presb.  chhs than one. The
Wound is well nigh healed here, may it not break out again." [180]
Writing some two years after the appearance of Lewis's book, President
Stiles, commenting upon the fact that each dissenting sect was so
absolutely sure that it alone had the only perfect type of faith and
polity, notes the greater tolerance among the Congregational churches,
for the latter were not as a rule close communion churches, as were
those of the dissenting sects.

Indeed, the intolerance shown towards dissenters was by this time not
so much sectarian, not so much a lack of tolerance toward slightly
varying fundamentals of faith, form of worship, and organization, as
an intolerance based upon the conviction that the body politic must be
protected by a state church. There was, of course, a little of the
exasperating sense of superiority in belonging to the favored
Establishment. The old objection to dissent as heresy--as a sin for
which the community was responsible--had for the most part given way
to opposition to it as introducing a system of voluntary contributions
for the support of religion. And there was a very general and
well-defined fear that such a support would prove inadequate. If so,
deterioration of the state and of its people would follow.  For
individual worth and character, many among the dissenters were highly
respected, and the great body of them were esteemed good citizens.
Among the churches, some few of the established ones were beginning to
have their own services occasionally conducted by dissenting
ministers.  The First Society of Canterbury entered a vote to this
effect in 1791. As the churches translated more liberally the Articles
of the Saybrook Platform, they approached a polity more in common with
that of Separatist and Baptist. By 1800, the teachings of John Wise of
Ipswich, reinforced by those of Nathaniel Emmons, "the father of
modern Congregationalism," had permeated all New England. Wise, in his
efforts to revive the independence of the single churches, had
exploded the Barrowism which New England usage had introduced into
original Congregationalism, and the rebound had carried the churches
as far beyond the Cambridge Platform towards original Brownism as the
Presbyterian movement had carried their polity away from the Cambridge
instrument. The later Edwardean school had devoted itself to the
discussion of doctrine rather than to polity, and, in the alliance
with Presbyterianism outside of Connecticut, it had affiliated without
attaching much weight to differences in church government. Their
common interest, at first, was to unite against a possible supremacy
of the Church of England, and against the danger to their own churches
and to good government from the increase of dissenters. Later, their
united efforts were directed to forwarding Christian missions in order
that the gospel might not be left out of the civilization on the
frontier. In this later work, they had competitors as soon as the
Baptists and Methodists became strongly organized bodies. Accordingly
Presbyterians and Congregationalists still further sank their
differences of discipline in the Plan of Union of 1801, formed for the
furtherance of the mission work. Thus it was many years before
questions of polity again took front rank in the Congregational
churches. Already their very indifference to it, the long years of the
gradual abandonment of the Saybrook system, together with the
development in civil life of a broader conception of humanity, had
tended to bring back the independence of the individual church, while
custom had preserved the inroojted principle of church-fellowship. It
needed only Nathaniel Emmons to embody practice and opinion in a
system that should break away from the aristocratic Congregationalism,
the semi-Presbyterianized Congregationalism of the eighteenth century,
and give to the nineteenth a democracy in the Church equivalent to
that in the State.  Emmons, however, carried his theory to extremes
[q] when opposing ministerial associations; yet with some
modifications modern Congregationalism is essentially that of his
school. Church polity, however, did not become a topic of general
interest for at least half a century more, nor was it formulated anew
until the Albany Convention of 1862 passed "upon the local work and
responsibility of a Congregational Church."

From the politico-ecclesiastical point of view, the legislative
measures in the history of Connecticut, during the fifteen years after
the colony became a state, that are of chief importance are the
Certificate Laws and Western Land bills.  In order to properly
appreciate their significance this summary of the industrial, social,
and religious life of the Connecticut people during the years
following the Revolution was necessary.


[a] Five towns were laid out in 1785; from 1784 to 1787, twenty-one in
all; from 1787 to 1800, ten; and from 1800 to 1818,
eleven.--Hollister, _Hist, of Connecticut_, pp. 469-70.

[b] Of the seven hundred members of the Susquehanna Land Company,
formed in 1754, six hundred and thirty-eight were Connecticut men. A
summer settlement was made on the Delaware in 1757 and on the
Susquehanna in 1762. The first permanent settlement was in 1769. At
the close of the Revolution, renewed attempts to colonize resulted in
a reign of lawlessness and bloodshed.

[c] Horses, cattle, beef, pork, stages, flour, grain. During the
European wars, the United States exported foodstuffs in great
quantities, to feed both French and English armies, amounting to over
100,000 men.

[d] President Stiles was interested in silk culture and in the
manufacture of silk. His commencement gown in 1789 was of Connecticut
make. Through the efforts of General Humphreys (1784-94) attempts were
made to introduce the Spanish merino sheep and to establish factories
for fine broadcloth. Iron works were set up in different parts of the
state. The earliest cotton factories centred about Pomfret. Clocks,
watches, cut shingle-nails, paper, stone, and earthenware pottery,
were among the manufactures started in Norwalk between 1767 and 1773,
while in Windham, hosiery, silk and tacks were manufactured.

[e] In 1701 the General Court enacted that the May session of the
Legislature should be held at New Haven, and the October one at
Hartford. This was a concession to the former sovereignty of the New
Haven Colony. The arrangement continued until 1873. The biennial
sessions, introduced by the constitution of 1818, alternated between
the two capitols.

[f] "Mr. Dwight is enlarging hia School to comprehend the Ladies,
... promising to carry them through a course of belles Lettres,
Geography, Philosophy, and Astronomy. The spirit for Academy making is
vigorous."--_Stiles Diary_, iii, 247.

Of the academies, the more famous were Lebanon, Plainfield, Greenfield
(under Dr. Dwight), Norwich, Windham, Waterbury (for both sexes), and
Stratfield from 1783 to 1786.  There was also a second school in
Norwich from 1783 to 1786.  See _Stiles Diary_, iii, 248.

[g] Harvard Divinity School was established 1815; Yale, 1822.
Previously both universities had each a professor of divinity.

[h] "For three years and three months before his [Bellamy's] death he
was disabled by a paralytic Shock, we impaired his Intellect as well
as debilitated his Body. Few were equal to him in the Desk & he was
Communicative and instructive in Conversation upon religious
Subjects." The passage closes with the prophecy, "His numerous noisy
Writings have blazed their day, and one Generation more will put them
to sleep."--_Stiles Diary_, March 16, 1790 (on hearing the news
of Bellamy's death). See vol. iii, pp. 384-385. See Trumbull, ii, 159,
for a more favorable opinion.

[i] Referring to the successor of Dr. Wales in the Yale chair of
divinity, Pres. Stiles wrote, "An Old Divinity man will be acceptable
to all the Old Divy. _Ministers & to all the Churches_: a New
Divt man will be acceptable to all the New Divy. Ministers and to
_None of the Churches_, as none of the Chhs. in New Engl. are New
Divt."--_Stiles Diary_, iii, 506, note (Sept. 8, 1793).  See also
under date of Nov. 16, 1786, where churches are said to take New
Divinity pastors "because they can get no others, but persons in the
parish know nothing of the New Theology."

[j] "Law Reports of the Superior and Supreme Courts, 1785-1788, by
E. Kirby. Just published at this office and ready for subscribers and
gentlemen disposed to purchase, for which most kinds of country
produce will be received."--Advertisement in _Litchfield Monitor_
of Apr. 13, 1789.

[k] Calhoun, Woodbury, Mason, Clayton, and Hubbard. Judge Reeve
retired in 1820; Judge Gould in 1833.

[l] Reporters were admitted to the national House of Representatives
in 1790 and to the Senate in 1802.

[m] Bishop Seabnry was consecrated by the Scotch non-juring bishops,
Nov. 14, 1786. The latter, about four years later, were restored to
their position as an integral part of the Anglican
hierarchy. Meanwhile, Dr. Samuel Provoost of New York and Dr. William
White of Pennsylvania, on Feb. 4, 1787, were consecrated by the
Archbishops of Canterbury and York, assisted by the Bishops of Wells
and Peterborough, after a special Act of Parliament permitting the
consecration to take place without the usual oaths of allegiance to
the King as head of the church. In 1789, Bishop Seabury became
president of the House of Bishops thus formed in America. The
following year, James Madison of Virginia was consecrated by the
English bishops, thus giving to the United States three bishops after
the English succession, so that the validity of the Scottish rite
should hot be questioned in the consecration of future American

[n] The eighty dollars proposed for privates would not go far toward
mending broken fortunes, or care for broken constitutions and crippled

At the Middletown Convention, Sept. 3, 1783, delegates from Hartford,
Wethersfield, and Glastonbury met to denounce the Commutation Act. At
its adjourned meeting on Sept. 30 fifty towns, a majority in the
state, disapproved the Act in an address to the General Assembly, and
called attention to the Society of the Cincinnati. At the last
meeting, March, 1784, an address to the people of the state was framed
which condemned both the Commutation Act and the Cincinnati.--
J. H. Trumbull, _Notes on the Constitution_, p. 18. Noah Webster,
_History of the Parties in the United States_, pp. 317-320.

[o] Methodism was twenty-eight years old, when, in 1766, Robert
Strawbridge introduced it into New York, and Philip Embury preached
his first sermon in a sail-loft. In 1771, Francis Asbury, later Bishop
Asbury, was appointed John Wesley's "Assistant" in America. In 1773,
the first Annual Conference was held. Methodism rapidly spread in the
Middle and Southern states. By the year 1773-74, the year's increase
in members was nine hundred and thirteen; in 1774-75, ten hundred and
seventy-three. The preachers traveled on foot or on horseback,
preaching as they went; living on the smallest allowance; sleeping
where night overtook them; and meeting often with grudging
hospitality, suspicion, and, sometimes, open violence.

Methodism "began when Episcopacy was at its lowest point, both in
efficiency, and in the good-will of the people." It agreed with
Jonathan Edwards on the nature of personal religion, and separated
from the Church of England in this, the Methodist's central principle
of "conscious conversion" or "emotional experience." Later in New
England, Wesley's missionaries united in Methodist societies many of
the converts to the Edwardean theology.

At the opening of the Revolution, the whole body of Methodists were
within the Church of England. Of the English missionaries only Asbury,
Dempster, and Wharcott remained in America to carry on, with native
preachers, the work of proselytizing. It was "the only form of
religion that advanced in America during that dark period, and during
the war, it more than quadrupled both its ministry and members." At
the beginning of the war, it had eighty traveling preachers, beside
local preachers and exhorters; a membership of one thousand, and
auditors ten thousand. In 1784, there was a year's increase of
fourteen thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight members, and of one
hundred and four preachers to rejoice in the consecration of Bishop
Asbury. In the November of that year, Bishops Coke and Asbury,
organizing the "American Episcopal Church," in spite of Wesley's
anathemas probably led out one hundred thousand souls as the nucleus
of the new church.

For a while the Connecticut authorities refused to recognize "as sober
Dissenters" any converts other than the stationed preachers and their
charges. The persecutions which the Methodists suffered were those of
slander, the refusal to them of halls, churches, or public buildings;
the refusal to permit their ministers, unless located, to perform the
marriage ceremony; and petty fines, with occasional unjust

[p] Portsmouth, N. H.

[q] "A pure democracy which places every member of the church upon a
level and gives him perfect liberty with order."  Under such a
definition of a church as this, its pastor becomes only a moderator at
its meetings, and every church is absolutely independent. It would
follow that from its decisions there could be no appeal. Emmons was
fond of declaring that "Association leads to Consociation;
Consociation leads to Presbyterianism; Presbyterianism leads to
Episcopacy; Episcopacy to Roman Catholicism, and Roman Catholicism is
an ultimate fact."

In spite of his teaching as to democracy, Emmons was as intolerant of
it in the State as he was earnest for it in the Church.



   And make the bounds of Freedom wider yet.--Alfred Tennyson.

The legal recognition of conscience, the acknowledgment of fundamental
dogmas held in common, the gradual approachment of the various
religious organizations in polity, their common interest in education
and good government, would seem to furnish grounds for such mutual
esteem that the government would willingly do away with the
objectionable certificates. On the contrary, the old conception of a
state church, and of its value to the body politic, was so strongly
intrenched in the hearts of the majority of the people that they felt
it incumbent upon them to require the certificates as guarantees that
those who were without the Establishment were fulfilling their
religious duties. Particularly was this the case when new sects
continued to increase and radical opinions to spread among the
masses. And as the government saw these apparently destructive ideas
permeating the people, it endeavored, rather unwisely, to hem dissent
in closer bounds, and to favor still more Cougregationalists and

The aggressively successful proselytizing by the Methodists revived
the old dislike of rash exhorters and itinerant preachers, and the old
contempt for an ignorant and unlearned ministry.  The proselytizing
movement had also created a suspicion that it was hypocritical, and
that it was masking a deliberate attempt to undermine the
Establishment. Outside this Methodist propaganda there were also all
sorts of unorthodox ideas that were spreading notions of Universalism,
Arianism, deism, atheism, and freethinking, and making many
converts. These proselytes were frequent among the untutored and
irresponsible members of society who caught at the doctrines of
greater freedom, and sometimes translated them, theoretically at least,
into principles of greater personal license; and where they did not do
this, the authorities felt sure that they would soon, and if
unrestrained by ecclesiastical law, would quickly become lawless,
first in religious affairs and then, as a consequence, in moral
ones. Not only in this radical class, but among the recognized
dissenters and among a minority of other, religious folk, there was a
tendency to question both the authority and the justice of the
government in its restrictive religious laws, its ecclesiastical
taxation, and its Sabbath-day legislation. Particularly was there
opposition to the fine for absence from public worship on Sunday,
unless excused by weighty reasons, and to the assessment upon every
one of a tax for the support of some form of recognized public
worship, even though the tax-payer had no personal interest or liking
for that which he was obliged to support. The feeling that such
injustice ought not to continue was strong among some members of the
Establishment. They found a powerful advocate in Judge Zephaniah Swift
of Windham, the author of the "System of the Laws of the State of

Judge Swift was a thorough-going Federalist, but so bitter an opponent
of the union of Church and State that his enemies, and even members of
his own party, taunted him with being a freethinker,--a serious charge
in those days. Nevertheless, Judge Swift held the loyalty of a county
and of one rather tolerant of dissent. "The Phenix or Windham Herald,"
founded in 1790, though Federal in politics, became Judge Swift's
organ; and so acceptable were his opinions, taken all in all, to the
community, that from 1787 to 1793 it returned this arch-enemy of the
Establishment as its deputy to the House, and then his congressional
district honored him with a seat in the national council until
1799. He became chief justice in 1806, and died in 1819, having lived
to see the charter constitution set aside and Church and State

The small Anti-Federal party in the state, though making but very few
converts at this time, and though of very little importance
politically, were the pronounced advocates of a wider suffrage, a
larger tolerance, and of radical changes in the method of
government. The last they believed necessary before any great
improvement in the terms of the franchise or in those of religious
toleration could be secured. "An Address to the Baptists, Quakers,
Rogerines, and all other denominations of Christians in Connecticut,
freed by law from supporting what has been called the 'Established
Religion,'" went the rounds of the newspapers urging continued
resistance to the support of any religious system that enforced a
tax. The "Address" closed with the cheerful prediction that, as their
numbers were increasing very rapidly, they might hope yet "to carry
the vote against those who have put on haughty airs and affected to
treat us as their inferiors."

Such seething opposition among various classes induced the government
to enact some special legislation; but it was unfortunately not of a
conciliatory character. In May, 1791, a law was passed varying the old
requirement that certificates, after being signed by a church officer,
should be lodged with the Society clerk, to the demand that they be
signed by two civil officers, or, where there was only one, by the
justice of the peace of the town in which the dissenter
lived. Considering that the justices were mostly Congregationalists,
the enactment amounted to an intrenchment of the Standing Order at the
expense of the dissenters. With these officers lay full power to pass
upon the validity of the certificates and upon the honesty of intent
on the part of the persons presenting them. The certificates read:--

    We have examined the claim of ---- who says he is a Dissenter from
    the Established Society of ---- and hath joined himself to a
    church or Congregation of the name of ----; and that he ordinarily
    attends upon the public worship of such Church or Congregation;
    and that he contributes his share and proportion toward supporting
    the public worship and ministry thereof, do upon examination find
    that the above facts are true.


    Justice of the Peace. [182]

A veritable doubt, spite, malice, prejudice, or mistaken zeal, might
determine the granting of the certificate to the dissenter.

The authorities defended this measure upon the ground that it was the
_civil_ effect of preaching that gives the _civil_
magistrate jurisdiction.  "The law," they said, "has nothing to do
with _conscience_ and _principles_." [183] They further
declared that there were persons who were taking undue advantage of
the certificate exemptions, and that there were good reasons, to doubt
the validity of many of the certificates.

This Certificate Act roused the dissenters throughout the state. "In
public society meetings and in speaking universal abroad, sensible
that their numbers though scattered were large," they strove to create
a sentiment that should send to the next legislature a "body of
representatives who would remember their petition and see that equal
religious liberty should be established."

In regard to the certificates, a writer in the "Courant" exclaims:--

    It is sometimes said that the giving of a certificate once a year
    or once in a man's life is but a trifle, and none but the
    obstinate will refuse it as none but the covetous desire it. True
    it is but a trifle--ten times as much would be but a trifle if it
    was right.  If it must be done, let them who plead for it do the
    little trifle; they have no scruples of conscience about
    it.... The certificate law is as much worse than the tax on tea as
    religious fetters are worse than civil. [184]

The Rev. John Leland's "The Rights of Conscience inalienable;
therefore Religious Opinions not cognizable by Law; Or The High flying
Churchman, stript of his legal Robe appears a yaho" was a powerful
arraignment of the government and defense of the right of all to
worship as conscience bade them. Leland had recently come from
Virginia and settled in New London. In the southern state he had been
one of the most influential among the Baptist ministers and a great
power in politics. In Virginia he had seen the separation of Church
and State in 1785, and had witnessed the benefits following that
policy. After the publication of his "Rights of Conscience" the
question before the Connecticut people became one of establishment or
disestablishment, because Leland, not content with showing the falsity
of the position that civil necessities required an established church,
or with a logical demonstration of the inalienable rights of
conscience, proceeded to boldly attack the Charter of Charles II as
being in no rightful sense the constitution of the state of
Connecticut. He maintained that, "Constitution" though it was called,
it was not such, because it had been enforced upon the people by a
mere vote of the legislature [a] and was a "constitution" never
"assented to further than passive obedience and non resistance" by the
people at large; a constitution--

    contrary to the known sentiments of a far greater part of the
    States in the Union; and inconsistent with the clear light of
    liberty, which is spreading over the world in meridian splendor,
    and dissipating those antique glooms of tyrannical darkness which
    were ever opposed to free, equal, religious liberty among men.

Leland arraigns a union of Church and State that presupposes a need of
legislative support for religion, which the example of other states
has proved unnecessary; and which the experience of communities,
persisting in such union, has shown to be productive of evil, of
ignorance, superstition, persecution, lying and hypocrisy, a weakness
to the civil state, and a conversion of the Bible and of religion to
tools of statecraft and political trickery.

    Government has no more to do with religious opinions of men than
    it has with the principles of mathematics.... Truth disdains the
    aid of law for its defence, ... it will stand upon its own
    merit....  Is it just to balance the Establishment against the
    rights guaranteed in the charter, and to enact a law which has no
    saving clause to prevent taxation of Jew, Turk, Papist, Deist,
    Atheist, for the support of a ministry in which they would not
    share and which violated their conscience? [185]

Many Federalists of Judge Swift's type sympathized with Leland's bold
arraignment of the Establishment, if not with his view of the
unconstitutionality of the charter government. These men repudiated
the new certificate law.

The authorities felt that they had gone too far, and in October, 1791,
after an existence of only six months, they repealed the certificate
law by one hundred and five yeas to fifty-seven nays.  The new law
that was substituted permitted each dissenter to write his own
certificate, release, or "sign-off," as the papers were colloquially
called, and required him to file it with the clerk of the Established
Society wherein he dwelt. [186] This favor was not so great a
privilege as it seemed.  It bore hard upon the dissenters in two
ways. It created "Neuters," people who wished to be relieved from the
ecclesiastical taxes, but who were too indifferent to the principles
and welfare of the churches to which they allied themselves to
faithfully support them. For their churches to complain of such
persons to the authorities would only give the latter reasons for
enforcing the laws for the support of the Establishment. Then again,
the new certificate law did not relieve the dissenters who lived too
far from their churches to ordinarily attend them from petty fines and
from court wrangles as to the justice of them, for with the judges lay
the determination of what the words "far" and "near" and "ordinarily
do attend" in the laws meant. [b] The important question of how many
absences from church would prevent a man from claiming that he was a
regular attendant was thus left in the hands of judges, who were for
the most part prejudiced or partial.  Many amusing and exasperating
legal quibbles occurred in the courts between judges, who were
determined to sentence for neglect of public worship, and defendants,
who were equally positive of their rights. Many dissenters attempted
later to ridicule the law out of existence by substituting for the

    I certify that I differ in sentiment from the worship and ministry
    in the ecclesiastical society of ---- in the town of ----
    constituted bylaw within certain local bounds, and have chosen to
    join myself to the (Insert here the name of society you have
    joined) in the town of ----.

    Dated at ---- this ---- day of ---- A. D.

declarations, undignified in wording and sometimes written in doggerel
rhyme. While granting the new certificate law, the Assembly were
careful to pass a minor ecclesiastical statute enforcing a fine of
from six to twelve shillings upon all who should neglect to observe
all public fasts and thanksgivings. [187] This law at times proved
unsatisfactory to the Episcopalians, for the Congregational fasts and
feasts were appointed by the authorities, who naturally did not
consider the Churchman's feeling when called upon to celebrate a feast
or thanksgiving during an Episcopalian season of fasting, or to
observe a public fast, to go in sackcloth, upon an anniversary that
should be marked by joy and praise.

In 1792, the year following the attempt to remodel the certificate
laws, certain legislative measures with reference to Yale College fed
the discontent among the dissenting sects. For some years there had
been an increasing dissatisfaction with the management of the
college. It culminated in 1792 in the reorganization of the governing
board, to which were added eight civilians, including the governor,
lieutenant-governor, and the six senior councilors or state
senators. At the same time, and in consideration of the admission of
laymen to the board, $40,000 was given to the college. [c] This money
was a part of the taxes which had been collected to meet the expenses
of the Revolutionary war, and which were in the state treasury when
the United States government offered to refund the state for such
expense. It was granted to the college on condition that she should
invest it in the new United States bonds, and that half the profits of
the investment should be at the disposal of the state.  This
arrangement relieved the crippled finances of the college and
gratified many of its friends.  But there were many who regarded the
measure as out-and-out favoritism to a Congregational college, and who
put no faith in the proposed half-sharing of profits. They maintained
that eventually the college would get the whole benefit of the money
that had been collected for other purposes, and from many persons who
could derive no benefit from such a disposal of it. These prophets
were not far wrong, for after Yale had paid into the state treasury a
little more than $13,000 she was relieved from further payments by a
repeal, in 1796, of the conditional clause of the grant.

This favoritism to Yale was not the only legislation to anger the
dissenters, and especially the Baptists. Another measure, mooted at
the same time as the certificate acts and the special grant to the
college, was accepted as a further mark of the government's
determination to ignore the rights of dissenters. In 1785-86 the
Assembly had granted lands for the support of the Gospel ministry, for
schools, and to the first minister to settle in each township of the
Western Reserve. This act, as has been shown, was considered to unduly
favor the Presbyterians. But little had come of this legislation
beyond the survey of the land and the opening of a land office there
for its sale. Five years later, in 1791, even though no part of the
tract had been sold, the Assembly introduced a new bill appropriating
the anticipated proceeds from the sale of the land to the several
ecclesiastical societies as a fund with which to pay their ministers
so as to enable them to do away with the tax for salaries. But the
excitement roused by the first certificate law--of 1791--was so great
that it was deemed prudent to continue this Western Land bill over to
the next session of the legislature, and there it was lost. The
session of May, 1792, contented itself with only such legislation in
regard to the Western Reserve as that by which it granted the "Fire
Lands," so called, a grant of 500,000 acres as indemnity to the
citizens of New London, Groton, Fairfield, Norwalk, and Danbury, for
the destruction of their property in the burning of their towns by
British troops.

As the lands of the Western Reserve did not sell well, [d] the
Assembly, in 1793, appointed a committee to dispose of the tract to
the highest bidder if the amount offered should be duly guaranteed
with interest; principal and interest payable to the state within four
or six years, whether paid in lump sum on demand, or by installments.
The sale was widely advertised both within and without the state. It
was now calculated that the amount realized from the sale of the lands
would be a sum yielding an annual interest of $60,000, or an average
of $600 to a town, beside a bonus to Yale of $8000. Therefore, the
Assembly, in October, 1793, voted that--

    moneys arising from the sale of the territory belonging to the
    State, lying west of the state of Pennsylvania, be, and the same
    is hereby established a perpetual fund, the interest whereof is
    granted, and shall be appropriated to the use and benefit of the
    several ecclesiastical societies, churches, congregations of all
    _denominations_ in this State, to be by them applied to the
    support of their respective ministers or preachers of the Gospel,
    and schools of education, under such rules and regulations as
    shall be adopted by this or some future session of the General
    Assembly. [188]

An earlier bill had been proposed, discussed, and tabled. This act was
originally a resolution framed by a large committee whose members
represented both the friends and opponents of the proposal for the
immediate sale of the lands.  When the vote passed, it was by
eighty-three yeas to seventy nays in the House and by a large and
favorable majority in the Council.

One fault that the dissenters found with the law was that, under the
rules and regulations adopted by the Assembly, they believed that the
alternative which the law allowed of voting the money to the
ministerial fund, or to the school, would work to their
disadvantage. Where there were few dissenters, the Presbyterian vote
would carry the money over to the minister's use, and where there were
many, the same vote would be sufficient, if thrown, as it probably
would be, to direct the money to the school appropriation. It would
follow that the dissenters might never have the use of the money for
the support of their own worship.

The Baptists voiced the general opposition among the dissenters,--an
opposition so strong that it appealed to some of the conservatives as
sufficient reason in itself to condemn the law.  "A Friend to Society"
wrote to the "Hartford Courant" that--

    if a religion whose principles are universal love and harmony is
    to be supported and promoted by a means which will blow up the
    sparks of faction and party strife into a violent flame, it is a
    new way of promoting religion. Much better would it be for the
    State of Connecticut that their Western Lands should be sunk by an
    earthquake and form part of the adjoining lake than that they
    should be transplanted hither for a bone of contention.

Apart from sectarian interests, the law met with hostility. There were
those who thought that the money ought to be applied at once to the
remaining indebtedness of the state, rather than for it to wait for
another installment on the Revolutionary debt that was still due from
the national government. There were more who thought that the money
ought to go for the expenses of government, or for direct advantages,
such as the repair of bridges and highways. But the expenses of
government were light, [e] and, as a rule, the people were willing to
keep the highways in repair. There was still another party who
contended that the money should go for schools, both because they were
needed in larger numbers, and because they ought to be able to pay
larger salaries and not ones so small as to tempt only the farmer lad,
or the ambitious student, to keep a country school for a few months in
winter, or a somewhat similarly equipped woman to teach in summer. And
there was yet another party who were convinced that the money should
go to the support of the ministry, for they believed that morality
could be taught only by religion, and that the people were losing
interest in the latter because of the inferiority of the preachers
whom the small salaries and insecure support kept in the field. [189]

While this discussion of certificate laws, of grants to Yale, and of
grants of land and money to the ecclesiastical societies had been
constantly before the public, there had also been present a minor
grievance due to the Assembly's interest in the missionary work that
the General Association had extended to include parts of Vermont,
western New York, Pennsylvania, and the outlying settlements in
Ohio. In the western field the missionaries sent by Connecticut
frequently met those sent out by the Presbyterian General
Assembly. Drawn together by their interests in these missions in 1794,
the practice was begun of having three delegates from the General
Association meet with the Presbyterian General Assembly in their
annual convention, and three delegates from the General Assembly take
their seats in the yearly convocation of the General Association of
Connecticut. So long as the Connecticut churches were strongly
Presbyterian in sentiment, there was no clashing of interests among
the workers in the mission field. Naturally, Connecticut wanted to do
her full share of missionary work; and feeling the need of more money
for the purpose, the General Association, in 1792, appealed to the
legislature for permission to take up an annual collection for three
years. The Association hesitated to take up such a collection in all
the churches, dissenting or Established, without such permission. The
Baptists expressed their indignation at the wording of Governor
Huntington's proclamation, "that there be a contribution taken up in
every congregation for the support of the Presbyterian Missions in the
western territory." More than that, they refused to contribute, on the
ground that if the collection had been "recommended" they would gladly
have helped a Christian cause, but that it was inexpedient to yield to
a demand that all societies should contribute to the support of
missions that were entirely under the control of one religious
body. Furthermore, with reference to the appropriation of money from
the Western Lands, they would join with other dissenters in opposing
it, on the ground that, in order to obtain their share of the money,
they would have to admit their inferiority through the showing of the
compulsory certificates. Moreover, even the scant favor secured
through these was in danger from the continual favoritism of the
legislature, with its treasury open at all times to its Congregational
college, and with its enactments in favor of the Established Churches.

At the May session of the Assembly, 1794, the Baptists from all over
the state thronged the steps of the capitol at Hartford, angered
almost to the point of precipitating civil war. There John Leland
addressed them, urging the necessity of government; the power of
constitutional reform; arguing for rights of conscience, citing both
European and colonial history to prove their reasonableness and their
value to the body politic; and setting forth Connecticut's departure
from the glorious freedom mapped out by her founders. He declared to
that great and angry crowd:--

    Government is a necessary evil and so a chosen good. Its business
    is to preserve the life, liberty and property of the many units
    that form the body politic.... When a constitution of government
    is formed, it should be simple and explicit; the powers that are
    vested in, and work to be performed by each department should be
    defined with the utmost perspicuity; and this constitution should
    be attended to as scrupulously by men in office as the Bible
    should be by all religionists.... Let the people first be
    convinced of the deficiency of the constitution, and remove the
    defects thereof, and then, those in office can change the
    administration upon constitutional grounds.

               *       *       *       *       *

    [The right to worship] God according to the dictates of
    conscience, without being prohibited, directed or controlled
    therein by human law, either in _time, place or manner_,
    cannot be surrendered up to the general government for an
    equivalent.  [190]

Had not Governor Haynes said to Roger Williams, "The Most High God
hath provided and cut out this part of the world for a refuge and
receptacle for all sorts of consciences?"  How had not Connecticut
fallen? How passed her ancient glory, how ignored her charter's
rights? How firm a grip upon her had that incubus of her own raising,
the pernicious union of Church and State? Break that, as elsewhere it
had been broken, and then as freemen demand a constitution
guaranteeing both civil and religious liberty.

The result of the widespread hostility was the attempt at the May
session of 1794 to repeal the offensive law. The Lower House did
repeal it, after a lively debate, by a vote of 109 yeas to 58 nays,
but the Council, or Upper House, where the conservatives were
intrenched, refused to pass the bill. However, they were induced to
pass a resolution suspending the sale of the lands. The debate in the
House was published verbatim in the "Hartford Gazette" of May 19,
1794, and was copied by the papers throughout the state. In the
following October a bill was passed by the Council, but continued over
by the House and ordered to be printed in all the papers, that the
people might have opportunity to consider it before it should come up
to be passed upon by their representatives in the May session of
1795. [191] The terms of the bill were that the principal sum of money
received from the sale of the Western Lands should be apportioned
among the several school societies according to the list of polls and
rateable estates, and that the interest arising from the money so
divided should be appropriated to the support of schools that were
kept according to the law, or to the support of the public worship of
God and the Christian ministry, "as the majority of the legal voters
should annually determine." [192]

The proposed law was subjected to public scrutiny of all sorts. It was
agitated in town meetings, and the discussions for and against it were
noticed in the newspapers, where much space was given to its
consideration. Ministers made it the subject of their
sermons. Dr. Dwight discoursed upon the subject in his Thanksgiving
sermon. [193] When the proposed bill came up before the legislature,
it encountered considerable opposition, but after some modifications
it became a law. As in school societies the dissenters had an equal
vote, and in all town affairs were worth conciliating, there was more
justice in the new law than in the old, where the ecclesiastical
society was made the unit of division. From 1717 to 1793 the towns,
parishes, and occasionally the ecclesiastical societies had charge of
the schools. [194] But in 1794 school districts were authorized and
the change to them begun. Such districts could, upon the vote of two
thirds of all the qualified voters, locate schools, lay taxes to build
and repair them, and appoint a collector to gather such rates. The act
of May, 1795, appropriating the money from the Western Lands to the
schools, provided also that the school districts should be erected
into school societies to whom the money should be distributed, and by
whom the interest thereon should be expended; and that it should go
"to no other Use or Purpose whatsoever; except in the Case and under
the circumstances hereafter mentioned." The circumstances here
referred to were in cases where two thirds of the legal voters in a
school society meeting, legally warned, voted to use the interest
money for the support of the ministry in that Society, and appealed to
the General Assembly for permission to so use the money. Upon such an
expression of the wish of voters, the General Assembly was empowered
to answer in the affirmative. The act also repealed that of 1793. The
legislature appointed another commission for the sale of the
lands. They were sold in the following October for $1,200,000. By this
legislation was laid the foundation of Connecticut's School Fund. The
Connecticut Land Company, which had made the purchase, petitioned the
legislature in 1797 that Connecticut should surrender her jurisdiction
over the lands to the United States. The state complied. In 1798 the
organization of the new school societies was perfected, and the
control of the schools passed entirely into their hands until the
district system of 1856 was adopted.

The Western Land bills had resulted in the establishment of a public
school fund and in its just distribution, without reference to
sectarianism, among the people. All the agitation attending both the
certificate acts and Western Land bills had demonstrated the intense
opposition of the dissenting minority, and that they were beginning to
look to the increase of their numbers and the power of the ballot as
the only means of changing the vexatious laws under which they were
treated as inferiors. To the Congregationalists, strong both as the
Established Church and as members of the Federal party, which counted
many adherents among all the dissenting sects, the possibility that
any voting strength could be brought against them, adequate to oppose
their party measures, seemed improbable. Such a possibility must be
very remote. Yet within twenty years, they were to see the downfall of
the Federal party, of the Established Church, and of Connecticut's
charter government.


[a] The vote of the Assembly was: "That the ancient form of civil
government, containing the charter from Charles the Second, King of
England, and adopted by the people of this State, shall be and remain
the Civil Constitution of the State under the sole authority of the
people thereof, independent of any King, or ftince whatever. And that
this Republic is and shall forever be and remain a free, sovereign,
and independent State, by the name of the State of
Connecticut."--Revision of Acts and Laws, Ed. 1784, p. 1.

[b] "Courts and juries had usually been composed of what was
considered the standing church, and they had frequently practiced such
quibbles and finesse with respect to the forms of certificates and the
nature of dissenting congregations as to defeat the benevolent
intentions of the law."--Swift's _System of Laws_, pp. 146, 147.

[c] Yale received in all $40,629.80. In 1871, six alumni replaced the
six senior councilors.

[d] So far the highest bid for the tract of land had been $350,000.

[e] The annual expenses were estimated to be approximately $90,000. In
_Advice to Connecticut Folks_, 1786, occurs the following

						 Necessary  Unneces'y
  Governor's salary,                       £300     £300
  Lieutenant-Governor's,                    100      100
  Upper House attendance and travel
    60 days at £10 per day,                 600      600
  Lower House attendance and travel
    170 members at 6s. a day, 60 days,    3,060    1,530      £1,530
  Five Judges of the Superior Court at
    24s. a day, suppose 150 days,           900      900
  Forty Judges of Inferior Court at
    9s. a day, suppose 40 days,             720      720
  Six thousand actions in the year, the
    legal expenses of each, suppose £3,  18,000    1,000      17,000
  Gratuities to 120 lawyers, suppose
    £50 each,                             6,000    1,000       5,000
  Two hundred clergymen at £100 each,    20,000   20,000
  Five hundred schools at £20 a year,    10,000   10,000
  Support of poor,                       10,000   10,000
  Bridges and other town expenses,       10,000   10,000
  Contingencies and articles not
    enumerated,                          10,000   10,000
  Total,                                £89,680  £66,150     £23,530

As a glimpse at society, it may be added that the _Advice_ itself
is an energetic and statistical condemnation of the prevalent use of
"Rum," estimated at £90,000 or "ninety-nine hundredths unnecessary
expense" in living. "Deny it if you can, good folks. Now say not a
word about taxes, Judges, lawyers, courts and women's extravagances.
Your government, your courts, your lawyers, your clergymen, your
schools and your poor, do not all cost you so much as one paltry
article which does you little or no good but is as destructive of your
lives as fire and brimstone."--Noah Webster's _Collection of
Essays,_ pp. 137-139.

The evil was beginning to be recognized in all its danger.  Here and
there voluntary temperance clubs were beginning to be formed among the
better classes, but it was a time when hardly a contract was closed
without a stipulation of a certain quantity of rum for each workman.



    As well dam up the waters of the Nile with Bullrushes as to fetter
    the steps of Freedom.--L. M. Child.

Leland's attack upon the constitution of Connecticut during the
excitement over the Western Land bills called for new tactics on the
part of the dissenters. Thus far, in all their antagonism to the union
of Church and State, there had been on their part practically no
attack upon the constitution itself. Yet even as early as 1786 the
Anti-Federalists had proclaimed that the state of Connecticut was
without a constitution; that the charter government fell with the
Declaration of Independence; and that its adoption by the legislature
as a state constitution was an unwarranted excess of authority. The
Anti-Federalists maintained also that many of the charter provisions
were either outgrown or unsuited to the needs of the state. But the
majority of the dissenters, like the Constitutional Reform party of
recent date, preferred redress for their grievances through
legislation rather than through the uprooting of an ancient and
cherished constitution. Accordingly, it was not until the elections of
1804-6 that this question of a new constitution could reasonably be
made a campaign issue. But from 1793 the dissenters began to lean
towards affiliation with the Democratic-Republican [a] party, the
successors to the Anti-Federal; yet it was not until toward the close
of the War of 1812 that the Republican party made large gains in
Connecticut and the dissenters began to feel sure that the dawn of
religious liberty was at hand. But before that time the Republicans
made three distinct though abortive attempts to secure the electoral

The Anti-Federalists early began to probe for weak spots in the
constitutional government of Connecticut. The Fundamental Orders had
given four deputies to each of the three original towns, and had made
the number of deputies from each new town proportionate to its
population. The Charter had limited the deputies to two from each
town. The Fundamental Orders gave the General Court, composed of
Governor, Magistrates or Assistants, and Deputies, supreme governing
power, including, together with that of legislation, the granting of
levies, the admission of freemen, the disposal of public lands, and
the organization of courts. It had also a general supervision over
individuals, magistrates, and courts, with power to revise decisions
and to mete out punishments. The Charter of 1662 did not materially
alter the laws and customs of the government as previously established
under the Fundamental Orders, or the "first written constitution." The
Charter emphasized the executive, and began the segregation of the
Upper House or Council, since by it the "Particular Court" of the
founders became the Governor's Council, serving upon like occasions,
but requiring the presence of at least six magistrates for the
transaction of business. The Particular Court had consisted of the
Governor or Deputy-Governor, and three Assistants. In emergencies
occurring during adjournment of the General Court, the Particular
Court was to serve in place of the larger body. After 1647 this
special court could consist of two or three magistrates who, in the
absence of the Governor or Deputy-Governor, chose one of their number
to act as moderator. After 1662 the formula of the General Court "Be
it ordered, enacted and decreed" was changed to "Be it enacted by the
Governor and Council and House of Representatives in General Court
assembled." At the regular session of the General Court or General
Assembly, the Councilors first sat as a separate body in 1698. After
the Declaration of Independence this Upper House or Council became the
Senate, and for many years was referred to under any one of the three

The power of the General Court--this jumble of legislative, executive,
and judicial--worked well so long as the community consisted of a few
hundred or a few thousand souls with little diversity of sentiment or
industrial interest. It was not until the last quarter of the
eighteenth century that the inefficiency of the "first written
constitution" began to be felt. Then there arose the need of a new
constitution to modify the body of laws and customs that had grown up;
to destroy much of the erroneous legislation that in effect perverted
or nullified their original intent; and to furnish a constitutional
basis for the government of a larger and less homogeneous people. Here
and there a few thoughtful men, irrespective of their church or party,
were beginning to apprehend the difficulty of piloting a democratic
state under the old royal charter. The more prominent among them
belonged to the Anti-Federal party, and naturally they sought to
expose the constitutional difficulties which they believed impeded
progress. [b]

One of the earliest party tilts grew out of the increase of new towns
and the unequal development of some of the older ones. Then as now,
though on a much smaller scale, the unit of town representation
threatened rotten boroughs and a fictitious representation of the will
of the majority as represented by the delegates to the Lower
House. The state in 1786 had not recovered from the exhaustion due to
the Revolutionary War, and the support of the many new deputies, due
to the increase of the towns, was a burden which the October
legislation of that year attempted to lighten. With the object of
cutting down state expenses a bill was introduced into the House to
refer to the freemen some proposition for reducing the number of their
delegates and for equalizing representation. Mr. James Davenport of
Stamford moved to substitute for the bill [c] another in which this
reduction should be made by the legislature without submitting the
proposed change to the freemen. This was objected to on the ground
that a reduction of delegates was a constitutional question, "the
Assembly having no right to alter the representation without authority
given by their constituents." The supporters of the bill contended
with Mr. Davenport that--

    _we have no Constitution_ but the laws of the State.  The
    _Charter is not the Constitution_. By the Revolution
    _that_ was abrogated. A law of the State gave a subsequent
    sanction to that which was before of no force; if that law be
    valid, any alteration made by a later act will also be valid; if
    not, we have no Constitution, so defined, as to preclude the
    Legislature from exercising _any_ power necessary for the
    good of the people.

The bill was carried over to the May session of 1787, when it was
defeated by sixty-two yeas to seventy-five nays, the towns of
Hartford, East Hartford, Berlin, Stamford and Woodbury favoring it. A
confidential letter of February, 1787, from Dr. Gale, the probable
author of "Brief, decent but free Remarks or Observations on Several
Laws passed by the Honorable Legislature of the State of Connecticut
since the year 1775, by a Friend to his Country," suggested that in
addition to the reduction of representatives, laws should be passed
forbidding any citizen to hold, at the same time, more than one place
of public trust, either civil or military, and also requiring an
increase in the number of councilors, or senators, from the total of
twelve to three from each county. [d] Dr. Gale believed that if these
senators should be elected by each county, and not upon a general
ticket, the change would be beneficial. [195]

In regard to the senators, the Fundamental Orders prescribed that
nominations for the magistrates should be made by the towns through
their deputies to the fall session of the General Court, and that the
election should take place the following spring at the Court of
Elections.  As the life of the colony expanded, modifications of this
rule were made; in time, vote by proxy took the place of the freeman's
presence at the Court of Election. After 1689, the Assistants to be
nominated, twenty in number, were balloted for in the fall town
meetings. The sealed lists were sent to the legislature, where they
were opened, and the ticket for the spring election was made out from
the twenty names receiving the largest vote. The Court could no longer
as in earlier times add any new names. Hence, the custom grew up of
listing nominations, not according to popularity, but first according
to seniority in office, and then according to the number of votes
received. These lists were published in the papers throughout the
state. The candidates for election were presented at the April town
meetings, where each name was read in order and voted upon. A much
later enactment provided twelve ballots, and forbade any one to cast
more than twelve, whether for or against a candidate or in blank. If a
man held any one of his slips in reserve for a more satisfactory
candidate, he had none for the teller, and thus the secrecy of the
ballot was almost destroyed. New candidates or those not up for
reelection, whose names appeared at the foot of the list, whatever the
number of votes received, were sometimes kept waiting years for an
election, until those above them had died in office or resigned. [e]
For instance, Jonathan Ingersoll received 4600 votes in nomination in
1792, while the senior councilor, William Williams, had only 2000; yet
Williams's name was preferred, and Ingersoll's had to wait over
another year, when he was again nominated and elected, and held his
seat from 1793 to 1798. An election was a wearisome affair, and many
men would not stay until the voting upon the list was finished,
preferring for various reasons to cast an early ballot. The natural
tendency was to support the experienced and known, even if
indifferently efficient councilor, rather than to vote for an untried
and unfamiliar man whose name would come up later, or even for popular
men who could not be proposed until far into the day. As a result the
party in power felt assured of their continuance in office. Moreover,
proxies for the election were returned in April, but the result was
not announced until the legislature met in May, nor was there any
supervision compelling an honest count. Thus it was easy to keep in
office Federal candidates, and thus the Senate, or Council, came to
reflect public opinion about twenty years behind the popular
sentiment. Furthermore, the clergy of the Establishment would get
together and talk matters over before the elections, and the parish
minister would endeavor to direct his people's vote according to his
opinion of what was best for the commonwealth. This ministerial
influence was not shaken until about 1817.

There was still another grievance against the Council besides that
just mentioned. It had come to be almost a Privy Council for advice
and consultation. Furthermore it was, until 1807, the Supreme Court of
the state to which lay appeals in all cases, civil or criminal, where
errors of law had been committed in the trial courts. Its twelve
members were mostly, if not all, lawyers, holding a tremendous power
of patronage over the members of the Lower House, many of whom were
also lawyers, eager for preferment; over the courts throughout the
state, from which, since 1792, the old non-professional judges had
been debarred, and also over the militia, whose officers, from the
earliest times, had been appointed by the General Court. Further, the
united action of the two houses was necessary to pass or to repeal a
law, and thus much important legislation centred upon a majority of
seven in the Council.

Furthermore, at the opening of the nineteenth century, the courts of
law also were thought to need reorganizing. The judges were declared
partisan, as they naturally would be under the conditions of their
appointment. The Republicans could not meet the Federals upon an equal
footing in the state tribunals. They were disparaged in their business
relations, "were treated as a degraded party, and this treatment was
extended to all the individuals of the party however worthy or
respectable; in fact as the Saxons were treated by the Normans and the
Irish by the English government." [196]

Because of these political conditions, early in statehood, there were
three schools of politicians; namely, those who approved a
constitutional convention, expressly called to frame a new
constitution; those who wished such a convention merely to amend the
existing charter-constitution; and those, until 1800, predominately in
the majority, who were convinced that whether the state had a
constitution or not was a most frivolous and baneful question, mooted
only by "visionary theorists," or by those who were desirous of a
change, no matter how disastrous it might be to good government. The
conservative party held that, since the charter had been drawn
according to the tenor of a draft submitted by Winthrop and outlining
the government according to the Fundamental Orders, framed in 1639 by
the "inhabitants and residents of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield,"
the charter was not a grant of privileges but an approval asked and
obtained for a government already existing.  Consequently, such
government as had been exercised before and was continued under the
charter was essentially a creation of the people.  It therefore needed
only the declarative act of the legislature to annul those clauses of
the charter that bound the colony to the crown and to continue over
into statehood the government of the colonial period. Further,
granting that the separation from Great Britain annulled the
constitution, the subsequent conduct of the people in assenting to,
approving of, and acquiescing in such acts of the legislature, had
established and rendered those acts valid and binding, and had given
them all the force and authority of an express contract. [197] Such
discussion of constitutional questions, confined at first to the few,
spread among the many after Leland's attack upon the charter, and were
debated with great earnestness. Leland's attack gained him, at the
time, comparatively few adherents, but it brought the question of
disestablishment fairly before the people, demonstrating to the
discontented that there was very little hope for larger liberty, for
greater justice, until the power of legislation, granted by the old
charter, should be curtailed, and the bond between Church and State

The growth in Connecticut of the Democratic-Republican party, outside
its following among Methodists, Baptists and a few radical thinkers,
was very slow. The Episcopalians were held in much higher esteem by
the Federal members of the Establishment, or "Standing Order," as they
were called, than were the other dissenters. Yet notwithstanding the
wealth and conservatism of the sect, they were looked at askance when
it came to giving them political office, for the old dislike to a
Churchman still lingered in New England. Accordingly, they were
somewhat dissatisfied at the treatment they received as political
allies of the Standing Order, and, in order to quiet their incipient
discontent, the government thought best to occasionally extend some
small favor to them. So in 1799, the legislature granted them a
charter for a fund for their bishop which they were trying to
raise. About the same time, Yale first conferred upon an Episcopal
clergyman the title of doctor of divinity. The transfer of the annual
fast day to coincide with Good Friday was appreciated by the
Churchmen.  The change was first made in 1795, and came about through
Governor Huntington's friendship for Bishop Seabury, and because of a
desire to remove from the public mind a misapprehension, arising from
the refusal of the Episcopal church in New London to comply with
President Washington's proclamation for a national Thanksgiving. [f]
From 1797 this change of fast-day became customary. It removed the
long-standing complaint that Presbyterian days of fasting or rejoicing
frequently occurred during Episcopal feasts or fasts. At an earlier
period, the ignoring of such public proclamations was sometimes made
the occasion for imposing fines for the benefit of the Establishment.

As has been said, the Republican gains were greater among the
Methodists and Baptists.  This was partly because not a few among
these dissenters associated Jefferson's party with his efforts towards
disestablishment in Virginia in 1785. Out of Connecticut's population
of two hundred and fifty thousand, the Republicans counted upon
recruits from the Methodist body, numbering, in 1802, one thousand six
hundred and fifty-eight, and from the Baptists, approximating four
thousand six hundred and sixty members. In 1798-1800 the division of
the Federalists over national issues strengthened the Republicans in
Connecticut, as they were the successors to the Anti-Federalists,
those "visionary theorists" of 1786. The new Democratic-Republican
party received further additions to their ranks through the opposition
in Connecticut to the Federal and obnoxious "Stand-up Law" of
1801. This law, which required a man to stand when voting for the
nomination of senators, "was made to catch the secret vote of the
Republicans," [198] and revealed at once the opposition of every
dissenter, debtor, employee, or of any one who had cause to fear
injury to himself if he gave an honest vote. It was passed by a
compact and reunited body of Federalists whose boast was that no
division upon national questions could affect their unity and strength
in the Land of Steady Habits.

The Republican-Democratic party in the state would have gained
recruits more rapidly had it not been for its attitude as a national
party toward France. To appreciate the situation in Connecticut, one
must consider, first of all, the influence of the French
Revolution. One must realize the intense interest, the mingled
exultation and terror with which conservatives who, though they might
differ in their religious preferences, were yet the rank and file of
the state, watched its varying aspects from its outbreak in 1789 on
through the years of its earliest experiments in statecraft, of its
exaggerated exploitation of "liberty, equality, and fraternity," and
of its casting off of all religious bonds and trammels. As the Federal
party lost its sympathy with the French cause the attitude of the
nation changed. The consolidated factions of the Anti-Federalists,
however, increased their ardor for the French republic, and took from
1792 the name Democratic-Republican. They carried their keen sympathy
even to expressing their French sentiments by their dress and
manners. The change in the national attitude was reflected in
Connecticut by the whole-hearted antipathy of large numbers of her
people to what they considered "radicalism of the most destructive
character." English Arianism and Arminianism, with which the
Edwardeans had waged war, were nothing compared to the influx of
French infidelity and atheism which appeared to be sweeping over the
land. Books formerly guarded by the clergy were on sale
everywhere. They found among the masses many like Aaron Burr, who,
during his period of study with Dr. Bellamy, had preferred the logic
of the printed books upon the shelves to that of the master who placed
them there. Dr. Bellamy proposed to confute the pernicious arguments
of these books, bringing them one by one before his select body of
students, so that they should be able to guide their future
parishioners when the insidious poison of these dangerous authors,
these "followers of Satan," should force its way among them.

All sects attempted to oppose such an influx of irreligion. All but
the Episcopalians fell back upon revivals as their chief means. In
these revivals the Methodists and Congregationalists were perhaps the
most successful in securing converts. The policy of the Episcopal
church did not favor this phase of religious life. It felt that its
whole attitude was a protest against exaggerated liberty, or license,
and against all atheistical ideas. During the revivals the Baptists,
also, added largely to their numbers. The Methodists, however, brought
to their revival meetings the peculiar strength of fervent proselytes
to a new faith; of one rapidly becoming popular, appealing strongly to
the emotions, and having a touch of martyrdom still clinging to its
profession. Among those Federalists who were also Congregationalists,
the French Revolution was believed to be the "result of a combination
long since formed in Europe by infidels and atheists to root out and
effectually destroy religion and civil government." Holding this
opinion; seeing the Baptists and Methodists increasing in importance,
both in the nation and in the state; watching the continual increase
of the unorthodox and of the freethinker, and perceiving the growing
loss of confidence in the Federal party both in the nation and the
state, the Standing Order felt itself face to face with imminent
peril.  It scented danger to itself and to the existence of the
commonwealth. But it sadly lacked a great leader, until the year 1795,
when it found one in the recently elected president of Yale, the
Rev. Timothy Dwight. He was a grandson of Jonathan Edwards, and was a
man of amazing energy, of varied training, and of great personal

In his experience Dr. Dwight counted a college education, a
theological training under Jonathan Edwards, Jr., a tutorship at Yale,
a chaplaincy among the rough soldiers of the war of the Revolution,
home-life on his father's farm at Northampton, where the men in the
field vied with each other "to rake or hoe beside Timothy" in order to
hear him talk. In political life Dr.  Dwight had served an
apprenticeship in the General Court of Massachusetts, where he sat as
deputy from Northampton. He had had experience as a preacher in
several small towns, and as pastor at Greenfield Hill, a part of
Fairfield.  There he had added to his income by establishing the
Greenfield Academy for both sexes. Upon accepting the presidency of
Yale he became also professor of theology, and in addition he took
under his special care the courses in rhetoric and oratory. These last
two, together with literature, had, he thought, been entirely too much
neglected. [g] His coming was a forecast of the man of the nineteenth
century.[199] Dr. Stiles had been a fine type of the
eighteenth. Dr. Dwight was a man of less acquirements in languages,
but he was a more accurate scholar, of broader intelligence, and with
a mind well stocked and ready. He had a pleasing power of expression,
was tactful, and could readily adapt himself to men and
circumstances. It was he who was to give Yale its initial movement
from college to university. He himself was to become a celebrated
teacher and theologian. He was to be one of the founders of the New
England school, whose principles Dr. Taylor, in 1827, was to make
known under the name of the New Haven Theology. [h] In his own day
Dr. Dwight was equally celebrated as a power both in religion and
politics.  "Pope Dwight" his enemies termed him, and they nicknamed
his ministerial following his "bishops," while they dubbed the Council
or Senators "his Twelve Cardinals."

Outside his college duties, and as a part of his care for its
spiritual welfare, President Dwight's immediate purpose was to combine
all forces that could be used to stem the dangerous currents rushing
against the bulwarks of Church and State. He had early favored the
drawing together of Congregational and Presbyterian bodies. He had
discerned, as early as 1792, a stirring of new life in the religious
world, the breaking down of the apathy of half a century that had been
indicated by revivals in places far scattered, not only throughout New
England but in other states. Towns in Massachusetts, with East Haddam
and Lyme in Connecticut, had been roused as early as the year
named. That element of personal experience which had been so marked a
feature of the Great Awakening reappeared, but without that excessive
emotionalism [i] which characterized the earlier revival. Nor was
there any such pronounced leadership as then. There was the same
conviction of sinfulness, the peace after its acknowledgment, and the
joyous satisfaction in the determination to lead an upright life,
seeking God's grace and will. Recognition of this spiritual awakening
had in some measure entered into the proposed disposal of the money
from the Western Lands, as it had also in the discussion of the joint
missionary work of 1791-1794, and again in 1797-98, [200] when the
General Association of Connecticut was incorporated as the Connecticut
Missionary Society, [j] In all of these movements President Dwight had
taken an active part. Upon entering the presidency of Yale he at once
began a series of sermons, which he delivered Sunday mornings, and
which were so arranged that in each four years the course was
complete. These lectures were his "Theology Explained and Defended,"
first published in 1818.  President Dwight, with the leading
Presbyterian or Congregational ministers, together with the Methodist
and Baptist clergy, continued to favor the revival movement. This
reached its height in 1807. From beginning to end it lasted nearly a
quarter of a century, and was punctuated by the revival years of 1798,
1800, and 1802, that were especially fruitful of conversions in
Connecticut. That of 1802 attracted large numbers of the college
students. The success of the revivals was marked by increasing
austerities, such as the denunciation of amusements, both public and
private, and the revival of dead-letter laws for the more strict
observance of Sunday. Traveling or driving was prohibited without a
pass signed by a justice of the peace. Travelers were held up over
"holy time." Attempts were made to prevent the young people from
gathering in companies on Sunday evenings after the Sabbath was
legally over. Too much hilarity, though innocent, was condemned. Such
restrictions were extremely distasteful to a large minority in the
state, and seemed to many citizens only repeated proofs of how closely
the government and the Presbyterian-Congregational church were banded
together. Accordingly the Republicans began to think it was time to
test the strength of such a platform as they could put forth while
making a bid for the whole dissenting vote.

The election of Adams and Jefferson [k] in 1797 was a spur to both
parties, lending hope to the scattered Republicans, and prodding the
recently over-confident Federalists. In March, 1798, the whole nation
was roused almost to forgetfulness of party lines by the anger created
by the publication of the "X Y Z Papers." A few months later the
Federal party, through its Alien and Sedition laws, had lost its
renewed hold upon the nation. Connecticut denounced the Virginia and
Kentucky resolutions of 1798-99, and was to all appearances stanchly
Federal. But her leaders were looking for another presidential
candidate than Adams, while the Republicans, elate with the
anticipated national victory in 1800, were making preparations to
catch any and every dissatisfied voter in the state. The scattered
Republican clubs and committees awoke to new activity. As Jefferson
kept his party well in hand, and let the national dissatisfaction
increase that he might rush to victory at the presidential election of
1800, so the Connecticut Republicans matured their plans. They did not
formally organize their party till 1800, first making sure of their
great leader as the nation's executive, and almost of his
reëlection. Then they began to urge the acceptance of their platform
upon the oppressed Connecticut dissenters, and to taunt the Federal
Episcopalians with an allegiance that as late as 1802 had not been
thought of sufficient worth to warrant the small favor of a college
charter for their academy at Cheshire. The Federalists attempted to
disarm the Episcopal dissatisfaction over the refusal by granting them
a license for a lottery to raise $15,000 for the bishop's fund.

The leader of the Republicans in Connecticut was Pierpont Edwards, a
recently appointed United States district judge. He was brother of
Jonathan Edwards, Jr., for years the pastor of the North Church at New
Haven, and in 1800 president of Union College. This Republican leader
was the maternal uncle of his opponent in Federal state politics,
President Dwight, and also of the Republican Vice-President, Aaron
Burr.  Another nephew of his was Theodore Dwight, the brother of
Yale's president, who led the Federal civilians, and who was editor of
the "Hartford Courant," the organ of the Connecticut Federalists. The
Hartford "American Mercury" voiced the sentiments of the
Republicans. The latter party throughout the state was formally
organized in 1800 at a meeting in New Haven, the home of Mr. Edwards
and of his henchman, Abraham Bishop, son of that city's mayor.

The close personal relationship of the leaders, [l] the scorn of the
radicals, the abhorrence of the conservatives for the principles,
opinions, and even, in some cases, habits of life of their opponents,
entered into the strife and vituperation of the political campaigns
from 1800 to 1806.  Personalities were unsparing, passion rose high,
and speeches were bitter. This was particularly the case in New Haven,
where Abraham Bishop's impudent boldness of attack and denunciation
was exaggerated by his father's position. Samuel Bishop, the father,
was a man of seventy-seven, and old in the service of both Church and
State.  He was senior deacon in the North Church, or what was at that
time known as the Church of the United White Haven and Fair Haven
Societies. He was also a justice of the peace, town clerk, and mayor
of the city. The last office was held, according to the charter,
during the pleasure of the legislature. Samuel Bishop was also chief
judge of the court of common pleas for New Haven County, and sole
judge of probate, annual offices which the General Assembly had
re-conferred upon him in 1800 and in 1801. His son was a graduate of
Yale (1778). He was a lawyer of somewhat indifferent practice, and
from 1791 to 1798 clerk of the county court under his father, while
from 1798 he had been clerk of the superior court. Before settling
down to practice at the bar he had lived abroad, and had been caught
in the whirl of French thought and democratic ideas. He had returned
home bearing words of recommendation to Washington's secretary of
state from Jefferson's European friends.  A personal meeting with that
party leader had added to Bishop's enthusiasm. For some years he had
lived in Boston, and tried his hand at literature. He had returned to
New Haven in 1791, and had thrown himself into politics.  He purposely
exaggerated his opinions. He was careless of his unorthodox
expressions even to the verge of blasphemy. Though himself a believer
in God, he was perhaps what one would probably have termed a little
later a Unitarian.  His enemies exaggerated his exaggerations,--and
Unitarianism was a crime according to the Connecticut statutes. [m]

In his speeches and essays Abraham Bishop struck out boldly, with
earnestness, logic, shrewd wit, and irony, and, as has been said, at
times with dangerous irreverence,--often with down-right impudence
when that would serve his purpose. An illustration of his extreme use
of it was in 1800, about the time of the organization of the
Republican party throughout the state.

He had been honored with the Phi Beta Kappa oration, annually
delivered on the eve of the Yale Commencement, then in September.  A
polished literary effort was expected. He broke tradition, courtesy,
and every implied obligation in the choice of his subject. In August
he sent to the committee his paper for their acceptance or refusal. It
was entitled "The Extent and Power of Political Delusions," and was an
out and out campaign document. The presidential election was due in
November! Further, Bishop made political capital of the anticipated
refusal of his paper, which was not sent him until the eleventh
hour. The readers of the morning paper, wherein the committee offered
an apology for the change of speakers at the Society's meeting to be
held that night, were confronted by the announcement that the refused
address would be given to all who cared to listen to it in the parlors
of the White Haven church that same evening, and by the still further
notice that copies of it were fresh from the printer's hands and were
ready to be distributed to the remotest parts of the state. Needless
to state, the Phi Beta Kappa audience dwindled away to swell the crowd
of fifteen hundred, wherein Bishop gleefully counted "eight clergymen
and many ladies." The address met with great favor, and the
Wallingford Republicans at their celebration of March 11, 1801, in
honor of the election of Jefferson and Burr, asked Mr. Bishop to be
their orator. [n]

To top Bishop's insult,--as it was regarded by every friend of the
Standing Order,--came in the following spring Jefferson's displacement
of Elizur Goodrich, President Adams's appointee as collector of the
port of New Haven, and the substitution of Samuel Bishop. President
Jefferson considered himself at liberty to make this change; and all
the more so because President Adams had made the appointment as one of
his last official acts, when he must have known it would have been
unacceptable to the incoming Republican administration. The merchants
of New Haven immediately united in a petition to President Jefferson,
in which they declared that Samuel Bishop was too old to perform the
duties of the office, and, moreover, not acquainted with
accounts. Assuming that his son Abraham would assist him, they
denounced the latter as "entirely destitute of public confidence, so
conspicuous for his enmity to commerce and opposition to order, so
odious to his fellow citizens, that we presume his warmest partizans
would not have hazarded a recommendation of him."  Notwithstanding
this protest the appointment was continued, the President pointing out
the honors bestowed upon the father and the care with which he,
Jefferson, had investigated the case before acting upon it. Reproving
the authorities for so long excluding the Republicans entirely from
office, Jefferson expressed his regret at finding upon his accession
to the presidency not even a "moderate participation in office in the
hands of the majority." He further stated that when such a situation
was in some measure relieved he would be only too glad to make the
question "Is he capable? Is he honest? Is he faithful to the
Constitution?" the only tests for obtaining and holding office. Samuel
Bishop died in 1803, and the collector ship was then bestowed upon his
son, who held it until his death in 1829.

In Connecticut the two political parties prepared for conflict. The
Republicans desired a new constitution and disestablishment. The old
constitutional and religious debates were opened and fiercely fought
out in pamphlet, press, sermon, and political oration. Noah Webster
replied to the "Extent and Power of Political Delusion" by "A Rod for
the Fool's Back."  John Leland published his famous Hartford speech as
"A Blow at the Root, a fashionable Fast-Day Sermon," and his "High
Flying Churchman," as contributions in behalf of civil and religious
liberty. Abraham Bishop took up the latter topic in his "Wallingford
Address, Proofs of a Conspiracy Against Christianity and the
Government of the United States," published in 1802, as well as in his
"Extent and Power of Political Delusion" of 1800. A fair type of
Mr. Bishop's style and treatment is shown in his "Connecticut
Republicanism," a campaign document, wherein he sets forth his opinion
of the union of Church and State. [o]

In his campaign document under the title "Connecticut Republicanism"
Bishop declared:

    Christianity has suffered more by the attempts to unite church and
    state than by all the deistical writings, yet the men who denounce
    them are pronounced atheists and no proof of their atheism is
    required but their opposition to Federal measures.... Church and
    state cannot be better served than by keeping them distinct and by
    placing them where they ought to be, above, instead of beneath the
    control of men who care no more for either of them than they can
    turn to their personal benefit. The self-styled friends of order
    have in all nations been the cause of all the convulsions and
    distresses which have agitated the world.... The clergyman
    preaches politics, the civilian prates of orthodoxy, and if any
    man refuse to join their coalition they endeavor to hunt him down
    to the tune "The Church is in danger."...  In 1787 this visible
    intolerance had abated in New England; there was no written law in
    force that none but church-members should be free burgesses: yet
    the avowed charge of Christ's church was in our law-books, some
    nice points of theology were settled in our statutes and the
    common law of church and state was in full force.... The
    Trinitarian doctrine is established by laws, and the denial of it
    is placed in the rank of felony. Though we have ceased to
    transplant from town to town Quakers, New Lights, and Baptists;
    yet the dissenters from our prevailing denominations are even at
    this moment praying for a repeal of those laws which abridge the
    rights of conscience.

               *       *       *       *       *

    Break the league of church and state which first subjugates your
    consciences, then treating your understanding like galley slaves,
    robs you of religion and civil freedom.... Thirty thousand freemen
    are against the union of church and state. Thirty thousand more
    men, deprived of voting because they are not rich or learned
    enough, are ready to join them. [201]

In his "Wallingford Address," Bishop exclaims "The clerical
_politician_ is a useless preacher; the _political_
Christian is a dangerous statesman." On the title page of this address
appeared the epigram, "Our statesmen to the Constitution; our Clergy
to the Bible." The unfortunately irreverent parallel which Bishop drew
between the Saviour of the world and the leader of the national
Republican party, or of the democracy or common people, gave to the
epigram an evil significance not intended, and to its author a
reputation not wholly deserved.

David Daggett, a prominent New Haven Federalist and lawyer, [p] tried
in "Facts are Stubborn Things" to refute the charge that the people
were priest-ridden, the legislature arbitrary and tyrannical, the
clergy bigots. In the course of his argument he gives an account of
the reception of a Baptist petition which, voicing the smouldering
discontent that was kept burning by the certificate law, had been
presented to the legislature. Daggett charged the Republicans with
instituting the custom of holding their party meetings in Hartford and
New Haven at the time of the meeting of the Assembly in those cities,
and of making the political gathering a means of directing what topics
should be brought up for discussion in the House of Representatives,
and what discussed in their party organ the "American Mercury."
Daggett accused the Republicans of purposely choosing subjects of
discussion of an inflammable character, and declared that it was in
Babcock's paper (so called from its editor) that the Baptist petition
originated, which, circulated through the state, received some three
thousand signatures, "many of whom doubtless sought the public good."
[202] The petition was presented for trial in 1802 and a day set for
its hearing, upon which Mr. Pierpont Edwards and Mr. Gideon Granger
were to advocate it. The gentlemen, according to Mr.  Daggett's
account, did not appear, and of course no trial was held. Instead, the
Assembly referred it to a committee of eighteen from the two
houses. Mr. Daggett insisted that "it was thoroughly canvassed, and
every gentleman professed himself entirely satisfied that there was no
ground of complaint which the Legislature could remove, except John
T. Peters, Esq., who declared that nothing short of an entire repeal
of the law for the support of religion would accord with his idea."

The truth of the matter was that the committee were chiefly
Federalists. Mr. Peters was a Republican. In their answer to the
petition, the committee assumed that it "was an equitable principle,
that every member of the society should, in some way, contribute to
the support of religious institutions and so the complaint of those
who declined to support any such institution was invalid." If there
was ground for complaint because of sequestration of property for the
benefit of Presbyterians only, the committee failed to find any such
cause, and if such existed, the proper channel of appeal was through
the courts.  All other complaints in the petition were considered to
be answered by the assumption that the legislature had the right, on
the ground of utility, to compel contributions for the support of
religion, schools, and courts, whether or not every individual
taxpayer had need of them. The next year, 1803, the petition gained a
hearing, but that was all. It continued to be presented at every
session of the Assembly, and was first heard by both houses in
1815. It was finally withdrawn at the session that passed the bill for
the new constitution of 1818.

As one of the preliminary steps in the education of the people in
Republican principles and aims, John Strong of Norwich in 1804 founded
the "True Republican," thus giving a second paper for the
dissemination of Republican opinions. From 1792 the "Phenix or Windham
Herald" had been dealing telling blows at the Establishment and at the
courts of law through a discussion in its columns carried on by Judge
Swift, the inveterate foe of the union of Church and State, and a
lawyer, frank to avow that partiality existed in the administration of
justice.  Though both the paper and the judge were strongly Federal in
their politics, they were both materially helping the Republican
advocates of reform. From the Windham press came, also, a
republication of "A Review of the Ecclesiastical Establishments of
Europe," edited by R. Huntington, with special reference to the
bearing of its arguments upon the conditions existing in Connecticut,
where illustration could be found of the absurdities and dangers that
the book had been originally written to expose. In 1803 John Leland,
representing forty-two Baptist clergymen, twenty licensed exhorters,
four thousand communicants, and twenty thousand attendants, sent out
another plea for disestablishment in his "Van Tromp lowering his Peak
with a Broadside, containing a Plea for the Baptists of Connecticut."
In it he urges that thirteen states have already granted religious
liberty, and that many of them have formed newer constitutions since
the Revolution. Such should also be the case in Connecticut. Moreover,
it could readily be accomplished at the small cost of five cents per
man. Such a small sum would pay the expenses of a convention to
formulate a constitution and another to ratify it, while five cents
more per person would furnish every citizen with a copy of the
proposed document, so that each could decide for himself upon the
constitutionality of any measure proposed, and would no longer be
obliged to read pamphlet after pamphlet or column after column in the
newspaper to determine its validity. [203]

All this was preparatory; and the first purely political note of
warning and call to battle for a new constitution was sounded by
Abraham Bishop at Hartford, May 11, 1804, in his "Oration in Honor of
the Election of President Jefferson and the peaceful acquisition of
Louisiana." He sums up the situation thus:--

    Connecticut has no Constitution. On the day independence was
    declared, the old charter of Charles II became null and void. It
    was derived from royal authority, and went down with royal
    authority. Then, the people ought to have met in convention and
    framed a Constitution. But the General Assembly interposed,
    usurped the rights of the people, and enacted that the government
    provided for in the charter should he the civil constitution of
    the State. Thus all the abuses inflicted on us when subjects of a
    crown, were fastened on us anew when we became citizens of a free
    republic. We still live under the old jumble of legislative,
    executive and judicial powers, called a Charter. We still suffer
    from the old restrictions on the right to vote; we are still ruled
    by the whims of seven men.  Twelve make the council. Seven form a
    majority, and in the hands of these seven are all powers,
    legislative, executive and judicial. Without their leave no law
    can pass; no law can be repealed. On them more than half of the
    House of the Assembly is dependent for re-appointments as
    justices, judges, or for promotion in the militia. By their breath
    are, each year, brought into official life six judges of the
    Superior Court, twenty-eight of the probate, forty of county
    courts, and five hundred and ten justices of the peace, and, as
    often as they please, all the sheriffs. Not only do they make
    laws, but they plead before justices of their own appointment, and
    as a Court of Errors interpret the laws of their own making. Is
    this a Constitution? Is this an instrument of government for
    freemen? And who may be freemen? No one who does not have a
    freehold estate worth seven dollars a year, or a personal estate
    on the tax list of one hundred and thirty-four dollars.... For
    these evils there is but one remedy, and this remedy we demand
    shall be applied. _We demand a constitution that shall separate
    the legislative, executive and judicial power, extend the
    freeman's oath to men who labor on highways, who serve in the
    militia, who pay small taxes, but possess no estates._ [204]

Abraham Bishop threw down the gauntlet, and in the following July his
party issued a circular letter. It emanated from the Republican
General Committee, of which Pierpont Edwards was chairman. It stated
"that many very respectable Republicans are of the opinion that it is
high time to speak to the citizens of Connecticut plainly and
explicitly on the subject of forming a constitution; but this ought
not to be done without the approbation of the party."  A general
meeting was proposed to be held in New Haven on August 29, 1804. In
response, ninety-seven towns sent Republican delegates to assemble at
the state house in New Haven on that date. Major William Judd of
Farmington was chosen chairman. The meeting was held with closed
doors, and a series of resolutions was passed in favor of adopting a
new constitution. It was declared "the unanimous opinion of this
meeting that the people of this state are at present without a
constitution of civil government," and "that it is expedient to take
measures preparatory to the formation of the Constitution and that a
committee be appointed to draft an Address to the People of this State
on that subject." The address reported by this committee was printed
in New Haven on a small half-sheet with double columns, and ten
thousand copies were ordered distributed through the state.

The issue was fairly before the people. From the Federal side, just
before the September elections, came David Daggett's "Count the Cost,"
in which he ably reviewed the Republican manifesto, impugning the
motives of the leaders of the Republican party, and eloquently urging
every friend of the Standing Order and every freeman to "count the
cost" before voting with the Republicans for the proposed reform.

The fall election of 1804 was lost to the Republicans, for while they
made many gains here and there throughout the state, [q] the immediate
slight access to the Federal ranks showed that the people generally
were not yet ready for a constitutional change.

As one result of the defeat at the polls, there arose a wider sympathy
for the defeated party.  When the legislature met in October, the
Federal leaders resolved to administer punishment to the defeated
Republicans. So strong was the popular feeling, and so determined the
attitude of the legislature, that it summoned before it all five of
the justices of the peace [r] who had attended the New Haven
convention of August 29, to show why they did not deserve to be
deprived of their commissions. Their oath of office ran "to be true
and faithful to the Governor and Company of this state, and the
Constitution and government thereof." What right, the Federals asked,
had they to attack a constitution they had sworn to uphold? At the
same time, several of the militia, known to be of Republican
sympathies, were also deposed or superseded.  Mr. Pierpont Edwards was
allowed to make the defense for the justices. Mr. Daggett appeared for
the state. Reviewing the proceedings of the Republican meeting,
Mr. Daggett traced the history of the government of the colony and
state in order to demonstrate that the charter was peculiarly a
constitution of the people, "_made by the people_ and in a sense
not applicable to any other people." He declared the New Haven
"address" an outrage upon decency, and it to be the duty of the
Assembly to withdraw their commissions from men who questioned the
existence of the constitution under which they held them. The day
after the hearing, a bill to revoke the commissions was passed
unanimously by the governor and council, and by a majority of eleven
in the Lower House, the vote standing 67 yeas to 56 nays. This attempt
to stifle public opinion won a general acknowledgment that the
minority were oppressed.  The feeling of sympathy thus roused was
increased by the death of Major Judd, who had been taken ill after his
arrival in New Haven.  His partisans asserted that his death was
caused by his efforts to save himself and friends, and his consequent
obligation to appear at the trial when really too ill to be about. The
day after his death, the Republicans published and distributed
broadcast his "Address to the people of the State of Connecticut on
the subject of the removal of himself and four other justices from

From this time forward the minority thoroughly realized that it was
"not a matter of talking down but of voting down their opponents."
Their leaders also understood it. Bishop entered the lists, not only
against his political antagonist David Daggett, but against such men
as Professor Silliman, Simeon Baldwin, Noah Webster, Theodore Dwight,
and against the clergy, led by President Dwight, Simon Backus, Isaac
Lewis, John Evans, and a host of secondary men who turned their
pulpits into lecture desks and the public fasts and feasts into
electioneering occasions. Their general plea was that religion
preserved the morals of the people, and consequently their civil
prosperity, and hence the need for state support. Occasionally one
would insist that it was a matter of conscience with the Presbyterians
which made them enforce ecclesiastical taxes and fines, and that all
had been given the dissenters that could be; that the Presbyterians
had "yielded every privilege they themselves enjoyed and subjected
them (the dissenters) to no inconvenience, not absolutely
indispensable to the countenance of the practice" (of dissent). David
Daggett maintained that there was a just and wide-spread alarm lest
the Republicans should undermine all religion, and therefore it
behooved all the friends of stable government to support the Standing

The Republicans vigorously contested the elections of 1804,1805, and
1806. Their second general convention, that of August, 1806, at
Litchfield, was more outspoken in its criticism, and so much bolder in
its demands that many conservative people hesitated to follow its
programme. The Republican gains were so small that after 1806 there
was a lull in the agitation for constitutional reform for some
years. It was well understood that the religious establishment was the
greatest clog upon the government. It was also thoroughly understood
by many that its destruction meant the destruction of the Federal
party in Connecticut. Consequently the Federal patronage distributed
the several thousand offices within the gift of Church and State with
a "liberality equalled only by the fidelity with which they were paid
for." So firm was the Federal control over the state that even in 1804
they risked antagonizing the Episcopalians by again refusing to
charter the Cheshire Academy as a college with authority to confer
degrees in art, divinity, and law. In the face of a strong protest, it
was refused again in 1810. The House approved this last petition, but
the Council rejected it. Naturally, the Episcopalians felt still more
aggrieved when in 1812 the charter was once more refused; but still
they did not desert the Federal party. The latter clung to the spoils
of office for their partisans, to the old restrictive franchise, and
to the obnoxious Stand-up Law, nor were they less disdainful of the
dissenters and of the Republican minority.

Yet many of their best men had come to feel that there was wrong and
injustice done the minority; that there should be a stop put to the
open ignoring of Democratic lawyers, numbering in their ranks many men
of wide learning and of great practical ability; that the spectacle of
a Federal state-attorney prosecuting Republican editors was not
edifying, and that the imprisonment of such offenders and their trial
before a hostile judiciary opened that branch of the state government
to damaging and dangerous suspicion.  [205]

In July, 1812, a meeting was called in Judge Baldwin's office in New
Haven, with President Dwight in the chair, to organize a Society for
the Suppression of Vice and the Promotion of Good Morals. At this
meeting the political situation was thoroughly discussed, and measures
were taken to cope with it.

I am persuaded [wrote the Rev. Lyman Beecher to Rev. Asahel Hooker in
the following November] that the time has come when it becomes every
friend of the State to wake up and exert his whole influence to save
it from innovation.... That the effort to supplant Governor Smith [s]
will be made is certain unless at an early stage the noise of rising
opposition will be so great as to deter them; and if it is made, a
separation is made in the Federal party and a coalition with
Democracy, which will in my opinion be permanent, unless the overthrow
by the election should throw them into despair or inspire repentance.

If we stand idle we lose our habits and institutions piecemeal, as
fast as innovations and ambitions shall dare to urge on the work.

My request is that you will see Mr. Theodore Dwight, expressing to him
your views on the subject, ... and that you will in your region touch
every spring, _lay_ or clerical, which you can touch prudently,
that these men do not steal a march upon us, and that the rising
opposition may meet them early, before they have gathered
strength. Every blow struck now will have double the effect it will
after the parties are formed and the lines drawn. I hope we shall not
act independently, but I hope we shall all act, who fear God or regard
men. [206]

Writing of the meeting to organize the Society for the Suppression of
Vice and the Formation of Good Morals, Dr. Beecher in his
"Autobiography" gives a sketch of the politics of the time that had
led up to the occasion. One of the prominent actors of the time, he
tells us that this meeting, composed of prominent Federalists of all
classes, was unusual, for--

    it was a new thing in that day for the clergy and laymen to meet
    on the same level and co-operate. It was the first time there had
    ever been such a consultation in our day. The ministers had always
    managed things themselves, for in those days the ministers were
    all politicians. They had always been used to it from the
    beginning.... On election day they had a festival, and, fact is,
    when they got together they would talk over who should be
    Governor, and who Lieutenant-Governor, and who in the Upper House,
    and their councils would prevail. Now it was a part of the old
    steady habits of the state ... that the Lieutenant-Governor should
    succeed to the governorship. And it was the breaking up of this
    custom by the civilians, against the influence of the clergy, that
    first shook the stability of the Standing Order and the Federal
    party in the state. Lieutenant Governor Treadwell (1810) was a
    stiff man, and the time had come when many nlen did not like that
    sort of thing.  He had been active in the enforcement of the
    Sabbath laws, and had brought on himself the odium of the opposing
    party. Hence of the civilians of our party, David Daggett and
    other wire-pullers, worked to have him superseded, and Roger
    Griswold, the ablest man in Congress, put in his stead. That was
    rank rebellion against the ministerial candidate. But Daggett
    controlled the whole of Fairfleld County bar, and Griswold was a
    favorite with the lawyers, and the Democrats helped them because
    they saw how it would work; so there was no election by the
    people, and Treadwell was acting Governor till 1811, when Griswold
    was chosen. The lawyers, in talking about it, said: "We have
    served the clergy long enough; we must take another man, and they
    must look out for themselves." Throwing Treadwell over in 1811
    broke the charm and divided the party; persons of third-rate
    ability on our side who wanted to be somebody deserted; all the
    infidels in the state had long been leading on that side ... minor
    sects had swollen and complained of certificates. Our efforts to
    reform morals by law were unpopular. [t]

Finally the Episcopalians went over to the Democrats.  The Episcopal
split was due to a foolish and arbitrary proceeding on the part of the
Federals.  In the spring of 1814, a petition was presented to the
General Assembly for the incorporation of the Phoanix Bank of
Hartford, offering "in conformity to the precedents in other states,
to pay for the privilege of the incorporation herein prayed for, the
sum of sixty thousand dollars to be collected (being a Premium to be
advanced by the stockholders) as fast as the successive instalments of
the capital stock shall be paid in; and to be appropriated, if in the
opinion of your Honors it shall be deemed expedient, in such
proportion as shall by your Honors be thought proper, to the use of
the Corporation of Yale College, of the Medical Institution,
established in the city of New Haven, and to the corporation of the
Trustees of the Fund of the Bishop of the Episcopal church in this
state, or for any purpose whatever, which to your Honors may seem
best."  The capital asked for was $1,500,000. "The purpose of this
offer [u] a was a double one,--creating an interest in favor of the
Bank Charter among Episcopalians and retaining their influence on the
side of the Charter Government, as there was no inconsiderable amount
of talent among them." The Bishop's Fund, slowly gathering since 1799,
amounted to barely $6000. This bonus would give it a good start, and
conciliate the Episcopalians, still indignant at the refusal of the
Assembly to incorporate their college. When presented to the Assembly,
the Lower House favored the bank charter; the Council, rejecting it,
appointed a committee to consider its request. They soon originated an
act of incorporation, granting a capital of $1,000,000, and ordered
the bonus to be paid into the treasury. An act of incorporation,
rather than a petition, was, they claimed, the way established by
custom of granting bank charters.  The same session of the legislature
originated bills giving $20,000 to the Medical Institution of Yale
College, and one of the same amount to the Bishop's Fund, "in
conformity to the offer of the petitioners for the Phœnix Bank, and
out of the first moneys received from it as a bonus."  The bill for
the medical school was passed unanimously by the House; that for the
Bishop's Fund uniformly voted down. [v] The Episcopalians, to whom the
Republicans were quick to offer their sympathy, asserted that by the
"grant to Yale the legislature had _committed themselves in good
faith_ to make the grant to the two other corporations connected
with it in the same petition." [w] Stripped of formal and courteous
wording, the petition, both in letter and in spirit, had offered its
conditions to all, if accepted by one; or, if refused at all, the
opportunity to divert the money from all three recipients to some
other and quite different use which should be approved by the

The further bad faith of both branches of the Assembly increased the
enmity of the Episcopalians. In the spring of 1815, they petitioned
for their first installment of $10,000. They were told that the
treasury was empty, and that war time was no time to attend to such
matters. In the fall, in answer to their second petition, they found
the Lower House still hostile; the majority of the Council, including
the governor, in their favor, until the discussion came up, when the
Council, with one exception, sided with the House. The explanation of
the change appeared to the Episcopalians to be due to the fact that
during the session the Medical School had petitioned for the balance
of the $30,000, and seemed likely to receive it at the spring
meeting. This was too much for the Episcopalians, and thereafter the
Democrats claimed nine tenths of their vote. The sect was estimated in
1816 to contain from one eleventh to one thirteenth of the
population. The Democratic-Republicans had won over discontented
radicals, a majority of the dissatisfied dissenters, a few
conservatives, and now the indignant Episcopalians. Their political
hopes rose higher, but the War of 1812-1814 interfered, substituting
national interests for local ones, yet all the while adding recruits
to the Republican ranks, so that at its close there was a strong
party. There was also a Federal faction in process of
disintegration. The result was that when the constitutional reform
movement again became the issue of the day, though supported by the
Republicans, the question at issue soon drew to itself a new political
combine which under various forms kept the name of the Toleration
Party, and which eventually won the victory for religious freedom and


[a] This party, called for short "Republican," stood for the
principles known as "democratic,"--the appellation of the party itself
since 1828. This was the school of Jefferson.

[b] There were men of mark among the Anti-Federalist leaders, such as
William Williams of Lebanon, a signer of the Declaration, Gen. James
Wadsworth of Durham, and Gen.  Erastus Wolcott of East Windsor,--these
three were members of the Council; Dr. Benjamin Gale of Killingworth,
Joseph Hopkins, Esq., of Waterbury, Col. Peter Bulkley of Colchester,
Col. William Worthington of Saybrook, and Capt.  Abraham Granger of
Suffield. At the ratification of the Constitntution the Tote stood 128
to 40. Afterwards for about ten years, in the conduct of state
politics, there was little friction, for in local matters the
Anti-Federalists were generally conservatives."

[c] Two deputies were allowed every town rated at $60,000.  In 1785
Oliver Ellsworth had prepared a bill limiting towns of £20,000 or
under to one deputy. It passed the Senate, but was defeated in the
House.--_The Constitution of Connecticut_, 1901, State Series,
p. 105.

[d] In his pamphlet Dr. Gale advises that each town nominate one man,
and from the nominations in each county, the General Assembly elect
two, four or six delegates from each county to meet and frame a new
constitution, since "any legislature is too numerous a body, and too
unskilled in the science of government to properly perform such a
task" (p. 29).--J. Hammond Trumbull, _Hist. Notes on the
Constitution of Conn._, p. 17, and Wolcott's Manuscript in
_Mass. Hist. Soc. Col._ vol. iv.

[e] A similar method of election applied to the representatives in
Congress. Eighteen names were voted on in May for nomination, of which
the seven highest were listed for election in September.

[f] Bishop Seabury's church, St. James of New London, had neglected to
ohserve President Washington's proclamation of a national thanksgiving
on February 19, 1795, which fell in Lent. This roused some antagonism,
and was made the subject of a sharp and rather censorious newspaper
attack upon the Episcopalians. At the same time a few Federal
Congregationalists were further stirred by Bishop Seabury's signature,
viz. "Samuel, Bishop of Connecticut and Rhode Island," to a
proclamation that the prelate had issued, urging a contribution in
behalf of the Algerine captives. This signature was regarded as a
"pompous expression of priestly pride." Governor Huntington was a
personal friend of Bishop Seabury. Moreover, at this particular time,
the congregation to which the Governor belonged in Norwich was
worshiping in the Episcopal church during the rebuilding of their own
meeting-house, which had been destroyed by fire. The Governor had
previously been approached with a suggestion that the fasts and feasts
of the Congregationalists and Episcopalians should be made to
coincide, or at least that the annual fast day should not be appointed
for any time between Easter Week and Trinity Sunday, and that the
public thanksgivings, when occasion required them, should, if
possible, not be appointed during Lent. In 1795, the annual fast day
would have fallen upon the Thursday in Holy Week. In order to avoid
laying any stress upon the sanctity of certain days of the week, and
because Governor Huntington wished to turn the public mind away from
the petty controversy, he appointed the fast day on Good Friday. In
1796, the annual fast fell in the Lenten season. In 1797, in order to
avoid having the fast interfere with the regular sessions of the
County Courts, and at the same time to avoid its falling in Easter
week, Governor Trumbull appointed it again on Good Friday. The
arrangement was accepted with satisfaction by the Episcopalians and
with no objections from the Congregationalists, and thereafter it
became the custom. (Bishop Seabury had been elected to the bishopric
of Rhode Island in 1790.)--William DeLoss Love, Jr., _Fasts and
Thanksgivings of New England_, pp. 346-361.

[g] Early in his career he had written a versification of the Psalms,
in 1788 his _Conquest of Canaan_, and later _Triumph of
Infidelity_. President Dwight taught the seniors rhetoric, logic,
ethics, and metaphysics, and the graduate students in theology.  In
1805 he was appointed to the professorship of the latter study.

[h] Dr. Dwight's _Theology Explained_ was not published until
1818, after his death, and his _Travels_ not until 1821-22.

[i] Except among the backwoodsmen of Kentucky in 1799-1803.

[j] The Society was granted a charter in 1802. In 1797 interest in the
missions was intensified by the free distribution of seventeen hundred
copies of the report of missionary work in England and America.

[k] The Rev. Jedidiah Champion of Lifcchfield, an ardent Federalist,
on the Sunday following the news of the election of Adams and
Jefferson, prayed fervently for the president-elect, closing with the
words, "0 Lord! wilt Thou bestow upon the Vice-President a double
portion of Thy grace, _for Thou knowest he needs it._" This was
mild, for Jefferson was considered by the New England clergy to be
almost the equal of Napoleon, whom one of them named the "Scourge of

[l] Pierpont Edwards, b. April 8, 1750, graduated at Princeton, 1768,
died April 5, 1826.

Timothy Dwight, b. May 14, 1752, died January 11, 1817.

Aaron Burr, b. February 6, 1756, Vice-President 1801-05, died
September 14, 1836.

Theodore Dwight, b. December 15, 1754, educated for the law under
Pierpont Edwards, and practiced it for a time in New York city with
his cousin, Aaron Burr. He broke the partnership because of difference
in politics, and went to Hartford. He became a member of the
governor's council, 1809-1815; secretary of the Hartford Convention,
1814. He established the _Connecticut Mirror_ in 1809; founded
and conducted the _Albany Daily Advertiser_, 1815-16, and the
_Daily Advocate_, New York, 1816-36. He died June 12, 1846.

[m] The crimes against religion punishable by law were Blasphemy (by
whipping, fine, or imprisonment); Atheism, Polytheism, Unitarianism,
Apostaey (by loss of employment, whether ecclesiastical, civil, or
military, for the first offense).--_Swift's System of Law_, ii,
320, 321.

[n] _Oration delivered in Wallingford on the eleventh of March 1801,
before the Republicans of the State of Connecticut at the General
Thanksgiving for the election of Thomas Jefferson to the Presidency,
and of Aaron Burr to the Vice-Presidency, of the United States of
America 1801._

See the appendix to the Oration for an account of the New Haven

[o] "Connecticutensis," or David Daggett, also replied in _Three
Letters to Abraham Bishop._ Theodore Dwight's _Oration at New
Haven before the Society of the Cincinnati, July 7, 1801,_ took up
the constitutionality of the charter government.

[p] Later chief justice.

[q] Windham County was steadily Republican after this election.

[r] Major William Judd of Farmington, Jabez H. Tomlinson of Stratford,
Augur Judson of Huntington, Hezekiah Goodrich of Chatham, and
Nathaniel Manning of Windham.

[s] Federalist.

[t] To preserve our institutions and reform public morals, to bring
back the keeping of the Sabbath was our aim ... We tried to do it by
resuscitating and enforcing the law (That was our mistake, but we did
not know it then.) and wherever I went I pushed that thing; Bear up
the laws--execute the laws.... We took hold of it in the Association
at Fairfield, June, 1814, ... recommending among other things a
petition to Congress." (_Autobiography_, i, 268.) At this meeting
originated the famous petition against Sunday mail.

Dr. Beeeher urged a domestic missionary society to build up waste
places in Connecticut. His sermon "Reformation of Morals practicable
and desirable" warned against "profane and profligate men of corrupt
minds and to every good work reprobate."

[u] Judge Church.

[v] The final speech in favor of the bill was made by Nathan Smith, a
lawyer of New Haven. When he had finished his eloquent setting forth
of the benefits and dangers attendant upon passing the bill, there was
an unusual and solemn silence.  Dr. Gillett says if the bill had been
promptly put to vote it would probably have been passed, but the
churchlike silence was broken by a shrill voice piping forth,
"Mr. Speaker, Mr.  Speaker, what shall we sing?" The laughter which
followed broke the orator's charm and sealed the fate of the bill.

[w] See _Columbian Register_ of June 17, 1820, for a full
account of the Bishop's Fund and the final award of the bonus.



    No distinction shall I make between Trojan and Tyrian.

The Federal grip upon Connecticut, one of the last strongholds of that
party, was weakening.  Preceding the deflection of the Episcopalians
in Connecticut, there had been throughout New England a strong Federal
opposition to the national government and its commands during the War
of 1812. Such conduct had shattered party prestige, and when its
opposition culminated in the Hartford Convention of 1814, it wrote its
own death-warrant. The Republicans, on the contrary, had dropped local
questions of constitutional reform and religious liberty, preferring
to bend all their energies to the support of the general
government. When as a national party they humbled England and brought
the war to a victorious close, the contrast of their loyalty to state
and national interests steadily drew the popular favor. In the era of
good feeling and prosperity that followed, the great national
political parties dissolved somewhat and crystallized anew. In
Connecticut a similar change took place in local politics. In the
years immediately following the war, the Democratic-Republicans, the
majority of the dissenters, and the dissatisfied among the
Federalists, formed different coalitions that, under the general name
of Toleration, [a] opposed the Standing Order. In 1816 the agitation
for constitutional reform was revived, and after three years resulted
in the overthrow of the Federalists and the triumph of a peaceful
revolution whereby religious liberty was assured.

The conduct of the Federal party, both within and without Connecticut
from 1808 to 1815, was quite as much the real cause of their downfall
in the state as that coalition between clergy and lawyers described by
Dr. Beecher as causing the breakdown of party machinery and its
ultimate ruin. Glancing somewhat hastily at some of the most
far-reaching acts of the Federalists, we find first the Federal
opposition to the embargo that from December 22, 1807, for over a year
paralyzed New England commerce. In February, 1809, John Quincy Adams,
who had recently resigned the Massachusetts senatorship because of his
unpopular support of the embargo, informed President Jefferson that
the measure could no longer be enforced. He assured the President that
the New England Federalist leaders, privily encouraged by England,
were preparing to break that section off from the union of the states
if the embargo were not speedily repealed. This information, whether
accurate or not, so influenced the President and his advisers that the
Non-intercourse Act, applying only to France and England, replaced the
embargo, whose repeal took effect from March 4, 1809. In the following
December, Madison's administration (in the belief that France had
withdrawn her hostile decrees) limited non-intercourse to England
alone, after having vainly urged upon her a repeal of her Orders in
Council. With the embargo lifted, New England commerce revived, and
Connecticut seamen, Connecticut farmers, [b] Connecticut merchants,
together with artisans of all the allied industries that were called
upon in the fitting out of ships and cargoes, enjoyed two years of
prosperity.  The period was given over to money-getting, and the
ordinary rules of national or commercial honesty were flung to the
winds. Napoleon sold licenses to British vessels to supply his
famishing soldiers stationed in continental ports, while forged
American and British papers were openly sold in London. So enormous
were the profits of a successful voyage that the possibility of
capture only added zest to the American ventures and contributed not a
little to the daring of the privateers in the years of the war. So
enriched was the state that by May, 1811, Connecticut had so far
recovered from her late financial distress that the "state owed no
debt and every tax was paid," while her exports were: domestic,
$994,216; foreign, $38,138, or a total of $1,032,354.

The ninety days' embargo of 1812, the declaration of war (June
18,1812), and the patrolling of Long Island Sound by a British fleet,
brought such desolation to Connecticut that ships again lay rotting at
the wharves, ropewalks and warehouses were deserted, cargoes were
without carriers, and seamen were either scattered or idling about, a
constant menace to the public peace.  National taxes to support a
detested war were laid upon the people at a time when their incomes
were ceasing, and their homes and property were laid bare to a
plundering enemy. "A nation without fleets, without armies, with an
impoverished treasury, with a frontier by sea and land extending many
hundreds of miles, feebly defended" by fortifications old and
neglected, had rushed headlong into war with the strongest nation of
the earth without "counting the cost."  Such was the opinion of the
Federalists everywhere and, at first, of the large wing of the
Republican party who preferred peace. The Federalists of Connecticut,
when they saw a small majority sweep the nation into the conflict with
Great Britain, believed the war threatened liberty of speech. They
feared military despotism, when the general government demanded the
control of the militia; and that the war would prostrate" their civil
and religious institutions by increasing taxation and loss of income."
[c] They feared "national dismemberment" when the war measures,
together with the presence of the British fleet blockading the coast,
alternately angered the people almost to rebellion against an
apparently indifferent central government, or drove them into plans
for self-defense. Much of the opposition in New England is in part
accounted for by the rebound towards Federalism which the declaration
of the war caused, and by the belief that the national election of
1812 would be a Federal victory. Though it turned out to be a defeat,
it consolidated and so strengthened that party in New England that
before the close of 1813 all the state executives were Federalists and
were arrayed against the administration. The Republicans kept their
hold upon the minority, partly by the diversion of the capital, thrown
out of the carrying trade, into privateer ventures, war supplies, and

At the beginning of the war, Governor Griswold, of Connecticut, backed
by both houses of the legislature, joined with Governor Strong of
Massachusetts (supported only by the House of Representatives) in a
refusal to place the militia under regular officers of the United
States army. They refused also to allow the quotas called for by
General Dearborn (under the Act of Congress of April 10, 1812), for
the expedition against Canada, to leave the state. These executives
claimed that the troops were not needed to execute the laws of the
United States, to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion,--the
only three constitutional reasons giving the President the right to
consider himself "commander in chief of the militia of the several
states." [207] By taking such a stand, the state governors assumed to
decide whether a necessity existed that gave the President his
constitutional right to call out the militia. Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge,
in his "Memoir of Governor Strong," exonerates that executive by
pleading his intense convictions of duty, his loyal patriotism, and
his later efficient aid [d] in defending the eastern coast of the
state.  Mr. Lodge reminds his reader that the governor's position was
supported by the best lawyers, whom he had been at great pains to
consult concerning state and federal rights, which, at that period,
had not been so carefully examined and discriminated between as
since. The same pleas may be urged for Governors Griswold [e] and
Smith. The Connecticut legislature immediately passed an act for
raising twenty-six hundred men for state defense under state
officers. Governor Griswold's successor, Gov. J. Cotton Smith, when
Decatur was blockaded in the Thames, when the descent upon Saybrook
was made, at the attack upon Stonington, and during those months when
the enemy hovered upon the long exposed coast line, kept a large force
of militia ready for duty.  The state supported these troops, for, in
the wrangle over officership, the national government refused the
promised supplies.

The New England Federalists soon found seven great reasons for party
action. They were the uncertain success of the war by land; the great
commercial distress; [f] the possession by the enemy of a large part
of Maine; the publication of the terms upon which England would grant
peace; [g] the proposed legislation in the fall of 1814, providing for
the increase of the United States army by draft or conscription; the
proposed modified form of impressment of sailors; and the bill
allowing army officers to enlist minors and apprentices over eighteen
years of age, with or without consent of parents or guardians. [h]
These measures drove the New England Federalists, at the call of
Massachusetts, to the formation of the Hartford Convention. The
Connecticut legislature approved the sending of delegates by a vote of
153 to 36 opposed. Massachusetts and Rhode Island answered with like
enthusiasm.  New Hampshire and Vermont hesitated, but the counties of
Cheshire and Grafton in the former state and of Windham in the latter
sent each a delegate to the convention. Rhode Island sent four
delegates and Massachusetts twelve, of whom George Cabot was elected
president of the convention. Connecticut furnished the secretary of
the convention, and later its historian in Theodore Dwight of
Hartford. She also sent seven other delegates, namely: Chauncey
Goodrich, mayor of Hartford, and from 1814 to 1815 governor of the
state; John Treadwell, ex-governor; James Hillhouse, who had served as
United States representative and senator; Zephaniah Swift, United
States representative and later chief judge of superior court of
Connecticut; Calvin Goddard, United States representative; Nathaniel
Smith, United States representative and later judge of the supreme
court; and Roger Minot Sherman, a distinguished lawyer and member of
the state legislature. All the delegates to the Hartford Convention
were men of high character, and most of them well-known leaders of the
Federal party. The convention lasted for three weeks, and, as its
sessions were conducted with the greatest secrecy, many prejudicial
rumors and surmises arose. The Massachusetts summons had bidden the
delegates convene for measures of safety "not repugnant to our
obligations as members of the Union," and the convention acknowledged
that it found the greatest difficulty in "devising means of defense
against dangers, and of relief from oppressions proceeding from the
act of their own Government without violating constitutional
principles or disappointing the hopes of a suffering and injured
people." The secrecy, the known antagonism to the Administration, the
knowledge of New England's early disbelief in the cohesive power of
the Union, and the convention's demands and resolutions, combined to
give a bad and traitorous reputation to the Hartford Convention that
has never been absolutely cleared away.

As early as 1796, over the signature "Pelham," there had appeared in
the "Hartford Courant" a series of articles written with great ability
and keen foresight as to the difficulties that would arise in making
any impartial legislation for a nation composed of parts having such
diverse economic systems as those of the North and the South. The
articles suggested the development of two nations instead of
one. During the War of 1812, various suggestions had been thrown out
by different newspapers enlarging upon the resources of New England
and hinting at a separate peace with England. There were not a few
who, upon learning of the resolutions of the convention, felt that
"Pelham" was a close adviser of its measures if not one of its
delegates. Public opinion was so wrought up by the assumed disloyalty
of the Hartford Convention that in 1815 it forced the publication of
the convention's brief and non-committal "Journal." From it little
more was learned than that the convention had resolved that the
different states should take measures to protect themselves against
draft by the national government, that New England should be allowed
to defend herself, and for that purpose should have returned to each
of her states a reasonable share of the national taxes to meet the
expense of their arming. In addition, each New England state should
set apart a certain portion of her militia under her governor to give
aid in cases of extremity should she be called upon by the governor of
another state. At the close of the convention, delegates were
appointed to proceed to Washington with these resolutions and also
with six proposed amendments [i] to the national constitution. These
demands and resolves were reinforced by the proposal that should the
Administration refuse to consider the propositions, another convention
should be held in the following summer to consider further action.
When the delegates arrived in Washington with the resolutions, of
which two state legislatures had meantime approved, the news of peace
had been declared. In the general jubilation they saw fit to leave
their message undelivered. For years the taint of rebellion clung to
the Hartford Convention, and forced its secretary, in 1833, to publish
his "History," a defense of its members and their measures. Even this
did not remove the stigma. The delegates had in their own communities
always retained their reputation for high personal character, but
politically they were irretrievably ruined by their participation in
the Hartford gathering. They had dealt their party in their states a
mortal blow, and the Hartford Convention has been well named "the
grave of the Federal party."

However much the members of the convention swathed their sentiments in
expressions of allegiance to the Union, at least until extreme
provocation should force a separation; or however much they declared
their conviction that peace, not war, should be the time chosen for
such a separation, and that, first of all, distinction should be
carefully made between a bad constitution and a bad government, and a
good constitution or government badly administered, there was no doubt
but that they proposed to push nullification to the point of active
resistance within what they considered their legal rights. They had
also proposed a set of amendments which they knew stood no chance of
meeting with approval from any number of the states.  Moreover the
Hartford Convention, whatever its intentions, seriously alarmed and
embarrassed the Administration. Because of the consequences of their
policy, its members were culpable in the opinion of all who hold that,
in the distress of war, to hamper one's own government is to lend
assistance to the enemy. [j]

The war at first was not popular, but made friends for itself as it
progressed. Connecticut sailors were among the seamen that England had
impressed, and Connecticut captains had surrendered ships and rich
cargoes at the command of the mistress of the seas. But the naval
triumphs of the first year caught the popular fancy, for "not until
the Guerriere's colors were struck to the Constitution had a British
frigate been humiliated on the ocean." The victories on land were
about equally balanced. The disclosures of English perfidy in
attempting through her secret agents [k] to detach New England from
the Union before war should break out, and during the conflict, by
favoritism to Massachusetts, helped to increase the supporters of the
war policy.  Further, the war brought out the latent powers of the
nation, both for defense and for prosperity.  The gradual introduction
of machinery since 1800 had enlarged the small manufactories of
Connecticut, and begun the exchange of products between near
localities. But before the War of 1812 no manufacturing in Connecticut
had achieved a notable success. [l] There was invention and skill, [m]
and often profit, in the home market for the coarser products, but
there was a general tendency to prefer imported goods of finer make.
The war cut off such supplies, and the need created a paying demand
and developed an ability to supply it. The political party that
conducted the war to a successful finish developed the policy of
protection of infant industries, and the tariff of 1816 gave birth to
Connecticut as a manufacturing state. The repeal of the obnoxious war
measures, the speedy reduction of the national expenses, and the
promise of prosperity smoothed out lingering resentment. The Federal
party was virtually extinct outside of its last strongholds in New
England and Delaware. In the Era of Good Feeling following the war the
whole people composed one party, with principles neither those of the
original Federal party nor those of the original Republican party, but
a combination of both." [n]

In New England during the War of 1812, as in the Revolution, the
clergy had been the nucleus of the local dominant party, and with its
leaders had been bitter opponents of the "unrighteous war." [208]
Consequently the Congregational clergy shared in the popular
disapproval and condemnation that overtook the Federalists. In
Connecticut, for a time, the Standing Order by its affiliation with
the Federal party prolonged its control.  of the state. But the tide
was turning. Dr.  Lyman Beecher, Dr. Dwight's able lieutenant, made
vigorous and laudable efforts to uphold the Dwights, the Aaron and
Moses, as it were, of the waning political power. The "Home Missionary
Society," [o] Bible societies, the "Domestic Missionary Society for
the Building up of Waste Places," and the many branches of the
"Society for the Suppression of Vice and Promotion of Good Morals" [p]
did much good among those who welcomed them. Where their results were
simply those of a morality enforced by law, they caused still greater
dissatisfaction with the ruling party. [q] The union of the clergy and
lawyers was not as influential as had been anticipated in the early
days of 1812. Soon after the war the clergy adopted a less vigorous
policy, preferring an attitude of defense against calumny and a
withdrawal from politics. [r]

The elections showed the change in public opinion. At the April
election, 1814, the Federals reelected Governor Smith, while the
Republican candidate, Mr. Edward Boardman, received 1629 votes. The
following year, notwithstanding Governor Smith's reëlection, Mr.
Boardman polled 4876 votes, and the Republicans made a gain of twenty
in the House of Representatives, while in the fall nominations for
Assistants, the highest Federal vote was 9008 and that of the
Republicans was 4268. [209]

In January, 1816, "a meeting of citizens from various parts of the
state" was held in New Haven to agree upon a nomination for governor
and lieutenant-governor, which would bind together the Republicans and
such of the Federalists as were opposed to the Standing Order.  Oliver
Wolcott and Jonathan Ingersll were unanimously agreed upon. Oliver
Wolcott had been living out of the state for fourteen years, and for
most of that time had not been in politics. His Republican supporters
had had time to forget him as a staunch Federalist, and remembered him
only as a man of parts who had held the secretaryship of the treasury
under Washington and Adams, and who had "opposed the Hartford
Convention; like Washington was a friend to the _Union_, a foe to
rebellion; with mild means resisted bigotry, with a glowing heart
favored toleration." [210] As he had approved the policy of the
general government since the days of Madison, he was pronounced an
available candidate. A good Congregationalist, he would not offend the
Federalists, would be acceptable to the Republicans, and would stand
to the capitalists and farmers as favorable to a protective tariff and
to more equitable taxation within the state. The prestige given him by
the executive abilities of his father and grandfather in the
gubernatorial chair also counted in his favor.  The candidate for
lieutenant-governor was Jonathan Ingersoll, a Federalist, an eminent
New Haven lawyer, a prominent Episcopalian, senior warden of Trinity
Church, and chairman of the Bishop's Fund. He had had political
training in the Council, 1792-1798, and had been judge of the Superior
Court, 1798-1801, and again from 1811 to 1816. His nomination was the
price of the Episcopal vote, for "it was deemed expedient by giving
the Episcopalians a fair opportunity to unite with the Republicans, to
attempt to affect such change in the Government as should afford some
prospect of satisfaction to their united demands." [s]

The "Connecticut Herald," indignant at the Assembly's conduct in the
Phoenix Bank affair, left the Federal party and independently
nominated Jonathan Ingersoll for lieutenant-governor instead of the
regular candidate of that party, Chauncey Goodrich. The "American
Mercury," the organ of the American Toleration party, the union of
Republicans, dissenters, and dissatisfied, in order "to produce that
concord and harmony among parties which have too long, and without any
real diversity of interests, been disturbed, and which every honest
man must earnestly desire to see restored," nominated for governor,
Oliver Wolcott; for lieutenant-governor, Jonathan Ingersoll. The
Federal candidate for the executive was Governor John Cotton Smith, up
for reëlection. The Tolerationists failed by a few hundred votes to
seat their candidate for the executive, with the result that the
election of 1816 raised to office Governor Smith and
Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll. Governor Smith received 11,589 votes,
Mr. Wolcott 10,170, while Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll polled a
majority of 1453 over his opponent, Mr. Calvin Goddard. [t] It was the
first time that a dissenter had held so high an office. The
Federalists might have seized the opportunity to renew their former
friendship with the Episcopalians had it not been for their
stubbornness and for their old fear of Churchmen in political
office. At the October town meetings, the returns from ninety-three
towns gave a Federal vote of 7995 and a Republican of 6315 for
representatives, with a Federal majority of about thirty in the
House. [2ll]

The Federalists, realizing that the Episcopal vote was almost lost to
them, that their domestic policy was in disfavor, and that their
conduct during the war had damaged them and was leading to their
downfall in Connecticut even as in the nation, resolved upon a
desperate measure to conciliate a larger number of the dissenters.
This was the Act of October, 1816, for the Support of Literature and
Religion. Briefly, it divided the balance of the money which the
nation owed Connecticut for expenses during the war, namely $145,000,
among the various denominations. To the Congregationalists it gave in
round numbers, and including the grant to Yale, $68,000; to the
Episcopalians, $20,000; to Methodists, $12,000; and to Baptists,
$18,000; to Quakers, Sandemanians, etc., nothing. [u] The Quakers were
assumed to be satisfied with their recent exemptions from military
duty upon the payment of a small tax; Sandemanians and other
insignificant sects to be conciliated by the act of the preceding
April, which repealed, after a duration of nearly one hundred and
eighty years, the fine of fifty cents for absence from church on
Sunday.  The people were at last free, not only to worship as they
chose, but when they chose, or to omit worship. They had yet to obtain
equal privileges for all denominations, and exemption from enforced
support of religion.  The passage of the Act for the Support of
Literature and Religion raised, as the Congregationalists ought to
have known it would, a violent protest from every dissenter and from
every political come-outer. Some of the towns in town-meetings opposed
the bill as unnecessary for the support of schools and clergy; as
wasteful, when it would be wiser to create a state fund; and as unduly
favorable to Yale, where the policy was to create an intellectual
class and not to advance learning and literature among the
commonalty. At Andover, February 1, 1817, Episcopalians, Baptists, and
Methodists met together and denounced the act because they disapproved
of the union of Church and State which it encouraged; because of
Yale's tendency to bias religion; because they all approved of the
voluntary support of religion; and because they all scorned such a
political trick as the bill appeared to them, namely, an attempt to
win by their acceptance of the money their apparent approval of the
enforced support of religion.  The Baptist societies in different
towns met to condemn the measure on the same grounds, and on the
additional ones that it was unfair to the Quakers, who had no paid
preachers; to the Universalists, because they were numerically still
too small to be of political importance; and indeed to many men,
since, as every man had contributed to the expense of the war, every
man ought to be rewarded proportionally. The Methodists agreed in all
these criticisms, and were no more backward in denouncing a measure
which forced on them money they did not seek, and for a purpose of
which they disapproved. The Methodist Society of Glastonbury were most
outspoken, declaring the law--

    incompatible with sound policy and inconsistent with any former
    act of the legislature of the state; the ultimate consequence of
    which will prove a lasting curse to vital religion, which every
    candid and reflecting mind may easily foresee; and we view it as a
    very bold and desperate effort to effectuate a union between
    Church and State.... We are induced to believe that Pilate and
    Herod, and the chief Priests are still against us,... $12,000 to
    the contrary notwithstanding. Resolved--

    (1) We don't want such reparation for being characterized as an
    illiterate set of enthusiasts devoid of character; our clergy a
    set of worthless ramblers, unworthy the protection of our civil

    (2) Pity and contempt for the Legislature should be expressed for

    (3) We believe the money, if received, would be a lasting curse.

    (4) The measure was intended for politics, not religion, and was
    a species of Tyranny.

    (5) We should use our best endeavors to have the money used for
    state expenses.

    (6) Thanks should be sent to the members of the Legislature who
    had opposed the measure.

All Methodists were further angered by the affront put upon them by
the General Assembly, which, in spite of their known determination not
to receive the money, appointed Methodist trustees, of whom a majority
were Federalists, to receive their share of the appropriation. The
trustees accepted the money, defending their action on the ground that
they believed that their claim would become void if they did not draw
the money, and it might then be put to a worse use. But the Methodist
societies did not uphold the trustees, and "regretted the committee
imposed on us by the Legislature of the state." The chairman of the
committee, the Rev. Augustus Bolles, refused to serve, and the
societies rejected the money. [v]

As a result of the unwelcome legislation, the Republicans received the
whole vote of the Methodists for the "Toleration and Reform Ticket" of
1817, which repeated the nominations of the preceding election. The
Episcopalians of course favored the reëlection of Lieutenant-Governor
Ingersoll. One small provocation by the Congregationalists of the
First Church of New Haven--the attempt to place the odium of expulsion
upon a member who became an Episcopalian--did not tend to allay
feeling. The Toleration party were sure of the votes of the more
feeble dissenters, whose interests they promised to regard, as well as
of those of the Baptists and of such Federalists as disapproved of the
high-handed policy of the Standing Order. The Tolerationists were also
counting upon a steady increase of recruits from the Federal ranks as
soon as the appreciation of a recent attack by the legislature upon
the judiciary and its danger should become more and more
realized. Many such recruits, convinced of the necessity of
constitutional reform, had gathered at the general meeting of
Republicans held in New Haven in October, 1816, to make up the ticket
for the spring election of 1817. The campaign issue was "whether
freemen shall be tolerated in the free exercise of their religious and
political rights." It was met by the election of Governor Wolcott with
a majority of 600 votes over ex-Governor J. Cotton Smith, and by no
opposition to the reëlection of Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll. [w] At
the same election many minor Republican officials were seated, and the
House went Republican by an assured majority of nearly two to one, the
Senate remaining strongly Federal.

Governor Wolcott's inaugural placed before the Assembly the following
subjects for consideration: (1) A new system of taxation; for, as the
governor pointed out, the capitation tax was equivalent to about
one-sixteenth of the laboring man's income. (2) Judges of the Superior
Court should hold their office during good behavior instead of by
annual appointment by the legislature. (3) There should be a complete
separation of legislative and judicial powers of government. (4)
Rights of conscience and the voluntary support of religion, though if
necessary with "laws providing efficient remedies for enforcing the
voluntary contracts for their [ministers'] support," should be
considered; and (5) Freedom of suffrage. In concluding, the governor
urged that "whenever the public mind appears to be considerably
agitated on these subjects, prudence requires that the legislature
should revise its measures, and by reasonable explanation or
modifications of the law, restore public confidence and tranquillity."

To consider briefly these various points: Taxes upon mills, machinery,
and manufactures needed to be light in order to secure their continued
existence. The necessities of war-time had created a larger market for
their products, but one that could not be continued after the close of
the war allowed European products to enter free of duty.  Nor could
the factories exist if burdened with heavy taxes before the new tariff
measures of 1816 had revived these depressed industries. In
agriculture, taxes upon horses, oxen, stock, dairy products, and
increased areas of tillage handicapped the farmer. Again, the tax upon
fire-places, rather than upon houses, weighed heavily upon the poor
and the moderately well-to-do, who built small and inexpensive houses
with say three fireplaces, while the rich owners of older and more
pretentious dwellings were often rated for fewer. [y] Money was
scarce, rich men rare.  So also was great poverty. There was a scanty
living for the majority. Trades were few, wages low. A farm-hand
averaged three shillings a day, paid in provisions. Women of all work
drudged for two shillings and sixpence per week, while a farm overseer
received a salary of seventy dollars a year. The children of people in
average circumstances walked barefoot to church, carrying their shoes
and stockings, which they put on under the shelter of the big tree
nearest to the meeting-house. Their fathers made one Sunday suit last
for years. The wealthy had small incomes, though relatively great. It
was whispered that Pierpont Edwards, the rich and prosperous New Haven
lawyer, had an income from his law practice of two thousand dollars
per year.

Points (2) and (3) in the governor's address were prompted by the
widespread interest created by the action of the legislature in
October, 1815, when it had set aside the conviction, by a special
Superior Court at Middletown, of Peter Lung for murder, on the ground
that the court was irregularly and illegally convened. The chief judge
was Zephaniah Swift of Windham, author of the "System of Connecticut
Laws." [z] Judge Swift appealed to the public [aa] to vindicate his
judicial character from the censure implied by the Assembly's
action. An ardent Federalist, who in the early days of statehood could
see no need of a better constitution than he then insisted Connecticut
possessed through the adoption of her ancient charter, he had long
opposed the ecclesiastical establishment which that charter upheld. In
his defense of the constitution he had maintained that "it ought to be
deemed an inviolable maxim that _when proper courts of law are
constituted, the legislature are divested of all judicial
authority_." [2l2] But when the legislature claimed as
constitutional the right to call to account any court, magistrate, or
other officer for misdemeanor or mal-administration, [ab] Judge Swift
admitted the lack of "a written constitution." He further argued that
the one "made up of usages and customs, had always been understood to
contain certain fundamental axioms which were held sacred and
inviolable, and which were the basis on which rested the rights of the
people." Of these self-evident principles one was that the three
branches of government--the executive, legislative, and judicial--were
coordinate and independent, and that the powers of one should never be
exercised by the other. "It ought to be held as a fundamental axiom,"
the judge declared, "that _the Legislature should never encroach on
the jurisdiction of the Judiciary,_ nor assume the province of
interfering in private rights, nor of overhauling the decisions of the
courts of law." Otherwise, "the legislature would become one great
arbitration that would engulf all the courts of law, [ac] and
_sovereign discretion_ would be 'the only rule of decision,--a
state of things _equally favorable to lawyers and criminals."_

With respect to the fifth point in the governor's address, the right
of suffrage, the Republicans and their allies demanded its extension
from householders haying real estate rated at $7 (40s.), or personal
estate of $134 (£40), to "men who pay small taxes, work on highways,
or do service in the militia."

In the fall of 1817, the reform party had forced the repeal of the
obnoxious Stand-Up Law, and it demanded that other restrictive
measures should be annulled. So bitter was the Federal antagonism in
the Council that during all the spring session of 1817, the
Tolerationists loudly complained that every reform measure proposed in
the House was lost in the Federal Senate. The committees to which
parts of the governor's speech had been referred for consideration did
little. That on taxation made a report in the fall recommending that a
careful investigation of conditions and resources should be made,
because, as capital sought investment, in banks, manufacturing, and
various commercial enterprises unknown to the earlier generations,
[ad] the fairness of the old system of taxation was lapsing. The mixed
committee, including several Tolerationists and having an Episcopal
chairman, that was to report upon the religious situation, gave no
encouragement to dissenters. The spring session allowed one barren act
to pass, the "Act to secure equal rights, powers, and privileges to
Christians of all denominations in this state."  It enacted that
henceforth certificates should be lodged with the _town clerk,_
and permitted a come-outer to return to the society from which he had
separated. In the following spring, when an attempt was made to pass a
bill to supersede this act, it was maintained that the law of 1817
"did not effect the object or answer the desire of the aggrieved
party," for it retained the certificate clause and continued to deny
to dissenters the measure of religious liberty freely accorded to the
Established churches.

The Tolerationists were determined to carry the elections of 1818. In
the fall elections of 1817, they again had a majority of nearly two to
one in the House, and consequently the struggle was for the control of
the Senate. At the fall meetings, they placed in nomination their
candidates for senators, and all through the winter they agitated in
town meetings and in every other way the discussion of their
"Constitution and Reform Ticket." Party pamphlets were scattered
throughout the state. One of these, the most in favor, was "The
Politics of Connecticut: by a Federal Republican" (George H. Richards
of New London). At the spring elections of 1818, the Constitution and
Reform Ticket carried the day, seating the reflected governor and
lieutenant-governor, eight anti-Federal senators, and preserving the
anti-Federal majority in the House. The political revolution was
complete, and the preliminary steps towards the construction of a new
constitution were at once begun. [ae]

The governor's inaugural address specified the main task before the
Assembly in the following words:--

    As a portion of the people have expressed a desire that the form
    of civil government in this State should be revised, this highly
    interesting subject will probably engage your [the Assembly's]
    deliberations.... Considered merely as an instrument denning the
    powers and duties of magistrates and rulers, the Charter may
    justly be considered as unprovisional and imperfect. Yet it ought
    to be recollected that what is now its greatest defect was
    formerly a pre-eminent advantage, it being then highly important
    to the people to acquire the greatest latitude of authority with
    an exemption from British influence and control.

    If I correctly comprehend the wishes which have been expressed by
    a portion of our fellow citizens, they are now desirous, as the
    sources of apprehension from external causes are at present
    happily closed, that the Legislative, Executive and Judicial
    authorities of their own government may be more precisely denned
    and limited, and the rights of the people declared and
    acknowledged. It is your province to dispose of this important
    subject in such manner as will best promote general satisfaction
    and tranquillity.

The House appointed a select committee of five to report upon the
revision of the form of civil government. The Council appointed
Hon. Elijah Boardman (Federalist) and Hon. William Bristol
(Tolerationist) to act as joint committee with several gentlemen
selected by the House. The joint committee reported that "the present
was a period peculiarly auspicious for carrying into effect the wishes
of our fellow-citizens,--the general desire for a revision and
reformation of the structure of our civil government and the
establishment of a Constitutional Compact" and "that the organization
of the different branches of government, the separation of their
powers,the tenure of office, the elective franchise, liberty of speech
and of the press, freedom of conscience, trial by jury, rights which
relate to these deeply interesting subjects, ought not to be suffered
to rest on the frail foundation of legislative will."  [214]
Immediately, the House passed a bill requiring the freemen of the
towns to assemble in town meeting on the following Fourth of July "to
elect by ballot as many delegates as said towns now choose
representatives to the General Assembly," said delegates to meet in
constitutional convention at Hartford on the fourth Wednesday of the
following August (Aug.  26) for "the formation of a Constitution of
Civil Government for the people of this state."  The bill further
declared that the constitution when "ratified by such majority of the
said qualified voters, convened as aforesaid, as shall be directed by
said convention, shall be and remain the Supreme Law of this State."
An attempt was made to substitute "one delegate" for "as many
delegates" as the towns sent. Upon the question in the convention, as
to what majority should be required for ratification, there was
considerable diversity of opinion. "Two-thirds of the whole number of
_towns"_ was suggested, but was opposed on the ground that
"two-thirds of the whole number of the _towns_ might not contain
one-fourth of the people." _"Three-fifths_ of the legal voters of
the state" was also suggested. In the final decision, the simple
"majority of the freemen" was accepted. Had this not been the case,
the constitution would have failed of ratification, for, as Burlington
made no returns, the vote stood 59 out of 120 towns for ratification,
with 13,918 yeas to 12,364 nays, giving a majority of but 1554.

Several causes tended to bring about an eager, an amiable, or tolerant
support of the work of the convention. Eepublicans and Tolerationists
hoped for sweeping reforms. The Federalists were divided. Many there
were who believed it dangerous for the state to continue destitute of
fundamental laws defining and limiting the powers of the legislature,
and to such as these the need of a bill of rights, and of the
separation of the powers of the government, was immediate and
imperative. The influential faction of the New Haven Federalists were
moved to modify any opposition existing among them by the proposed
change to annual sessions of the legislature with alternate sittings
in the two capitals.  There were still other Federalists who accepted
the proposed change in government as inevitable, and who wisely
forebore to block it, preferring to use all their influence toward
saving as much as possible of the old institutions under new
forms. And in this resolve they were encouraged by the high character
of the men that all parties chose as delegates to the constitutional

The convention met August 26,1818, at Hartford. Governor Wolcott, one
of the delegates from Litchfield, was elected president, and Mr.
James Lanman, secretary. Mr. Pierpont Edwards was chosen chairman of a
committee of three from each county to draft a constitution. The
estimated strength of the parties was one hundred and five Republicans
to ninety-five Federalists, and, of the drafting committee, five
members belonged to the political minority. [af] An idea of the
character of the men chosen for this important task of framing a new
constitution is gained from a glance at some of the names. To begin
with, over thirty-nine of the delegates to the convention either were
Yale alumni or held its honorary degrees, and half of the drafting
committee were her graduates. Ex-Governor Treadwell and Alexander
Wolcott led the opposing parties, while their able seconds in command
were General Nathaniel Terry of Hartford and Pierpont Edwards of New
Haven. The latter still held the office of judge of the United States
District Court, to which Jefferson had appointed him. Among the
delegates, there were Mr. Amasa Learned, formerly representative in
Congress, the ex-chief-judges Jesse Root and Stephen Mix Mitchell,
Aaron Austin, a member of the Council for over twenty years until the
party elections of 1818 unseated him, ex-Governor John Treadwell, and
Lemuel Sanford,--all of whom had been delegates to the convention of
1788, called to ratify the constitution of the United States. Five
members of the drafting committee were state senators, namely:
Messrs. William Bristol, Sylvester Wells, James Lanman, Dr. John
S. Peters of Hebron, and Peter Webb of Windham. Five others,
Messrs. Elisha Phelps, Gideon Tomlinson, James Stevens, Orange Merwin,
and Daniel Burrows were afterwards elected to that office, while
Gideon Tomlinson and John S.  Peters became in turn governors of the
state.  James Lanman, Nathan Smith (a member also of the committee),
and Tomlinson entered the national Senate. Among the delegates, there
were nearly a dozen well-known physicians, most of them to be found
among the Tolerationists.  Messrs. Webb, Christopher Manwaring of New
London, Gideon Tomlinson of Fairfield, and General Joshua King of
Ridgefield, together with Joshua Stow of Middletown (also on the
drafting committee), had been for years the warhorses of the
democracy, loyal followers of their leader Alexander Wolcott, who had
been the Republican state manager from 1800 to 1817.

The method of procedure in the convention was to report from time to
time a portion of the draft of the constitution, of which each article
was considered section by section, discussed, and amended. After each
of the several sections had been so considered, the whole article was
opened to amendment before the vote upon its acceptance was
taken. When all articles had been approved, the constitution was
printed as so far accepted, and was again submitted to revision and
amendment before receiving the final approval of the convention.

While the constitutional convention was in session, the Baptists and
Methodists resolved that no constitution of civil government should
receive their approbation and support unless it contained a provision
that should secure the full and complete enjoyment of religious
liberty.  [2l5] And it was known that the Episcopalians were ready to
second such resolutions. These expressions of opinion were of weight
as foreshadowing the kind of reception that many of the towns where
the dissenters were in the ascendant would accord any constitution
sent to them for ratification.

In the convention both the old Federal leader and the old Democratic
chief objected to the incorporation in the constitution of a bill of
rights.  Governor Treadwell opposed it on the ground that such
_"unalterable"_ regulations were unnecessary where, as in a
republic, all power was vested in the people. Alexander Wolcott
objected that such a "bill would circumscribe the powers of the
General Assembly" and also because of his disapproval of some of its
clauses.  [216] When the draft of fourth section was under discussion,
namely that "No preference shall be given by law to any religious sect
or mode of worship," the Kev. Asahel Morse, a Baptist minister,
offered the substitute,--

    That rights of conscience are inalienable, that all persons have a
    natural right to worship Almighty God according to their own
    consciences; and no person shall be compelled to attend any place
    of worship, or contribute to the support of any minister, contrary
    to his own choice.

The substitute was rejected, and after some discussion, the wording of
the section was changed by substituting "Christian" in place of
"religious" and this change retained in the final revision. [ag]

The seventh article, "Of Religion," was the subject of a long and
earnest debate.

    Sec. 1. It being the right and duty of all men to worship the
    Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe, in
    the mode most consistent with the dictates of their own
    consciences; no person shall be compelled to join or support, nor
    by law be classed with or associated to any congregation, church
    or religious association. And each and every society or
    denomination of Christians in this State, shall have and enjoy the
    same and equal powers, rights and privileges; and shall have power
    and authority to support and maintain the Ministers or Teachers of
    their respective denominations, and to build and repair houses for
    public worship, by a tax on the members of the respective
    societies only, or in any other manner.

    Sec. 2. If any person shall choose to separate himself from the
    society or denomination of Christians to which he may belong, and
    shall leave written notice thereof with the Clerk of such society
    he shall thereupon be no longer liable for any future expenses,
    which may be incurred by said society.

The Federalists contested its passage at every point, and succeeded in
modifying the first draft in important particulars, but could not
prevent complete severance of Church and State, nor the constitutional
guarantee to all denominations of religious liberty and perfect
equality before the law. To the first clause as reported--"It being
the right and _duty_ of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the
Great Creator and Preserver of the Universe, in the mode most
consistent with the dictates of their consciences"--Governor Treadwell
objected that "Conscience may be perverted, and man may think it his
duty to worship his Creator by image, or as the Greeks and Romans did;
and though he would _tolerate_ all modes of worship, he would not
recognize it in the Constitution, as the _duty_ of a person to
worship as the heathen do." Mr. Tomlinson afterwards moved to amend
the clause to its present shape, "The duty of all men to
worship... and their right to render that worship." Governor Treadwell
objected that the same clause went "to dissolve all ecclesiastical
societies in this State.  That was probably its intent as
Messrs. Joshua Stow and Gideon Tomlinson had drafted it. The former
answered all objections by asserting that "if this section is altered
_in any way_, it will curtail the great principles for which we
contend." [ah]

The first section was finally adopted by a vote of 103 to 86, while a
motion to strike out the second section was rejected by 105 to 84. On
its final revision it read:--

    Sec. 1. It being the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being,
    the Great Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and their right
    to render that worship in the mode most consistent with the
    dictates of their consciences; no person shall, by law, be
    compelled to join or support, nor be classed with, or associated
    to, any congregation, church, or religious association.  But every
    person now belonging to such congregation, church, or religious
    association, shall remain a member thereof, until he shall have
    separated himself therefrom, in the manner hereinafter
    provided. And each and every society or denomination of
    Christians, in this state, shall have and enjoy the same and equal
    powers, rights and privileges; and shall have power and authority
    to support and maintain the ministers or teachers of their
    respective denominations, and to build and repair houses for
    public worship, by a tax on the members of any such society only,
    to be laid by a major vote of the legal voters assembled at any
    such society meeting, warned and held according to law, or in any
    other manner. [ai]

During the last revision of the constitution Mr. Terry had offered the
two amendments that continue the old ecclesiastical societies as
corporate bodies.  [217]

The draft of the whole constitution was read through for the last time
as amended and ready for acceptance or rejection, and put to vote on
September 15, 1818. It was passed by 134 yeas to 61 nays. The
constitution then went before the people for their consideration [aj]
and ratification. For a while its fate seemed doubtful; but by the
loyalty of the Federal members of the convention and their efforts in
their own districts the whole state gave a majority for
ratification. The southern counties, with a vote of 11,181, gave a
majority for ratification of 2843; the northern counties, with a vote
of 15,101, gave a majority _against_ ratification of 1189.  [218]

The Toleration party as such had triumphed, and they felt that they
had won all they had promised the people, for they had secured "the
same and equal powers, rights and privileges to all denominations of
Christians." They had also cleared the way for a broader suffrage and
for the proper election laws to guarantee it. At the last two
elections the Republicans in the Toleration party had carefully
separated state and national issues, and had in large measure forborne
from criticism of the partisan government, insisting that the people's
decision at the polls would give them--the people--rather than any
political party, the power to correct existing abuses. The Republicans
also insisted that the Tolerationists, no matter what their previous
party affiliation, would with one accord obey the behests of the
sovereign people. But when the constitution was an assured fact the
Republicans felt that the Federalist influence had dominated the
convention, and the Federalists that altogether too much had been
accorded to the radical party. Nevertheless it was the loyalty of the
Federal members of the convention that won the small majority for the
Tolerationists and for the new constitution, even if that loyalty was
founded upon the belief, held by many, that the choice of evils lay in
voting for the new regime.

The constitution of 1818 was modeled on the old charter, and retained
much that was useful in the earlier instrument. The more important
changes were: (1) The clearer definition and better distribution of
the powers of government.  (2) Rights of suffrage were established
upon personal qualifications, and election laws were guaranteed to be
so modified that voting should be convenient and expeditious, and its
returns correct. (3) The courts were reorganized, and the number of
judges was reduced nearly one half, while the terms of those in higher
courts were made to depend upon an age limit (that of seventy years),
efficiency, and good behavior.  Their removal could be only upon
impeachment or upon the request of at least two thirds of the members
of each house. Judges of the lower courts, justices of the peace, were
still to be appointed annually by the legislature, and to it the
appointment of the sheriffs was transferred. [ak] (4) Amendments to
the constitution were provided for. (5) Annual elections and annual
sessions of the legislature, alternating between Hartford and New
Haven, were arranged for, and by this one change alone the state was
saved a yearly expense estimated at $14,000, a large sum in those
days. (6) The governor [al] was given the veto power, although a
simple majority of the legislature could override it. (7) The salaries
of the governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives
were fixed by statute, and were not alterable to affect the incumbent
during his term of office. (8) And finally, _the union of Church and
State was dissolved_, and all religious bodies were placed upon a
basis of voluntary support.

Among the minor changes, the law that before the constitution of 1818
had conferred the right of marrying people upon the located ministers
and magistrates only, thereby practically excluding Baptist, Methodist
and Universalist clergy, now extended it to these latter. While
formerly the only literary institution favored was Yale College,
Trinity College, despite a strong opposition, was soon given its
charter, and one was granted later to the Methodists for Wesleyan
College at Middletown. Moreover, the government appropriated to both
institutions a small grant. The teaching of the catechism, previously
enforced by law in every school, became optional.  Soon a normal
school, free to all within the state, was opened. The support of
religion was left wholly to voluntary contributions. [am] The
political influence of the Congregational clergy was gone.  "The lower
magistracy was distributed as equally as possible among the various
political and religious interests," and the higher courts were
composed of judges of different political opinions.

The battle for religious liberty was won, Church and State divorced,
politics and religion torn asunder. The day of complete religious
liberty had daw'ned in Connecticut, and in a few years the strongest
supporters of the old system would acknowledge the superiority of the
new. As the "old order changed, yielding place to new," many were
doubtful, many were fearful, and many there were who in after years,
as they looked backward, would have expressed themselves in the frank
words of one of their noblest leaders: [an] "For several days, I
suffered what no tongue can tell _for the best thing that ever
happened to the State of Connecticut."_


[a] Party names were "American," "American and Toleration,"
"Toleration and Reform."

[b] Three fourths of Connecticut's exports were products of

[c] "All institutions, civil, literary and ecclesiastical, felt the
pressure, and seemed as if they must he crushed. Our schools, churches
and government even, in the universal impoverishment, were failing and
the very foundations were shaken, when God interposed and took off the
pressure."--Lyman Beecher, _Autobiography_, i, 266.

[d] The Massachusetts militia were placed under General Dearborn,
August 5, 1812.

[e] Governor Griswold died Octoher, 1812, and was succeeded in office
by Lieutenant-Governor John Cotton Smith.

[f] The direct tax laid July 22-24,1813, by the national government,
was apportioned in September, as follows: To Massachusetts,
$316,270.71; to Rhode Island, $34,702.18; and to Connecticut,
$118,167.71, divided as follows (which shows the relative wealth of
the different sections of the state), Litchfield, $19,065.72;
Fairfield, $18,810.50; New Haven, $16,723.10; Hartford, $19,608.02;
New London, $13,392.04; Middlesex, $9,064.20; Windham, $14,524.38; and
Tolland, $6,984.69. Duties were levied upon refined sugar, carriages,
upon licenses to distilleries, auction sales of merchandise and
vessels, upon retailers of wine, spirits, and foreign merchandise;
while a stamp tax was placed upon notes and bills of exchange.--See
_Niles Register_, v, 17; _Schouler_, ii, 380. The tax in
1815 was $236,335.41.--_Niles_, vii, 348.

[g] Briefly, an independent Indian nation between Canada and the
United States; no fleets or military posts on the Great Lakes, and no
renunciation of the English rights of search and impressment.

[h] The April (1815) session of the Connecticut legislature passed an
"Act to secure the rights of parents, masters and guardians." It
declared the proposed legislation in Congress contrary to the spirit
of the Constitution of the United States, and an unauthorized
interference with state rights. It commanded all state judges to
discharge on habeas corpus all minors enlisted without consent of
parents or guardians, and it enacted a fine, not to exceed five
hundred dollars, upon any one found guilty of enlisting a minor
against the consent of his guardian, and a fine of one hundred dollars
for the advertising or publication of enticements to minors to enlist.

[i] "Amendments: (1) Restrictions npon Congress requiring a two thirds
vote in making and declaring war, (2) in laying embargoes, and (3) in
admitting new states. (4) Restriction of the presidential office to
one term without reëlection, and with no two successive Presidents
from the same state. (5) Reduction of representation and taxation by
not reckoning the blacks in the slave states. (6) No foreign born
citizen should be eligible to office.

[j] "They advocated nullification and threatened dissolution of the
Union."--J. P. Gordy, _Political History of the United States_,
ii, 299.

[k] The President in March, 1812, sent to Congress the documents for
which he had paid one John Henry $50,000. The latter claimed to be an
agent sent from Canada in 1809 to detach New England Federalists from
their allegiance to the Union. Congress by resolution proclaimed the
validity of the documents. The British minister solemnly denied all
knowledge of them on the part of his government. The American people
believed in their authenticity, which belief was confirmed during the
war by the distinct favor shown for a while to Massachusetts, and by
the hope, openly entertained by England, of separating New England
from New York and the southern states.

[l] Manufactures in Connecticut (abridged from the U. S. marshal's
report in the autumn of 1810, cited in _Niles' Register_, vi,
323-333) were represented by 14 cotton mills, 15 woolen mills. (By
1815 New London county alone had 14 woolen mills and 10 cotton.) These
had increased to 60 cotton in 1819, and to 36 woolen. Flax cloth,
blended or unnamed cloths, and wool cloth,--all these made in
families,--amounted to a yearly valuation of $2,151,972; hempen cloth,
$12,148; stockings, $111,021; silks (sewing and raw), $28,503; hats to
the value of $522,200; straw bonnets, $25,100; shell, horn, and ivory
in manufactured products, $70,000. Looms for cotton numbered 16,132;
carding machines, 184; fulling mills, 213, and there were 11,883

In iron, wood, and steel: 8 furnaces, with output of $46,180; 48
forges, $183,910; 2 rolling and slitting mills, 32 trip-hammers,
$91,146; 18 naileries, $27,092; 4 brass foundries, 1 type foundry,
brass jewelry, and plaited ware, $49,200; metal buttons, 155,000
gross, or $102,125; guns, rifles, etc., $49,050.

Among other manufactories and manufactures there were 408 tanneries,
$476,339; shoes, boots, etc., $231,812; the tin plate industry,
$139,370; 560 distilleries, $811,144; 18 paper mills, $82,188;
ropewalks, $243,950; carriages, $68,855, and the beginnings of
brick-making, glass-works, pottery, marble works, which, with the
state's 24 flaxseed mills and seven gunpowder mills, brought the sum
total to approximately $6,000,000.

Still the great impetus to manufacturing, which completely
revolutionized the character of the state, followed the Joint-stock
Act of 1837, with its consequent investment of capital and rush of
emigration, resulting in later days in a development of the cities at
the expense of the rural districts.

[m] Gilbert Brewster, the Arkwright of American cotton machinery, Eli
Whitney, with his cotton gin and rifle improvements, and John Fitch,
with his experiments with steam, are the most distinguished among a
host of men who made Yankee ingenuity and Yankee skill proverbial.

[n] "Era of Good Feeling, 1817-1829. The best principles of the
Federalists, the preservation and perpetuity of the Federal
government, had been quietly accepted by the Republicans, and the
Republican principle of limiting the powers and duties of the Federal
government had been adopted by the Federalists.  The Republicans
deviated so far from their earlier strict construction views as in
1816 to charter a national bank for twenty years, and to model it upon
Hamilton's bank of 1791 which they had refused to re-charter in
1811,"--A. Johnson, _American Politics_, pp. 80, 81.

[o] "This was for the support of missions outside the state.  The
Domestic or State Home Missionary Society undertook the buiding up of
places within the state that were without suitable religious care. The
former finally absorbed the latter when its original purpose was
accomplished. Then, there was the Litchfield County Foreign Mission
Society, founded in 1812, the _first _auxiliary of the American
Board, which began its career in 1810, and was incorporated the same
year that its youngest branch was organized."--Lyman Beecher,
_Autobiography_, i, 275, 287-88 and 291.

[p] Organized in New Haven in October, 1812, with Dr. Dwight as
chairman. Members of the committee upon organization included nearly
all the prominent men of that day, both of the clergy and of the
bar. A list is given in Lyman Beecher, _Autobiography_, i, 256.

[q] "We really broke up riding and working on the Sabbath, and got the
victory. The thing was done, and had it not been for the political
revolution that followed, it would have stood to this day.... The
efforts we made to execute the laws, and secure a reformation of
morals, reached the men of piety, and waked up the energies of the
whole state, so far as the members of our churches, and the
intelligent and moral portion of our congregation were
concerned. These, however, proved to be a minority of the suffrage of
the state."--Lyman Beecher, _Autobiography_, i, 268.

"In Pomfret the Justice of the Peace arrested and fined townspeople
who persisted in working on Sunday, and held travellers over until
Monday morning."--E. D. Lamed, _History of Windham_, ii, 448.

[r] "The odium thrown upon the ministry was inconceivable.  ... The
Congregational ministers agreed to hold back and keep silent until the
storm blew over. Our duty as well as policy was explanation and
self-defence, expostulation and conciliation."--_Autobiography_,
i, 344.

[s] "Aristides," March 26, 1826, and "Episcopalian," March 13, issues
of the _American Mercury_.

"When the Episcopal Church petitioned the legislature in vain, as she
did for a series of years, for a charter to a college, he (the
Rev. Philo Shelton of Fairfield) with others of his brethren
_proposed a union with the political party, then in a minority_,
to secure what he regarded a just right. And the first fruit of the
union was the charter of Trinity (Washington) College, Hartford. He
was one of a small number of clergymen who decided on this measure,
and were instrumental in carrying it into effect; and it resulted in a
change in the politics of the State which has never yet been
reversed."--_Sprague's Annals of American Pulpit_ (Episcopal), v,

[t] Total vote for governor 21,759. Mr. Goddard received 9421
votes.--J. H. Trumbull, _Hist. Notes_, p. 36.

[u] The law apportioned one third of the money to the
Congregationalists; one seventh to Yale; one seventh to the
Episcopalians; one eighth to the Baptists; one twelfth to the
Methodists, and the balance to the state treasury.--Cited in
_Connecticut Courant_, November 8, 1816. _Acts and Laws_,
pp.  279, 280.

[v] The first installment, $50,000, was paid into the Treasury in
June, 1817. The Methodists, and later the Baptists, accepted their
share, but not until political events had removed some of their

See the _Mirror_, February 16, 1818. It was not until 1820 that
the final acceptance of the money took place.

J. H. Trumbull, _Hist. Notes_, p. 36, foot-note, gives the
following figures. By November, 1817, $61,500 had been received and
apportioned: Congregationalists, $20,500.00; Trustees of the Bishop's
Fund, $8,785.71; Baptist Trustees, $7,687.50; Methodist Trustees,
$5,125.00; Yale College, $8,785.71, and a balance still unappropriated
of $10,616.08.

[w] Legal returns gave Wolcott            13,655
                   Smith        13,119
                   Scattering      202    13,321
                                ------    ------

"The correction of errors increased the majority to 600, which the
Federalists conceded.--J. H. Trumbull, _Hist. Notes_, p. 38,

[x] Governor Wolcott's speech, _Connecticut Courant_, May 20,
1817; also _Niles' Register_, xii, pp. 201-204.

[y] "In our climate, three fireplaces are occasionally necessary to
the comfortable accommodation of every family."--Governor's speech.

[z] Published 1795.

[aa] A vindication of the calling of the Special Superior Court at
Middletown... for the trial of Peter Lung... with observations, &c,
Windham, 1816.

[ab] The legislature had also interfered with decisions regarding the
Symsbury patent. See E. Kirby, _Law Reports,_ p. 446.

[ac] A summary of the Connecticut constitution, taken from _Niles's
Register,_ asserts that the General Court has sole power to make
and repeal laws, grant levies, dispose of lands belonging to the state
to particular towns and persons, to erect and style judicatories and
officers as they shall see necessary for the good government of the
people; also to call to account any court, magistrate, or other
officer for misdemeanor and maladministration, or for just cause may
fine, displace, or remove, them, or deal otherwise as the nature of
the ease shall require; and may deal or act in any other matter that
concerns the good of the state except the election of governor,
deputy-governor, assistants, treasurer and secretary, which shall be
done by the freemen at the yearly court of election, unless there be
any vacancy by reason of death or otherwise, after an election, when
it may be filled by the General Court. This court has power also, for
reasons satisfactory to them, to grant suspension, release, and jail
delivery upon reprieves in capital and criminal cases.

The elections for the assistants and superior officers are annual; for
the representatives, semi-annual. The sessions of the General Court
are semi-annual. The Governor and the speaker have the casting vote in
the Upper and Lower House, respectively.

The Superior Court consists of one chief judge and four others, and
holds two sessions in each county each year. Its jurisdiction holds
over all criminal cases extending to life, limb, or banishment; all
criminal cases brought from county courts by appeal or writ of error,
and in some matters of divorce.

The county court consists of one judge and four justices of the
quorum, with jurisdiction over all criminal cases not extending to
life, limb, or banishment, and with original jurisdiction in all civil
actions where the demand exceeds forty shillings.  Justices of the
Peace, in the various towns, have charge of civil actions involving
less than forty shillings, and criminal jurisdiction in some cases,
where the fine does not exceed forty shillings, or the punishment
exceed ten stripes or sitting in the stocks. Judges and Justices are
annually appointed by the General Court, and commonly reappointed
during good behavior, while sheriffs are appointed by the governor and
council without time-limit and are subject to removal.  Recently
county courts determined matters of equity involving from five pounds
to two hundred pounds, the Superior Court two hundred pounds to
sixteen hundred, and the General Assembly all others.

Probate districts, not coextensive with the counties, exist, with
appeal to the Superior Court.

In military matters, the governor is the captain-general of the
militia, and the General Court appoints the general officers and field
officers, and they are commissioned by the governor.  Captains and
subalterns are chosen by the vote of the company and of the
householders living within the limits of the company, but must be
approved by the General Court and commissioned by the governor before
they can serve. All military officers hold their commissions during
the pleasure of the General Assembly and may not resign them without
permission, except under penalty of being reduced to the ranks.--
_Niles' Register,_ 1813, vol. iii, p. 443, etc. Corrected
slightly by reference to Swift's _System of Laws._

[ad] Banks and insurance companies began to organize about 1790 to

[ae] In 1818, for the first time, a dissenter, Mr. Croswell, rector of
Trinity Church, New Haven, preached the Election Sermon.

[af] Messrs. Pitkin, Todd, G. Lamed, Pettibone, and Wiley. Of these,
the first had been twenty times state representative, five times
speaker of the House, and for thirteen years had been representative
in Congress.

[ag] The first seven sections of the Bill of Bights according to the
final revision are:--

    Sec. 1. That all men when they form a social compact, are equal in
    rights; and that no man, or set of men are entitled to exclusive
    public emoluments or privileges from the community.

    Sec. 2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and
    all free governments are founded on their authority, and
    instituted for their benefit; and that they have, at all times, an
    undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of
    government, in such a manner as they may think expedient.

    Sec. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
    worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all
    persons in this state; provided, that the right, hereby declared
    and established, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of
    licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the
    peace and safety of the state.

    Sec. 4. No preference shall be given by law to any Christian sect
    or mode of worship.

    Sec. 5. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his
    sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of
    that liberty.

    Sec. 6. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the
    liberty of speech or of the press.

    Sec. 7. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth
    may be given in evidence; and the jury shall have the right to
    determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.

[ah] Mr. Trumbull asserts that "writers and historians are in error
when attributing to Mr. Morse of Suffield (the Baptist minister
aforementioned) the drafting of the Article on Religious Liberty. The
drafting committee were Messrs. Tomlinson and Stow, and the first
clause, as reported, seems to have been taken with slight alteration
from Governor Woleott's speech to the General Assembly, May, 1817,
namely, 'It is the right and duty of every man publicly and privately
to worship and adore the Supreme Creator and Preserver of the Universe
in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience.'"
--J. H. Trumbull, _Notes on the Constitution_, pp. 56, 57.

[ai] The second section remained unchanged.

[aj] Seven hundred copies were distributed among the towns.

[ak] By later amendments, judges of the Supreme Court of Errors and
the Superior Court are nominated by the governor and appointed by the
General Assembly. Judges of probate are now elected by the electors in
their respective districts; justices of the peace in the several towns
by the electors in said towns; and sheriffs by their counties.

[al] By amendment of 1901, the vote for governor, lieutenant-governor,
secretary, treasurer, comptroller, and attorney-general was changed
from a majority to a plurality vote, the Assembly to decide between
candidates, if at any time two or more should receive "an equal and
the greatest number" of votes.

[am] "It cut the churches loose from dependence upon state support--It
threw them wholly on their own resources and on God." "The mass is
changing," wrote Dr. Beecher. "We are becoming another people. The old
laws answered when all men in a parish were of one faith."--Lyman
Beecher, _Autobiography,_ i, pp. 344, 453.

[an] Lyman Beecher.




1, H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in Literature, p. 49.

2, Robert Browne, A True and Short Declaration, p. l.

3, H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in Literature, p. 70.

4, Report of Conference April 3, 1590, quoted in F. J. Powicke, Henry
Barrowe, p. 54.

5, W. Walker, Creeds and Platforms, p. 12.

6, Ibid., pp. 14, 15; also H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in
Literature, pp. 96-104.

7, Robert Browne, A Treatise on Reformation without Tarrying, pp. 4,

8, Robert Browne, A True and Short Declaration, p. 7; Book which
Sheweth, pp. 117-148.

9, Robert Browne, Book which Sheweth, Questions 55-58.

10, Ibid., Def. 35-40; Henry Barrowe, Discovery of False Churches,
p. 34, and The True Description in Appendix IV of F. J. Powicke's
Henry Barrowe.

11, Robert Browne, Book which Sheweth, Def. 53 and 54.

12, Henry Barrowe, Discovery of False Churches, p. 48.

13, Henry Barrowe, Discovery of False Churches, pp. 166, 275; Robert
Browne, Book which Sheweth, Def. 51; A True and Short Declaration,
p. 20; The True Confession of Faith, Article 38.

14, H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in Literature, pp. 221,
232; also John Brown, Pilgrim Fathers of New England, pp. 22-25.

15, The True Confession, Art. 39.

16, "The Seven Articles," of which the following is the text:--

    (1) "To ye confession of fayth published in ye name of ye Church
    of England and to every artikell thereof wee do w'th ye reformed
    churches wheer wee live & also els where assent wholly.".

    (2) "And as wee do acknowlidg ye doctryne of fayth theer tawght so
    do wee ye fruites and effeckts of ye same docktryne to ye
    begetting of saving fayth in thousands in ye land (conformistes &
    reformistes) as ye ar called w'th whom also as w'th our brethren
    wee do desyer to keepe speirtuall communion in peace and will
    pracktis in our parts all lawful thinges."

    (3) "The King's Majesty wee acknowlidg for Supreme Governor in his
    dominion in all causes, and over all parsons [persons] and ye none
    maye decklyne or apeale his authority or judgment in any cause
    whatsoever, but ye in all thinges obedience is dewe unto him,
    either active, if ye thing commanded be not against God's woord,
    or passive yf itt bee, except pardon can bee obtayned."

    (4) "Wee judge itt lawfull for his Majesty to apoynt bishops,
    civill overseers, or officers in awthoryty onder hime in ye
    severall provinces, dioses, congregations or parishes, to oversee
    ye churches, and governe them civilly according to ye Lawes of ye
    Land, uutto whom ye ar in all thinges to geve an account and by
    them to bee ordered according to Godlyness." (This is not an
    acknowledgment of spiritual--superiority or authority, only the
    recognition that as church officers were also magistrates, the
    king could appoint them as his civil servants.)

    (5) "The authority of ye present bishops in ye land wee do
    acknowlidg so far forth as ye same is indeed derived from his
    Majesty untto them and as ye proseed in his name, whom wee will
    also therein honor in all thinges and hime in them."

    (6) "Wee believe ye no sinod, classes, convocation or assembly of
    Ecclesiastical Officers hath any power or awthority att all but ye
    same by ye Majestraet given unto them." (Intended to be a denial
    of Presbyterianism.)

    (7) "Lastly wee desyer to geve untto all Superiors dew honour to
    preserve ye unity of ye spiritt w'th all ye feare God to have
    peace w'th all men what in us lyeth and wherein wee err to bee
    instructed by any." (Text of Points of Difference and Seven
    Articles in W. Walker, Creeds and Platforms, pp. 75-93.)


17, The Commons prayed, "that no man hereafter be compelled to make or
yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without
common consent by Act of Parliament. And that none be called to make
answer, or to take such oaths, or to be confined or otherwise molested
or disputed concerning the same, or for refusal thereof. And that no
freeman may in such manner as is before mentioned be imprisoned or
detained."--Extract from the Petition of Right. See J. R. Green, Short
History of the English People, pp 486, 487.

18, E. H. Byington, The Puritan in England and New England, pp. 486,

19, See Gott's Letter in Bradford's Letter-Book, Mass. Hist. Soc.,
iii, 67,68.

20, G. L. Walker, History of the First Church in Hartford, p. 154.


21, Thomas Hooker, Survey of Church Discipline, chap. 3, p. 75; also
Mass. Col. Rec., iii, 424; J. Cotton, Way of the Churches, pp. 6, 7.

22, J. Cotton, Way of the Churches, pp. 6, 7; Plymouth Col. Rec., ii,
67; Mass. Col. Rec., i, 216, iii, 354; Hartford Town Voter, in
Conn. Hist. Soc. Coll., vi, 32; Conn. Col. Rec., i, 311, 545.

23, Plymouth Col. Laws, ed. 1836, p. 258; Conn.  Col. Rec., i, pp. 96,
138, 290, 331, 389, 525.

24, J. Cotton, A Discourse about Civil Government in a New Plantation
whose Design is Religion (written many years since), London, 1643,
pp. 12, 19. (This is a misprint in the title-page, for the author was
John Davenport.)

25, Mass. Col. Rec., i, 87.

26, J. Cotton, Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, pp.  50, 53.

27, Mass. Law of 1636; Conn. Col. Rec., i, 341.

28, Conn. Col. Rec., i, 525.

29, G. F. Ellis, Puritan Age in Massachusetts, p. 34.

30, Winthrop, i, 81.

31, Mass. Col. Rec., i, 142.

32, Winthrop, i, 287; H. M. Dexter, Ecclesiastical Councils of New
England, p. 31.

33, J. A. Doyle, Puritan Colonies, ii, 70.


34, C. Mather, Magnalia, ii, 277.

35, Horace Bushnell, in Discourse on Christian Nurture, p. 25.

36, Cotton Mather, Magnalia, ii, 179.

37, Results of Half-Way Covenant Convention, Prop. 4. See W. Walker,
Creeds and Platforms, p. 296.

38, W. Walker, Creeds and Platforms, p. 295. See Question 7, of

39, Conn. Col. Rec., i, 386, 426.

40, Conn. State Papers (Ecclesiastical), vol. i, Doc.  106. Quoted in
the Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register, x, p. 116.

41, Beardsley, Hist, of the Church in Connecticut, i, 101; Perry,
Hist, of Epis. Church in the United States, i, 283, 284.

42, Conn. Col. Rec., i, 437, 438.

43, G. L. Walker, Hist, of First Church in Hartford, p. 200.

44, Record of the United Colonies, i, 506.

45, G. L. Walker, Hist, of First Church in Hartford, p. 209.

46, L. Bacon, Coatr. to Eccl. Hist, of Connecticut, p. 29.

47, E. Stiles, Christian Union, p. 85; J. A. Doyle, Puritan Colonies,
ii, 69; Conn. Col. Rec., i, 545; ii, 290 and 557.

48, Conn. Col. Rec., vii, 33; viii, 74.


49, Thomas Prince, Christian History, i, 94.

50, Preface to Work of the Reforming Synod.

51, C. Mather, Magnalia, Book v, p. 40.

52, C. Mather, Ratio Discipline, p. 17.

53, C. M. Andrews, Three River Towns, p. 86. See also Bronson, Early
Government, in New Haven Hist.  Soc. Papers, iii, 315;
Conn. Col. Rec., 290-293, 321, 354.

54, Conn. Col. Rec., v, 67.

55, L. Bacon, Contr. to Ecel. History, p. 33.

56, Conn. Col. Rec., v, 87.


57, Saybrook Platform.

58, L. Bacon, Thirteen Historical Discourses, pp.  190, 191.

59, S. Stoddard, Instituted Churches, p. 29.

60, Trumbull, Hist, of Connecticut, i, 406; T. Clap, Hist, of Yale
College, p. 30.

61, Trumbull, Hist, of Connecticut, i, 406.

62, L. Bacon, Thirteen Historical Discourses, p.  190.

63, H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in Literature, pp. 489,

64, Conn. Col. Rec., v, 87.

65, Ibid., v, 50.

66, A. Johnston, Connecticut, p. 232.


67, John Bolles, A Relation of the Opposition some Baptist People met
at Norwich in 1761.

68, Ibid., p. 7.

69, Quaker Laws. The New Haven Laws against Quakers deal thus

    "_Whereas_ there is a cursed sect of heretics lately risen up
    in the world, which are commonly called Quakers, who take upon
    them that they are immediately sent of God and infallibly assisted
    by his spirit, who yet write and speak blasphemous opinions,
    despise governments and the order of God, in church and
    commonwealth... we do hereby order and declare

    "That whosoever shall hereafter bring, or cause to be brought,
    directly or indirectly, any known Quaker or Quakers, or other
    blasphemous heretics, into this jurisdiction, every such person
    shall forfeit the sum of 600 pounds to the jurisdiction, except it
    appear that he wanted true knowledge or information of their being
    such... and it is hereby ordered that what Quaker or Quakers
    soever come into this jurisdiction, from foreign parts or places
    adjacent, if it be about their civil, lawful occasions to be
    quickly despatched among us, which time of stay shall be limited
    by the civil authority in each plantation, and that they shall not
    use any means by words, writings, books, or any other way, to go
    about to seduce others, nor revile nor reproach, nor any other way
    make disturbance or offend. They shall upon their first arrival,
    or coming in, appear to be brought before the authorities of the
    place and from them have license to put about and issue their
    lawful occasions, and shall have one or more to attend upon them
    at their charge until such occasions of theirs be discharged, and
    they return out of the jurisdiction which if they refuse to do,
    they shall be denied such free passage and commerce and be caused
    to return back again, but if this first time they shall offend in
    any of the ways as before expressed, and contrary to the intent of
    this law, they shall be committed to prison, severely whipped,
    kept to work, and none suffered to converse with them during their
    imprisonment, which shall be no longer than necessity requires,
    and at their own charge sent out of the jurisdiction."

For a second offense, they were to be branded, as well as to be
committed to prison. For a fourth offense, they were to have their
tongues bored through with hot irons. Their books, papers, etc., were
to subject their possessors to a fine of 5 pounds, and entertaining or
concealing a Quaker was to be punished by a fine of 20s.; while
undertaking to defend any of their heretical opinions was doubly
fined.--New Haven Col. Kec., ii, 217, 238,363.

In 1656, the Connecticut Court, in conformity to a suggestion from the
commissioners of the United Colonies, ordered that "no towne within
this jurisdiction shall entertaine any Quakers, Kanters, Adamites, or
such notorious heretiques, or suffer them to continue with them above
the space of fourteen days,... and shall give notice to the two next
towns to send them on their way under penalty of £5 per week for any
town entertaining any such person, nor shall any master of a ship land
such or any."  In August, 1657, the above fine was imposed on the
individual who entertained the Quaker, etc., as well as on the town,
and an officer was appointed to examine suspects. A little later, a
penalty of 10s. was imposed for Quaker books and MSS. found in the
possession of any but a teaching elder. Twice the Court saw fit to
leave, notwithstanding all former orders, all such cases to the
jurisdiction of the separate towns, to order fines, banishment, or
corporal punishment, provided the fines "exceed not ten pounds."

The tone is brief and businesslike, dealing with a matter that had
already caused great trouble to the other United Colonies, and which
might become a menace to Connecticut. There are almost no recorded
cases of sentence being imposed.  See Conn. Col. Kec., i, 283,303,308,

70, J. Bowden, History of the Society of Friends, i, 104, quoting
Norton's Ensign, p. 52.

71, Ibid., i, 106.

72, Ibid., i, 440.

73, R. P. Hallowell, The Pioneer Quakers, p. 47.

74, R. R. Hinman, Antiquities of the Charter Government of
Connecticut, p. 229.

75, E. E. Beardsley, History of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut,
i, 19.

76, A. L. Cross, Anglican Episcopate in the American Colonies, pp. 33
et seq.

77, Ibid., p. 95, note.

78, C. F. Hawkins, Missions of the Church of England, 377, 378.

79, Church Documents, Conn., i, 14.

80, Ibid., i, 59.

81, Ibid., i, 136.


82, Church Documents, Conn., i, 153.

83, Ibid., i, 56.

84, S. D. McConnell, History of the American Episcopal Church, p. 132.

85, Conn. Col. Rec., viii, 106; and Church Documents, Conn., i, 280,

86, Conn. Col. Rec., vii, 459, and viii, 123, 334.

87, Rogerine Laws. See Conn. Col. Rec., v. 248, 249.

88, C. W. Bowen, The Boundary Disputes of Connecticut, especially
pp. 48, 58, and 74.

89, The Talcott Papers, published in vols. iv and v of the
Conn. Hist. Soc. Collections.

90, Conn. Col. Rec., iv, 307.

91, Talcott Papers, i, 147, 189, and ii, 245, 246, in
Conn. Hist. Soc. Collections, vols. iv and v.

92, C. M. Andrews, The Connecticut Intestacy Law, in Yale Review, iii,
261 et seq.

93, Conn. Col. Rec., vii, 237.

94, Ibid., vii, 257.


95, Jonathan Edwards' Works, iv, 306-324.

96, Ibid., iv, 81.

97, Lauer, Church and State, p. 77; also Conn.  Col. Rec., vi, 33.

98, A. Johnston, Hist, of Conn., pp. 255, 256; also H. Bronson,
Historical Account of Conn. Currency, in New Haven Hist. Soc. Papers,
i, 51 et seq.

99, Joseph Tracy, The Great Awakening, p. 13.

100, Edwards' Works, iv, 34-37.


101, Conn. Col. Rec., vii, 309.

102, Ibid., viii, 522.

103, Charles Chauncy, Seasonable Thoughts, p.  249.

104, Conn. Col. Rec., viii, 438, 468; also Joseph Tracy, The Great
Awakening, p. 303.

105, Conn. Col. Rec., viii, 454 et seq.; B. Trumbull, Hist, of
Connecticut, ii, 165; C. Chauncy, Seasonable Thoughts, p. 41.

106, Conn. Col. Rec., viii, 456.

107, Ibid., viii, 456.

108, Ibid., viii, 457.

109, Trumbull, Hist, of Conn., ii, 135.

110, S. W. S. Button, Hist, of the North Church in New Haven.

111, E. D. Lamed, Hist, of Windham County, vol.  ii, book 5, chapter

112, O. W. Means, Hist, of the Enfleld Separate Church.

113, Conn. Col. Rec., October, 1751.

114, E. D. Lamed, Hist, of Windham County, vol.  ii, book 5, chapter

115, Conn. Col. Rec., viii, 501.

116, Ibid., viii, 502.

117, E. D. Larned, Hist, of Windham County, ii, 417, 419, 425, 426;
L. Bacon, Thirteen Historical Discourses, p. 245.

118, Solomon Paine's View, pp. 15, 16.

119, Thomas Clap, History of Yale, p. 27.

120, G. P. Fisher, Church of Christ in Yale College, app. 6.

121, E. D. Lamed, History of Windham County, i, 425, 426.

122, S. L. Blake, The Separatists, pp. 183, 192.  (This book gives the
origin and end of every Separate church.) Also 0. W. Means, History of
the Enfield Separate Church.

123, Conn. Col. Rec., xii, 269, 341.

124, Ibid., viii, 507.

125, Trumbull, History of Connecticut, i, 132, 133.

126, W. C. Reichel, Dedication of Monuments erected by the Moravian
Historical Societies in New York and Connecticut.

G. H. Loskiel, Hist, of Missions of the United Brethren among the
Indians of North America.  J. Heckwelder, Missions of the United
Brethren among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians, pp. 51 et seq.

127, Conn. Col. Rec., ix, 218.

128, I. Backus, History of the Baptists, ii, 80.

129, H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in Literature, p. 503.


130, Frederick Dennison, Notes of the Baptists and their Principles in
Norwich, Conn., p. 10.

131, Ibid., p. 16.

132, Stiles, Ancient Windsor, p. 439.

133, C. H. S. Davis, Hist, of Wallingford, pp. 164-210.

134, "To the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council." (Quoted in
Frederick Dennison, Notes of the Baptists.)

135, T. Clap, History of Yale, pp. 41-60.

136, Quoted by E. H. Gillett, Civil Liberty in Connecticut, Historical
Magazine, 2d series, vol. iv.

137, E. D. Lamed, History of Windham County, i, 468.

138, Thomas Darling, Some Remarks, p. 6.

139, Ibid., p. 41.

140, Ibid., pp. 43, 46.

141, Robert Ross, Plain Address, p. 54.

142, E. Frothingham, Key to Unlock, p. 147.

143, Ibid., pp. 56, 58.

144, Ibid., pp. 51-53.

145, Ibid., p. 42.

146, Ibid., p. 156.

147, Ibid., p. 181.

148, Loomis and Calhoun, Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut,
p. 55.

149, M. C. Tyler, Literary History of the American Revolution, i, 133.

150, Fulham, MSS. cited in A, L. Cross, Anglican Episcopate in the
American Colonies, p. 115. See also pp. 122 et seq. and 332, 345.

151, A. L. Cross, Anglican Episcopate, pp. 164 and 216. Perry,
American Episcopal Church, i, 415.

152, Minutes of the Association, i, 3.

153, F. M. Caulkins, History of Norwich, p. 363.

154, Conn. Col. Rec., xiii, 360.

155, I. Backus, History of the Baptists, ii, 340.

156, E. D. Lamed, History of Windham County, ii, 103.

157, I. Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, Boston,
1773, p. 28.

158, Ibid., p. 13.

159, Ibid., pp. 43-48.

160, John Wise, Vindication, Edition of 1717, p. 84.

161, Public Records of the State of Connecticut, i, 232.

162, Quoted in E. H. Gillett, Civil Liberty in Connecticut,
Hist. Magazine, 1868.

163, I. Backus, History of the Baptists, ii, 304.

164, Minutes of Hartford North Association.

165, I. Foster, Defense of Religious Liberty, pp.  30, 32; also 135
and 142.

166, Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut, 1784, pp. 21, 22, 213,


167, P. K. Kilbourne, History of Litchfield, pp.  166, 169.

168, James Morris, Statistical Account of the Towns of Litchfield

169, Judge Church, in his Litchfield County Centennial Address.

170, J. D. Champlin, Jr., "Litchfield Hill."

171, Noah Webster, Collection of Essays (ed. of 1790), p. 379.

172, Ibid., p. 338.

173, Ibid., p. 338.

174, Letter of Sept. 11,1788, one of the series in answer to the
quotations from Richard Price's "Observations on the Importance of the
American Revolution." See American Mercury, Feb. 7, 1785. Connecticut
Journal, Feb. 16, and Connecticut Courant, Feb. 22, 1785.

175, James Schouler, History of the United States, i, 53.

176, Isaac Backus, The Liberal Support of the Gospel Minister, p. 35.

177, Report of Superintendent of Public Schools, 1853, pp. 62, 63.

178, W. Walker, The Congregationalists, pp. 311 et seq.

179, John Lewis, Christian Forbearance, p. 31.

180, E. Stiles, Diary, i, 21.

181, H. M. Dexter, Congregationalism as seen in Literature, p. 523.


182, Acts and Laws of the State of Connecticut (ed. of 1784), pp. 403,

183, Courant, May 28, 1791.

184, Ibid., May 28, 1791.

185, J. Leland, High Flying Churchman, pp. 10, 11, 16, 17.

186, Acts and Laws (ed. of 1784), p. 418.

187, Ibid., p. 417.

188, Cited from Report of the Superintendent of Public Schools, 1853,
p. 65.

189, The American Mercury, Feb. 24 and Apr.  17, 1794.

190, J. Leland, A Blow at the Boot, pp. 7, 8.

191, See Rep. of Supt. of Public Schools, 1853, pp. 74-95.

192, Ibid., pp. 101, 102.

193, Published in Courant of March 16, 23 and 30, 1795.

194, See Hollister, Hist, of Connecticut, ii, 568-575; Report of
Superintendent of Public Schools, 1853; Swift's System of Laws, i, 142
et seq.


195, Wolcott Manuscript, in vol. iv, Library of Conn. Historical
Society, Hartford, Conn.

196, Judge Church's Manuscript, deposited with New Haven Historical

197, Swift, System of the Laws of Connecticut, i, 55-58.

198, Hollister, Hist, of Connecticut, ii, 510-514, quoting Judge

199, D. G. Mitchell, American Lands and Letters, i, 142; F. B. Dexter,
Hist, of Yale, p. 87.

200, Minutes of the General Association, Report of the Session of

201, A. Bishop, Proofs of a Conspiracy, p. 32.

202, Connecticut Journal, April 30, 1816, quotes the Petition and

203, J. Leland, Van Tromp lowering his Peak, p, 33.

204, A. Bishop, Oration in Honor of the Election of Jefferson, pp. 9,
10, 11-16.

205, Judge Church's Manuscript.

206, Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, i, 257, 259, 260, 342, 343.

207, Constitution of the United States, Article II, Sect, ii, 1;
Art. I, Sect, viii, 15. For the correspondence between General
Dearborn and Gov. J. C.  Smith, see Mies' Register, viii, 209-212.

208, Hildreth, History of United States, vi, 319-325; Schouler, Hist,
of United States, ii, 270.

209, Niles' Register, viii, 291; ix, 171; also American Mercury of
April 19, 1815.

210, New Haven Register, and also the American Mercury of Feb. 12,

211, Niles' Register, xi, 80.

212, Swift, System of Law, i, 74.

213, Swift, Vindication of the calling of the Special Superior Court,
pp. 40-42.

214, Report of the Committee. See also J. H.  Trumbull, Historical
Notes, pp. 43-47.

215, Connecticut Courant of Aug. 25, 1818.

216, J. H. Trumbull, Historical Notes, pp. 55, 56.

217, Journal of the Convention, pp. 49, 67. (The Connecticut Courant
and the American Mercury published the debates of the Convention in
full as they occurred.)

218, Trumbull, Historical Notes, p. 60. See also the text, preceding
this note, p. 483.

The Constitution of 1818, admirable for the conditions of that time,
leaves now large room for betterment. The century-old habit of
legislative interference was not wholly uprooted in 1818, and soon
began to grow apace. The Constitution stands to-day with its original
eleven articles and with thirty-one amendments, some of which, at
least in their working, are directly opposed to the spirit of the
framers of the commonwealth. The old cry of excessive legislative
power is heard again, for the legislature by a majority of one may
override the governor's veto, and, through its powers of confirmation
and appointment, it may measurably control the executive department
and the judicial. Moreover, apart from these defects in the
constitution, certain economic changes have resulted in a
disproportionate representation in the House of Representatives. The
Joint-Stock Act of 1837 gave birth to great corporations, and with
railroads soon developed the formation of large manufacturing
plants. As a result, there was a rush, at first, of the native born,
and, later, of large numbers of immigrants, who swelled the
population, to the cities. This, together with the development of the
great grain-producing western states, changed Connecticut from an
agricultural to a manufacturing state, and from a producer of her own
foodstuffs to a consumer of those which she must import from other

Such shifting of the population has produced a condition where a bare
majority of one in a House of two hundred and fifty-five members may
pass a measure that really represents the sentiment of but
one-fifteenth of the voters of the state. There results a system of
rotten boroughs and the opportunity for a well-organized lobby and the
moneyed control of votes. It is asserted that the first section of the
bill of rights, namely, "That no man or set of men are entitled to
exclusive public emoluments or privileges from the community," is
constantly violated by this misrepresentation, which especially
affects the population in the cities, and is felt not only in all
state measures, but in all local ones about which the legislature must
be consulted. As an illustration of the inequality of representation,
the following figures are given. In the Constitutional Convention of
1818, 81 towns sent _two_ delegates each, and 39 towns sent
_one_, from communities out of which 11 had a population of less
than 1000, and 100 ranged between 1000 and 4000, while only 9
surpassed this last number.  In the Constitutional Convention of 1902,
87 towns, with an aggregate population of 781,954, sent each
_two_ delegates, while 81, with a combined population of 126,411,
sent each _one_ delegate. Thus it happened that in 1902, New
Haven, population 108,027, sent _two_ delegates, and the town of
Union, population 428, also sent _two_ delegates, while ten other
towns, with a population ranging from 593 to 885 each, sent _two_

The "Standing Order" of to-day is not a privileged church, but a
dominant political party strong in the privilege and powers derived
from long tenure of office and intrenched behind constitutional
amendments which, in addition to this unequal representation in the
House, provide for the election of Senators upon town and county lines
rather than upon population. The Constitutional Reform Party of to-day
propose radical measures to remedy these more glaring defects in the
administration of government, and to consider these, called the
Constitutional Convention of 1902. In it, the influence of the small
towns on the drafting of the proposed constitution was so great that,
when it was presented to the people for ratification, an adverse
majority in every county refused to accept it. In fact, only fifteen
per cent of the whole people thought it worth while to express any
opinion at all.

References for the Constitutional Convention of 1902: Clarence Deming,
Town Eule in Connecticut, Political Science Quarterly, September,
1889; and M. B. Carey, The Connecticut Constitution.  (These will be
found useful as summing up much of the newspaper discussion of the
period, and also for the data upon which the argument for the desired
changes is based.) There is also "The Constitutions of Connecticut,
with Notes and Statistics regarding Town Representation in the General
Assembly, and Documents relating to the Constitutional Convention of
1902," printed by order of the Comptroller, Hartford, Conn.




A few titles are given of those works found most useful in acquiring a
general historic setting for the main topic.

Bancroft, George. History of the United States. New York, 1889.

Gardiner, S. R. History of England from Accession of James I. London,

----History of England under the Duke of Buckingham and Charles
I. London, 1875.

----History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate.  London and New York,

Green, John Richard. Short History of the English People.  London,

----History of the English People. New York, 1880. 4 vols., chiefly
vol. iii.

Hildreth, Richard. History of the United States to 1824.  New York,
1887. 6 vols.

McMaster, John Bach. A History of the People of the United States from
the Revolution to the Civil War.  New York, 1884-1900. 5 vols.

Schouler, James. History of the United States of America under the
Constitution. Washington, Philadelphia, and New York, 1882-99. 6 vols.

Tyler, Moses Coit. A History of American Literature, 1607-1765. New
York, 1879. 2 vols.

----The Literary History of the American Revolution, 1763-1783. New
York and London, 1897. 2 vols.

Winsor, Justin. Narrative and Critical History of America.  Cambridge,
1886-89. 8 vols.


Adams, Henry. Documents relating to New England Federalism,
1800-1815. Boston, 1877.

Adams, John. Works with a Life of the Author, Notes and
Illustrations. (Ed. by Charles Francis Adams.)  Boston, 1850-56. 10

Arber, Edward. The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers, 1606-1623 A. D. as
told by themselves, their Friends and their Enemies, edited from the
original Texts. London, 1897.

Barlow, Joel. Political Writings. New York, 1796.

Bradford, William. History of "Plimoth" Plantation.

  Reprint from original MS. with report of proceedings incident to its
  return. Boston, 1898.

Brown, John. The Pilgrim Fathers of New England and their Puritan
Successors. London, 1895. Revised American ed. 1897. [a]

Byington, Ezra B. The Puritan in England and New England. Boston,

Campbell, Douglas. The Puritans in Holland, England and America. New
York, 1892. 2 vols.

Cobb, Sanford H. Rise of Religious Liberty in America.  New York and
London, 1902.

  Pages 236-290 and 512-514 treat of Connecticut, while 454-482 deal
  with the American Episcopate.

Doyle, John Andrew. The English in America; The Puritan Colonies. New
York, 1889. 2 vols.

Ellis, George E. The Puritan Age and Rule in the Colony of
Massachusetts Bay, 1629-1685. Boston and New York, 1888.

Felt, Joseph Barton. The Ecclesiastical History of New England,
comprising not only Religious but Moral and other Relations. Arranged
chronologically and with index. Boston, 1855-62. 2 vols.

Fish, Carl Russell. The Civil Service and the Patronage.  New York,

  Pages 32-39, Jefferson's removal of Mr. Goodrich of New Haven.

Fiske, John. The Beginnings of New England; or, The Puritan Theocracy
in its Relations to Civil and Religious Liberty. Boston and New York,

Gardiner, S. R. The First Two Stuarts and the Puritan Revolution,
1603-1660. London, 1887.

Goodwin, John Abbott. The Pilgrim Republic: An Historical Review of
the Colony of New Plymouth, with sketches of the Rise of other New
England Settlements, the History of Congregationalism and the Creeds
of the Period [New England to 1732]. Cambridge, 1895.

Heckewelder, J. A Narrative of the Mission of the United Brethren
among the Delaware and Mohigan Indians from 1740 to
1808. Philadelphia, 1820.

Lauer, P. E. Church and State in New England. Baltimore, 1892.

  Also in Johns Hopkins University Studies, Nos. 2 & 3.

Lodge, Henry Cabot. A Short History of the English Colonies in
America. New York, 1881.

Love, Wm. De Loss, Jr. The Fasts and Thanksgiving Days of New
England. Boston, 1895.  Includes a bibliography.

Loskiel, George H. History of the Missions of the United Brethren
among the Indians in North America. London, 1794.

Mather, Cotton. Magnalia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical
History of New England from its First Planting in the Year 1620 to the
Year of our Lord 1698.  Ed. London, 1702,--Hartford, 1820. 2 vols. [a]

  3d ed. with Introduction and occasional Notes by T. Bobbins.
  Hartford, 1853, 2 vols.

Mourt's Relation or Journal of a Plantation settled at Plymouth, in
New England and proceedings Thereof.  London, 1622.  2d ed. Annotated
by A. Young. Boston, 1841. Also found in Young's Chronicle of the
Pilgrim Fathers. Boston, 1846. [a]

  Reprint with illustrative cuts, George B. Cheever, Editor, New York,

  Reprint ed. by H. M. Dexter. Boston, 1865. (See vol. viii, 1st
  series, Mass. Hist Soc. Col., also Library of New England History,
  vol. i.)

Neal, Daniel. History of the Puritans, or Protestant Non-conformists:
from the Reformation in 1517 to the death of Queen Elizabeth, with an
Account of their principles: their Attempts for a further Reformation
in the Church: their Sufferings, and the Lives and Characters of their
considerable Divines, etc. London, 1732, 4 vols. Revised ed. London,
1837, 3 vols. [a]

Palfrey, John G. Comprehensive History of New England.  Boston,
1858-90. 5 vols.

Prince, Thomas. A Chronological History of New England in the form of
Annals. Boston, 1736. Edited by Drake with Memoir of the
Author. Boston, 1852. [a]

  Reprint to Mass. Hist. Soc. Col., 2d series, vol. vii, 1818. New
  edition, edited by N. Hale. Boston, 1826. Found also in Arber's
  English Garner, vol. ii, 1879.

Reichel, W. C. Memorial of the Dedication of Monuments erected by
Moravian Historical Society to mark the sites of ancient missionary
stations. Philadelphia, 1858.

Schaff, Philip. Religious Liberty. See American Historical Society
Annual Report, 1886-87.

Thornton, J. Wingate. The Pulpit of the American Revolution.  Boston,

Weeden, William B. Economic and Social History of New England. Boston,
1890. 2 vols.

Winthrop, John. History of New England, 1636-47, edited by James
Savage. Boston, 1853. 2 vols.

Wood, John (Cheetham, James). History of the Administration of John
Adams. New York, 1802.

----History of the Administration of J. Adams, with Notes. New York,


Baird, Robert. Religion in America; or An Account of the Origin,
Relation to the State and Present Condition of the Evangelic Churches
in the United States.  New York, 1856.

Bishop, J. Leander. A History of American Manufactures,
1608-1860. 1868. 3 vols.

  This includes a history of the origin and growth of the principal
  mechanical arts and manufactures: notice of important inventions;
  results of each decennial census; tariffs; and statistics of
  manufacturing centres. It has a good index by which the industrial
  history of each colony and state can be quickly traced.  Bolles,
  Albert S. The Financial History of the United States. New York,
  1879-86. 3 vols.

Carroll, Henry King. Religious Forces in the United States,
enumerated, classified and described on the basis of the Government
Census of 1890. New York, 1893.

Dorchester, Daniel. Christianity in the United States from the first
settlement down to the present time.  New York and Cincinnati, 1888.

Hayward, John. The Religious Creeds and Statistics of every Christian
Denomination in the United States.  Boston, 1836.


Connecticut-State, county, town, etc., of which only the more
important town and county histories, and reports of anniversary
celebrations are given. Those omitted are of small interest outside of
their respective towns, except to genealogists or to those whose
families chance to be mentioned in the sketch of historical
development or of commercial growth. The many books of this type
contribute general coloring, and some of them a few important bits of
information, to the story of the development of the state, but many
are not worth enumerating as sources, or as assistants to the general
reader or student.

Allen, Francis Olcott. The History of Enfleld, compiled from all the
public records of the town known to exist, covering from the beginning
to 1850. Lancaster, 1900.  3 vols.

  Carefully compiled and attested by the town clerk. Includes also
  graveyard inscriptions and extracts from Hartford, Northampton and
  Springfield records.

Andrews, Charles M. The River Towns of Connecticut, Wethersfield,
Hartford and Windsor. Baltimore, 1889. (Also Johns Hopkins Historical
and Political Science Papers, vii, 341-456.)

Atwater, Edward E. (editor). History of the City of New Haven. New
York, 1887.

  Good for the earlier history, for a few extracts from records;
  contains descriptions of public men and events, also extracts from
  old newspapers, etc.

----History of the Colony of New Haven to its absorption into
Connecticut. New Haven, 1881.  A much better book, being the best
special history of the New Haven Colony.

Baldwin, Simeon E. Constitutional Reform. A Discussion of the Present
Inequalities of Representatives in the General Assembly [of
Connecticut]. New Haven, 1873.

----The Early History of the Ballot in Connecticut.  American
Historical Association Papers, i, 407-422.  New York, 1890.

----The Three Constitutions of Connecticut. In New Haven Historical
Society Papers, vol. v.

Barber, John W. Connecticut Historical Collections.  New Haven, 1856.

  A book of brief anecdotal town histories, curious legends, notable
  events, newspaper clippings, together with a goodly number of

Bolles, John Rogers. The Rogerenes: Some hitherto unpublished annals
belonging to the Colonial History of Connecticut. Part
1. A. Vindication, by J. R. Bolles.  Part 2. History of the Rogerenes,
by Anna B. Williams.  Boston, 1904.

Bowen, Clarence W. The Boundary Disputes of Connecticut.  Boston,

Breckenridge, Francis A. Recollections of a New England Town
(Meriden). Meriden, 1899.

Typical of the life in New England towns, 1800-1850.

Bronson, Henry, Early Government of Connecticut.  (New Haven
Historical Society Papers, iii, 293 et seq.)

Bushnell, Horace. "Work and Play," being the first volume of his
"Literary Varieties." New York, 1881.

  Contains an historical estimate of Connecticut.

Caulkins, Frances M. History of New London, Connecticut.  New London,

----History of Norwich, Connecticut. Norwich, 1845.

  These two histories are readable, reliable and full of detail,
  culled from original records, many of which are now deposited with
  the New London Historical Society.

Clap, Thomas. Annals or History of Yale College. New Haven, 1766.

Cothren, William. History of Ancient Woodbury, Connecticut,
1669-1879. (Including Washington, Southbury, Bethlehem, Roxbury, and
part of Oxford and Middlebury.) Waterbury, 1854, 1872, 1879. 3 vols.

  Vols. i and ii, history, with considerable genealogy. Vol. iii,
  1679-1879, births, marriages and deaths.

Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Thomas Clap and his Writings.  See New
Haven Historical Society Papers, vol. v.

----Sketch of the History of Yale University. New Haven, 1887.

Dwight, Theodore. History of Connecticut. New York, 1841.

----History of Hartford Convention. Hartford, 1833.

  Of the 447 pages, 340 are devoted to recounting the events which led
  to the calling of the convention, and, with much political bias, to
  the history of Jefferson's political career from 1789, quoting from
  official correspondence and his private letters. Pages 340-422 deal
  with the convention proper, giving, pp. 383-400, its "Secret
  Journal." The Appendix, pp. 422-447, has brief biographies of the

Dwight, Timothy. Travels in New England and New York. New Haven,
1831. 4 vols.

Dodd, Stephen. The East Haven Register in Three Parts.  New Haven,

  A rare little book of 200 pages compiled by the pastor of the
  Congregational Church in East Haven. Part i contains a history of
  the town from 1640 to 1800; part ii, names, marriages, and births,
  1644-1800; part iii, account of the deaths in families, from 1647 to

Field, David Dudley. A History of the Towns of Haddam and East
Haddam. Middletown, 1814.

  A book of some forty-eight pages, of which six are devoted to
  genealogies "taken partly from the records of the towns, and partly
  from the information of aged people" by the pastor of the church in
  Haddam. Though largely ecclesiastical, its author-- a college
  A. M.--realizes the value of statistics in references to population,
  necrology, taxes, militia, farming, and other industries, and weaves
  them into his rambling story.

----Statistical Account of the County of Middlesex.  Middletown, 1819.

Fowler, William Chauncey. History of Durham, 1662- 1866.

  Includes in chapter xii--pp. 229-443--extracts trom Town Records,
  Ministerial Records, Proprietor's Eecords.

Gillett, E. H., Rev. The Development of Civil Liberty in
Connecticut. In Historical Magazine, 2d series, vol. iv (1868),
pp. 1-34, Appendices, pp. 34-49. Morrisania, N. Y., 1868.

  Appendix A. Report of the Rev. Elizur Goodrich, D. D., to the
  Convention of Delegates from the Synod of New York and Philadelphia
  and from the Associations of Connecticut, held annually from 1766 to
  1775 inclusive (being a statement on the subject of Religious
  Liberty in the Colony), with notes by E. H. G. pp. 34-43.

  Appendix B. Letter of Rev. Thomas Prince of Boston to Rev.  John
  Drew of Groton, Conn., May 8, 1744, pp. 43-47. (Sympathizing with
  the New Lights.)

  Appendix C. Three short paragraphs omitted from the body of the

  Appendix D. Extracts from the American reprint of Graham's
  "Ecclesiastical Establishments of Europe," pp. 47, 48.

    This article in itself contains Israel Holly's "Memorial," Joseph
    Brown's "Letter to Infant Baptisers of North Parish in New London"
    (in part); also copious citations from the pamphlets of Bolles,
    Frothingham, Bragge, the Autobiography of Billy Hibbard (Methodist
    preacher) and extracts from Abraham Bishop's pamphlets.

Hartford Town Votes, 1635-1716. (Transcribed by Chas. J. Hoadly.) See
Connecticut Historical Society Collections, 1897, vol. vi.

Hollister, Gideon H. Address in Litchfleld, April 9,1856, before the
Historical and Antiquarian Society, on the occasion of completing its
organization. Hartford, 1856.

Hollister, Gideon H. The History of Connecticut. New Haven, 1855. 2

  A history of Connecticut from the first settlement of the colony to
  the adoption of the present Constitution in 1818.

Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Fairfield County, Connecticut, with
illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and
Pioneers. Philadelphia, 1881.

Johnson, William Samuel. Letters to the Governors of Connecticut,
1766-1771. See Mass. Historical Society Collections, series 5,
vol. ix, pp. 211-490.

Johnston, Alexander. The Genesis of a New England State,
Connecticut. Baltimore, 1883. Revised 1903.  (Also in Johns Hopkins
University Studies, vol. i, no. 11.)

----Connecticut; a Study of a Commonwealth Democracy.  Boston and New
York, 1887. Revised 1903.

Jones, Frederick R. History of Taxation in Connecticut.  Johns Hopkins
University Studies in Political Science, series 14, no. 8. Baltimore,

Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of Delegates Convened at
Hartford, August 26, 1818. Hartford, 1873. Reprinted by order of the
state comptroller, Hartford, 1901.

Kilbourne, P. K. Sketches and Churches of the Town of
Litchfield. Historical, biographical, statistical. Hartford, 1859.

  An excellent account, drawing in part upon Woodruff's (George C.)
  History of Litchfield, 1845, and Morris' Statistical Account of
  Litchfield County, 1818, with additional matter.

Kingsley, F. J. Old Connecticut. See New Haven Historical Society
Papers, vol. iii.

Kingsley, James Luce. Sketch of Yale College. Boston, 1835.

Lambert, Edward R. History of the Colony of New Haven, before and
after the Union with Connecticut.  New Haven, 1838.

Larned, Ellen D. History of Windham County. Worcester, 1874. 2 vols.

  One of the best of the local histories.

Vol. 1, book iii. Account of Canterbury Church difficulties and of the

----Historic Gleanings in Windham County, Connecticut.  Providence,

Levermore, Charles H. The Republic of New Haven.  Also in Johns
Hopkins University Studies, extra vol. i.  Baltimore, 1886.

Litchfleld Book of Days, A collection of the historical, biographical
and literary reminiscences of Litchfleld, Connecticut. Edited by
George C. Boswell. Litchfield, 1899.

Litchfleld County Centennial Celebration, August 13-14,
1851. Hartford, 1851.

Loomis (Dwight) and Calhoun (J. Gilbert). The Judicial and Civil
History of Connecticut. Boston, 1895.

Orcutt, Samuel. History of New Milford and Bridgewater, Connecticut,
1703-1882. Hartford, 1882.

----History of Old Town of Derby. Springfield, 1880.

  "Prepared with great fidelity and thoroughness, and to take rank
  with the best town histories," wrote Noah Porter on Feb. 1,
  1880. Biography and Genealogy, pp. 523-785.

----History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of
Bridgeport. New Haven, 1886. 2 pts.

The Proceedings of a Convention of Delegates from the states of
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, the Counties of Cheshire and
Grafton in the State of New Hampshire and the County of Windham in the
State of Vermont convened at Hartford in the State of Connecticut,
December 15, 1814. Hartford, 1815.

Sanford, Elias B. A History of Connecticut. Hartford, 1887.

A school history.

Selleck, Charles M. History of Norwalk. Norwich, 1886.

Statistical Account of the Towns and Parishes in the State of
Connecticut, published by Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences,
vol. i, no. 1. New Haven, 1811.

Steiner, Bernard Christian. A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck
and of the Original Town of Guilford, Connecticut (present towns of
Guilford and Madison) written largely from the manuscripts of The Hon.
Ralph Dunning Smyth. Baltimore, 1897.

  The book draws upon the preceding histories of Guilford, namely that
  of the Rev. Thomas Kuggles, Jr., and the later sketch of Guilford
  and Madison by Daniel Dudley Field, first written in 1827 for the
  Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. It was revised by
  R. D. Smyth in 1840 and published in 1877 after his
  death. Mr. Sterner has added matter derived from a study of the town
  records and other sources, making a history that covers all points
  of development.

----Governor William Leete and the absorption of New Haven by the
Colony of Connecticut. American Historical Association, Annual Report,
1891, pp. 209-222.

----History of Slavery in Connecticut. (See Johns Hopkins Historical
Studies, ii, 30 et seq.) Baltimore, 1893.

Stiles, Ezra. A Discourse on the Christian Union. Brookfield, 1799.

----The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, edited under the authority of
the corporation of Yale University by F. B. Dexter, M. A. New York,
1901. 3 vols.

Stiles, Henry Reed. Ancient Windsor. Hartford, 1891.  2 vols.

Swift, Zephaniah. System of the Laws of the State of
Connecticut. Windham, 1795.

Trumbull, Benjamin. A Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and
Ecclesiastical, 1639 to 1713, continued to 1764. New Haven, 1818. 2

  Reprint with Introductory Notes and Index by Jonathan Trumbull. New
  London, 1898.

Trumbull, J. Hammond (Editor). Hartford County Memorial
History. Hartford, 1886. 2 vols.

Vol. i, part i, The County of Hartford treated topically, as early
history, the colonial period, "Bench and Bar," "Medical History,"
etc. Part ii, Hartford, Town and City. Vol. ii, Brief Histories of the
different towns.

Trumbull, J. Hammond. Historical Notes of the Constitutions of
Connecticut, 1639 to 1818; and Progress of the Movement which resulted
in the Convention of 1818, and the Adoption of the present
Constitution.  Hartford, 1873. Reprinted by order of State
Comptroller, Hartford, 1901.

----Origin and Early Progress of Indian Missions in New
England. Worcester, 1874.

----Defense of Stonington (Connecticut) against a British
Squadron. Hartford, 1864.

----The True Blue Laws of Connecticut and New Haven and the False Blue
Laws invented by the Rev.  Samuel Peters. To which are added specimens
of the Laws of other Colonies and some of the Blue Laws of
England. Hartford, 1876.

----List of Books printed in Connecticut, 1709-1800 (edited by his
daughter Annie E. Trumbull). The list contains 1741 titles and also a
list of printers. Hartford, 1904.

Webster, Noah. Collection of Papers on Political, Literary and Moral
Subjects. New York, 1843.


Bacon, Leonard. Sketch of Life and Public Services of James
Hillhouse. New Haven, 1860.

Blake, B.L. Gurdon Saltonstall. In New London Historical Society
Papers, part 5, vol. i.

Dexter, Franklin B. Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Yale. 3
vols. May, 1701-May, 1745; New York, 1885. May, 1745-May, 1763; New
York, 1896. May, 1763-May, 1778; New York, 1903.

Kilbourne, P. K. Biographical History of the County of Litchfield. New
York, 1851.

Mitchell, Donald G. American Lands and Letters. 3 vols.

  First volume, for early newspapers, the Hartford Wits and literati
  of the colonial period.

Sprague, W. B. Annals of the American Pulpit. New York, 1857-69. 9

  Biographical Sketches in chronological order, contributed by 540
  writers of sectarian prominence, and with intent to show development
  of churches and the power of character.

Vols. i and ii, Trinitarian-Congregationalists. Vols. iii and iv,
Presbyterian. Vol. v, Episcopalians (reference for the Episcopal
Republican coalition in 1818 in Connecticut). Vol. vi, Baptists.
Vol. vii, Methodists. Vol. viii, Unitarians. Vol. ix, Lutherans, Dutch
Reformed, etc.

Tyler, Moses Coit. Three Men of Letters (George Berkeley, Timothy
Dwight and Joel Barlow). New York and London, 1895.


_w_. abbreviation for weekly


American Mercury, _w_. Anti-Federal.

  Founded July 12, 1784, with Joel Barlow, editor, and Elisha Babcock,
  publisher. In 1833 merged into the Independent Press.

  Yale University Library has a file practically complete to 1828,
  only 20 numbers missing.

Connecticut Courant. _w_. Federal, Whig, Republican.

  Founded 1764, by Thomas Green as organ of the Loyal Sons of Liberty;
  later supported Washington and Adams; continued as the weekly and
  now daily Hartford Courant. Said to be the oldest newspaper still
  published in the United States.  Connecticut Courant and the Weekly
  Hartford Intelligencer, 1774.

  Connecticut Courant and the Weekly Intelligencer, Feb.  1781.

  The latter part of title dropped March 21, 1791.

  In 1837 the Daily Courant was established. This paper bought out the
  Independent Press (which in turn had absorbed the American Mercury);
  and the staff of the Press, including Charles Dudley Warner,
  Gen. J. K. Hawley and Stephen A. Hubbard, joined William
  H. Goodrich, who was the business manager of the Couraut.

Connecticut Mirror, _w_. Federal.

  Founded July 10, 1809, by Charles Hosmer, publisher. During the War
  of 1812, it was the organ of the "extreme right" of the Federal
  party. It was continued until about 1835.

  Yale University Library contains an almost complete file up to 1831.

Times. _w_. Democratic-Republican.

  Founded Jan., 1817, with Frederick D. Bolles, publisher, and
  M. Niles, editor. Its slogan was "Toleration" and the New

  March 2,1841, it became the Daily Times, and still continues.


Columbian Register, _w_. Democrat.

  Founded Dec. 1, 1812, Joseph Barber, publisher, to give "proceedings
  of Congress, latest news from Europe and history of New England,
  particularly of Connecticut." Daily edition, 1845; Sunday edition,

  Yale University has a continuous file.

The Connecticut Gazette, _w_.

  Printed by James Parker, April, 1755. Suspended April 14,1764.
  Eevived by Benjamin Mecom, July 5, 1765. Ended Feb. 19, 1768.

Connecticut Herald, _w_. Federal, Republican.

  Founded 1803, by Corostock, Griswold & Co., publishers, Thomas Green
  Woodward, editor. A Daily Herald, issued Nov. 16,1832.  In 1835 its
  publishers, Woodward & Carrington, bought the Connecticut Journal.
  The Daily Herald and Journal of 1846 soon became, by buying out the
  Courier, The Morning Journal and Courier, as now, and its weekly
  edition, the Connecticut Herald.

  Yale University has a continuous file.

The Connecticut Journal and New Haven Post Boy. _w_.  Federal.

  Founded 1767 by Thomas and Samuel Green. It was started about four
  months before the Connecticut Gazette (New Haven).  It failed April
  7,1835, and was sold to Woodward & Carrington, owners of the Daily

  The title "and New Haven Post Boy" was omitted about 1775. It was
  known in 1799, for a few months only, as the Connecticut Journal and
  Weekly Advertiser, and in 1809, for a few months only, as the
  Connecticut Journal and Advertiser.

  Yale's file dates from 1774 to 1835.

The New Haven Gazette and the Connecticut Magazine, _w_.  Meigs &
Dana, Feb. 16, 1786-1798.


The Connecticut Post and New Haven Visitor, _w_.

  Founded Oct. 30, 1802, as the Visitor; title changed Nov. 3, 1803.
  Ended its existence about Nov. 8, 1834.

The New London Gazette, _w_. (Connecticut Gazette.)

  Founded by Timothy Green, November, 1763. The earlier Connecticut
  Gazette, published at New Haven, April, 1755-April 14, 1763, having
  ended February, 1768, the New London Gazette adopted the New Haven
  paper's name. The firm became Timothy Green & Son, 1789-1794. Samuel
  Green (the son) conducted the paper to 1841, except the year 1805,
  and from 1838 to 1840. Known as the Connecticut and Universal
  Intelligencer, Dec. 10, 1773-May 11, 1787.

  Yale University flies are from 1765 to 1828, except 1775, '76, '77,
  and '78.


Niles' Weekly Register, _w_. Baltimore, 1811-1849.

  It was known from 1811 to 1814 as the Weekly Register; from 1814 to
  August, 1837, as Niles' Weekly Register, and from 1837 to 1849 as
  Niles' National Register. It devoted itself to the record of public
  events, essays and documents dealing with political, historical,
  statistical, economic and biographical matter.


New Haven Colonial Records, ed. by C. J. Hoadly. 2 vols.  1638-1649;
1653-1664. Hartford, 1857-58.

Connecticut, Colonial Records of, ed. by C. J. Hoadly and J. Hammond
Trumbull. 15 vols. 1635-1776,.  Hartford, 1850-90.

State of Connecticut, Records of the, ed. by C. J. Hoadly.  2
vols. 1776-1778; 1778-1780. Hartford, 1894-95.

United Colonies of New England, Records of the, in vol.  ii. of
E. Hazard's "Historical Collections consisting of State Papers and
other authentic Documents, etc."

Plymouth Colony, Records of, ed. by N. R. Shurtleff and
D. Pulsifer. 12 vols. Boston, 1855-61.

Records of the General Association of Connecticut, June 20, 1738, June
19, 1799; Hartford, 1888. 8 vols.

Minutes of Proceedings of the General Association, 1818, on.

Proceedings of Connecticut Missionary Society, 1801-1819.

Report of the Superintendent of Common Schools of Connecticut, 1853.

  This annual report has a detailed account of the Western Land Bill
  appropriations, pp. 64-108.

The Constitutions of Connecticut, with Notes and Statistics regarding
Town Representation in the General Assembly, and Documents relating to
the Constitutional Convention of 1902. Printed by Order of the State
Comptroller. Hartford, 1901.

The Code of 1650. In Hinman's "Antiquities of Connecticut."

The Public Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut.  Hartford, 1808.

Acts and Laws, 1784-1794. (Supplements to Oct., 1795, laid in.) New
London, 1784.

Acts and Laws, 1811-1821.


American Historical Association Annual Report. 1889-1904.

Connecticut Historical Society Collections. 8 vols.

  Especially vol. i, Extract from Hooker's Sermon. Vol. ii, Hartford
  Church Papers. Vol. iii, Extract from Letter to the Rev.  Thomas
  Prince. Vols. v and vi, Talcott Papers.

Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, 1792-1904.  64 vols.

  Volumes containing the Mather, Sewall, and Winthrop Papers were
  especially useful.

Narragansett Club Publications. Providence, 1866. 6 vols.

The Correspondence of Roger Williams and John Cotton, vols.  i and ii.

New Haven Colony Historical Society Papers. 6 vols.

Rhode Island Historical Society Collections. 8 vols. 1827-92.
Proceedings, 4 vols., 1871-92, and Publications, 1892, onwards.


Judge Church's MS. in New Haven Historical Society Library.

A sketch prepared for the historian Hollister.

Manuscript Records of the Newport Yearly Meeting, deposited in the
Friends' School, Providence, R. I.

Manuscript Minutes of the Hartford North Association, deposited in
Yale library.

Stiles, Ezra. Itinerary and Memoirs, 1760-1794, deposited in Yale



Asplund, John. The Annual Register of the Baptist Denomination in
North America ... to Nov. 1,1790; containing an account of the
Churches and their Constitutions, Ministers, Members, Associations,
their Plan and Sentiments, Rule and Order, Proceedings and
Correspondence.  Worcester, 1791-94.

Backus, Isaac. A History of New England with Particular Reference to
the Denomination of Christians called Baptists. Newton, Mass., 1871. 2

  This edition by D. Weston includes Isaac Backus' prefaces to vol. i,
  finished 1777; vol. ii, 1784; and vol iii, 1796.

  This contemporary writer is regarded as an authority, as much of his
  work was founded upon the court, town, and church records and upon
  the minutes of ecclesiastical councils. He searched diligently the
  records of Plymouth, Taunton, Boston, Essex, Providence, Newport,
  Hartford and New Haven. The book has a chronological record of the
  Connecticut churches. It is very discursive.

Benedict, David. A General History of the Baptist Denomination in
America and other parts of the world.  Boston, 1813.

  This contains a more complete list of the associations and churches
  than that given by Backus. There is a valuable chapter, "Baptist
  Communities who differ from the main body of the denomination and
  who are also distinguished by some peculiarities of their own."

Burrage, Henry S. A History of the Baptists in New
England. Philadelphia, 1894.

  Particularly useful in tracing the progress of the denomination in
  the different states, and in its contribution to the history of
  religious liberty.

Cathcart, William (Editor). The Baptist Encyclopedia: A Dictionary of
the Doctrines ... of the Baptist Denomination in all
Lands. Philadelphia, 1883. 2 vols.

Curtis, Thomas F. The Progress of Baptist Principles in the Last
Hundred Years. Boston, 1856.

Denison, Frederic. Notes of the Baptists and their Principles in
Norwich. Norwich, 1859.

  This contains the famous Separatist Petition to the King in 1756.

Guild, Reuben A. History of Brown University, with Illustrated
Documents. Providence, 1867.

Hovey, Alvah. A Memoir of the Life and Times of the Reverend Isaac
Backus, A. M. Boston, 1858.

Newman, Albert H. A History of the Baptist Churches in the United
States. New York, 1894.


A Confession of Faith, Owned and Consented to by the Elders and
Messengers of the Churches in the Colony of Connecticut in New England
Assembled by Delegates at Saybrook, Sept. 9, 1708.

  First Edition (first book printed in Connecticut), New London, 1710.

  Second Edition, New London, 1760, with Heads of Agreement; Edition
  of Hartford, 1831. [a]

A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion
of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton and the Neighboring Towns.... In
a letter to the Rev'd. Doctor Benjamin Colman of Boston, written by
the Rev'd. Mr. Edwards, Minister of Northampton, on Nov. 6,
1736. London, 1737.

Autobiography of Lyman Beecher, D. D. New York, 1864. 3vols.

  Especially valuable for the attitude of the Congregational clergy
  during the first constitutional reform movement in Connecticut.

Bacon, Leonard. The Genesis of the New England Churches. New York,

----Thirteen Historical Discourses, on completion of Two Hundred Years
from the beginning of the First Church, New Haven. New Haven, 1839.

Baldwin, Simeon E. Ecclesiastical Constitution of Yale College. In New
Haven Historical Society's Papers, vol. iii.

Contributions to the Ecclesiastical History of Connecticut: prepared
under the direction of the General Association, to commemorate the
completion of one hundred and fifty years since its first annual
Assembly. New Haven, 1861.

  See under L. Bacon, the history of David Brainerd.

Barrowe, Henry. Answer to Mr. Gifford.

----A Briefe Discoverie of the False Church. Date, 1590. London
ed. 1707.

----A True Description of the Word of God, of the Visible Church, 1589.

Briggs, Charles Augustus. American Presbyterianism: Its Origin and
Early History. New York, 1885.

Browne, Robert. An Answer to Master Cartwright His Letter for Joyning
with the English Churches. London, 1585.

----A True and Short Declaration. Middelburg, 1584.

----A Treatise of Reformation without tarrying. Middelburg, 1582.

----The Book which Sheweth the life and manners of all true Christians,
and how unlike they are unto Turkes and Papists and Heathen folk. Also
the pointes and partes of all Divinitie that is of the revealed will
and words of God, and declared by their severall Definitions and
Divisions in order as followeth. Middelburg, 1582.

Browne, Robert. "A New Years Guift:" an hitherto lost
treatise. (Letter of Dec. 31, 1588, to his uncle, M.  Flower.) Edited
by Champlin Burrage. London, 1904.

Clap, Thomas. Religious Constitution of Colleges, with Special
Reference to Yale. New London, 1754.

Cotton, John. Civil Magistrates Power in Matters of Religion.  London,

----The Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven and Powers thereof according to
the Word of God. London, 1644.

----Questions and Answers upon Church Government.  London, 1713.

----Way of the Churches of Christ in New England.  London, 1645.

----Way of the Congregational Churches Cleared. London, 1648.

Cotton, John. In title, but a misprint for:--

Davenport, John. A Discourse about Civil Government in a New
Plantation whose design is Religion, written many years
since. Cambridge, 1643.

Dexter, Henry Martyn. The Congregationalism of the last Three Hundred
Years: as seen in its Literature with special reference to certain
Recondite, Neglected or Disputed Passages. New York, 1880.

Lectures, with Bibliography of over 7000 titles and Index. An
historical review of Congregationalism from its earliest forms to the
last half of the nineteenth century.

----History of Congregationalists. Hartford, 1894.  Brief popular

----Story of the Pilgrims. Boston and Chicago, 1894.  Dunning, Albert
E. Congregationalists in America. New York, 1894.

Dutton, S. M. S. History of the North Church, New Haven, from its
Formation in May 1742, during the Great Awakening, to the Completion
of the Century, in May 1842. New Haven, 1842.

Edwards, Jonathan. Works of, with Memoir by S. E.  Dwight. New York,
1829. 10 vols.

Fisher, George P. Discourses ... Church of Christ in Yale College,
November 22, 1857. New Haven, 1858.

Frequent citations from the diaries of the Cleveland brothers.

Fitch, Thomas. Explanation of the Saybrook Platform.  The Principles
of the Consociated Churches in Connecticut; Collected from the Plan of
Union. By one that heartily desires the Order, Peace and Purity of
these Churches. Hartford, 1765.

Hobart, Noah. An Attempt to illustrate and confirm the Ecclesiastical
Constitution of the Consociated Churches in the Colony of
Connecticut. New Haven, 1765.

Hooker, Richard. Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.  London, 1648.

Hooker, Thomas. Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline.  London,

Lechford, Thomas. Plaine Dealing. London, 1642.

Letter of Many Ministers in Old England requesting the Judgment of
their Brethren in New England concerning Nine Positions
... 1637.... Together with their Answer thereunto returned Anno 1639
(by J. Davenport).  London, 1643.

Mather, Cotton. Magualia Christi Americana; or, The Ecclesiastical
History of New England 1620-1698.  London, 1702. Hartford, 1855. 2

----Ratio Discipline Fratrum Nov-Anglorum; A Faithful Account of the
Discipline Professed and Practised in the Churches of New
England. Boston, 1726.  Mather, Richard. Church Government and Church
Covenant Discussed. London, 1643.

Prince, Thomas. The Christian History of the Revival and Propagation
of Religion. Boston, 1743.

Purchard, George. History of Congregationalism from about 250 A. D. to
1616. New York and Boston, 1865-1888.  5 vols.

Walker, George Leon. History of the First Church of
Hartford. Hartford, 1884.

----Some Aspects of the Religious Life of New England with special
reference to Congregationalists. New York, Boston and Chicago, 1897.

Walter, Williston. The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism.  New
York, 1893.

----A History of the Congregational Churches in the United
States. (American Church History Series).  New York, 1894.

White, Daniel Appleton. New England Congregationalism in its Origin
and Purity: illustrated by the foundation and early records of First
Church in Salem. Salem, 1861.

Wolcott, Roger. A Letter to Rev. Mr. Noah Hobart.  [The New English
Congregational Churches....  Consociated Churches.] Boston, 1761.


Beardsley, E. Edwards, D. D. History of the Episcopal Church in
Connecticut. New York, 1865-68. 2 vols.

  An account of the church in Connecticut with strong church bias and
  inclination to excuse the Tory sentiments of the early
  rectors. Second volume gives the Episcopal side of the "Toleration"
  conflict of 1817-18. Much interesting detail.

Church Review and Ecclesiastical Register. In American Quarterly
Church Review, vol. x, p. 116. New Haven and New York, 1848-91.

Collections of the Protestant Episcopal Historical Society, The. New
York, 1851-53. 2 vols.

  These MSS. are found in Perry and Hawks's Documentary History, and
  include a valuable article on the Episcopate before the Revolution,
  by F. L. Hawks, also "Thoughts upon the present state of the Church
  of England in the Colonies," [1764] by an unknown contemporary.

Cross, Arthur Lyon. The History of the Anglican Episcopate and the
American Colonies. New York and London, 1902.

Hawkins, E. Historical Notices of the Missions of the Church of
England in the North American Colonies.  London, 1845.

Chiefly drawn from MS. documents of the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel.

Hawks (Frances Lister) and Perry (William Stevens).  Documentary
History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United
States. Containing ... documents concerning the Church in
Connecticut. New York, 1863-34. 2vols.

See Perry, William Stevens.

McConnell, Samuel Davis. History of the American Episcopal Church. New
York, 1890.

  A brief general history with a number of pages devoted to the
  attempts to establish the Episcopate in America and to the political
  hostility that it roused.

Perry, William Stevens (Bishop of Iowa). [See F. L.  Hawks.]
Documentary History of the Protestant Episcopal Church. New York,
1863-64. 2 vols.

  Unbiased; arranged under topical heads; has illustrated monographs
  by different authors; illustrations, including facsimiles; and also
  critical notes, frequently referring to original sources. It
  contains many letters from the missions established by the London
  Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.

Shaw, W. A. A History of the Church of England.  2 vols.


Asbury's (Francis) Journal. New York, 1821. 3 vols.  A brief diary of
all Bishop Asbury's American journeys: Vols.  ii and iii concern New
England, with comments on his surroundings, his preaching and the

Bangs, Nathan. History of the Methodist Episcopal Church. New York,
1841-45. 4 vols.

Clark, Edgar F. The Methodist Episcopal Churches of Norwich. Norwich,

  Convenient secondary authority gives, pp. 6-21, a connected account
  of the early days of Connecticut Methodism.

Scudder, Moses Lewis. American Methodism. Hartford, 1870.

  General attitude of New England towards the introduction of

Stevens, Abel. Memorials of the Introduction of Methodism into the
Eastern States. Boston, 1848.

  Biographical notices of the early preachers, sketches of the earlier
  societies, and reminiscences of struggles and successes.  "Some
  account of every Methodist preacher who was regularly appointed to
  New England during the first five years" of New England Methodism,
  derived from original sources, letters, and from books now out of
  print. The fullest account of Connecticut Methodists. It contains
  frequent citations from Jesse Lee's diary.

  Appendix A contains valuable statistics; appendix B has a scurrilous
  pamphlet, "A Key to unlock Methodism, or Academical Hubbub," etc.,
  published in Norwich, 1800.

----The Centenary of American Methodism: a Sketch of its History,
Theology, Practical System, and Success.  New York, 1866.

----The History of the Religious Movement of the Eighteenth Century,
called Methodism. New York, 1858-61. 3 vols.


Besse, Joseph. A Collection of the Sufferings of the People called
Quakers, for the Testimony of a Good Conscience, etc., to the year
1689. London, 1753. 2 vols.

  Vol. ii contains a full account of their persecutions, together with
  copies of the proceedings against them and letters from the

Bowden, James. History of the Society of Friends in America. New York
and London, 1845. 2 vols.

  A history of the sect throughout New England, containing many short
  biographies. It is fair and frank in its record of New England
  persecutions. The author adopts the unique plea that the excesses of
  the converts were inspired by the Holy Spirit as a reproof to their
  persecutors for the kind of persecution and punishment that was
  meted out to innocent persons.

Evans, Charles. Friends in the Seventeenth Century.  Philadelphia,

Gough, John. History of the People called Quakers.  Dublin, 1789-90. 4

Hallowell, Richard Price. The Pioneer Quakers. Boston and New York,

Manuscript Records of Early Newport Yearly (Friends') Meetings--at
Friends' School, Providence, R. I.

Minutes of meetings, reports of cases of oppression, of converts, etc.

Sewel, William. The History of the Rise, Increase and Progress of the
Christian People called Quakers, Intermixed with Several Remarkable
Occurrences. Written originally in Low Dutch by W. S. and by himself
translated into English.

  1st ed., Amsterdam, 1717; 2d ed., London, 1722; 3d ed., 1725, 2
  vols. Philadelphia, 1728, etc. New York, 1844. [a]

Wagstaff, William R. History of the Friends (compiled from standard
records and authentic sources). New York and London, 1845.

  A defense of the excesses in Quaker eccentricities as religious
  enthusiasm in persons who were driven by persecution to the verge of
  madness. A similar view is expressed by R. P.  Hallowell and by
  Brooks Adams in his "Emancipation of Massachusetts."


Of these, several titles that are found at full length either in the
text or footnotes are omitted here. Many more might have been added,
but it is thought best to omit them because of their cumbrous titles,
their scant interest to the average reader, and their inaccessibility,
being found only in the largest libraries or among rare Americana. For
similar reasons, works strictly theological in character are also not
listed. Any sizable library possesses a copy of H. M. Dexter's
"Congregationalism as seen in the Literature of the last Three Hundred
Years." Its bibliography of over 7000 titles gives all the religious,
ecclesiastical or politico-ecclesiastical tracts, and theological
works touching upon Congregationalism. Yale University library has a
large amount of the Americana collected by Mr. Dexter.

Trumbull's list of books published in Connecticut before 1800 gives
the titles of books and pamphlets of strictly local import

The Baptist Confession of Faith; first put forth in 1648; afterwards
enlarged, corrected and published by an Assembly of Delegates (from
the churches in Great Britain) met in London, July 3, 1689; adopted by
the Association at Philadelphia, September 22, 1742, and now received
by churches of the same denomination in most of the American States,
to which is added a System of Church Discipline. Portland, 1794.

Bartlett, Moses. False and Seducing Teachers. New London, 1757.

Beecher, Lyman. Sermon. A Reformation of Morals practicable and
indispensible. ... New Haven, 1813.  Andover, 1814.

Bishop, Abraham. Connecticut Republicanism. An Oration on the extent
and power of Political Delusion.  Delivered in New Haven, September,

----Proofs of a Conspiracy against Christianity and the Government of
the United States; exhibited in several views of the Church and State
in New England. Hartford, 1802.

----The Oration in honor of the election of President Jefferson and the
peaceful acquisition of Louisiana, 1801.

Bishop, George. New England Judged, Not by Man's, but the Spirit of
the Lord: And the Summe sealed up of New England's Persecutions. Being
a Brief Relation of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers in
these Parts. London, 1661.

Bolles, John. Concerning the Christian Sabbath. 1757.

----To Worship God in Spirit and in Truth is True Liberty of
Conscience. 1756.

----A Relation of the Opposition which some Baptist People met at
Norwich. 1761.

Booth, Abraham. Essay on Kingdom of Christ. London, 1788. New London,
1801. [a]

  American edition edited by John Sterry of the Norwich "True
  Republican," together with notes containing his strictures on the
  Connecticut and English Established Church.

Bragge, Robert. Church Discipline. London, 1739. Republished, New
London, 1768. [a]

"A Defence of simple Congregationalism and disestablishment."

Browne, Joseph. Principles of Baptism. A Letter to Infant Baptisers in
the North Parish of New London.  New London, 1767.

  Quoted by Rev. E. H. Gillett, Hist. Mag. 2d series, vol. iv, p. 28.

Browne, Robert. A Treatise of reformation without tarrying for
Magistrates and of the wickednesse of those Preachers which will not
reforme till the Magistrates commande or compell them. Middelburg,
1582.  Only three copies known. Reprint at Boston and London.

Chauncy, Charles, Rev. Seasonable Thoughts. Boston, 1743.

Treats of the Great Awakening, of which the author was a determined

Clap, Thomas. Brief History and Vindication of the Doctrines received
and established in the Churches of New England. New Haven, 1755.

Daggett, David. Argument, before the General Assembly of Connecticut,
Oct. 1804, in the case of Certain Justices of the Peace.... New Haven,

----Count the Cost. An Address to the People of Connecticut.... By
Jonathan Steadfast. Hartford, 1804.

----Facts are Stubborn Things, or Nine Plain Questions to the People of
Connecticut. By Simon Holdfast.  Hartford, 1803.

----Steady Habits Vindicated. Hartford, 1805.

----Sun-Beams may be extracted from Cucumbers, but the process is
tedious. An Oration, pronounced 4 July, 1799.... New Haven, 1799.

Darling, Thomas. Some Remarks on President Clap's "History and
Vindication." New Haven, 1757.

Foster, Isaac. Defence of Religious Liberty. Worcester, 1779.

Frothingham, Ebenezer. A Key to unlock the Door, That leads in, to
take a Fair View of the Religious Constitution, Established by Law, in
the Colony of Connecticut ... with a short Observation upon the
Explanation of Saybrook Plan, etc. and Mr. Hobart's attempt
etc. Reviewing R. Ross, Plain Address. Boston, 1767.

Hobart, Noah. An Attempt to Illustrate and Confirm the Ecclesiastical
Covenant of the Connecticut Churches,--occasioned by a late
Explanation of the Saybrook Platform. New Haven, 1765.

Holly, Israel. A Plea in Zion's Behalf: The Censured Memorial made
Public ... to which is added a few Brief Remarks upon ... an Act for
Exempting ...  Separatists from Taxes, etc. 1765.

  Quoted by Rev. E. H. Glllett, Hist. Mag., 2d series, vol. iv.

Huntington, R. (Editor). Review of the Ecclesiastical Establishments
of Europe (by William Graham).  1808.

  Special reference to the bearing of the book on the Connecticut
  Establishment, and particularly upon its Parish System.

Judd, William. Address to the People of the State of Connecticut, on
the removal of himself and four other Justices from Office.... New
Haven, 1804.

Leland, John. A Blow at the Root. Being a fashionable Fast-Day
Sermon. New London, 1801.

----The Connecticut Dissenters' Strong Box: No. I.  Containing, The
High-flying Churchman stript of his legal Robe appears a Yaho. New
London, 1802.

----Van Tromp lowering his Peak with a Broadside: Containing a plea for
the Baptists of Connecticut. Danbury, 1803.

----The Rights of Conscience inalienable; ... Or, The high-flying
Churchman, stript of his legal Robe, appears a Yaho.

  See The Connecticut Dissenters' Strong Box.

Martin-Mar-Prelate Tracts. See H. M. Dexter's Congregationalism as
seen in Literature, Lecture iii, pp.  131-205.

Norton, John. The Heart of New England rent at the Blasphemies of the
Present Generation. Or a brief Tractate concerning the Doctrine of the
Quakers etc.  Cambridge, New England, 1659.

Paine, Solomon. A Short View of the Difference between the Church of
Christ, and the established Churches in the Colony of Connecticut in
their Foundation and Practice with their Ends: being a Word of Warning
to several Ranks of Profession; and likewise Comfort to the Ministers
and Members of the Church of Christ.  1752.

Richards, George H. The Politics of Connecticut; by a Federal
Republican. New London, 1817.

Rogers, John. A Midnight Cry from the Temple of God to the Ten
Virgins. See F. M. Caulkins' History of New London, pp. 202-221.

----John Rogers, A Servant of Jesus Christ ... giving a Description of
True Shepherds of Christ's Flocks and also of the Anti-Christian
Ministry. 4th ed. Norwich, 1776.

----New London Prison.

  See F. H. Gillett, Hist. Mag., 2d series, vol. iv.

Ross, Robert. Plain Address to the Quakers, Moravians, Separatists,
Separate Baptists, Rogerines, and other Enthusiasts on Immediate
Impulses and Revelations, etc. New Haven, 1752.

Stiles, Ezra. A Discourse on Christian Union. (Appendix containing a
list of New England Churches. A. D.  1760.) Boston, 1761.

Stoddard, Solomon. The Doctrine of Instituted Churches Explained and
Proved from the Word of God. 1700.  Webster, Noah. A Rod for the
Fool's Back. New Haven, 1800.

Being a reply to Abraham Bishop.

Williams, Nathan. An Inquiry Concerning the Design and Importance of
Christian Baptism and Discipline.  Hartford, 1792.

Wolcott, Roger. The New-English Congregational Churches are and always
have been Consociated Churches, and their Liberties greater and better
founded, in their Platform of Church Discipline agreed to at
Cambridge, 1648, than what is contained at Saybrook, 1705,
etc. Boston, 1761.


[a] This is the edition referred to in text.

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