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Title: Samuell Gorton - A Forgotten Founder of our Liberties. First Settler of Warwick, R. I.
Author: Janes, Lewis G.
Language: English
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                             SAMUELL GORTON

                        The Rhode Island Series.






                            IN PREPARATION:



                _Uniform, 12mo., cloth, $1.00 net each._


                            SAMUELL GORTON:

                    FIRST SETTLER OF WARWICK, R. I.


                             LEWIS G. JANES


“More ideas which have become National, have emanated from the little
Colony of Rhode Island, than from all the other American States.”—GEORGE
BANCROFT, in Address before the New York Historical Society.

                           PRESTON AND ROUNDS

                            COPYRIGHT, 1896


                           PRESTON AND ROUNDS

                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

                                PRESS OF
                E. L. FREEMAN & SONS, PROVIDENCE, R. I.



It has been the misfortune of Rhode Island to have had its earlier
history written and read under the bias of prejudices engendered by the
controversies which led to its settlement. Justice has not yet been done
to the prescience and statesmanship of the remarkable men who were the
builders of the first Commonwealth in the world’s history dedicated to
Soul Liberty.

Among these men, none were possessed of a personality more striking and
picturesque than the subject of this paper, Samuell Gorton. The cordial
reception of this brief historical sketch by the distinguished audience
which gave it a hearing before the Rhode Island Historical Society has
induced me to consent to its publication. It has since been carefully
revised, and a few doubtful points have been cleared up as well as the
character of all available data will permit.

I am indebted to Mr. William D. Ely and Mr. Charles Gorton, of
Providence, and Mr. Adelos Gorton, of Philadelphia, for valuable aid and
suggestion in perfecting this revision. It is hoped that the publication
may stimulate further research in the interesting field of our Colonial
history. A native of Rhode Island, the writer traces his ancestry by two
distinct lines to the Mayflower, while the first of his family name in
America was one of the earliest settlers of the New Haven Colony. He is
therefore able to approach the subject without undue bias of ancestral
prejudice, and with the sole desire of vindicating the truth of
impartial history.

                                                                L. G. J.

BROOKLYN, N. Y., May 25, 1896.

                            SAMUELL GORTON:

                    FIRST SETTLER OF WARWICK, R. I.


                          WARWICK, NEW AND OLD

The town of Warwick, R. I., is not to-day of remarkable interest to the
antiquary or seeker after the venerable relics of bygone days. It has
“come out into the newness” of our nineteenth century life. Its streams
respond to the music of the flying shuttle and the turning wheel with a
dash and hurry almost human in their restlessness. Half a score of
flourishing manufacturing villages lend their potent aid to make it the
sixth town, in population, in the State having a larger number of
inhabitants to the square mile than any other in the American Union.

The old Colonial and Revolutionary dwellings were largely, doubtless, of
a humble sort, and have given place to the more prosperous farm-houses
and pretentious mansions of a generation that knows not the ways of the
fathers. The busy Pawtuxet and its tributary streams, partly excused
from the drudgery of mill-turning by the more potent substitutes of the
later day, are pumped away to quench the thirst of the distant city
whose contentions a quarter of a millenium ago drove Samuell Gorton[1]
and his colleagues to seek their homes in the Shawomet wilderness, there
to become the founders of a State.

Yet the Warwick of to-day, in its summer dress, well repays the visitor
who may chance upon its hospitable soil. All along its beautiful shores
arise pleasant homes and hostelries for the accommodation of the summer
visitor; while inland, the rolling hills, prosperous with growing grass
and coming harvests, are not without a quiet and restful beauty which
pleases the eye, and solaces the mind and heart. In the little hamlet of
Apponaug, close by Coweset Bay, the brave new Town Hall, one of the
finest in New England, testifies to the enterprise as well as to the
prosperity of the people. Its newness is in harmonious touch with the
prevalent appearance of the country around it. There is nothing old,
apparently, in old Warwick but the sub-soil and rocks, and here and
there a venerable tree antedating European occupation, beneath the
branches of which Pomham and Soccononocco, with their dusky braves, may
have sat and smoked the pipe of peace with the men of Massachusetts, or
taken counsel as to the best means of circumventing the united wiles of
the head-sachem of the Narragansetts, Miantonomi, and his persistent
allies, the pale-faced “Gortonoges.”

Yet old Warwick has a history surpassed in interest by none other of the
New England settlements. Its founder was a man of intellectual and moral
force, worthy to rank with Roger Williams, William Bradford, and the
other noble founders of our liberties. He was a man much misrepresented
in his day and generation, and but little remembered and understood even
in our own time, when history is being studied anew in the light of
evolution and a true historical method, and reconstructed on the
principles of enlightened scholarship and impartial justice. The later
history of Warwick also has much of interest for the patriotic American.
On its shores the first blow of our Revolutionary struggle was struck,
in the capture and destruction of the British schooner Gaspee; while the
heights of Warwick Neck were then crowned with a fort, long since
dismantled, for the protection of the settlements around Coweset Bay
from the attacks of the English.

It is the Warwick of the seventeenth century, not that of the eighteenth
or nineteenth, that I would fain call to the minds of my readers,—the
Warwick whose inland acres were covered with the primitive wilderness,
where wolves and Indians were at home,[2] and the white man was a
stranger; the Warwick which Samuell Gorton sought after being frozen out
of Boston, banished from Plymouth and Pocasset, and driven by
contentions from Providence and Pawtuxet.

Yonder, on Conimicut Point, he built his block-house,[3] and therein
defied for a day and a night the force of Puritans and savages in equal
numbers, aggregating more than four times his own, which Massachusetts
sent against him; finally surrendering to superior battalions to prevent
blood-shed. Farther south, at the head of Warwick Cove, a quiet arm of
the Narragansett, stood his humble homestead, where he passed his
declining years in the honorable service of the Town and Commonwealth
which he helped to found; the land surrounding which has remained in
unbroken succession in the hands of his descendants to the present day.
Near by, John Greene, John Wickes, Randall Holden and the other men,
good and true, who were his colleagues and supporters, cleared and
tilled their allotted acres, making the wilderness to blossom as the

Yes, there are after all some reminders of these primitive times besides
the sub-soil and the ancient cedar by the Potowomut River; for yonder,
at Rocky Point, the perennial clambake celebrates in aboriginal fashion
and in their native haunts, the shore-feasts of the Indians. And down on
Potowomut Neck which Warwick won for her own after long and litigious
struggles, once the favorite camping ground of the aborigines, you may
still pick up the flint arrow-heads which they fashioned and left behind
them three centuries ago. You may paddle up the Pawtuxet, under the
over-arching branches of noble trees, into quiet reaches of the river,
where the hum of cities and the bustle of civilization seem remote
indeed. And in the new Town Hall at Apponaug you may shut out the noises
of the day, and curiously con the ancient records of the Town;—you may
see the very pages on which these pioneers of a new civilization bore
testimony to their humble beginnings, and told, in part, the story of
the building of a State. I have searched these records faithfully—here,
and in the library of the Historical Society at Providence, where other
precious manuscripts are preserved. Some of these men I have come to
know. I have thought their thoughts after them in deciphering their
writings. I have felt their throbbing human hearts, laboring to lay the
foundations of a Commonwealth wherein liberty should be secure under the
protection of law; wherein the civil power should have no control over
the consciences of men. Something of this would I lay before the
impartial reader; in justice to these men who so labored that we might
enter into their labors and reap the ripe fruits thereof; in justice
also to ourselves, that we as American citizens may not remain ignorant
of this forgotten chapter in the noble story of the beginnings of our
National life.


                         SOURCES OF INFORMATION

The story of Samuell Gorton is in a large part the narrative of the
beginnings of the Commonwealth of Rhode Island. If I mistake not, it
also constitutes an important and hitherto unrecognized chapter in the
history of the beginnings of our National life. It is a story but little
known to the average American citizen. It has been briefly told by John
M. Mackie, in Sparks’ American Biography, and by Gov. Arnold in his
noble volumes of Rhode Island History. Certain phases of it have been
discussed and amplified in the interesting monographs of Judge Staples
and Judge Brayton.[4] William D. Ely has thrown important light upon
some salient points in Gorton’s history, in reports published in the
Proceedings of the R. I. Historical Society.[5] Palfrey has touched it
lightly and with scant justice in his History of New England, and Fiske,
in his Beginnings of New England, has given it inadequate treatment.[6]
Other historians have alluded to Samuell Gorton but to distort and
misrepresent his actions and opinions.

A mere rehash of the narratives of Mackie, Arnold, and Brayton would be
unworthy of the attention of this learned Society. To ignore their
conscientious efforts to do justice to the founder of Warwick and
co-worker with Roger Williams in the building of a Commonwealth
dedicated to the principle of Soul Liberty, would, on the other hand, be
unjust and impossible to one who would rightly sketch the history and
estimate the work of Samuell Gorton. In the light of all that these
just-minded sons of Rhode Island have written upon this subject, I have
studied it anew and independently, making use of all available printed
material, and also of valuable unpublished manuscripts and town records.
I have arrived at certain conclusions, quite unexpected when I commenced
my investigations, concerning Gorton’s political and religious
philosophy, which, if correct, will modify previously received opinions
of the man and his work, and which seem to me sufficiently vital and
important to merit the attention of all students of American history. It
is the main object of this paper to set forth the substance of these
conclusions, with some reference to the documentary evidence on which
they are based. For the instruction of those who have not made this
somewhat obscure episode in Rhode Island history a special subject of
investigation, some account of the leading facts of Samuell Gorton’s
career becomes a preliminary necessity.


                          THE MAN AND HIS WORK

Who was Samuell Gorton? What part did he play in our Colonial history?
These questions let us briefly answer before we attempt a somewhat
careful study of his religious and political opinions, about which there
has been so much misunderstanding. Samuell Gorton was born in the parish
of Gorton, England, a few miles from the present bustling city of
Manchester, about the year 1592.[7] He came of a good family, “not
entirely unknown,” says Judge Brayton, “to the heraldry of England.”[8]
Here, as Gorton himself declares, “the fathers of his body had dwelt for

We know but little about his early life. Though he did not attend any of
the celebrated schools or universities of England, his education seems
to have been carefully conducted by private tutors.[9] As with many
other students of his day, the Bible was his principal text-book. He
could read it in the original: he was a master of both Greek and Hebrew.
And he brought to the reading a vigorous intellect and a more original
and independent judgment than is commonly applied to theological

Samuell Gorton probably dwelt in the vicinity of his birthplace until he
was about twenty-five years of age.[10] Here he made the acquaintance of
a Separatist Elder, afterwards connected with the church in Holland,
whence came the Mayflower Pilgrims. His mind readily assimilated the
spirit of the Puritan revolt against the degenerate formalism of the
times; yet his Puritanism was without taint of dogmatic narrowness. He
always retained an affection for the church of his fathers. “I drew my
tenets,” he says, “from the breasts of my mother, the Church of

In his early manhood he left Gorton and went to seek his fortune in the
great English metropolis. In London he engaged in business, and built
for himself a home. In a certain conveyance signed during his residence
there, he is described as “Samuell Gorton, clothier,” and also as
“Professor of the misteries of Christ.” Religion and daily occupation
were never divorced in his consciousness. He would not make a trade of
the former, nor could he conduct the latter on a plane inconsistent with
those moral and religious principles which dominated his life. His
business as a “clothier,” in the phraseology of the day, was that of a
branch of manufacturing—the finishing of cloths after weaving. It is
doubtful whether he met with great pecuniary rewards in his chosen
industry. His enemies afterwards said that he left London in debt, to
avoid imprisonment threatened by his creditors. Of this there is no
valid evidence; we may dismiss it on the authority of his explicit
denial.[12] “I left my native country,” he said, “to enjoy libertie of
conscience in respect to faith towards God, and for no other end.”

Samuell Gorton arrived in Boston in March, 1636-7.[13] A few months
before, Roger Williams had been banished from Massachusetts Bay. The
Colonial authorities were now agitated by the heresies of Anne
Hutchinson and John Wheelwright.[14] They, in turn, were shortly
compelled to seek other dwelling places to secure opportunity for free
expression of opinion. Evidently, the liberty of conscience which Gorton
sought was not to be safely exercised in Boston. He turned his steps
toward Plymouth, the home of the Separatist Pilgrims, hoping there to
find the goal of his desires. In Plymouth he hired for four years a part
of the house of Ralph Smith, formerly the minister of the Plymouth
church, of whom Roger Williams for a brief time had been the colleague.
Here Gorton first met the founder of Rhode Island, while on a visit to
his former home. Gorton dwelt quietly in Plymouth[15] for a time, with
his family; his wife, Mary,[16] whom he married in London, of whom he
says: “She had been as tenderly brought up as any man’s wife then in
town,” his eldest son Samuell, a boy of six years when he left England,
his daughter Mary, and one or two other children; and one Mrs. Aldredge,
a worthy woman, a widow, and a servant of Mrs. Gorton’s.

It was the latter member of his household who got him into trouble with
the Plymouth authorities. She committed the unpardonable sin of smiling
in meeting, on what provocation we know not.[17] Samuell Gorton defended
her before the magistrates, and advised her not to appear in person to
answer to their charges, which were based upon no express allegations of
the violation of law. He vigorously denounced their action as in
opposition to those English precedents which the customs of many
generations had established for the legal protection of persons unjustly
accused of violations of the public peace. For his alleged contumacy and
mutinous behavior he was fined, held under bonds to keep the peace, and
sentenced to banishment from the Colony within fourteen days.[18]

From Plymouth, he made his way to Pocasset, the new settlement which the
followers of Anne Hutchinson had begun on the island of Aquidneck, in
Narragansett Bay, where he arrived, probably, some time in December,
1638. The weather was cold and the journey perilous. His wife, in
delicate health, had an infant at the breast, sick with measles, which
“struck in” under the exposure, nearly causing its death. At Pocasset
Gorton’s name appears as one of four out of fifty-nine freeholders to
which the title of “Mr.” is prefixed, then an indication of social
position and gentle birth.[19] The government of Pocasset was at first
theocratic, a judge and five elders constituting its magistrates, who
were bound to execute justice “according to the laws of God.” A majority
of the community desired a more democratic form of government; and
Coddington, the judge (afterwards Governor of the united Colony), with
the elders, and a few other free-holders, emigrated to the southern end
of the island, where they founded the town of Newport.[20] The remaining
free-holders, including Samuell Gorton, thus forsaken by their
magistrates, instituted a new town government, and changed the name of
the settlement to Portsmouth. This occurred in the spring of 1639. A
year later,[21] the two settlements were united under one government for
the transaction of affairs of common interest, and the influence of
Coddington and the Newport magistrates became potent throughout the
island. Gorton and his friends regarded this coalition as irregular and
illegally constituted. It seems never to have been sanctioned by a
majority of the free-holders. He appears to have declined to admit
allegiance to it, and to have permitted his citizenship to lapse, though
still retaining his residence.

It was not long before he became involved with the Portsmouth
authorities in a controversy concerning an alleged assault of his
servant on a woman who had trespassed on his land in pursuit of a cow
which was also a trespasser. Gorton again defended his servant, and
denied the legal constitution and jurisdiction of the court. “They did
not have the choice of the people,” he says, “but set up for themselves.
I know not any more that was present in their creation but the
clergieman who blessed them in their inauguration.” His language was
doubtless vigorous and not wholly parliamentary.[22] His keen sense of
justice was outraged by the proceeding, and his sympathetic nature led
him to severe retorts upon a witness who, in his opinion, swore falsely,
and the magistrates who were biased in favor of the prosecution. For his
alleged mutinous behavior he was imprisoned and again sentenced to
banishment. His enemies say that he was also whipped,[23] but the
Portsmouth records, which are explicit in reciting the charges and the
other penalties, make no mention of this infliction. There is evidence,
also, that he had many friends and sympathizers in the settlement. One
of these, John Wickes, for refusing to testify and denying the legality
and jurisdiction of the court, was placed in the stocks, and with four
others was banished and disfranchised.[24]

The little circle of congenial and independent souls was growing under
persecution. From Portsmouth they pressed on to Providence, and though
apparently seeking to avoid rather than to encourage controversy, they
soon became involved in disputes which had already divided that
settlement into two parties.[25] I shall not enter into the merits of
this controversy, which involved civil and not religious questions. As
in Portsmouth, Gorton denied the legality of the self-constituted town
government, and held that justice could not be maintained until the law
was administered under authority delegated by the Mother Country. He was
as anxious as any for liberty, but he would have liberty protected by
law. As an Englishman, dwelling in a community of Englishmen, he claimed
the protection of those principles of law and equity, which, since Magna
Charta, had been thrown around all British citizens. For a time his
vigorous maintenance of this doctrine brought him in conflict even with
Roger Williams, who, Winthrop says, accused Gorton of “bewitching and
bemadding poor Providence” with his new and radical opinions.[26]

Gorton and his friends purchased land and commenced a settlement at
Popaquinepaug, or Pawtuxet, within the jurisdiction of Providence; but
certain of his enemies who owned adjoining property determined to
prevent his peaceful occupancy. William Arnold and a few others, to
insure his expulsion, gave in their allegiance to Massachusetts, and
called on the government of that Colony to remove the intruders. This,
however, is by no means to be regarded as an official action of the town
of Providence, or as in accordance with the desires of a majority of her
citizens. It is probable, in fact, that a majority were sympathizers
with Gorton.[27] Nevertheless, not from mere pusillanimity, but out of a
desire for peace, and a disinclination to embroil Providence with her
more powerful neighbor, the Gortonists moved on, beyond the jurisdiction
either of Providence Plantations or of Massachusetts. Gorton purchased
of Miantonomi, head sachem of the Narragansetts, and of Pomham and
Soccononocco, under-sachems claiming local jurisdiction, a tract of land
south of Pawtuxet and west of Narragansett Bay, then known by the Indian
name of Shawomet.[28]


                      TROUBLOUS TIMES AT SHAWOMET

Not yet, however, were the harassed Gortonists to be secure in their
possessions. Pomham and Soccononocco were induced by the enemies of
Gorton to repudiate their signatures to the deed of Miantonomi. They
made their submission to the government of Massachusetts and begged its
aid to expel the Gortonists from Shawomet.[29] There are some reasons to
believe that this action was not altogether disconnected from a possibly
more remunerative offer made them by the Atherton Company, an
organization which had been formed by the astute Commissioners of the
New England Confederation, for the purchase and sale of Indian

Gorton and his companions were summoned to Boston to make answer to
Pomham’s claim.[31] Denying the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, in a
spicy correspondence, Gorton refused to obey the summons. Increase
Nowell, Secretary of the Colony, and the Boston Elders, discovered no
less than twenty-six instances of blasphemy, “or thereabouts,” in the
terms of Gorton’s epistle. The Gortonists were warned that if they
continued contumacious they would be regarded as “fitted for the
slaughter,”[32] and would be peremptorily dealt with by force of arms. A
company of twenty white men and an equal number of Indians, under the
command of Captain Cook, was dispatched to seize them and bring them to
Boston for trial. On their approach, the Gortonists sent their women and
children across the bay, retired to their block-house on Conimicut
Point, and awaited the invading force of the enemy. A company of
peace-makers from Providence[33] demanded a parley, and proposed the
arbitration of the matters in dispute, to prevent the shedding of blood.
The Gortonists appealed to the King and were willing to arbitrate, but
the proposition was sternly rejected by Gov. Winthrop. “You may do well
to take notice,” he said, “that besides the title to land between the
English and the Indians there, there are twelve of the English that have
subscribed their names to horrible and detestable blasphemies, who are
rather to be judged as blasphemous than they should delude us by winning
time under pretence of arbitration.”

The Gortonists stood siege for a day and a night,[34] and repelled the
attempt of the men of Massachusetts and their savage allies to set fire
to the block-house; then, to save bloodshed, under promise that they
would be treated as neighbors, and that their claims would be submitted
to fair judgment in Massachusetts, they surrendered to superior force,
and were taken to Boston for trial.[35] They speedily found, however,
that they were regarded as prisoners and not as “friends and neighbors”
seeking a just and amicable settlement of civil disagreements. The
soldiers, Gorton says, were ordered to knock down any one who should
utter a word of insolence, and to run any one through who might step
aside from the line of advance. When they arrived in Boston, “the
chaplain (of their captors) went to prayers in the open streets, that
the people might take notice that what they had done was done in a holy
manner, and in the name of the Lord.”[36]

There was no pretence of a judicial consideration of their rights as
settlers at Shawomet. They were regarded as criminal offenders, and were
examined and convicted on the charge of blasphemy. Gorton was placed on
trial for his life before the General Court and Convocation of Elders.
Four queries, referring to statements in his vigorous rejoinder to the
summons of the Massachusetts authorities, were propounded, and upon his
replies the decision of the Court was to be rendered:[37]

“1. Whether the Fathers, who died before Christ was born of the Virgin
Mary, were justified and saved only by the blood which hee shed, and the
death which hee suffered after his incarnation?

“2. Whether the only price of our redemption were not the death of
Christ on the cross, with the rest of his sufferings and obediences, in
the time of his life here, after hee was born of the Virgin Mary?

“3. Who was the God whom hee thinks wee serve?

“4. What hee means when hee saith, wee worship the starre of our God
Remphan, Chion, Moloch?”

The latter question may well have piqued the curiosity of the elders.
The others were evidently framed to secure conviction. His replies were
as wise and conciliatory as perfect sincerity would admit, but it was
foreordained that they should be unsatisfactory to his judges. All but
three of the elders voted for the penalty of death. The representatives
of the people, however, to the honor of Massachusetts, refused to assent
to this verdict[38]. Gorton suffered imprisonment in Charlestown, with a
ball and chain attached to his ankle; the other accused persons were
incarcerated in irons in other towns of the Colony. The next General
Court, some months later, set them at liberty,[39] but banished them
from all places within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts—the intention
being to include the disputed territory at Shawomet, which Massachusetts
claimed under the deed of Pomham.

As they went forth from their prison houses, the Gortonists recited
their wrongs in the public streets in Boston and elsewhere to crowds of
willing listeners and ready sympathizers. Palfrey admits that a majority
of the people in Massachusetts were to be counted in this category.[40]
The sufferings of these martyrs were the seeds of a new Commonwealth,
from which the persecuting spirit was at last eliminated. The Indians,
also, even in the vicinity of Boston, received them gladly. Cutshamekin,
the chief sachem of the neighborhood, to whose wigwam the liberated men
accidentally strayed, when asked by Gorton whether Capt. Cook, the
commander of their captors, was a good captain, replied, “I can not
tell; but the Indians regard those as good captains when a few stand out
against many.”

Their chief grievance during imprisonment seems to have been that they
were compelled to attend the Sunday services in the churches, and be
“preached at” by the Puritan ministers. “They brought us forth unto
their congregations to hear their ministers,” says Gorton, with a grim
humor, illuminated by some knowledge of natural history, “which was meat
to be digested, but only by the hearte or stomacke of an ostrich.”[41]
Pastor Ward, of Ipswich, who visited one of them—Richard Carder, an old
neighbor of his in England—while in prison, and urged him to recant his
heresies, said by way of encouragement, “it shall be no disparagement to
you, for here is our revered elder, Mr. Cotton, who ordinarily preacheth
that publickely one yeare, that the next yeare hee publickely repents
of, and shows him selfe to bee very sorrowful to the congregation.”[42]
As his sly dig at Mr. Cotton would indicate, Pastor Ward was entirely
sound in his own theology. This appears also in his “Simple Cobbler of
Agawam,” where, with a spicy use of capitals, and vigorous if not
elegant English, he denounces the brains of those who advocate “Libertie
of Conscience in matters of Religion,” as “parboiled in impious


                        SHAWOMET BECOMES WARWICK

After his release, in the spring of 1643-44, Gorton returned through
Shawomet, where he was forbidden to linger, to Portsmouth, where he and
his friends were received with open arms, and where he was shortly
elected to a magistracy on the very scene of his former persecutions.

Thus far the Atherton Company appeared to have made substantial progress
in its efforts to obtain possession of the Shawomet lands, and
Massachusetts seemed likely to succeed in throwing a girdle of
unfriendly possessions around the Providence Plantations, thereby
separating them from the Aquidneck settlements, and securing a permanent
control over Narragansett Bay. By the submission of Arnold and the
malcontents of Providence, they had obtained a show of authority over
the Pawtuxet or Popaquinepaug territory. Winthrop had secured possession
of Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay by purchasing the half originally
owned by Roger Williams,[43] and now with a marvellous inconsistency,
held the whole by a title derived solely from Miantonomi, the chief
sachem of the Narragansetts. If he could maintain his denial of the
rights of Gorton to the Shawomet lands claimed by even a stronger title,
he would succeed in his efforts to divide the Narragansett settlements
and establish the claims of Massachusetts. With this end in view, the
Massachusetts authorities built a block-house for Pomham on Warwick
Neck, and temporarily succeeded in excluding the Gortonists from their
Shawomet possessions.

Gorton, however, was not idle. He had no thought of permanently
relinquishing the claim for which he had contended so bravely, and to
which he was justly entitled. Within forty days of his release from
prison, by a masterly piece of strategy and statesmanship, he
inaugurated measures which completely check-mated his opponents, and
gave him a permanent advantage in the contest for supremacy. On the 19th
of April, 1644, by the earnest advice and solicitation of Gorton, the
Narragansett Indians, in solemn conclave, constituted their “trusty and
well-beloved friends,” Samuell Gorton, John Wickes, Randall Holden and
John Warner, commissioners to convey their submission to the British
Government. The deed of submission, signed by the sachems Pessicus,
Conanicus, Mixan, Awoshosse and Tomanick, is preserved in the Historical
Cabinet at Providence. The tragical death of the head sachem,
Miantonomi, in the previous September, at the hands of his bitter
enemies, the Mohegans, with the consent of the Boston elders—a story so
well told by Dr. Fiske in his “Beginnings of New England” that I need
not repeat it here,—as well as the revolt of Pomham and Soccononocco,
were powerful arguments with the Narragansetts in favor of seeking the
protection of the British Government; while the return of Gorton and his
companions, unscathed, from the prisons of Massachusetts, convinced the
Narragansetts that the power of the Mother Country was on their side,
and had stood between them and their oppressors.

In August, 1645, the Commissioners of the United Colonies, in session in
Boston, declared war against the Narragansetts, and dispatched a
military force to Rhode Island; at the same time warning the General
Assembly of Providence Plantations, then in session at Newport, that if
they adhered to their declared determination of maintaining a position
of neutrality they would be regarded as enemies. They also forbade them
to exercise the powers of government under the charter obtained by Roger

In response to this threatening action of “the Massachusetts,” Gorton,
Greene and Holden set sail, after vexatious delays, under authority of
Providence Plantations, from the Dutch settlement at Manhattan for
Holland, whence, after more delay, they obtained transportation to
England. The exact time of their arrival at London is unknown, but they
had been preceded by the agents of Massachusetts, and were compelled to
meet the charges already formulated by their enemies. Their answer,
prepared by Gorton in “Simplicities Defence,” was published in London on
the 3d of August, 1646. Soon after,[44] a patent was issued to Gorton
and his colleagues which granted the Shawomet lands to them and their
successors forever, and guaranteed them protection against all other
claimants. In the troublous times between the King and Parliament the
formal submission of the Narragansetts which Gorton had conveyed to
England, could not be delivered to King Charles in person, and Gorton
accordingly caused it to be published in London. By this admirable piece
of strategy and statesmanship he forever blocked the movements of
Massachusetts Bay for the control of the Narragansett country. Gorton
received safe-conduct from the Earl of Warwick, on his return, through
the domains of the enemy.[45]

Roger Williams, who had finally accepted Gorton’s theory of the true
foundations of the new government, had preceded him to England, and on
the 14th of March, 1643-44, had obtained a charter for the Colony which
united the northern and southern towns in one Commonwealth. Owing to the
opposition of the Coddington faction, government was not completely
organized under this charter until May, 1647.[46] In the same year, town
government was organized at Shawomet, the Town, in honor of its patron,
receiving the name of Warwick. Some further futile attempts were made by
Massachusetts to enforce her claims, but the Gortonists thereafter
retained possession, which gave them “nine points of the law,” and
finally complete victory. Pomham, for whom Massachusetts had erected a
block-house on Warwick Neck, lingered in the neighborhood a few years,
but at last saw that the “Gortonoges” had triumphed in their long
contest with the “Wattaconoges,”[47] and in 1665 sold out his dishonored
claim for £30 in peage,[48] paid him by Gorton and his associates. The
new Commonwealth was fairly launched upon the sea of History; the town
of Warwick and its founder were to play an honorable part in the story
of its beginnings.


                     SAMUELL GORTON’S LATER CAREER

During the succeeding quarter of a century Samuell Gorton was active and
influential in shaping the destinies of the growing State. He occupied
the highest places of honor and responsibility at the gift of his
fellow-citizens, and was habitually called into service when sound
judgment, prompt and courageous action, and literary ability were
requisite. He represented Portsmouth in the Assembly at Newport in 1645.
He was chosen one of the Commissioners of the town of Warwick to the
General Assembly on his return from England, and served therein a
greater part of the time for the next two or three decades. He was
placed on the most important committees, and his pen was frequently
called into requisition to prepare State papers, and letters to the
magistrates of other Colonies, and to the representatives of the new
Commonwealth in England. Though absent in the Mother Country during the
first year of Colonial Government under the charter of 1643-44, his
political views were embodied in the remarkable Code of 1647, passed by
the first General Assembly of the United Colony, one of the earliest
compilations of law in American history. In the construction of this
Code, care was taken to avoid the errors of which Gorton had complained,
in the judicial procedure of the other Colonies, by making each section
conform to existing English law,[49] reference to the corresponding
English statute being placed at the end thereof.[50]

The provision respecting witchcraft is especially noteworthy as
indicating a prevailing scepticism in Rhode Island at a time when
Massachusetts was under the spell of the delusion, soon to break forth
in an appalling epidemic of persecution. The object of its introduction
is evidently the set purpose of conforming to English precedents rather
than a conviction of the legislators that the statute was demanded by
any real public necessity. The section reads:

“Witchcraft is forbidden by this present Assembly to be used in this
Colonie; and the Penaltie _imposed by the authoritie that wee are
subjected to, is felonie of death_.—I Jac. 12.”[51] The Code of 1647
also forbade imprisonment for debt, and is otherwise in advance of most
contemporary legislation. The temper of the Colony on the subject of
witchcraft is still further evidenced in the testimony of their
opponents,[52] who complained in an anonymous letter addressed to the
agent of Massachusetts in England a few years later, that the new
government was ignoring the English law. This epistle especially
stigmatized “some of them at Shawomet that cryeth out much against them
that putteth people to death for witches, for they say there be no other
witches upon earth, nor devils, but your own pasters and ministers, such
as they are.”[53] There was apparently never a prosecution in Rhode
Island under the statute against witchcraft.

Samuell Gorton’s literary style is clearly evident in the remarkable
statute against negro slavery, passed by the General Assembly in
1652—the first legislative edict of emancipation ever adopted in
America. This statute was passed during the Coddington secession of
1651-54, and consequently voices officially only the sentiment of
Providence and Warwick. Roger Williams was in England at the time of its
passage, and there can be little doubt that Samuell Gorton was its
author and principal advocate. Though it subsequently became a dead
letter, it was apparently never repealed, and merits perpetuation in the
annals of the anti-slavery conflict. It reads as follows:

“Whereas there is a common course practised amongst English men to buy
negers, to the end that they may have them for service or slaves
forever; for the preventinge of such practices among us, let it bee
ordered, that no blacke mankinde or white, being forced by covenant bond
or otherwise, to serve any man or his assigns longer than ten yeares, or
untill they come to bee twentie four yeares of age if they bee taken in
under fourteen, from the time of their cominge within the liberties of
this Collonie. And at the end or terme of ten yeares to sett them free
as the manner is with the English servants. And that man that will not
let them goe free, or shall sell them away elsewhere to that end that
they may bee enslaved to others for a long time, hee or they shall
forfeit to the Colonie forty pounds.”[54]

Samuell Gorton was elected General Assistant, a position corresponding
with that of Lieutenant Governor, in 1649, and in 1651, during the
Coddington secession, he was chosen to the highest position at the gift
of the Commonwealth—he became its President. During the following year,
he was Moderator or Speaker of the General Assembly, and he several
times subsequently served as General Assistant. He was also active in
the affairs of the Town of Warwick, being for many years a member of the
Town Council, and holding other positions of honor and responsibility.
“After the venerable founder of Providence,” says his biographer,[55]
“no man was more instrumental in establishing the foundations of equal
civil rights and ‘soul liberty’ in Rhode Island than Samuell Gorton.” He
was especially active in assuring the protection of the Colony for the
persecuted Quakers.[56] He sent them messages of sympathy when they were
in prison in Massachusetts, and was authorized by the General Assembly
to reply to the epistles of the Massachusetts authorities protesting
against their finding an asylum in Rhode Island. When Massachusetts
appealed to England, Samuell Gorton was designated to prepare a letter
on behalf of the Rhode Island Government to John Clarke, the
representative of the Colony in the Mother Country, to be presented to
the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell. He requests Clarke “to plead our
case in such sorte as wee may not bee compelled to exercise any civill
power over men’s consciences, so long as humane orders in poynt of
civility are not corrupted and voyalated, which our neighbors aboute us
doe frequently practise, whereof many of us have large experience, and
doe judge it to bee no less than a poynt of absolute crueltie.”[57]

On the collapse of the Puritan Commonwealth in England, Samuell Gorton
was appointed on a Committee to select agents of the Colony in England,
and prepare an address to his Majesty, King Charles the Second.[58] As a
result of this action, and of the wise intercession of John Clarke, then
representing the Colony in England, the Charter of 1663 was secured, in
which Samuell Gorton was named as one of the incorporators of the new
Commonwealth. In 1663 he was also appointed by the Town Council
“overseer” of the will of John Smith, Deputy from Warwick, under the
curious provision by which the towns in Rhode Island made wills for
persons dying intestate, dividing their property according to the
communal sense of justice. In 1666, after the purchase of Pomham’s
claim, Mr. Gorton was assigned ten shares in Warwick Neck, and was still
further recognized in another division in the following year.[59] In
1675, during the storm and stress of King Philip’s war, tradition says
that Samuell Gorton’s life was saved by friendly Indians, who rowed him
across the Bay to a place of safety. He was always on amicable terms
with the aborigines, treating them justly, teaching and exhorting in
their settlements, and wisely advising them in various emergencies.

Warwick suffered severely in the contest with King Philip, which would
doubtless have been prevented had the policy of Roger Williams and
Samuell Gorton in dealing with the Indians been generally adopted. The
town was depopulated, the houses and barns were burned, and the cattle
driven into the wilderness. A pitched battle was fought in an open cedar
swamp in Warwick between the Indians under Canonchet and a company of
men from Plymouth.[60] Many of the colonists took refuge on Aquidneck,
the waters around which were patrolled night and day by a flotilla of
four boats, filled with armed men.

Judge Staples tells us that John Wickes, the friend and colleague of
Samuell Gorton, trusting too implicitly to the friendship of the
savages, remained and was slain; his head being set upon a pole as a
warning to others. In this, he must be mistaken, however, since the will
of John Wickes, dated the second day of March, 1688, and signed by
himself, though written and witnessed by Samuell Gorton, the younger,
may be seen to-day in the library of the Historical Society in
Providence. This interesting document also contains the signatures of
two others of the founders, of Warwick,—Randall Holden, the justice
before whom it was proved, and John Greene, who signs in behalf of
himself and the other members of the Town Council.

On the fourth day of June, 1677, probably the year of his death, Samuell
Gorton, Senior, was elected “to the Towne Counsell for the ensuing
yeare,” as the ancient records tell us, and his son, Capt. Samuell
Gorton, was at the same time chosen Town Treasurer. On the 20th of July
the father signed a deed of lands owned by him in the Narragansett
Country to his sons, his six daughters and their husbands also being
remembered in the disposition of this property; and on the 27th of
November of the same year, by another deed, he divided his entire
remaining estate among his three sons, Samuell, John and Benjamin.[61]
To the former, who was evidently a man after his own heart, and who had
aided in supporting the family, he gave his homestead at Old Warwick,
his household furniture, library and most precious literary possessions.
He also committed to him the care of his mother during her widow-hood,
providing that she should be maintained with convenient housing and
necessaries, and that means should be furnished for her “recreation in
case she desires to visit her friends.”[62] His lands at Coweset, beyond
the boundaries of the Shawomet grant, he gave in equal possession,
undivided, to his three sons. The document attesting the final division
of these lands by the surviving sons, Samuell and John, bears date on
the town records, Dec. 4, 1699, being executed, as it says, “according
to the expressed wish of our Ancient and Honored ffather, Mr. Samuell
Gorton, one of the first settlers of this Plantation of Warwick in New
England.” His son Benjamin, then deceased, had been one of the founders
of the new town of East Greenwich, the organization of which dates from
the year of the original bequest.



The enemies of Samuell Gorton charged that he was a practical
anarchist—a denier of all governmental authority. As the indictment of
the Massachusetts magistrates reads: “Upon much examination & serious
consideration of yo^r writings, & with yo^r answers about them, wee
doe charge yo^u to bee a blasphemous enemy of the true religion of o^r
Lord Jesus Christ and his holy ordinances, & also of all civil authority
among the people of God, perticulerly in this iurisdiction.”[63] To the
impartial student of this history, his entire career offers a sufficient
answer to this accusation. Even Gov. Arnold, his lineal descendant and
strenuous defender in many things, who regarded him as “one of the most
remarkable men who ever lived,”[64] falls into the error of stating that
“he denied the right of a people to self-government.”[65] What Samuell
Gorton really denied was the dogma of “squatter sovereignty,” that false
conception of popular government which holds that a majority of the
actual settlers in any given locality have a right to legislate and
govern as they please, without regard for the claims of the minority,
the law of civilized communities, or the principles of equity and
justice. Had he lived a generation ago he would have stood with Lincoln
and Sumner and Garrison in denouncing this mischievous dogma. His
doctrine was identical with that of the defenders of the Union against
the alleged right of secession. In his own day he held, simply, that no
Englishman expatriated himself by becoming a colonist in the possessions
of the Mother Country; that he did not by emigration to America forfeit
the rights of an Englishman, or the protection guaranteed by the long
line of statutes, decisions and precedents, beginning with Magna Charta,
which had become the heritage of Englishmen everywhere.

Samuell Gorton held that as subjects of Great Britain the Colonial
governments should conform in their legislation and judicial action to
the principles of English common and statute law.[66] If chartered, they
were bound to do this by the terms of their charters. If not chartered,
each individual had the right to claim the protection of English law,
and any denial thereof was a usurpation of authority. This was the head
and front of his alleged anarchism. It was not anarchism, but the
conviction that liberty is a chimera save under the protection of the
sacred majesty of law. This is good English and American doctrine
to-day. It is distinctively Rhode Island doctrine. No one two hundred
and fifty years ago saw it more clearly than Samuell Gorton. His
political vision was more lucid and prescient than that of Roger
Williams, though the latter soon saw the force of Gorton’s position, and
adhered to it the rest of his life. Had Gorton lived until the time of
Andros and James the Second he would have beheld the Colonies fighting
for their charters as the very foundation of their liberties. His
position was already justified.[67]

In defence of “soul liberty” and the limitation of the functions of
government solely to civil affairs, Gorton and Williams stood side by
side from the beginning. Authority, he says, cannot safely be entrusted
to magistrates “if their place and office bee not bounded within the
compass of civill things.” He argues clearly and logically in the
introduction to his “Incorruptible Key, Composed of the CX Psalme,” that
if magistrates are permitted to extend their authority to things
spiritual they are consistently bound to enforce their own convictions
of religious duty, and to persecute all who dissent therefrom. The only
safety is in forbidding them “to intermeddle between God and the
consciences of men. * * In that way only is the preservation and honour
of all States, in their several ways of rule and government.”

This theory, for the first time in the world’s history, was clearly
proclaimed, embodied in constitutional law, and practically tested, in
the Commonwealth founded by Roger Williams and Samuell Gorton. The
Puritan theocracy and the doctrine of “soul liberty” for a time
maintained a competitive existence, side by side in the New England
Colonies. The latter began in relative weakness—almost in anarchy—but it
survived, and ultimately obtained recognition in our Federal
Constitution. The former failed, and was practically discarded in less
than two generations. Connecticut, an offshoot from Massachusetts
Puritanism, under the leadership of Hooker reversed the Massachusetts
theory that citizenship should be conditioned on church membership, and
absorbed the theocratic Colony of New Haven. Rhode Island gained, in
numbers and in internal cohesion, and Massachusetts lost, with every
attack which she made on heresy. The idea that intolerance and
persecution were necessary to insure the survival of the community—to
prevent its disintegration—broached by apologetic writers, is therefore
disproven by the palpable facts of history. Disintegration and secession
were ever the products of intolerance. The story of the Saracens, in
Spain, the Huguenots in France and the Puritans in England, was repeated
in Massachusetts. Internal schisms were promoted rather than prevented
by the policy of persecution.

In the end, local public opinion was a powerful aid to the compulsion of
the Mother Country in compelling the cessation of persecution. The
policy of intolerance failed on its own chosen ground, and Massachusetts
became a powerful and united State only when she followed the example of
her despised Little Sister and became a Commonwealth of Ideas as well as
a Commonwealth of Goods.



Samuell Gorton was a man of a profoundly religious nature. His views,
have been little studied, and have been greatly misunderstood, both by
his contemporaries and the historians of later generations. John Fiske
dismisses him with a sentence, in his admirable School History of the
United States, as “a man of queer ideas.” The more extended reference of
this fair-minded historian, in his “Beginnings of New England,” hardly
does justice either to Gorton’s political sagacity, or to the remarkable
character of his religious opinions. Charles Francis Adams, in his
monograph on “Massachusetts, its Historians and its History,” alludes to
Samuell Gorton as a “crude and half-crazy thinker.”

His contemporaries in Massachusetts assailed him with a choice
collection of opprobrious epithets in the place of arguments: he was an
“arch-heretic,” a “beast,” a “miscreant,” a “proud and pestilent
seducer,” a “most prodigious minter of exorbitant novelties.”[68]

Edward Rawson, some time Secretary of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay,
and the ancestor of my own children,—a man capable of making vigorous
use of the sturdy Anglo-Saxon of the period, albeit not always
grammatically, denounces him as “a man whose spirit was stark drunk with
blasphemies and insolences, a corrupter of the truth, a disturber of the
peace wherever he comes;” and his contemporary, Nathaniel Morton, with
whom he conducted an animated correspondence, says he “was deeply
leavened with blasphemous and familistical opinions.”

In so far as his religious views have received attention in recent
years, they have been mainly studied in their incomplete and incidental
expression in some of his published works, “Simplicities Defence Against
Seven-Headed Policie,” and “The Incorruptible Key to the CX Psalme,” the
main object of which was political and polemical rather than expository
of his system of thought. The involved style and quaint and mystical
phraseology have repelled the modern student, and prevented a clear
understanding of his theological doctrines.

By far the best and most complete exposition of Samuell Gorton’s
religious convictions is to be found in a remarkable manuscript in his
own hand-writing which has never been published, but which is preserved
in the library of the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence. I
am indebted to the Hon. Amos Perry, the courteous Librarian of the
Society, for the opportunity to make a careful study of this paper as
well as of other documents relating to Samuell Gorton’s life and work.
The manuscript to which I refer is a running commentary on the Lord’s
Prayer. Merely as a literary curiosity it merits the attention of the
studious and curious. It is in the clear, careful, accurate hand-writing
of the scholar rather than of one accustomed to manual industry. The
lines are closely written, the characters are minute, and almost as
accurate as copper-plate impressions. The manuscript averages over two
thousand words to a page about the size of our modern legal cap. The
character of the writing makes it exceedingly trying to the eyes. The
orthography, though in some respects archaic, is more regular and
consistent than in most American documents of our Revolutionary era. I
have examined many papers of contemporary and more recent dates, but
with the exception of those left by his eldest son, Capt. Samuell
Gorton, who was evidently instructed by his father, and whose
hand-writing resembles his so closely as to be distinguishable from it
with difficulty, I have never seen any so clear, systematic, and
scholarly in appearance. The literary form, however, is less admirable
than the clerical execution. The style is involved, the sentences are
long, and the punctuation, though systematic, is peculiar. Free use is
made of the comma, semi-colon and parenthesis, but periods are most
economically distributed, being used literally to indicate a “full
stop.” Sentences usually end with a semi-colon, the ensuing clause
beginning with a capital. The interrogation point was apparently

When the reader has searched diligently beneath the quaint and involved
phraseology, bristling with scriptural references and illustrations, and
come into sympathetic contact with the living thought of the writer, the
surprising thing which is discovered is the remarkable modernness of
many of Samuell Gorton’s ideas. It goes without saying that he was not
“orthodox” according to the conventional standards of his time, nor yet,
perhaps, of our own; but we everywhere touch the personality of a
vigorous and independent thinker, who in many directions foreshadowed
the views of the advanced thinkers of a later day.

Some of his enemies denounced Samuell Gorton as an atheist. He was as
remote as possible from atheistic leanings. He was not even affiliated
with the deism of his own and the succeeding century. His theology was
profoundly Christian. It was as Christocentric as that of Swedenborg,
with which it has sometimes been compared. Like Swedenborg, he regarded
the Infinite and Absolute as _per se_ unknowable. Here both Gorton and
Swedenborg are in touch with the modern philosophical agnostic. For
both, however, Christianity solved the agnostic problem. In Christ they
found a perfect expression of the divine nature, and the only rational
object of worship.[69]

With regard to the nature of Christ, however, Gorton and Swedenborg were
widely separated. Swedenborg’s theology is boldly anthropomorphic;
Gorton’s was monistic and impersonal. “The word ‘person’,” he says, “is
only borrowed from men and translated to God. * * That doctrine which
ties the death of Christ to one perticuler man in one time and age of
the world, as being the scope and intent of God’s will concerninge the
death of his son in the salvation of the world, that doctrine falsifies
the death of Jesus Christ, and sets men upon the law of workes in the
ground and matter of their salvation, by which law no man is
justified.”[70] Here, too, is another radical distinction between his
doctrine and that of Swedenborg. The latter turns his most powerful
batteries upon Paul’s doctrine of “justification by faith,” while Gorton
stands with Luther in its defence.

The “law of works” by which Gorton says no man is justified, he rightly
interprets as the conception of salvation through ceremonial
observances; not merely the ritual of Pharisaic Judaism denounced by the
Master, but the ritual and ordinances as well of his own day and
generation. Here he stands with the Friends, as he also did in his
opposition to a “hireling ministry.” Worship, he taught, is natural to
man. Every man is called to seek communion with the divine in Christ
directly, and not through priestly mediations. “Prophesie, prayer, and
interpretation of the word of God are one,” he says: “where one is there
is the other; they are co-insident and co-aparant.” All men are
naturally moved to prayer; all men, therefore, may rightfully exhort and
interpret. To the conventional interpretations of churches, universities
and schools, he preferred “the universitie of humane reason, and reading
of the great volume of visible creation.” Mr. Gorton defined prayer as
“nothing else but the true breath and spirit of the eternall word,
according to God’s intent taken and rained into the soule, concocted and
digested in the cauldron of man’s necessities, breathing out it selfe
unto the fountaine and originall of all suply.”

The spirit of prophecy and inspiration, he taught, is as immediately
with man now as in any period of the past. The tenor of his teaching
in this particular is strikingly like that of the modern
transcendentalist. With Emerson, he would have asked, “Why may not we,
too, seek an original relation with the Universe?” In the spirit of
transcendentalism, too, he opposed all sectarianism. He would not be
the founder of a sect. He left no organized body of disciples.[71] The
sectarian contests of the day, even the disputes between Protestants
and Catholics, he deemed of small account because they were so largely
about rites and ceremonies, matters which he deemed non-essential.
“These things men contend aboute and make great stirre in the world,
whilst the life and spirit of the gospel lies buried under humane
ordinances and carnall traditions.” True worship, he declares, is as
well exemplified in the offering of lambs and bullocks “according to
the letter of scripture formerly manifested, * * as in bread, wine,
wafers, &c., or in Bishop, paster, teacher, elder, deacon, &c., for
these things in the outward forme simply considered are carnall and
momentary, but the words of Christ, they are spirit and they are

While he agreed with the Friends as to outward ordinances, Samuell
Gorton strongly contested some of their other teachings, especially the
doctrine of the “inner light,” which he saw might be interpreted as a
particular revelation of infallible truth to the individual.[72] Such an
assumption, he claimed, is mischievous and erroneous. All revelations
must appeal for examination, recognition and interpretation to the
natural human reason, which is a common possession of all men. Mr.
Gorton combined with a remarkably equable balance, the methods of the
mystic and the rationalist. His mysticism rejected all claims of
infallibility, which logically tend to the persecution of dissidents.
Yet, while he carried this idea so far that he would dispense with all
paid ministries, he recognized more fully than most Protestants of his
day the necessity of sound learning and thorough acquaintance with the
Scriptures in their original tongues, to assure their correct and valid

Though in the highest degree Christocentric, Samuell Gorton’s theology
was not in harmony with the prevailing Trinitarianism of his day. The
doctrine “received from the schoole men of the church of Roome, that
hold and teach a trinitie of persons in one simple and divine essence,
without having respect for the humane nature of Christ,” he
characterizes as “a most dangerous and pernicious doctrine.” It is, he
says, “most derogatory to the glory of the son; for in that time he is
deprived of the glory of a saviour; for without man’s nature hee is not
Jesus; hee is no saviour but in man; hee is not the anointed nor the
redeemer but in man’s nature; and if wee deprive him of that glory for a
time it is to late to give it to him afterwards, because hee ever
remains one and the same.” The scriptural references to the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit he interprets as recognitions of “spirituall
distinctions in the nature of Christ.” They are not separate persons of
a god-head, but distinctions of the divine activity, having a unity “not
found elsewhere, but only in Christ.”[74]

With Channing, Samuell Gorton also taught the essential divinity of
human nature—the equal nearness of the divine spirit to the sinner and
to the saint. He recognizes a divine spark in every human soul, and to
this he made his appeal.[75] He also, however, accepted the eternal
antagonism of good and evil as an unquestionable fact both in scriptural
teaching and in human experience. The tendency of the one is to eternal
life; of the other to eternal death. He therefore taught a conditional
immortality, wholly dependent upon the character of the individual.
“Neither can any salvation hold proportion with the son of God,” he
says, “but freedome from sin.” This saved him from the errors of
Antinomianism.[76] The doctrine of imputed sin and imputed righteousness
he denounces as unworthy of the divine character. “God was in Christ
reconciling men unto him selfe, not imputing their sins.” Nor is this
work of reconciliation limited to any historical period. “God is
eternally a creator, eternally a redeemer, eternally a conservator of

The substance of his teaching is that righteousness _is_ life eternal;
sin _is_ eternal death. This is no arbitrary penalty inflicted at the
close of man’s earthly career, or on some future day of judgment; it is
the intrinsic and natural result of evil action. The popular distinction
between a man and his actions is delusive and unreal. He could not hate
the sin and love the sinner. The actions _are_ the man. If the actions
are predominantly evil there is nothing left to save. The divine work of
regeneration is at one and the same time the salvation of the good and
the destruction of the evil. Both results are effected by one and the
same natural operation of the divine power. “The righteousness of God is
of eternal worth and duration; But the one and the other [course of
life] being wrought into a change at one and the same time, thence comes
the capacity of an eternall life, and of an eternall destruction.”

Mr. Gorton distinguishes four distinct stages in the historical
development of religious ideas: the family, the national, the apostolic,
and the spiritual or universal.[77] Considering the period in which he
wrote, and the fact that the Bible seems to have been almost his only
text-book, his conclusions are remarkably consistent with those of
modern students of sociology and comparative religion.

The temptation is great to continue this line of exposition and
quotation, but I must bring it to a close with one or two additional
passages further illustrative of the ethical quality of his thought. All
virtue, he taught, even the goodness of God, consists wholly in the
service of others. “The goodnesse of God’s nature is such,” he says,
“that it cannot subsiste or bee without communicating it selfe with
another, otherwise his goodnesse should bee uselesse, which can not bee
admitted for one moment of time, for there is an impossibility thereof;
The naturall temporary or tipicall goodnesse of any creature is uselesse
unlesse it bee communicated with another; God never made any creature in
heaven or in earth simply for it selfe, but for the use of another; how
infinitely more is this true of God, who hath made him selfe in Christ
to bee the goodnesse of the world.”

Heaven, Samuell Gorton taught, is not to be sought in a future life or
in some distant part of the universe. The soul is even _now_ in
eternity. Heaven is a condition of the soul. It may exist here and now.
“Such doctrine,” he says, “as sets forth a time to come, of more worth
and glory than either is, or hath been, keeps the manna for tomorrow, to
the breeding of worms in it.” With Theodore Parker, he taught that the
divine nature is both masculine and feminine;[78] and in one of the most
striking and eloquent passages in his Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer he
argues for the equal recognition of woman in the Church, and as a
teacher of religion.

In philosophy, Samuell Gorton was an original thinker rather than a
student of past systems. In theology, he was far in advance of the
prevailing thought of his time. Only a few of the minor sects of our own
day have yet approximated to his views as to the equal position of woman
in the pulpit and the church; only an occasional strong and independent
mind has reached his conception of religion as a birthright of the
individual soul, to which belongs the unalienable privilege of
investigation and interpretation, free from priestly mediation and
sectarian bias.



In conclusion, what shall we say were the peculiar and distinctive
contributions of Samuell Gorton to the Commonwealth which he helped to
found, and the life of our later day? I answer, first, to him more than
to any other we are indebted for the recognition and establishment of
the principle that English law and the rights of English citizenship are
coextensive with English supremacy; and that to secure these rights in
the Colonies, together with the privileges of local administration, a
charter from the Home Government was necessary. This principle had been
ignored or denied by Roger Williams,[79] and violated by the governments
of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. Samuell Gorton affirmed it in season
and out of season; in its defence suffered imprisonment and stripes, and
did not rest until by the aid of Roger Williams at last convinced by his
insistency and by the stern logic of events, it was accepted by the
Commonwealth, affirmed in its Charter, and embodied in its legislation.

So firmly was this principle subsequently engrafted on our Colonial
system, that it became our strongest defence against the encroachments
of the Mother Country during the Revolutionary struggle and gave us an
effective _pou sto_ for the Declaration of Independence. Nor did the
severing of the relations with the government of England rupture this
thread of law and equity which bound us to our historic past. Ours
became the heritage of English Common Law: ours as well as England’s
those historic rights and privileges of citizenship handed down from
Magna Charta.

I answer, secondly, to Samuell Gorton more than to any other, all
generations of Americans will owe the insistent affirmation and
consistent illustration of the principle of religious individualism
which is the logical outcome of the Protestant idea—the principle which
strips off the conventional reliance on ritual and organization, and
places the individual soul face to face with the problems of life and
duty. In our own generation, Ralph Waldo Emerson has been the clearest
exponent of this principle. Gorton was the premature John the Baptist of
New England Transcendentalism.

No portrait, or adequate description of this forgotten Founder of our
Liberties has been handed down to our time. The writer of his brief
biography tells us that “His bearing was courteous, his feelings lively,
his mind vigorous and well-informed.”[80] From such hints as we may
obtain from various sources we may picture him as a man of tall stature,
marked features and gentlemanly address; blue-eyed—a typical Saxon; of
an earnest and sympathetic nature; persuasive of speech in conversation
and exhortation, and freely emphasizing his thoughts with appropriate
gestures, quick to resent injustice, and bold in his denunciation of
wrong-doers,[81]—more eloquent and effective in his spontaneous
utterances and unstudied efforts than in the formal and labored style of
his written treatises.

Of his domestic life we know but little. From his kindly mention of his
wife and children in the final disposal of his property, we have a right
to infer that his family relations were harmonious. The reverent regard
of his sons for his wishes, long after his decease, shows that the
respect which they bore for him was deep and lasting. Besides the three
sons, his family included twice that number of daughters. These were all
married at the time of his decease, and the fact that they, conjointly
with their husbands, were remembered in the final disposal of his
property indicates his affectionate regard for all the branches of his
household. One of the daughters, with the remarkable Scriptural name of
Mahershallalhashbaz, married Daniel Cole, and removed to Glen Cove, Long
Island, then known as Moscheto Cove, and has numerous descendants still
residing in that vicinity.[82]

More than most men, Samuell Gorton has been honored in the persons of
his descendants. His oldest son, Captain Samuell Gorton, succeeded in
some respects, to the position and influence of his father and held many
posts of honor in his Town and State. Benjamin, the youngest son, was
one of the founders of the neighboring Town of East Greenwich. Othniel
Gorton, a lineal descendant of Samuell Gorton, was several times chosen
to the General Assembly from the Town of Warwick, and was Speaker of the
House of Representatives at intervals during and subsequent to the
Revolutionary War. Gen. Nathaniel Greene, next to George Washington, the
most eminent military leader in the contest with Great Britain, traced
his lineage directly to John Greene and Samuell Gorton, noble founders
of the liberties which he fought to sustain; as did also Col.
Christopher Greene, of Revolutionary fame. Albert Gorton Greene, a
descendant of John Greene, Samuell Gorton and Randall Holden, three of
the original settlers of Warwick, became a judge of the Municipal Court
in the City of Providence, and is well known to three generations as the
author of “Old Grimes,” and other popular ballads and poems. The late
Governor Henry Lippitt, and the present Chief Magistrate of Rhode
Island, the Hon. Charles Warren Lippitt, as well as the late Lieut.-Gov.
Samuel G. Arnold, the historian of the State, are direct descendants of
Samuell Gorton. The Rev. James Gorton, a Baptist minister of independent
views now living, is a frequent contributor on social and religious
topics to periodical literature. Dr. David Allyn Gorton, of Brooklyn,
N. Y., another living descendant of Samuell Gorton, has won an enviable
reputation in the practice of medicine, was formerly editor of the
National Quarterly Review, is the author of an able work on “The Monism
of Man,” and numerous philosophical essays, as well as a treatise on
“The Principles of Mental Hygiene,” and voluminous contributions to
medical literature. In recent years he has contributed several able
papers to the collections of the Brooklyn Ethical Association. His son,
Dr. Eliot Gorton, is well known as an alienist and an able writer on
this and kindred topics, as is also Dr. W. A. Gorton, of the Butler
Asylum for the Insane, in Providence. Charles Gorton, of the same city,
who owns the only complete original edition of Samuell Gorton’s
published works known to exist in this country, is a tireless
bibliophilist and book collector, the possessor of invaluable literary
and archæological treasures. Dexter Gorton is one of the most respected
citizens of Providence, a man of sterling integrity, for many years
Chief Engineer of the Fire Department of that City, now one of its Fire
Commissioners, and has several times been chosen to the City Council.
The descendants of Samuell Gorton are also widely distributed in other
portions of the country. In the independence of mind and literary
ability which they have often illustrated, the believer in heredity will
recognize the out-cropping of the same sterling qualities which
characterized the first of their honored name who made his home in the
new world.

The house which Samuell Gorton erected and where he spent his later
years was a land-mark in Old Warwick until within the last half century.
From its door his eyes could rest on the placid waters of Warwick Cove,
and beyond the meadow could see his cattle grazing upon the rounded
uplands of Warwick Neck. The surrounding scenery is restful to the eye,
and invites the thoughtful contemplation of the deep things of life in
which his soul delighted. A short time since, I visited the spot, and
conversed with the oldest representative of four generations of his
descendants, now occupying the ancestral acres. I walked up the
hill-side back of the house which now occupies the site of the old
Gorton homestead, to the little family graveyard where tradition says
that Samuell Gorton was laid to rest with the patent of the Town of
Warwick which he obtained in England,—a nobler decoration than a royal
order—upon his breast. No monumental stone—not even a green mound or an
over-arching tree—now marks the sacred bit of earth where his body long
since turned to dust.

All around, however, are the gracious evidences that his life and labors
were not vainly spent. The prosperity of the town which he founded and
the Commonwealth which he helped to build, constitute his most enduring
monument. South, lies the quiet hamlet of East Greenwich, of which his
son was one of the founders, built in part upon land once owned by
Samuell Gorton. West, also, lie the rural towns of Coventry and West
Greenwich, the soil of which was largely covered by his original
purchase from Miantonomi. What fortunes have been made where he found a
wilderness and out of it wrought a humble home for his declining years!
What untold happiness has filled the throbbing hearts of the many
generations that have come after him as they have looked out upon the
pleasant acres, honestly bought of their aboriginal possessors, and
bravely held as a heritage to his posterity!

The Commonwealth which he loved and served so well has proudly held up
the banner of Soul Liberty guarded and consecrated by Righteous Law,
until its beautiful symbol[83] has carried Hope and Safety to the
uttermost parts of our American Union. Could this Founder of our
Liberties look down upon these peaceful and prosperous scenes, and
ponder upon their vast and beneficent significance, hardly would his
unselfish soul miss the monumental stone which yet a grateful community
shall raise to his fragrant memory. In thankfulness of heart he would
bless the Power which has wrought so marvelously in him and in those who
have followed in his footsteps, and murmur in grateful acknowledgment,
“Yea, Lord, I have seen of the travail of my soul, and am satisfied.”


Footnote 1:

  Both Samuell Gorton, Sr., and his eldest son, spelled their first name
  with the double “L.”

Footnote 2:

  “Beniamin Gorton Killed A woolfe And brought ye head & Skine to my
  house ye 21st day of December, 1674.”—[_Unpublished Town Records, of

Footnote 3:

  The site of the block-house has usually been placed on the North Side
  of the Mill Pond, at Old Warwick. Recent investigations, however,
  strongly favor the more natural site at Conimicut. I am told that
  Judge Brayton was convinced that this was the true location, before he

Footnote 4:

  Notes to “Simplicities Defence against Seven-Headed Policie,” by Judge
  W. R. Staples, [_R. I. Hist. Soc. Coll._]

  Also “A Defence of Samuel Gorton,” By George A. Brayton, late Justice
  of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. [_Providence: Sidney S. Rider._]

Footnote 5:

  Report on the Settlement of Warwick, 1642, and the Seal of the R. I.
  Historical Society, by William D. Ely and John P. Howland,
  (Proceedings, 1887-88,) and Report of the Committee on the Library,
  (Proceedings, 1890.)

Footnote 6:

  Fuller’s “History of Warwick” also contains some sympathetic allusions
  to Gorton’s story. The Hon. William P. Sheffield, in an address before
  the R. I. Historical Society (1893), does him less than justice.

Footnote 7:

  Mackie, et al. A letter of Gorton’s seems to fix this date with
  reasonable certainty as the year of his birth.

Footnote 8:

  A Defence of Samuel Gorton and the Settlers of Shawomet, p. 5.

Footnote 9:

  In a letter to Nathaniel Morton, Gorton says: “I was not bred up in
  the Schoole of humane learninge, and I bless God that I never was.”

Footnote 10:

  _Vide_ Mackie, and others. Gorton himself refers to his father as “a
  merchant of London,” which would possibly imply an earlier removal.

Footnote 11:

  Calendar’s Historical Discourse, p. 9. I have not yet found this
  letter of Gorton’s in the original.

Footnote 12:

  The fact that he subsequently returned and spent some time in London,
  unmolested, also militates against this charge.

Footnote 13:

  1636, O. S.

Footnote 14:

  The trial of Wheelwright was in progress when Gorton arrived.

Footnote 15:

  Under date of June 7, 1637, his name appears on the roll of a company
  of volunteers from Plymouth to aid Massachusetts in the Pequot war. He
  probably saw no service.

Footnote 16:

  An early tradition, the origin of which I have not been able to trace,
  gives the name of Gorton’s wife as Elizabeth. In the New England
  Historical and Genealogical Register, (Vol. XLIV) however, there is a
  record of the bequest of Mary Mayplett, of London, widow, on Dec. 7,
  1646, to her daughter, “_Mary_ Gorton, wife of Samuell Gorton, being
  in New England,” of “all the money which her said husband Samuell doth
  owe me, and a breed of cattle which he hath of mine.” In a later
  volume (XLVI), there is a record of the will of “John Maplett, Doctor
  of Physicke, of the city of Bath, Somerset,” dated April 16, 1670,
  which contains the following clause: “I give and bequeath unto my dear
  sister, Mistress Mary Gorton, of New England, the sum of 20s., and to
  each of her children I give the sum of 10s. apiece.” Dr. John Maplett,
  the brother-in-law of Samuell Gorton, was eminent in letters as well
  as in medicine, having been for a time the Principal of Worcester
  College. (_Vide_ Stevens’s Cyc. of Nat. Biography.) Samuell Gorton’s
  oldest child was a daughter named Mary, probably for her mother. His
  youngest daughter was named Elizabeth, but the late date of Dr.
  Maplett’s bequest to his sister Mary precludes the idea of a second
  marriage. There appear to have been at least two instances in the
  later history of the Gorton family of marriages between Samuells and
  Elizabeths, and it is probably from this that the confusion has
  arisen. I am indebted to Mr. Adelos Gorton, of Philadelphia, for
  important facts bearing on this question.

Footnote 17:

  Winslow afterwards vaguely accused her of “having made some unworthy
  speeches and carriages.” (“_Hypocrisy Unmasked_”).

Footnote 18:

  For an account of Gorton’s trial see Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. I,
  pp. 100, 105, under date “5 Nov. 1638.”

Footnote 19:

  _Vide_ Portsmouth Records, under date “Aprill the 30th, 1639.”

Footnote 20:

  April 28, 1639, William Coddington was Governor, under the Royal
  Charter, from May, 1674, to May, 1676, and from Aug. 28, 1678, to Nov.
  1 of the same year, dying in office.

Footnote 21:

  March 12, 1640.

Footnote 22:

  He is said to have characterized the magistrates as “just asses,” and
  to have called one of the witnesses a “jack-an-apes.” (See charges in
  Portsmouth Records). This occurred in August, 1640.

Footnote 23:

  So Leckford (1641), Winthrop and Morton. Judge Staples questions this.
  Gorton himself refers to “fines, whippings and banishments out of
  their jurisdiction,” suffered by himself and friends. (_Simplicities
  Defence_). See also Edward Winslow’s “_Hypocrisie Unmasked_.”

Footnote 24:

  For charges against Gorton see Portsmouth Town Records. There, also,
  under date “Mch. 16, 1642,” is a record of the banishment and
  disfranchisement of Wickes, Carder, Holden, Shotten and Potter; an
  action practically reversed on the 19th of the following September.
  (Portsmouth Records). They had already left Portsmouth before their
  official banishment.

Footnote 25:

  There is reference to these controversies in Providence Records under
  date Nov. 17, 1641, in which Gorton’s name is mentioned.

Footnote 26:

  There are strong reasons for questioning the authenticity of this

Footnote 27:

  This is admitted by Knowles, the biographer of Roger Williams. Arnold,
  certainly, had few sympathizers. None of the five “Disposers” of the
  town took part in this action.

Footnote 28:

  The first deed of land beyond the Pawtuxet was made to John Greene,
  Oct. 1, 1642, and signed by Miantonomi and Soccononocco. The deed to
  Samuell Gorton and others, of the Shawomet lands bears date on the
  12th of the following January (1642, O. S.).

Footnote 29:

  The submission of Pomham and Soccononocco to Massachusetts bears date
  “June 22nd, 1643.”

Footnote 30:

  _Vide_ “_Narragansett Historical Register_,” Vol. I, pp. 16, 17, _et

Footnote 31:

  Sept. 12, 1643.

Footnote 32:

  Reply of Nowell and the Boston authorities to Gorton, _vide_
  “_Simplicities Defence_.”

Footnote 33:

  “All ministers of the Gospel.” (Brayton.) The Providence men were
  Chad. Brown, Thomas Olney, William Field and William Wickenden.
  Sheffield says “Brown and Wickenden _afterwards_ became clergymen.”
  (_Samuell Gorton_, p. 45).

Footnote 34:

  Sheffield says “for several days.” (Address before R. I. Historical
  Society, February, 1893).

Footnote 35:

  The invaders also took and sold eighty head of cattle belonging to
  Gorton and his friends.

Footnote 36:

  A full account of this contest, with statements of both parties,
  appears in Gorton’s “_Simplicities Defence_,” (first ed., London, Aug.
  3, 1646.) See also Winslow’s “_Hypocrisie Unmasked_.”

Footnote 37:

  Gorton was at first ordered to formulate his answers “_within fifteen
  minutes_,” but on appeal was given until the next morning.

Footnote 38:

  By two majority!

Footnote 39:

  Gorton was taken to Boston as “prisoner of war,” Oct. 13, 1643. He was
  sentenced Nov. 3, 1643; released Mch. 7, 1643-44 (1643, O. S.).

Footnote 40:

  History of New England, Vol. I.

Footnote 41:

  _Simplicities Defence against Seven Headed Policie._

Footnote 42:

  The reference is to Mr. Cotton’s championship of Anne Hutchinson and
  the Antinomian heresy.

Footnote 43:

  Williams probably sold his half of Prudence to obtain money to pay his
  expenses to England, when he went to make application for a charter.
  The purchase was in the name of a friend and co-partner of Winthrop,
  one Parker, a merchant of Boston.

Footnote 44:

  The date ordinarily assigned to this patent, “Aug. 19, _1644_,” must
  be erroneous. It was probably granted two years later, when Gorton was
  in England.

Footnote 45:

  The manner in which the authorities of Massachusetts Bay recognized
  this safe-conduct was characteristic. Under date of “13th May, 1648,”
  the following entry appears in the Colonial Records: “Vppon the
  request of the Earle of Warwicke, the Court allowes Samuell Gorton,
  now a shipboard, one full weeke after the date hereof, for the
  transportatiō of himselfe & his goods through or iurisdictiō to the
  place of his dwelling, he demeaning himselfe inoffensively, accordinge
  to the contents of the Ŝd earle’s l’re, & that the marshals or some of
  them shall shew him a coppie of this order, or fix it to the maine
  mast of the shippe in which he is.”—_Mass. Records, Vol. III, p. 127._

Footnote 46:

  Warwick was not named in the Charter, as the town was not organized
  when it was granted; but it united with the other towns in 1647, in
  the first General Assembly of the entire Colony.

Footnote 47:

  These were the names given the contesting parties of white men by the
  Indians. The latter, Roger Williams says, means “coat wearers,” which
  leads Dr. Fiske to query whether the Gortonists habitually went in
  their shirt sleeves!

Footnote 48:

  Peage, or wampum, was legal tender in Rhode Island until 1662, and
  doubtless still passed current among the Indians. The bill of sale
  bears the name of Pomham’s son, but in its terms binds Pomham as well
  as his heirs.

Footnote 49:

  The Charter of 1643-44 provided “that the laws, constitutions,
  punishments for the civil government of the said Plantation be
  conformable to the laws of England so far as the nature and
  constitution of that place would admit.”

Footnote 50:

  Gorton’s legal acquirements were evidently superior to those of any
  other man in the Colony. He was one of the first Judges of the Colony.

Footnote 51:

  Historical Records, Vol. I, p. 166.

Footnote 52:

  William Arnold and the Pawtuxet malcontents.

Footnote 53:

  Hazard’s State Papers, p. 555. Quoted in R. I. Colonial Records, Vol.
  I, p. 235.

Footnote 54:

  Colonial Records (May 19, 1652).

Footnote 55:

  John M. Mackie.

Footnote 56:

  _Vide_ “Certain Letters which Passed between the Penman of this
  Treatise and certain men newly come out of Old England into New.” By
  Samuell Gorton.

Footnote 57:

  Colonial Records, 1658.

Footnote 58:

  Ibid, 1665.

Footnote 59:

  Records of the Town of Warwick (unpublished).

Footnote 60:

  Greene’s Short History of Rhode Island, p. 76.

Footnote 61:

  Unpublished Town Records.

Footnote 62:

  _Vide_ Austin’s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. See, also,
  unpublished Town Records of Warwick.

Footnote 63:

  Massachusetts Records, Vol. II, p. 51.

Footnote 64:

  History of Rhode Island. By Samuel G. Arnold.

Footnote 65:


Footnote 66:

  This is substantially the conclusion of Judge Brayton. (Defence of
  Samuel Gorton).

Footnote 67:

  That Gorton believed in civil government also clearly appears in his
  correspondence relating to the Quakers, where he expressly dissents
  from their views about government.

Footnote 68:

  _Vide_ Nowell, Rawson, Winthrop, Winslow, Morton, _et al._

Footnote 69:

  “The Father was never knowne nor is he knowable but in Christ.”
  (Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer).

Footnote 70:

  The quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are from Gorton’s
  unpublished Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer. (Commentary, p. 101).

Footnote 71:

  “Though no church was formed in connection with his ministrations, he
  exercised a powerful influence upon the religious views of the
  Colony.” History of Warwick, p. 301. By Orris Payson Fuller, B. A.

Footnote 72:

  He also differed with the Friends of his day in his views about

Footnote 73:

  This is strongly emphasized in his Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer.

Footnote 74:

  Commentary Mss., p. 11. See, also, p. 14, _et seq._, as well as
  “_Simplicities Defence_,” (R. I. Hist. Soc. Ed.) page 183.

Footnote 75:

  Commentary Mss., page 57.

Footnote 76:

  Dr. Fiske is in error in classing him as a follower of Anne
  Hutchinson. His theology was original and peculiarly his own.
  (Commentary Mss., p. 58).

Footnote 77:

  Commentary Mss., p. 90.

Footnote 78:

  It is hardly necessary to say that neither Gorton or Parker held this
  doctrine in any materialistic sense. It was a lofty philosophical
  conception that the entire creative energy was expressed in the divine
  nature, to conceive which as purely masculine was inadequate,
  anthropomorphic and irrational.

Footnote 79:

  The first charge against Roger Williams, on which he was banished from
  Massachusetts Bay, accused him of teaching “That wee have not our land
  by Pattent from the King, but that the natives are the true owners of
  it and that wee ought to repent of such receiving it by Pattent.”
  Gorton agreed with Williams as to the necessity of purchase from the
  Indians, but thought the charter also necessary.

Footnote 80:

  John M. Mackie, in “_Sparks’s American Biography_.”

  Samuel Eddy, Secretary of State of Rhode Island, _circum_ 1820, says
  of Gorton: “From the first establishment of the government he was
  almost constantly in office, and during a long life there is no
  instance of record to my knowledge of any reproach or censure cast
  upon him, no complaint of him, although history furnishes abundance of
  evidence that there were no lack of enemies to his person, principles,
  or property. This can hardly be said of any other settler of the
  Colony of any standing.” Quoted in Judge Brayton’s “_Defence of Samuel

Footnote 81:

  _Vide_ Winthrop’s Letters, the Portsmouth charges, etc.

Footnote 82:

  The eldest daughter, Mary, married, i. Peter Greene; ii. John Sanford;
  the youngest, Elizabeth, married John Crandall; Sarah married William
  Mace; Ann’s husband was John Warner; Susanna’s was Benjamin Barton.
  From these marriages have sprung many well known Rhode Island

Footnote 83:

  The Colonial Assembly of 1647 provided “that the seale of the Province
  shall be an anchor.”

                         BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INDEX


The following books, articles and manuscripts have been consulted in the
preparation of this paper:

  Original Edition, London, Aug. 3, 1646. Second edition, 1647.
  Reprinted in Vol. III of R. I. Historical Collections, with
  introduction and notes by Judge W. R. Staples.


3. SALTMARSH RETURNED FROM THE DEAD, in _Amicus Philalethes_; or the
  Resurrection of James the Apostle out of the Grave of Carnall Glosses,
  for the Correction of the Universall Apostasy which cruelly buryed him
  who yet liveth. By Samuell Gorton. London Edition.

  INTERPRETATIONS OF THE WORD OF GOD. By Samuell Gorton. London Edition.
  (Dedicated to “His Highness, Oliver, Lord Protector of England,
  Scotland and Ireland, with the dominions thereto belonging.”)

  Samuell Gorton. (_Mss._ in Library of the R. I. Historical Society, at

  (London Edition).

  these letters are in the possession of Mr. Edward Crowninshield, of

8. LIFE OF SAMUEL GORTON. By John M. Mackie. (Sparks’s American

  Brayton. Late Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island (R. I.
  Historical Tracts, No. 17.—Sidney S. Rider).







16. TOWN RECORDS OF WARWICK. (Unpublished).

17. HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF WARWICK. By Orris Payson Fuller, B. A.




21. HISTORY OF RHODE ISLAND. By Samuel G. Arnold.

22. A SHORT HISTORY OF RHODE ISLAND. By George Washington Greene.



25. HYPOCRISIE UNMASKED. By Edward Winslow.



28. THE COLONIAL ERA. (American History Series). By G. P. Fisher.



 =Adams=, Charles Francis, on Samuell Gorton, 83

 =Agnosticism=, Gorton’s views on, 88-89

 =Aldredge=, Mrs.
   Her trouble with the Plymouth authorities, 28
   Samuell Gorton’s defence of, 28-29

 =Anarchism=, Gorton’s alleged, 74-78

 =Anchor=, the Seal of Rhode Island, 115

 =Andros=, Governor, 78

 =Antinomianism=, 97 and _note_.

   Town Hall of Warwick in, 9, 14
   Ancient records in, 14, 15

   Settlement of, 29-31
   Effort of Massachusetts to separate from Providence Plantations,
   A refuge for Warwick residents in King Philip’s war, 70

 =Arnold=, Hon. Samuel G.,
   His History of Rhode Island, 17, 19
   On Samuell Gorton’s political creed, 75
   His kinship to Samuell Gorton, 75, 110

 =Arnold=, William,
   His contentions in Providence and Pawtuxet, 34, 36
   His alliance with Massachusetts Bay, 36
   His small following, 36, _note_.
   His friends accuse the men of Shawomet, 62, and _note_.

 =Arrow-heads=, 14

 =Atherton= Company, 39, 49

 =Awoshosse=, 52

 =Barton=, Benjamin,
   Marries Susanna, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Bible=, Samuell Gorton’s principal text-book, 22, 99

 =Bibliography=, 119-122

 =Blasphemy=, Charges against Gorton for, 39, 43, 45

 =Boston=, Sympathy with Gorton in, 45-46

 =Bradford=, William, 10

 =Brayton=, Hon. George A.
   His Defence of Samuell Gorton, 18, and _note_, 19
   On Gorton’s noble connection, 21-22
   On the peace-makers from Providence, 40, _note_.

 =Canonchet=, 69

 =Carder=, Richard.
   His banishment from Portsmouth, 33-34, _note_.
   His imprisonment in Massachusetts, 47

 =Channing=, William Ellery.
   Samuell Gorton’s theology compared with, 96

 =Charles= the First.
   His contest with Parliament, 35

 =Charles= the Second.
   Gorton prepares an address to, 67
   Grants the Charter of 1663, 68

 =Charlestown=, Samuell Gorton’s imprisonment in, 45

   Of Providence Plantations, 1643-44, 53, 56, 60, 61, _note_.
   Of Warwick, 54
   Royal Charter of 1663, 68

 =Christ=, Samuell Gorton’s teachings about, 88, 89, 91, 95-97

 =Christocentric= character of Samuell Gorton’s theology, 88

 =Church= of England, Samuell Gorton’s indebtedness to, 23

 =Clam-bakes=, 14

 =Clarke=, John.
   Represents Rhode Island in England, 66
   Gorton’s letter to, concerning the Quakers, 67
   Secures the Charter of 1663, 68

 =Coddington=, William.
   Settles at Aquidneck, 30
   Removes to Newport, 30
   Establishes a Theocracy, 30
   Supported by a minority, 31
   Opposes union under the Charter of, 1643-44, 56
   Secedes from the Charter Government, 63
   Governor under the Royal Charter, 30, _note_.

 =Code= of 1647, 60-62

 =Cole=, Daniel, marries Mahershallalhashbaz, daughter of Samuell
    Gorton, 108

 =Colonial= dwellings in Warwick, 8

 =Common= Law of England, 76-77, 105

 =Conanicus=, 52

 =Conimicut= Point.
   Samuell Gorton’s Block House on, 12, and _note_.
   The siege of, 12, 40-42

 =Connecticut= rejects the limitations of citizenship by
    church-membership, 80

 =Cotton=, John, his alleged heresies, 47-48, and _note_.

 =Coventry=, 114

 =Coweset=, Gorton’s lands in, deeded to his sons, 72

 =Coweset= Bay, 9

 =Crandall=, John, marries Elizabeth, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108,

 =Cromwell=, Oliver, letter to, concerning the Quakers, 66-67

 =Cutshamekin=, 46

 =Declaration= of Independence, 105

 =East= Greenwich.
   Land in owned by Samuell Gorton, 72-73, 114
   Benjamin Gorton, one of its first settlers, 73

 =Eddy=, Samuel, on Samuell Gorton’s character, 106, _note_.

 =Ely=, William D., his studies of the Gorton history, 48, and _note_.

 =Emerson=, Ralph Waldo, his philosophy foreshadowed by that of Samuell
    Gorton, 92, 106

 =Ethical= teachings of Samuell Gorton, 97, 101

 =Fiske=, John, LL. D.
   His account of Samuell Gorton in “The Beginnings of New England.”, 18
   His story of the murder of Miantonomi, 52
   On the Gortonoges and Wattaconoges, 57, _note_.
   His inadequate estimate of Gorton’s career, 82

   Gorton’s defence of, 66, and _note_ 67
   His letters to, 66, _note_.
   His theology compared with that of, 93-94
   He opposes their doctrine of the “inner light.”, 93
   He opposes their doctrine about Government, 94, _note_.

 =Gaspee=, burning of, 11

 =Gorton=, Adelos, vi, 27, _note_.

 =Gorton=, Ann, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Gorton=, Benjamin,
   Kills a wolf in Warwick, 1774, 12, _note_.
   Inherits estate from his father, Samuell Gorton, 71
   Early settler of East Greenwich, 72, 109, 114

 =Gorton=, Charles, 111-112

 =Gorton=, Dr. David Allyn, 110-111

 =Gorton=, Dexter, 112

 =Gorton=, Dr. Eliot, 111

 =Gorton=, Elizabeth, 108, _note_.

 =Gorton=, Rev. James, 110

 =Gorton=, John.
   Inherits estate from his father, Samuell Gorton, 71
   Shares in final division of the Coweset lands, 72

 =Gorton=, Mary, eldest daughter of Samuell Gorton, 27, _note_, 108,

 =Gorton=, Mary Maplett,
   Wife of Samuell Gorton, 26, 27 and _note_.
   His testimony to her gentle birth, 27
   His provision for her in the disposal of his estate, 72

 =Gortonoges=, 10, 57, and _note_.

 =Gorton=, Othniel, 109

 =Gorton=, Parish of, in England, 21

 =Gorton=, Samuell.
   Born in 1592, 21, and _note_.
   The man and his work, 21
   His education, 22, and _note_.
   His residence in London, 23-24
   His marriage, 24
   His emigration to America, 25
   His residence in Boston and Plymouth, 25-29
   His first meeting with Roger Williams, 26
   His troubles with the Plymouth authorities, 28
   His banishment from Plymouth, 29
   His difficulties in Portsmouth, 31-33
   His banishment by the Coddington Government, 33
   His contentions in Providence, 34-35
   His settlement in Shawomet, 37
   He is summoned to Boston, 39
   Besieged at Conimicut, 40-42
   Taken to Boston for trial, 43
   Imprisoned in Massachusetts, 43-45
   His release and return to Portsmouth, 45-49
   Secures the submission of the Narragansetts to the British
      Government, 51, 52, 55
   Excluded from Shawomet by Massachusetts, 49, 51
   His voyage to England, 1645-48, 54-55
   Secures Charter for Warwick, 54
   His later career, 59
   His service in the General Assembly, 59-65
   Probable author of the statute against slavery, 63-65
   General Assistant, Moderator and President, 65
   His defence of the Quakers, 66-67
   Incorporator of the Colony under the Royal Charter, 68
   Assigned shares in Warwick Neck, 68
   His life saved by friendly Indians during King Philip’s War, 68-69
   Divides his estate among his children, 71-73
   His political philosophy, 74-81
   His religious convictions, 82-102
   His character and personal appearance, 106-108

 =Gorton=, Samuell, Jr.
   Born in England, 1630, 27-28
   Writes will of John Wickes, 70
   Elected Town Treasurer, 71
   Trust reposed in him by his father, 71-72
   Participates in the final division of Coweset lands, 72-73

 =Gorton=, Sarah, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Gorton=, Susanna, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Gorton=, Dr. W. A., 111

 =Greene=, Hon. Albert Gorton, 110

 =Greene=, Col. Christopher, 110

 =Greene=, John,
   Co-settler of Warwick with Samuell Gorton, 13
   First deed of Shawomet lands to, 37, _note_.
   Accompanies Gorton to England, 54
   Signs will of John Wickes, 71

 =Greene=, Gen. Nathanael, 109-110

 =Greene=, Peter, marries Mary, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Hireling= ministry, 91

 =Historical= Society, documents in the Library of, 15, 18, and _note_.

 =Holden=, Randall.
   Co-settler of Warwick with Samuell Gorton, 13
   His banishment from Portsmouth, 33, 34, _note_.
   Commissioner to convey submission of the Narragansetts, 52
   Accompanies Gorton to England, 54
   Will of John Wickes proved before him, 70

 =Huguenots=, 81

 =Hutchinson=, Anne.
   Her banishment from Massachusetts Bay, 25
   Settles at Aquidneck, 29
   Gorton not her follower, 97, _note_.

 =Hypocrisie= Unmasked, 28, _note_, 33, _note_, 42, _note_.

 =Immortality=, Gorton’s views about, 97

 =Imprisonment= for debt forbidden by Code of 1647, 62

 =Imputed= sin, 97

 =Incorruptible= Key to the CX Psalme, 78, 79, 84

   In Warwick, 12
   At Pottowomut Neck, 14
   Employed by Massachusetts against Gorton, 40, 41
   Their sympathy with Gorton, 46
   They save his life, 68-69
   He is their trusted counsellor, 69

 =Individualism=, Samuell Gorton’s, 77, 105

 =Inner= Light, Gorton opposes the Quaker doctrine of, 93-94

   Of the Puritans, 25
   Samuell Gorton opposes, 78, 94
   Its contest with Soul Liberty, 78-80
   Final overthrow of, 81

 =James= the Second, 78

 =Liberty= of Conscience.
   Gorton leaves England for, 25
   Not found in Massachusetts, 26
   Nathaniel Ward on, 48
   Upheld by Gorton and Roger Williams, 78-81

 =Lincoln=, Abraham, 76

 =Lippitt=, Hon. Charles Warren, 110

 =Lippitt=, Hon. Henry, 110

 =London=, Gorton’s residence in, 24
   His return to, 54-55

 =Lord’s= Prayer, Gorton’s Commentary on, 85, _et seq._

 =Mace=, William, married Sarah, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108,

 =Mackie=, John M. his Life of Samuell Gorton, 17, 21, 23, 106, _note_,

 =Magna= Charta, 76

 =Mahershallalhashbaz=, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108

 =Manhattan=, 54

   Dr. John, Brother-in-law of Samuell Gorton: his bequest to his sister
      and her children, 27, _note_.
   Mary, wife of Samuell Gorton, 26, 27, _note_, 29, 72, 107
   Mary, mother of Mrs. Gorton: her bequest to her daughter, 27, _note_.

 =Massachusetts Bay.=
   Intolerance of its government, 25
   Gorton banished from, 45
   Its contest for the control of Narragansett Bay, 49-58
   Its efforts blocked by Samuell Gorton, 51-58
   Failure of its theocratic policy, 79-81

   Gorton purchases Shawomet of, 37, 38
   Winthrop and Roger Williams purchase Prudence Island of, 50, and
   His murder by the Mohegans with the consent of the Boston elders, 52

 =Mixan=, 52

 =Monism=, Samuell Gorton’s, 89

 =Morton=, Nathaniel,
   On Samuell Gorton, 33
   Gorton’s correspondence with, 22, _note_, 84

 =Mysticism=, Gorton’s, 84, 94

 =Narragansett Bay.=
   Gorton’s residence on, 13, 37, 112
   Settlement of Aquidneck on, 29
   Efforts of Massachusetts authorities to control, 50, 55

 =Narragansett= Indians.
   Allies of Gorton, 10
   Gorton purchases Shawomet of, 37
   Gorton obtains their submission to Great Britain, 51-53
   Massachusetts declares war against, 53
   Gorton publishes their submission in London, 55

 =New England= Confederation, 39, 53

 =Nowell=, Increase, on Gorton’s alleged blasphemies, 39, and _note_,
    83, _note_.

 =Ordinances= of religion, Gorton’s opposition to, 90, 93

 =Palfrey=, John G.
   His account of Samuell Gorton in his History of New England, 18
   Admits sympathy with Gorton in Massachusetts, 46

   Gorton’s settlement in, 35
   His contest with William Arnold, 36
   His departure from, 37
   Contest of Massachusetts for, 50

 =Pawtuxet= River, 8, 14

 =Peage=, 57, and _note_.

 =Perry=, Hon. Amos, 85

 =Pessicus=, 52

 =Philip=, King.
   His war with the white settlers, 68
   Samuell Gorton’s life saved, 69
   Warwick’s sufferings during the war, 69
   A battle fought in Warwick, 69

 =Philosophy=, Samuell Gorton’s, 74, _et seq._

 =Pilgrims=, 26

   Gorton’s residence in, 26
   His banishment from, 29
   Sends men to Warwick during King Philip’s war, 69

   His assent to Gorton’s Shawomet purchase, 37
   He repudiates his signature, 38
   His submission to Massachusetts Bay, 38
   His Block-House on Warwick Neck, 51
   He sells his claim to Samuell Gorton, 57, and _note_.

 =Popaquinepaug=, (See Pawtuxet.)

   Town-government instituted, 29-31
   Union with Newport, 31
   Gorton’s troubles in, 32-33
   Gorton returns to, 49

   Is elected to a magistracy, 49
   Union with Northern towns under Charter of 1643-44, 56

 =Pottowomut= Neck, Indian relics found on, 14

 =Pottowomut= River, 14

 =Prayer=, Samuell Gorton’s definition of, 91-92

   Samuell Gorton emigrates to, 34
   Controversies in, 34, and _note_, 35
   Peacemakers from, interfere at Shawomet, 40, and _note_.
   United with Aquidneck under Charter of 1643-44, 56

 =Providence= Plantations.
   Antagonism of Massachusetts to, 49-55
   Charter obtained for, 56, and _note_.
   Action of General Assembly of in 1645, 53

 =Prudence= Island.
   Its strategic importance in the struggle with Massachusetts Bay, 50
   Its purchase by Gov. Winslow, 50, and _note_.

   Their revolt against religious formalism, 23
   Send an armed force against Gorton, 40
   Their preaching to the Gortonists, 46, 47
   Their opposition to soul liberty, 78-81

   Gorton’s defence of, 66, and _note_, 67
   His letters to, 66, _note_, 78, _note_.
   His theology compared with that of, 90-91, 93-94

 =Rawson=, Edward, on Samuell Gorton, 83-84

 =Religion=, Samuell Gorton’s views concerning, 82-102

 =Religious= development, Samuell Gorton on, 99

 =Remphan=, Chion, Moloch, 44

 =Revolutionary= War, the first blow struck in Warwick, 11

 =Rites= and ceremonies, Gorton’s distrust of, 90-91, 92-93

 =Rhode Island.=
   Interesting character of its early history, v, 17
   Settlement of, 29-30, 34, 36
   Soul Liberty established in, 15, 19, 78-81
   Contest with Massachusetts Bay, 38-58
   First Charter of, 56, and _note_, 61, _note_.
   Earliest Code of, 60-63
   Triumph of Rhode Island principles, 79-81

 =Salvation= by character, taught by Samuell Gorton, 97

 =Sanford=, John, marries Mary, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Saracens=, 81

 =Separatists=, 23, 26

   First settlement of, 37, and _note_.
   Gorton’s troubles in, 38-48
   Becomes Warwick, 49-58

 =Sheffield=, Hon. William Pitt.
   His address on Samuell Gorton, 18, _note_, 40, _note_, 41, _note_.

 =Simplicities= Defence Against Seven-Headed Policie, 18, _note_, 33,
    _note_, 39, _note_, 42, _note_, 47, _note_, 54, 117

 =Slavery=, Statute against, in 1652, 63-65

 =Smith=, Ralph.
   Gorton hires a house of in Plymouth, 26
   Colleague of Roger Williams, 26

   Signs deed to Shawomet lands, 37, and _note_.
   Repudiates his signature, 38
   Makes submission to Massachusetts, 38, and _note_.
   His revolt one cause of the submission of the Narragansetts to Great
      Britain, 52

 =Soul= Liberty.
   Defence of by Roger Williams and Samuell Gorton, 19
   Rhode Island the first Government founded on, 79
   Its final triumph in the Nation, 81

 =Sources= of information, 17-20

 =Squatter= Sovereignty, denied by Samuell Gorton, 75

 =Staples=, Hon. William R.
   On Samuell Gorton, 18, and _note_, 33, _note_.
   On the death of John Wickes, 70

 =Sumner=, Charles, 76

 =Swedenborg=, Emanuel, his theology compared with that of Samuell
    Gorton, 88-90

   Of Massachusetts Bay, 25
   Of Coddington’s Government, 30
   Its contest with Soul Liberty, 78
   Its final failure, 81

 =Tomanick=, 52

 =Transcendentalism.= Samuell Gorton a forerunner of, 92, 106

 =Trinitarianism.= Samuell Gorton’s views about, 95-96

 =Unknowable.= Samuell Gorton’s doctrine of, 88

 =Wampum=, legal tender in Rhode Island, 57, _note_.

 =Ward=, Nathaniel.
   His exhortation to Richard Carder, 47
   His “Simple Cobbler of Agawam.”, 48

 =Warner=, John.
   Commissioner to convey the submission of the Narragansetts, 52
   Marries Ann, daughter of Samuell Gorton, 108, _note_.

 =Warwick= Cove, 13, 113

 =Warwick=, Earl of.
   Grants Patent to Samuell Gorton, 54
   Gives Gorton safe conduct through Massachusetts, 55
   Massachusetts recognizes his authority, 55, _note_.

 =Warwick=, Old and New, 7-16
   Beautiful in Summer, 9
   Town government organized in, 56-57
   Unites with Providence and Aquidneck, 56
   Samuell Gorton’s service of, 59-73

 =Wattaconoges=, 57, and _note_.

 =West= Greenwich, 114

 =Wheelwright=, John, his banishment from Massachusetts Bay, 25

 =Wickes=, John.
   His punishment at Portsmouth, 33, and _note_.
   He goes to Providence, 34
   Commissioner of the Narragansetts, 52
   His supposed death in King Philip’s war, 70-71
   His will, 70

 =Williams=, Roger, 10, 19, 26, 36, 53, 57, _note_, 63, 77, 78
   His residence in Plymouth, 26
   His first meeting with Samuell Gorton, 26
   His banishment from Massachusetts Bay, 25
   His early disagreements with Gorton, 35
   His alleged letter to Winthrop of doubtful authenticity, 35, _note_.
   He sells his half of Prudence Island, 50, and _note_.
   He visits England and secures a Charter, 56
   His doctrine of Soul Liberty, 19, 78-81
   The first charge against him in Massachusetts, 104, _note_.
   His conversion to Gorton’s views of civil government, 77-78, 104

 =Winslow=, Edward, his “Hypocrisie Unmasked.”, 28, _note_, 33, _note_,
    42, _note_.

 =Winthrop=, John.
   On Gorton’s controversy with Roger Williams, 35, and _note_.
   Purchases Prudence Island, 50, and _note_.
   His inconsistency, 50-51
   Defeat of his plans by Gorton, 51-55

   Provision against in Code of 1647, 61-62
   Scepticism about in Rhode Island, 62
   Charges against the men of Shawomet, 62-63
   No prosecutions for in Rhode Island, 63

 =Woman.= Samuell Gorton’s favors her equality with man in the Church,
    101, 102




                          PRESTON AND ROUNDS,

                           PROVIDENCE, R. I.


                  History of the State of Rhode Island

                      and Providence Plantations,


                        By SAMUEL GREENE ARNOLD.

  New Edition.    2 vols.    Octavo.    574 and 600 pp.    $7.50, net.


Governor Arnold’s History of Rhode Island, based upon a careful study of
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has from its publication been the authoritative history of the State.

Genealogical students will find in these volumes the names of over
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“One of the best State histories ever written is S. G. Arnold’s History
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“A work prepared after long and careful research. Probably no student
has ever made himself more familiar with the history of Rhode Island
than did Arnold. This work abounds, therefore, in valuable
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                        Among Rhode Island Wild

                         By W. WHITMAN BAILEY,

                _Professor of Botany, Brown University_.

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This admirable little volume, the outgrowth of the author’s ripe
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                  Tax Lists of the Town of Providence

             During the Administration of Sir Edmund Andros
                            and his Council,


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                       Early Rhode Island Houses.

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=Early Rhode Island Houses= gives a clear and accurate account of the
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Among the houses described are the Smith Garrison House and the
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A chapter is devoted to the early houses of Newport, which were unlike
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                          THE EAST INDIA TRADE

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                           From 1787 to 1807.

                      BY GERTRUDE SELWYN KIMBALL.

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                          TOPOGRAPHICAL ATLAS

                                 OF THE



        By the United States Geological Survey, in co-operation
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                               MARY DYER

                            OF RHODE ISLAND,

                         COMMON, JUNE 1, 1660.


                           BY HORATIO ROGERS,

        Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.


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Sent postpaid upon receipt of price by the publishers.


                A Summer Visit of Three Rhode Islanders
                   to the Massachusetts Bay in 1651.


                        BY HENRY MELVILLE KING,

         Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Providence, R. I.


               Cloth, 12mo., 115 pages. Price $1.00 net.

                                               Uniform with “MARY DYER.”




“Dr. King’s pungent and conclusive essay is a timely contribution. He
adduces competent evidence refuting the gratuitous insinuations of
Palfrey and Dexter, who charged the Rhode Islanders in question with
sinister political motives and excused their alleged maltreatment on
that ground. Citations from original documents, with a bibliography, put
the reader in position to verify the allegations of the author.”—_The


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                Revolutionary Defences in Rhode Island.



                            BY EDWARD FIELD.

               Past President of the Rhode Island Society
                of the Sons of the American Revolution.



                            PRICE $2.25 NET.


This volume contains an account of the various works of defence erected
in the State of Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War, showing where
and under what circumstances they were built, and the names of the
officers and enlisted men located at many of them at various periods of
the war.

For nearly three years the British Army was located within the State and
one of the notable battles was fought within its territory. The war map
of this battle of Rhode Island, now preserved in the State archives, has
been especially reproduced for this work, and is shown in its entirety
for the first time.

The work is profusely illustrated with plans and views of these old
earthworks, together with illustrations of the styles of equipments and
fac-similes of enlistment papers for the Continental Army. A Map of the
State of Rhode Island is inserted showing the location of each fort,
beacon, and coast guard station described in the text.

Muster rolls and company lists containing the names of more than seven
hundred officers and enlisted men, many of which have been hitherto
inaccessible, are here presented. The records of Rhode Island Soldiers
in the War of the Revolution are scattered and incomplete, and the names
contained in this book will be of great assistance to those who desire
to ascertain the service of Rhode Island Soldiers, or to establish their
right to membership in the hereditary patriotic societies, for the names
have been carefully transcribed and reference is given in each case
where the original muster or pay roll may be found.

Sent postpaid upon receipt of price by the publishers.


                        NEW ENGLAND WILD FLOWERS

                           AND THEIR SEASONS.


                         BY W. WHITMAN BAILEY,



              Cloth, 16mo. Uniform with “RHODE ISLAND WILD
                        FLOWERS.” 75 cents net.


From long wanderings afield the author has caught the charm of the
varying moods of our New England year, and pictures them for the reader
with sympathetic touch.

The characteristics of the conspicuous and dominant flowers of the
months are sketched in broad lines rendering identification easy.

The flowers of the White and Green Mountains—our alpine flora—receive
separate treatment, as do also the flowers of the sea-shore—our coast

Sent postpaid upon receipt of price by the publishers.


                           TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE

Punctuation has been normalized. Variations in hyphenation have been
retained as they were in the original publication. The following changes
have been made:

           Peague —> Peage {135}
           comon (bar-capped m) course —> common course {64}

A reference under the Index entry “Quakers” referring to page 118 was
not found to be accurate, and was removed.

Footnotes have been moved to the back of the main text.

Italicized phrases are presented by surrounding the text with

Bold phrases are presented by surrounding the text with =equal signs=.

Raised letters are indicated by preceding them with a caret ^ sign.

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