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Title: General History of Connecticut, from Its First Settlement Under George Fenwick to its Latest Period of Amity with Great Britain
Author: Peters, Samuel
Language: English
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  LONDON: 1781.




  549 & 551 BROADWAY.



Though Connecticut be the most flourishing, and, proportionally, the
most populous, province in North America, it has hitherto found no
writer to introduce it, in its own right, to the notice of the world.
Slight and cursory mention in the accounts of other provinces, or of
America in general, has yet only been made of it. The historians of
New England have constantly endeavored to aggrandize Massachusetts Bay
as the parent of the other colonies, and as comprehending all that is
worthy of attention in that country. Thus Governor Hutchinson says, in
the preface of his history of that province, that “there was no
importation of planters from England to any part of the continent
northward of Maryland, excepting to Massachusetts, for more than fifty
years after the colony began;” not knowing, or willing to forget, or
to conceal, that Saybrook, New Haven, and Long Island, were settled
with emigrants from England within half that period. Another reason
for the obscurity in which the Connectitensians have hitherto been
involved is to be found among their own sinister views and purposes:
Prudence dictated that their deficiency in point of right to the soil
they occupied, their wanton and barbarous persecutions, illegal
practices, daring usurpations, etc., had better be concealed than
exposed to public view.

To dissipate this cloud of prejudice and knavery, and to bring to
light truths long concealed, is the motive of my offering the
following sheets to the world. I am bold to assert that Connecticut
merits a fuller account than envy or ignorance has yet suffered to be
given it; and that I have followed the line of truth freely, and
unbiased by partiality or prejudice. The reader, therefore, will not
be surprised should I have placed the New-Englanders in a different
light from that in which they have yet appeared: their characterizers
have not been sufficiently unprejudiced, unawed by power, or
unaffected by the desire of obtaining it, always to set them in a true
one. Dr. Mather and Mr. Neal were popular writers, but, at the time
they extolled the prudence and piety of the colonists, they suppressed
what are called in New England unnecessary truths. Governor
Hutchinson, who loved fame, and feared giving offense, published a few
only of those truths, which failed not to procure him a proportionate
share of popular distrust and odium. For my own part, I believe my
readers will give me credit for having neither the favor nor the fear
of man before me in writing this history of Connecticut. I discard the
one; I court not the other. My sole aim has been to represent the
country, the people, and their transactions, in proper colors. Too
much, however, must not be expected from me. I am very sensible of
many great defects in this performance, wherein very little assistance
was to be obtained from publications of others. Mr. Chambers, indeed,
who is writing “Political Annals of the Present United Colonies,”
pursues that task with great pains and address. His researches have
been of some use to me; but, as to the New England writers, error,
disguise, and misrepresentations, too much abound in them to be
serviceable in this undertaking, though they related more to the
subject than they do. The good-natured critic, therefore, will excuse
the want of a regular and connected detail of facts and events which
it was impossible for me to preserve, having been deprived of papers
of my ancestors which would have given my relation that and other
advantages. I hope, therefore, for much indulgence, striking, as I
have done, into a new and dark path, almost without a guide. If I have
carried myself through it, though with some digressions, yet without
incurring the danger of being accounted a deceiver, my disordered garb
will, I presume, find an apology in the ruggedness of the road--my
Scriptural phraseology be ascribed to the usage of my country.

For three generations my forefathers were careful observers of the
proceedings of the Connecticut colonists; and if their papers and
myself should continue in existence till a return of peace shall
restore them to my possession, I trust the public will not be
displeased with the design I have of committing them to the press. In
the mean time, lest that event should never take place, I beg their
acceptance of the present volume, which, whatever other historical
requisite it may want, must, I think, be allowed to possess
originality and truth (rare properties in modern publications), and,
therefore, I hope, will not be deemed unworthy the public favor.


Mr. James Hammond Trumbull, the author of the work entitled “The Blue
Laws of Connecticut and New Haven, and the False Blue Laws invented by
the Rev. Samuel Peters,” which has just made its appearance, attempts
to throw discredit on the work of Dr. Peters, and represents it as a
fiction, and a calumny upon the early settlers of Connecticut.

Mr. Trumbull seems to have spared no trouble in his researches to show
that no such laws as the “Blue Laws” represented by Dr. Peters were in
existence, and to impress this more forcibly upon the public he gives
the laws of 1639, 1650, and 1656; when, had he looked more carefully
at the doctor’s “History of Connecticut,” he would have found he
alluded to them in these words: “The laws made by the independent
Dominion, and nominated the Blue Laws by the neighboring colonies,
were never suffered to be printed;” nevertheless, Mr. Trumbull shows
that there were laws at that time equally repugnant, though clothed in
more subtile phraseology, but pointing to the same result, and that
these laws were rigidly enforced.

Dr. Peters’s “History of Connecticut” was published in London, in
1781, and possibly there are not twenty persons living who have ever
read it. As its truthfulness was unpalatable to the Connecticut
colony, the issue that came to this country, I believe, was publicly
burnt, and the court prohibited the republishing of the work in the
State; consequently it has become a very rare work, so much so that in
March, 1877, a copy, at a sale of old works, brought the fabulous
price of one hundred and fifteen dollars, demonstrating the fact that
but few remained in existence.

The appearance, therefore, of Mr. Trumbull’s work gives the public but
one side of the case; under these circumstances I have been induced to
republish the work from the original copy belonging to Dr. Peters,
using notes and quotations from writers and authors of high repute,
and from documents and manuscripts written before the Revolutionary
War, which have come into my possession since Mr. Trumbull’s work has
appeared, and which, I believe, will show the unbiased public that Mr.
Trumbull has not been guided solely by unselfishness in attempting to
wipe out the ridicule entailed on Connecticut by the early Blue Laws;
but he still retains a little of the fanaticism, bigotry, and spleen,
so justly attributed to his ancestor, who was the cause of driving Dr.
Peters from his native country; and he would now attempt to cast
discredit upon a work that was well received in the State by the
intelligent portion of the community, and indorsed as a true history.

In writing of the “Blue Laws,” Prof. De Vere, of the University of
Virginia, in his volume on “Americanisms,” published in 1872, says,
“They are confirmed without a doubt.” The late Rev. A. B. Chapin, in
his article published in the _Churchman_ of Hartford, Connecticut,
August 19, 1876, entitled “Was the History of Connecticut a
Fabrication?” says, “If Dr. Peters had had my advantages he might have
been a worse historian for Connecticut than he has been already.” I
might continue such quotations from persons of equally high standing,
but my object is to let the work stand upon its merits, giving it to
the public as it left the author’s hands, merely adding such portions
as I find in the unpublished manuscripts in my possession, relating
chiefly to the doctor himself, and the cause of his having to leave
the country; also to the action taken by the colony of Connecticut for
the relief of the destroyers of the teas in Boston.

It has not been for the purpose of obtaining a character for the work,
which it did not before possess, that I again bring it before the
public; but that they may have both sides of the case for their view,
joined with that of defending my ancestor, the author, a good and
venerable old clergyman, who was driven from his country, and his
large estates sequestrated, for obeying “the laws of his God, the laws
of his country, and the dictates of his conscience, by the fanatics of
Connecticut,” and from the unjust and unwarrantable attacks of Mr.

                   S. J. MCCORMICK.


After several unsuccessful attempts to form settlements in the
southern part of North America, in which little more had been done
than giving the name of Virginia, in compliment to the virgin Queen
Elizabeth, to the country, a patent was obtained in 1606, from James
I., by Sir Thomas Gates and associates, for all lands there between
the thirty-fourth and forty-fifth degrees of north latitude; and, at
the patentees’ own solicitation, they were divided into two
companies;[1] to the former of which were granted all the lands
between the thirty-fourth and forty-first degrees of north latitude,
and to the latter all those between the thirty-eighth and forty-fifth
degrees. A part of the coast of the territory last mentioned being
explored in 1614, and a chart presented to the then Prince of Wales,
afterward Charles I., it received from him the appellation of New

In the mean time, however, notwithstanding the claim of the English in
general to North America, and the particular grant to Sir Thomas Gates
and associates, above mentioned, the Dutch got footing on Manhattan or
New York Island, pushed up Hudson’s River, as high as Albany, and were
beginning to spread on its banks when, in 1614, they were compelled by
Sir Samuel Argal to acknowledge themselves subjects of the King of
England, and submit to the authority of the Governor of Virginia.[2]

For the better enabling them to accomplish their American
undertakings, the Plymouth Company, in 1620, obtained a new patent,
admitting new members of rank and fortune. By this they were styled
“The Council, established at Plymouth, for planting and governing the
said country called New England;” and to them were now granted all the
lands between the fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of north latitude,
and extending east and west from the Atlantic ocean to the South Sea,
except such as were then actually possessed by any Christian prince or

Not long afterward, the patentees came to the resolution of making a
division of the country among themselves by lot, which they did in the
presence of James I. The map of New England, etc., published by
Purchas in 1625, which is now become scarce, and probably the only
memorial extant of the result, has the following names on the
following portions of the coast:

  Earl of Arundel,       }
  Sir Ferdinando Gorges, } Between the rivers St. Croix and
  Earl of Carlisle,      }   Penobscot.

  Lord Keeper,           }
  Sir William Belassis,  } Between Penobscot and Sagadahoc
  Sir Robert Mansell,    }   river.

  Earl of Holderness,    }
  Earl of Pembroke,      }
  Lord Sheffield,        }
  Sir Henry Spelman,     }
  Sir William Apsley,    } Between Sagadahoc and Charles
  Captain Love,          }   river.
  Duke of Buckingham,    }
  Earl of Warwick,       }
  Duke of Richmond,      }
  Mr. Jennings,          }
  Dr. Sutcliffe,         }

  Lord Gorges,           }
  Sir Samuel Argal,      } Between Charles River and Narraganset.
  Dr. Bar. Gooch.        }

In the above map, no names appear on the coast north of the river St.
Croix, i. e., Nova Scotia, which was relinquished by the patentees in
favor of Sir William Alexander; the coast west of Narraganset is not
exhibited by Purchas, so that it is uncertain whether the division
above mentioned extended to that or not. Probably, it was not then
sufficiently explored. However, in 1635, the patentees, from the
exigency of their affairs, thinking a surrender of their patent to the
king, with reservation of their several rights with regard to the
property of the land, an advisable measure, a new division of the
coast was struck out, consisting of twelve lots, extending to and
comprising lands on the west side of Hudson’s River, and, of course,
the Dutch settlement at Manhattan. The following is an account of
these lots:

   1. From the river St. Croix to Pemaquid.
   2. From Pemaquid to Sagadahoc.
   3. The land between the rivers Amarascoggin and Kenebec.
   4. From Sagadahoc along the sea-coast to Piscataqua.
   5. From Piscataqua to Naumkeak (or Salem).
   6. From Naumkeak, round the sea-coast by Cape Cod to Narraganset.
   7. From Narraganset to the half-way bound, between that and
        Connecticut River, and so fifty miles up into the country.
   8. From the half-way bound to Connecticut River, and so fifty
        miles into the country.
   9. From Connecticut River along the sea-coast of Hudson’s River,
        and so up thirty miles.
  10. From the thirty miles’ end to cross, up forty miles eastward.
  11. From the west side of Hudson’s River thirty miles up the country
        toward the fortieth degree, where New England beginneth.
  12. From the end of the thirty miles up the said river, northward
        thirty miles further, and from thence to cross into the land
        forty miles.--(“Hutchinson’s History of Massachusetts Bay.”)

These divisions were immediately, on the above-mentioned surrender, to
be confirmed by the king to the proprietors, and proposed to be
erected into so many distinct provinces, under one general Governor of
New England. It is certain that this plan was not then carried into
execution in the whole. Several, if not all of the lots were formally
conveyed to their respective owners previous to the resignation of the
patent. How many were confirmed by the king is not known; there is
positive evidence of but one--to Sir Ferdinando Gorges.

The eighth and ninth lots nearly form the province of Connecticut,
taking its name from the great Indian king who reigned when the
English made their first inroads into the country.

But before I give an account of this event, it may be proper to
premise a few particulars concerning the Dutch, already spoken of as
having seated themselves on New York Island and the banks of Hudson’s
River, and also concerning the settlements formed by the English in
and near the Massachusetts Bay.

The same year which established the Council of Plymouth, established
also the Dutch West India Company, to whom the States of Holland are
said to have granted, the year after, all the lands between Capes Cod
and Henlopen.

Under their encouragement and support the Dutch at New York were
induced to look upon the act of Argal with contempt; accordingly, they
revolted from the allegiance he had imposed upon them, cast off the
authority of their English Governor, and proceeded in their colonizing
pursuits under one of their own nation; in which they seemed to have
employed their wonted industry, having, before the year 1637, erected
a fort on the spot where Hartford now stands.

A party of Brownists, who in 1619 are said to have obtained a grant of
land from the Virginia Company, set sail on the 6th of September in
the following year for Hudson’s River; but making on the 11th of
November the harbor of Cape Cod instead of the place of their
destination, and finding themselves not in a fit condition to put to
sea again at such a late season of the year, they ranged along the
coast till a commodious situation presented itself, when they
disembarked, and founded the colony of New Plymouth.

Seven years afterward a party of Puritans procured a grant of the
lands from Merrimack River to the southernmost part of Massachusetts
Bay. They made their first settlement at Naumkeak, by them now named
Salem, and a second at Charlestown. Great numbers of the Puritans
followed their brethren to New England, so that, within a few years,
was laid the foundation of Boston and other towns upon the
Massachusetts coast.[4]

Thus far had colonization taken place in the neighboring country when,
in 1634, the first part of the English adventurers arrived in
Connecticut from England[5] under the conduct of George Fenwick, Esq.,
and the Rev. Thomas Peters, and established themselves at the mouth of
the Connecticut River, where they built a town, and which they called
Saybrook, a church, and a fort.[6]

In 1636 another party proceeded from Boston under the conduct of Mr.
John Haynes and the Rev. Thomas Hooker, and in June settled on the
west bank of the Connecticut River, where Hartford now stands,
notwithstanding the Dutch had found their way thither before them.[7]

A third party of English settlers in Connecticut were headed by Mr.
Theophilus Eaton and the Rev. John Davenport, who left England early
in the year 1637, and, contrary to the advice of the people of
Massachusetts Bay, who were very desirous of their settling in that
province, fixing themselves in the July following on the north side of
a small bay wherein the river Quinnipiack empties itself, forty miles
southwest of Hartford, and there built the town of New Haven.[8]

Thus, within the space of three years, was Connecticut seized upon by
three distinct English parties, in three different places, forming a
triangle; by what authority I will now beg leave to inquire.

In favor of the first, it is alleged that they purchased part of the
lands belonging to the Lords Say and Brook, which land included the
eighth and ninth lots, and had been assigned to them by the Earl of
Warwick, who, about the year 1630, obtained a grant of the same from
the Council of Plymouth, and a patent from the king, and that Fenwick
was properly commissioned to settle and govern the colony.

Neal, Douglas, and Hutchinson, speak of the grant and assignment with
the greatest confidence, but make no reference where either may be

They were very willing to believe what they said, and wished to palm
it upon the credulity of their readers as a fact too well established
to need proof. I shall endeavor to show the futility of their
assertions; indeed, Mr. Hutchinson himself inadvertently gives reason
to doubt the truth of them, writing of the transactions of 1622: “The
Earl of Warwick,” says he, “we are assured, had a patent for the
Massachusetts Bay about the same time, but the bounds are not known.”
It will appear presently that a part of the territory in question was,
in 1635, granted to the Marquis of Hamilton. Now, taking these several
items together, the Council of Plymouth are represented to have
granted not only to Massachusetts Bay in 1622, but also, in 1630, a
region of vast extent, including Connecticut, to the Earl of Warwick;
and then, in 1635, they have regranted the best part of the latter to
the Marquis of Hamilton. There is an infeasibility in this supposition
that, without proof, will deprive it of all credit among persons who
have no particular interest in the support of it.

True it is that Fenwick and his associates were properly authorized to
settle upon lands belonging to Lords Say and Brook; but that the lands
they did settle upon were the property of the Earl of Warwick is not
only without proof, but against it.

It seems to be generally agreed that the Lords Say and Brook were
understood to have a right to lands upon Connecticut River, but that
river being five hundred miles long, and running through the greatest
part of New England, the situation of their property was by no means
pointed out; whether it lay at the mouth, the middle, or the northern
end, was equally unascertained.

The settlers, indeed, established themselves at the mouth, but without
showing their right to the spot; they licentiously chose it. There
never has been produced any writing of conveyance of the land in
question from the Council of Plymouth to the Earl of Warwick, or from
the Earl of Warwick to the Lords Say and Brook, and therefore their
title to it must be deemed not good in law. By a letter from Lord Say
to Mr. Vane, in 1635, it appears that he (Lord Say), Lord Brook, and
others, had thought of removing to New England, but were not
determined whether to join the adventurers in Boston or settle a new
colony.--(Hutchinson’s “History,” vol. i., p. 42.)

If Connecticut had been assigned to Lords Say and Brook by the Earl of
Warwick, as it is pretended was done in 1631, it is very strange that
those lords should have been in doubt in 1635 where to fix themselves
in New England, since interest and ambition, as well as fertility of
soil, would naturally have led them to settle in Connecticut, where
they had land of their own, and where a settlement was already begun,
and bore a very promising appearance. Hence, it seems but reasonable
to suppose that if Lords Say and Brook were entitled to any land on
Connecticut River it could not lie within the province of Connecticut;
and, if their claims were derived from the Earl of Warwick, it may
fairly be concluded that their property lay much higher up the
country, since the coast appropriated to the Earl of Warwick by
Purchas is that at or about Cape Ann. Lords Say and Brook, therefore,
might have a right to send Fenwick, Peters, etc., to colonize on the
north parts of Connecticut River, but not southwardly, at the mouth of
it; and their neglect of the colony at Saybrook may easily be
accounted for, by supposing that they were sensible the settlers had
fixed upon a wrong site--an idea corroborated by this circumstance,
that Fenwick some years after sold his property there for a mere
trifle, when he might have sold it dear if his title had been good.

But, it may be asked, who were the real proprietors of the eighth and
ninth lots?

It is asserted that, on the Council of Plymouth’s resignation of their
patent to Charles I. in 1635, that monarch granted the latter to the
Earl of Stirling.

Possibly there is not now existing any written testimony of this
grant, yet it seems authenticated by the sale which the earl made in
1639, by his agent, Forrest, of the eastern part of Long Island, as
appertaining to his lot, to Mr. Howell. However, though his claim is
not, perhaps, clearly to be established, it is by no means liable to
the many objections urged against that of Lords Say and Brook, which
will in a manner be annihilated by the additional argument I am now
going to adduce from the positive proof there is to whom the eighth
lot really belongs.

It stands authenticated in the office of the Lords Commissioners of
Colonies that, in April, 1635, was conveyed to James, Marquis of
Hamilton, by a deed from the Council of Plymouth, the territory lying
between Narraganset Bay and Connecticut River.[9] The right to the
eighth lot, therefore, was clearly vested in the marquis; and it only
remains to be shown why his descendants are not in possession of it to
remove every doubt upon the matter.[10]

Unfortunately, in the civil broils of his time the marquis engaged and
died fighting under the royal banners, while the king’s enemies took
possession of his lands in Connecticut. At the restoration of Charles
II. to his crown, reason taught the children of royal sufferers to
expect a restoration at least of their landed property; and the
daughter of the Marquis of Hamilton petitioned Charles II. to grant
her relief with respect to the land lying between Narraganset Bay and
the Connecticut River--a relief she had the more reason to hope for, as
“her father had died fighting for his father.” But Charles had been
too much polished in foreign courts to do anything effectual for his
suffering friends. Afterward the Earl of Arran applied to William III.
for redress in regard to the same land; but that earl having acted on
the wrong side at the revolution, could not but expect as little from
William as the friends of Charles II. had received from him. However,
William III. ordered the Lords Commissioners of the colonies to state
his title, which they fairly did; and the earl was referred to try his
case in Connecticut, before the very people who had his lands in

The Governor and Company of Connecticut gave a formal answer to the
claims of the Earl of Arran, setting up a title under the Earl of
Warwick, as is above mentioned, who, they said, disposed of the land
in dispute to Lord Say and Seal and Lord Brook, and the Lords Say and
Brook sold the same to Fenwick, Peters, and others. The Earl of Arran
answered that, “when they produced a grant from the Plymouth Company,
of those lands to the Earl of Warwick, it should have an answer;” but
the colony was silent, and King William was silent also.--(_Vide_
“Records of New England,” A., pp. 170-201.)

Since, then, no proof of any title derived from the Earl of Warwick
could be produced by the Governor and Company of Connecticut, when the
question of right to the country was fairly brought into litigation,
and since there is a record of the grant of the eastern part of it to
the Marquis of Hamilton, it is evident that the claim of the present
possessors under Lords Say and Brook is not valid. The record of the
Marquis of Hamilton grant is an irrefragable proof that those lords
had no right to the tract between Narraganset Bay and Connecticut
River; and thence the conclusion is fair that they had no right to the
tract between Connecticut and Hudson’s River; for their title to both
having but one and the same foundation, it follows, of course, that
what destroys it in the former destroys it in the latter also.

However disputable the Earl of Stirling’s claim to the land between
Hudson and Connecticut Rivers may be, the Duke of Hamilton is
undoubtedly the rightful owner of that between the latter and
Narraganset Bay. This much I have proved, to show the errors of
Mather, Neal, Douglas, and Hutchinson, who assert what the above
record contradicts. I differ in opinion also with divines who say that
the world grows every day worse than it was the last. I believe the
world is growing better every year; and that justice will be
administered to the Duke of Hamilton, and other noble proprietors of
lands in New England, who have been wickedly supplanted by the
emigration of Puritans, republicans, regicides, and smugglers. The
time, I hope, is hastening, when the records I have quoted will be
considered, and unjust possessors be ordered to give up their
possessions to the right owners; for we have a king who honors his
crown, and prefers justice to policy.

Hooker and Haynes, who conducted the second of the three English
parties already spoken of as making inroads into Connecticut, and who
fixed their headquarters at Hertford, left Massachusets Bay for the
same reason they had before left England--to avoid being persecuted,
and to acquire the power to persecute. Hooker was learned, ambitious,
and rigid. He lived near Boston two years, in hopes of becoming a
greater favorite with the people than the celebrated Mr. Cotton; but,
finding himself rather unlikely to meet with the desired success, he
devised the project of flying into the wilderness of Connecticut, to
get a name. Accordingly, in 1635 he applied to the General Court for
leave to remove thither, but was refused. The next year, however, for
reasons which will hereafter appear, he found the fanatics more
compliant; and he and Haynes obtained permission to emigrate into
Connecticut, carrying with them, as Mr. Neal expresses it, “a sort of
commission from the government of Massachusets Bay for the
administration of justice” there.

But it cannot be supposed that Hooker and his associates could derive
any title to the soil, from this permission and commission granted by
the Massachusets colony, who had not the least right to it themselves.
The emigrants not only did not entertain any such idea, but, as soon
as they had discovered a situation that pleased them, they even set at
naught the commission which they took with them, the professed object
of which was to secure the authority and jurisdiction claimed by the
Massachusets colony over them. Knowing that they had passed the limits
of that province, they voted themselves an independent people, and
commenced despots, pleading the old adage, _Salus populi suprema lex_.
It has never been suggested, I believe, that this party entered
Connecticut with any other semblance of authority than this ridiculous
permission and commission of the Massachusets dictators.[11]

As to the third party, headed by Eaton and Davenport, they took
possession, as is already mentioned, without even pretending any
purchase, grant, permission, or commission, from any one. Of these
three parties, then, it appears that the last two had not the least
shadow of original right to the lands they possessed themselves in
Connecticut; and the claims of the first I have shown to be
ill-founded. I will now consider the right they are pretended to have
acquired after possession; in regard to which they seem to have been
put upon the same footing, by a general war between them and the
Indians, occasioned by the ambitious, oppressive, and unjust conduct
of Hooker and Davenport. This war opened a door to king-killing and
king-making, violence, and injustice, in America, similar to what we
have of late years shuddered to hear of in India. Hence the colonies
have endeavored to establish a title to the lands by purchase of the
natives. Accordingly, they have produced deeds of sale signed by
Sunksquaw, Uncas, Joshua, Moodus, and others, whom Mr. Neal and Dr.
Mather call sachems, and consequently owners of the soil. Whether
those gentlemen knew, or did not know, that Connecticut was owned by
these sachems only, who, with their wives and families, were killed by
the English, and who never would give a deed of any land to the Dutch
or English, is not material; since it is a fact that not one of those
Indians who have signed those famous deeds was ever a sachem or a
proprietor of a single foot of land claimed by the colony.

It is true that Uncas (whom Mr. Neal calls a sachem, because the
colonists declared him King of Mohegan, to reward him for deserting
Sassacus, sachem of the Pequods) gave deeds of the land that he had no
right or title to; and so did Sunksquaw, who, after murdering his
sachem Quinnipiog, was also declared sachem by the English
Dominion[12] of Newhaven. Gratitude, or pride, induced all those
English-made sachems to assign deeds to their creators.

After the death of Uncas, his eldest son, Oneko, became King of
Mohegan, who refused to grant any deeds of land to the colony;
whereupon, vexed at his wisdom and honor, they declared him an
incestuous son, deposed him, and proclaimed his natural brother,
Abimeleck, to be sachem of the Mohegans. Oneko gave a deed of all his
lands to Mason and Harrison, who were his friends; as did Abimeleck,
of the same lands, to the colony who had made him sachem. This laid a
foundation for a suit at law, which was first tried before the judges
of the colony, where Mason, of course, lost his suit. He appealed to
the King in Council, who ordered a special court to sit at Norwich, in
Connecticut: Mr. Dudley, a learned man, and Governor of Massachusetts
Bay, was president of it. The court met, and, having heard the
evidence and pleadings of both parties, gave a verdict in favor of
Mason’s claim. The colony appealed home to England, but never
prosecuted their suit to an issue. Mason died. The colony kept
possession under Abimeleck, their created King of Mohegan. About ten
years ago the heirs of Mason and Harrison petitioned the government to
decree that Dudley’s verdict should be enforced; but the colonists
found means to confound the claims of those competitors without
establishing their own. The truth is, neither the colonists nor Mason
and Harrison ever had any deed or title to those lands from Sassacus
or his heirs; their deeds spring from Uncas, already mentioned, a
rebel subject of Sassacus, without any royal blood in his veins.
Nevertheless, Mr. Neal, and others, who have written histories of New
England, have taken especial care to vindicate the justice of the
settlers, who always, they say, conscientiously purchased their lands
of the sachems. I have given the reader some idea of the purchases of
the first colonizers in Connecticut, who by their iniquitous act of
making Sachems have entailed lawsuits without end on their posterity;
for there is not one foot of land in the whole province which is not
covered by ten deeds granted by ten different nominal sachems to ten
different persons; and, what aggravates the misfortune, the courts of
justice differ every session concerning the true sachem, so that what
a plaintiff recovers at a hearing before one jury, he loses upon a
rehearing before another.

Enough, surely, has been said to nullify the colonists’ plea for
having bought their lands from the Indians.

As to any purchases made of the Saybrook settlers, those of Hertford
totally declined them till the farcical business respecting their
charter came into agitation between the two juntos who procured it, of
which I shall speak hereafter; and, so far were the people of Newhaven
from buying any right of Fenwick or his associates that they scorned
the idea of claiming under them; nay, it was one of their principal
views, in the machinations wherein they were continually employed, to
reduce the Saybrook colony under the tyranny of their own dominions as
having no more title to the country than possession gave them. And,
upon the other supposition, it is impossible to account for the
neglect of the colonizers of Hertford to secure their lands by such a
purchase, seeming as they did to ransack heaven and earth for a title
satisfactory even in their own eyes; they were conscious no purchase
of that kind could give them firmer footing than they had already.

The truth, therefore, undoubtedly is that Fenwick and Peters had no
legal right to sell the lands they occupied, whatever might be their
pretensions; nor, indeed, did they pretend to the power of selling
more on their own account than was granted to them severally by their
patrons--the Lords Say and Brook--which cannot be supposed but an
inconsiderable proportion of their American property.

No wonder, then, that we find another claim set up--a claim by
conquest. This was particularly agreeable to the genius of the
Hertford and Newhaven heroes, but will nevertheless appear to as
little for their right as their honor, from the following
considerations: 1. The invaders did not find Connecticut in a state of
Nature, but cultivated and settled by its Indian inhabitants, whose
numbers were thousands, and who had three kings, viz., Connecticote,
Quinnipiog, and Sassacus, of whom Connecticote was the emperor, or
king of kings--a dignity he and his ancestors had enjoyed, according to
the Indian mode of reckoning, twenty sticks,[13] i. e., time
immemorial; 2. They had no authority to invade, make war upon, and
conquer the Indians, who were not at war with the King of England, nor
his patentees, or their assignees; and, 3. Seizures, without legal
commission, of however long standing, do not convey right or title by
the English law.

Feeling the weight of these considerations, the colonists have been
obliged to found their claim to the country on their charter, which
was obtained in 1662--more than twenty-six years after they had taken
possession. Here, again, they are destitute of support, for the king,
any more than his subjects, could not give to others the property of
the Duke of Hamilton unless his title had been proved to be forfeited
by due course of law. But the charter created no title; it merely
conferred on the people the authority of a legal corporation, without
conveying any title to the lands. And, indeed, the prevarications of
the colonists themselves with regard to the charter-claim sufficiently
explode it. Whenever they find their property affected by any duty,
custom, etc., imposed by Parliament, and warranted by charter, they
allege that they got the lands in possession by their own arms,
without the aid of the King and Parliament of Great Britain; as
Charles II. allowed in granting the charter, which conveyed no title,
but was founded upon the title they possessed before the date of it.
At other times, when these selfish temporizers find it convenient
either for promoting their own, or preventing their neighbors’
encroachments, they then plead their charter as the one only thing
needful to prove their right of land even to the South Sea itself.

In short, and upon the whole, possession, begun in usurpation, is the
best title the inhabitants of Connecticut ever had, or can set up,
unless they can prove they hold the lands by a heavenly grant, as the
Israelites did those of Canaan.

This heavenly title was, indeed, set up by Peters, Hooker, and
Davenport, the first three ministers that settled Connecticut, and is
generally believed through the Colony to this day. They thus
syllogistically stated it: “The heathen are driven out, and we have
their lands in possession; they were numerous, and we but few;
therefore, the Lord hath done this great work, to give his beloved

This much for the various pretensions of the occupiers of Connecticut
in regard to their right to the soil. I shall now give some account of
the proceedings of the first settlers with respect to their religious
and civil establishments, and of their political transactions, etc.

The party which settled at Saybrook, under George Fenwick, Esquire,
and the Rev. Thomas Peters, in 1634, contented themselves, in framing
the polity of their civil constitution, with the laws of England and a
few local regulations.

As to their ecclesiastical institutions, they voted themselves to be a
church independent on lords bishops, and Mr. Peters to be their
minister, whose episcopal ordination was deemed good, notwithstanding
he had been silenced in England. They voted presbyters to be bishops,
and possessed of power to ordain ministers when invited by a proper
number of people formed into a society by a license from the Governor.
They voted that a certain part of the liturgy of the Church of England
might be used--the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, together with
one chapter in the Bible, to be read at morning and evening service,
or omitted, at the discretion of the minister; that extempore prayers
might be used at the pleasure of the minister, but that the surplice
should not be worn, nor should the sign of the cross at baptisms, the
ceremony of the ring at marriages, or saints’-days, etc., be observed,
as in the Church of England; that every society licensed by the
Governor, after having a minister ordained over it, be a complete
church, and invested with the keys of discipline, dependent only upon
Christ, the head of the church; that the minister should be the judge
of the qualifications of church-membership, and should censure
disorderly walkers; that the members in full communion should have
power over the minister, and might dismiss him from his parish by a
majority of voices and with the consent of the Governor; that all
children were the objects of baptism, and that none should be debarred
that sacrament for the sins of their parents, provided an orderly
liver would engage to bring them up in the ways of Christianity; that
all sober persons might partake of the Lord’s Supper, provided the
minister, upon examination, should find them sufficiently acquainted
with their duty; that what is commonly called conversion is not
absolutely necessary before receiving the Lord’s Supper, because that
sacrament is a converting ordinance; that all gospel ministers were
upon an equality in office; and that it was the business of every one
to admonish the transgressor, privately in the first place, and next,
if no attention was paid to his advice, before his deacons; then, if
their admonishment was disregarded, the offender should be presented
to the church (that is, the minister, deacons, and communicants,
united by the keys of discipline), and, upon his still continuing
refractory, he should be censured and rejected by the majority of
voters without any appeal; that deacons should be chosen by the
minister and communicants upon a majority of voices, and ordained by
the minister according to the holy practice of St. Paul; that it was
the duty of the Governor and civil magistrates to protect and nurture
the Church, but not to govern it, because Christ’s authority, given to
his Church, was above principalities and all civil powers, etc., etc.

The settlers of Hertford, having declared themselves to be an
independent Colony, and that their dominions extended from sea to sea,
voted Haynes to be their Governor, and appointed six councilors to
assist him in framing laws and regulating the State. The same spirit
of independence dictated their church discipline. They voted Mr.
Hooker to be their minister, and six of their church-members to ordain
him. Mr. Hooker accepted of their vote, or call, renounced his
Episcopal ordination, and was ordained by the six lay church-members,
over the church of the Independents in Hertford. Thus, Mr. Hooker, who
was born in Leicestershire, educated at Cambridge, ordained by a
bishop, silenced by a bishop in 1630, in England, and reordained by
six laymen in America, became what he wished to be--the head of the
Independents in the Dominion of Hertford, where he had the honor and
pleasure of exercising over all who differed from him in opinion that
violent spirit of persecution which he and his friends so clamorously
decried as too intolerant to be endured in England. Some of the
characteristic doctrines of this persecuting fanatic were of the
following purport: That Christ’s Church was not universal, but a
particular visible church, formed by general consent and covenant;
that Christ had committed the power of binding and loosening to
believers, without any distinction between clergy and laity; that
ruling and preaching elders are duly ordained to their office by the
election and the imposition of the hands of the people; that the
tables and seals of the covenant, the offices and censures of Christ’s
Church, the administrations of all public worship and ordinances, are
in the _cœtus fidelium_, or combination of godly, faithful men met in
one congregation; that a diocesan, provincial, or national assembly,
is incompatible with the nature of Christ’s Church, seeing all and
every member of Christ’s Church are to meet every Lord’s-day, in one
place, for the administration of the holy ordinances of God; that a
multitude of free people may elect and ordain a king over them,
although they were not, prior to that act, possessed of kingly power;
for the people of Israel imposed their hands on Levites, when they
themselves were not Levites (Numbers viii. 10); that Nature has given
virtual power to a free people to set up any Christian form of
government, both in church and state, which they see best for
themselves in the land; but Christ gave the power of his keys to his
Church, i. e., to his believing people, and not to Peter or to Paul as
ministers, but as professed believers, in conjunction with the rest of
true believers; that the Church hath not absolute power to choose whom
it will; it hath ministerial power only to choose whom Christ hath
chosen, i. e., such as He hath gifted and fitted for the work of the
ministry; that neither popes, bishops, nor presbyters, are necessary
to ordain ministers of Jesus Christ, because the power of the keys are
given by Christ to his Church, i. e., the people in covenant with God;
that as ordination is in the power of each church, no church hath
power over another, but all stand in brotherly equality; that it is
unlawful for any Church of Christ to put out of its hand that power
which Christ hath given it into the hands of other churches; that no
one church ought to send to ministers of other churches to ordain its
ministers or to censure its offenders; that baptism does not make any
one a member of Christ’s Church, because papists and other heretics
are baptized; therefore, to be a member of Christ’s Church is to own
the covenant of that particular church where God has placed such
members; that seven persons may form a Church of Christ, but fifteen
thousand cannot, because such a number cannot meet in one place, nor
hear, nor partake, nor be edified together; that no one can partake of
the Lord’s Supper till he be converted, and has manifested his faith
and repentance before the church, etc., etc.[14]

The laws made by the Governor and Council of Hertford are, in general,
much of the same stamp as those of the Newhaven legislators, of some
of which an abstract will be given hereafter.

The fanatics at Newhaven, in like manner with those of Hertford, voted
themselves to be a Dominion independent, and chose Eaton for their
Governor, and Davenport for their minister. The Governor and a
committee had the power of making laws for the State, and the
minister, assisted by deacons and elders, was to rule the church. The
following is a specimen of the tenets established by Davenport in the

That Christ has conveyed all power to his people both in church and
state; which power they are to exercise until Christ shall return on
earth to reign one thousand years over his militant saints--that all
other kings, besides Christ and his elected people, are pestilent
usurpers, and enemies of God and man--that all vicars, rectors, deans,
priests, and bishops, are of the devil; are wolves, petty popes, and
antichristian tyrants; that pastors and teachers of particular
congregations are of Christ and must be chosen by his people, i. e.,
the elect and chosen from the foundation of the world, or else their
entrance and ministry are unlawful; that all things of human invention
in the worship of God, such as are in the Mass-Book and Common-prayer,
are unsavory in the sight of God; that ecclesiastical censures ought
to be exercised by the members of particular congregations among
themselves; that the people should not suffer this supreme power to be
wrested out of their hands until Christ shall begin his reign; that
all good people ought to pray always that God would raze the old papal
foundation of the episcopal government, together with the filthy
ceremonies of that antichristian church; that every particular who
neglects this duty, may justly fear that curse pronounced against
Meroz (Judges v. 23): “Curse ye Meroz, because they came not to the
help of the Lord against the mighty” enemies of God and his church;
that every particular congregation is an absolute church, the members
of it are to be all saints; those must enter into covenant among
themselves, and without such covenant there can be no church; that it
is a heinous sin to be present when prayers are read out of a book by
a vicar or bishop; that subjects promise obedience to obtain help from
the magistrates, and are discharged from their promise when the
magistrates fail in their duty; that, without liberty from the prince
or magistrate, the people may reform the church and state, and must
not wait for the magistrate, etc., etc.

This Dominion, this tyrant of tyrants, adopted the Bible for its code
of civil laws, till others should be made more suitable to its
circumstances. The provision was politic. The lawgivers soon
discovered that the precepts in the Old and New Testaments were
insufficient to support them in their arbitrary and bloody
undertakings; they, therefore, gave themselves up to their own
inventions in making others, wherein, in some instances, they betrayed
an extreme degree of wanton cruelty and oppression, that even the
religious fanatics of Boston, and the mad zealots of Hertford, put to
the blush, christened them the “Blue Laws,” and the former held a day
of thanksgiving, because God, in his good providence, had stationed
Eaton and Davenport so far from them.[15]

The religious system established by Peters at Saybrook was well
calculated to please the moderate Puritans and zealots of all
denominations; but the fanatics of the Massachusets-Bay, who hated
every part of the Common Prayer-book worse than the Council of Trent,
and the papal power exercised over heretics, were alarmed at the
conduct of the half-reformed schismatics in that colony; and, thinking
that their dear Salem might be endangered by such impure worshipers,
consented, in the year 1636, to give Mr. Hooker and his associates
liberty to emigrate to Hertford, notwithstanding the preceding year
they had refused such liberty, seeing then no reason for Hooker’s
seizing the territory of other people. But when the New England vine
was supposed to be threatened by the Bible, Lord’s Prayer, and Ten
Commandments, the pious people of Massachusets-Bay permitted Hooker,
in 1635, to remove into and govern Connecticut by their authority, and
to impede and break up the worship of the Peterites at Saybrook.
Hooker, ever faithful to his trust, excepting that, when he got to
Hertford, he rejected the authority of his employers in the
Massachusets-Bay, set up a new Dominion, and persecuted the Peterites
under his own banner, though he called it the banner of Jesus. But for
his and Davenport’s tyrannical conduct, the colony of Saybrook would
have lived in peace with the Indians, as they did till their artful
and overbearing neighbors brought on a general war between them and
the English, which ended with the death of Sassacus and the
destruction of all his subjects. After that war great dissension arose
among the conquerors. Fenwick was sensible, of a calm disposition, and
very religious, yet not entirely void of ambition; he claimed the
government of Connecticut, and insisted upon payment for such lands as
were possessed by Hooker and Davenport and their associates; this, he
said, was common justice, due to his constituents, the Lords Say and
Brook. Hooker and Davenport, however, were not fond of his doctrine of
justice, but made religion, liberty, and power, the great object of
their concern, wherein they were supported by the people of
Massachusets-Bay, whose spirits were congenial with their own; hence
no opportunity was lost of prejudicing Saybrook, and the troubles in
the mother-country furnished their enemies with many. One step they
took, in particular, operated much to their disadvantage. The
Massachusets colony, eager to act against Charles I., agreed with
those of Hertford, Newhaven, Newhampshire, and Rhode-Island, to send
agents to England, assuring the House of Commons of their readiness to
assist against the king and bishops. The Saybrook settlers, though
zealous against the bishops, were not much inclined to rebellion
against the king, and therefore took no part in this transaction.

As the royal cause lost ground in England, the apprehensions of this
colony increased; and Fenwick, finding himself unsupported by the
Lords Say and Brook, thought it prudent to dispose of his colonial
property to Peters and his associates, and return to England.

Confusion being established in England, moderation became an
unpardonable sin in Saybrook, which both the neighboring colonies were
ready to punish by assuming the jurisdiction there: mutual jealousy
alone prevented it. At length, during Cromwell’s usurpation, the
inhabitants, fearing the effects of his displeasure for not joining in
the above-mentioned address to the Commons of England, especially lest
he should put them under the power of the furious Davenport, and at
the same time foreseeing no prospect of the restoration, judged it
advisable, by way of preferring the lesser to the greater evil, to
form a sort of alliance and junction with the people of Hertford,
where Hooker now lay numbered with the dead.

The colony was not only hereby enabled to maintain its ground, but
flourished greatly; and the minister, Thomas Peters, established a
school in Saybrook, which his children had the satisfaction to see
become a college, denominated Yale College, of which a particular
account will be given in the course of this work. He was a churchman
of the Puritanic order, zealous, learned, and of mild disposition, and
frequently wrote to his brother Hugh at Salem to exercise more
moderation, lest “overmuch zeal should ruin him and the cause they
were embarked in.”[16]

At his death, which did not happen till after the Restoration of
Charles II., he bequeathed his library to the school above mentioned.

The religious institutions of Hooker at Hertford were not only binding
on the Dutch, but even extended to the great Connecticote himself. The
Sachem did not like his new neighbours; he refused to give or sell any
land to them; but told them, that, as they came to trade, and to
spread the Christian Religion among his subjects, which Mr. Hooker
defined to consist only in peace, love, and justice, he had no
objection to their building wigwams, planting corn, and hunting on his
lands. The wisdom and steady temper of this great Sachem, and the vast
number of subjects at his command, made Haynes and Hooker cautious in
their conduct. Many people of Massachusets-Bay, hearing that Hooker
had made good terms with the Sachem, left their persecutors, and fled
to the fertile banks of Connecticut, that they might help Hooker
spread the Gospel among the poor benighted Heathen in the wilderness.
The Reverend Mr. Huet, with his disciples, fixed at Windsor, eight
miles north of Hertford; and the Reverend Mr. Smith, at Weathersfield,
four miles south of it. In the space of eighteen months, the Dominion
of Hertford contained seven-hundred white people, and seven
independent churches. Having converted over to the Christian faith
some few Indians, among whom was Joshua, an ambitious captain under
the great Sachem Connecticote, Hooker, Huet, Smith, and others, hereby
found means to spread the _Gospel_ into every Indian town, and, to the
eternal infamy of christian policy, those renowned, pious fathers of
this new colony, with the Gospel, spread the small-pox. This distemper
raged in every corner: it swept away the great Sachem Connecticote,
and laid waste his ancient kingdom. Hereupon, Haynes and his assembly
proclaimed Joshua Sachem; and such as did not acknowledge his sachemic
power, were compelled to suffer death, or fly the Dominion. Thus in
three years time, by the Gospel and fanatic policy, was destroyed
Connecticote, the greatest king in North-America. This remarkable
event was considered as the work of the Lord; and the savage nations
were told that the like calamities would befal them, unless they
embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Joshua was grateful to the
English who had made him Sachem, and gave them deeds of those lands
which had constantly been refused by Connecticote. But Joshua had as
little honour as virtue and loyalty: he supported himself many years
by signing deeds, and gulled the English through their own imprudence
in neglecting to make a law for recording them.--These colonists,
having driven out the Heathen, and got possession of a land which
flowed with milk and honey, expelled the Dutch, as a dangerous set of
heretics;--and Hooker, after doing so much for this new Dominion,
expected the homage from every Church which is only due to a Bishop.
This homage, however, he could not obtain, because each Minister had
pretensions not much inferior to his. Disputes arose about Doctrine
and Discipline. Hooker taught that there were forty-two kinds of
Grace, though all of little value, except that of ‘saving Grace.’ As
to Discipline, he held, that, as he had received his ministerial
ordination from the Laity, who were members in full communion, he
considered those actual communicants as _Christ’s Church here on
earth_, and consequently as holding the keys of discipline; and he
maintained that the Minister had but a single voice, and was a subject
of the Church. Other Ministers, who had received episcopal ordination,
but had been silenced by their Bishops, judged themselves,
notwithstanding, to be Ministers of Christ; and alleged that the
installation of a Minister by prayer and imposition of hands of lay
communicants, was no ordination, but a ceremony only of putting a
Minister in possession of his Church, from which he might be dismissed
by a majority of voters of the Members in full communion. And those
Ministers taught for doctrine, that mankind were saved by Grace, and
that the Gospel told us of but one Grace as necessary to Salvation;
for that _he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, is born of
God, and enjoys the Grace of God which brings Salvation_. The majority
of the People of course were on the side of Mr. Hooker, as his plan
established their power over the Minister; and they soon determined by
vote, according to their code of laws, in his favour. But the
Ministers and minority were not convinced by this vote, and, to avoid
an excommunication, formed themselves into separate bodies;
nevertheless, they soon felt the thundering anathemas of Hooker, and
the heated vengeance of the civil power. However, persecution, by her
certain consequence, fixed the separatists in their schism, which
continues to the present time.--Hooker reigned twelve years high-priest
over Hertford; and then died above sixty years of age, to the great
joy of the separatists, but, in point of populousness, to the
disadvantage of the colony of Saybrook, which was the little Zoar for
Hooker’s heretics.

Exact in tything mint and anise, the furies of Newhaven for once
affected the _weightier matters_ of justice. They had no title to the
land: they applied to Quinnipiog, the Sachem, for a deed or grant of
it. The Sachem refused to give the lands of his ancestors to
strangers. The settlers had teeming inventions, and immediately voted
themselves to be the _Children of God_, and that _the wilderness in
the utmost parts of the earth_ was given to them. This vote became a
law forever after. It is true, Davenport endeavoured to _christianize_
Quinnipiog, but in vain: however, he _converted_ Sunksquaw, one of his
subjects, by presents and great promises; and then Sunksquaw betrayed
his master, and the settlers killed him. This assassination of
Quinnipiog brought on a war between the English and Indians, which
never ended by treaty of peace. The Indians, having only bows and
arrows, were driven back into the woods; whilst the English, with
their swords and guns, kept possession of the country. But, conscious
of their want of title to it, they voted Sunksquaw to be Sachem, and
that whoever disputed his authority should suffer death. Sunksquaw, in
return, assigned to the English those lands of which they had made him
Sachem. Lo! here is all the title the settlers of the Dominion of
Newhaven ever obtained.--The cruel and bloody persecutions under Eaton
and Davenport in Newhaven soon gave rise to several little towns upon
the sea-coast. Emigrants from England arrived every year to settle in
this Dominion; but few remained in Newhaven, on account of Eaton,
Davenport, the Deacons, and Elders, who possessed all power there, and
were determined to keep it. The new-comers, therefore, under pretence
of spreading Christ’s kingdom, and shunning persecution, joined with
the settlers at Stamford, Guilford, and Stratford, where, however,
persecution domineered with as much fury as at Newhaven; for each town
judged itself to be an independent Dominion; though, for fear of the
Dutch and the Indians, they formed a political union, and swore to
bear true allegiance to the capital Newhaven, whose authority was
supreme. As all officers in every town were annually elected by the
freemen, and as there were many candidates, some of whom must be
unsuccessful, there was always room for complaints. The complainants
formed schisms in the Church, which brought on persecution; and
persecution drove the minority to settle new towns, in order to enjoy
Liberty, Peace, and Power to persecute such as differed from them.
Thus lived those ambitious people, under far worse persecutions from
one another than they ever experienced or complained of in
Old-England; all which they endured with some degree of patience, the
persecuted one year living in hopes that the next would enable them to
retaliate on their persecutors.

The laws made by this independent Dominion, and denominated
_Blue-Laws_ by the neighbouring Colonies, were never suffered to be
printed; but the following sketch of some of them will give a
tolerable idea of the spirit which pervades the whole.

     “The Governor and Magistrates, convened in general Assembly,
     are the supreme power under God of this independent

     “From the determination of the Assembly no appeal shall be

     “The Governor is amenable to the voice of the people.

     “The Governor shall have only a single vote in determining
     any question; except a casting vote, when the Assembly may
     be equally divided.

     “The Assembly of the People shall not be dismissed by the
     Governor, but shall dismiss itself.

     “Conspiracy against this Dominion shall be punished with

     “Whoever says there is a power and jurisdiction above and
     over this Dominion, shall suffer death and loss of property.

     “Whoever attempts to change or overturn this Dominion shall
     suffer death.

     “The judges shall determine controversies without a jury.

     “No one shall be a freeman, or give a vote, unless he be
     converted, and a member in full communion of one of the
     Churches allowed in this Dominion.

     “No man shall hold any office, who is not found in the
     faith, and faithful to this Dominion; and whoever gives a
     vote to such a person, shall pay a fine of 1_l._ for a
     second offence, he shall be disfranchised.

     “Each freeman shall swear by the blessed God to bear true
     allegiance to this Dominion, and that Jesus is the only

     “No Quaker or dissenter from the established worship of this
     Dominion shall be allowed to give a vote for the election of
     Magistrates, or any officer.

     “No food or lodging shall be afforded to a Quaker, Adamite,
     or other Heretic.

     “If any person turns Quaker, he shall be banished, and not
     suffered to return but upon pain of death.

     “No Priest shall abide in the Dominion: he shall be
     banished, and suffer death on his return. Priests may be
     seized by any one without a warrant.

     “No one to cross a river, but with an authorized ferryman.

     “No one shall run on the Sabbath-day, or walk in his garden
     or elsewhere, except reverently to and from meeting.

     “No one shall travel, cook victuals, make beds, sweep house,
     cut hair, or shave, on the Sabbath-day.

     “No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or

     “The Sabbath shall begin at sunset on Saturday.

     “To pick an ear of corn growing in a neighbour’s garden,
     shall be deemed theft.

     “A person accused of trespass in the night shall be judged
     guilty, unless he clear himself by his oath.

     “When it appears that an accused has confederates, and he
     refuses to discover them, he may be racked.

     “No one shall buy or sell lands without permission of the

     “A drunkard shall have a master appointed by the selectmen,
     who are to debar him from the liberty of buying and selling.

     “Whoever publishes a lye to the prejudice of his neighbour,
     shall sit in the stocks, or be whipped fifteen stripes.

     “No Minister shall keep a school.

     “Every rateable person, who refuses to pay his proportion to
     the support of the Minister of the town or parish, shall be
     fined by the Court 2_l._ and 4_l._ every quarter, until he
     or she pay the rate to the Minister.

     “Men-stealers shall suffer death.

     “Whoever wears cloaths trimmed with gold, silver, or bone
     lace, above two shillings by the yard, shall be presented by
     the grand jurors, and the selectmen shall tax the offender
     at 300_l._ estate.

     “A debtor in prison, swearing he has no estate, shall be let
     out, and sold, to make satisfaction.

     “Whoever sets a fire in the woods, and it burns a house,
     shall suffer death; and persons suspected of this crime
     shall be imprisoned, without benefit of bail.

     “Whoever brings cards or dice into this Dominion shall pay a
     fine of 5_l._

     “No one shall read Common-Prayer, keep Christmas or
     Saints-days, make minced pies, dance, play cards, or play on
     any instrument of music, except the drum, trumpet, and

     “No Gospel Minister shall join people in marriage; the
     Magistrates only shall join in marriage, as they may do it
     with less scandal to Christ’s Church.[19]

     “When parents refuse their children convenient marriages,
     the Magistrates shall determine the point.

     “The selectmen, on finding children ignorant, may take them
     away from their parents, and put them into better hands, at
     the expence of their parents.

     “Fornication shall be punished by compelling marriage, or as
     the Court may think proper.

     “Adultery shall be punished with death.

     “A man that strikes his wife shall pay a fine of 10_l._; a
     woman that strikes her husband shall be punished as the
     Court directs.

     “A wife shall be deemed good evidence against her husband.

     “No man shall court a maid in person, or by letter, without
     first obtaining consent of her parents: 5_l._ penalty for
     the first offence; 10_l._ for the second; and, for the
     third, imprisonment during the pleasure of the Court.

     “Married persons must live together, or be imprisoned.

     “Every male shall have his hair cut round according to a

Of such sort were the laws made by the people of Newhaven, previous to
their incorporation with Saybrook and Hertford colonies by the
charter. They consist of a vast multitude, and were very properly
termed _Blue Laws_; i. e. _bloody Laws_; for they were all sanctified
with excommunication, confiscation, fines, banishment, whippings,
cutting off the ears, burning the tongue, and death. Europe at this
day might well say the Religion of the first settlers at Newhaven was
fanaticism turned mad; and did not similar laws still prevail over
New-England as the common law of the country, I would have left them
in silence along with Dr. Mather’s _Patres conscripti_, and the
renowned Saints of Mr. Neal, to sleep to the end of time. No one, but
a partial and blind bigot, can pretend to say the projectors of them
were men of _Grace_, _Justice_, and _Liberty_, when nothing but
_murders_, _plunders_, and _persecutions_, mark their steps. The best
apology that can be made for them is, (I write in reference to those
times,) that human nature is every-where the same; and that the mitred
Lord and canting Puritan are both equally dangerous, or that both
agree in the unchristian doctrine of persecution, and contend only
which shall put it in practice. Mr. Neal says many call the first
Colonizers in New-England weak men for separating from the Church of
England, and suffering persecutions, rather than comply with
indifferent ceremonies; and, after asserting that they were men of
great learning and goodness, he appeals to the world to judge, which
were weak, the Bishops or the Puritans? My answer is, that those
Puritans were weak men in Old England, and strong in New England,
where they out-pop’d the Pope, out-king’d the King, and out-bishop’d
the Bishops. Their murders and persecutions prove their strength lay
in weakness, and their religion in ambition, wealth, and dominion.

Notwithstanding the perpetual jealousy and discordance between the
three colonies of Connecticut, (Saybrook claiming the whole under the
Lords Say and Brook, Hertford under Jehovah and Conquest, and Newhaven
under King Jesus and Conquest,) they judged it necessary, for their
better security against the Dutch and Indians, to strengthen each
other’s hands by forming a general confederacy with the Colonies of
New Plymouth and the Massachusets-Bay. A measure of this kind, which
they formally entered into in 1643, proved of the most salutary
consequence, in a war which many years after broke out between them
and Philip, sachem of the Pokanoket Indians, and which, for some time,
imminently endangered the Colonies, but at length terminated in the
destruction of that noted warrior and his followers.

The death of Cromwell in 1658 struck an awe throughout all
New-England. Hertford and Newhaven appointed their days of fasting and
prayer. Davenport prayed “the Lord to take the New-England Vine under
his immediate care, as he had removed by death the great Protector of
the protestant liberty:” nevertheless he lived to see the time when
Charles II. obtained the possession of his Father’s crown and kingdom,
in spite of all his prayers. However, in the midst of sorrows, they
were comforted by the presence of many regicides and refugees, who
fled from England not so much for religion as for liberty; among whom
were Whalley, Goffe, and Dixwell,[21] three of the judges and
murderers of Charles I. Davenport and Leet the then Governor received
them as Angels from Heaven, and blessed God that they had escaped out
of the hands of “Herod the son of Barabbas.”[22]

Newhaven Dominion being thus suddenly filled with inhabitants, saw
itself enabled to support its independence, and as usual despised
Hertford and Saybrook, and withal paid no attention to the King and
Parliament of England.--The People of Massachusets, who were ever
forward in promoting their own consequence, observing the temper and
conduct of those of Newhaven, conceived an idea at once of exalting an
individual of their own province, and of attaching Hertford and
Saybrook to their interest for ever. They sent Mr. John Winthrop
privately to Hertford, to promote a petition to Charles II. for a
charter, as a security against the ambition of Newhaven.--The
Bostonians boasted of having had the honour of settling Hertford,
which they therefore professed to consider in the light of a near and
dear connection. The proposal was accepted by the few persons to whom
it was communicated, but, in framing their petition, they found
themselves deficient in their title to the lands. This obliged them to
have recourse to a Junto at Saybrook, who claimed a title under Lords
Say and Brook.--A few purchases, or rather exchanges, of land now took
place between the Junto’s; after which a petition was drawn up,
containing an artful description of the lands claimed, “part of which
they said they had purchased, and part they had conquered.” They then
as privately appointed Mr. Winthrop their agent to negociate the
business in England, which he very willingly undertook. On his arrival
here, he applied to the agents of Massachusets-Bay, and with their
assistance procured from the incaution of Charles II. as ample a
charter as was ever given to a palatinate state; it covered not only
Saybrook, Hertford, and Newhaven, but half New-York, New-Jersey, and
Pensylvania, and a tract of land near 100 miles wide, and extending
westward to the South sea, 1400 miles from Narraganset bay. This
charter, which was obtained in 1662, well pleased the people of
Hertford, because it coincided with their former vote, viz. “that
their dominion extended from sea to sea.”[23] Newhaven Dominion too
late discovered the intrigues of her artful neighbours; and, after two
years opposition, submitted to the charter purely out of fear lest
some of her ministers and magistrates should suffer ignominious deaths
for aiding in the murder of their King.[24]

To the great joy of the People of Boston and Saybrook, Mr. Winthrop
was appointed, by the Charter, Governor of all Connecticut. Their joy,
however, sprung from different motives: Saybrook hoped for effectual
protection from the insults of Hertford and the persecutions of
Newhaven; and Boston expected to govern the Governor.

Mr. Winthrop settled at New-London, in the kingdom of Sassacus, or
colony of Saybrook, where he purchased lands of the claimants under
Lords Say and Brook. Wisdom and moderation guided Mr. Winthrop. He was
annually elected Governor till his death, which happened in 1676.

Whether it were owing to the discovery of any defect in the title of
the People of Connecticut to the soil, or of any undue arts practised
in obtaining their charter, or whether it must be considered as an
instance of Charles’s fickle or arbitrary disposition, that Monarch,
in the short space of two years after granting that charter, comprized
half Connecticut in another grant to his brother, the Duke of York, of
the territory between the rivers Connecticut and Delaware, called by
the Dutch New-Netherlands. This step excited much discontent in
Connecticut, especially when an actual defalcation of its territory
was discovered to be in agitation, after Colonel Nichols had succeeded
in an enterprise he was sent upon against the Dutch at New-York.
Commissioners were sent thither from Connecticut, the latter end of
1664, to defend the interests of the Colony; but, notwithstanding all
the opposition they could make, they were constrained to yield up the
whole of Long-Island and a strip of land on the east side of Hudson’s
river. This dismemberment is not easily to be justified; but,
probably, finding it necessary to the performance of a promise he had
made the Dutch of the enjoyment of their possessions, Nichols might
think himself at liberty of insisting upon it, furnished as he was
with almost regal powers as the Duke of York’s deputy. In that
capacity, he assumed the government of the conquered territory, but
does not appear to have intermeddled further with that of Connecticut.

With Colonel Nichols were associated three other gentlemen, in a
commission, empowering them to enquire into the state of the
New-England provinces, to hear and redress complaints, settle
differences, and check abuses of power: but the ill humour and
obstinacy of those of Connecticut and Massachusets-Bay, in a great
measure frustrated their endeavours.

By authority of the Charter, the freemen chuse annually, in May, a
Governor, a Deputy-Governor, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and 12
Assistants, and, twice a year, two Representatives from each town.
These, being met, constitute the General Assembly, which has power to
make laws, provided they are not repugnant to the laws of England, and
enforce them without the consent of the King.

The General Assembly meets in May and October without summoning. By it
the colony has been divided into six counties, viz. Hertford,
Newhaven, New-London, Fairfield, Windham, and Litchfield; and these
subdivided into 73 townships and 300 parishes.

Each town has two or more justices of peace, who hear and determine,
without a jury, all causes under 2_l._

Each county has five judges, who try by a jury all causes above 2_l._

Five judges preside over the superior court of the province, who hold
two sessions in each county every year. To this court are brought
appeals from the county courts when the verdict exceeds 10_l._ appeals
from the courts of probate, writs of error, petitions for divorce, &c.

The General Assembly is a court of chancery, where the error or rigour
of the judgments of the superior courts are corrected.

The General Assembly, and not the Governor, has the power of life and

The courts of probate are managed by a justice of peace appointed by
the General Assembly.

Each county has its Sheriff, and each town its constables.

By charter the Governor is Captain-general of the militia. Fourteen
Colonels, 14 Lieutenant-Colonels, and 14 Majors, are appointed by the
General Assembly. The Captains and Subalterns are elected by the
People, and commissioned by the Governor.

The ecclesiastical courts in Connecticut are: 1. The Minister and his
Communicants; 2. The Association, which is composed of every minister
and deacon in the county; 3. The Consociation, which consists of four
ministers and their deacons, chosen from each Association; and always
meets in May, at Hertford, with the General Assembly. An appeal from
the Consociation will lie before the General Assembly; but the clergy
have always been against it, though with less success than they
wished.--The General Assembly declared “Sober Dissenters” to be the
established religion of the province.

The laws of the colony enacted by the authority of the Charter are
decent in comparison with the Blue Laws. They make one thin volume in
folio. Yet exceptions may justly be made to many of them--equal liberty
is not given to all parties--taxes are unfairly laid--the poor are
oppressed.--One law is intolerable, viz. When a trespass is committed
in the night, the injured person may recover damages of any-one he
shall think proper to accuse, unless the accused can prove an alibi,
or will clear himself by an oath; which oath, nevertheless, it is at
the option of the justice either to administer or refuse. Queen Ann
repealed the cruel laws respecting Quakers, Ranters, and Adamites; but
the General Assembly, notwithstanding, continued the same in their
law-book, maintaining that a law made in Connecticut could not be
repealed by any authority but their own. It is a ruled case with them
that no law or statute of England be in force in Connecticut till
formally passed by the General Assembly and recorded by the
Secretary.[25] Above 30 years ago, a negro castrated his master’s son,
and was brought to trial for it before the Superior Court at Hertford.
The Court could find no law to punish the negro. The lawyers quoted
the English statute against maiming; the Court were of opinion that
statute did not reach this colony, because it had not been passed in
the General Assembly; and therefore were about to remand the negro to
prison till the General Assembly should meet. But an _ex-post-facto_
law was objected to as an infringement upon civil liberty. At length,
however, the Court were released from their difficulty by having
recourse to the vote of the first settlers at Newhaven, viz. That the
Bible should be their law till they could make others more suitable to
their circumstances. The court were of opinion that vote was in full
force, as it had not been revoked; and thereupon tried the negro upon
the Jewish law, viz. Eye for Eye, and Tooth for Tooth. He suffered

The idea fostered by the colony of independence on Great Britain was
not, as might be imagined, destroyed by the royal charter, but, on the
contrary, was renewed and invigorated by it. Indeed, the charter is as
much in favour of Connecticut, and unfavourable to England, as if it
had been drawn up in Boston or Newhaven. Had it been granted jointly
by the King, Lords, and Commons, and not by the King _solus_, no one
could dispute the independence of Connecticut on England, any more
than they could that of Holland on Spain. The people at large did not
discriminate between an act of the King _solus_ and an act of the
King, Lords, and Commons, conjointly; and, to prevent any-one from
shewing the difference, the General Assembly made a law that “whoever
should attempt to destroy the constitution of this Colony as by
charter established, should suffer death.” The power of a British King
was held up by them much higher than the constitution allowed. The
King had authority, they said, to form palatinate states without
consent of Parliament. Accustomed to doctrines of this tendency, the
multitude concluded the General Assembly of Connecticut to be equal to
the British Parliament.

Notions of this kind did not prevail in Connecticut alone;
Massachusets-Bay still more abounded with them, and Rhode Island was
not uninfected. What was the consequence? Complaints against those
governments poured into the British court. A reformation, therefore,
became indispensable in New-England, and was begun by a
disfranchisement of the Massachusets province. The death of Charles
II. put a temporary stop to proceedings against the other colonies;
but James II. soon found it expedient to renew them. In July, 1685,
the following instances of mal-administration were formally exhibited
against the Governor and Company of Connecticut, viz., “They have made
laws contrary to the laws of England:--they impose fines upon the
inhabitants, and convert them to their own use:--they enforce an oath
of fidelity upon the inhabitants without administering the oath of
supremacy and allegiance, as in their charter is directed:--they deny
to the inhabitants the exercise of the religion of the church of
England, arbitrarily fining those who refuse to come to their
congregational Assemblies:--his Majesty’s subjects inhabiting there
cannot obtain justice in the courts of that colony:--they discourage
and exclude the government all gentlemen of known loyalty, and keep it
in the hands of the independent party in the colony.” (_New-Eng. Ent.
vol._ ii. p. 241.) In consequence of this impeachment, James II.
ordered a _Quo Warranto_ to be issued against the Charter of
Connecticut. The People perceived the King was in earnest; and their
alarm manifested itself in humble sollicitations for favour: but, it
being thought adviseable, on several accounts, particularly the
extensive progress the French were making in Canada, to appoint one
general Governor over New-England, the submissive applications of the
Connecticut colonists could no further be regarded than in allowing
them their choice, whether to be annexed to New-York or the
Massachusets. They preferred the latter; and, accordingly, Sir Edmund
Andros having been appointed Captain-general over all New-England, the
charter of Connecticut was surrendered to him. It is very remarkable
that Mr. Neal, Hutchinson, and other historians of New-England, have
artfully passed over in silence this transaction of the surrender of
Connecticut Charter to Sir Edmund Andros, the General Governor over
New-England. They have represented the magistrates of Connecticut as
not having resigned their charter, but by an erroneous construction
put on their humble supplication to James II. by the Court of London;
whereas the fact is, they resigned it, _in propria forma_, into the
hands of Sir Edmund Andros, at Hertford, in October, 1687, and were
annexed to the Massachusets-Bay colony, in preference to New-York,
according to royal promise and their own petition.[26] But the very
night of the surrender of it, Samuel Wadsworth, of Hertford, with the
assistance of a mob, violently broke into the apartments of Sir
Edmund, regained, carried off, and hid the charter in the hollow of an
elm; and, in 1689, news arriving of an insurrection and overthrow of
Andros at Boston, Robert Treat, who had been elected in 1687, was
declared by the mob still to be Governor of Connecticut. He daringly
summoned his old Assembly, who, being convened, voted the charter to
be valid in law, and that it could not be vacated by any power without
the consent of the General-Assembly[27] They then voted that Samuel
Wadsworth should bring forth the charter; which he did in a solemn
procession, attended by the High-sheriff, and delivered it to the
Governor. The General Assembly voted their thanks to Wadsworth, and
twenty shillings as a reward for _stealing_ and hiding their charter
in the elm. Thus Connecticut started from a dependent county into an
independent province, in defiance of the authority that had lately
been paid such humble submission. None should be surprized to find the
People shewing more deference to Abimeleck, King of Mohegin, than to
George, King of England; since a vote of men, whose legislative and
even corporate capacity had been annihilated, has prevailed, for more
than eighty years, over a just exertion of royal prerogative.[28]
Nevertheless, this unconstitutional Assembly, whose authority under an
assumed charter has been tacitly acknowledged by the British
Parliament, have not at all times been unchecked by the Corporation of
Yale College. That College, by a charter received from this
self-erected Government, was enabled to give Bachelors and Masters
degrees; but the Corporation have presumed to give Doctors degrees.
When the General Assembly accused them of usurping a privilege not
conferred by their charter, they retorted that “to usurp upon a
charter was not so bad as to usurp a vacated charter.” The General
Assembly were obliged to be content with this answer, as it contained
much truth, and came from the clergy, whose ambition and power are not
to be trifled with.

Whatever might be the reason of the English Government’s winking at
the contempt shewn to their authority by the people of Connecticut, it
certainly added to their ingratitude and bias to usurpation. Having
been in possession of that country one-hundred and forty years, the
General Assembly, though unsupported either by law or justice,
resolved to take up and settle their lands west not only of Hudson but
Susquehanna river, and extending to the South-Sea. In pursuance of
this resolution, they with modesty passed over New-York, and the
Jerseys, because they are possessed by Mynheers and fighting
christians, and seized on Pensylvania, claimed by Quakers, who fight
not for either wife or daughter. They filled up their fathers
iniquities, by murdering the Quakers and Indians, and taking
possession of their lands; and no doubt, in another century, they will
produce deeds of sale from Sunksquaw, Uncas, or some other
supposititious Sachem. This is a striking instance of the use I have
said the Colony sometimes make of their charter, to countenance and
support their adventurous spirit of enterprize. They plead that their
charter bounds them on the west by the South-Sea; but they seem to
have forgotten that their charter was surreptitiously obtained; and
that the clause on which they dwell is rendered nugatory, by the
petitioners having described their lands as lying upon Connecticut
river, and obtained partly by purchase and partly by conquest. Now, it
being a fact beyond all controversy, that they then had not conquered,
nor even pretended to have purchased, any lands west of
Hudson’s-River, it is evident that their westernmost boundary never
did or ought to extend further than to that river. Not that Mr. Pen
has any just title to those lands on Susquehanna river which are the
bone of contention, and which lie north of his patent: they belong to
the assigns of the Plymouth Company, or to the Crown of England.

Republicanism, schisms, and persecutions, have ever prevailed in this
Colony.--The religion of “_Sober Dissenters_” having been established
by the General Assembly, each sect claimed the establishment in its
favour. The true Independents denied that the Assembly had any further
power over Christ’s Church than to protect it. Few Magistrates of any
religion are willing to yield their authority to Ecclesiastics; and
few disciples of Luther or Calvin are willing to obey either civil or
spiritual masters. In a Colony where the people are thus disposed,
dominion will be religion, and faction conscience. Hence arose
contentions between the Assembly and Independents; and both parties
having been brought up under Cromwell, their battles were well fought.
The independent Ministers published, from their pulpits, that the
Assembly played off one sect against another; and that Civilians were
equal enemies to all parties, and acted more for their own interest
than the glory of God. Those spiritual warriors, by their
Associations, fasting, and prayers, voted themselves the “_Sober
Dissenters_,” and got the better of the General Assembly. Indeed, none
disputed their vote with impunity. Whenever a Governor manifested an
inclination to govern Christ’s Ministers, Christ’s Ministers were sure
to instruct the freemen not to reëlect him. The Magistrates declared
that they had rather be under Lords-Bishops than Lords-Associations. A
Governor was appointed, who determined to reduce Christ’s Ministers
under the Civil Power; and, accordingly, the Assembly sent their
Sheriff to bring before them certain leading men among the Ministers,
of whom they banished some, silenced others, and fined many, for
preaching sedition. The Ministers told the Assembly that curst cows
had short horns; and that “they were _Priests for ever after the order
of Melchisedec_.” However, like good christians, they submitted to the
sentence of the Assembly; went home, fasted, and prayed, until the
Lord pointed out a perfect cure for all their sufferings. On the day
of election, they told the freemen that the Lord’s cause required a
man of Grace to stand at the head of the Colony, and with sure
confidence recommended the Moderator of the Association to be their
Governor; and the Moderator was chosen. This event greatly inflamed
the lay-magistrates, who were further mortified to see Ministers among
the Representatives; whereupon they cried out, “This is a presbyterian
popedom.” Now Magistrates joined with other Churches which they had
long persecuted; and the Connecticut Vine was rent more and more every
day. The Ministers kept the power, but not always the office, of the
Governor, whilst the weaker party paid the cost. One party was called
Old Light, the other New Light: both aimed at power under pretence of
religion; which-ever got the power, the other was persecuted. By this
happy quarrel, the various sectarians were freed from their
persecutions; because each contending party courted their votes and
interest, to help to pull down its adversary. This has been the
religious-political free system and practice of Connecticut since

In speaking of the religious phrenzies and persecutions in Connecticut
under the sanction of the charter, I must notice the words of an
eminent Quaker, who, as a blasphemer, had been whipped, branded, burnt
in the tongue, set on the gallows, banished, and, upon return,
sentenced to be hanged. “Dost thee not think,” said he to his Judges,
“that the Jews, who crucified the Saviour of the World, had a

Many have been the disputes between Connecticut and the neighbouring
Colonies concerning their several boundaries, and much blood has been
spilt on those occasions. On the north and east, where lie the
Massachusets and Rhode-Island, Connecticut has, in some degree, been
the gainer; but has lost considerably on the west and south, to the
engendering violent animosity against the _loyal_ New-Yorkers, to whom
it will probably prove fatal in the end. The detail is briefly as

The Dutch settlers on New-York Island, Hudson’s river, and the west
end of Long Island, being subdued by Colonel Nichols in September,
1664, the royal Commissioners, after hearing the Deputies from
Connecticut in support of the charter granted to that province against
the Duke of York’s patent, ordered, in December following, that
Long-Island should be annexed to the government of New-York, and that
the West boundary of Connecticut should be a line drawn from the mouth
of Mamaroneck river north-north-west to the line of the Massachusets.
This settlement, although it infringed their charter, was peaceably
acquiesced in by the people of Connecticut; and not complained of by
those of New-York till 1683, when they set up a claim founded upon a
Dutch grant, _said_ to be made in 1621, of all the lands from Cape Cod
to Cape Henlopen. In furtherance of their pretensions, they had
recourse to invasion and slander. Of the latter Mr. Smith has given a
specimen in his History of New-York, where he says that the agreement
in 1664 “was founded in ignorance and fraud;” because, forsooth, “a
north-north-west line from Mamaroneck would soon intersect Hudson’s
river!” Could any one of common-sense suppose the Dutch on the banks
of Hudson’s river, who no doubt were consulted upon the occasion, less
acquainted with the course of it, than persons residing on the banks
of the Connecticut? Extraordinarily absurd as such an insinuation
might be, the people of Connecticut were aware of its probable weight
with the Duke of York, whose patent grasped half their country; and
therefore, knowing by whom a contest must be decided, they consented
to give up twenty miles of their land east of Hudson’s river, hoping
that would content a company of time-serving Jacobites and artful
Dutchmen. But neither were they nor their Patron satisfied; and the
agreement was suspended till 1700, when it was confirmed by William
III. About twenty years afterwards, however, the New-Yorkers thought
the times favourable to further encroachments; and at length, in 1731,
they gained 60,000 acres more, called the Oblong, from Connecticut,
purely because they had Dutch consciences, and for once reported in
England what was true, that the New-England colonists hated Kings,
whether natives or foreigners. Mr. Smith, indeed, p. 238, says,
referring to Douglas’s[29] Plan of the British Dominions of
New-England in support of his assertion, that “Connecticut ceeded
these 60,000 acres to New-York, as an _equivalent_ for lands near the
Sound _surrendered_ to Connecticut, by New-York.” Mr. Smith, and all
the New-York cabal, know, that there never were any lands in the
possession of the New-Yorkers _surrendered_ to Connecticut: on the
contrary, Connecticut was forced, by the partiality of sovereigns, to
give up, not only Long-Island and the above-mentioned twenty miles
east of Hudson’s river, but also the Oblong, without any _equivalent_.
How New-York could surrender lands and tenements which they never had
any right to or possession of, is only to be explained thus: whereas
the people of New-York did not extend their eastern boundary to
Connecticut river, they therefore _surrendered_ to Connecticut what
they never had; which is like a highwayman’s saying to a Gentleman,
Give me ten guineas, and I will _surrender_ to you your watch in your

Thus by degrees has Connecticut lost a tract of land sixty miles in
length and above twenty in breadth, together with the whole of
Long-Island; and this in the first place by a stretch of royal
prerogative, and afterwards by the chicanery of their competitors, who
have broken through all agreements as often as a temporising conduct
seemed to promise them success. Whenever, therefore, a favourable
opportunity presents itself, it is probable, that Messrs. Smith and
Livingston, and other pateroons in New-York, will find the last
determination also to have been “founded in ignorance and fraud,” and
will be pushing their claim to all the lands west of Connecticut
river; but the opportunity must be favourable indeed, that allows them
to encroach one foot farther with impunity.

Another stroke the people of Connecticut received about 1753 has
sorely galled them ever since, and contributed not a little to their
thirst of revenge. The Governor of New-York was then appointed
“Captain-General and Commander in Chief of the militia, and all the
forces by sea and land, within the Colony of Connecticut, and of all
the forts and places of strength within the same.” This violation of
the Charter of Connecticut by George II. was very extraordinary, as
the reins of Government were then in the hands of protestant
dissenters, whose _supposed_ veneration for the House of Hanover
operated so powerfully, that the American protestant dissenting
ministers were allowed to be installed teachers, and to hold synods,
without taking the oath of allegiance to the English King, at the same
time that papists, and even members of the Church of England, were not
excused that obligation. The aggravating appointment above mentioned
added no celebrity to the name of George II. in New-England; nor,
however excusable it may appear in the eyes of those who with me
question the colonial pretensions of the people of Connecticut, was
it, upon the ground they have been allowed to stand by the English
government, justifiable in point of right, nor yet in point of policy,
were the true character of the New-Yorkers fully known. This argument
may be used on more occasions than the present.

But Connecticut hath not been the only sufferer from the restless
ambition of New-York. Twenty miles depth of land belonging to the
Massachusets and Newhampshire provinces, which formerly claimed to
Hudson’s river, were cut off by the line that deprived Connecticut of
the same proportion of its western territory. With this acquisition,
surely, the New-Yorkers might have been content; but very lately their
_wisdom_, if not their “fraud,” has prevailed over the “ignorance” of
Newhampshire; which has sustained another amputation of its territory,
eighty miles in width and two hundred miles in length; viz. all the
land between the above-mentioned twenty-mile line and Connecticut
river. The particulars of this transaction are interesting. Benning
Wentworth, Esq. Governor of Newhampshire, by order of his present
Majesty, divided, in 1762, the vast tract of land just mentioned into
about 360 townships, six miles square each. These townships he granted
to proprietors belonging to the four provinces of New-England, one
township to sixty proprietors; and took his fees for the same,
according to royal appointment. Every township was, in twelve years
time, to have sixty families residing in it. In 1769 there were
settled on this piece of land 30,000 souls, at a very great expence;
and many townships contained 100 families. The New-Yorkers found means
to deceive the King, and obtained a decree that the East boundary of
New-York, after passing Connecticut and Massachusets-Bay, should be
Connecticut river.[30] This decree annexed to the jurisdiction of
New-York the said 360 townships; but was quietly submitted to by the
proprietors, since it was his Majesty’s will to put them under the
jurisdiction of New-York, tho’ they found themselves 150 miles farther
from their new capital New-York, than they were from Portsmouth, their
old one. Had the New-Yorkers rested satisfied with the jurisdiction,
which alone the King had given them, they might have enjoyed their
acquisition in peace; and New-England would have thought they had
possessed some justice, though destitute of religious zeal. But the
Governor and General Assembly of New-York, finding their interest in
Old-England stronger than the interest of the New-Englanders,
determined at once, that, as the King had given them jurisdiction over
those 360 townships, he had also given them the lands in fee simple.
Sir Henry More, the Governor, therefore, in 1767, began the laudable
work of regranting those townships to such people as lived in
New-York, and were willing to pay him 600_l._ York currency for his
valuable name to each patent. It is remarkable that Sir Harry made
every _lawyer_ in the whole province a patentee; but totally _forgot_
the four public lots, viz. that for the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel, those for the church, the first clergyman, and school in
each township, which had been reserved in Governor Wentworth’s grants.
Death stopped his career; but Colden, the Lieutenant-Governor, filled
up the measure of his iniquity, by granting all the rest on the same
conditions. Sir Henry More had taken care to grant to his dear self
one township, settled with above 80 families, before he died. Colden
did the same for himself. The virtuous William Smith, Esq. of New
York, had a township also; and Sir Henry More left him his executor to
drive off the New-England settlers. This, however, he attempted in
vain. The polite New-Yorkers, having the jurisdiction, betook
themselves to law, to get possession of the lands in question, which
they called their own; and sent the posse of Albany to eject the
possessors; but this mighty power was answered by Ethan Allen, and the
old proprietors under Governor Wentworth, who was a King’s Governor as
well as Sir Henry More:--the Mynheers of Albany were glad to have
liberty to return home alive.--See here the origin of Ethan Allen!--of
the Verdmonts, and the Robbers of the Green Mountains; a compliment
paid by the New-Yorkers to the settlers under Governor Wentworth;--who,
on that amiable gentleman’s death, had no friend of note left in
England, and were therefore under the necessity of defending
themselves, or becoming tenants to a set of people who neither _feared
God_ nor _honoured the King_, but when they got something by it.--The
New-Yorkers had the grace, after this, to outlaw Ethan Allen, which
rendered him of consequence in New-England; and it would not surprise
me to hear that New-York, Albany, and all that the Dutchmen possess in
houses east of Hudson’s River, were consumed by fire, and the
inhabitants sent to Heaven, in the style of Dr. Mather, by the way of
Amsterdam. I must do the New-Englanders the justice to say, that,
though they esteem not highly Kings or Lords, yet they never
complained against his Majesty for what was done respecting Verdmont;
on the contrary, they ever said the King would reverse the obnoxious
decree, whenever he should be acquainted with the truth of the case,
which the New-Yorkers artfully concealed from his knowledge.

There are in the four New-England provinces near 800,000 souls, and
very few unconnected with the settlements on Verdmont; the property of
which was duly vested in them by Wentworth, the King’s Governor, whose
predecessors and himself had jurisdiction over it also for 106 years.
They say, what is very legal and just, that his Majesty had a right to
annex Verdmont to the government of New-York, but could not give the
fee of the land, because he had before given it to the New-Englanders.
It appears very unlikely that those hardy sons of Oliver will ever
give up Verdmont to the New-Yorkers by the order of Sir Henry More, or
any other Governor, till compelled by the point of the sword. The
Mynheers have more to fear than the New-Englanders, who will never
yield to Dutch virtue. Van Tromp was brave; Oliver was brave and
successful too.

Mather, Neal, and Hutchinson, represent religion to have been the
cause of the first settlement of New-England; and the love of gold as
the stimulus of the Spaniards in settling their colonies in the
southern parts of America; but, if we should credit the Spanish
historians, we must believe that their countrymen were as much
influenced by religion in their colonial pursuits as were our own.
However, in general, it may be said, that the conduct of both parties
towards the aborigines discovered no principles but what were
disgraceful to human nature. Murder, plunder, and outrage, were the
means made use of to convert the benighted savages of the wilderness
to the system of Him “who went about doing good.” If we may depend on
Abbé Nicolle, the Spaniards killed of the Aytis, or the savage
nations, in the Island of Hispaniola, 3,000,000 in seventeen years;
600,000 in Porto Rico, and twenty times these numbers on the continent
of South-America, in order to propagate the Gospel in a savage and
howling wilderness! The English colonists have been as industrious in
spreading the Gospel in the howling wilderness of North-America.
Upwards of 180,000 Indians, at least, have been slaughtered in
Massachusets-Bay and Connecticut,[31] to make way for the protestant
religion; and, upon a moderate computation for the rest of the
colonies, on the continent and West-India Islands, I think one may
venture to assert, that nearly 2,000,000 savages have been dismissed
from an unpleasant world to the world of spirits, for the honour of
the protestant religion and English liberty. Nevertheless, having
travelled over most parts of British America, I am able to declare,
with great sincerity, that this mode of converting the native Indians
is godlike in comparison with that adopted by the Africans.

These miserable people are first kidnapped, and then put under saws,
harrows, and axes of iron, and forced through the brick-kiln to

Nearly half a million of them are doomed to hug their misery in
ignorance, nakedness, and hunger, among their master’s upper servants
in Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland. The number of these
wretches upon the Continent and Islands is scarce credible; about
100,000 in Jamaica alone; all toiling for the tyrant’s pleasure; none
seeking other happiness, than to be screened from the torture rendered
necessary by that curious American maxim, that men must be willing to
die before they are fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. However, what
Mussleman, African, or American, would not prefer the state of a
christian master, who dreads death above all things, to the state of
those christian converts? Christianity has been cursed, through the
insincerity of its professors; even savages despise its precepts,
because they have no influence on christians themselves. Whatever
religious pretensions the Spanish, French, or English may plead for
depopulating and repeopling America, it is pretty clear that the
desire of gold and dominion was no impotent instigation with them to
seek the western continent. The British leaders in the scheme of
emigration had felt the humiliating effects of the feudal system;
particularly the partial distributions of fortunes and honour among
children of the same venter in the Mother Country. They had seen that
this inequality produced insolence and oppression, which awakened the
sentiments of independence and liberty, the instinct of every man.
Nature then kindled war against the oppressors, and the oppressors
appealed to prescription. The event was, infelicity began her reign.
Both parties invoked religion, but prostrated themselves before the
insidious shrine of Superstition, the life of civil government, and
the sinews of war; that expiates crimes by prayers, uses ceremonies
for good works, esteems devotion more than virtue, supports religion
without probity, values honesty less than honour, generates happiness
without morality, and is a glorious helmet to the ambitious.

They enlisted vassals with her bounty to fight, burn, and destroy one
another, for the sake of religion. Behold the sequel! The vassals
seemed more to themselves than the Egyptian masters and laws, both in
the elder and younger brothers; yet, after all, Superstition told them
they enjoyed liberty and the rights of human nature. Happy deception!
The Spartan Magnates, tributary to the Turks, are jealous of their
liberties; while the American Cansey, near Lake Superior, enjoy
liberty complete without jealousy. Among the latter, the conscious
independence of each individual warms his thoughts and guides his
actions. He enters the sachemic dome with the same simple freedom as
he enters the wigwam of his brother: neither dazzled at the splendour
nor awed by the power of the possessor. Here is liberty in perfection!
What christian would wish to travel 4000 miles to rob an unoffending
savage of what he holds by the law of Nature? That is not the God or
Dominion that any christian ever sought for. The first settlers of
America had views very different from those of making it a christian
country; their grand aim was to get free from the insolence of their
elder brethren, and to aggrandise themselves in a new world at the
expense of the life, liberty, and property of the savages. Had the
invaders of New-England sown the seeds of christian benevolence, even
after they had eradicated the savages and savage virtues, the world
would not have reproached them for cherishing that all-grasping spirit
to themselves, which in others had driven them from their parent
country. But the feudal system, which they considered an abominable
vice in England, became a shining virtue on the other side of the
Atlantic, and would have prevailed there, had the people been as blind
and tame in worldly as they were in spiritual concerns. But they had
too long heard their leaders declaim against the monopoly of lands and
titles, not to discover that they themselves were men, and entitled to
the rights of that race of beings; and they proceeded upon the same
maxims which they found also among the Indians, viz. that mankind are
by nature upon an equality in point of rank and possession; that it is
incompatible with freedom for any particular descriptions of men
systematically to monopolise honours and property, to the exclusion of
the rest; that it was a part despicable and unworthy of one freeman to
stoop to the will and caprice of another on account of his wealth and
titles, accruing not from his own, but from the heroism and virtue of
his ancestors, &c., &c.

The _vox populi_ established these maxims in New-England; and whoever
did not, at least outwardly, conform to them, were not chosen into
office. Nay, though not objectionable on that score, men very seldom
met with reappointments, lest they should claim them by hereditary
right. Thus, the levelling principle prevailing, equals were respected
and superiors derided. Europeans, whose manners were haughty to
inferiors and fawning to superiors, were neither loved nor esteemed.
Hence an English traveller through Connecticut meets with supercilious
treatment at taverns, as being too much addicted to the use of the
imperative mood when speaking to the landlord. The answer is, “Command
your own servants, and not me.” The traveller is not obeyed, which
provokes him to some expressions, that are not legal in the Colony,
about the impertinence of the landlord, who being commonly a Justice
of the Peace, the delinquent is immediately ordered into custody,
fined, and put in the stocks. However, after paying costs, and
promising to behave well in future, he passes on with more attention
to his “unruly member” than to his pleasures. Nevertheless, if a
traveller softens his tone, and avoids the imperative mood, he will
find every civility from those very people, whose natural temper are
full of antipathy against all who affect superiority over them. This
principle is, by long custom, blended with the religious doctrines of
the province; and the people believe those to be heretics and
Americans who assent not to their supremacy. Hence they consider the
kingly Governors as the short-horns of Antichrist, and every Colony in
a state of persecution which cannot choose its own Governor and

Their aversion to New-York is inconceiveably great upon this account,
as well as others I have mentioned. Their jealousies and fears of
coming under its jurisdiction make them heroes in the cause of
liberty, and great inquisitors into the characters and conduct of
kingly Governors. They have selected Mr. Tryon as the only English
Governor who has acted with justice and generosity in respect to the
rights, liberties, and feelings of mankind, while, they say, avarice,
plunder, and oppression have marked the footsteps of all the rest.
This character Mr. Tryon possessed, even after he had subdued the
regulators in North-Carolina, and was appointed Governor of New-York.
Some persons assert, indeed, that he secured the good will of
Connecticut by recommending, in England, the Livingstons, Schuylers,
and Smiths, as the best subjects in New-York. However, Mr. Tryon was
undoubtedly entitled to good report; he was humane and polite; to him
the injured had access without a fee; he would hear the poor man’s
complaint, though it wanted the aid of a polished lawyer. Besides, Mr.
Tryon did not think it beneath him to speak to a peasant in the
street, or to stop his coach to give the people an opportunity to let
him pass. His object was not to make his fortune, nor did he neglect
the interests of the people. He embellished not his language with
oaths and curses, nor spent the Sabbath at taverns. ’Tis true, Mr.
Tryon went not to meeting; but he was forgiven this offence because he
went to church, the people of New-England having so much candour as to
believe a man may be a good sort of man if he goes to church, and is
exemplary in his words and deeds. I have not the honour of being known
to Mr. Tryon, but from what I know of him, I must say, without meaning
to offend any other, that he was the best Governor, and the most
pleasing gentleman, that I ever saw in a civil capacity in America;
and that I cannot name any Briton so well calculated to govern in
Connecticut, with ease and safety to himself, as he is. One reason for
this assertion is, that Mr. Tryon has a punctilious regard for his
word: a quality which, though treachery is the staple commodity of the
four New-England provinces, the people greatly admire in a Governor,
and which, they say, they have seldom found in royal Governors in

Of the share Connecticut has taken, in common with her sister
colonies, in co-operating with the Mother Country against her natural
enemies, it is superfluous to say anything here, that being already
sufficiently known.

I shall therefore proceed to a description of the country, its towns,
productions, &c. together with the manners, customs, commerce, &c. of
the inhabitants, interspersing such historical and biographical
anecdotes as may occur to me in the relation, and having a tendency to
elucidate matter of fact or characterize the people.

The dimensions of Connecticut, according to the present allowed
extent, are from the Sound on the south to the Massachusets line on
the north, about sixty miles; and from Biram River and New-York line,
on the west, to Narraganset-Bay, Rhode-Island, and Massachusets-Bay on
the east, upon an average about one hundred miles. It is computed to
contain 5,000,000 acres.

Many creeks and inlets, bays and rivers, intersect the coast. Three of
the last, dividing the colony into as many parts, I shall particularly
notice. They all run from north to south.

The eastern river is called the Thames, as far as it is navigable,
which is only to Norwich, fourteen miles from its mouth. Then
dividing, the greatest branch, called Quinnibaug, rolls rapidly from
its source 100 miles distant through many towns and villages, to their
great pleasantness and profit. On it are many mills and iron-works,
and in it various kinds of fish, but no salmon, for want of proper
places to nourish their spawn.

The middle river is named Connecticut, after the great Sachem to whom
that part of the province through which it runs belonged. This vast
river is five hundred miles long, and four miles wide at its mouth;
its channel, or inner banks, in general, half a mile wide. It takes
its rise from the White Hills, in the north of New-England, where also
springs the river Kennebec. About five hundred rivulets, which issue
from lakes, ponds, and drowned lands, fall into it; many of them are
larger than the Thames at London. In March, when the rains and sun
melt the snow and ice, each stream is overcharged, and kindly hastens
to this great river, to overflow, fertilize, and preserve its
trembling meadows. They lift enormous cakes of ice, bursting from
their frozen beds, with threatening intentions of ploughing up the
frighted earth, and carry them rapidly down the falls, where they are
dashed in pieces and rise in mist. Except at these falls, of which
there are five the first sixty miles from its mouth, the river is
navigable throughout. In its northern part are three great bendings,
called Cohosses, about one hundred miles asunder. Two hundred miles
from the Sound is a narrow of five yards only, formed by two shelving
mountains of solid rock, whose tops intercept the clouds. Through this
chasm are compelled to pass all the waters which, in the time of the
floods, bury the northern country.

At the upper Cohos the river spreads twenty-four miles wide. For five
or six weeks ships of war might sail over the lands that afterward
produce the greatest crops of hay and grain in all America. People who
can bear the sight, the groans, the tremblings, and surly motion of
water, trees, and ice, through this awful passage, view with
astonishment one of the greatest phenomenons in Nature. Here, water
consolidated without frost, by pressure, by swiftness, between the
pinching, sturdy rocks, to such a degree of induration that an iron
crow cannot be forced into it; here, iron, lead, and cork, have one
common weight; here, steady as time, and harder than marble, the
stream passes irresistible, if not swift as lightning; the electric
fire rends trees in pieces with no greater ease than does this mighty
water. The passage is about four hundred yards in length, and of a
zigzag form, with obtuse corners.[32]

At high water are carried through this straight masts and other timber
with incredible swiftness, and sometimes with safety; but when the
water is too low, the masts, timber, and trees, strike on one side or
the other, and, though of the largest size, are rent, in one moment,
into shivers, and splintered like a broom, to the amazement of
spectators. The meadows, for many miles below, are covered with
immense quantities of wood thus torn in pieces, which compel the
hardiest travellers to reflect, how feeble is man, and how great that
Almighty who formed the lightnings, thunders, and the irresistible
power and strength of waters!

No living creature was ever known to pass through this narrow, except
an Indian woman, who was, in a canoe, attempting to cross the river
above it, but carelessly suffered herself to fall within the power of
the current. Perceiving her danger, she took a bottle of rum she had
with her, and drank the whole of it; then lay down in her canoe, to
meet her destiny. She marvellously went through safely, and was taken
out of the canoe some miles below, quite intoxicated, by some
Englishmen. Being asked how she could be so daringly imprudent as to
drink such a quantity of rum with the prospect of instant death before
her, the squaw, as well as her condition would let her, replied, “Yes,
it was too much rum for once, to be sure; but I was not willing to
lose a drop of it: so I drank it, and you see I have saved all.”

Some persons assert that salmon have been caught above this narrow,
while others deny it. Many have observed salmon attempt to pass in the
time of floods, which certainly is the best and likeliest time, as,
from the height of the water, and the shelving of the rocks, the
passage is then broader; but they were always thrown back, and
generally killed. It is not to be supposed that any fish could pass
with the stream alive. Above this narrow there is plenty of fish both
in summer and winter, which belong to the lakes or ponds that
communicate with the river: below it are the greatest abundance and
variety caught or known in North-America. No salmon are found in any
river to the westward of this.

Except the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, the Connecticut is the
largest river belonging to the English plantations in the New World.
On each shore of it are two great roads leading from the mouth 200
miles up the country, lined on both sides with the best-built houses
in America, if not in the world. It is computed, that the country on
each bank of this river, to a depth of six miles, and a length of 300,
is sufficient for the maintenance of an army of 100,000 men. In short,
the neighbouring spacious and fertile meadow, arable, and other lands,
combined with this noble river, are at once the beauty and main
support of all New-England.

The western river is navigable and called Stratford only for ten
miles, where Derby stands; and then takes the name of Osootonoc. It is
50 miles west from Connecticut River, and half a mile wide. It rises
in the Verdmonts, above 200 miles from the sea, and travels 300 miles
through many pleasant towns and villages. The adjacent meadows are
narrow, and the country in general very hilly. With some expence it
might be made navigable above 100 miles. It furnishes fish of various
kinds, and serves many mills and iron-works.

Two principal bays, named Sassacus or New-London, and Quinnipiog or
Newhaven, run five or six miles into the country, and are met by
rivers which formerly bore the Sachems names.

It has already been observed, that Connecticut was settled under three
distinct independent Governors; and that each Dominion, since their
union in 1664, has been divided into two counties.

The KINGDOM OF SASSACUS, Sachem of the Pequods, a warlike nation,
forms the counties of New-London and Windham, which contain about
10,000 houses, and 60,000 inhabitants. Sassacus was brave by nature.
The sound of his coming would subdue nations, at the same time that
Justice would unbend his bow, and Honour calm the thunder of his
tongue. Dr. Mather, Mr. Neal, and others, have endeavoured to blast
his fame by proving him to have been the aggressor in the bloody wars
which ended in his ruin. They have instanced the murder of Captain
Stone and others, to justify this war, but carefully concealed the
assassination of Quinnipiog, the treachery of Mr. Elliot (the
Massachusets-Bay Apostle of the Indians), and the infamous villainy of
Hooker, who spread death upon the leaves of his Bible, and struck
Connecticote mad with disease. They also conceal another important
truth, that the English had taken possession of lands belonging to
Sassacus, without purchase or his consent. Besides, Sassacus had too
much sagacity to let christian spies, under the appellation of gospel
missionaries, pass through his country. He had seen the consequences
of admitting such ministers of christianity from Boston, Hertford, &c.
among his neighbouring nations, and generously warned them to keep
their gospel of peace from his dominions. The invaders of this howling
wilderness, finding their savage love detected, and that the Pequods
were not likely to fall a sacrifice to their hypocrisy, proclaimed
open war with sword and gun. The unfortunate Sassacus met his fate.
Alas! he died, not like Connecticote, nor Quinnipiog, but in the field
of battle; and the freedom of his country expired with his final
groan. This mighty conquest was achieved by the colonists of
Connecticut, without the aid of the Massachusets; nevertheless, Mr.
Neal and others have ascribed the _honour_ of it to the latter, with a
view of magnifying their consequence--ever Mr. Neal’s grand object.

The country of New-London abounds chiefly with wool, butter, cheese,
and Indian-corn; and contains eight towns, all which I shall describe.

_New-London_ has the river Thames on the east, and the bay of its own
name on the south, and resembles Islington. Its port and harbour are
the best in the colony. The church, the meeting, and court-house, are
not to be boasted of; the fort is trifling. The houses in this, as in
all the towns in the province, are insulated, at the distance of
three, four, or five yards one from the other, to prevent the ravages
of fire. That of John Winthrop, Esq. is the best in the province. The
township is ten miles square, and comprizes five parishes, one of
which is episcopal. Abimeleck, a descendant of the first English-made
king of Mohegin, resides with his small party in this township. He is
a king to whom the people pay some respect,--_because they made him

The people of this town have the credit of inventing tar and feathers
as a proper punishment for heresy. They first inflicted it on quakers
and anabaptists.

New-London has a printing press, much exercised in the business of
pamphlets, sermons, and newspapers. It is employed by the Governor and
Company, and is the oldest and best in the colony. Newhaven, Hertford,
and Norwich, also, have each a printing press; so that the people are
plentifully supplied with news, politics, and polemical divinity.----A
very extraordinary circumstance happened here in 1740. Mr. George
Whitefield paid them a visit, and preached of _righteousness_,
_temperance_, and _a judgment to come_, which roused them into the
belief of an heaven and an hell. They became as _children weaned_ and
pliable as _melted wax_, and with great eagerness cried out, _What
shall we do to be saved?_ The preacher, then in the pulpit, thus
answered them, “Repent--do violence to no man--part with your
self-righteousness, your silk gowns, and laced petticoats--burn your
ruffles, necklaces, jewels, rings, tinselled waistcoats, your morality
and bishops books, this very night, or damnation will be your portion
before the morning-dawn.” The people, rather thro’ fear than faith,
instantly went out on the common, and prepared for heaven, by
burning all the above _enumerated goods_, excepting that of
self-righteousness, which was exchanged for the preacher’s velvet
breeches.--Vide _Dr. Chancy_.[33]

_Groton_, across the bay from New-London, resembles Battersea. The
township is ten miles square, and forms four parishes, one of which is
episcopal. This town was the residence of the valiant Sassacus, Sachem
of the Pequod nation.

_Stonington_ lies on Narraganset-Bay, is the east corner of
Connecticut, and consists of three parishes. The township is 8 miles

_Preston_, on Quinnibaug river, forms three parishes, one of which is
episcopal. The township is 8 miles square.

_Norwich_, on the Thames, 14 miles from the sea, is an half-shire with
New-London. The town stands on a plain, one mile from Chelsea, or the
Landing. Its best street is two miles long, and has good houses on
both sides, five yards asunder from each other. In the centre is a
common, of the size of Bloomsbury Square, in which stand a beautiful
court-house, and a famous meeting with clocks, bells, and steeples.
The township is fifteen miles square, and forms 13 parishes, one
episcopal. Chelsea, or the Landing, resembles Dover. [Here land is
sold at fifteen shillings sterling by the square foot.]--This town is
famous for its trade; for iron-works, grist, paper, linseed,
spinning and fulling mills; also for a furnace that makes stone
ware.----Some peculiarities and curiosities here attract the notice of
Europeans:--1, a bridge over Quinnibaug, 60 yards long, butted on two
rocks, and geometrically supported; under which pass ships with all
their sails standing:--2, the steeple of the grand meeting-house stands
at the east end:--3, the inhabitants bury the dead with their feet to
the west.--The following couplet was written by a traveller, on the

     “They’re so perverse and opposite,
      As if they built to God in spite.”

The reasons for the singular custom of burying the dead with their
feet to the west, are two, and special: first, when Christ begins his
millenarian reign, he will come from the west, and his saints will be
in a ready posture to rise and meet him: secondly, the papists and
episcopalians bury their dead with their feet to the east.

Was I to give a character of the people of Norwich, I would do it in
the words of the famous Mr. George Whitefield, (who was a good judge
of mankind,) in his farewel-sermon to them a short time before his
death; viz. “When I first preached in this magnificent house, above 20
years ago, I told you, that you were part beast, part man, and part
devil; at which you were offended. I have since thought much about
that expression, and confess that for once I was mistaken. I therefore
take this last opportunity to correct my error. Behold! I now tell
you, that you are not part man and part beast, but wholly of the

_Lyme_ stands on the east side of Connecticut River, opposite
Saybrook; and resembles Lewisham. The township is 16 miles long, and 8
wide; and forms four parishes.

_Saybrook_ is situated on the west side of Connecticut river, 20 miles
west from New-London, and resembles Battersea. The township is twenty
miles long and six wide, and forms four parishes. This town was named
after the Lords Say and Brook, who were said to claim the country, and
sent, in 1634, a Governor and a large number of people from England to
build a fort and settle the colony. See p. 17. It was principally
owing to this fort that Hertford and Newhaven made good their
settlements: it prevented Sassacus from giving timely aid to
Connecticote and Quinnipiog.

Saybrook is greatly fallen from its ancient grandeur; but is,
notwithstanding, resorted to with great veneration, as the parent town
of the whole colony. The tombs of the first settlers are held sacred,
and travellers seldom pass them without the compliment of a sigh or
tear. On one mossy stone is written,

     “Here pride is calm’d, and death is life.”

In 1709, this town was honoured by a convention of contending
independent divines, who were pleased with no constitution in church
or state.--This multitude of sectarians, after long debates, published
a book, called The Saybrook Platform, containing the doctrines and
rules of the churches in Connecticut. The only novelty in this system
is, that Christ has delegated his ministerial, kingly, and prophetical
power, one half to the people, and the other half to the ministers.
This proposition may be thought in Europe a very strange one; but, if
it be recollected, that the people in the province claimed all power
in heaven and on earth, and that the ministers had no other ordination
than what came from the people, it will appear, that the ministers
hereby gained from the people one half of their power. From this
article originated the practice of the right hand of fellowship at the
ordination of a minister. No one can be a minister, till he receives
the right hand of the messenger who represents six deacons from six
congregations. The conclusion of this reverend and venerable body is,
“The Bible is our rule.”

Mr. Neal says, p. 610, “That every particular society is a compleat
church, having power to exercise all ecclesiastical jurisdiction,
without appeal to any classis:--they allow of synods for council and
advice, but not to exercise the power of the keys.”

If Mr. Neal had taken the trouble to read the History of the Church of
Massachusets-Bay, written by the Reverend Mr. John Wise, a minister of
that church, he would have found that the contrary to all he has
advanced is the truth. The people of that province held the keys from
1620 to 1650: then the ministers got possession of them by their own
vote, which was passed into a law by the General Assembly. The vote
was, “There cannot be a minister, unless he is ordained by ministers
of Jesus Christ.” Thus commenced ordination by ministers in
New-England. The people were alarmed at the loss of the keys, and
asked the ministers who had ordained them? The ministers answered, The
people. Then, replied the people, we are the ministers of Jesus
Christ, you are not ministers; and we will keep the power. A violent
contest ensued between the people and the ministers; but the latter,
by the help of the General Assembly, retained the power of the keys,
and instituted three ecclesiastical courts, viz. 1, the minister and
his communicants; 2, the associations; and 3, the synod. There lies an
appeal from one to the other of these courts, all which exercise so
much ecclesiastical power that few are easy under it. The first court
suspends from communion, the second re-hears the evidence, and
confirms or sets aside the suspension; the synod, after hearing the
case again, excommunicates or discharges the accused. From the last
judgment no appeal is allowed by the synod. The excommunicated person
has no other resource than petitioning the General Assembly of the
province, which sometimes grants relief, to the great grief of the
synod and ministers. But the representatives commonly pay dear for
overlooking the conduct of the synod at the next election.

The people of Connecticut have adopted the same mode of discipline as
prevails in Massachusets-Bay, but call the synod a Consociation.

To show that the synods are not quite so harmless as Mr. Neal reports,
I will give an instance of their authority exercised in Connecticut in
1758. A Mr. Merret, of Lebanon, having lost his wife, with whom he had
lived childless forty years, went to Rhode-Island, and married a niece
of his late wife, which was agreeable to the laws of that province. By
her having a child, Mr. Merret offered the same for baptism to the
minister of whose church he was a member. The minister refused,
because it was an incestuous child; and cited Merret and his wife to
appear before himself and his church upon an indictment of incest.
Merret appeared; the verdict was, “Guilty of incest.” He appealed to
the Association, which also found him guilty of incest. He again
appealed to the Consociation, and was again found guilty of incest.
Merret and his wife were then ordered to separate, and make a public
confession, on pain of excommunication. Merret refused; whereupon the
minister read the act of excommunication, while the deacons shoved
Merret out of the meeting-house. Being thus cast out of the synagogue,
and debarred from the conversation of any one in the parish, it was
well said by Mr. Merret: “If this be not to exercise the power of the
keys, I know not what it is.” The poor man soon after died with a
broken heart, and was buried in his own garden by such christian
brethren as were not afraid of the mild puissance of the Consociation.

Mr. Neal says, also, p. 609, after evincing his jealousy at the growth
of the Church of England in New-England: “If the religious liberties
of the plantations are invaded by the setting up of spiritual courts,
&c., they will feel the sad effects of it.” In this sentiment I agree
with Mr. Neal; but, unluckily, he meant the bishops courts, and I
meant the courts of synods, composed of his “meek, exemplary, and
learned divines of New-England,” but who are more severe and terrible
than even was the Star-Chamber under the influence of Laud, or the
Inquisition of Spain. The ecclesiastical courts of New-England have,
in the course of 160 years, bored the tongues with hot needles, cut
off the ears, branded the foreheads of, and banished, imprisoned, and
hanged more quakers, baptists, adamites, ranters, episcopalians, for
what they call heresy, blasphemy, and witchcraft, than there are
instances of persecution in Fox’s book of Martyrology, or under the
bishops of England since the death of Henry VIII. And yet Mr. Neal was
afraid of spiritual courts, and admired the practice of New-England
churches, who only excommunicated offenders, delivering them over to
the civil magistrates to torture and ruin. If I remember right, I once
saw the Inquisition of Portugal act after the same manner, when the
priest said, “We deal with the soul, and the civil magistrate with the

Time not having destroyed the walls of the fort at Saybrook, Mr.
Whitefield, in 1740, attempted to bring them down, as Joshua brought
down the walls of Jericho, to convince the gaping multitude of his
divine mission. He walked several times round the fort with prayer,
and rams’-horns blowing; he called on the angel of Joshua to come and
do as he had done at the walls of Jericho; but the angel was deaf, or
on a journey, or asleep, and therefore the walls remained. Hereupon
George cried aloud: “This town is accursed for not receiving the
messenger of the Lord; therefore the angel is departed, and the walls
shall stand as a monument of sinful people.” He shook off the dust of
his feet against them, and departed, and went to Lyme.

_Killingsworth_ is ten miles west from Saybrook, lies on the sea, and
resembles Wadsworth. The town is eight miles square, and divided into
two parishes. This town is noted for the residence of the Rev. Mr.
Elliot, commonly known as Dr. Elliot, who discovered the art of making
steel out of sand, and wrote a book on husbandry, which will secure
him a place in the Temple of Fame.

_Windham_, the second county in the ancient kingdom of Sassacus, or
colony of Saybrook, is hilly; but the soil being rich, has excellent
butter, cheese, hemp, Indian-corn, and horses. Its towns are twelve.

Windham resembles Rumford, and stands on Winnomantic River. Its
meeting-house is elegant, and has a steeple, bell, and clock. Its
court-house is scarcely to be looked upon as an ornament. The township
forms four parishes, and is ten miles square.

Strangers are very much terrified at the hideous noise made on summer
evenings by the vast number of frogs in the brooks and ponds. There
are about thirty different voices among them, some of which resemble
the bellowing of a bull. The owls and whippoorwills complete the rough
concert, which may be heard several miles. Persons accustomed to such
serenades are not disturbed by them at their proper stations; but one
night in July, 1758, the frogs of an artificial pond, three miles
square, and about five from Windham, finding the water dried up, left
the place in a body, and marched, or rather hopped, towards
Winnomantic River. They were under the necessity of taking the road
and going through the town, which they entered about midnight. The
bull-frogs were the leaders, and the pipers followed without number.
They filled the road, forty yards wide, for four miles in length, and
were for several hours in passing through the town unusually

The inhabitants were equally perplexed and frightened: some expected
to find an army of French and Indians; others feared an earthquake,
and dissolution of Nature. The consternation was universal. Old and
young, male and female; fled naked from their beds, with worse
shriekings than those of the frogs. The event was fatal to several
women. The men, after a flight of half a mile, in which they met with
many broken shins, finding no enemies in pursuit of them, made a
hault, and summoned resolution enough to venture back to their wives
and children, when they distinctly heard from the enemy’s camp these
words: Wight, Hilderkin, Dier, Tete. This last, they thought, meant
treaty, and, plucking up courage, they sent a triumvirate to
capitulate with the supposed French and Indians. These the men
approached in their shirts, and begged to speak with the general; but,
it being dark and no answer given, they were sorely agitated for some
time betwixt hope and fear: at length, however, they discovered that
the dreaded inimical army was an army of thirsty frogs going to the
river for a little water.

Such an incursion was never known before nor since; and yet the people
of Windham have been ridiculed for their timidity on this occasion. I
verily believe an army under the Duke of Marlborough would, under like
circumstances, have acted no better than they did.

In 1768 the inhabitants of Connecticut River were as much alarmed by
an army of caterpillars as those of Windham were at the frogs; and no
one found reason to jest at their fears. Those worms came in one night
and covered the earth, on both sides of the river, to an extent of
three miles in front and two in depth. They marched with great speed,
and eat up everything green for the space of one hundred miles, in
spite of rivers, ditches, fires, and the united efforts of 1,000 men.
They were, in general, two inches long, had white bodies covered with
thorns, and red throats. When they had finished their work they went
down to the river Connecticut, where they died, poisoning the waters,
until they were washed into the sea. This calamity was imputed by some
to the vast number of logs and trees lying in the creeks, and to
cinders, smoke, and fires, made to consume the waste wood for three or
four hundred miles up the Connecticut River; while others thought it
augurated future evils, similar to those of Egypt. The inhabitants of
the Verdmonts would unavoidably have perished with famine, in
consequence of the devastation of these worms, had not a remarkable
Providence filled the wilderness with wild pigeons, which were killed
by sticks as they sat upon the branches of the trees, in such
multitudes that 30,000 people lived on them for three weeks. If a
natural cause may be assigned for the coming of the frogs and
caterpillars, yet the visit of the pigeons to the wilderness in August
has been necessarily ascribed to the interposition of infinite Power
and Goodness. Happy will it be for America, if the smiling providence
of Heaven produces gratitude, repentance, and obedience, amongst her

_Lebanon_ lies on the west side of Winnomantic River. The best street,
which has good houses on both sides, is one mile long and one hundred
yards wide. An elegant meeting-house, with steeple and bell, stands in
the centre. The township is ten miles square, and forms four parishes.
This town was formerly famous for an Indian school, under the conduct
of Rev. Eleazer Wheelock, whose great zeal for the spiritual good of
the savages in the wilderness induced him to solicit a collection from
England. Having met with success, his school at Lebanon became a
college in the province of Newhampshire, where he has converted his
godliness into gain, and promises fair to excuse government from the
expense of a superintendent of Indian affairs.

_Coventry_ lies on the same river; the houses are straggling. The
township is ten miles square, and consists of two parishes. Here are
two ponds, the one three and the other four miles long, and half as
wide, well filled with mackerel and other fish.

_Mansfield_ lies east of Coventry, on Winnomantic and Fundy Rivers;
the houses are scattered. The township is eight miles square, and
divided into two parishes.

_Union_ and _Wilmington_ lie on Winnomantic River, forming two
parishes. Each township is six miles square.

_Ashford_ lies on the Fundy, in a township ten miles square, and forms
three parishes. The people of the town have distinguished themselves
by a strict enforcement of the colony-laws against heretics and
episcopalians, for not attending their meeting on the Sabbath.

_Woodstock_ lies on Quinnibaug, and resembles Finchley. The township
is ten miles square, and divided into three parishes. Woodstock had
the honour of giving birth to the Rev. Thomas Bradbury Chandler, D.
D., a learned divine of the Church of England, and well known in the
literary world.

_Killingsley_ lies east of Woodstock. The township, twenty miles long
and six wide, forms three parishes.

_Pomfret_ stands on Quinnibaug River, and resembles Battersea. The
township is twelve miles square, and forms four parishes, one of which
is episcopal. Fanaticism had always prevailed in the county of Windham
over christian moderation: where, about the year 1770, after many
abuses, the episcopalians found a friend in Godfree Malebone, Esq. who
built on his own estate an elegant church, which was patronized by the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, who
appointed a clergyman.

We read that David slew a lion and a bear, and afterwards that Saul
trusted him to fight Goliath. In Pomfret lives Colonel Israel Putnam,
who slew a she-bear and her two cubs with a billet of wood. The
bravery of this action brought him into public notice; and it seems he
is one of fortune’s favourites. The story is as follows: In 1754 a
large she-bear came in the night from her den, which was three miles
from Mr. Putnam’s house, and took a sow out of his pen. The sow, by
squeaking, awoke Mr. Putnam, who hastily ran to the poor creature’s
relief; but, before he could reach the pen, the bear had left it, and
was trotting away with the sow in her mouth. Mr. Putnam took up a
billet of wood and followed the screaming of the sow, till he came to
the foot of the mountain where the den was. Dauntless he entered the
horrid cavern, and, after walking and crawling on his hands and knees
for fifty yards, came to a roomy cell, where the bear met him with
great fury. He saw nothing but the fire of her eyes, but that was
sufficient for our hero; he accordingly directed his blow, which at
once proved fatal to the bear, and saved his own life at a most
critical moment. Putnam then discovered and killed the two cubs; and
having, though in Egyptian darkness, dragged them and the dead sow,
one by one, out of the cave, he went home, and calmly reported to his
family what had happened. The neighbors declared, on viewing the place
by torchlight, that his exploit exceeded those of Samson or David.
Soon after, the General Assembly appointed Mr. Putnam a lieutenant in
the army marching against Canada. His courage and good conduct raised
him to the rank of Captain the next year. The third year he was made a
Major, and the fourth a Colonel. Putnam and Rogers were the heroes
through the last war. Putnam was so hardy, at a time when the Indians
had killed all his men and completely hemmed him in upon a river, as
to leap into the stream, which in a minute carried him down a
stupendous falls, where no tree could pass without being torn to
pieces. The Indians reasonably concluded that Putnam, their terrible
enemy, was dead, and made their report accordingly at Ticonderoga; but
soon after a scouting party found their sad mistake in a bloody
rencontre. Some few that got off declared that Putnam was yet living,
and that he was the first son of Hobbomockow, and therefore immortal.
However, at length the Indians took this terrible warrior prisoner,
and tied him to a tree, where he hung three days without food or
drink. They did not attempt to kill him, for fear of offending
Hobbomockow; but they sold him to the French at a great price. The
name of Putnam was more alarming to the Indians than cannon, and they
never would fight him after his escape from the falls. He was
afterwards redeemed by the English.

_Plainfield_ and _Canterbury_ lie on Quinnibaug River, opposite to one
another, and have much the appearance of Lewisham. Each township is
eight miles square, and forms two parishes.

_Voluntown_ lies on a small river, and resembles Finchley Common. The
township is fifteen miles long and five wide, and forms three
parishes, one of which is Presbyterian. This sect has met with as
little christian charity and humanity in this hair-brained country as
the Anabaptists, Quakers, and Churchmen. The _Sober Dissenters_ of
this town, as they style themselves, will not attend the funeral of a

The KINGDOM OF CONNECTICOTE forms two counties, viz. Hertford and
Litchfield, which contain about 15,000 houses and 120,000 inhabitants.
The county of Hertford excels the rest in tobacco, onions, grain of
all sorts, hay, and cider. It contains twenty-one towns, the chief of
which I shall describe, comparing the rest to the towns near London.

_Hertford_ town is deemed the capital of the province; it stands forty
miles from Saybrook, and the same distance from Newhaven, on the west
bank of Connecticut River, and is formed into squares. The township is
twenty miles from east to west, and six in breadth, comprising six
parishes, one of which is episcopal.

The houses are partly of brick and partly of wood, well built, but, as
I have observed in general of the towns in Connecticut, do not join.
King’s Street is two miles long and thirty yards wide, well paved, and
cut in two by a small river, over which is a high bridge. The town is
half a mile wide. A grand court-house, and two elegant meetings, with
steeples, bells, and clocks, adorn it. In 1760 a foundation of
quarry-stone was laid for an Episcopal church in this town, at the
expense of nearly 300_l._, on which occasion the episcopalians had a
mortifying proof that the present inhabitants inherit the spirit of
their ancestors. Samuel Talcott, Esq. one of the Judges of the County
Court, with the assistance of a mob, took away the stones, and with
them built a house for his son. What added to so meritorious an
action, was its being justified by the General Assembly and the
Consociation. In 1652 this town had the honour of executing Mrs.
Greensmith, the first witch ever heard of in America. She was accused,
in the indictment, of practising evil things on the body of Ann Cole,
which did not appear to be true; but the Rev. Mr. Stone, and other
ministers, swore that Greensmith had confessed to them that the devil
had had carnal knowledge of her. The Court then ordered her to be
hanged upon the indictment. Surely none of the learned divines and
statesmen studied in the Temple or Lincoln’s Inn! It should seem that
every Dominion or township was possessed of an ambition to make itself
famous in history. The same year Springfield, not to be outdone by
Hertford, brought Hugh Parsons to trial for witchcraft, and the jury
found him guilty. Mr. Pincheon, the Judge, had some understanding, and
prevented his execution till the matter was laid before the General
Court in Boston, who determined that he was not guilty of witchcraft.
The truth was, Parsons was blessed with a fine person and genteel
address, insomuch that the women could not help admiring him above
every other man in Springfield, and the men could not help hating him;
so that there were witnesses enough to swear that Parsons was a
wizzard, because he made the females love and the men hate him.

In Hertford are the following curiosities: 1. A house built of
American oak in 1640, the timbers of which are yet sound, nay, almost
petrified; in it was born John Belcher, Esq. Governor of
Massachusets-Bay, and New-Jersey. 2. An elm, esteemed sacred, for
being the tree in which their Charter was concealed. 3. A wonderful
well, which was dug sixty feet deep without any appearance of water,
when a large rock was met with. The miners, boring this rock in order
to blast it with powder, drove the auger through it, upon which the
water spouted up with such great velocity that it was with difficulty
the well was stoned. It soon filled and ran over, and has supported,
or rather made, a brook for above one hundred years.

The tomb of Mr. Hooker is viewed with great reverence by his
disciples. Nathaniel, his great-grandson, a minister in Hertford,
inherits more than all his virtues, without any of his vices.[34]

_Weathersfield_ is four miles from Hertford, and more compact than any
town in the colony. The meeting-house is of brick, with a steeple,
bell, and clock. The inhabitants say it is much larger than Solomon’s
Temple. The township is ten miles square; parishes four. The people
are more gay than polite, and more superstitious than religious. This
town raises more onions than are consumed in all New-England. It is a
rule with parents to buy annually a silk gown for each daughter above
seven years old, till she is married. The young beauty is obliged, in
return, to weed a patch of onions with her own hands; which she
performs in the cool of the morning, before she dresses her beefsteak.
This laudable and healthy custom is ridiculed by the ladies of other
towns, who idle away their mornings in bed, or in gathering the pink,
or catching the butterfly, to ornament their toilets; while the
gentlemen, far and near, forget not the Weathersfield ladies’ silken

Weathersfield was settled in 1637 by the Rev. Mr. Smith and his
followers, who left Watertown, near Boston, in order to get out of the
power of Mr. Cotton, whose severity in New-England exceeded that of
the bishops in Old-England. But Mr. Smith did not discard the spirit
of persecution as the sole property of Mr. Cotton, but carried with
him a sufficient quantity of it to distress and divide his little

_Middletown_ is ten miles below Weathersfield, and beautifully
situated upon the Connecticut, between two small rivers one mile
asunder, which is the length of the town and grand street. Here is an
elegant church, with steeple, bell, clock, and organ; and a large
meeting without a steeple. The people are polite, and not much
troubled with that fanatic zeal which pervades the rest of the colony.
The township is ten miles square, and forms four parishes, one
episcopalian. This and the two preceding towns may be compared to

The following towns, which lie on the Connecticut River, are so much
alike that a description of one will serve for the whole, viz.
_Windsor_, _East Windsor_, _Glastenbury_, _Endfield_, _Suffield_,
_Chatham_, _Haddam_, and _East Haddam_. Windsor, the best, is cut in
two by the river Ett, which wanders from the northward 100 miles,
through various meadows, towns, and villages, and resembles Bedford.
Township ten miles square, forming three parishes. It was settled in
1637 by the Rev. Mr. Huet and his associates, who fled from religious
slavery in Boston, to enjoy the power of depriving others of liberty.

The following towns, lying back of the river towns, being similar in
most respects, I shall join also in one class, viz. _Hebron_,
_Colchester_, _Bolton_, _Tolland_, _Stafford_, and _Sommers_.

_Hebron_ is the centre of the province, and it is remarkable that
there are thirty-six towns larger and thirty-six less. It is situated
between two ponds, about two miles in length and one in breadth, and
is intersected by two small rivers, one of which falls into the
Connecticut, the other into the Thames. A large meeting stands on the
square, where four roads meet. The town resembles Finchley. The
township is eight miles square; five parishes, one is episcopal. The
number of houses is 400; of inhabitants, 3,200. It pays one part out
of seventy-three of the governmental taxes, and is a bed of farmers on
their own estates. Frequent suits about the Indian titles have
rendered them famous for their knowledge in law and self-preservation.
In 1740 Mr. George Whitefield gave them this laconic character:
“Hebron,” says he, “is the stronghold of Satan; for its people
mightily oppose the work of the Lord, being more fond of earth than
heaven.” This town is honoured by the residence of the Rev. Dr.
Benjamin Pomeroy, an excellent scholar, an exemplary gentleman, and a
most thundering preacher of the New-Light order. His great abilities
procured him the favour and honour of being the instructor of
Abimeleck, the present king of Mohegin. He is of a very persevering,
sovereign disposition, but just, polite, generous, charitable, and
without dissimulation. _Avis alba._ Here also reside some of the
descendants of William Peters, Esq. already spoken of, among whom is
the Rev. Samuel Peters,[35] an episcopal clergyman, who, by his
generosity and zeal for the Church of England, rendered himself famous
both in New and Old-England, and in some degree made an atonement for
the fanaticism and treason of his uncle Hugh, and of his ancestor on
his mother’s side, Major-General Thomas Harrison, both hanged at
Charing-Cross in the last century.

_Colchester_ has to boast of the Rev. John Buckley for its first
minister, whose grandfather was the Rev. Peter Buckley, of Woodhill,
in Bedfordshire in Old-England; who, after being silenced by the
bishop for his misconduct, went to New-England in 1635, and died at
Concord in 1658.

John Buckley was a great scholar, and, suffering prudence to govern
his hard temper, he conciliated the esteem of all parties, and became
the ornament of the _Sober Dissenters_ in Connecticut. He was a
lawyer, a physician, and divine. He published an ingenious pamphlet to
prove that the title of the people to their lands was good, because
they had taken them out of the state of nature. His argument satisfied
many who thought their titles were neither legal, just, nor
scriptural; indeed, it may seem conclusive, if his major proposition
be granted, that the English found Connecticut in a state of nature.
His son John was a lawyer and physician of great reputation, and was
appointed a Judge of the Superior Court very young. He and his father
were suspected to be not sound in faith, because they used in their
prayers, “From battle and murder, and from sudden death, good Lord
deliver us, for the sake of thine only Son, who commands us thus to
pray, Our Father,” &c., &c. Peter Buckley was possessed of a
gentleman’s estate in Bedfordshire, which he sold, and spent the
produce among his servants in Massachusets-Bay. His posterity in
Colchester, in Connecticut, are very rich, and, till lately, were held
in great esteem, which, however, they lost by conforming to the Church
of England.

There is nothing remarkable to be observed of any of the other towns I
have classed with Hebron, except _Stafford_, which possesses a mineral
spring that has the reputation of curing the gout, sterility, pulmony,
hysterics, &c., &c., and therefore is the New-England “Bath,” where
the sick and rich resort to prolong life and acquire the polite

_Herrington_, _Farmington_, and _Symsbury_, lying on the west of
Hertford, and on the river Ett, will finish the county of Hertford.

_Herrington_ is ten miles square, and forms two parishes.

_Farmington_ resembles Corydon. The township is fifteen miles square,
and forms eight parishes, three of which are episcopal. Here the
meadow-land is sold at 50_l._ per acre.

_Symsbury_, with its meadows and surrounding hills, forms a beautiful
landscape, much like Maidstone, in Kent. The township is twenty miles
square, and consists of nine parishes, four of which are episcopal.
Here are copper mines. In working one, many years ago, the miners
bored half a mile through a mountain, making large cells, forty yards
below the surface, which now serve as a prison, by order of the
General Assembly, for such offenders as they choose not to hang. The
prisoners are let down on a windlass into this dismal cavern, through
a hole which answers the triple purpose of conveying them food, air,
and--I was going to say--light, but that scarcely reaches them. In a few
months the prisoners are released by death, and the colony rejoices in
her great humanity and the mildness of her laws. This conclave of
spirits imprisoned may be called with great propriety the Catacomb of
Connecticut. The light of the sun and the light of the Gospel are
alike shut out from the martyrs, whose resurrection-state will eclipse
the wonder of that of Lazarus. It has been remarked by the candid part
of this religious colony, that the General Assembly and Consociation
have never allowed any prisoners in the whole province a chaplain,
though they have spent much of their time and public money in
spreading the gospel in the neighbouring colonies among the Indians,
Quakers, and episcopalians, and though, at the same time, those
religionists preach damnation to all people who neglect to attend
public worship twice every Sabbath, fasting, and thanksgiving days,
provided they are appointed by themselves, and not by the King and
Parliament of Great Britain. This well-founded remark has been treated
by the zealots as springing more from malice than policy.

I beg leave to give the following instances of the humanity and
mildness the province has always manifested for the episcopal clergy.

About 1746, the Rev. Mr. Gibbs, of Symsbury, refusing to pay a rate
imposed for the salary of Mr. Mills, a dissenting minister in the same
town, was, by the collector, thrown across a horse, lashed hands and
feet under the creature’s belly, and carried many miles in that humane
manner to gaol. Mr. Gibbs was half dead when he got there; and though
he was released by his church wardens, who, to save his life, paid the
assessment, yet, having taken cold in addition to his bruises, he
became delirious, and has remained in a state of insanity ever since.

In 1772 the Rev. Mr. Moyley, a missionary from the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel, at Litchfield, was presented by the Grand
Jury for marrying a couple belonging to his parish, after the banns
had been duly published, and consent of parents obtained. The Court
mildly fined Mr. Moyley 20_l._ because he could not show any other
license to officiate as a clergyman than what he had received from the
Bishop of London, whose authority the Court determined did not extend
to Connecticut, which was a chartered government. One of the Judges
said: “It is high time to put a stop to the usurpations of the Bishop
of London, and to let him know that, though his license be lawful, and
may empower one of his curates to marry in England, yet it is not so
in America; and if fines would not curb them in this point,
imprisonment should.”

The second county in the Kingdom of Connecticote, and the most
mountainous in the whole province, is _Litchfield_, which produces
abundance of wheat, butter, cheese, iron ore, &c., and has many iron
works, foundries, and furnaces. It contains the following fourteen

_Litchfield_ is watered by two small rivers. An elegant meeting-house
and decent court-house, with steeple and bells, ornament the square,
where three roads meet. The best street is one mile long. It resembles
Dartford. The township is twelve miles square, and forms five
parishes, one of which is episcopal.

Though Litchfield is the youngest county of Connecticut, yet in 1766
it set an example to the rest worthy of imitation. The province had
always been greatly pestered by a generation of men called “quacks,”
who, with a few Indian nostrums, a lancet, a glister-pipe, rhubarb,
treacle-water mixed with Roman bombast of _vena cava_ and _vena
porta_, attacked fevers, nervous disorders, and broken bones, and, by
the grace of perseverance, subdued Nature, and helped their patients
to a passage to the world of spirits before they were ready. The
surgeons and physicians who were not quacks formed themselves into a
society for the encouragement of literature and a regular and
wholesome practice. But their laudable endeavours were discountenanced
by the General Assembly, who refused to comply with their
solicitations for a charter; because the quacks and the people said,
“If the charter were granted, the learned men would become too rich by
an monopoly, as they did in England.” The answer to this question was,
“Would it not be better to permit a monopoly to preserve the health
and lives of the people, than to suffer quacks to kill them and ruin
the province?” The reply proved decisive in that fanatical Assembly,
viz. “No medicine can be serviceable without the blessing of God. The
quacks never administer any physic without the prayers of the
minister.” One doctor proposed the trial of a dose of arsenic--whether
it would not kill any one who would take it, though twenty ministers
should pray against it. He was called a profane man, the petition was
rejected, and quackery remains triumphant.[36]

_New-Milford_ lies on the Osootonoc River. A church and meeting, with
steeples and bells, beautify the town, which resembles Fulham. The
township, twelve miles square, forms five parishes, of which two are

_Woodbury_ lies on the same river, and resembles Kentish-town. The
township, twelve miles square, is divided into seven parishes, three
of them episcopal. In this town lives the Rev. Dr. Bellamy, who is a
good scholar and a great preacher. He has attempted to shew a more
excellent way to heaven than was known before. He may be called the
Athenian of Connecticut, for he has published something new to the
christian world. Zuinglius may learn from him.

The following towns lie also on the Osootonoc, viz. _Sharon_, _Kent_,
_Salisbury_, _New Fairfield_, _Cornwall_, _Goshen_, and _Canaan_; and
all of them resemble Finchley. Each township is ten miles square.

_Sharon_ forms three parishes, one of which is episcopal. It is much
noted on account of a famous mill, invented and built by a Mr. Joel
Harvey upon his own estate; for which he received a compliment of
20_l._ from the Society of Arts in London. The water, by turning one
wheel, sets the whole in motion. In two apartments wheat is ground; in
two others, bolted; in another, thrashed; in a sixth, winnowed; in the
seventh, hemp and flax are beaten; and in the eighth, dressed. Either
branch is discontinued at pleasure, without impeding the rest.

The other towns of Litchfield county are: _New-Hertford_,
_Torrington_, _Hartland_, and _Winchester_; all which lie on the river
Ett. The townships are severally about six miles square, and each
forms one parish.

The KINGDOM OF QUINNIPIOG constituted the Dominion of Newhaven,
divided into two counties, viz. Newhaven and Fairfield; these again
divided into seventeen townships, about twelve miles square each. The
number of houses is nearly 10,000, and that of the inhabitants 60,000.

The county of _Newhaven_ is hilly, and has a thin soil, enriched,
however, by the industry of its inhabitants. The chief commodities are
flax, rye, barley, white beans, and salt hay. It contains eight towns,
four of which lie on the Sound, and the others on the back of them.
Newhaven township comprises fourteen parishes, three of them episcopal
and one Sandemanian. The town, being the most beautiful in
New-England, if not in all America, is entitled to a minute
description. It is bounded southly by the bay, into which the river
Quinnipiack empties itself; easterly and westerly by two creeks two
miles asunder; and northerly by a lofty mountain, that extends even to
the river St. Lawrence, and forms a highland between the rivers Hudson
and Connecticut, standing in a plain three miles by two in extent.
This plain is divided into 300 squares of the size of Bloomsbury
Square, with streets twenty yards wide between each division. Forty of
these squares are already built upon, having houses of brick and wood
on each front, about five yards asunder; every house with a garden
that produces vegetables sufficient for the family. Two hundred houses
are annually erected. Elms and button-trees surround the centre
square, wherein are two meetings, the court-house, the gaol, and Latin
school; in the fronts of the adjoining squares are Yale College, the
chapel, a meeting, and a church: all these grand buildings with
steeples and bells. The market is plentifully supplied with every
necessary during the whole year, excepting greens in winter. But the
harbour is incommoded by flats near the town for one mile in width,
and by ice in winter. The former evil is, in some measure, remedied by
long and expensive wharves, but the latter is incurable. The people,
however, say their trade is greater than that of Norwich or
New-London; and their shipping, of different burthens, consists of
nearly 200 sail.

According to Dr. Mather, Newhaven was, about 1646, to have been made a
city, the interests of the colony with Cromwell’s party being then
very great; but a wonderful phenomenon prevented it. As the good Dr.
Mather never wanted faith through the whole course of his “Magnalia,”
and as the New-Englanders to the present time believe his reports, I
will here present my readers with the history of this miracle:

     “The people of Newhaven fitted out a ship, and sent her
     richly laden for England, to procure a patent for the colony
     and a charter for the city. After the ship had been at sea
     some weeks, there happened in New-England a violent storm,
     which induced the people of Newhaven to fast and pray, to
     inquire of the Lord whether their ship was in that storm or
     not. This was a real fast: for the people neither eat nor
     drank from sunrise to sunset. At five o’clock in the
     afternoon they came out of the meeting, walking softly,
     heavily, and sadly, homewards. On a sudden the air thundered
     and the lightnings shone abroad. They looked up towards the
     heavens, when they beheld their ship in full sail, and the
     sailors steering her from West to East. She came over the
     meeting, where they had fasted and prayed, and there was met
     by a euroclydon, which rent the sails and overset the ship.
     In a few moments she fell down near the weathercock, on the
     steeple, and instantly vanished. The people all returned to
     the meeting, when the minister gave thanks to God for
     answering the desires of his servants, and for giving them
     an infallible token of the loss of their ship and charter.”

This, and divers other miracles which have happened in New-England,
have been and still are useful to the clergy in establishing the
people in the belief that there is a great familiarity between God and
their ministers. Hence the ministers govern the superstitious; whilst
the deacon, the lawyer, and the merchant, for lucre, wink at the
imposition. Yet the ministers, in their turn, are governed by their

Thou genius of adventure, that carriedst Columbus from eastern to
western shores, the domain of savage beasts and savage men, now cursed
with the demons of superstition and fanaticism, oh, kindle in no other
breast the wish to seek new worlds! Africa already mourns, and Europe

The true character of Davenport and Eaton, the leaders of the first
settlers of Newhaven, may be learnt from the following fact: An
English gentleman of the name of Grigson, coming on his travels to
Newhaven about the year 1644, was greatly pleased with its pleasant
situation, and, after purchasing a large settlement, sent to London
for his wife and family. But, before their arrival, he found that a
charming situation, without the blessings of religious and civil
liberty, would not render him and his family happy; he resolved,
therefore, to quit the country and return to England as soon as his
family should arrive, and accordingly advertised his property for
sale; when, lo! agreeable to one of the Bible laws, no one would buy,
because he had not, and could not obtain, liberty of the selectmen to
sell it. The patriotic virtue of the selectmen thus becoming an
insurmountable bar to the sale of his Newhaven estate, Mr. Grigson
made his will, and bequeathed part of his lands towards the support of
an episcopal clergyman, who should reside in that town, and the
residue to his own heirs. Having deposited his will in the hands of a
friend, he set sail with his family for England, but died on the
passage. This friend proved the will, and had it recorded, but died
also soon after. The record was dexterously concealed, by glueing two
leaves together; and, after some years, the selectmen sold the whole
estate to pay taxes, though the rent of Mr. Grigson’s house alone, in
one year, would pay taxes for ten. Some persons hardy enough to
exclaim against this glaring act of injustice, were soon silenced and
expelled the town. In 1750 an episcopal clergyman was settled in
Newhaven, and, having been informed of Grigson’s will, applied to the
town clerk for a copy, who told him there was no such will on record,
and withal refused him the liberty of searching. In 1768, Peter
Harrison, Esq. of Nottinghamshire in England, the king’s collector in
Newhaven, claimed his right of searching public records; and, being a
stranger, and not supposed to have any knowledge of Grigson’s will,
obtained his demand. The alphabet contained Grigson’s name, and
referred to a page which was not to be found in the book. Mr. Harrison
supposed it to have been torn out; but, on closer examination,
discovered one leaf much thicker than the others. He put a corner of
the thick leaf in his mouth, and soon found it was composed of two
leaves, which with much difficulty having separated, he found
Grigson’s will! To make sure of the work, he took a copy of it
himself, and then called the clerk to draw and attest another, which
was done. Thus furnished, Mr. Harrison instantly applied to the
selectmen, and demanded a surrender of the land which belonged to the
Church, but which they as promptly refused; whereupon Mr. Harrison
took out writs of ejectment against the possessors. As might be
expected, Mr. Harrison, from a good man, became, in ten days, the
worst man in the world; but, being a generous and brave Englishman, he
valued not their clamors and curses, though they terrified the
gentlemen of the law. Harrison was obliged to be his own lawyer, and
boldly declared he expected to lose his cause in New-England; but
after that he would appeal, and try it, at his own expense, in
Old-England, where justice reigned. The good people, knowing Harrison
did not get his bread by their votes, and that they could not baffle
him, resigned the lands to the Church on that gentleman’s own terms,
which in a few years will support a clergyman in a very genteel
manner. The honest selectmen yet possess the other lands, though
report says Mr. Grigson has an heir of his own name residing near
Holborn, in London, who inherits the virtues of his ancestor, and
ought to inherit his estate.

The sad and awful discovery of Mr. Grigson’s will, after having been
concealed for one hundred years, would have confounded any people but
those of Newhaven, who study nothing but religion and liberty. Those
pious souls consoled themselves by comparison: “We are no worse,” said
they, “than the people of Boston and Windham County.” The following
will explain this justification of the saints of Newhaven:

In 1740 Mrs. Cursette, an English lady, travelling from New-York to
Boston, was obliged to stay some days at Hebron; when, seeing the
church not finished, and the people suffering great persecutions, she
told them to persevere in their good work, and she would send them a
present when she got to Boston. Soon after her arrival there Mrs.
Cursette fell sick and died. In her will she gave a legacy of 300_l._
old tenor (then equal to 100_l._ sterling) to the Church of England in
Hebron, and appointed John Handcock, Esq. and Nathaniel Glover, her
executors. Glover was also her residuary legatee. The will was obliged
to be recorded in Windham County, because some of Mrs. Cursette’s
lands lay there. Glover sent the will to Deacon S. H----, of Canterbury,
ordering him to get it recorded, and keep it private, lest the legacy
should build up the Church. The Deacon and Registrar were faithful to
their trust, and kept Glover’s secret twenty-five years. At length the
Deacon was taken ill, and his life was supposed in great danger. Among
his penitential confessions, he told of his having concealed Mrs.
Cursette’s will. His confidant went to Hebron, and informed the
wardens that for one guinea he would discover a secret of 300_l._ old
tenor consequence to the Church. The guinea was paid and the secret
disclosed. A demand of the legacy ensued. Mr. Handcock referred to
Glover, and Glover said he was neither obliged to publish the will nor
pay the legacy: it had lapsed to the heir-at-law. It being difficult
for a Connecticut man to recover a debt in the Massachusets-Bay, and
_vice versa_, the wardens were obliged to accept from Mr. Glover
30_l._ instead of 300_l._ sterling; which sum, allowing 200_l._ as
lawful simple interest at six per cent. for twenty-five years, ought
in equity have been paid. This matter, however, Mr. Glover is to
settle with Mrs. Cursette in the other world.

Newhaven is celebrated for having given the name of “pumpkin-heads” to
all the New-Englanders. It originated from the “Blue Laws,” which
enjoined every male to have his hair cut round by a cap. When caps
were not to be had, they substituted the hard shell of a pumpkin,
which being put on the head every Saturday, the hair is cut by the
shell all round the head. Whatever religious virtue is supposed to be
derived from this custom, I know not; but there is much prudence in
it: first, it prevents the hair from snarling; secondly, it saves the
use of combs, bags, and ribbons; thirdly, the hair cannot incommode
the eyes by falling over them; and fourthly, such persons as have lost
their ears for heresy, and other wickedness, cannot conceal their
misfortune and disgrace.

Cruelty and godliness were perhaps never so well reconciled by any
people as by those of Newhaven, who are alike renounded for both. The
unhappy story of Deacon Potter has eternalized the infamy of their
Blue Laws, and almost annexed to their town the name of Sodom. The
Deacon had borne the best of characters many years; he was the
peacemaker, and an enemy to persecution; but he was grown old, was
rich, and had a young wife. His young wife had an inclination for a
young husband, and had waited with impatience for the death of her old
one, till at length, resolving, if possible, to accelerate the
attainment of her wishes, she complained to the magistrate that her
husband did not render her due benevolence. The Judge took no notice
of what she said. She then swore that her husband was an apostate, and
that he was fonder of his mare, bitch, and cow, than of her; in which
allegation she was joined by her son. The Deacon was brought to trial,
condemned, and executed with the beasts, and with them also buried in
one common grave. Dr. Mather, with his usual quantity of faith, speaks
of the Deacon as very guilty, as having had a fair, legal, and candid
trial, and convicted on good and scriptural evidence. I am willing to
allow the Doctor as much sincerity as faith. He had his information
from the party who condemned the Deacon; but there are manuscripts,
which I have seen, that state the matter thus: Deacon Potter was
hanged for heresy and apostacy, which consisted in showing hospitality
to strangers, who came to his house in the night, among whom were
Quakers, Anabaptists, and Adamites. This was forbidden by the Blue
Laws, which punished for the first and second offence with fines, and
with death for the third. His wife and son betrayed him for hiding the
spies and sending them away in peace. The Court was contented with
calling his complicated crimes beastiality; his widow with a new
husband; and the son with the estate; while the public were deceived
by the arts of the wicked junto.

I have related this story to shew the danger of admitting a wife to
give evidence against her husband, according to the Blue Laws; and to
caution all readers against crediting too much the historians of
New-England, who, either from motives of fear or emolument, have in
numberless instances designedly disguised or concealed the truth. Such
persons whose stubborn principles would not bend to this yoke, were
not suffered to search the colonial records; and those who have dared
to intimate that all was not right among the first settlers, have been
compelled to leave the country with the double loss of character and

To Newhaven now belongs Yale College, of which I have promised my
readers a particular account. It was originally, as already mentioned,
a School, established by the Rev. Thomas Peters at Saybrook, who left
it his library at his death. It soon acquired the distinguished
appellation of “Schola Illustris,” and about 1700 was honoured by the
General Assembly with a charter of incorporation, converting it into a
college, under the denomination of Yale College, in compliment to a
gentleman of that name, governor of one of the West India Islands, and
its greatest benefactor. The charter constitutes a president, three
tutors, twelve overseers, and a treasurer; and exempts it from any
visitation of the Governor or Assembly, in order to secure it against
the control of a King’s Governor, in case one should ever be
appointed. I have already observed that a power of conferring
Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees was granted by the charter, and that
the corporation have thought proper to assume that of conferring
Doctors’ degrees. By the economical regulations of the College, there
are a professor of divinity, mathematics, and natural philosophy; and
four classes of students, which were at first attended by the
president and the three tutors; but the president has long been
excused that laborious task, and a fourth tutor appointed in his
stead. Each class has its proper tutor. Once a week the president
examines them all in the public hall, superintends their disputations
and scientific demonstrations, and, if any student appears to be
negligent, orders him under the care of a special tutor--a stigma which
seldom fails of producing its intended effect. Greek, Latin,
geography, history, and logic, are well taught in this seminary; but
it suffers for want of tutors to teach the Hebrew, French, and Spanish
languages. Oratory, music, and politeness, are equally neglected here
and in the colony. The students attend prayers every morning and
evening, at six o’clock. The president, professor, and one of the
tutors, reads and expounds a chapter, then a psalm is sung, after
which follows a prayer. The hours of study are notified by the College
bell, and every scholar seen out of his room is liable to a fine,
which is seldom excused. The amusements for the evenings are not
cards, dancing, or music, but reading and composition. They are
allowed two hours’ play with foot-ball every day. Thus cooped up for
four years, they understand books better than men or manners. They
then are admitted to their Bachelor’s degree, having undergone a
public examination in the arts and sciences. Three years afterwards
they are admitted to their Master’s degree, provided they have
supported moral characters. The ceremony used by the president upon
these occasions is to deliver a book to the intended Master in Arts,
saying: “Admitto te ad secundum Gradum in Artibus, pro more
Acadæmiarum in Anglia; tradoque tibi hunc librum, una cum protestate
publici prælegendi quoties cunque ad hoc munus evocatus fueris.” For
Bachelors the same, mutatis mutandis. A diploma in vellum, with the
seal of the College, is given to each Master, and signed by the
president and six fellows or overseers. The first degrees of Masters
were given in 1702. The students in late years have amounted to about
180. They dine in the common hall at four tables, and the tutors and
graduates at a fifth. The number of the whole is about 200.

Yale College is built with wood, and painted a sky colour; it is 160
feet long and three stories high, besides garrets. In 1754, another
building of brick, 100 feet long and three stories high, exclusive of
garrets, with double rooms, and a double front, was added, and called
Connecticut Hall. About 1760, a very elegant chapel and library was
erected, with brick, under one roof. But it cannot be supposed the
latter is to be compared with the Vatican or the Bodleian. It consists
of eight or ten thousand volumes in all branches of literature, but
wants modern books; though there is a tolerable sufficiency, if the
corporation would permit what they call Bishops’ and Arminian books to
be read. Ames’ Medulla is allowed, while Grotius de Veritate
Religionis is denied. It was lately presented with a new and valuable
apparatus for experimental philosophy. The whole library and apparatus
was given by various persons, chiefly English.

The General Assembly have endowed this College with large tracts of
land, which, duly cultivated, will soon support the ample
establishment of an university; but, even at present, I may truly say,
Yale College exceeds the number, and perhaps the learning, of its
scholars all over British America. This seminary was in 1717 removed
from Saybrook to Newhaven; the extraordinary cause of its transition I
shall here lay before the reader.

Saybrook Dominion had been settled by Puritans of some moderation and
decency. They had not joined with Massachusets-Bay, Hertford, and
Newhaven, in sending home agents to assist in the murder of Charles I.
and the subversion of the Lords and Bishops; they had received
Hooker’s heretics, and sheltered the apostate from Davenport’s
millenarian system; they had shewn an inclination to be dependent on
the Mother Country, and had not wholly anathematized the Church of
England. In short, the people of Hertford and Newhaven suspected that
Saybrook was not truly protestant; that it had a passion for the leeks
and onions of Egypt; and that the youth belonging to them in the
“Schola Illustris” were in great danger of imbibing its lukewarmness.

A vote therefore passed at Hertford, to remove the College to
Weathersfield, where the leeks and onions of Egypt would not be
thought of; and another at Newhaven, that it should be removed to that
town, where Christ had established his dominion from sea to sea, and
where he was to begin his millenarian reign. About 1715 Hertford, in
order to carry its vote into execution, prepared teams, boats, and a
mob, and privately set off for Saybrook, and seized upon the College
apparatus, library, and students, and carried all to Weathersfield.
This redoubled the jealousy of the saints at Newhaven, who thereupon
determined to fulfil their vote; and, accordingly, having collected a
mob sufficient for the enterprise, they sat out for Weathersfield,
where they seized by surprise the students, library, &c. &c. But, on
the road to Newhaven, they were overtaken by the Hertford mob, who,
however, after an unhappy battle, were obliged to retire with only a
part of the library and part of the students. Hence sprung two
colleges out of one. The quarrel increased daily, everybody expecting
a war more bloody than that of Sassacus; and no doubt such would have
been the case, had not the peacemakers of Massachusets-Bay interposed
with their usual friendship, and advised their dear friends of
Hertford to give up the College to Newhaven. This was accordingly done
in 1717, to the great joy of the crafty Massachusets, who always
greedily seek their own prosperity, though it ruin their best

The College being thus fixed forty miles further west from Boston than
it was before, tended greatly to the interest of Harvard College; for
Saybrook and Hertford, out of pure grief, sent their sons to Harvard,
instead of the College at Newhaven. This quarrel continued until 1764,
when it subsided into a grand continental consociation of ministers,
which met at Newhaven to consult the spiritual good of the Mohawks and
other Indian tribes, the best method of preserving the American Vine,
and the protestant, independent liberty of America: a good preparatory
to the rebellion against Great Britain.

The Rev. Mr. Naphtali Dagget is the fourth president of Yale College
since its removal to Newhaven. He is an excellent Greek and Latin
scholar, and reckoned a good Calvinistic divine. Though a stranger to
European politeness, yet possessing a mild temper and affable
disposition, the exercise of his authority is untinctured with
haughtiness. Indeed, he seems to have too much candour and too little
bigotry to please the corporation and retain his post many years. The
Rev. Mr. Nehemiah Strong, the College professor, is also of an amiable
temper, and merits the appointment.

Were the corporation less rigid, and more inclined to tolerate some
reasonable amusements and polite accomplishments among the youth, they
would greatly add to the fame and increase of the College, and the
students would not be known by every stranger to have been educated in
Connecticut. The disadvantage under which they at present appear, from
the want of address, is much to be regretted.

_Beauford_, _Guilford_, and _Milford_, are much alike.

_Guilford_ is laid out in squares, after the manner of Newhaven,
twenty of which are built upon. The church and two meetings stand in
the centre square. One of the meetings is very grand, with a steeple,
bell, and clock. The parishes in it are eight, three of them

This town gave birth to the Rev. Samuel Johnson, D. D., who was the
first episcopal minister in Connecticut, and the first president of
King’s College in New-York. He was educated and became a tutor in the
College at Saybrook, was an ornament to his native country, and much
esteemed for his humanity and learning.

The Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, in a sermon he preached in the great
meeting, gave the character of the people of Guilford in 1740. His
text was, “Anoint mine eyes with eye-salve.” After pointing out what
was not the true eye-salve, he said: “I will tell you what is the true
eye-salve: it is faith, it is grace, it is simplicity, it is virtue.
Ah, Lord! where can they be found! Perhaps not in this grand

I have frequently quoted the Rev. George Whitefield, without that
ludicrous intention which, possibly, the reader may suspect me of. I
admire his general character, his good discernment, his knowledge of
mankind, his piety, his goodness of heart, his generosity, and hatred
of persecution, though I think his zeal was sometimes too fervent. I
ever viewed him as an instrument of Heaven, as the greatest Boanerges
and blessing America ever knew. He turned the profligate to God; he
roused the lukewarm christian; he tamed the wild fanatic, and made
Felix tremble.

It is true, he has also made wise men mad; but this is the natural
effect of the word, which is the savour of life and the savour of
death at one and the same time. New-England before his coming was but
the slaughter-house of heretics. He was admired by the oppressed
episcopalians, the trembling Quakers, the bleeding Baptists, &c., &c.
He was followed by all sects and parties, except the _Sober
Dissenters_, who thought their craft in danger. He made peace where
was no peace, and even his enemies praised him in the gate. Whitefield
did what could not have been done without the aid of an Omnipotent
arm: he planted charity in New-England, of which the increase has been
a thousand-fold. He is lauded where the wicked cease from troubling;
where his works of faith, love, and charity, clothe him; and where the
glory of eternity blesses him with a welcome ineffably transporting.
May his virtues be imitated, his imperfections forgiven, and his
happiness obtained by all!

_Wallingford_, _Durham_, _Waterbury_, and _Derby_, finish the County
of Newhaven. _Wallingford_ is the best of the four: it lies on the
Quinnipiack River, and forms eight parishes, two of which are
episcopal. The town street is one mile long, and the houses stand
pretty thick on both sides. The church and two meetings, one with a
steeple, bell, and clock, stand in the middle of the street. The
grave-stones point out the characters of the first settlers. An
extract from one follows:

     “Here lies the body of Corporal Moses Atwater, who left
     England in 1660, to enjoy the liberty of conscience in a
     howling wilderness.”

The second county in the Kingdom of Quinnipiog is _Fairfield_. It is
situated west of Osootonoc River, and contains nine townships, five of
which lie on the sea, and resemble one another; and on the back of
them are situated four others, which also have a mutual resemblance.
The soil is rich and uneven; the chief productions, excellent wheat,
salt hay, and flax. Those townships which lie out on the sea are
_Fairfield_, _Norwalk_, _Stamford_, _Greenwich_, and _Stratford_. This
last I shall describe.

_Stratford_ lies on the west bank of the Osootonoc River, having the
sea, or Sound, on the south; there are three streets running north and
south, and ten east and west. The best is one mile long. On the centre
square stands a meeting, with steeple and bell, and a church, with a
steeple, bell, clock, and organ. It is a beautiful place, and from the
water has an appearance not inferior to Canterbury. Of six parishes
contained in it, three are episcopal. The people are said to be the
most polite of any in the colony, owing to the singular moderation of
the town in admitting latterly Europeans to settle among them. Many
persons come also from the Islands and southern provinces for the
benefit of their health. Here was erected the first episcopal church
in Connecticut. A very extraordinary story is told concerning the
occasion of it, which I shall give the reader the particulars of, the
people being as sanguine in their belief of it as they are of the
ship’s sailing over Newhaven.

An ancient religious rite called the Powwow was annually celebrated by
the Indians, and commonly lasted several hours every night for two or
three weeks. About 1690 they convened to perform it on Stratford
Point, near the town. During the nocturnal ceremony, the English saw,
or imagined they saw, devils rise out of the sea, wrapped up in sheets
of flame, and flying round the Indian camp, while the Indians were
screaming, cutting, and prostrating themselves before their supposed
fiery gods. In the midst of the tumult, the devils darted in among
them, seized several and mounted with them in the air, the cries and
groans issuing from whom quieted the rest. In the morning, the limbs
of Indians, all shrivelled and covered with sulphur, were found in
different parts of the town. Astonished and terrified at these
spectacles, the people of Stratford began to think the devils would
take up their abode among them, and called together all the ministers
in the neighbourhood to exorcise and lay them. The ministers began and
carried on their warfare with prayer, hymns, and abjurations; but the
powwows continued, and the devils would not obey. The inhabitants were
about to quit the town, when Mr. Nell spoke and said, “I would to God
Mr. Visey, the episcopal minister at New-York, was here; for he would
expel those evil spirits.” They laughed at his advice; but on his
reminding them of the little maid who directed Naaman to cure his
leprosy, they voted him their permission to bring Mr. Visey at the
next powwow. Mr. Visey attended accordingly; and as the powwow
commenced with howling and whoops, Mr. Visey read portions of the holy
scriptures, litany, &c. The sea was put into great commotion; the
powwow stopped; the Indians dispersed, and nevermore held a powwow in
Stratford. The inhabitants were struck with wonder at this event, and
held a conference to discover the reason why the devils and the
powwowers had obeyed the prayers of one minister, and had paid no
regard to those of fifty. Some thought the reading of the holy
scriptures, others thought that the litany and Lord’s prayer, some
again that the episcopal power of the minister, and others that all
united, were the means of obtaining the heavenly blessing they had

Those that believed that the holy scriptures and litany were effectual
against the devil and his legions, declared for the Church of England;
while the majority ascribed their deliverance to complot between the
devils and the episcopal minister, with a view to overthrow Christ’s
vine planted in New-England. Each party acted with more zeal than
prudence. The Church, however, increased, though oppressed by more
persecutions and calamities than were ever experienced by puritans
from bishops and powwowers. Even the use of the Bible, the Lord’s
prayer, the litany, or any part of the prayer-book was forbidden; nay,
ministers taught from their pulpits, according to the Blue Laws, “that
the lovers of Zion had better put their ears to the mouth of hell and
learn from the whispers of the devil, than read the bishops’ books;”
while the Churchmen, like Michael the archangel contending with the
devil about the body of Moses, dared not bring against them a railing
accusation. But this was not all. When the episcopalians had collected
timber for a church, they found the devils had not left town, but only
changed their habitation--had left the savages, and entered into
fanatics and wood. In the night before the church was to be begun, the
timber set up a country-dance, skipping about and flying in the air
with as much agility and sulphurous stench as ever the devils had
exhibited around the camp of the Indian powwowers. This alarming
circumstance would have ruined the credit of the Church, had not the
episcopalians ventured to look into the phenomena, and found the
timber had been bored with augers, charged with gunpowder, and fired
off by matches--a discovery, however, of bad consequence in one
respect: it prevented the annalists of New-England from publishing
this among the rest of their miracles. About 1720, the patience and
sufferings of the episcopalians, who were then but a handful, procured
them some friends even among their persecutors; and those friends
condemned the cruelty exercised over the Churchmen, Quakers, and
Anabaptists, in consequence of which they first felt the effects of
those gentle weapons, the New-England whisperings and backbitings; at
length were openly stigmatized as Armenians, and enemies of the
American Vine. The conduct of the _Sober Dissenters_ increased the
grievous sin of moderation, and nearly twenty of their ministers, at
the head of whom was Dr. Cutler, President of Yale College, declared,
on a public commencement, for the Church of England. Hereupon the
General Assembly and Consociation, finding their comminations likely
to blast the American Vine, instantly had recourse to flattery, larded
with tears and promises, by which means they recovered all the
secessors but four, viz. Dr. Cutler, Dr. Johnson, Mr. Whitemore, and
Mr. Brown, who repaired to England for holy orders. Dr. Cutler had the
misfortune to spend his life and great abilities in the fanatical,
ungrateful, factious town of Boston, where he went through fiery
trials, shining brighter and brighter, till he was delivered from
New-England persecution, and landed where the wicked cease from
troubling. Dr. Johnson, from his natural disposition, and not for the
sake of gain, took pity on the neglected church at Stratford, where
for fifty years he fought the beast of Ephesus with great success.[37]
The Doctor was under the bountiful protection of the Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, incorporated by William
III., to save from the rage of republicanism, heathenism, and
fanaticism, all such members of the Church of England as were settled
in our American colonies, factories, and plantations beyond the sea.
To the foresight of that monarch, to the generous care and protection
of that society, under God, are owing all the loyalty, decency,
christianity undefiled with blood, which glimmer in New-England. Dr.
Johnson having settled at Stratford among a nest of zealots, and not
being assassinated, other dissenting ministers were induced to join
themselves to the Church of England, among whom were Mr. Beach and Mr.
Penderson. These gentlemen could not be wheedled off by the Assembly
and Consociation; they persevered, and obtained names among the
Literate that will never be forgotten.

The four remaining towns of Fairfield County, viz. _Newtown_,
_Reading_, _Danbury_, and _Ridgfield_, lie behind the towns on the
sea. I shall describe the last of them, which is _Danbury_. It has
much the appearance of Croydon, and forms five parishes, one of which
is episcopal, and another Sandemanian; a third is called Bastard
Sandemanian, because the minister refused to put away his wife, who is
a second wife. The town was the residence, and is now the tomb, of the
learned and ingenious Rev. Mr. Sandeman, well known to the literary
world. He was the fairest and most candid Calvinist that ever wrote in
the English language, allowing the natural consequences of all his
propositions. He taught that a bishop must be the husband of one
wife--that is, he must be married before he was ordained--and, if he
lost his wife, he could not marry a second; that a bishop might dress
with ruffles, a red coat, and sword; that all converted brothers and
sisters, at their coming into the Church, ought to salute with an holy
kiss; that all true christians would obey their earthly king: for
which tenets, especially the last, the _Sober Dissenters_ of
Connecticut held him to be a heretic.

It is strikingly remarkable, that near one-half of the people of the
Dominion of Newhaven are episcopalians, though it was first settled by
the most violent of puritans, who claimed so much liberty to
themselves that they left none for others. The General Assembly
computed that the Church of England professors amounted to one-third
of the whole colony in 1770. Hence has arisen a question, how it came
to pass that the Church of England increased rapidly in Connecticut,
and but slowly in Massachusets-Bay and Rhode-Island? The reason
appears obvious to me. It is easier to turn fanatical farmers from
their bigotry than to convert fanatical merchants, smugglers, and
fishermen. Pride and gain prevent the two first, and ignorance the
last, from “worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” The
General Assembly of Rhode-Island never supported any religion; nay,
lest religion should chance to prevail, they made a law that every one
might do what was right in his own eyes, with this proviso, that no
one should be holden to pay a note, bond, or vote, made or given to
support the Gospel. Thus barbarism, inhumanity, and infidelity, must
have overrun the colony, had not its good situation for trade invited
Europeans to settle therein. As to the people of Massachusets-Bay,
they, indeed, had the highest pretensions to religion; but then it was
so impregnated with chicane, mercantile policy, and insincerity, that
infidelity got the better of fanaticism, and religion was secretly
looked upon as a trick of State. Connecticut was settled by a people
who preferred the arts and sciences to the amusements which rendered
Europe polite; whence it has happened that their boys and girls are at
once amused and improved in reading, writing, and cyphering, every
winter’s night, whilst those in the neighbouring colonies polish
themselves at cards, balls, and masquerades.

In Connecticut, zeal, though erroneous, is sincere; each sect believes
religion to be a substantial good; and fanaticism and prejudice have
turned it into superstition, which is stronger than reason or the law
of humanity. Thus it was very observable, that when any persons
conform to the Church of England, they leave neither their
superstition nor zeal at the meetings; they retrench only fanaticism
and cruelty, put on bowels of mercy, and pity those in error. It
should be added, that every town in the colony is by law obliged to
support a grammar school, and every parish an English school. From
experience, therefore, I judge that superstition with knowledge and
sincerity is more favourable to religion than superstition with
ignorance and insincerity; and that it was for this reason the Church
thrives in Connecticut, and exists only in New-England provinces. In
further support of my opinion, I shall recite the words of Mr. George
Whitefield, in his first tour through America in 1740. He found the
people of Connecticut wise in polemical divinity, and told them much
learning had made them mad; that he wished to leave them with “sleep
on and take your rest in the Bible, in Baxter, Gouge, and Bunyan,
without the knowledge of Bishops’ books.”

Persons who supposed Churchmen in Connecticut possessed of less zeal
and sincerity than the various sects among the dissenters, are under a
mistake; for they have voluntarily preferred the Church under every
human discouragement, and suffered persecution rather than persecute.
Conducting themselves upon this truly christian though impolitic
principle, they have, in the space of sixty years, humanized above
sixty thousand puritans, who had ever been hating and persecuting one
another; and though the General Assembly and Consociation are alarmed
at the progress of christian moderation, yet many individuals among
them, perceiving that persecution declines wherever the Church
prevails, bless God for its growth; whilst the rest, more zealous for
dominion and the politics of their ancestors the regicides than for
the gospel of peace and love, compass sea and land to export and
diffuse that intolerant spirit which overthrew the Eastern Church and
has cursed the Western. For this purpose they have sent New-England
ministers as missionaries to the southern colonies, to rouse them out
of their religious and political ignorance; and, what is very
astonishing, they succeeded best with the episcopal clergy, whose
immorality, vanity, or love of self-government, or some less valuable
principle, induced them to join the dissenters of New-England, against
an American bishop, from a pure intention, they said, of preserving
the Church of England in America. If their reward be not pointed out
in the fable of the Fox and Crane, they will be more fortunate than
most men. Other missionaries were dispersed among the Six Nations of
Indians, who were under the care of the clergy and schoolmasters of
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. There, for a time,
wonders were effected; the Indians were made drunk with zeal. But when
their fanaticism was abated, they cursed the protestant religion, and
ordered the ministers of all denominations to depart out of their
country in a fixed time, on pain of death. Another band of saints went
to Nova-Scotia to convert the unconverted, under the clergy appointed
by the Bishop of London; among whom, however, meeting with little
encouragement, they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and
returned home. These peregrinations, the world was taught to believe,
were undertaken solely to advance the interests of religion; but
righteousness and peace have not yet kissed each other in New-England;
and, besides, the pious pretences of the _Sober Dissenters_ ill accord
with their bitter revilings of the Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel, for sending clergymen to promote the spiritual good of the
Churchmen among them.

It is worthy of especial notice, that, among all the episcopal clergy
settled in Connecticut, only one of them has been accused, even by
their enemies, of a scandalous life, or of any violation of moral law.
They have exercised more patience, resignation, and self-denial, under
their various trials, fatigues, and oppressions, than can be
paralleled elsewhere in the present century. The countenance of the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and an
allowance of 650_l._ per annum between eighteen of them, have proved
the means of averting from the professors of the Church of England
that rigour which has constantly marked the conduct of the General
Assembly and Consociation towards Anabaptists, Quakers, &c. &c. Had
the bishops shown as much concern for the welfare of the Church of
England in America as the Society have done, they would have prevented
many reproaches being cast upon them by the dissenters as hireling
shepherds, and have secured the affections of the American clergy in
every province to themselves, to the King, and the British Government.
If the religion of the Church of England ought to have been tolerated
and supported in America, (which, considering the lukewarmness of the
bishops in general, even since the Restoration of Charles II., seems
to have been a dubious point,) policy and justice long ago should have
induced the King and Parliament of Great Britain to have sent bishops
to America, that Churchmen at least might have been upon an equal
footing with dissenters. Against American bishops I have never heard
of any objections, either from the dissenters or the episcopal clergy
south of the Delaware River, so powerful as the following:

“That the Church of England increases in America, without bishops,
faster than it does in England, where are bishops to spare.” If the
dissenters in America err not in advancing, as a fact, that in 1715
the Church of England, under the bishops, had been upon the decline,
and the protestant dissenters upon the increase, in England, it may be
but natural to suppose that the dissenters in America wish to have the
English bishops resident there, and the dissenters in England to
retain them, as they appear to be so beneficial towards the growth of
the dissenting interests here; and so the dissenters in both countries
disputing about the residence of the bishops merely because the
absence of them is disadvantageous to the one, and their presence
advantageous to the other, would it not be the best way of
strengthening the interest of both those parties, and weakening that
of the Church of England, to retain half the bishops in England and
send the other half to America? Against this plan, surely, no
dissenter could object; it will neither add to the national expense
nor to the disadvantage of England or America, since it promises to be
equally serviceable to the protestant dissenting interest on both
sides the Atlantic, and will reconcile a difference between the
protestant dissenters, that has been supposen in New-England to be the
reason of bishops not being sent to about one million episcopalians in
America, who are left like sheep in a wilderness without a shepherd,
to the great danger of the protestant dissenting religion in those
parts. Nor can it be apprehended that this plan of dividing the
bishops will meet with the disapprobation of the episcopalians, except
a few licentious clergymen in the American southern colonies, who
dread their lordships’ sober advice and coercive power.

Of all the wonders of the English Church, the greatest is that the
rulers of it should hold episcopacy to be an institution of Christ,
and that the Gospel should be spread among all nations, and, at the
same time, should refuse the American Churchmen a bishop, and the
fanatics and heathen all opportunities of enjoying the Gospel
dispensation in the purity and lustre with which it shines in the
Mother Country. If bishops are necessary, let America have them; if
they are not necessary, let them be extirpated from the face of the
earth; for no one can be an advocate for their existence merely for
the support of pomp, pride, and insolence, either in England or

The English and Dutch have always kept their colonies under a state of
religious persecution, while the French and Spanish have acted with
generosity in that respect towards theirs. The Dutch presbyterians in
New-York were held in subordination to the Classis of Amsterdam, till,
a few years since, they discovered that subjection to be
anti-constitutional and oppressive; upon which a majority of the
ministers in their cœtus erected a classis for the ordination of
ministers and the government of their churches, in defiance of the
ecclesiastical judicatory of Amsterdam. Mr. Smith, in his history of
that province, p. 252, justifies the schism upon the following ground:
“The expense,” says he, “attending the ordination of their candidates
in Holland, and the reference of their disputes to the Classis of
Amsterdam, is very considerable; and with what consequences the
interruption of their correspondence with the European Dutch would be
attended, in case of war, well deserves their consideration.”
Nevertheless, Mr. Smith agrees with his protestant dissenting
neighbours, that the American episcopalians suffered no hardship in
being obliged to incur the same expense in crossing the Atlantic for
ordination. If the Dutch are justifiable in their schism, I cannot
perceive why the American episcopalians might not be justified in a
like schism from the bishops of London. Had the episcopalians as
little aversion to schism as the protestant dissenters, the clergy
north of the Delaware would, in 1765, have got rid of their regard of
an English, and accepted of a Greek bishop, whom they could have
supported for half the expense their candidates were at in going to
England for ordination. But they were said by some to be conscientious
men, while others said they were Issachar’s sons couching down beneath
their burthens.

To proceed in my description of the country:

Connecticut is situated between 41 and 42 degrees of north latitude,
and between 72 and 73 degrees 50 minutes west longitude from London.
Notwithstanding, from this latitude, New-London lies 600 miles nearer
the line than the capital of England, the winter sets in there a month
before it does here, and not only continues longer, but is more
severe. This extraordinary coldness is said by naturalists to arise
from the vast frozen lakes and rivers, and mountains eternally covered
with snow, throughout the northernmost parts of America. The mountains
may have their share in producing this effect; but I am apt to think
the lakes and rivers have a contrary influence. If I ask why lands
bordering on them are three weeks earlier in their productions than
lands ten miles distant, it will readily be imputed to the warmth of
the air, occasioned by the reflection of the sun’s rays from the
water. On the same principle, I argue that the rays of the sun,
multiplied and reflected by ice also, will render the air warmer. But
it may be further said, that the cause is perhaps to be ascribed to
the soil being more sandy and loose near a lake or river, and,
therefore, naturally warmer than that which is remote and not sandy. I
reply, that there are loose, sandy plains, twenty miles off from any
lake or river, three weeks later in their products, and very
perceptibly colder, than lands upon them. It would be to no purpose to
urge that the damps and fogs from unfrozen lakes, rivers, &c. &c.
affect the distant but not the adjacent country; because I apprehend
there are no unfrozen lakes and rivers in the north of America in
winter. Besides, if there were, the mists arising from them would
naturally be intercepted by the first mountains or forests they
approached. But I pretend to little philosophical knowledge in these
matters; I write from experience, and can thence, moreover, assert
that mountains with snow upon them are not so cold as they would be
without it; and that mountains covered with trees are the coldest of
all places, but without trees are not so cold as forests or plains. I
am clearly of opinion, therefore, that not the lakes or rivers, but
the infinite quantity of timber in the immense regions of
North-America, whether upon mountains or not, is the grand cause of
the coldness of the winters in Connecticut. I will add, moreover, in
support of my argument, that beasts, in the coldest weather, are
observed to quit the woods and woody mountains for lakes, rivers, and
cultivated open country; and that Connecticut, having lost most of its
timber, is by no means so intensely cold in winter as it was forty
years ago, and as Susquehanna is at present, a wilderness in the same
latitude. The snow and ice commonly cover the country, without rains,
from Christmas to March; then rains, attended with boisterous winds
from the north and east, melt the snow, which converting brooks into
rivers and rivers into seas, in four or five days the ice is rent from
its groaning banks in such mighty sheets as it shakes the earth for
twenty miles. Nature being thus in convulsions, the winds turn her fit
into madness, by driving ice upon ice, whose thunders cease not till
the ocean swallows up the whole.

It is but natural to suppose that the summers in Connecticut are much
hotter than those in England; nevertheless, from the clearness and
serenity of the sky, the climate is healthy both to natives and
foreigners of all nations. Connecticut is a hospital for invalids of
the Islands and southern provinces; but, in general, they no sooner
amend their own constitution, than the pestilence, which rages in that
province, drives them to Rhode-Island or New-York, where fanaticism is
lost in irreligion.

The people of Connecticut reckon time almost five hours later than the
English. The longest day consists of fifteen hours, the shortest of
nine. The brightness of the sun, moon, and stars, together with the
reverberated rays on ice, snow, water, trees, mountains, pebbles, and
flat stones, dazzle and weaken the eyes of the New-Englanders to such
a degree, that, in general, they are obliged to use glasses before
they are fifty years of age. For the most part, also, they have bad
teeth, which has been ascribed to the extreme heats and colds of
summer and winter; but, as the Indians and negroes in the same climate
have remarkably good teeth, it may be said, with great reason, that
the many indulgences of the one, and the temperance of the other, and
not the heats and colds, are the causes of good and bad teeth.

_Soil and Produce._--The soil is various in different parts of the
province: in some black, in others brown, and elsewhere red, but all
rich. Some plains are sandy and of a whitish colour, and they produce
rye, beans, and Indian-corn. The meadows and lowlands are excellent
pasturage, and yield great crops of hay. The hills and uplands have a
rich, deep soil, but are subject to droughts in July and August, which
in many places are relieved by water drawn from rivers, ponds, and
brooks, in troughs and ditches. The crops of European grain are always
good, when the snow, which in general is the only manure, covers the
earth from December to March. One acre generally yields from twenty to
thirty bushels of wheat; of Indian-corn, from forty to sixty bushels
on even land, and from thirty to forty on hilly land; but it is to be
observed, that one bushel of it raised on hilly land weighs thirteen
pounds more than a bushel raised on river land. All European grains
flourish here, and the grass is as thick, and much longer than in
England. Maize, or Indian-corn, is planted in hillocks three feet
apart, five kernels and two pumpkin-seeds in a hillock, and between
the hills are planted ten beans in a hillock; so that, if the season
prove favourable, the beans and the pumpkins are worth as much as the
corn. If from an acre the crop of corn be twenty bushels, add the
beans and pumpkins, and it will be equal to sixty bushels; so, if
there be sixty bushels of corn, a proportionate growth of beans and
pumpkins will render the product equal to one hundred and eighty
bushels. One man plants an acre in a day; in three days he hoes the
same three times; and six days more suffice for plowing and gathering
the crop. For these ten days’ work the price is thirty shillings; and,
allowing ten shillings for the use of the land, the whole expense is
two pounds, and no more, while the corn is worth two shillings a
bushel. The gain is seldom less than 300, and often 600 per cent. It
is thus that the poor man becomes rich in a few years, if prudent and

The limits of Connecticut are reckoned to comprise 5,000,000 acres,
half of which is supposed to be swallowed up in rivers, ponds, creeks,
and roads. The inhabitants are estimated at 200,000, so that there
remains but twelve and a half acres for each individual. Let it now be
considered that the people buy no provisions from other provinces,
but, on the contrary, export full as much as they consume, and it will
appear that each person has in fact only six and a quarter acres for
his own support, two of which must be set apart for the growth of
wood, the only fuel of the colony. Should I, then, not be justified in
saying that Connecticut is as good and flourishing land as any part of
Great Britain?

The face of the country resembles Devonshire, Gloucestershire, Surrey,
and Kent. The farmers divide their lands into four, five, and ten
acres, with stone walls or post and rails. The roads from north to
south are generally level and good; from east to west hilly, and bad
for carriages. The various fruits are in greater perfection than in
England. The peach and apple are more luscious, beautiful, and large;
1000 peaches are produced from one tree; five or six barrels of cider
from one apple tree. Cider is the common drink at table. The
inhabitants have a method of purifying cider by frost and separating
the watery part from the spirit, which, being secured in proper
vessels, and colored by Indian-corn, becomes in three months so much
like Madeira wine, that Europeans drink it without perceiving the
difference. They make peachy and perry, grape, cherry, and currant
wines, and good beer of pumpkin, molasses, bran of wheat, spruce, and
malt. The spruce is the leaves and limbs of the fir tree; their malt
is made of maize, barley, oats, rye, chets, and wheat. The pumpkin, or
pompion, is one of the greatest blessings, and held very sacred in
New-England. It is a native of America. From one seed often grow forty
pumpkins, each weighing from forty to sixty pounds, and, when ripe, of
the colour of a marigold. Each pumpkin contains about 500 seeds,
which, being boiled to a jelly, is the Indian infallible cure for the
strangury. Of its meat are made beer, bread, custards, sauce,
molasses, vinegar, and, on thanksgiving days, pies, as a substitute
for what the Blue Laws brand as anti-christian minced pies. Its skin,
or shell, serves as a cap to cut the hair by, (as already mentioned,)
and very useful lanthorns. There are no trees, grain, or fruits,
growing in England but what will grow in Connecticut. The English oak
has been thought much superior to the American. Whatever policy may be
in this opinion, I will venture to say there is no truth in it in
respect to the white oak in Connecticut, which is tough, close, hard,
and elastic as the whalebone dried. The red, black, and chestnut oak
are, indeed, much inferior to the white oak. The ash, elm, beech,
chestnut, walnut, hazel, sassafras, sumach, maple, and butternut, are
the chief timber trees of this province, and grow to an amazing bulk.
The last is a native of America, and takes its name from a nut it
produces, of the shape and size of a pullet’s egg, which contains a
meat much larger than an English walnut, in taste like fresh butter;
it also makes an excellent pickle. The butternut furnishes fine but
tender boards; and its bark dyes black, and cures cutaneous disorders.
In February this tree yields a sap, of which are made sugar, molasses,
and vinegar. The upland maple also affords a sap equally good, and
both saps make a pleasant beverage without boiling, and the best punch
ever drank in Connecticut.

Here are many iron mines, nay, mountains of iron ore; and, if they had
been attended to with the same diligence as the farms, they would have
supplied Great Britain with iron, to the great prejudice of Sweden and
other European nations. For this commercial loss the inhabitants are
indebted to their own quarrels, jealousy, and religious feuds,
together with the intrigues of their neighbours. Some pig and bar iron
they send, out of pure spite or folly, to New-York and Boston, to be
shipped for England by the merchants there, who always pay so much
less for it as the duty on Swedish iron amounts to, so that
Connecticut allows a duty to these merchants which they do not pay

English, Barbary, and Dutch horses abound in this province; they are
not so heavy, but more mettlesome and hardy than in England. Here are
more sheep than in any two colonies in America; their wool also is
better than that of the sheep in any of the other colonies, yet not so
fine and good as the English. A common sheep weighs sixty pounds, and
sells for a dollar, or 4_s._ 6_d._ The horned cattle are not so large
as the English; yet there have been a few instances of oxen six years
old weighing 1900 pounds each. The fat hogs here excel any in England;
many weigh five or six hundred pounds. Connecticut pork is far
superior to any other.

There are only two small parks of deer in Connecticut, but plenty of
rabbits, hares, grey, black, striped and red squirrels, otters, minks,
raccoons, weasels, foxes, whapperknockers, woodchucks, cubas, and
skunks. The following description of the four last-mentioned animals
may be new to the reader:

The whapperknocker is somewhat larger than a weasel, and of a
beautiful brown colour. He lives in the woods on worms and birds; is
so wild that no one can tame him, and, as he never quits his harbour
in the daytime, is only to be taken by traps in the night. Of the
skins of these animals--which are covered with an exceedingly fine
fur--are made muffs, at the price of thirty or forty guineas apiece; so
that it is not without reason the ladies pride themselves on the
possession of this small appurtenance of female habiliment.

The woodchuck, erroneously called the badger by some persons, is of
the size of a large raccoon, in form resembles a Guinea pig, and, when
eating, makes a noise like a hog, whence he is named woodchuck, or
chuck of wood. His legs are short, but his claws sharp, teeth strong,
and courage great on occasions of self-defence. He burrows in the
earth, feeds on clover and pumpkin during summer, and sleeps all the
winter. His flesh is good to eat, and his skin makes excellent

The cuba I suppose to be peculiar to New-England. The male is of the
size of a large cat; has four long tushes sharp as a razor; he is very
active in defending himself, and, if he has the first blow, will spoil
a dog before he yields. His lady is peaceable and harmless, and
depends for protection on her spouse, and, as he has more courage than
prudence, always attends him to moderate his temper. She sees danger,
and he fears it not. She chatters at him while he is preparing for
battle, and, if she thinks the danger is too great, she runs to him
and clings about his neck, screaming her extreme distress; his wrath
abates, and by her advice they fly to their caves. In like manner,
when he is chained, and irritated into the greatest rage by an
impertinent dog, his lady, who is never chained, will fly about his
neck and kiss him, and in half a minute restore him to calmness. He is
very tender of his family, and never forsakes them till death
dissolves their union. What further shows the magnanimity of this
little animal, he never manifests the least anger towards his lady,
though I have often seen her extremely loquacious, and, as I guessed,
impertinent to him. How happy would the rational part of the creation
become if they would follow the example of these irrational beasts! I
the more readily suppose the cuba to be peculiar to New-England, not
only from my never having yet seen the creature described, but also on
account of its perverse observance of carnival and neglect of

The skunk is also peculiar to America, and very different from the
pole-cat, which he is sometimes called. He is black, striped with
white, and of the size of a small raccoon, with a sharp nose. He
burrows in the earth like a fox, feeds like a fox on fowls and eggs,
and has strong teeth and claws like a fox. He has long hair, and
thick, good fur; is the beauty of the wilderness; walks slowly, and
cannot run as fast as a man; he is not wild, but very familiar with
every creature. His tail, which is shaggy and about one foot in
length, he turns over his back at pleasure, to make himself appear
larger and higher than he really is. When his tail is thus lying on
his back he is prepared for war, and generally conquers every enemy
that lives by air, for on this lies his only weapon: about one inch
from his body or rump, in a small bladder or bag, which is full of
essence, whose tint is of the brightest yellow, and odour somewhat
like the smell of garlic, but far more exquisite and piercing than any
volatile spirit known to chemists. One drop will scent a house to such
a degree that musk, with the help of brimstone and tar burnt, will not
expel it in six months. The bladder in which this essence lies is
worked by the animal like an engine, pump, or squirt; and when the
creature is assaulted, he turns his head from his enemy and discharges
from his tail the essence, which fills the neighbouring air with a
mist that destroys the possibility of living in it. I have seen a
large house-dog, by one discharge of the skunk, retire with shame and
sickness; and, at another time, a bullock bellowing as if a dog had
held him by the nose. Were it not for man, no creature could kill this
animal, which, instead of the lion, ought to be crowned king of
animals, as well on account of his virtues and complaisance as his
courage. He knows his forte; he fears nothing, he conquers all; yet he
is civil to all, and never gives, as he will not take, offence. His
virtues are many. The wood of calambac, which cures fainting-fits and
strokes of the palsy, and is worth its weight in gold, is far less
valuable than the above-mentioned essence of this animal. The bag is
extracted whole from the tail, and the essence preserved in glass;
nothing else will confine it. One drop sufficiently impregnates a
quart of spring water, and half a gill of water thus impregnated is a
dose. It cures hiccups, asthmatic, hysteric, paralytic, and hectic
disorders, and the odour prevents faintness. The flesh of this animal
is excellent food, and its oil cures sprains and contractions of the

The feathered tribe in Connecticut are the turkey, geese, ducks, and
all kinds of barn-door poultry; innumerable flocks of pigeons, which
fly to the south in the autumn; cormorants of all sizes; hawks, owls,
ravens, and crows; partridges, quails, heath-hen, blackbirds, snipes,
larks, humility’s, whippoorwills, dew-minks, robins, wrens, swallows,
sparrows, the flax, crimson, white, and blue birds, &c. &c.; to which
I may add the humming-bird, though it might wantonly be styled the
empress of the honey-bees, partaking with them of the pink, tulip,
rose, daisy, and other aromatics.

The partridges in New-England are nearly as large as a Dorking fowl,
the quail as an English partridge, and the robin twice as big as those
in England. The dew-mink, so named from its articulating those
syllables, is black and white, and the size of an English robin. Its
flesh is delicious. The humility is so called because it speaks the
word humility, and seldom mounts high in the air. Its legs are long
enough to enable it to outrun a dog for a little way; its wings long
and narrow; body maigre and of the size of a blackbird’s; plumage
variegated with white, black, blue, and red. It lives on tadpoles,
spawn, and worms; has an eye more piercing than the falcon, and the
swiftness of an eagle; hence it can never be shot, for it sees the
sparks of fire even before it enkindles the powder, and by the extreme
rapidity of its flight gets out of reach in an instant. It is never
known to light upon a tree, but is always seen upon the ground or
wing. These birds appear in New-England in summer only; what becomes
of them afterwards is not discovered. They are caught in snares, but
can never be tamed.

The whippoorwill has so named itself by its nocturnal songs. It is
also called the Pope, by reason of its darting with great swiftness
from the clouds to the ground and bawling out Pope, which alarms young
people and the fanatics very much, especially as they know it to be an
ominous bird. However, it has hitherto proved friendly, always giving
travellers and others notice of an approaching storm by saluting them
every minute by Pope! pope! It flies only a little before sunset,
unless for this purpose of giving notice of a storm: It never deceives
the people with false news. If the tempest is to continue long, the
augurs appear in flocks, and nothing can be heard but Pope! pope! The
whippoorwill is about the size of a cuckoo, has a short beak, long and
narrow wings, a large head, and mouth enormous, yet is not a bird of
prey. Under its throat is a pocket, which it fills with air at
pleasure, whereby it sounds forth the fatal word Pope in the day, and
Whip-her-I-will in the night. The superstitious inhabitants would have
exorcised this harmless bird long ago, as an emissary from Rome and an
enemy to the American Vine, had they not found out that it frequents
New-England only in the summer, and prefers the wilderness to a
palace. Nevertheless, many cannot but believe it a spy from some
foreign court, an agent of antichrist, a lover of persecution, and an
enemy of protestants, because it sings of whipping, and of the Pope,
which they think portends misery and a change of religion.

The principal insects are the hornet, bull-fly, glow-bug, humble-bee,
and black and yellow wasp.

The bull-fly is armed with a coat of mail, which it can move from one
place to another, as sliders to a window are moved. Its body is about
an inch long, and its horns half an inch, very sharp and strong. It
has six feet, with claws as sharp as needles, and runs fast. In
sucking the blood or juice of its prey, the creature holds the same in
its claws; otherwise the prey is carried between its horns.

The glow-bug both crawls and flies, and is about half an inch long.
These insects fly, in the summer evenings, nearly seven feet from the
ground, in such multitudes that they afford sufficient light for the
people to walk by. The brightness, however, is interrupted by
twinklings; but they are instantaneous and short as those of the eye,
so that darkness no sooner takes place than it vanishes.

The humble-bee is almost as large as the humming-bird, but cannot fly
near so fast. It builds its nest in the ground, where it makes a
honey-comb of the size of a man’s hand, and fills it with bees’-bread,
wax, and honey, excelling that of the honey-bee in taste. Two or three
begun, and having shortly multiplied to about forty, the young ones
leave home as soon as they can fly, to begin new settlements. These
bees are wrongly named: they are warriors, and only want a quantity of
poison to be more fatal than rattle-snakes.

The honey-bees can sting but once, while the humble-bee will sting a
thousand times. Their body is black and white; wings of a Doric
colour; sight piercing, hearing quick, and temper cruel.

Among the reptiles of Connecticut are the black, the water, milk, and
streaked snakes, all harmless. The belled or rattle-snakes are large,
and will gorge a common cat. They are seldom seen from their rocky
dens. Their bite is mortal if not speedily cured; yet they are
generous, and without guile; before they bite they rattle their bells
three or four times, but after that their motion is swift and stroke
sure. The Indians discovered and informed the English of a weed,
common in the country, which, mixed with spittle, will extract the

The toads and frogs are plenty in the spring of the year. The
tree-frogs, whippoorwills, and whooping owls, serenade the inhabitants
every night with music far excelling the harmony of the trumpet, drum,
and jews-harp.

The tree-frog cannot be called an insect, a reptile, or one of the
winged host; he has four legs, the two foremost short, with claws as
sharp as those of a squirrel; the hind-legs five inches long, and
folding by three joints. His body is about as big as the first joint
of a man’s thumb. Under his throat is a wind-bag, which assists him in
singing the word I-sa-ac all the night. When it rains, and is very
dark, he sings the loudest. His voice is not so pleasing as that of
the nightingale; but this would be a venial imperfection, if he would
but keep silence on Saturday nights, and not forever prefer I-sa-ac to
Abraham and Jacob. He has more elasticity in his long legs than any
other creature yet known. By this means he will leap five yards up a
tree, fastening himself to it by his fore legs, and in a moment will
hop or spring as far from one tree to another. It is from the singing
of the tree-frog that the Americans have acquired the name of Little
Isaac. Indeed, like a certain part of them, the creature appears very
devout, noisy, arbitrary, and phlegmatic, and associates with none but
what agree with him in his ways.

The oysters, clams, quauhogs, lobsters, crabs, and fish, are
innumerable. The shad, bass, and salmon, more than half support the
province. The sturgeon is made no use of. From the number of seines
employed to catch the fish passing up to the lakes, one might be led
to suppose the whole must be stopped; yet, in six months’ time they
return to the sea with such multitudes of young ones as to fill
Connecticut River for many days, and no finite being can number them.

_Population and Inhabitants._--Connecticut, in proportion to its
extent, exceeds every other colony of English America, as well in the
abundance of people as in cultivation of soil. The number of the first
settlers at Saybrook, in 1634, was 200; in 1636, at Hertford, 106; in
1637, at Newhaven, 157; in all, 463. In 1670 the residents of these
three settlements amounted to 15,000, of whom 2000 were men capable of
bearing arms; the rest old men, women, and children. In 1680 the
residents were 20,000; in 1770, 200,000. Hence it appears that the
people of Connecticut did, during the 90 years, double their number
ten times over. Should the 200,000 which existed in Connecticut in
1770 double their number in the same manner for the ensuing 90 years,
the province will, in the year 1860, contain 2,000,000; and if the
fighting men should then be in the same proportion to the rest of the
inhabitants as they were in 1670, they will amount to no less than
266,000. I see no reason in Nature why it may not be so.

Since 1670, emigration from Europe, or elsewhere, to Connecticut, has
been trifling, in comparison to the emigration from Connecticut to
New-Jersey, Newhampshire, Massachusets-Bay, Nova-Scotia, &c.

_Manufactures._--The inhabitants manufacture coarse and fine flannels,
linen, cotton and woollen cloths, woollen stockings, mittens, and
gloves, for their own use; they spin much cotton and flax, and make
common and the best kind of beaver hats. Ship-building is a great
branch of business in Connecticut, which is carried on much cheaper
than in Europe, by means of saw-mills worked by water. The planks are
cut by a gang of ten or twelve saws, more or less, as occasion
requires, while the carriage is backed but once. Great part of the
ship-timber is also cut by water. Anchor-making is done by water and
trip-hammers, without much fatigue to the workmen. Distilling and
paper-making increase every year. Here are many rope-walks, which want
neither hemp nor flax; and formerly here were rolling and slitting
works, but they have been suppressed by an act of Parliament, to the
ruin of many families.

_Commerce._--The exports of Connecticut consist chiefly of all sorts of
provisions, pig and bar iron, pot and pearl ashes, staves, lumber,
boards, iron pots and kettles, anchors, planks, hoops, shingles, live
cattle, horses, &c. &c. To what amount these articles are annually
exported, may be judged from the following very low estimate:

  Pork                                                 98,750_l._
  Beef                                                100,000
  Mutton                                                5,000
  Horses                                               40,000
  Wheat                                               340,000
  Butter, cheese, rye, oats, onions, tobacco, cider,
    maize, beans, fowls, eggs, tallow, and hides       90,000
  Ships’ anchors, cables, cordage, pig and bar
    iron, pots, kettles, pot and pearl ashes,
    boards, and lumber                                250,000

besides hay, fish, &c. &c. The salmon, large and small, are exported
both pickled and dried.

In the above statement of exports I have allowed only for horses bred
in the colony, and not for those brought for exportation from Canada
and other northern parts, which are very numerous. The calculation of
the wheat, the common price of which is three shillings sterling per
bushel, is founded upon the allowed circumstance of the exportation
being equal to the consumption, viz. 2,600,000 bushels among 200,000
persons, according to the acknowledged necessary portion of thirteen
bushels to one person. The pork is estimated according to the reputed
number of houses in the province, viz. 30,000, allowing one and a
quarter barrels for each house, at 2_l._ 10_s._ per barrel.

The imports in 1680, when the number of inhabitants was 20,000,
amounted to 10,000_l._, i. e. at the rate of 10_s._ for each
individual. Supposing the increase of imports only to keep pace with
that of the people, they would, in 1770, when the province contained
200,000 souls, amount to 100,000_l._; but I believe that to be not
above one-quarter of their value.

Boston, New-York, and Newport, have the greatest share of the exports
of Connecticut, and pay for them in English or Dutch goods at cent.
per cent. profit to themselves, upon a moderate computation. What few
of them are sent from the colony to the West Indies, are paid for
honourably in rum, molasses, sugar, salt, brandy, cotton, and money.

Consequences very prejudicial attend the commerce of Connecticut, thus
principally carried on through the medium of the neighbouring
colonies. I will here point out one material instance: Connecticut
pork, a considerable article of exportation, excels all others in
America, and fetches a halfpenny per pound more. Of this difference in
the price the merchants in New-York, Boston, &c. have taken care to
avail themselves, by mixing their own inferior pork with that of
Connecticut, and then selling the whole at the full price of the
latter. This fair dealing was managed thus: The pork of Connecticut
was packed up in barrels, each of which, according to statute
regulations, must weigh 220 lbs. and contain not more than six legs
and three half heads. The packer is to mark the barrel before it is
shipped, and is liable to a heavy punishment if there should be found
four half heads and seven legs in the barrel when it is delivered for
exportation. But of large pork, two legs and half a head will be a
sufficient proportion of those parts in a barrel. This gives the
New-York and Bostonian merchants an opportunity of taking out the best
part of the Connecticut pork, and substituting in its place an equal
weight of their own, whereby it often happens that four legs and two
half heads are found in a barrel of reputed Connecticut pork. Though
it then remains a barrel according to the statute, it cannot but be
supposed that the practice must greatly hurt the credit of Connecticut
pork with all who are not apprised that it passes through the
renounded provinces of Massachusets-Bay and New-York.

The people of Connecticut have long been sensible of the many great
impositions and disadvantages which beset their commercial system;
yet, though sufficient power is in their own hands, they have no
inclination or resolution to attempt a reformation of it. The reason
is, the mutual animosities and rancour subsisting between the
dominions of New-London, Hertford, and Newhaven, each of which prefers
the general ruin of the province to a coalition upon any terms short
of conquest. The seeds of this discord were thus sown by these two
insidious neighbours. The port of New-London is by far the best in the
province, and extremely well calculated for its capital and grand
commercial emporium; and about fifty years since, a number of
merchants there began to export and import goods, seemingly to the
satisfaction of the whole colony, but to the great displeasure and
chagrin of those of New-York and Boston, whom it threatened with ruin.
Something was necessary to be done. The poor Bostonians, according to
custom, privately sent for their faithful allies at Hertford, to
infuse into them an idea that their town ought to be the capital, and
not New-London, which belonged to the Dominion of Sassacus, who had
murdered so many christians; adding that, if they would engage in such
an attempt in favour of Hertford, the Boston merchants would supply
them with goods cheaper than they could buy them at New-London. The
good people at Hertford, forgetting their river was frozen for five
months in the year, remembering how they had obtained their Charter,
hating Sassacus, and loving self, immediately gave in to the designing
Bostonians’ suggestions, and refused to receive any more goods from
New-London. The friendly Mynheers of New-York played off a similar
trick upon Newhaven, and promised to support that town as the capital
of the colony. The plots succeeded. Contentions and quarrels arose
among the three parties, the effects of which remain to this day. The
merchants of New-London were obliged to quit Connecticut, and the
trade of the province was chiefly divided between New-York and Boston,
at cent. per cent. disadvantage to an ill-natured colony, and at the
same time advantage to its cunning neighbours. When party spirit
yields to self-interest, New-London will again become the emporium of
Connecticut, where merchants will settle and import goods from foreign
countries at 35_l._ per cent. extra profit to the consumers, and
15_l._ per cent. extra profit to themselves, and withal save as much
in the exports from Connecticut, by taking the full price and bounty
of its goods at foreign markets, instead of yielding the same to the
people of New-York and Boston, who have too long kept 200,000 as
negroes on their own farms, to support twice 20,000 artful citizens.
Thus has Connecticut, by contention and folly, impoverished and kept
in obscurity the most fruitful colony in America, to support the fame
and grandeur of Boston and New-York among the trading nations of
Europe. When I view the less fertile soil of Boston, the conscience of
merchants, the pride of the pretended Gospel ministers, the blindness
of bigotry, and the mercantile ignorance of farmers, I forgive Boston,
New-York, and Rhode-Island, but condemn Connecticut. I will leave a
legacy to the people of my native country, which possibly may heal
their divisions, and render them partial to their own province, as the
Bostonians are to theirs. It consists of two lines:

     “But if men knaves and fools will be,
      They’ll be ass-ridden by all three.”

_Revenue and Expenditure._--In 1680 the whole corporation were
estimated to be worth 120,000_l._ They had 30 small vessels, 26
churches, and, as above mentioned, 20,000 inhabitants. If their value
had increased only in proportion with the inhabitants, who, as I have
said, amounted to 200,000 in 1770, the corporation would then have
been worth no more than 1,200,000_l._, a sum not equal to 10_s._ per
acre, though in a great measure cultivated, and surrounded with stone
walls which alone cost 10_s._ by the rod; but in that year, viz. 1770;
land sold in Connecticut from 4_l._ to 50_l._ per acre; their vessels,
also, had increased to about 1200, and the churches--least in
proportion--to about 300. The true method, therefore, of forming the
valuation of Connecticut in 1770, is not by calculating upon this
State in 1680, but by estimating the number of its acres, appreciating
them by purchases then made, and adding a due allowance for the stock,
&c. Now, Connecticut has been reputed to contain 2,500,000 solid
acres, which, at the very moderate price of 8_l._ each, are worth
20,000,000_l._ sterling; and 14,000,000_l._ being added as a
reasonable allowance for stock, shipping, &c. the whole valuation of
Connecticut would amount to 34,000,000_l._ The annual income,
supposing the 2,500,000 acres and stock rented at 10_s._ per acre, one
with another, would be 1,250,000_l._ A list of rateables, called the
General List, is the foundation upon which the revenue is raised in
Connecticut, being the valuation of a man’s property by the year. It
is formed in the following manner:

  One acre of land, per annum                  0_l._  10_s._
  One horse                                    3      00
  One house                                    3      00
  One ox                                       3      00
  One swine                                    1      00
  One cow                                      3      00
  One two-year-old heifer                      2      00
  One yearling      do.                        1      00
  One poll or male, between 16 and 60 years   18      00
  One lawyer for his faculty                  20      00
  One vessel of 100 tons                      10      00
                                              65_l._  10_s._

Every person annually gives his list, specifying the property he
possesses, to the selectmen, who send the sum total of each town to
the General Assembly, when a tax of one shilling, more or less,
according to public exigencies, is imposed on each pound.

According to the general list of the colony for 1770, I have
underrated its annual worth, which then was fixed at 2,000,000_l._;
for, though that list includes the poll-tax of 18_l._ per head for all
males above sixteen and under sixty years of age, the faculty tax, and
the tax on shipping, all which may amount to 600,000_l._, there
nevertheless remains a surplus of 150,000_l._ above my calculation.
But, supposing a tax of one shilling in the pound (the common colonial
assessment) on 1,250,000_l._, the produce will be 62,500_l._,
exclusive of the poll, faculty, and other taxes. Small, however, as
this assessment is, it has never been collected without much
difficulty and clamour; yet the people lose, by trading with Boston,
New-York, and Newport, in exports and imports, 600,000_l._ annually;
and that for nothing but to oblige the traders of those towns, and
disoblige one another.

The annual expenditure of the colony is as follows:

  Salary of Governor                             300_l._  00_s._
      “     Lieutenant-Governor                  150      00
      “     Treasurer                            150      00
      “     Secretary                            150      00
      “     the twelve assistants in Council
                with the Governor                800      00
      “     146 Representatives                2,500      00
      “     300 Ministers, 100_l._ each       30,000      00
  Allowance for contingencies                 28,450      00
      Total                                   62,500_l._  00_s._

The above-mentioned list of the colony, including the poll-tax, &c.
would afford 32,500_l._ more for contingencies.

_Religion and Government._--Properly speaking, the Connectitensians
have neither, nor ever had; but, in pretence, they excel the whole
world, except Boston and Spain. If I could recollect the names of the
multifarious religious sects among them, it might afford the reader a
pleasant idea of the prolific invention of mankind. I shall mention a
few of the most considerable, specifying the number of their

  Episcopalians               73
  Scotch presbyterians         1
  Sandemanians                 3
  Ditto Bastard                1
  Lutherans                    1
  Baptists                     6
  Seventh-day ditto            1
  Quakers                      4
  Davisonians                  1
  Separatists                 40
  Rogereens                    1
  Bowlists                     1
  Old Lights                  80
  New Lights                  87

An account of some of these sects is to be found in the history of
Munster; but the Bowlists, Separatists, and Davisonians are peculiar
to the colony. The first allow of neither singing nor prayer; the
second permit only the elect to pray; and the third teach universal
salvation, and deny the existence of a hell or devils. The
presbyterians and episcopalians are held by all to be the enemies of
Zion and the American Vine; nay, the former are even worse hated than
the Churchmen, because they appear to be dissenters, and are not
genuine enemies to episcopacy, but “hold the truth in unrighteousness.”
Some travellers have called the fanatical sects of Connecticut by the
general name of Legionists, because they are many; and others have
called them Pumguntums, Cantums, &c. because they groan and sing with
a melancholy voice their prayers, sermons, and hymns. This disgusting
tone has utterly excluded oratory from them; and did they not speak
the English in greater perfection than any other of the Americans, few
strangers would disoblige them with their company. Their various
systems are founded upon those of Peters, Hooker, and Davenport, of
which I have already spoken; yet the modern teachers have made so many
new-fangled refinements in the doctrine and discipline of those
patriarchs, and of one another, as render their passions for
ecclesiastical innovation and tyranny equally conspicuous. But the
whole are enveloped with superstition, which here passes for religion,
as much as it does in Spain, France, or among the savages.

I will instance that of an infant, in 1761. Some children were piling
sand-heaps in Hertford, when a boy, only four years old, hearing it
thunder at a distance, left his companions and ran home to his mother,
crying out, “Mother, mother, give me my book, for I heard God speaking
to me!” His mother gave him his book, and he read A, B, C, D, &c.;
then gave up his book, saying, “Here, mother, take my book; I must go
to my sand-houses: now I am not afraid of all the thunder and
lightning in the world.”

As to their government, we may compare it to the regularity of a mad
mob in London, with this exception: the mob acts without law, and the
colonists by law. They teach that legal righteousness is not saving
grace. Herein they are right; but it appears they believe not their
own doctrine, for legal righteousness is their only shield and
buckler. In January County Court, at Hertford only, 1768, there were
about 3000 suits on the docket; and there are four of these courts in
a year, and perhaps never less suits at a court than 2000.

In the course of this work my readers must necessarily have observed,
in some degree, the ill effects of the democratical constitution of
Connecticut. I would wish them to imagine, for I feel myself unable
adequately to describe, the confusion, turbulence, and convulsion
arising in a province where not only every civil officer, from the
governor to the constables, but also every minister, is appointed as
well as paid by the people, and faction and superstition are
established. The clergy, lawyers, and merchants or traders, are the
three efficient parties which guide the helm of the government. Of
these, the most powerful is the clergy, and, when no combinations are
formed against them, they may be said to rule the whole province; for
they lead the women captive, and the women the men; but when the
clergy differ with the lawyers and merchants, the popular tide turns.
In like manner, when the clergy and lawyers contend with the
merchants, it turns against these; and is the same when the clergy and
merchants unite against the lawyers. This fluctuation of power gives a
strange appearance to the body politic at large. In Hertford, perhaps,
the clergy and merchants are agreed, and prevail; in Weathersfield,
the clergy and lawyers; in Middletown, the lawyers and merchants; and
so on, again and again, throughout the colony. Thus the General
Assembly becomes an assembly of contending factions, whose different
interests and pursuits it is generally found necessary mutually to
consult in order to produce a sufficient coalition to proceed on the
business of the State.--_Vos ipsos pseudo-patres patriæ, veluti in
speculo aspicite?_--Sometimes, in quarrels between the merchants and
lawyers of a particular parish, the minister is allowed to stand
neuter; but, for the most part, he is obliged to declare on the one
side or the other; he then, remembering from whence he gets his bread,
espouses that which appears to be the strongest, whether it be right
or wrong, and his declaration never fails to turn the adverse
party.--_En rabies_ _vulgi!_--I must beg leave to refer my readers to
their own reflections upon such a system of government as I have here
sketched out.

The historians of New-England boast much of the happiness all parties
there enjoy in not being subject, as in England, to sacramental test
by way of qualification for preferment in the State; on which account,
with peculiar propriety, it might be called a free country. The truth
is, there never has been occasion for such a test-act. The Assemblies
never appointed any, because the magistrates are annually chosen by
the people, of whom the far greater part are church members; and this
church-membership, in its consequences, destroys all liberty in a
communicant, who is necessitated to swear to promote the interests of
that church he is a member of, and is duly informed by the minister
what that interest is. The minister is the eye of conscience to all
freemen in his parish, and tells them that they will perjure
themselves if they give their votes to an episcopalian, or any person
who is not a member of the Church of the _Sober Dissenters_. Those
freemen dare not go counter to the minister’s dictate, any more than a
true Mussulman dare violate the sacred law of Mahomet. What need,
then, is there of a civil test, when a religious test operates much
more powerfully, and will ever keep Churchmen, Separatists, Quakers,
Baptists, and other denominations from governmental employments in
Connecticut, and confine them to the Old and New Lights; whilst the
test act in England prevents no dissenter from holding any civil or
military commission whatsoever? Upon this subject Mr. Neal has exerted
himself in so signal a manner, that he ought to be styled the Champion
of New-England. He represents that there were two State factions in
New-England: the one out of place he calls spies and malcontents,
chiefly because they had no share in the government. He adds, p. 615:
“I can assure the world that religion is no part of the quarrel; for
there is no sacramental test for preferment in the State.”--Many
people in New-England have not been able to assign a reason for Mr.
Neal’s choosing to hide one truth by telling another, viz. that there
was no statute in New-England to oblige a man to receive the sacrament
among the _Sober Dissenters_ as a qualification for civil office. This
assertion is really true; and when Mr. Neal speaks a truth, he, above
all men, ought to have credit for it. But Mr. Neal well knew it to be
the truth, also, that no man could be chosen a corporal in the
train-band unless he was a member of the Church of the _Sober
Dissenters_, because then every voter was subject to a religious test
of the Synod or Consociation. Mr. Neal, indeed, seems to think that a
civil test is heresy itself, but that a religious test is liberty, is
gospel, and renders “all parties of christians in New-England easy--a
happy people.” The reason, however, of his muffling truth with truth,
was, he wrote for the Old Lights and against the New Lights for hire;
the New Lights being the minority, and out of place in the State.
Those two sects differed about the coercive power of the civil
magistrate. The Old Lights held that the civil magistrate was a
creature framed on purpose to support ecclesiastical censure with the
sword of severity; but the New Lights maintained that the magistrate
had no power or right to concern himself with Church excommunication,
and that excommunication was all the punishment any one could undergo
in this world, according to the rules of the Gospel. These were, and
always have been, two great articles of faith in New-England;
nevertheless, Mr. Neal says he can assure the world that “religion is
no part of the quarrel.” I hope Mr. Neal did not mean to quibble, as
the New-Englanders generally do, by Jesuitism, viz. that religion is
peaceable and admits not of quarrels; and yet, if he did not, he meant
not a full representation of the matter, for he well knew that the
difference in respect to the intent and power of the magistrates was a
religious point, and formed the partition wall between the Old and New
Lights. The civilians and magistrates were too wise to countenance the
New Lights, who promised little good to them; while the Old Lights
gave them a power of punishing, even unto death, those whom they had
anathematized, and who would not submit to their censures by penitence
and confession. The Old Lights, in short, supported the practice of
the inquisitors of Spain and Archbishop Laud--the ostensible occasion
of their ancestors flying from England to the wilderness of America.

But Mr. Neal contented not himself with one mistake; he added, “that
the people of New-England are a dutiful and loyal people.” They never
merited this character, and they always had too much honesty and
religion to claim it. From the first they have uniformly declared, in
Church and State, that America is a new world, subject to the people
residing in it, and that none but enemies of the country would appeal
from their courts to the King in Council. They never have prayed for
any earthly king by name. They have always called themselves
republicans, and enemies to kingly government, to temporal and
spiritual lords. They hate the idea of a Parliament, consisting of
King, Lords, and Commons; they declare that the three branches should
be but one, the king having only a single vote with the other members.
Upon this point they have always quarrelled with the governors. They
never have admitted one law of England to be in force among them till
passed by their assemblies. They have sent agents to fight against the
kings of England. They deny the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London,
which extends over America by a royal patent. They hold Jesus to be
the only King, whom if they love and obey they will not submit,
because they have not submitted, to the laws of the King of Great

Mr. Neal, furthermore, professes his want of conception why the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts should send
missionaries into New-England, when Oliver Cromwell had, in 1640,
instituted a society to propagate christian knowledge there. Mr. Neal
might have learnt the cause of this phenomenon from the charter
granted to the first-mentioned society by King William III., who was a
friend to civil and christian liberty, and who endeavoured to suppress
the intolerable persecutions in his days prevailing in New-England.
But, besides, Mr. Neal could not but know that there were many
Churchmen in New-England desirous of the use of the liturgy and
discipline of the English Church; and for what reason should they not
have ministers of their own persuasion, as well as the sober and
conscientious dissenters? I hope my readers will not think me a
partial advocate for the Church of England, which, perhaps, has lost
the opportunity of civilizing, christianizing, and moderating the
burning zeal of the dissenters of New-England, who were honest in
their religion merely by the sinful omission of not sending a bishop
to that country, who would have effected greater things among them
than an army of 50,000 men. I avow myself to be liberal-minded towards
all sects and parties; and, if I had power, I would convert all sorts
of ministers into popes, cardinals, prelates, dominies, potent
presbyters, and rich Quakers, that the world might be excused from
hearing again of preaching, defamation, insurrections, and spiritual
jurisdictions, which result more from pride, poverty, avarice, and
ambition, than the love of peace and christianity.

It has been said by the deists, and other politicians, that ministers,
by preaching, have done more hurt than good in the christian world. If
the idea will hold in any part it will be in New-England, where each
sect preaches, for Gospel, policy and defamation of its neighbour;
whence the lower classes think that christianity consists in defending
their own peculiar Church and modes, and subverting those of others,
at any rate; while the higher ranks value religion and the Gospel as
laws of a foreign country, and the merchants powwowers, subtle, cruel,
and greedy of riches and dominion over all people. For this reason the
savages have taken an aversion to the protestant religion, and they
say they would rather follow Hobbomockow and the Roman priests than
New-England christians, who persecute one another, and killed their
ancestors with a pocky Gospel. With scorn they cry out: “We value not
your Gospel, which shews so many roads to Kicktang; some of them must
be crooked, and lead to Hobbomockow. We had, therefore, better
continue Indians like our ancestors, or be Catholics, who tell us of
only one way to Kicktang, or the invisible God.”

_Laws._--A stranger in the colony, upon hearing the inhabitants talk of
religion, liberty, and justice, would be induced to believe that the
christian and civil virtues were their distinguishing characteristics;
but he soon finds his mistake in fixing his abode among them. Their
laws grind the poor, and their religion is to oppress the oppressed.
The poll-tax is unjust and cruel. The poor man is compelled to pay for
his bread eighteen shillings per annum, work four days on the
highways, serve in the militia four days, and pay three shillings for
his hut, without a window in it. The best house and richest man in the
colony pays no more!

The law is pretended to exempt episcopalians, Anabaptists, Quakers,
and others, from paying rates to the _Sober Dissenters_, but, at the
same time, gives the _Sober Dissenters_ power to tax them for
minister, school, and town rates, by a general quota; and no law or
court can put asunder what the town has joined together. The law also
exempts from paying to _Sober Dissenters_ all Churchmen “who live so
near that they can and do attend Church.” But hence, if a man is sick,
and does not attend more than twenty-six Sabbaths in a year, he
becomes legally a _Sober Dissenter_; and if the meeting lies between
him and the Church, he does not live so near the Church that he can
attend, because it is more than a Sabbath-day’s journey, and therefore
unnecessary travel.[38]

The law provides whipping, stocks, and fines, for such as do not
attend public worship on the Sabbath. The Grand Jury complains, and
the Justice inflicts the punishment. This has been the practice for
many years. About 1750, Mr. Pitt, a Churchman, was whipped for not
attending meeting. Mr. Pitt was an old man. The episcopal clergy wrote
to England, complaining of this cruel law. The Governor and Council
immediately broke the Justice who punished Mr. Pitt, and wrote to the
Bishop of London that they had done so as a mark of their
disapprobation of the Justice’s conduct, and knew not what more they
could do. This apology satisfied the Bishop, and the next year the
Governor and Council restored the Justice to his office; however,
Quakers and Anabaptists only were whipped afterwards.

Formerly, when a _Sober Dissenter_ had a suit in law against a
Churchman, every juryman of the latter persuasion was by the Court
removed from the jury and replaced by _Sober Dissenters_. The reasons
assigned for this extraordinary conduct was, “that justice and
impartiality might take place.” The episcopalians, Quakers, and other
sects not of the _Sober Dissenters_, were not admitted to serve as
jurymen in Connecticut till 1750. Such of them whose annual worth is
rated at not less than 40_l._ in the general list, have enjoyed the
liberty of voting for civil officers a much longer term; but for
parish concerns they are still totally excluded.

Other laws I have occasionally animadverted upon in the course of this
work; and a specimen of the Blue Laws, and of various courts, is

Nothing can reflect greater disgrace upon the colony than the number
of suits in all the County Courts, amounting in the whole to between
20 and 30,000 annually; the greater part of which are vexatiously
commenced from expectations grounded upon the notorious instability of
the judges’ opinions and decisions.

The spirit of litigation which distracts the province in general is,
however, a blessing to the judges and lawyers. The court has one
shilling for every action called, and twenty shillings for those that
come to trial; and the fee to each lawyer is twenty shillings, whether
the action be tried or not, besides various other expenses. There are
as many suits of conscience before the justices of the peace, and
ministers, and deacons; so that the sum annually expended in law in
the whole colony is amazing. It was not without reason, therefore,
that the judges, the lawyers, the ministers and deacons, the sheriffs
and constables, opposed the stamp-act with all their might. They told
the people that, if this act took place, their liberties would be
destroyed, and they would be tried by King’s judges without jury.

The singular nature of some of the suits entitles them to particular
notice. When the ice and flood prevail in the great river Connecticut,
they frequently carry off large pieces of ground on one side, and
carry them over to the other. By this means the river is every year
changing its bed, to the advantage of some persons and the
disadvantage of others. This has proved the source of perplexing
lawsuits, and will most likely continue to produce the same effects so
long as the demi-annual assemblies remain in the colony; for the
judgment of the Assembly in May is rescinded by that in October, and
so _vice versa_. Thus a lawsuit in Connecticut is endless, to the ruin
of both plaintiff and defendant.

The County and Superior Courts, also, in different years give
different judgments; and the reason is the popular constitution of the
colony, whereby different parties prevail at different times, each of
whom carefully undoes what the others have done. Thus the glorious
uncertainty of the law renders the possession of property in
Connecticut extremely precarious. The question, however, touching the
lands being removed from place to place by the floods and ice,
requires the skill of both juries and casuists. The most simple case
of the kind that has been communicated to me is the following:

A piece of land belonging to A., in Springfield, with a house, &c.
standing upon it, was removed by the flood to another town, and
settled on land belonging to W. A. claimed his house and land, and
took possession of them; whereupon W. sued A. for a trespass, and the
court ejected A. But A. afterward obtained a revision of the judgment;
when W. again sued A., and got a decree that A. should remove his own
land off from the land of W., or pay W. for his land. Further
litigation ensued, both parties pleading that the act of God injured
no man according to the English law. The judges said that the act of
God in this case equally fell upon A. and W. The dispute rests _in
statu quo_, the jurisprudence of Connecticut not having yet taught
mankind what is just and legal in this important controversy.

Supposing the flood had carried A.’s ship or raft on W.’s land, the
ship or raft would still belong to A., and W. could recover damages;
but then A. must take away his ship or raft in a reasonable time. Yet,
in the case where an island, or point of land, is removed by the
waters, or an earthquake, upon a neighbouring shore, _Q._ Ought not
the islanders to keep possession of the superficies? This may be a new
case in Europe.

_Manners and Customs._--Gravity and serious deportment, together with
shyness and bashfulness, generally attend first communications with
the inhabitants of Connecticut; but after a short acquaintance they
become very familiar, and inquisitive about news. Who are you? whence
come you? where going? what is your business? and what your religion?
They do not consider these, and similar questions, impertinent, and
consequently expect a civil answer. When the stranger has satisfied
their curiosity, they will treat him with all the hospitality in their
power, and great caution must be observed to get quit of them and
their houses without giving offence. If the stranger has cross and
difficult roads to travel, they will go with him till all danger is
past, without fee or reward. The stranger has nothing to do but
civilly say, “Sir, I thank you, and will call upon you when I return.”
He must not say, “God bless you,” or “I shall be glad to see you at my
house,” unless he is a minister; because they hold that the words “God
bless you” should not be spoken by common people; and “I shall be glad
to see you at my house” they look upon as an insincere compliment,
paid them for what they do out of duty to the stranger. Their
hospitality is highly exemplary; they are sincere in it, and reap
great pleasure by reflecting that, perhaps, they have entertained

The Rev. Mr. George Whitefield, in one of his sermons, gave them the
following character: “I have found,” said he, “the people of
Connecticut the wisest of any upon the continent; they are the best
friends and the worst enemies; they are hair-brained bigots on all
sides, and they may be compared to the horse and mule, without bit and
bridle. In other colonies I have paid for food and lodging, but could
never spend one penny in fruitful Connecticut, whose banks flow with
milk and honey, and whose sons and daughters never fail to feed and
refresh the weary traveller, without money and without price.”

On Saturday evenings the people look sour and sad; on the Sabbath they
appear to have lost their dearest friends, and are almost speechless;
they walk softly; they even observe it with more exactness than did
the Jews. A Quaker preacher told them, with much truth, that they
worshipped the Sabbath, and not the God of the Sabbath. These
hospitable people, without charity, condemned the Quaker as a
blasphemer of the holy Sabbath, fined, tarred, and feathered him, put
a rope about his neck, and plunged him into the sea; but he escaped
with life, though he was about seventy years of age.

In 1750 an episcopal clergyman, born and educated in England, who had
been in holy orders above twenty years, once broke their sabbatical
law by combing a discomposed lock of hair on the top of his wig; at
another time, for making a humming noise, which they called whistling;
at a third time, by walking too fast from church; at a fourth, by
running into church when it rained; at a fifth, by walking in his
garden and picking a bunch of grapes: for which several crimes he was
complained of by the Grand Jury, had warrants granted against him, was
seized, brought to trial, and paid a considerable sum of money. At
last, overwhelmed with persecution and vexation, he cried out: “No
Briton, nay, no Jew, should assume any public character in Connecticut
till he has served an apprenticeship of ten years in it; for I have
been here seven years, and strictly observed the Jewish law concerning
the Sabbath, yet find myself remiss in respect to the perfect law of

The people are extremely fond of strangers passing through the colony,
but very averse to foreigners settling among them; which few have done
without ruin to their characters and fortunes, by detraction and
lawsuits, unless recommended as men of grace by some known and revered
republican protestant in Europe. The following story may be amusing:

An English gentleman, during a short residence in a certain town, had
the good luck to receive some civilities from the Deacon, Minister,
and Justice. The Deacon had a daughter, without beauty, but sensible
and rich. The Briton (for that was the name he went by), having
received a present from the West-Indies of some pineapples and
sweetmeats, sent his servant with part of it to the Deacon’s daughter,
to whom, at the same time, he addressed a complimentary note, begging
Miss would accept the pineapples and sweetmeats, and wishing he might
be able to make her a better present. Miss, on reading the note, was
greatly alarmed, and exclaimed, “Mamma, mamma! Mr. Briton has sent me
a love-letter.” The mother read the note and shewed it to the Deacon,
and, after due consideration, both agreed in pronouncing it a
love-letter. The lawyer, justice, and parson were sent for, who in
council weighed every word in the note, together with the golden
temptation which the lady possessed, and were of opinion that the
writer was in love, and that the note was a love-letter, but worded so
carefully that the law could not punish Briton for attempting to court
Miss without having obtained her parents’ consent. The parson wrung
his hands, rolled up his eyes, shrugged up his shoulders, groaned out
his hypocritical grief, and said, “Deacon, I hope you do not blame me
for having been the innocent cause of your knowing this imprudent and
haughty Briton. There is something very odd in all the Britons; but I
thought this man had some prudence and modesty however, Deacon,”
putting his hand on his breast, and bowing, with a pale, deceitful
face, “I shall in future shun all Britons, for they are all strange
creatures.” The lawyer and justice made their apologies, and were
sorry that Briton did not consider the quality of the Deacon’s
daughter before he wrote the letter. Miss, all apprehension and tears,
at finding that no punishment could reach Briton in the course of law,
cried out to her counsellors, “Who is Briton? Am I not the Deacon’s
daughter? What have I done, that he should take such liberties with
me? Is he not the natural son of some priest, or foundling? Ought he
not to be exposed for his assurance to the Deacon’s daughter?”

Her words took effect. The council voted that they would show their
contempt of Briton by neglecting him for the time to come. On his
return home, the parson, after many great signs of surprise, informed
his wife of the awful event which had happened by the imprudence of
Briton. She soon communicated the secret to her sister-gossips,
prudently cautioning them not to report it as from her. But, not
content with that, the parson himself went among all his acquaintance,
shaking his head, and saying, “O sirs! have you heard of the strange
conduct of friend Briton--how he wrote a love-letter, and sent it, with
some pineapples, to the Deacon’s daughter? My wife and I had a great
friendship for Briton, but cannot see him any more.”

Thus the affected parson told this important tale to every one except
Briton, who, from his ignorance of the story, conducted himself in his
usual manner towards his supposed friends, though he observed they had
a show of haste and business whenever he met with any of them. Happily
for Briton, he depended not on the Deacon, minister, or colony, for
his support. At last a Scotchman heard of the evil tale, and
generously told Briton of it, adding that the parson was supposed to
be in deep decline merely from grief and fatigue he had endured in
spreading it. Briton thanked the Scotchman, and called on the friendly
parson to know the particulars of his offence. The parson, with sighs,
bows, and solemn smirkings, answered, “Sir, the fact is, you wrote a
love-letter to the Deacon’s daughter without asking her parents’
consent; which has given great offence to that lady, and to all her
acquaintance, of whom I and my wife have the honour to be reckoned a
part.” Briton kept his temper. “So, then,” said he, “I have offended
you by my insolent note to the Deacon’s daughter! I hope my sin is
venial. Pray, sir, have you seen my note?” “Yes,” replied the parson,
“to my grief and sorrow. I could not have thought you so imprudent,
had I not seen and found the note to be your own handwriting.” “How
long have you known of this offence?” “Some months.” “Why, sir, did
you not seasonably admonish me for this crime?” “I was so hurt and
grieved, and my friendship so great, I could not bear to tell you.”
Mr. Briton then told the parson that his friendship was so fine and
subtle, it was invisible to an English eye; and the Gospel ministers
in England did not prove their friendship by telling calumnious
stories to everybody but the person concerned. “But I suppose,” added
he, “this is genuine New-England friendship, and merits thanks more
than a supple-jack.” The parson, with a leering look, sneaked away
towards his wife; and Briton left the colony without any civil or
ecclesiastical punishment, telling the Scotchman that the Deacon’s
daughter had money, and the parson faith without eyes, or he should
never have been accused of making love to one who was naturally so
great an enemy to Cupid. Of such or worse sort being the reception
foreign settlers may expect from the inhabitants of Connecticut, it is
no wonder that few, or none, choose to venture among them.

The custom of settling and dismissing a sober dissenting minister is
very singular. All the parishioners meet and vote to apply to the
Association for a candidate, and one is accordingly sent. If he
pleases, the people vote to give him a call; if he accepts the call,
the actual communicants, and they alone, make the covenant between him
and them as Christ’s Church, and thus they are married to him. After
the candidate is ordained, others, by acknowledging and swearing to
support the covenant, become married to him also. (N. B. Baptism is
not sufficient to take them out of their natural state.) The call is
an invitation from the parishioners to the candidate to take upon him
the ministerial office of their Church, on condition that he be
allowed 300_l._ or 400_l._ settlement, and perhaps 100_l._ salary,
besides wood, &c. &c. during his residence among them in that
capacity. The candidate, after looking round him and finding no better
terms offered from any other parish, answers in this manner: “Brethren
and friends, I have considered your call, and, after many fastings and
prayers, I find it to be the call of God, and close with your offer.”
The Church then appoints a day for his ordination, and the ministers
who shall assist in the ceremony, which is as follows:

1. The meeting is opened with a hymn. 2. Some one makes a prayer. 3.
Another hymn succeeds. 4. A sermon. 5. Another prayer. 6. The covenant
is read. 7. The prayer of consecration, with imposition of hands by
the minister. 8. The right hand of fellowship, which conveys that half
of ministerial power which I have already spoken of as communicated by
the Churches. 9. The charge--that is, to behave well in the office
whereto God has called him. 10. Prayer. 11. Another hymn. 12. The
young minister dismisses with his benediction. Numerous as the
ceremonies are in a minister’s ordination, there are but few judged
necessary in dismissing him; a majority of the Church is enough to
turn the minister from bed and board, or, in their language, “to
divorce him”--which happens more frequently than is decent. The
minister has no remedy but in appealing to the Association, which step
entitles him to his salary till dismissed by that powerful body.
Incontinency, intemperance, lying, and idleness, are the common
accusations brought against the minister, but seldom founded in truth,
and yet always proved by knights of the post. However, the minister
carries off his settlement in case he is dismissed for immoralities,
but not if he turns Churchman; then his old parishioners are mean
enough to sue for the settlement. A recent instance of this kind
happened at New-London, where the minister, Doctor Mather Byles,
desired a dismission, which was given him; but, finding the Doctor’s
design was to become a Churchman, the people demanded the settlement
given him twelve years before. The Doctor, with a spirit worthy of
himself and his venerable ancestors, returned the money, with, “You
are welcome to it, since it proves to the world that you could not
accuse me of anything more agreeable to ungenerous minds.”

The manner of visiting the sick in this province is more terrible than
charitable. The minister demands of the sick if he be converted, when,
and where. If the answer is conformable to the system of the minister,
it is very well; if not, the sick is given over as a non-elect, and no
object of prayer. Another minister is then sent for, who asks if the
sick be willing to die--if he hates God--if he be willing to be damned,
if it please God to damn him? Should he answer No, this minister quits
him, as the former. Finally, the sick man dies, and so falls out of
their hands into better.

Amidst all the darkness of superstition that surrounds the State, the
humanity it shows to poor strangers seized with sickness in the
colony, or to such persons as are shipwrecked upon its coasts, shines
with distinguished lustre. These unfortunate sufferers are immediately
provided with the necessaries of every kind, by order of the
selectmen, whose expenses are reimbursed out of the colony Treasury.

Thus is laudably employed a part of the money allowed for
contingencies; but another part is consumed in a very different
manner. It frequently happens that, whenever the episcopalians become
so numerous in a parish as to gain the ascendency over the _Sober
Dissenters_, and the latter cannot, by their own strength, either
destroy the episcopal or support their own Church, the Governor and
Council, with the advice of the Consociation, kindly relieve them with
an annual grant out of the public Treasury, sometimes to the amount of
the whole sum paid into it by every denomination of the parish. An act
of charity of this kind lately took place at Chelsea, in Norwich,
where the _Sober Dissenters_ were few and poor, and without a
meeting-house or minister, so that they were obliged to walk a mile to
a meeting, or go to church. The young people chose the latter, which
alarmed the _Sober Dissenters_ to such a degree that they applied for
and obtained from the generous Governor and his virtuous Council
300_l._ per annum out of the Treasury, besides the duties on the
vessels of the Churchmen of that port. This largition enabled them to
build a meeting-house and settle a minister. When the Churchmen
complained of this abuse of the public money, the Governor answered,
“The Assembly has the same right to support christianity as the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, or the
Parliament of Great Britain.”

The murmurs of the people on the collection of the revenue bespeak
embezzlements of another kind. It should seem that they believed the
General Assembly to be in the same predicament as the devil thought
Job was, when he said, “Doth Job serve God for nought?”

Estates in Connecticut pass from generation to generation by
gavelkind; so that there are few persons, except of the labouring
class, who have not freeholds of their own to cultivate. A general
mediocrity of station being thus constitutionally promoted, it is no
wonder that the rich man is despised, and the poor man’s blessing is
his poverty. In no part of the world are _les petits_ and _les grands_
so much upon a par as here, where none of the people are destitute of
the conveniences of life and the spirit of independence. From infancy,
their education as citizens points out no distinction between
licentiousness and liberty; and their religion is so muffled with
superstition, self-love, and provincial enmity, as not yet to have
taught them that humanity and respect for others which from others
they demand. Notwithstanding these effects of the levelling plan,
there are many exceptions to be found in the province of gentlemen of
large estates and generous principles.

The people commonly travel on horseback, and the ladies are capable of
teaching their neighbours the art of horsemanship. There are few
coaches in the colony, but many chaises and whiskeys. In winter the
sleigh is used--a vehicle drawn by two horses, and carrying six persons
in its box, which hangs on four posts standing on two steel slides or
large skates.

Dancing, fishing, hunting, skating, and riding in sleighs on the ice,
are all the amusements allowed in this colony.

Smuggling is rivetted in the constitution and practice of the
inhabitants of Connecticut, as much as superstition and religion, and
their province is a storehouse for the smugglers of the neighbouring
colonies. They conscientiously study to cheat the King of those duties
which, they say, God and Nature never intended should be paid. From
the Governor down to the tithing-man, who are sworn to support the
laws, they will aid smugglers, resist collectors, and mob informers.
This being a popular Government, all the officers are appointed by the
freeholders. There are very severe laws against bribery. The
candidates are not suffered to give a dinner, or a glass of cider, on
the day of the election, to a voter. Indeed, bribery is the next
greatest crime to a breach of the Sabbath; yet open bribery, as
established by custom immemorial in Rhode-Island, is more praiseworthy
than the practice of Connecticut. I will give the reader some idea of
the mode in which an election is managed in Connecticut.

All the voters in a township convene in the town meeting-house. One of
the ministers, after prayers, preaches from some such text as, “Jabez
was more honourable than his brethren.” The people keep their seats,
while the constables take their votes in a box; and if a voter has not
his vote written, the constable gives him one. So Jabez is elected;
and the meeting is concluded with a prayer of thanks to the Lord God
of Israel for “turning the hearts of his people against the enemies of
Zion, and for uniting them in Jabez, the man after his own heart.” The
manner in which the preacher treats his text will more particularly
appear from the animadversion of a certain Quaker on one of these
occasions. “Friend,” said he to the pedagogue, “I do thee no wrong in
telling thee that thou hast prayed and preached against bribery, but
forgot to keep thy tongue from speaking evil against thy neighbour.
Dost thou think the Lord will regard thy preaching so much as the
voters whom thou dost call freemen? If thou believest it, thou hast
bribed not only the people, but the Lord also, to reject Ebenezer and
Benjamin.” The preacher called upon the constable to take away this
babbler and open the meeting; which was done, and Ebenezer and
Benjamin were rejected by the voters.

The men in general throughout the province are tall, stout, and
robust. The greatest care is taken of the limbs and bodies of infants,
which are kept straight by means of a board--a practice learnt from the
Indian women, who abhor all crooked people--so that deformity is here a

Another custom derived from the Indians is, to welcome a new-born
infant into the world with urine and honey, the effects of which are
wonderful; and hence it is that at groanings there are always a little
hog and a rattle-snake’s skin, the latter of which prevents numbness
and the cramp. The women are fair, handsome, genteel. They have,
indeed, adopted various customs of the Indian women, but cannot learn,
like them, how to support the pains of child-bearing without a groan.
Naturalists and surgeons have not been able to assign the reason why a
negro woman should have a hundred pains, a white woman ten, and an
Indian none. Some have said that the fatigues and hardships which
negroes endure are the cause; but the Indians undergo many more:
others have said it was owing to the change of climate; but this is
suppletory: while the enthusiastic divines attribute it to the sin of
Eve, and to the curse laid on the Canaanites. The deists ask these
divines if Eve was not the common mother of the white, black, and
copper-coloured women, and how it appears that negroes are the
descendants of Canaan? Their answer is, that all Nature is mystery.

The women of Connecticut are strictly virtuous, and to be compared to
the prude rather than the European polite lady. They are not permitted
to read plays; cannot converse about whist, quadrille, or operas, but
will freely talk upon the subject of history, geography, and
mathematics. They are great casuists and polemical divines; and I have
known not a few of them so well skilled in Greek and Latin as often to
put to the blush learned gentlemen.

Notwithstanding the modesty of the females is such that it would be
accounted the greatest rudeness for a gentleman to speak, before a
lady, of a garter, knee, or leg, yet it is thought but a piece of
civility to ask her to bundle--a custom as old as the first settlement
in 1634. It is certainly innocent, virtuous, and prudent, or the
puritans would not have permitted it to prevail among their offspring,
for whom, in general, they would suffer crucifixion. Children brought
up with the chastest ideas, with so much religion as to believe that
the omniscient God sees them in the dark, and that angels guard them
when absent from their parents, will not--nay, cannot--act a wicked
thing. People who are influenced more by lust than a serious faith in
God, who is too pure to behold iniquity with approbation, ought never
to bundle. If any man, thus a stranger to the love of virtue, of God,
and the christian religion, should bundle with a young lady in
New-England, and behave himself unseemly towards her, he must first
melt her into passion, and expel heaven, death, and hell, from her
mind, or he will undergo the chastisement of negroes turned mad; if he
escapes with life, it will be owing to the parents flying from their
beds to protect him.

The Indians, who had this method of courtship when the English arrived
among them in 1634, are the most chaste set of people in the world.

Concubinage and fornication are vices none of them are addicted to,
except such as forsake the laws of Hobbomockow and turn christians.
The savages have taken many female prisoners, carried them back three
hundred miles into their country, and kept them several years, and yet
not a single instance of their violating the laws of chastity has ever
been known. This cannot be said of the French, or of the English,
whenever Indian or other women have fallen into their hands. I am no
advocate for temptation, yet must say that bundling has prevailed 160
years in New-England, and, I verily believe, with ten times more
chastity than the sitting on a sofa. About the year 1756, Boston,
Salem, Newport, and New York, resolving to be more polite than their
ancestors, forbade their daughters bundling on the bed with any young
man whatever, and introduced a sofa, to render courtship more
palatable and Turkish. Whatever it was owing to, whether to the sofa
or any uncommon excess of the _feu d’esprit_, there went abroad a
report that the _raffinage_ produced more natural consequences than
all the bundling among the boors with their _rurales pendantes_
through every village in New-England besides.

In 1766, a clergyman from one of the polite towns went into the
country and preached against the unchristian custom of young men and
maidens lying together upon the same bed. He was no sooner out of the
Church, than attacked by a shoal of good old women, with, “Sir, do you
think we and our daughters are naughty because we allow bundling?”
“You lead yourselves into temptation by it.” They all replied at once,
“Sir, have you been told thus, or has experience taught you?” The
Levite began to lift his eyes and to consider his situation, and,
bowing, said, “I have been told so.” The ladies, _una voce_, bawled
out, “Your informants, sir, we conclude, are those city ladies who
prefer a sofa to a bed. We advise you to alter your sermon by
substituting the word sofa for bundling, and, on your return home,
preach to them: for experience has told us that city-folks send more
children into the country without father and mother to own them, than
are born among us; therefore, you see, a sofa is more dangerous than a
bed.” The poor priest, seemingly convinced of his blunder, exclaimed,
“_Nec vitia nostra, nec remedia pati possumus_,” hoping hereby to get
rid of his guests; but an old matron pulled off her spectacles, and,
looking the priest in the face like a Roman heroine, said, “_Noli
putare me hæc auribus tuis dares_.” Others cried out to the priest to
explain his Latin. “The English,” he said, “is this: Woe to me that I
sojourn in Meseck, and dwell in the tents of Kedar!” One pertly
replied, “_Gladii decussati sunt gemina presbytericalvis_.” The priest
confessed his error, begged pardon, and promised never more to preach
against bundling, or to think amiss of the custom; the ladies
generously forgave him, and went away.

It may seem very strange to find this custom of bundling in bed
attended with so much innocence in New-England, while in Europe it is
thought not safe, or scarcely decent, to permit a young man or maid to
be together in private anywhere. But, in this quarter of the Old
World, the viciousness of the one and the simplicity of the other are
the result merely of education and habit. It seems to be a part of
heroism, among the polished nations of it, to sacrifice the virtuous
fair one whenever an opportunity offers, and thence it is concluded
that the same principles actuate those of the New World. It is
egregiously absurd to judge of all countries by one. In Spain,
Portugal, and Italy, jealousy reigns; in France, England, and Holland,
suspicion; in the West and East-Indies, lust; in New-England,
superstition. These four blind deities govern Jews, Turks, christians,
infidels, and heathen. Superstition is the most amiable. She sees no
vice with approbation, but persecution, and self-preservation is the
cause of her seeing that. My insular readers will, I hope, believe me,
when I tell them that I have seen in the West-Indies naked boys and
girls, some fifteen or sixteen years of age, waiting at table and at
tea, even when twenty or thirty virtuous English ladies were in the
room; who were under no more embarrassment at such an awful sight in
the eyes of English people who have not travelled abroad, than they
would have been at the sight of so many servants in livery. Shall we
censure the ladies of the West-Indies as vicious above their sex on
account of this local custom? By no means; for long experience has
taught the world that the West-Indian white ladies are virtuous
prudes. Where superstition reigns, fanaticism will be minister of
state; and the people, under the taxation of zeal, will shun what is
commonly called vice with ten times more care than the polite and
civilized christians who know what is right and what is wrong from
reason and revelation. Happy would it be for the world, if reason and
revelation were suffered to control the minds and passions of the
great and wise men of the world, as superstition does that of the
simple and less polished! When America shall elect societies for the
promotion of chastity in Europe, in return for the establishment of
European arts in American capitals, then Europe will discover that
there is more christian philosophy in American bundling than can be
found in the customs of nations more polite.

I should not have said so much about bundling had not a learned divine
(Dr. Burnaby) of the English Church published his Travels through some
parts of America, wherein this remarkable custom is represented in an
unfavourable light, and as prevailing among the lower class of people.
The truth is, the custom prevails among all classes, to the great
honour of the country, its religion, and ladies. The virtuous may be
tempted; but the tempter is despised. Why it should be thought
incredible for a young man and young woman innocently and virtuously
to lie down together in a bed with a great part of their clothes on, I
cannot conceive. Human passions may be alike in every region; but
religion, diversified as it is, operates differently in different
countries. Upon the whole, had I daughters now, I would venture to let
them bundle upon the bed, or even on the sofa, after a proper
education, sooner than adopt the Spanish mode of forcing young people
to prattle only before the lady’s mother the chit-chat of artless
lovers. Could the four quarters of the world produce a more chaste,
exemplary, and beautiful company of wives and daughters than are in
Connecticut, I should not have remaining one favourable sentiment for
the province. But the soil, the rivers, the ponds, the ten thousand
landscapes, together with the virtuous and lovely women which now
adorn the ancient kingdoms of Connecticut, Sassacus, and Quinnipiog,
would tempt me into the highest wonder and admiration of them, could
they once be freed of the skunk, the moping-owl, rattle-snake, and
fanatic christian.

My readers will naturally be desirous of information in what manner
the people of Connecticut conduct themselves in regard to the Stamp
Act, which has proved the subject of so much speculation and
controversy both in America and Europe. I will, therefore, give a
particular account of their proceedings concerning it, which will,
perhaps, appear to have been of far greater consequence than is
generally supposed in England.

The American colonists were no sooner extricated from all danger of
Gallic depredations by the peace of 1763, than they began to manifest
symptoms of ingratitude and rebellion against their deliverers.
Connecticut, on several accounts, particularly that of its free
constitution in Church and State, which prevented every interruption
from a King’s Governor, was fixed upon as the fittest site for raising
the first-fruits of jealousies and disaffection. Nor did the hatred
which kept the province at eternal strife within itself on all other
occasions, prevent its political coincidence upon this. In 1764,
delegates from every dissenting association in America convened at
Newhaven and settled the plan of operations. They voted that the
American Vine was endangered by the encroachment of the English
Parliament and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in
Foreign Parts; that episcopacy was established in Nova-Scotia, and
missionaries maintained by the English Government, while New-England
and other American States were taxed to support that same Government;
that a league and covenant ought to be made and signed by all good
protestants against the machinations of their enemies, and in defence
of their civil and religious liberties; that it was the duty of all
good protestants to stand upon their guard, and collect and send every
kind of interesting intelligence to the Moderator at Hertford, whose
business would be to communicate the same in his circular letters to
the true friends of protestant liberty. In my opinion, whoever does
not perceive the spirit of civil as well as religious independence in
this convention, and these resolutions of dissenting divines, must be
politically blind. Whilst Mr. Grenville was exerting his fanatical
faculties for the relief of the Mother Country; ready to sink under
the load of expense brought upon her by that war which had opened an
avenue to highest exaltation for her American offspring, Connecticut
was early advertised by merchants, divines, and ladies, in England,
that the Parliament was about to give the colonies a specimen of
English burthens. The Consociation ordered a fast, to deprecate the
threatened judgments. This fast was served up with sermons pointing
out the reigns of wicked kings, lords, and bishops, in the last
century; and concluded with, “One woe is past, and, behold, there come
two woes more hereafter!”

A requisition having been made, in 1763, that each colony in America
should raise a revenue to assist Great Britain in discharging the
national debt, which had been partly incurred at their request and for
their preservation, the General Assembly was instructed by Dr.
Franklin and others how to act. Accordingly, the Assembly resolved not
to raise any money towards the national debt, or any national
expenses, till the Parliament should remove the Navigation Act, which,
they said, was advantageous to Great Britain and disadvantageous to
America; and, therefore, Great Britain, in defraying the whole of the
national expense, did nothing more than justice required, so long as
that act should be continued. Such were the arguments and resolutions
of the General Assembly, although their agent in England had informed
them that, if they refused to comply with the requisition of the
minister, the Parliament would tax them.

The agent’s intelligence proved to be well founded. In 1765 the Stamp
Act passed, because the colonies had refused to tax themselves. News
so important soon arrived in America, and the Consociation of
Connecticut appointed another fast, and ordered the angels to sound
their trumpets, and great plagues followed. Thomas Fitch, the
Governor, shewed some dislike to the proceedings of the Consociation,
but was given to understand that Christ’s ministers acted by an
authority superior to that of the Governor or a king. The
episcopalians, and many sects, saw no reason for keeping the fast; but
the Governor observed it with a view of securing his election the next
year, and was successful. The episcopalians were rewarded for their
disobedience with what is called “a new religious comic Liturgy,”
which was printed and circulated through the colony as the performance
of Doctor Franklin, and acted in many towns by the young people on
evenings by way of sport and amusement. The litany was altered in many
places, especially in the paragraphs respecting the King, nobility,
&c.; and instead of “We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord!” was
substituted, “We beseech thee, O Cromwell, to hear (our prayers) us.”
“O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity!” was altered thus, “O Chatham,
Wilkes, and Franklin, have mercy upon us!” “From plague, pestilence,
famine,” &c. was followed by “O Cromwell, deliver us!” An episcopal
clergyman had courage enough to complain of these blasphemous
proceedings, and the Grand Jury indicted the comic actors; but the
magistrate to whom the complaint was made refused to grant a warrant,
using worse maledictions against the King than were contained in the
ludicrous litany. Hereupon the Grand Jury indicted the magistrate for
high treason; but no magistrate could be found of resolution enough to
grant a warrant against the traitor. However, the comic liturgy was
acted but privately afterwards, and, upon the repeal of the Stamp Act,
was suppressed as far as they could do it.

This second fast was sanctified with preaching on this and similar
texts, “And there arose a new king in Egypt who remembered not
Joseph,” and with praying God to grant the King a heart of flesh, and
to remove popery out of the British Parliament.

The Stamp Act was to take place in November, 1765; some months before
which the stamp-master, Jared Ingersoll, Esq. who had been the
colony’s agent in England, arrived at Newhaven in Connecticut. In
September a special Assembly was convened at Hertford, for the purpose
of considering what steps to take. As if to avoid the supremacy of the
British Parliament, they determined not to apply themselves for the
repeal of the act, but secretly encouraged a number of lawyers,
merchants, and divines to meet, by their own authority, at New-York,
for that purpose. In the mean time three mobs were raised, under
Durgy, Leach, and Parsons, who by different routes marched into
Newhaven to seize the stamp-master. They succeeded; and, having
brought their prisoner before the Assembly-house at Hertford, they
gave him the alternative to resign or die. Mr. Ingersoll appealed
several times by confidential messengers to the Assembly then sitting,
but, finding them inclined to countenance the mob, he was forced to
resign, and authenticate the same by whirling first his hat, and next
his wig, three times round his head, and then into the air; whilst the
General Assembly and Consociation (which last venerable body never
fails to be ready with its counsel and assistance on all salutary
occasions) shouted with the multitude, from their windows, at the
glorious achievement.

This special Assembly, having sufficiently manifested the part they
wished the colony to take, broke up, leaving further proceedings to
the mob, who continued to act up to the specimen already given, and
the Congress of New York, which met then accordingly, agreed upon and
transmitted to England a petition for a repeal of the obnoxious

The October session of the General Assembly is always holden at
Newhaven: there and then they were informed by Mr. Dyer,[41] who had
made one of the petitioners at New York, that it was recommended by
the Congress for the colonial governors to take the oath prescribed by
the Stamp Act.

The General Assembly, however, voted that the Governor of Connecticut
should not take it; and, moreover, determined to continue Mr. Fitch in
his office, notwithstanding the disfranchisement incident on his
refusal, if he would be guided by their advice: the Rev. Mr. Ebenezer
Devotion, one of the Representatives, and Eliphalet Dyer (above
mentioned), one of the Council, offered to pay the imposed fine of
1,000_l._ However, the Governor presented himself before the Council,
whose business it was to administer the oath, but which, it is
thought, Mr. Fitch presumed would be denied, and therefore artfully
devised this means at once of avoiding the oath and shifting the
penalties from himself upon them. Seven out of the twelve, suspecting
the Governor’s design, put their fingers in their ears, shuffled their
feet, and ran groaning out of the house; the other five stayed, and
administered the oath, with a view to saving themselves and the
Charter and direct the wrath of the people against the Governor; but
in this they were mistaken, incurring in common with him the odium of
the patriots. The Stamp Act having thus gained footing, the Assembly
broke up. Legal proceedings also were discontinued, and the courts of
justice shut. The Consociations and Associations kept frequent fasts
of their own appointment, prayers, and preaching against Roman
Catholic rulers, Arminian governors, and false-hearted councillors and
episcopizing curates. Hereupon the mobs became outrageous; sedition
was law and rebellion gospel. The stamp-master was called a traitor to
his country, and the episcopalians enemies to Zion and liberty.

The fastings, prayers, and riots brought about a revolution in the
colony. Fitch, who had taken, and the five assistants who had
administered, the oath, as well as many officers, both civil and
military, who declined to take a rebellious part, were dismissed from
their posts; and a new Governor, other councillors, &c. were chosen,
and the people fitted for every kind of mischief--all, however, under
the pretence of religion and liberty. The patriotic Mr. Dyer
distinguished himself by furnishing the fasting ministers with proper
materials to inflame the minds of the people against the just demands
of the King. One of his Machiavellian dogmas was, that the King
claimed the colonies as his patrimony, and intended to raise a revenue
in each province; and that, having gained this point, his purpose was
to govern England by America and America by England, and thereby
subvert liberty and establish tyranny in both, as the kings of France
had done by means of the various parliaments in that country. Mr. Dyer
declared he had this information from the best authority in England,
and added, that the liberties of both countries depended on America
resisting the Stamp Act, even unto blood. These and such like reveries
supplied the ministers of the Gospel with a great body of political
divinity, and the mob with courage to break Churchmen’s windows, and
cry out, “No bishops! no popery! no kings, lords, and tyrants!”
Everything but decency and order overran the colony. Indeed, the
General Assembly kept up their meetings, but it was only to transact
such business as was not affected by the Stamp Act. The mobs of the
fasting ministers continued their lawless proceedings, without further
interruption and impediment than what they met with from the strenuous
exertions of the King’s friends, who had repeatedly saved the lives of
the stamp-master, Governor Fitch, the five rejected councillors, the
episcopal clergy, and many good subjects, at the hazard of their own,
though they could not preserve them from daily abuse and insult.

The mob, having been spirited up and trained to violence and outrage
for several months, began to make some alarm even to the instigators,
especially as they were hitherto disappointed in their expectations of
the act being repealed. The Governor and Council, therefore, directing
their attention to the dangerous consequences of the lawless state and
refractory temper the people were in, and being struck with the
foresight of their own perilous situation, resolved, early in 1766, to
open the courts of law under the Stamp Act, if the very next packet
did not bring certain advices of its repeal; and all parties who had
causes depending in any court were to be duly notified by the
Governor’s proclamation. This determination was no less mortifying to
the mob than gratifying to the King’s friends, who were convinced that
the Stamp Act ought, both in policy and justice, to be enforced, and
therefore had risked their lives, fortunes, characters, and colonial
honours in its support. The patriots, now apparently sickened with
licentiousness, became very complaisant to the loyalists, declaring
that, in all their opposition to the Stamp Act, they had meant nothing
personal, and desiring to have past animosities buried in oblivion.
All things thus settled, tranquillity seemed to be returning; when,
lo! the packet arrived with the fatal news of the repeal of the Stamp
Act. Then a double portion of madness seized the patriots, who, in
their excess of joy “that victory was gained over the beast, and over
his mark,” utterly forgot their late penitential and tranquil
professions, branding the King’s friends with the appellations of
tories, Jacobites, and papists. The Gospel ministers left off their
fastings, and turned mourning into joy and triumph. “Now we behold,”
they said in their pulpits, “that Great Britain is afraid of us; for
the Stamp Act is repealed, even upon the petition of an illegal body
of men. If, therefore, we stand fast in the liberties wherein Christ
has made us free, we need not fear in future the usurpations of the
kings, lords, and bishops of England.” The accompanying claim of
Parliament to the power of binding America in all cases whatsoever
was, indeed, a thorn which galled them much; but they found a salvo in
ordering a copy of the repeal to be burnt under the gallows by the
common hangman. The General Assembly also stepped forward, and voted
the populace several barrels of powder, and puncheons of rum, together
with 100_l._ in money, to celebrate the festival. A tremendous mob met
together at Hertford and received their present. The powder was placed
in a large brick school, and the rum on the common square. While each
one was contending for his share, the powder took fire and blew up the
school, killing fifteen or sixteen persons, and wounding many. This
disaster shook the house where the Consociation was sitting; upon
which they resolved that Heaven did not approve of their rejoicings
because the repeal was but partial! They therefore ordered a new fast,
to do away the iniquities of that day, and to implore the Supreme to
direct them in what manner to guard against the machinations of “the
locusts who had a king over them, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is
Abaddon, but in the Greek Apollyon!”

This fast was cooked up with a favourite text in New-England, viz. “He
reproved even kings for their sake.” From these words the preachers
proved that the King’s power lay in his mouth, and in his tail, which,
like “a serpent, did hurt for a month and a year;” and that God would
protect his people against “the murderers, the sorceries, the
fornication, the thefts” of bishops, popes, and kings, “and make
nations angry, and give them power to judge and destroy those who
would destroy his prophets and his saints.” In this day of great
humiliation the prophets entertained the saints with a spice of
rejoicing, because “victory was gotten over the beast, and over his
image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.”
“Therefore,” said they, “rejoice, O inhabitants of the earth and of
the sea, because we can get, buy, and sell, without the mark, or the
name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

This bombastic declamation against the authority of Great Britain
raised the passions of a great portion of this multitude higher than
was intended. They had lately been tutored to form high notions of
their own consequence, had been intoxicated with a life of confusion
in a lawless country, and had now no relish for a government of any
kind whatever; accordingly, inflamed by the rhapsodies of the
preachers, they set themselves against that of the colony; arguing
that if the Lord would reprove kings, lords, and bishops, for their
sake, he would also reprove governors, magistrates, and consociations,
for their sakes.

This revolt of a part of the people was encouraged and strengthened by
the adherents of Governor Fitch, the five discarded councillors, and
the loyalists; so that very formidable bodies soon appeared in divers
towns, threatening destruction to the General Assembly, Consociation,
Associations, executive courts, &c. &c. Colonel Street Hall, of
Wallingford, a loyalist, was appointed governor over these supreme
multitudes. They soon acquainted the General Assembly and Consociation
that, by the authority that England had been reformed, by the same
authority should Connecticut be reformed; and Mr. Hall sent a letter
to the Judges of the County Court, then sitting at Newhaven,
purporting that it was not agreeable to the people for them to
continue their proceedings, or that any executions should be granted,
and concluding thus: “Ye that have ears to hear, hear what is said
unto you; for we shall quickly come.” The judges, without hesitation
or adjournment, ran out of court and went home as privately as
possible. The merchants, the Gospel ministers, the lawyers, and
judges, who had with great zeal inculcated the divine right of the
people to resist kings, found themselves in a starving condition under
the exercise of their boasted right. The General Assembly and
Association, however, again convened, and, after much fasting and
prayer, resolved that the conduct of Street Hall, Esq. and his
associates, was seditious and treasonable; and ordered the
Attorney-General, Colonel Elihu Hall, to indict his nephew, Street
Hall, for treasonable practices. The Attorney-General refused to
comply with this mandate, whereupon he was dismissed, and James
Hillhouse, Esq. appointed in his place, who indicted Street Hall; but
no sheriff dared serve the warrant. Street Hall ordered his people to
prepare for battle and to be ready at a minute’s warning, and rode
about with one servant, in defiance of the General Assembly, who
likewise prepared to support their power. It is most likely that
Street Hall would have prevailed had an engagement taken place; for
the episcopalians, and all the friends of Mr. Fitch and the five
dismissed councillors, would have supported Mr. Hall. But a battle was
prevented by the interposition of the Consociation, with this curious
Gospel axiom, viz. that it was legal and politic in the people to
oppose and resist the foreign power which was unjustly claimed by the
King of Great Britain; but it was neither politic nor right to oppose
the magistrates and laws made by themselves. They prevailed on Street
Hall to condescend to write to the General Assembly to this effect:
“That he was a friend to the laws and constitution of the colony, and
wished to support both; and should do it, on condition that they would
rescind their vote, and that no one should be prosecuted for what had
been done by him and his associates.” The Assembly very gladly voted
this overture of Street Hall to be satisfactory; and thus peace was
re-established between the Assembly and Street Hall. Nevertheless, Mr.
Hall was greatly censured by his partisans for this compromise; and he
lived in constant expectation of their hanging him, till he softened
them by this remarkable address in vindication of his conduct: “We
have done,” said he, “everything in our power to support the authority
of the British Parliament over the colonies. We have lost our
property, local reputations, and all colonial offices and respect
among our countrymen, in defence of that King and Parliament who have
not shed a tear for our sufferings, nor failed to sacrifice their own
dignities and their best friends to please a party that never will be
easy until another Oliver arise and extirpate kings, lords, and
bishops. By heavens!” added Street Hall, with great energy, “I will
rest my life upon this single question, Who would stand up in defence
of a king who prefers his enemies to his friends? If you acquit me, I
shall more fully declare my principles.”

The mob, after much consideration, declared their approbation of Mr.
Hall’s conduct; upon which he resumed his address nearly as follows:

“Gentlemen, we have once been betrayed and forsaken by the King and
Parliament of Great Britain; no dependence, then, ought henceforth to
be placed upon either. It is plain to me, that if we had extirpated
the General Assembly and all the avowed enemies of the constitution of
Great Britain, yet that very Parliament would have been the first of
all the creation to honour us with a gallows for our reward. I
therefore swear by Him who controls the wheels of time, that in future
I will support the laws and dignity of the colony, and never more put
any confidence in princes or British Parliament. The Saviour of the
world trusted Judas but once; and it is my opinion that those who
betray and forsake their friends ought to experience the wrath and
indignation of friends turned enemies. In this case, baseness is
policy, ingratitude loyalty, and revenge heroic virtue!”

Colonel Street Hall spoke with great vehemence, and might be censured
for rashness by people who were not in America at the time; but his
sentiments reached the hearts of half of the King’s friends there; for
the repeal of the Stamp Act had fixed in their breasts an everlasting
hatred to the fickle temper of Britons.

Few people, hereafter, will advance a sixpence in support of any acts
of the Parliament of Great Britain over her colonies. Prior to the
year 1766 such a public spirit prevailed in America over private
interest as would naturally have led the people to conform to any acts
of the British Parliament, from a deep-rooted confidence that the
requisitions of Britain would be no other than the requisitions of
wisdom and necessity. Two-thirds, I may say with safety, of all the
people in America thought there was wisdom and justice in the Stamp
Act, and wished to have it continued: first, because they were
sensible of being greatly indebted to the generosity and protection of
Britain; secondly, because they had rather be subject to the control
of Parliament in regard to a revenue, than have it raised by the
authority of their own Assemblies, who favour the rich and oppress the
poor; and thirdly, because the Stamp Act would have prevented
innumerable suits at law, the costs of which, in Connecticut, have
during the last forty years amounted to ten times as much as all
others for war, gospel, physic, the poor, &c. &c. It is impossible to
describe the disappointment and mortification they suffered by the
repeal of that act; it exposed them to calumny, derision, and
oppression; it disheartened all, and occasioned the defection of many,
while their adversaries triumphed in the encouragement it had given
them to prosecute their malicious schemes against the Church, King,
laws, and commerce of England. However, in regard to the question of
raising a revenue in America, I have never met with one American who
would not allow (though unwillingly) the reasonableness of it, with
certain conditions and provisos.

Thus: 1. The judges and lawyers required the tax to be imposed by the
General Assembly of each province. 2. The merchants, whose conscience
is gain, and who commonly constitute more than half of the Assembly,
declared that, before any revenue was raised, the Navigation Act
should be repealed, and the East India Company, and all the
monopolies, dissolved. 3. The Gospel ministers, whose power in
New-England is terrible to flesh and spirit, would contribute to a
revenue after the King and Parliament had dropped their claim to
supreme authority over America, and secured the American Vine against
the domination and usurpations of bishops. To these sources may be
traced all the objections made against a revenue in America, which
sprung from three orders of men of the least real benefit to the
country, and whose proportion to all others there is not one to a
hundred; though they have had the art and address, by imposition and
delusion, to involve them in their tumultuous contentions and ruinous
projects and undertakings. Indeed, the clergy, lawyers, and merchants
of European countries have been represented as the worst enemies of
society--the great promoters of discord, war, insurrections, and
rebellions; but the heathen have not yet given us an example how
depraved mankind would be without them. However, supposing the
crimination to have foundation, there is one good reason to be offered
in palliation of it. Most governments are too apt to adopt the maxim
of rewarding prosperous opposing zealots, whilst the exertions of
oppressed friends are passed over, if not with contempt at least with
silent neglect. Hence, men will naturally be induced, in defiance of
law and gospel, to head parties, to become consequential in the world.

     [1] Commonly denominated the London and Plymouth Companies.

     [2] About two years after, he made a second voyage to the
     river, in the service of a number of Dutch merchants; and,
     some time after, made sale of his right to the Dutch. The
     right to the country, however, was antecedently in King
     James, by virtue of discovery which Hudson had made under
     his commission. The English protested against this sale; but
     the Dutch, in 1614, under the Amsterdam West India Company,
     built a fort, nearly on the same grounds where the city of
     Albany now is, which they called Fort Aurania. Sir Thomas
     Dale, Governor of Virginia, directly after dispatched
     Captain Argall to dispossess the Dutch, and they submitted
     to the King of England, and under him to the Governor of

     [3] November 3, 1620, just before the arrival of Mr.
     Robinson’s people in New England, King James I., by
     letters-patent, under the great seal of England,
     incorporated the Duke of Lenox, the Marquises of Rockingham
     and Hamilton, the Earls of Arundel and Warwick, and others,
     to the number of forty noblemen, knights, and gentlemen, by
     the name of “the Council established at Plymouth, in the
     county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, and governing of
     New England in America … and granting unto them, and their
     successors and assigns, all that part of America lying and
     being in breadth from forty degrees of north latitude, from
     the equinoctial line, to the forty-eighth degree of said
     north latitude inclusively, and in length of and within all
     the breadth aforesaid, through the mainland from sea to

     The patent ordained that this tract of country should be
     called New England in America, and by that name have
     continuance forever.

     [4] The same year in which the patent of Massachusetts
     received the royal confirmation, Mr. John Endicott was sent
     over with about three hundred people by the patentees, to
     prepare the way for the settlement of a permanent colony in
     that part of New England.

     They arrived at Naumkeak in June, and began a settlement,
     which they named “Salem.” This was the first town in
     Massachusetts, and the second in New England.

     [5] Mather, Neal, Hutchinson, and other writers of New
     England history, have uniformly deviated from the truth in
     representing Connecticut as having been first settled by
     emigrants from their darling Massachusetts Bay.

     [6] Nearly at the same time, October 8, 1635, Mr. John
     Winthrop, son of Governor Winthrop, of Massachusetts,
     arrived at Boston with a commission from Lord Say and Seal,
     Lord Brook, and other noblemen and gentlemen interested in
     the Connecticut patent, to erect a fort at the mouth of the
     Connecticut River. Their lordships sent over men, ordnance,
     ammunition, and two thousand pounds sterling, for the
     accomplishment of their design.

     Mr. Winthrop was directed by his commission, immediately on
     his arrival, to repair to Connecticut with fifty able men,
     and to erect the fortifications and to build houses for the
     garrison, and for gentlemen who might come over into
     Connecticut. They were first to build houses for their own
     present accommodation, and after that such as should be
     suitable for the reception of men of quality. The latter
     were to be erected within the fort.

     It was required that the planters at the beginning should
     settle themselves near the mouth of the river, and set down
     in bodies, that they might be in a situation for intrenching
     and defending themselves. The commission made provision for
     the reservation of a thousand or fifteen hundred acres of
     good land for the maintenance of the fort, as nearly
     adjoining it as might be with convenience.

     Mr. Winthrop, having intelligence that the Dutch were
     preparing to take possession of the mouth of the river, as
     soon as he could engage twenty men and furnish them with
     provisions, dispatched them in a small vessel of about
     thirty tons, to prevent their getting command of the river,
     and to accomplish the service to which he had been

     But a few days after the party sent by Mr. Winthrop arrived
     at the mouth of the river, a Dutch vessel appeared off the
     harbor from New Netherlands, sent on purpose to take
     possession of the mouth of the river and to erect
     fortifications. The English had by this time mounted two
     pieces of cannon and prevented their landing; thus,
     providentially, was this fine tract of country preserved for
     our venerable ancestors and their posterity.

     Mr. Winthrop was appointed Governor of the Connecticut River
     and the ports adjacent for the term of one year. He erected
     a fort, built houses, and made a settlement, according to
     his instructions. One David Gardiner, an expert engineer,
     assisted in the work, planned the fortifications, and was
     appointed lieutenant of the fort.

     Mr. Davenport and others, who afterward settled New Haven,
     were active in this affair, and hired Gardiner, in behalf of
     their lordships, to come to New England and assist in this

     As the settlement of the three towns on Connecticut River
     was begun before the arrival of Mr. Winthrop, and the design
     of their lordships to make plantations upon it was known, it
     was agreed that the settlers on the river should either
     remove upon full satisfaction being made by their lordships,
     or else sufficient room should be found for them and their
     companions at some other place.

     While these plantations were forming in the southwestern
     part of Connecticut, another commenced on the west side of
     the mouth of the Connecticut River. A fort had been built
     here in 1635-’36, and preparations had been made for the
     reception of gentlemen of quality; but the war with the
     Pequots, the uncultivated state of the country, and the low
     condition of the colony, prevented the coming of any
     principal character from England to take possession of a
     township and make settlement in this tract.

     Until this time there had been only a garrison of about
     twenty men in the place. They had made some small
     improvements in the lands, and erected a few buildings in
     the vicinity of the fort; but there had been no settlement
     of a plantation with civil privileges. But about midsummer
     Mr. George Fenwick, with his lady and family, arrived in a
     ship of two hundred and fifty tons; another ship came in
     company with him. They were both for Qunnipiack.

     Mr. Fenwick and others came over with the view to take
     possession of a large tract upon the river in behalf of
     their lordships, the original patentees, and to plant a town
     at the mouth of the river. A settlement was soon made, and
     named Saybrook, in honor of their lordships, Say and Seal,
     and Brook.

     Mr. Fenwick, Mr. Thomas Peters, who was the first minister
     in the plantation, Captain Gardiner, Thomas Leffingwell,
     Thomas Tracy, and Captain John Mason, were some of the
     principal planters.

     [7] In July, 1638, Mr. Winslow and Mr. Bradford, therefore,
     made a journey to Boston to confer with Governor Winthrop
     and his Council on the subject. Governor Winslow and Mr.
     Bradford proposed to them to join with Plymouth in a trade
     to Connecticut for hemp and beaver, and to erect a house for
     the purpose of commerce. It was represented as necessary to
     prevent the Dutch from taking possession of that fine
     country, who, it was reported, were about to build upon the
     river. But Governor Winthrop declined the motion; he
     considered it was not proper to make a plantation there,
     because there were three or four thousand warlike Indians
     upon the river, and small pinnaces only could enter at high
     water; also, because that seven months in the year no
     vessels could go into it, by reason of the ice and the
     violence of the stream.

     The Plymouth people, therefore, determined to undertake the
     enterprise at their own risk. Preparations were made for
     erecting a trading-house and establishing a small company on
     the river. In the mean time, the master of a vessel from
     Massachusetts, who was trading at New Netherlands, showed to
     Walter Van Twiller, the Dutch Governor, the commission which
     the English had to trade and settle in New England, and that
     his Majesty the King of England had granted all these parts
     to his own subjects. He, therefore, desired that the Dutch
     would not build at Connecticut.

     This appears to have been done at the direction of Governor
     Winthrop, for, in consequence of it, the Dutch Governor
     wrote a very complaisant letter to him, in which he
     represented that the lords, the States-General, had granted
     the same country to the West India Company. He requested,
     therefore that the English would make no settlements in
     Connecticut until the affair should be determined between
     the court of England and the States-General.

     This appears to have been a piece of policy in the Dutch
     Governor to keep the English still until the Dutch had got a
     firm footing upon the river.

     Several vessels this year went to Connecticut River to
     trade. John Oldham, from Dorchester, and three men with him,
     also traveled through the wilderness to Connecticut, to view
     the country and trade with the Indians. The sachem upon the
     river made him most welcome, and gave him a present in
     beaver. He found that the Indian hemp grew spontaneously in
     the meadows in great abundance. He purchased a quantity of
     it, and upon trial it appeared much to exceed the hemp which
     was grown in England.

     William Holmes, of Portsmouth, with his company, having
     prepared the frame of a house, with boards, and materials
     for covering it immediately, put them on board of a vessel
     and sailed for Connecticut. Holmes had a commission from the
     Governor of Plymouth and a chosen company to accomplish his

     When he came into the river he found that the Dutch had got
     in before him, made a light fort, and planted two pieces of
     cannon: this was erected at the place called Hartford.

     The Dutch forbade Holmes going up the river, stood by their
     cannon, and ordered him to strike his colors or they would
     fire upon him; but he was a man of spirit, assured them that
     he had a commission from the Governor of Plymouth to go up
     the river, and that he must obey his orders. They poured out
     their threats, but he proceeded, and, landing on the west
     side of the river, erected his house a little below the
     mouth of the small river in Windsor. The house was covered
     with the utmost dispatch, and fortified with palisadoes. The
     sachems who were the original owners of the soil had been
     driven from this part of the country by the Pequots, and
     were now carried home on board of Holmes’s vessel. Of them
     the Plymouth people purchased the land on which they erected
     their house. “This,” Governor Wolcott says, “was the first
     house erected in Connecticut.” The Dutch about the same time
     erected a trading-house at Hartford, which they called the
     “Hirse of Good Hope.”

     It was with great difficulty that Holmes and his company
     erected and fortified their house, and kept it afterward.
     The Indians were offended at their bringing home the
     original proprietors and lords of the country, and the Dutch
     that they had settled there, and were about to rival them in
     trade and in possession of these excellent lands upon the
     river. They were obliged, therefore, to combat both, and to
     keep a constant watch upon them.

     The Dutch, before the Plymouth people took possession of the
     river, had invited them in an amicable manner to trade in
     Connecticut; but, when they were apprised that they were
     making preparations for a settlement there, they repented
     the invitation, and spared no exertion to prevent them.

     On the 8th of June the Dutch had sent Jacob Van Curter to
     purchase lands upon the Connecticut. He made a purchase of
     about twenty acres at Hartford, of Nepuquash, a Pequot
     captain. Of this the Dutch took possession in October, and
     on the 25th of the month Curter protested against William
     Holmes, the builder of the Plymouth house. Some time
     afterward the Dutch Governor, Walter Van Twiller, of Fort
     Amsterdam, dispatched a reënforcement to Connecticut,
     designing to drive Holmes and his company from the river. A
     band of seventy men, under arms, with banners displayed,
     assaulted the Plymouth house, but they found it so well
     fortified, and the men who kept it so vigilant and
     determined, that it could not be taken without bloodshed;
     they therefore came to a parley, and finally returned in

     About the beginning of June, 1636, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Stone,
     and about one hundred men, women, and children, took their
     departure from Cambridge, and traveled more than one hundred
     miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness to
     Hartford. They had no guide but their compass; made their
     way over mountains, through swamps, thickets, and rivers,
     which were not passable but with difficulty. They had no
     cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but what simple
     Nature afforded them. They drove with them one hundred and
     sixty head of cattle, and by the way subsisted upon the milk
     of their cows. Mrs. Hooker was borne through the wilderness
     upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs,
     arms, and utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on their

     [8] While the planters of Connecticut were thus exerting
     themselves in prosecuting and regulating the affairs of that
     colony, another was projected and settled at Quinnipiack,
     and afterward called New Haven. On the 26th of July, 1637,
     Mr. John Davenport, Mr. Samuel Eaton, Theophilus Eaton, and
     Edward Hopkins, Esquires, Mr. Thomas Gregson, and many
     others of good character and fortune, arrived in Boston.

     Mr. Davenport had been a famous minister in the city of
     London, and was a distinguished character for piety,
     learning, and good conduct. Many of his congregation, on
     account of the esteem which they had for his person and
     ministry, followed him to New England.

     Mr. Eaton and Mr. Hopkins had been merchants in London,
     possessed great estates, and were men of eminence for their
     abilities and integrity.

     The fame of Davenport, and the reputation and good estates
     of the principal gentlemen of his company, made the people
     of Massachusetts exceedingly desirous of their settlement in
     that Commonwealth.

     Great pains were taken not only by particular persons and
     towns, but by the General Court, to fix them in the colony.

     Charlestown made them large offers, and Newbury proposed to
     give up the whole town to them. The General Court offered
     them any place which they should select. But they were
     determined to plant a distant colony. By the pursuit of the
     Pequots to the westward, the English became acquainted with
     that fine tract along the shore from Saybrook to Fairfield,
     and with its several harbors. It was represented as
     fruitful, and happily situated for navigation and commerce.

     The company, therefore, projected a settlement in that part
     of the country.

     In the fall of 1637 Mr. Eaton and others who were of the
     company made a journey to Connecticut to explore the lands
     and harbors on the sea-coast. They pitched upon Quinnipiack
     for the place of their settlement. They erected a poor hut,
     in which a few men subsisted through the winter.

     On the 30th of March, 1638, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Prudden, Mr.
     Samuel Eaton, and Theophilus Eaton, Esquire, with the people
     of their company, sailed from Boston to Quinnipiack. In
     about a fortnight they arrived at their desired port.

     On the 14th of April they kept their first Sabbath in the

     The people assembled under a large, spreading oak, and Mr.
     Davenport preached to them from Matthew v. 1. He discoursed
     on the temptations of man, and made such observations as
     were pertinent to the then present state of his hearers. He
     left this remark, that he enjoyed a good day.

     [9] “New England Records,” A., p. 201.

     [10] While the colonists were thus prosecuting the business
     of settlement in New England, the Right Honorable James,
     Marquis of Hamilton, obtained a grant from the Council of
     Plymouth April 20, 1635, of all that tract of country which
     lies between Connecticut River and Narraganset River and
     harbor, from the mouth of each of said rivers northward
     sixty miles into the country.

     However, by reason of its interference with the grant to
     Lords Say and Brook, and others, or for some other reason,
     the deed was never executed.

     The marquis made no settlement on the land, and the claim
     became obsolete.

     [11] Such numbers were constantly emigrating to New England,
     in consequence of the persecution of the Puritans, that the
     people of Dorchester, Watertown, and Newtown, began to be
     much straitened by the accession of new planters.

     By those who had been in Connecticut they had received
     intelligence of the excellent meadows on the river; they
     therefore determined to remove, and once more brave the
     dangers and hardships of making settlements in a dreary

     Upon application to the General Court for the enlargement of
     their boundaries, or for liberty to remove, they at first
     obtained consent for the latter. However, when it was
     afterward discovered that their determination was to plant a
     new colony in Connecticut, there arose a strong opposition;
     so that, when the Court convened, in September, there was a
     warm debate on the subject, and a great division between the
     Houses. Indeed, the whole colony was affected with the

     Mr. Hooker, who was more engaged in the enterprise than the
     other ministers, took up the affair and pleaded for the
     people. He urged that they were so straitened for
     accommodations for their cattle, that they could not support
     the ministry, neither receive nor assist any more of their
     friends who might come over to them. He insisted that the
     planting of towns so near together was a fundamental error
     in their policy. He pleaded the fertility and happy
     accommodations of Connecticut; that settlements upon the
     river were necessary to prevent the Dutch, and others, from
     possessing themselves of so fruitful and important a part of
     the country; and that the minds of the people were strongly
     inclined to plant themselves there, in preference to every
     other place which had come to their knowledge.

     On the other side, it was insisted that, in point of
     conscience, they ought not to depart, as they were united to
     Massachusetts as one body, and bound by oath to seek the
     good of the Commonwealth; and that, on principles of policy,
     it could not by any means be granted. It was pleaded that
     the settlement in Massachusetts was new and weak; they were
     in danger from an assault from their enemies; that the
     departure of Mr. Hooker, and the people of those towns,
     would not only draw off many from Massachusetts, but prevent
     others from settling in the colony. Besides, it was said
     that the removing of a candlestick was a great judgment;
     that, by suffering it, they should expose their brethren to
     great danger, both from the Dutch and the Indians. Indeed,
     it was affirmed that they might be accommodated by the
     enlargements offered them by other towns.

     After a long and warm debate, the Governor, two assistants,
     and a majority of the representatives, were for granting
     liberty for Mr. Hooker and the people to transport
     themselves to Connecticut. The Deputy-Governor, however, and
     six of the assistants, were in the negative, and so no vote
     was obtained.

     The next May the Newtown people determined to settle at
     Connecticut, renewed their application to the General Court,
     and obtained liberty to remove to any place which they
     should select, with the proviso that they should continue
     under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts.--ED. NOTE.

     [12] Dominion, in New England, signifies a sovereign,
     independent state, uncontrollable by any other earthly

     [13] The Indian mode of counting is from one to twenty.
     Every year they cut a notch in a stick, and when the stick
     is full, or has twenty notches on it, they lay it up and
     take another. When they have thus cut twenty sticks, they
     reckon no more; the number of twenty times twenty with them
     becomes infinite, or incomprehensible.--ED. NOTE.

     [14] It was the opinion of the principal divines who settled
     in New England and Connecticut that in every church
     completely organized there was a pastor, teacher, ruling
     elder, and deacons.

     Three distinct offices, they said, were clearly taught in
     those passages.--Romans xii. 7: “Or ministry, let us wait on
     our ministering; or he that teacheth on teaching.” 1 Timothy
     v. 17: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of
     double honor, especially they who labor in the word and
     doctrine.” 1 Corinthians xii. 28: “And God has set some in
     the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
     teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps,
     governments, diversities of tongues.” And Ephesians iv. 11:
     “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
     evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” From these
     they argued the duty of all churches which were able to be
     thus furnished. In this manner were the churches of
     Hartford, Windsor, New Haven, and other towns, organized.

     The churches which were not able to support a pastor and
     teacher had the ruling elders and deacons.

     The ruling elders were ordained with no less solemnity than
     their pastors and teachers. When no teacher could be
     obtained, the pastor performed the duty of both pastor and

     It was the general opinion that the pastor’s work consisted
     principally in exhortation, in working upon the will and
     affections of the people. To this the whole force of his
     study was to be directed, that by his judicious, powerful,
     and affectionate addresses he might win his hearers to the
     love and practice of the truth. But the teacher was _Doctor
     in Ecclesia_, whose business was to teach, and explain, and
     defend the doctrines of Christianity. He was to inform the
     judgment, and advance the work of illumination.

     The business of the ruling elder was to assist the pastor in
     the government of the church. He was particularly set apart
     to watch over all its members; to prepare and bring forward
     all cases of discipline; to visit and pray with the sick;
     and, in absence of the pastor and teacher, to pray with the
     congregation and expound the Scriptures.

     The pastors and churches of New England maintained with the
     reformed churches in general that bishops and presbyters
     were only different names for the same office; and that all
     pastors regularly elected to the gospel ministry were
     Scripture bishops. They also insisted, agreeably to the
     primitive practice, that the work of every pastor was
     confined principally to one particular church and
     congregation, who could all assemble in one place, whom he
     could inspect, and who could all unite together in acts of
     worship and discipline. Indeed, the first ministers of
     Connecticut and New England at first maintained that all the
     pastor’s office power was confined to his own church and
     congregation, and that the administering of baptism and the
     Lord’s Supper in other churches was irregular.

     With respect to ordination, they held that it did not
     constitute the essentials of ministerial office; but the
     qualifications for office were the election of the church,
     guided by the rule of Christ, and the acceptance of the
     pastor-elect. Says Mr. Hooker, “Ordination is an approbation
     of the officer, and solemn setting and confirmation of him
     in his office by prayer and laying on of hands.”

     It was viewed by the ministers of New England as no more
     than putting the pastor-elect in office, or a solemn
     recommending of him and his labors to the blessing of God.
     It was the general opinion that elders ought to lay on hands
     in ordination if there were a presbytery in the church, but,
     if there were not, the church might appoint some other
     elders, or a number of the brethren, to perform that
     service.--ED. NOTE.

     [15] On the 4th of June, 1689, all the free planters at
     Quinnipiack convened in a large barn of Mr. Newman’s, and,
     in a very formal and solemn manner, proceeded to lay the
     foundations of their civil and religious polity.

     Mr. Davenport introduced the business by a sermon from the
     words of the royal preacher, “Wisdom has builded her house,
     she has hewn out seven pillars.”

     His design was to show that the church, the house of God,
     should be formed of seven pillars, or principal brethren, to
     whom all the other members of the church should be added.
     After a solemn invocation of the Divine Majesty, he
     proceeded to represent to the planters that they were met to
     consult respecting the settlement of civil government,
     according to the will of God, and for the nomination of
     persons who, by universal consent, were in all respects the
     best qualified for the foundation-work of a church. He
     enlarged on the great importance of the transactions before
     them, and desired that no man would give his voice in any
     matter until he fully understood it, and that all would act
     without respect to any man, but give their vote in the fear
     of God.

     He then proposed a number of questions, in consequence of
     which the following resolutions were passed:

       1. That the Scriptures hold forth a perfect rule for the
       direction and government of all men in all duties which
       they are to perform to God and man, as well in families
       and commonwealth as in matters of church.

       2. That as in matters which concerned the gathering and
       ordering of a church, so likewise in all public offices
       which concern civil order, as the choice of magistrates
       and officers, making and repealing laws, dividing
       allotments of inheritance, and all things of like nature,
       they would all be governed by those rules which the
       Scripture held forth to them.

       3. That all those who had desired to be received as free
       planters had settled in the plantation with a purpose,
       resolution, and desire, that they might be admitted into
       church-fellowship, according to Christ.

       4. That all free planters held themselves bound to
       establish such civil order as might best conduce to the
       securing of the purity and peace of the ordinance to
       themselves and their posterity, according to God.

       When these resolutions had been passed, and the people had
       bound themselves to settle civil government according to
       the divine word, Mr. Davenport proceeded to represent to
       them what men they must choose according to the divine
       word, that they might most effectually secure to
       themselves and their posterity a just, free, and peaceable

       Time was then given to discuss and deliberate upon what
       had been proposed. After full discussion and deliberation,
       it was determined:

       5. That the church-members only should be free burgesses,
       and that they should choose magistrates, among themselves,
       to have power of transacting all the public civil affairs
       of the plantation, of making and repealing laws, dividing
       inheritances, deciding of differences that may arise, and
       doing all things and business of a like nature.

       That civil officers might be chosen and government proceed
       according to these resolutions, it was necessary that a
       church should be formed. Without this there could be
       neither freedmen nor magistrates. Mr. Davenport thereupon
       proceeded to make proposals relative to forming it, in
       such a manner that no blemish might be left on the
       “beginnings of church work.” It was then resolved to this

       6. That twelve men should be chosen, that their fitness
       for the foundation-work might be tried, and that it should
       be in the power of those twelve men to choose seven to
       begin the church.

     It was agreed that if seven men could not be found among the
     twelve qualified for the foundation-work, that such other
     persons should be taken into the number, upon trial, as
     should be judged more suitable. The form of a solemn charge,
     or oath, was drawn up and agreed upon at this meeting, to be
     given to all the freemen.

     Further, it was ordered that all persons who should be
     received as free planters of that corporation, should submit
     to the fundamental agreement above related, and, in
     testimony of their submission, should subscribe their names
     among the freemen. Sixty-three subscribed on the 4th of
     June, and soon after fifty other names were added.

     After a proper term of trial, Theophilus Eaton, Mr. John
     Davenport, Robert Newman, Matthew Gilbert, Thomas Fugill,
     John Punderson, and Jeremiah Dixon, were chosen for the
     seven pillars of the church.

     October 25, 1639, the Court, as it is termed, consisting of
     these seven persons only, convened, and after a solemn
     address to the Supreme Majesty, they proceeded to form a
     body of freemen, and to elect civil officers. The manner
     was, indeed, singular and curious.

     In the first place, all former trust for managing the public
     affairs of the plantation was declared to cease, and be
     utterly abrogated. Then all those who had been admitted to
     the church after the gathering of it in the choice of the
     seven pillars, and all the members of other approved
     churches who desired it, and offered themselves, were
     admitted members of the Court.

     A solemn charge was then publicly given them, to the same
     effect as the freemen’s charge, or oath, which they had
     previously adopted. The purport of this was nearly the same
     with the oath of fidelity at the present time.

     Mr. Davenport expounded several scriptural texts to them,
     describing the character of civil magistrates given in the
     sacred oracles. Theophilus Eaton, Esq., was chosen Governor;
     Mr. Robert Newman, Matthew Gilbert, Nathaniel Turner, and
     Thomas Fugill, were chosen magistrates; Mr. Fugill was also
     chosen secretary, and Robert Seeley, marshal.

     Mr. Davenport gave Governor Eaton a charge, in open Court,
     from Deuteronomy i. 16, 17.

     It was decreed by the freemen that there should be a General
     Court annually in the plantation, on the first week in
     October. This was ordained a court of election in which all
     the officers of the colony were to be chosen. This Court
     determined that the word of God should be the only rule for
     ordering affairs of government in that Commonwealth.

     This was the original fundamental Constitution of the
     government of New Haven. All government was originally in
     the church, and the members of the church elected the
     Governor, magistrates, and other officers. The magistrates
     at first were no more than assistants of the Governor; they
     might not act in any sentence or determination of the Court.

     No Deputy-Governor was chosen, nor were any laws enacted,
     except the general resolutions which have been noticed; but
     as the plantation enlarged, and new towns were settled, new
     orders were given; the General Court received a new form,
     laws were enacted, and the civil polity of this jurisdiction
     gradually advanced, in its essential parts, to a near
     resemblance of the government of Connecticut.

     Upon these resolutions were based the “Blue Laws” which will
     appear in the work.--ED. NOTE.

     [16] William, Thomas, and Hugh Peters were brothers, and
     born in Fowery, in Cornwall, in Old England. Their father
     was a merchant of great property, and their mother was
     Elizabeth Treffry, daughter of John Treffry, Esq., of a very
     ancient and opulent family in Fowery. William was educated
     at Leyden, Thomas at Oxford, and Hugh at Cambridge
     Universities. About the year 1610 and 1620, Thomas and Hugh
     were clergymen in London, and William was a private
     gentleman. About 1628 Thomas and Hugh, rendered obnoxious by
     their popularity and Puritanism, were silenced by the Bishop
     of London. They then went to Holland, and remained there
     till 1633, when they returned to London. The three brothers
     sold their landed property, and went to New-England in 1634.
     Hugh settled at Salem, and became too popular for Mather and
     Cotton. He was soon appointed one of the Trustees of the
     College at New-Cambridge. He built a grand house, and
     purchased a large tract of land.--The yard before his house
     he paved with flint-stones from England; and, having dug a
     well, he paved that round with flint-stones also, for the
     accommodation of every inhabitant in want of water. It bears
     the name of Peters’s Spring to this day.--He married a second
     wife, by whom he had one daughter named Elizabeth. The
     renown of this zealot increasing, he received an invitation
     to remove from Salem to Boston, and, complying with it, he
     there laid the foundation-stone of the great Meeting-House,
     of which the Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper, one of the most learned
     of the Literati in America, is the present minister. Mather
     and Cotton ill brooked being out-rivalled by Hugh; yet,
     finding him an orthodox fanatic, and more perfect than
     themselves, they seemingly bowed to his superiority, at the
     same time that they laid a snare for his destruction. In
     1641 those envious pastors conspired with the Court at
     Boston to convert their Bishop Hugh into a Politician, and
     appoint him agent to Great Britain.--The Plot succeeded; and
     Hugh assumed his agency under colour of petitioning for some
     abatement of customs and excise; but his real commission was
     to foment the civil discontents, jars, and wars, then
     prevailing between the King and Parliament.--Hugh did not see
     into the policy of Mather and Cotton; and he had a strong
     inclination to chastise the Bishops and Court, who had
     turned him out of the Church for his fanatical conduct. On
     his arrival in London, the Parliament took him into their
     service.--The Earls of Warwick and Essex were also his
     patrons.--In 1644, the Parliament gave him Archbishop Laud’s
     library; and soon after made him Head of the Archbishop’s
     Court, and gave him his estate and palace at Lambeth:--all of
     which Hugh kept till the Restoration, when he paid for his
     zeal, his puritanism, and rebellion, on a gibbet at
     Charing-Cross.--His daughter married a merchant in Newport,
     Rhode-Island, and lived and died with an excellent
     character.--Her Father having met with so tragical an end, I
     omit to mention her Husband’s name, whose Posterity live in
     good reputation.--Governor Hutchinson reports, that the widow
     of Hugh Peters was supported, till 1671, by a collection at
     Salem, of 30_l._ per ann. Were this report true, it would be
     much to the reputation of Salem for having _once_ relieved
     the unfortunate. Mr. Hutchinson might have pointed out the
     cause of the unhappy widow’s necessity; but he has left that
     part to me, and here it follows:--After Hugh’s Death, the
     selectmen of Salem were afraid that the King [Charles II.]
     would seize on his estate in Salem, as had been the case in
     regard to what the Parliament had given him in England. They
     therefore trumped up a debt, and seized and sold the said
     estate to the families of Lyndes and Curwin, who possess it
     to the present time;--and the selectmen of Salem allowed the
     widow 30l. per ann. for the wrong they had done her and her
     daughter. It is not likely that the widow was supported by
     any charitable collection; for William Peters was a man of
     great property, and had a deed of the whole peninsula
     whereon Boston stands, which he purchased of Mr. Blaxton,
     who bought it of the Plymouth Company; though Mr. Hutchinson
     says Blaxton’s title arose merely from his sleeping on it
     the first of any Englishman.[17]--This was well said by Mr.
     Hutchinson, who wanted to justify the people of Salem in
     seizing the land and expelling Mr. Blaxton from his
     settlement in 1630, because he said he liked Lords-Brethren
     less than Lords-Bishops.--Moreover, Thomas Peters, at the
     same time, was living at Saybrook, and was not poor.--Those
     two Gentlemen were able and willing to support the widow of
     an unfortunate brother whom they loved very tenderly.--They
     took great care of his daughter, and left her handsome
     legacies.--From these considerations, I am induced to
     believe, that the widow of Hugh Peters never subsisted on
     any contributions, except what she received from her
     brothers William and Thomas Peters.--Mr. Hutchinson makes a
     curious remark, viz., If Hugh Peters had returned to his
     parish, he would not have suffered as he did.--He might have
     said, with greater propriety, that, if Hugh Peters had not
     been a fanatic and a rebel more zealous than wise, he never
     would have left his Parish for the agency of the people of
     New-England, who never paid him the stipulated allowance for
     his support in England, tho’ he gave them thanksgiving-days,
     instead of fasting, for the space of twenty years, and
     procured, in 1649, from Oliver Cromwell, a charter for the
     Company for propagating the Gospel in New-England, which, by
     contributions raised in England, have supported all the
     missionaries among the Indians to the present time;--yet Mr.
     Hutchinson and Neal write largely about the vast expense the
     Massachusets-Bay have been at in spreading the Gospel among
     the poor savages!

     I cannot forbear here to notice an abuse of this charter.
     Notwithstanding it confines the views of the Company to
     New-England, yet they, and their Committee of Correspondence
     in Boston, have of late years vouchsafed to send most of
     their Missionaries out of New-England, among the Six
     Nations, and the unsanctified episcopalians in the Southern
     Colonies, where was a competent number of church clergymen.
     Whenever this work of supererogation has met with its
     deserved animadversion, their answer has been, that, though
     Cromwell limited them to New-England, yet Christ had
     extended their bounds from sea to sea! With what little
     reason do they complain of King William’s charter to the
     Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts?
     This Society have sent Missionaries to New-England, where
     they have an undoubted right to send them, to supply
     episcopal Churches already established there; whereas the
     other Society send Missionaries beyond the limits of their
     charter, to alienate the minds of the episcopal Indians of
     the Six Nations, against the episcopal Missionaries and the
     Government of the Mother-Country.--And they have been too
     successful; especially since the Rev. Dr. Eleazer Wheelock,
     Dr. Whitaker, and the Rev. Mr. Sampson Occom, by the Charity
     of England, have joined in the same work.--To the General
     Assembly, and the Consociation of Connecticut, Dr. Wheelock
     and his associates are much beholden for their success in
     converting the poor benighted savages in the howling
     wilderness. Their merits are great, and their reward is
     pending.--ED. NOTE.

     [17] “The Rev. Mr. Blaxton had lived on Shawmut, or the
     peninsula on which Boston is built, above nine years before
     June, 1630, when he was driven away from his possessions by
     the pious people of Salem, because he was not pleased with
     the religious system of those new-comers.--They were so
     generous as to vote a small lot to Mr. Blaxton, near
     Boston-Neck, as a compensation for the whole peninsula, and
     for his banishment on pain of death not to return.--Blaxton
     afterwards sold his right to William Peters, Esq. but who
     was kept out of possession of it by the supreme power of the

     [18] As tobacco about this time was coming into use in the
     colony, a very curious law was made for its regulation or
     suppression. It was ordered that no person under twenty
     years of age, nor any other who had not already accustomed
     himself to the use of it, should take any tobacco until he
     had obtained a certificate, from under the hand of an
     approved physician, that it was useful for him, and until he
     had also obtained a license from the Court. All others who
     had addicted themselves to the use of it were prohibited
     from taking it in any company, or at their labors, or in
     traveling, unless ten miles at least from any company; and,
     though not in company, not more than once a day, upon pain
     of a fine of a sixpence for every offense. One substantial
     witness was to be sufficient proof of the crime.

     The constables of the several towns were to make presentment
     to the particular Courts, and it was ordered that the fine
     should be paid without gainsaying.--ED. NOTE.

     [19] The Savage Pawawwers, or Priests, never concern
     themselves with marriages, but leave them to the Paniesh, or

     [20] The Levitical law forbids cutting the hair, or rounding
     the head.

     [21] _Dixwell_ died and lies buried in Newhaven. His grave
     is visited by the _sober dissenters_ with great reverence
     and veneration; nay, even held sacred as the tomb at Mecca.
     Here are buried also the children of Colonel Jones, and many
     other rebels.

     [22] An affair had happened at New Haven, a few months
     before this, which now began to alarm the country, and soon
     gave great anxiety and trouble to the colony.

     Very soon after the restoration, a large number of judges of
     King Charles I., commonly termed regicides, were apprehended
     and brought upon their trials in the Old Bailey. Thirty-nine
     were condemned, and ten executed as traitors. Some others,
     apprehensive of danger, fled out of the kingdom before King
     Charles II. was proclaimed. Colonels Whalley and Goffe made
     their escape to New England.

     They were brought over by one Captain Gooking, and arrived
     in Boston in July, 1660. Governor Endicott, and gentlemen of
     character in Boston and its vicinity, treated them with
     peculiar respect and kindness. They were gentlemen of
     singular abilities, and had moved in an exalted sphere.
     Whalley had been a lieutenant-general, and Goffe a
     major-general, in Cromwell’s army. Their manners and
     appearance commanded universal respect. They soon went from
     Boston to Cambridge, where they resided until February. They
     resorted openly to places of public worship on the
     Lord’s-day, and at other times of public devotion. They were
     universally esteemed by all men of character, both civil and
     religious. But no sooner was it known that the judges had
     been condemned as traitors, and that these gentlemen were
     excepted from the act of pardon, than the principal
     gentlemen in the Massachusetts began to be alarmed.

     Governor Endicott called a court of magistrates to consult
     measures for apprehending them. However, their friends were
     so numerous that a vote could not at that time be obtained
     to arrest them. Some of the court declared that they would
     stand by them; others advised them to move out of the

     Finding themselves unsafe at Cambridge, they came, by the
     assistance of their friends, to Connecticut. They made their
     route by Hartford, and went directly to New Haven. They
     arrived about the 27th of March, and made Mr. Davenport’s
     house the place of their residence.

     They were treated with the same marks of esteem and generous
     friendship at New Haven which they had received in
     Massachusetts. The more the people became acquainted with
     them the more they esteemed them, not only as men of great
     minds, but of unfeigned piety and religion. For some time
     they appeared to apprehend themselves as out of danger, and
     happily situated among a number of pious and agreeable
     friends. But it was not long before the news of the king’s
     proclamation against the regicides arrived, requiring that,
     wherever they might be found, they should be immediately
     apprehended. The Governor of Massachusetts, in consequence
     of the royal proclamation, issued his warrant to arrest
     them. As they were informed by their friends of all measures
     adopted respecting them, they removed to Milford. There they
     appeared openly in daytime, but at night often returned
     privately to New Haven, and were generally secreted at Mr.
     Davenport’s, until about the last of April.

     In the mean time, the Governor of Massachusetts received a
     royal mandate requiring him to apprehend them; and a more
     full circumstantial account of the condemnation and the
     execution of the ten regicides, and of the disposition of
     the Court toward them, and the republicans and Puritans in
     general, arrived in New England.

     This gave a more general and thorough alarm to the whole

     A feigned search had been made in the Massachusetts, in
     consequence of the former warrant, for the Colonels Whalley
     and Goffe; but now the Governor and magistrates began to
     view the affair in a more serious point of light, and appear
     to have been in earnest to secure them. They perceived that
     their own personal safety and the liberties and peace of the
     country were concerned in the manner of their conduct toward
     these unhappy men. They therefore immediately gave a
     commission to Thomas Kellond and Thomas Kirk, two zealous
     young royalists, to go through the colonies as far as
     Manhadoes, and make a careful and universal search for them.
     They pursued the judges to Hartford, and, repairing to
     Governor Winthrop’s, were nobly entertained.

     He assured them that the colonels had made no stay in
     Connecticut, but went directly to New Haven. He gave them a
     warrant, and instructions similar to those which they had
     received from the Governor of Massachusetts, and transacted
     everything relative to the affair with dispatch. The next
     day they arrived at Guilford, and opened their business to
     Deputy-Governor Leet. They acquainted him that, according to
     the intelligence which they had received, the regicides were
     at New Haven. They desired immediately to be furnished with
     powers, horses, and assistance, to arrest them.

     But here they were very unwelcome messengers. Governor Leet
     and the principal gentlemen in Guilford and New Haven had no
     ill opinion of the judges. If they had done wrong in the
     part they had acted, they viewed it as an error in judgment,
     and as the fault of great and good men, under peculiar and
     extraordinary circumstances. They were touched with
     compassion and sympathy, and had real scruples of conscience
     with respect to delivering up such men to death. They viewed
     them as the “excellent of the earth,” and were afraid to
     betray them, lest they should be instrumental in shedding
     innocent blood. They saw no advantage in putting them to

     They were not zealous, therefore, to assist in apprehending
     them. Governor Leet said he had not seen them in nine weeks,
     and that he did not believe they were at New Haven. He read
     some of the papers relative to the affair with an audible

     The pursuivants observed to him that their business required
     more secrecy than was consistent with such a reading of
     their instructions. He delayed furnishing them with horses
     until the next morning, and utterly declined giving them any
     powers until he had consulted his Council at New Haven.

     They complained that an Indian went off from Guilford to New
     Haven in the night, and that the Governor was so dilatory
     the next morning that a messenger went on to New Haven
     before they could obtain horses for their assistance. The
     judges were apprized of every transaction respecting them,
     and they and their friends took their measures accordingly.
     They changed their quarters from one place to another in the
     town as circumstances required, and had faithful friends to
     give them information, and to conceal them from their

     On the 13th of March the pursuers came to New Haven, and
     Governor Leet arrived in town soon after them to consult his
     Council. They acquainted him that, from the information they
     had received, they were persuaded that the judges were yet
     in town, and pressed him and the magistrates to give them a
     warrant and assistance to arrest them without any further

     But, after the Governor and his Council had been together
     five or six hours, they dispersed without doing anything
     relative to the affair. The Governor declared that he could
     not act without calling a general assembly of the freedmen.

     Kellond and Kirk observed to him that the other governors
     had not stood upon such niceties; that the honor and justice
     of his Majesty were concerned, and that he would highly
     resent the concealment and abetting of such traitors and

     They demanded whether he and his Council would own and honor
     his Majesty? The Governor replied: “We do honor his Majesty,
     but have tender consciences, and wish first to know whether
     he will own us.”--(Report of Kellond and Kirk to Governor
     Endicott, to which they gave oath in the presence of the
     Governor and Council.)

     The tradition is, that the pursuers searched Mr. Davenport’s
     house, and used him very ill. They also searched other
     houses where they suspected that the regicides were
     concealed. The report is that they went into the house of
     one Mrs. Eyers, where they actually were concealed, but she
     conducted the affair with such composure and address that
     they imagined that the judges had just made their escape
     from the house, and they went off without making any search.
     It is said that once, when the pursuers passed a bridge, the
     judges were concealed under it. Several times they narrowly
     escaped, but never could be taken.

     The zealous royalists, not finding the judges in New Haven,
     prosecuted their journey to the Dutch settlement, and made
     interest with Stuyvesant, the Dutch Governor, against them.
     He promised them that, if the judges should be found within
     his jurisdiction, he would give them immediate intelligence,
     and that he would prohibit all ships and vessels from
     transporting them.

     Having thus zealously prosecuted the business of their
     commission, they returned to Boston, and reported the
     reception which they had met with at Guilford and New Haven.

     Upon this report, a letter was written by Secretary Rawson,
     in the name of the General Court of Massachusetts, to
     Governor Leet and his Council, on the subject. It
     represented that many complaints had been exhibited in
     England against the colonies, and that they were in great
     danger. It was observed that one great source of complaint
     was their giving such entertainment to the regicides, and
     their inattention to his Majesty’s warrant for their arrest.
     This was represented as an affair which hazarded the
     liberties of all the colonies, and especially those of New
     Haven. It was intimated that the safety of particular
     persons, no less than that of the colony, was in danger. It
     insisted that the only way to expiate their offense, and
     save themselves harmless, was without delay to apprehend the
     delinquents. Indeed, the Court urged that not only their own
     safety and welfare, but the essential interests of their
     neighbors, demanded their indefatigable exertions to
     exculpate themselves.

     Colonels Whalley and Goffe, after the search which had been
     made for them at New Haven, left Mr. Davenport’s, and took
     up their quarters at Mr. William Jones’s, son-in-law to
     Governor Eaton, and afterward Deputy-Governor of New Haven
     and Connecticut. There they secreted themselves until the
     11th of May.

     Thence they removed to a mill in the environs of the town.
     For a short time they made their quarters in the woods, and
     then fixed them in a cave in the side of a hill, which they
     named Providence Hill. They had some other places of resort,
     to which they retired as occasion made necessary, but this
     was generally the place of their residence until the 19th of
     August. When the weather was bad, they lodged at night in a
     neighboring house. It is not improbable that sometimes, when
     it could be done with safety, they made visits to their
     friends at New Haven.

     In fact, to prevent any damage to Mr. Davenport or the
     colony, they once or more came into the town openly and
     offered to deliver up themselves to save their friends. It
     seems it was fully expected at that time that they would
     have done it voluntarily, but their friends neither desired
     nor advised them by any means to adopt so dangerous a
     measure. They hoped to save themselves and the colony
     harmless without such a sacrifice.

     The magistrates were greatly blamed for not apprehending
     them at this time in particular. Secretary Rawson, in a
     letter of his to Governor Leet, writes: “How ill this will
     be taken, is not difficult to imagine--to be sure, not well.
     Nay, will not all men condemn you as wanting to yourselves?”

     The General Court of Massachusetts further acquainted
     Governor Leet that the colonies were criminated by making no
     application to the king since his restoration, and for not
     proclaiming him as their king. The Court, in their letter,
     observed that it was highly necessary that they should send
     an agent to answer for them at the Court of England.--ED.

     [23] About this time, it seems, Governor Winthrop took
     passage for England. Upon his arrival he made application to
     Lord Say and Seal, and other friends of the colony, for
     their countenance and assistance. Lord Say and Seal appear
     to have been the only nobleman living who was one of the
     original patentees of Connecticut. He held the patent in
     trust, originally, for the puritanic exiles. He received the
     address from the colony most favorably, and gave Governor
     Winthrop all the assistance in his power. The Governor was a
     man of address, and he arrived in England at a happy time
     for Connecticut.

     Lord Say and Seal, the great friend of the colony, had been
     particularly instrumental in the restoration. This had so
     brought him into the king’s favor, that he had been made
     Privy Seal.

     The Earl of Manchester, another friend of the Puritans and
     of the rights of the colonies, was chamberlain of his
     Majesty’s household; he was an intimate friend of Lord Say
     and Seal, and had been united with him in defending the
     colonies, and pleading for their establishment and
     liberties. Lord Say and Seal engaged him to give Mr.
     Winthrop his utmost assistance.

     Mr. Winthrop had an extraordinary ring, which had been given
     to his grandfather by King Charles I., which he presented to
     the king. This, it is said, exceedingly pleased his Majesty,
     as it had been once the property of a father most dear to
     him. Under these circumstances the petition for Connecticut
     was presented and received with uncommon grace and favor.

     Upon the 20th of April, 1662, his Majesty granted the colony
     his letters patent, conveying the most ample privileges,
     under the great seal of England. It confirmed unto it the
     whole tract of country granted by King Charles I. to the
     Earl of Warwick, and which was the next year by him
     consigned to Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook, and others.

     The patent granted the lands in fee and common socage. The
     facts stated and pleaded in the petition were recognized in
     the Charter, nearly in the same form of words, as reasons
     for the royal grant, and of the ample privileges it

     It ordained that John Winthrop, John Mason, Samuel Wyllys,
     Henry Clark, Matthew Allen, John Tapping, Nathan Gould,
     Richard Treat, Richard Lord, Henry Wolcott, John Talcott,
     Daniel Clark, John Ogden, Thomas Welles, Obadiah Brune, John
     Clark, Anthony Hawkins, John Deming, and Matthew Camfield,
     and all such others as there were, or should afterward be,
     admitted and made free of the corporation, should forever
     after be one body corporate and politic, in fact and name,
     by the name of the Governor and Company of the English
     Colony of Connecticut, in New England, in America; and that,
     by the same name, they and their successors should have
     perpetual succession. They were capacitated, as persons in
     law, to plead and be impleaded, to defend and be defended,
     in all suits whatsoever; to purchase, possess, lease, grant,
     demise, and sell lands, tenements, and goods, in as ample a
     manner as any of his Majesty’s subjects or corporations in
     England. The Charter ordained that there should be,
     annually, two General Assemblies; one holden on the second
     Thursday in May, and the other on the second Thursday in
     October. This was to consist of the Governor,
     Deputy-Governor, and twelve assistants, with two deputies
     from every town or city. John Winthrop was appointed
     Governor, and John Mason Deputy-Governor, and the gentlemen
     named above, magistrates, until a new election should be
     made.--ED. NOTE.

     [24] Before the session of the General Assembly of
     Connecticut, in October, the Charter was brought over; and,
     as the Governors and magistrates appointed by his Majesty
     were not authorized to serve after this time, a general
     election was appointed on the 9th of October. John Winthrop,
     Esq., was chosen Governor, and John Mason, Esq.,
     Deputy-Governor; the magistrates were those mentioned in the
     patent, and were appointed by his Majesty, with Mr. Baker
     and Mr. Sherman; and John Talcott, Esq., was Treasurer, and
     Daniel Clark, Esq., Secretary.

     Upon the day of the election the Charter was publicly read
     to the freemen, and declared to belong to them and their
     successors. They then proceeded to make choice of Mr.
     Wyllys, Mr. Talcott, and Mr. Allen, to receive the Charter
     into their custody, and keep it in behalf of the colony. It
     was ordered that an oath should be administered by the court
     to the freemen, binding them to a faithful discharge of the
     trust committed to them.

     The General Assembly established all former officers, civil
     and military, in their respective places of trust, and
     enacted that all the laws of the colony should be continued
     in full force, except such as should be found contrary to
     the tenor of the Charter. It was also enacted that the same
     colony seal should be continued.

     The major part of the inhabitants of Southhold, several of
     the people of Guilford, and of the towns of Stamford and
     Greenwich, tendered their persons and estates to
     Connecticut, and, petitioning to enjoy the protection and
     privileges of the Commonwealth, were accepted by the
     Assembly, and promised the same protection and freedom which
     was common to the inhabitants of the colony in general. At
     the same time, it was enjoined on them to conduct themselves
     peaceably, as became Christians, toward their neighbors, who
     did not submit to the jurisdiction of Connecticut; and that
     they should pay all taxes due the ministers, with all the
     other public charges then due. A message was sent to the
     Dutch Governor, certifying him of the Charter granted to
     Connecticut, and desiring him by no means to trouble any of
     his Majesty’s subjects, within its limits, with impositions
     or prosecutions from that jurisdiction.

     The Assembly gave notice to the inhabitants of Winchester
     that they were comprehended within the limits of
     Connecticut, and ordered that, as his Majesty had thus
     disposed of them, they should conduct themselves as
     peaceable subjects.

     Huntington, Setauket, Oyster Bay, and all the towns on Long
     Island, were obliged to submit to the authority and govern
     themselves agreeably to the laws of Connecticut. A court was
     instituted at Southhold, consisting of Captain James Youngs,
     and the justices of South and East Hampton. The Assembly
     resolved that all the towns which should be received under
     their jurisdiction should bear their equal proportion of the
     charge of the colony in procuring the patent.

     As the Charter included the colony of New Haven, Matthew
     Allen, Samuel Wyllys, and the Rev. Messrs. Stone and Hooker,
     were appointed a committee to proceed to New Haven, and
     treat with their friends there respecting an amicable union
     of the two colonies.

     The committee proceeded to New Haven, and, after a
     conference with the Governor, magistrates, and principal
     gentlemen in the colony, left the following declaration to
     be communicated to the freemen:

       “We declare that, through the providence of the Most High,
       a large and ample patent, and therein desirable privileges
       and immunities from his Majesty, being come to our hands,
       a copy whereof we have left with you to be considered, and
       yourselves, upon the sea-coast, being included and
       interested therein, the king having united us in one body
       politic, we, according to the commission wherewith we are
       intrusted by the General Assembly of Connecticut, do
       declare, in their name, that it is both their and our
       earnest desire, that there may be a happy and comfortable
       union between us and yourselves, according to the tenor of
       the Charter; that inconveniences and dangers may be
       prevented, peace and truth strengthened and established
       through our suitable subjection of the terms of the
       patent, and the blessing of God on us therein.”

    The authority of New Haven made the following reply:

       “We have received and perused your writings, and heard the
       copy read of his Majesty’s letters patent to the
       Connecticut colony; wherein, though we do not find the
       colony of New Haven expressly included, yet, to show our
       desire that matters may be issued in the conserving of
       peace and amity, with righteousness between them and us,
       we shall communicate your writings, and a copy of the
       patent, to the freemen, and afterward with convenient
       speed return their answer. Only we desire that the issuing
       of matters may be respited until we may receive fuller
       information from Mr. Winthrop, or satisfaction otherwise;
       and that, in the meantime, this colony may remain
       distinct, entire, and uninterrupted, as heretofore; which
       we hope you will see cause lovingly to assent unto, and
       signify the same to us with convenient speed.”

     On the 4th of November the freemen of the colony of New
     Haven convened in General Court. The Governor communicated
     the writings to the court, and ordered a copy of the patent
     to be read. After a short adjournment for consideration in
     an affair of so much importance, the freemen met again, and
     proceeded to discuss the subject.

     The Rev. Mr. Davenport was entirely opposed to a union with
     Connecticut. He proceeded, therefore, to offer a number of
     reasons why the inhabitants of New Haven could not be
     included in the patent of that colony, and for which they
     ought, by no means voluntary, to form a union. He left his
     reasons in writing, for the consideration of the freemen. He
     observed that he should leave others to act, according to
     the light which they should receive.

     It was insisted that New Haven had been owned as a distinct
     government, not only by her sister colonies, by Parliament,
     and the Protector, during their administration, but by his
     Majesty, King Charles II.; that it was against the express
     articles of confederation, by which Connecticut was no less
     bound than the other colonies; that New Haven had never been
     notified of any design as to their incorporation with
     Connecticut, and that they had never been heard on the
     subject. It was further urged that, had it been designed to
     unite them with Connecticut, some of their names, at least,
     would have been put into the patent, with the other
     patentees; but none of them were there. Hence it was
     maintained that it never could have been the design of his
     Majesty to comprehend them within the limits of the Charter.

     It was argued, that for them to consent to a union would be
     inconsistent with their oath to maintain that Commonwealth,
     with all its privileges, civil and religious. It was also
     urged that it would be incompatible both with their honor
     and most essential interests.

     After the affair had been fully debated, the freemen
     resolved that an answer to Connecticut should be drawn up
     under the following heads:

       I. “Bearing a proper testimony against the great sin of
       Connecticut in acting so contrary to righteousness, amity,
       and peace.

       II. “Desiring that all future proceedings relative to the
       affair might be suspended until Mr. Winthrop should
       return, or they might otherwise obtain further information
       and satisfaction.

       III. “To represent that they could do nothing in the
       affair until they had consulted the other confederates.”

     The magistrates and elders, with Mr. Law, of Stamford, were
     appointed a committee, and drew up a long letter in reply to
     the General Assembly of Connecticut, stating that they did
     not find any command in the patent to dissolve covenants and
     alter orderly settlements of New England, nor a prohibition
     against their continuance as a distinct government. They
     represented that the conduct of Connecticut, in acting at
     first without them, confirmed them in those sentiments; and
     that the way was still open for them to petition his
     Majesty, and obtain immunities similar to those of
     Connecticut. They declared that they must enter their appeal
     from the construction which Connecticut put upon the patent,
     and desired that they might not be interrupted in the
     enjoyment of their distinct privileges.

     The committee also represented that these transactions were
     entirely inconsistent with the engagement of Governor
     Winthrop, contrary to his advice to Connecticut, and tended
     to bring injurious reflections and reproach upon him. They
     earnestly prayed for a copy of all which he had written to
     the Deputy-Governor and the Company on the subject. On the
     whole, they professed themselves exceedingly injured and
     grieved, and entreated the General Assembly of Connecticut
     to adopt speedy and effectual measures to repair the
     breaches which they had made, and to restore them to their
     former state, as a confederate and sister colony.

     Connecticut made no reply to this letter, but, at a General
     Assembly held March 11, 1663, the Deputy-Governor, Matthew
     and John Allen, and John Talcott, were appointed a committee
     to treat with their friends in New Haven on the subject of a
     union. But the hasty measures of the General Assembly in
     admitting the disaffected members of the several towns under
     the jurisdiction of New Haven, before they had invited them
     to incorporate with them, had so soured their minds and
     prejudiced them, that this committee had no better success
     than the former.

     While these affairs were transacted in the colonies, the
     petition and address of New Haven to his Majesty arrived in
     England; upon which, Governor Winthrop, who was yet there,
     by advice of friends of both colonies, agreed that no injury
     should be done to New Haven, and that the union and
     incorporation of the two colonies should be voluntary.
     Therefore, on the 3d day of March, 1663, he wrote to the
     Deputy-Governor and Company of Connecticut, certifying them
     of his engagements to the agent of New Haven, and that,
     before he took out the Charter, he had given assurance to
     their friends that their interest and privileges should not
     be injured by the patent. He represented that they were
     bound by the assurance he had given, and therefore wished
     them to abstain from all further injury and trouble to that
     colony. He imputed what they had done to their ignorance of
     the engagements which he had made. At the same time, he
     intimated his assurance that, on his return, he should be
     able to effect an amicable union of the colonies.

     Connecticut now laid claim to Westchester, and sent one of
     her magistrates to lead the inhabitants to a choice of their
     officers, and to administer the proper oaths to such as they
     should elect.

     The colony also extended their claim to the Narragansett
     country, and appointed officers for the government of the
     inhabitants of Wickford.

     Notwithstanding the remonstrance of the court at New Haven,
     their appeal to King Charles II., and the engagements of
     Governor Winthrop, Connecticut pursued the affair of a union
     in the same manner in which it was begun. At a session of
     the General Assembly, August 19, 1663, a committee was again
     appointed to treat with their friends at New Haven, Milford,
     Guilford, and Branford, relative to their incorporation with
     Connecticut. Provided they could not effect a union by
     treaty, they were authorized to read the Charter publicly at
     New Haven, and to make declaration to the people there that
     the Assembly could not but resent their proceedings as a
     distinct jurisdiction, since they were evidently included
     within the limits of the Charter granted to the corporation
     of Connecticut. They were instructed to proclaim that the
     Assembly did desire, and could not but expect, that the
     inhabitants of the above towns would yield subjection to the
     government of Connecticut.

     At a meeting of the commissioners in September in the same
     year, New Haven was owned by the colonies as a distinct
     confederation. Governor Leet and Mr. Fenn, who had been sent
     from that jurisdiction, exhibited a complaint against
     Connecticut for the injuries they had done, by encroaching
     upon their rights, receiving their members under their
     government, and encouraging them to disown their authority,
     to disregard their oath of allegiance, and to refuse all
     attendance on their courts. They further complained that
     Connecticut had appointed constables in several of their
     towns, to the great disquiet and injury of the colony. They
     prayed that effectual measures might be taken to redress
     their grievances, to prevent further injuries, and secure
     their rights as a distinct confederation.

     Governor Winthrop and Mr. John Talcott, commissioners from
     Connecticut, replied that, in their opinion, New Haven had
     no just grounds of complaint; that Connecticut had never
     designed them any injury, but had made to them the most
     friendly propositions, inviting them to share with them
     freely in all the important and distinguishing privileges
     which they had obtained for themselves; that they had sent
     committees amicably to treat with them; that they were still
     treating, and would attend all just and friendly means of

     The commissioners of the other colonies, having fully heard
     the parties, determined that “where any act of power had
     been exerted against the authority of New Haven, the same
     ought to be recalled, and their power reserved to them
     entire, until such time as, in an orderly way, it shall be
     otherwise disposed.” With respect to the particular
     grievances mentioned by the commissioners of New Haven, the
     consideration of them was referred to the next meeting of
     the commissioners at Hartford.

     In this situation of affairs an event took place which
     alarmed all the New England colonies, and at once changed
     the opinion of the commissioners, and of New Haven, with
     respect to their incorporation with Connecticut.

     King Charles II., on the 12th of March, 1664, gave a patent
     to his brother, the Duke of York and Albany, of several
     extensive tracts of land in North America, the boundaries of
     which are thus described:

       “All that part of the main land of New-England, beginning
       at a certain place called and known by the name of St.
       Croix, next adjoining to New-England, in America, and from
       thence extending along the sea-coast into a certain place
       called Pemaquie, or Pemaquid, and so up the river thereof
       to the furthest head of the same, as it tendeth northward,
       and from thence extending to the river Hembequin, and so
       upward, by the shortest course, to the river Canada
       northward; and also all that island or islands commonly
       called by the general name or names of Meitowax, or
       Long-Island, situate and being toward the west of Cape
       Cod, and the narrow Highgansets abutting on the main land,
       between the two rivers, these called and known by the
       several names of Connecticut and Hudson’s Rivers; and all
       the land on the west side of Connecticut River, to the
       east side of the Delaware-Bay; and also all those several
       islands called or known by the names of Martin’s Vineyard,
       or Nantucks, otherwise Nantucket: together,” etc., etc.

     The concern of the Duke of York for his property, and the
     aversion both he and his Majesty had for the Dutch, led them
     to dispatch an army and fleet to New England for the
     reduction of the Dutch settlement on the continent. Colonel
     Richard Nichols was chief commander of the fleet and army.
     Sir Robert Carr, George Cartwirth, and Samuel Maverick,
     Esq., were appointed commissioners with him, to determine
     all matters of complaint and controversy, and settling the
     country in peace.

     Colonel Nichols arrived in Boston, with the fleet and troops
     under his command, on the 23d of July, 1664. He then sailed
     for the New Netherlands on the 20th of August, and made a
     demand of the town and forts upon the island of Manhadoes.
     Governor Winthrop, and several magistrates and principal
     gentlemen of Connecticut, joined him at the west end of Long
     Island, according to his request.

     Stuyvesant, the Dutch Governor, was an old soldier, and, had
     he been better prepared and the people united, doubtless
     could have made a brave defense. But he had no intimations
     of the design until the 8th of July, when he received
     intelligence that a fleet of three or four ships of war,
     with three hundred and fifty soldiers on board, were about
     to sail from England against the Dutch settlements. Upon
     this he immediately ordered that the forts should be put in
     a state of defense, and sent out spies into several parts of
     Connecticut for further information. It has been said that
     the Dutch Governor was negotiating a neutrality with
     Connecticut when he received the news of the fleet’s arrival
     in Boston. Stuyvesant was extremely opposed to a surrender
     of the fort and town. Instead of submitting to the summons
     at first sent him, he drew up a long statement of the Dutch
     claims, and their indubitable right to the country. He
     insisted that, had the king of England known the justice of
     their claims, he never would have adopted such measures
     against them. He concluded by assuring Colonel Nichols that
     he should not submit to his demands, nor fear any evils but
     such as God in his providence should inflict upon him.

     Colonel Nichols, in his first summons, had in his Majesty’s
     name given assurance that the Dutch, upon their submission,
     should be safe as to life, liberty, and property. Governor
     Winthrop also wrote a letter to the Governor and Council,
     advising them to surrender. But they were careful to secrete
     the writings from the people, lest the easy terms proposed
     should induce them to surrender. The burgomasters and people
     desired to know of the Governor what was the import of the
     writings he had received, and especially of the letter from
     Governor Winthrop. The Dutch Governor and his Council giving
     them no intelligence, they solicited it the more earnestly.
     The Governor, irritated at this, in a paroxysm of anger tore
     the letters to pieces; upon which the people protested
     against his conduct and all its consequences.

     While the Governor and Council were thus contending with the
     burgomasters and people, the English commissioners issued a
     proclamation to all the inhabitants who would become subject
     to his Majesty, “that they should be protected by his
     Majesty’s laws and justice, and enjoy whatever God’s
     blessing and their honest industry had furnished them with,
     and all the other privileges with his Majesty’s English

     The Dutch, therefore, on the 27th of August, submitted upon
     terms of capitulation. The articles secured them in the
     enjoyment of liberty of conscience in Divine worship, and
     their own mode of discipline. The Dutch Governor and people
     became English subjects, enjoyed their estates, and all the
     privileges of Englishmen. Upon the surrender of the town of
     New Amsterdam, it was named New York, in honor of the Duke
     of York.

     Fort Orange, or Aurania, surrendered on the 24th of
     September, and was named Albany, after the Duke of York and
     Albany. Sir Robert Carr proceeded to the Delaware, and on
     the 1st of October compelled the Dutch and Swedes to
     capitulate. Upon this day the whole of the New Netherlands
     became subject to the crown of England.

     Mr. Whiting, who was in Boston, and learned much of the
     temper of the commissioners, was sent back in haste to give
     information of the danger in which, it was apprehended, the
     colonies were, to advise New Haven to incorporate with
     Connecticut without delay, and to make a joint exertion for
     the preservation of their chartered rights. This was pressed
     not only as absolutely necessary for New Haven, but for the
     general safety of the country. In consequence of this
     intelligence a General Court was convened at New Haven on
     the 11th of August, 1664. Governor Leet communicated the
     intelligence he had received, and acquainted them that Mr.
     Whiting and Mr. Bull, in their own name, and in behalf of
     the magistrates of Connecticut, pressed their immediate
     subjection to their government. The Court was certified
     that, after some treaty with these gentlemen, their
     committee had given an answer, purporting that if
     Connecticut would, in his Majesty’s name, assert their claim
     to the colony of New Haven, and secure them in the full
     enjoyment of all the immunities which they had proposed, and
     engage to make a united exertion for the preservation of
     their chartered rights, they would make their submission.
     After a long debate the Court resolved that, if Connecticut
     should come and assist their claim, as had been agreed, they
     would submit until the meeting of the commissioners of the
     united colonies. The magistrates and principal gentlemen of
     the colony seem to have been sensible not only of the
     expediency, but of the necessity, of an incorporation with
     Connecticut. The opposition, however, was so general among
     the people that nothing further was effected. The Court of
     Commissioners was so near at hand that no further demands
     were made on New Haven until their advice could be known.
     The General Assembly met early in September, and passed a
     remonstrance against the sitting of Governor Leet and
     Deputy-Governor Jones with the commissioners. In the
     remonstrance they declared that New Haven was not a colony,
     but a part of Connecticut, and made claim to it as such.
     They insisted that owning that as a colony, distinct from
     Connecticut, after his Majesty had by his letters-patent
     incorporated it with that colony, was inconsistent with the
     king’s pleasure; would endanger the right of all the
     colonies, and especially the charter-rights of Connecticut.
     The Assembly, at the same time, declared that they would
     have a tender regard to their honored friends and brethren
     at New Haven, and exert themselves to accommodate them with
     all the immunities and privileges which they conveyed by
     their Charter.

     On the 1st of September the Court of Commissioners met at
     Hartford. The commissioners from New Haven were allowed
     their seats with the other confederates. The case of New
     Haven and Connecticut was fully heard, and though the Court
     did not approve of the manner in which Connecticut had
     proceeded, yet they earnestly pressed a speedy and amicable
     union of the two colonies.

     To remove all obstructions on their part, the commissioners
     recommended it to the General Courts of Massachusetts and
     Plymouth, that, in case the colony of New Haven should
     incorporate with Connecticut, they might then be owned as
     one colony, and send two commissioners to each meeting; and
     that the determinations of any four of the six should be
     equally binding on the confederates as the conclusions of
     six out of eight had been before. It was also proposed that
     the meeting, which had been at New Haven, should be at

     In compliance with the advice of the commissioners, Governor
     Leet convened a General Court in New Haven on the 14th of
     September, and communicated the advice which had been given
     them to unite. They considered whether, if the king’s
     commissioners should visit them, they would not be much
     better able to vindicate their liberty and just rights, in
     union with Connecticut under the royal patent, than in their
     present circumstances; and many insisted, notwithstanding,
     “that we stand; as God had kept them to that time, was their
     best way.” Others were intensely of the contrary opinion,
     and, after a full discussion of the subject, no vote for
     union or treaty could be obtained.

     New Haven and Branford were more fixed and obstinate in
     their opposition to an incorporation with Connecticut than
     any of the other towns in that colony. Mr. Davenport and Mr.
     Pierson seem to have been among its chief supporters. They,
     with many of the inhabitants of the colony, were more rigid
     with respect to the terms of church-communion than the
     ministers and churches of Connecticut generally were. A
     considerable number of the churches in Connecticut were in
     favor of the propositions of the General Council, which met
     at Cambridge in 1662, relative to baptism of children whose
     parents were not in full communion. The ministers and
     churches of New Haven were universally and utterly against
     them. Mr. Davenport, and others in this colony, were also
     strong in the opinion that all government should be in the
     Church. No person in the colony could be a freeman unless he
     was a member in full communion. But, in Connecticut, all
     orderly persons possessing a freehold to a certain amount
     might be made free of the corporation. Those gentlemen who
     were so strong in their opposition were jealous that a union
     would mar the purity, order, and beauty of their churches,
     and have an influence on the civil administrations. Besides,
     it was a painful reflection that, after they had been at so
     much pains and expense to form and support themselves as a
     distinct government, and had been many years owned as one,
     their existence must cease and their name be obliterated.
     Milford at this time broke off from them, and would no more
     either send magistrates or deputies to the General Court.
     Mr. Richard Law, a principal gentleman in Stamford, also
     deserted them.

     In this state of affairs the General Assembly of Connecticut
     convened on the 13th of October. This was an important
     crisis with the colony. Their liberties were not only in
     equal danger with those of the sister-colonies, from the
     extraordinary powers and arbitrary dispositions and measures
     of the king’s commissioners, but the Duke of York, a
     powerful antagonist, had received a patent covering Long
     Island and all that part of the colony west of Connecticut
     River. William and Anne, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton,
     had petitioned his Majesty to restore to them the tract of
     country granted to their father, James, Marquis of Hamilton,
     in the year 1635; and his Majesty had, on the 6th of May,
     1664, referred the case to the determination of Colonel
     Nichols and the other commissioners. Besides, the state of
     affairs with New Haven was neither comfortable nor safe.

     The Legislature, to conciliate the commissioners and obtain
     the good graces of his Majesty, ordered a present of five
     hundred bushels of corn to be made to the commissioners. A
     large committee was appointed to settle the boundaries
     between Connecticut and the Duke of York. A committee,
     consisting of Messrs. Allen, Wyllys, Talcott, and Newburg,
     was appointed to settle the boundary-line between this
     colony and Massachusetts, and between Connecticut and Rhode
     Island. They were instructed not to give away any part of
     the lands included within the limits of the Charter.

     Mr. Sherman, Mr. Allen, and the Secretary, were authorized
     to proceed to New Haven, and, by order of the General
     Assembly, “in his Majesty’s name to require the inhabitants
     of New Haven, Milford, Branford, Guilford, and Stamford, to
     submit to the government established by his Majesty’s most
     gracious grant to this colony, and to receive their answer.”
     They were authorized to make declaration, that the Assembly
     did invest Messrs. Leet, Jones, Gilbert, Fenn, Crane, Treat,
     and Law, with the powers of magistracy, to govern their
     respective plantations agreeably to the laws of Connecticut,
     or such of their own laws as were not inconsistent with the
     Charter, until their session in May next.

     The gentlemen appointed to this service on the 19th of
     November went to New Haven, and proceeded according to their

     About this time Governor Winthrop, Mr. Allen, Mr. Gould, Mr.
     Richards, and John Winthrop, the committee appointed to
     settle the boundaries between Connecticut and New York,
     waited upon the commissioners on York Island. After they had
     been fully heard in behalf of Connecticut, the commissioners
     determined “that the southern boundary of his Majesty’s
     colony of Connecticut is the sea; and that Long Island is to
     be under the government of the Duke of York, as is expressed
     in plain words in the said patents respectively. We also
     order and declare, that the creek or river called
     Mamaroneck, which is reputed to be almost twelve miles to
     the east of West Chester, and a line drawn from the east
     point or side, where the fresh water falls into the salt, at
     high-water mark, north-northwest to the line of
     Massachusetts, be the western bounds of said colony of
     Connecticut; and the plantations lying westward of that
     creek, and a line so drawn, to be under his Royal Highness’s
     government; and all plantations lying eastward of the creek
     and line to be under the government of Connecticut.”

     In consequence of the acts of Connecticut, and the
     determination of the commissioners relative to the
     boundaries of the colony, a General Court was called at New
     Haven on the 13th of December, 1664, and the following
     resolutions were unanimously passed:

       I. “That by this act or vote we be not understood to
       justify Connecticut’s former actings, nor anything
       disorderly done by their own people, on such accounts.

       II. “That by it we be not apprehended to have any hand in
       breaking and dissolving the confederation.

       III. “Yet, in loyalty to the king’s Majesty, when an
       authentic copy of the determination of his Majesty’s
       commissioners is published, to be recorded with us, if
       thereby it shall appear to our committee that we are, by
       his Majesty’s authority, now put under Connecticut patent,
       we shall submit, by a necessity brought upon us by the
       means of Connecticut aforesaid, but with a _solvo jure_ of
       our former rights and claims, as a people who have not yet
       been heard in point of plea.”--ED. NOTE.

     [25] While the churches were thus divided, they were alarmed
     by the appearance of the Quakers. A number of them arrived
     in Boston in July and August, and had been committed to the
     common gaol. A great number of their books had been seized
     with the view to burn them. In consequence of their arrival,
     and the disturbance they had made in Boston, the
     commissioners of the united colonies, at their court in
     September, recommended it to the several General Courts,

       “That all Quakers, Ranters, and other notorious heretics,
       should be prohibited coming into the united colonies; and
       that, if they should come or arise among them, they should
       be forthwith secured and removed out of all the

     In conformity with this recommendation, the General Court of
     Connecticut, in October, passed the following act:

       “That no town within this jurisdiction shall entertain any
       Quakers, Ranters, Adamites, or such like notorious
       heretics, or suffer them to continue in them above the
       space of fourteen days, upon the penalty of 5_l._ per week
       for any town entertaining such persons. But the townsmen
       shall give notice to the two next magistrates or
       assistants, who shall have the power to send them to
       prison, for securing them until they can conveniently be
       sent out of the jurisdiction. It is also ordered that no
       master of a vessel shall land any such heretics; but if
       they do, they shall be compelled to transport them again
       out of the colony, by any two magistrates or assistants,
       at their first setting sail from the port where they
       landed them; during which time the assistant or magistrate
       shall see them secured, upon the penalty of 20_l._ for any
       master of any vessel that shall not transport them as
       aforesaid.”--ED. NOTE.

     [26] Mr. Dudley, while president of the commissioners, had
     written to the Governor and Company, advising them to resign
     the Charter into the hands of his Majesty, and promising to
     use his influence in favor of the colony. Mr. Dudley’s
     commission was suspended by a commission to Sir Edmund
     Andros to be Governor of New England. He arrived in Boston
     on the 19th of December, 1686. The next day his commission
     was published, and he took on him the administration of the
     government. Soon after his arrival he wrote to the Governor
     and Company that he had a commission from his Majesty to
     receive their Charter, if they would resign it; and he
     pressed them, in obedience to the king, and as they would
     give him an opportunity to serve them, to resign it to his
     pleasure. At this session of the Assembly the Governor
     received another letter from him, acquainting him that he
     was assured, by the advice he had received from England,
     that judgment was by that time entered upon the _quo
     warranto_ against their Charter, and that he soon expected
     to receive his Majesty’s commands respecting them. He urged
     them, as he represented it, that he might not be wanting in
     serving their welfare, to accept his Majesty’s favor, so
     graciously offered them, in a present compliance and
     surrender. But the colony insisted upon their Charter
     rights, and on the promise of King James, as well as of his
     royal brother, to defend and secure them in the enjoyment of
     their privileges and estates, and would not surrender their
     Charter to either. However, in their petition to the king,
     in which they prayed for the continuance of their Charter
     rights, they desired, if this could not be obtained, but it
     should be resolved to put them under another government,
     that it might be under Sir Edmund’s, as the Massachusetts
     had been their former correspondents and confederates, and
     as they were acquainted with their principles and manners.

     This was construed into a resignation, though nothing could
     be further from the designs of the colony.

     The Assembly met, as usual, in October, and the government
     continued according to the Charter, until the last of the

     About this time Sir Edmund and his suite, and more than
     sixty regular troops, came to Hartford, where the Assembly
     were sitting, and demanded the Charter, and declared the
     government under it dissolved. The Assembly were extremely
     reluctant and slow with respect to any resolve to surrender
     the Charter, or with respect to any motion to bring it
     forth. The tradition is, that Governor Treat represented the
     great expense and hardships of the colonists in planting the
     country; the blood and treasure which they had expended in
     defending it, both against the savages and foreigners; to
     what hardships and dangers he himself had been exposed for
     that purpose; and that it was like giving up his life now to
     surrender the patent and privileges so dearly bought and so
     long enjoyed. The important affair was debated and kept in
     suspense until the evening, when the Charter was brought and
     laid upon the table where the Assembly was sitting. By this
     time a great number of people were assembled, and men
     sufficiently bold to enterprise whatever might be necessary
     or expedient.

     The lights were instantly extinguished, and one Captain
     Wadsworth, of Hartford, in the most silent and secret
     manner, carried off the Charter and secreted it in a large,
     hollow tree, fronting the house of the Hon. Samuel Wyllys,
     then one of the magistrates of the colony. The people
     appeared all peaceable and orderly. The candles were
     relighted, but the patent was gone, and no discovery could
     be made of it or of the person who had conveyed it away.

     It was said that the Charter was delivered up, and that same
     evening the apartments of Sir Edmund were entered and the
     patent abstracted; but this does not appear to have been the
     case. Sir Edmund assumed the government, and the records of
     the colony were closed in the following words:

       “At a General Court at Hertford, October 31, 1687, His
       Excellency Sir Edmund Andros, Knight, and Captain-General,
       and Governor, of his Majesty’s territories and dominions
       in New England, by order from his Majesty James II., King
       of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, the 31st of
       October, 1687, took into his hands the government of the
       Colony of Connecticut, it being by his Majesty annexed to
       Massachusets and other colonies under his Excellency’s


     Sir Edmund appointed officers civil and military. His
     Council at first consisted of forty persons, and afterward
     of nearly fifty. Four among the number--Governor Treat, John
     Fitz Winthrop, Wait Winthrop, and John Allen, Esquires--were
     of Connecticut.--ED. NOTE.

     [27] Scarcely anything could be more gloomy and distressful
     than the state of public affairs in New England at the
     beginning of this year. But in the midst of darkness light
     arose. While the people had prayed in vain to an earthly
     monarch, their petition had been more successfully presented
     to a higher throne. Providence wrought gloriously for them
     and the nation’s deliverance. On the 5th of November, 1688,
     the Prince of Orange landed at Torbay, in England. He
     immediately published a declaration of his design in
     visiting the kingdom. A copy of this was received at Boston
     by one Mr. Winslow, a gentleman from Virginia, in April,

     Governor Andros and his Council were so much alarmed with
     the news, that they ordered Mr. Winslow to be arrested and
     committed to jail for bringing a false and traitorous libel
     in the country.

     They also issued a proclamation commanding all the officers
     and people to be in readiness to prevent the landing of any
     forces which the Prince of Orange might send into that part
     of America. But the people, who sighed under their burdens,
     secretly wished and prayed for success to his glorious
     undertaking. The leaders in the country determined quietly
     to await the event; but the great body of the people had
     less patience. Stung with past injuries, and encouraged at
     the first intimations of relief, the fire of liberty
     rekindled, and the flame, which for a long time had been
     smothered in their bosoms, burst forth with irresistible

     On the 18th of April the inhabitants of Boston and the
     adjacent towns rose in arms, made themselves masters of the
     castle, seized Sir Edmund Andros and his Council, and
     persuaded the old Governor and Council at Boston to resume
     the government.

     On the 9th of May, 1689, Governor Robert Treat,
     Deputy-Governor James Bishop, and the former magistrates, at
     the desire of the freemen, resumed the government of
     Connecticut. Major-General John Winthrop was at the same
     time chosen into the magistracy, to complete the number
     appointed by the Charter.

     The freemen voted that, for the present safety of that part
     of New England called Connecticut, the necessity of its
     circumstances so requiring,

       “They would reëstablish government as it was before and at
       the time Sir Edmund Andros took it, and so have it
       proceed, as it did before that time, according to charter,
       engaging themselves to submit to it accordingly, until
       there should be a legal establishment among them.”

     The Assembly, having formed, came to the following resolutions:

       “That, whereas this Court hath been interrupted in the
       management of its government, in this Colony of
       Connecticut, for nineteen months past, it is now enacted,
       ordered, and declared, that all the laws of this colony,
       made according to Charter, and courts constituted for the
       administration of government, as they were before the late
       interruption, shall be of full force and virtue for the
       future, and until this Court shall see cause to make
       further and other alterations, according to the Charter.”

     The Assembly then confirmed all military officers in their
     respective posts, and proceeded to appoint their civil
     officers, as had been customary at the May session.--ED. NOTE.

     [28] “AN ADDRESS TO KING WILLIAM, JUNE 18, 1689.

       “TO THE KING’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY: The humble address
         of your Majesty’s dutiful and loyal subjects, the
         Governor and Company of your Majesty’s Colony of
         Connecticut, in New England.

       “GREAT SOVEREIGN: Great was that day when the Lord, who
       sitteth upon the floods, and sitteth King forever, did
       divide his and your adversaries from one another, like the
       waters of Jordan forced to stand upon an heap, and did
       begin to magnify you, like Joshua in the sight of all
       Israel, by those great actions that were so much for the
       honour of God and the deliverance of the English dominions
       from popery and slavery; and all this, separated from
       those sorrows that usually attend the introduction of a
       peaceable settlement in any troubled state: all which doth
       affect us with the sense of our duty to return the highest
       praise unto the King of Kings and Lord of Hosts, and bless
       him who hath delighted in you, to set you upon the throne
       of his Israel, and to say, Because the Lord loved Israel
       forever, therefore has he made you king, to do justice and
       judgment, &c.; also humble and hearty acknowledgement for
       the great zeal that by your Majesty has been expressed in
       those hazards you have put your royal person to, and in
       the expense of so great a treasure in the defense of the
       Protestant interest. In the consideration of all which,
       we, your Majesty’s dutiful and loyal subjects of your said
       colony, are encouraged humbly to intimate that we, with
       much favour, obtained a Charter from Charles II., of happy
       memory, bearing date April 23, 1662, in the fourteenth
       year of his reign, granted to the Governor and Company of
       his Majesty’s Colony of Connecticut, the advantages and
       privileges whereof made us indeed a very happy people;
       and, by the blessing of God upon our endeavours, we have
       made a considerable improvement of your dominions here,
       which, with the defense of ourselves from the force of
       both foreign and intestine enemies, has cost us much
       expense of treasure and blood; yet in the second year of
       the reign of his late Majesty, King James II., we had a
       _quo warranto_ served upon us by Edward Randolph,
       requiring our appearance before his Majesty’s court in
       England; and although the time of our appearance was
       elapsed before the serving the said _quo warranto_, yet we
       humbly petitioned his Majesty for his favour and the
       continuance of our Charter, with the privileges thereof;
       but we received no other favour but a second QUO WARRANTO:
       and we well observed that the Charter of London, and of
       other considerable cities in England, were condemned, and
       that the Charter of Massachusets had undergone the like
       fate, plainly saw what we might expect; yet as we not
       judged it good or lawful to be active in surrendering what
       had cost us so dear, nor to be altogether silent, we
       employed an attorney to appear in our behalf, and to
       prefer our humble address to his Majesty, to entreat his
       favour quickly upon it; but as Sir Edmund Andros informed
       us he was empowered by his Majesty to regain the surrender
       of our Charter, if we saw meet to do so, and to take
       ourselves under his government, we withstood all these
       motions, and in our reiterated addresses we petitioned his
       Majesty to continue us in the full and free enjoyment of
       our liberties and property, civil and sacred, according to
       our Charter. We also petitioned that if his Majesty should
       not see meet to continue us as we were, but was resolved
       to annex us to some other government, we then desired that
       (inasmuch as Boston had been our old correspondents, and
       people whose principles and manners we had been acquainted
       with) we might be annexed rather to Sir Edmund Andros his
       government than to Colonel Dungan’s, which choice of ours
       was taken for a resignation of our government; though that
       was never intended by us for such, nor had it the
       formalities in law to make it a resignation, as we humbly
       conceive; yet Sir Edmund Andros was commissioned by his
       Majesty to take us under his government: pursuant to
       which, about the end of October, 1687, he, with a company
       of gentlemen and grenadiers to the number of sixty or
       upward, came to Hertford (the chief seat of this
       government), caused his commission to be read, and
       declared our government to be dissolved, and put into
       commission both civil and military officers through our
       colony, as he pleased, when he passed through the
       principal parts thereof.

       “The good people of the colony, though they were under a
       great sense of injuries they sustained hereby, yet chose
       rather to be silent and patient than oppose, being,
       indeed, surprised into an involuntary submission to an
       arbitrary power; but when the government we were thus put
       under seemed to us to be determined, and we being in daily
       fear and hazard of those many inconveniences that will
       arise from a people in want of a government; being also in
       continual danger of our lives by reason of the natives
       being at war with us, with whom we had just fears of our
       neighbouring French to join, not receiving any order or
       directions what method to take for our security, we were
       necessitated to put ourselves into some form of
       government; and there being none so familiar to us as that
       of our Charter, nor what we could make so effectual for
       the gaining the universal compliance of the people, and
       having never received any intimation of an enrolment of
       that which was interpreted a resignation of our Charter,
       we have presumed, by the consent of the major part of the
       freemen assembled for that end, May 9, 1689, to resume our
       government according to the rules of our Charter, and this
       to continue till further order; yet, as we have thus
       presumed to dispose ourselves, not waiting orders from
       your Majesty, we humbly submit ourselves herein,
       entreating your Majesty’s most gracious pardon; and that
       what our urgent necessity hath put upon us may no ways
       interrupt your Majesty’s grace and favour toward us, your
       most humble and dutiful subjects, but that in your
       clemency you would be pleased to grant us such directions
       as to your princely wisdom may seem meet, with such
       ratifications and confirmations of our Charter, in the
       full and free enjoyment of all our properties, privileges,
       and liberties, both civil and sacred, as therein granted
       to us by your royal predecessor, King Charles II., which
       may yet further insure it an inheritance to us and our
       posterities after us, with what further grace and favour
       your royal and enlarged heart may be moved to confer upon
       us; which, we trust, we shall not forget nor be
       unprofitable under; but as we have this day, with the
       greatest expressions of joy, proclaimed your Majesty and
       Royal Consort King and Queen of England, France, and
       Ireland, with the dominions hereto belonging, so we shall
       ever pray that God would grant your Majesties long life,
       and prosperously to reign over all your dominions, and
       that the great and happy work you have begun may be
       prospered here, and graciously rewarded with a crown of
       glory hereafter.

                   “ROBERT TREAT, _Governor_.

       “Per order of the General Court of Connecticut.

         “[Signed]      JOHN ALLEN, _Secretary_.”

     [29] Dr. Douglas was a naturalist, and a physician of
     considerable eminence in Boston, where he never attended any
     religious worship, having been educated in Scotland with
     such rancorous hatred against episcopacy, that, with his
     age, it ripened into open scepticism and deism. However, his
     many severities against the Episcopalians, New Lights, and
     Quakers, procured him a good name among the Old Lights, and
     the mongrel christians of New-York, whose policy and
     self-interest have always domineered over conscience and
     morality. For these reasons, his brother Smith, in his
     History of New-York, frequently quotes him, to prove his
     futile assertions against New-England, New-Jersey, and

     [30] Perhaps their success was facilitated by the
     consideration, that the quit-rent payable to the Crown in
     New-York is 2_s._ 6_d._ per 100 acres, but only 9_d._ in
     Newhampshire. The same may be said, with still more reason,
     in regard to the lands acquired by New-York from
     Massachusets-Bay and Connecticut, where the quit-rent

     [31] In 1680, the number of Indians, or aborigines, in the
     whole Province of Connecticut was 4000. This was allowed by
     the General Assembly. How much greater their number was in
     1637, may be estimated from the accounts given by Dr.
     Mather, Mr. Neal, Mr. Penhallow, and Mr. Hutchinson, of the
     deaths of Englishmen in the Indian wars, for the space of
     forty-three years. It has been computed, that from 1637 to
     1680, upon an average, one hundred Englishmen were killed
     yearly in those wars, and that there were killed, with sword
     and gun, and smallpox, twenty Indians for every one
     Englishman. If this calculation is just, it appears that the
     English killed of the Indians, during the above-mentioned
     period, 86,000, to which number the 4000 Indians remaining
     in 1680 being added, it is clear that there were 90,000
     Indians in Connecticut when Hooker began his holy war upon
     them; not to form conjectures upon those who probably
     afterwards abandoned the country. This evinces the weakness
     of the Indian mode of fighting with bows and arrows against
     guns, and the impropriety of calling Connecticut an howling
     wilderness in 1636, when Hooker arrived in Hertford. The
     English in one hundred and thirty-six years have not much
     more than doubled the number of Indians they killed in
     forty-three years. In 1770 the number of Indians in
     Connecticut amounted not to 400 souls.

     [32] Many years afterward the author’s attention was called
     to this statement; he replied, as to the expression above,
     by saying, he meant that the pressure of the stream was so
     great that a crowbar, not having sufficient specific gravity
     to sink, would actually be carried down the stream upon its
     surface. As incredulous as this may appear, we have it
     substantiated by no less a person than the late eminent
     engineer, John A. Roebling, who built the suspension-bridge
     over the river at the Niagara Falls, in the following letter:

                   “SUSPENSION BRIDGE, _April 28, 1855_.


       “DEAR SIR: I received a copy of _The Democrat_, with your
       account of my attempting to sound the river. After you
       left, another attempt was made, with a similar iron, of
       about forty pounds’ weight, attached to a No. 11 wire, all
       freely suspended, so as not to impede the fall of the
       weight. I then let the weight fall from the bridge, a
       height of 225 feet. It struck the surface fairly, with the
       point down--must have sunk to some depth, but was not
       longer out of sight than one second, when it made its
       appearance again upon the surface, about 100 feet down
       stream, and skipped along like a chip, until it was
       checked by the wire. We then commenced hauling in slowly,
       which made the iron bounce like a ball, when a cake of ice
       struck it, and ended the sport.

       “I am satisfied that no metal has sufficient gravity to
       pierce that current, even with the momentum acquired by a
       fall of 226 feet. The velocity of the iron, when striking,
       must have been about equal to 124 feet per second, and,
       consequently, its momentum near 5,000 pounds. Its surface,
       opposed to the current, was about fifty superficial
       inches. This will give an idea of the strength of that
       current, and, at the same time, hint at the Titan forces
       that have been at work to scoop out the bed of the Niagara

       “I am now satisfied that our friend, the English captain,
       was sounding in vain.

                   “Yours respectfully and truly,
                        “JOHN A. ROEBLING.”
                                              --ED. NOTE.

     [33] Of the separation from the standing churches an account
     has been given, and of the disorders and oppressions of
     those times when they commenced. Churches of this character
     were formed in New London, Stonington, Preston, Norwich,
     Lyme, Canterbury, Plainfield, Windsor, Suffield, and
     Middletown. Some of these churches and congregations were
     nearly as large as some of the standing churches. There were
     ten or twelve churches and congregations of this
     denomination, first and last, in the colony. Some of them
     carried their enthusiasm to a greater extent than others. In
     New London they carried it to such a degree that they made a
     large fire to burn their books, clothes, and ornaments,
     which they called their idols, and which they now determined
     to forsake, and utterly to put away.

     This imaginary work of piety and self-denial they undertook
     on the Lord’s-day, and brought their books, necklaces, and
     jewels, together in the main street.

     They began by burning their erroneous books, dropping them,
     one after another, into the fire, pronouncing these words:
     “If the author of this book died in the same sentiments and
     faith in which he wrote it, as the smoke of this pile
     ascends, so the smoke of his torment will ascend forever and
     ever. Hallelujah! Amen.”

     But they were prevented from burning their clothes and
     jewels. John Lee, of Lyme, told them his idols were his wife
     and children, and that he could not burn them; it would be
     contrary to the laws of God and man; that it was impossible
     to destroy idolatry without a change of heart and of the
     affections.--ED. NOTE.

     [34] Mr. Hooker died while this work was in course of
     publication.--ED. NOTE.

     [35] The Rev. Mr. Dean went to England and took orders for
     the church at Hebron, but died at sea on his return, about
     the year 1745. The Rev. Mr. Punderson, of Groton, then
     preached to them, and administered the sacrament, from 1746
     to 1752. The people of Hebron were very unfortunate with
     respect to the gentlemen who went to England for orders in
     their behalf. A Mr. Cotton, in 1752, received orders for
     them, but he died, on his passage for New-England, with the
     small-pox. Mr. Graves, of New-London, served them from 1752
     to 1757. In 1757 one Mr. Usher went for orders in their
     behalf; he was taken by the French, on his passage to
     England, and died in captivity.

     The Rev. Samuel Peters was ordained their priest in August,
     1759, and the next year returned to New-England. He
     continued priest at Hebron until the commencement of the
     Revolutionary War, when he was driven from his country by
     the mobs of Windham, instigated by Governor Trumbull.--ED.

     [36] The following is a portion of a communication to some
     paper in Connecticut, part of which has been destroyed:

       “MR. PRINTER: You have shewn no partiality in your paper
       among contending parties, but have given all rational
       systems, at least all popular plans, a chance in the world
       by your medeocritical channel. What I am desirous of
       communicating to the public is very popular: It is, to put
       the Quacks Club in the East upon a reputible footing, as
       the licensed Physiognomers in the West.

       “At a meeting held in Connecticut, October, 1767, it was

       “First: We Etiologists, viz. John Whiggot, Esq. President,
       Adam Kuncnow, Michel Nugnug, Shazael Bulldunce, Committee
       for said Club of Quackism. That we may serve each other in
       our Occupation, we have appointed a meeting to be upon the
       first Tuesday of every month, for the year ensueing, at
       the house of Mr. Abram Bruntick, in Green Lane, nigh the
       Crow Market, straight forward from the sign of the Goose,
       at the sign of the Looking Glass.

       “Second: To lay some plan to support Dr. Leaffolds Latina

       “Third: To choose a Proluctor, able to defend the high
       pretensions made by these mercurial sons in the West
       against your art in Pharmacy, Chemistry, and Physic, in
       the East.

       “Fourth: To make some Laws for admission of young Quacks
       into this most popular Club.”

     No doubt the above was a burlesque upon the law that had
     passed the year before, or rather upon the one the General
     Assembly refused to pass.--ED. NOTE.

     [37] The episcopal church in Stratford is the oldest of that
     denomination in the State. But episcopacy made very little
     progress in Connecticut, until after the declaration of
     Rector Cutler, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Whitemore, and Mr. Brown,
     for episcopacy, in 1722. Numbers of Mr. Johnson’s and Mr.
     Whitemore’s hearers professed episcopacy with them, and set
     up the worship of God, according to the manner of the Church
     of England, in the West and North-Haven. Mr. (afterward Dr.)
     Johnson was a gentleman distinguished for literature, of
     popular talents and engaging manners. In 1724, after
     receiving episcopal ordination in England, he returned to
     Stratford, and, under his ministry to that and the
     neighboring churches of that denomination, they were
     increased.--ED. NOTE.

     [38] An early provision was therefore made by law in
     Massachusetts and Connecticut for the support of the
     ministry. In Connecticut all persons were obliged by law to
     contribute to the support of the Church as well as of the

     All rates respecting the support of ministers, or any
     ecclesiastical affairs, were to be made and collected in the
     same manner as the rates of the respective towns.

     Special care was taken that all persons should attend the
     means of public instruction. The law obliged them to be
     present at public worship on the Lord’s-day, and upon all
     days of public fasting and praying, and of thanksgivings
     appointed by civil authority, on penalty of a fine of five
     shillings for every instance of neglect. The Congregational
     churches were adopted and established by law; but provision
     was made that all sober, orthodox persons dissenting from
     them should, upon the manifestation of it to the General
     Court, be allowed peaceably to worship in their own way.

     It was enacted, “That no person within this Colony shall in
     any wise embody themselves into Church estate without
     consent of the General Court and approbation of neighbouring

     The law also prohibited that any ministry or Church
     administration should be entertained or attended by the
     inhabitants of any plantation in the Colony, distinct and
     separate from, and in opposition to, that which was openly
     and publicly observed and dispensed by the approved minister
     of the place; except it was by the approbation of the Court
     and neighboring churches. The penalty for every breach of
     this act was 5_l._--ED. NOTE.

     [39] The following will show that a Connecticut mob of
     _Sober Dissenters_ is not inferior to a London mob of
     drunken Conformists, either in point of ingenuity, low
     humour, or religious mockery. The stamp-master was declared
     by the mob at Hertford to be dead. The mob at Lebanon
     undertook to send Ingersoll to his own place. They made
     their effigies, one to represent Mr. Grenville, another
     Ingersoll, and a third the devil. The last was dressed with
     a wig, hat, and black coat, given by parson Solomon
     Williams, of Lebanon. Mr. Grenville was honoured with a hat,
     wig, and coat, a present from Mr. Jonathan Trumbull, who was
     afterwards chosen Governor, (and who afterwards wrote the
     letter to General Gage, as appears in a preceding note.) Mr.
     Ingersoll was dressed in red, with a lawyer’s wig, a wooden
     sword, and his hat under his arm, by the generosity of
     Joseph Trumbull. Thus equipped, the effigies were put into a
     cart, with ropes about their necks, and drawn towards the
     gallows. A dialogue ensued between the criminals. Some
     friendship seemed to subsist between Mr. Grenville and the
     devil, while nothing but sneers and frowns passed the devil
     to Ingersoll; and the fawning reverence of the latter gave
     his infernal Highness such offence, that he turned up his
     breech and discharged fire, brimstone, and tar in
     Ingersoll’s face, setting him all in a blaze; which,
     however, Mr. Grenville generously extinguished with a
     squirt. This was many times repeated. As the procession
     advanced, the mob exclaimed, “Behold the just reward of our
     agent, who sold himself to Grenville, like Judas, at a
     price!” In this manner the farce was continued till
     midnight, at which time they arrived at the gallows; where a
     person in a long shirt, in derision of the surplice of a
     Church clergyman, addressed the criminals with republican
     Atticisms, railleries, &c., concluding thus: “May your
     deaths be tedious and intolerable, and may your souls sink
     quick down to hell, the residence of tyrants, traitors, and
     devils!” The effigies were then turned off, and, after
     hanging some time, were hoisted upon a huge pile of wood and
     burnt, that their bodies might share a similar fate with
     their souls. This pious transaction exalted the character of
     Mr. Trumbull, and facilitated his election to the office of
     Governor; and, what was of further advantage to him, his mob
     judged that the bones of Ingersoll’s effigy merited
     christian burial according to the rites of the Church of
     England, though he had been brought up a _Sober Dissenter_,
     and resolved, therefore, to bury his bones in Hebron.
     Accordingly, thither they repaired, and, after having made a
     coffin, dug a grave in a cross-street, and made every other
     preparation for the interment, they sent for the episcopal
     clergyman there to attend the funeral of the bones of
     Ingersoll the traitor.

     The clergyman[40] told the messengers that neither his
     office nor his person were to be sported with, nor was it
     his business to bury _Sober Dissenters_ who abuse the Church
     while living. The mob, enraged at this answer, ordered a
     party to bring the clergyman by force, or send him to hell
     after Ingersoll. This alarmed the people of the town, who
     instantly loaded their muskets in defence of the clergyman.
     Thus checked in their mad career, the mob contented
     themselves with a solemn funeral procession, drums beating
     and horns blowing, and buried the coffin in the
     cross-street, one of the pantomimes bawling out, “We commit
     this traitor’s bones to the earth--ashes to dust and dust to
     ashes--in sure and certain hope that his soul is in hell with
     all tories and enemies in Zion.” Then, having driven a stake
     through the coffin, and each cast a stone upon the grave,
     they broke a few windows, cursed such clergymen as rode in
     chaises and were above the control of God’s people, and went
     off with a witless saying, viz. “It is better to live with
     the Church militant than with the Church triumphant.”

     [40] The Episcopal clergyman was the Rev. Samuel Peters.--ED.

     [41] This Mr. Dyer had been in England, had petitioned for,
     and, through Dr. Franklin’s interest, obtained a new office
     at the port of New-London, viz. that of Comptroller, but
     afterwards had thought proper to resign that office, in
     order to be made a Judge of the Superior Court and one of
     the Council; and, forsooth, that a stranger only might serve
     the King of Great Britain in the character of a publican in


The preceding sheets bring the “History of Connecticut” to its latest
period of amity with Great Britain, agreeable to the plan upon which
it was begun. I propose laying before my readers, in an Appendix, a
summary account of the proceedings of the people of Connecticut
immediately leading to their open hostilities against the Mother
Country, not only because some events are not at all, or erroneously,
known here, but also because they will form a supplement necessary in
several instances to what has been already related. Another reason
that induces me to make the proposed addition is, the contradictions
that have so frequently appeared regarding the statements made by the
author of the “History,” as to acts and laws that were in force in the
colony of Connecticut during its early settlement, and which had been
handed down to their posterity by the _Sober Dissenters_, as they
called themselves, many of which laws remained in force up to the
beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Mr. James Hammond Trumbull, a descendant of Governor Trumbull, so
frequently spoken of in this work and notes, in a book lately
published by him, entitled “The True Blue Laws of Connecticut and
Newhaven, and the False Blue Laws invented by the Rev. Samuel Peters,”
has taken unnecessary pains to show that the Blue Laws represented in
the “History” were never published in the colony, and consequently
must be factitious. The author of the “History” himself mentions that
they never were published; and had Mr. Trumbull referred to the action
of the meeting of the planters in Quinnipiack, the 4th of June, 1639,
he would have seen that the general resolutions then and there adopted
were to be their laws, and that no laws were enacted. (See Note on
pages 44-47.)

Many writers have endeavoured to point out the motive which prompted
the Americans to the wish of being independent of Great Britain, who
had for a century and a half nursed and protected them with parental
tenderness; but they have only touched upon the reasons ostensibly
held up by the Americans, but which are merely a veil to the true
causes. These, therefore, I shall endeavour to set before the reader.

In the first place: England, as if afraid to venture her Constitution
in America, had kept it at an awful distance, and established in many
of her colonies republicanism, wherein the democratic absorbs the
regal and aristocratic part of the English Constitution. The people
naturally imbibed the idea that they were superior to kings and lords,
because they controlled their representatives, governors, and
councils. This is the infallible consequence of popular governments.

Secondly: The English had, like the Dutch, adopted the errors of
ancient Rome, who judged that her colonies could be held in subjection
only by natives of Rome; and therefore all emoluments were carefully
withheld from all natives of the colonies.

Thirdly: The learned and opulent families in America were not honoured
by their King like those born in Britain.

Fourthly: The Americans saw themselves despised by the Britons,
“though bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh.” They felt and
complained of, without redress, the sad effects of convicts, the
curses of human society and the disgrace of England, taken from the
dungeons, jails, and gibbets, and poured into America as the common
sewer of England, to murder, plunder, and commit outrage upon the
people “whom the King did not delight to honour.”

Hence the rebellion. Human nature is always such that men will never
cease struggling for honour, wealth, and power, at the expense of
gratitude, loyalty, and virtue.

Indignation and despair seized the gentlemen in America, who thought,
like Haman, that their affluence and ease was nothing worth so long as
they lay under the sovereign’s contempt. They declared that the insult
reached the whole continent, in which were to be found only two
Baronets of Great Britain, while all the other inhabitants were held
beneath the yeomanry of England. They added: “Let Cæsar tremble! Let
wealth and private property depart, to deliver our country from the
injuries of our elder brethren!” How easily might the rebellion have
been averted by the granting of titles! With what reason faction and
discontent spring up in South-America, may be learned from the
dear-bought wisdom of Spain, who transported to her colonies her own
Constitution in Church and State, rewarded merit in whatever part of
her territories it appeared, sent bishops to govern and ordain in
every church in South-America, and they, together with the native
_noblesse_, promoted harmony, the offspring of justice and policy;
while North-America abounded with discord, hatred, and rebellion,
entirely from want of policy and justice in their party-coloured
charters, and of the honours and privileges of natural-born subjects
of Great Britain.

It appears that the British Government, in the last century, did not
expect New-England to remain under their authority; nor did the
New-Englanders consider themselves as subjects, but allies, of Great
Britain. It seems that England’s intent was to afford an asylum to the
republicans, who had been a scourge to the British Constitution; and
so, to encourage that restless party to emigrate, republican charters
were granted, and privileges and promises given them far beyond what
any Englishman in England was entitled to. The emigrants were
empowered to make laws in Church and State, agreeable to their own
will and pleasure, without the King’s approbation; they were excused
from all quit-rents, all Government taxes, and promised protection
without paying homage to the British King, and their children entitled
to the same rights and privileges as if born in England. However hard
this bargain was upon the side of England, she had performed her part,
except in the last respect--indeed, the most material in policy and in
the minds of the principal gentlemen of New-England. The honour of
nobility had not been conferred on any of them, and therefore they had
never enjoyed the full privileges and liberties of the Britons, but,
in a degree, had ever been held in bondage under their chartered
republican systems, wherein gentlemen of learning and property attain
not to equal power with the peasants. The people of New-England were
rightly styled republicans; but a distinction should be made between
the learned and the unlearned, the rich and the poor. The latter
formed a great majority; therefore the minority were obliged to wear
the livery of the majority, in order to secure their election into
office. These very republican gentlemen were ambitious, fond of the
power of governing, and grudged no money or pains to obtain an annual
office. What would they not have given for a dignity depending not on
the fickle will of a multitude, but on the steady reason and
generosity of a king? The merchants, lawyers, and clergy, to
appearance were republicans, but not one of them was really so. The
truth is, they found necessity on the one hand, and British neglect on
the other, to be so intolerable, that they rather chose to risk their
lives and fortunes to bring about a revolution, than continue in the
situation they were. As to the multitude, they had no cause of
complaint: they were accuser, judge, king, and subjects, only to

The rebellion sprung not from them, but from the merchants, lawyers,
and clergy, who were never inimical to the aristocratic branch of the
Government, provided they were admitted to share in it according to
their merits. It is true, they, like Calvin, the author of their
religion, maintained that no man can merit anything of the Great
Eternal; nevertheless, they thought they had merited the aristocratic
honours which emanate from earthly kings; while kings and nobles of
the earth imagine themselves to have merited more than they yet
enjoy--even heaven itself--only because they happen to enjoy the honour
of being descendants of heroic ancestors.

England had also been as careful to keep to herself her religion and
bishops as her civil constitutions and baronies. A million of
Churchmen in America had been considered as not worthy of one bishop,
while eight millions in South-Britain were scarcely honoured with
enough with twenty-six: an insult on common justice, which would have
extinguished every spark of affection in America for the English
Church, and created an everlasting schism, like that between
Constantinople and Rome, had not the majority of the American
episcopal clergy been possessed of less ambition than love and zeal.
They had suffered on both sides of the Atlantic in name and property,
for their endeavours to keep up a union between the Mother Country and
her children; but all their arguments and persuasions were
insufficient to convince their brethren that England would in future
be more generous towards her colonies. One of the first fruits of the
grand continental meeting of dissenting divines at Newhaven was a
coalition between the republican and the minor part of the episcopal
clergy, who were soon joined by the merchants, lawyers, and planters,
with a view of procuring titles, ordination, and government,
independent of Great Britain. Such were the real sources of the
rebellion in America. The invasion of this or that colonial right, the
oppression of this or that act of Parliament, were merely the
pretended causes of it, which the ill-humour of a misgoverned people
prompted them eagerly to hold up--causes which would never have found
existence, whose existence had never been necessary, if a better
system of American policy had been adopted; but, being produced, the
shadow of complaint was exhibited instead of the substance, pretence
instead of reality. Every republican pulpit resounded with invectives
against the King, Lords, and Commons, who claimed a power to tax and
govern the people of America--a power which their charters and
ancestors knew nothing of. “Britons,” they said, “call our property
theirs; they consider us as slaves--as hewers of wood and drawers of
water to the descendants of those tyrants of Church and State who in
the last century expelled and persecuted our fathers into the wilds of
America. We have charters sacred as Magna Charta and the Bill of

They declared that the liberties of America ought to be defended with
the blood of millions; that the Attorney-General ought to impeach the
Parliament of Great Britain, and all its abettors, of high treason,
for daring to tax the freemen of America; that each colony was a
palatinate, and the people a palatine; that the people of Connecticut
had as much authority to issue a writ of _quo warranto_ against Magna
Charta, as the King had to order such a writ against the Charter of

By ravings of this kind did the _Sober Dissenters_ manifest their
discontents, when the various measures for raising a revenue in
America were adopted by the British ministry. That of sending tea to
America, in 1773, subject to a duty of three pence on the pound,
payable in America, particularly excited their clamour, as designed,
they said, to establish a precedent of British taxation in this
country; and, notwithstanding all the remonstrances of the loyalists,
who strenuously exerted themselves in removing vulgar prejudices and
procuring a reconciliation with circumstances rendered unavoidable by
the necessity cf the times, they effectually inflamed the minds of the
populace by reading, in the meetings on Sunday, letters said to have
been sent by Dr. Franklin, I. Temple, and others, representing the
danger of paying any tax imposed by Parliament, and the evil
protestantism was threatened with by a Roman Catholic King, by
Jacobites, tories, and episcopal clergy in both countries, all enemies
to liberty and the American Vine; and adding that, if the Americans
paid the tax on tea, there were three hundred other taxes ready to be
imposed upon them, one of which was “50_l._ for every son born in
wedlock, to maintain the natural children of the lords and bishops of

The moderate counsel of the loyalists had formerly been attended with
some effect; but it was forced to give place to the ribaldry just
mentioned, and an opposition much more resolute was determined upon
against the tea-act than had been made to the Stamp Act.

A provincial congress, committee of correspondence, committee of
safety, in every town, &c. &c. now started up for the purpose of
setting the colony in an uproar against the Parliament of Great
Britain. To this end contributed not a little the falsehoods and
artifices of Mr. Handcock, and other Boston merchants, who had in
their storehouses nearly 40,000 half-boxes of tea, smuggled from the
Dutch; which would never have been sold had the Company’s teas been
once admitted into America, as the latter were not only the better in
quality, but, the duty being reduced from one shilling to three pence,
would be also the much cheaper commodity. Mr. Handcock and his
compatriots, therefore, were by no means wanting in endeavours to
procure for the first teas which arrived in New-England the reception
they met with in the harbour of Boston.

That famous exploit afforded them an opportunity of clearing their
warehouses, which they prudently resolved to do as soon as possible,
lest the reception of the Company’s tea in other provinces, or other
possible circumstances, should afterwards put it out of their power.
An idea began to prevail that a non-importation of tea was an
advisable measure upon the present occasion; accordingly, they
advertised that, after disposing of their present stock, they would
not import or have any further dealings in tea for two years. This at
once tended to fill their pockets, and exalt their characters as

The people, ignorant of the extent of such stock, and apprehensive of
being deprived of an article they were so passionately fond of,
eagerly furnished themselves with quantities sufficient for that time,
mostly of about thirty, forty, and fifty pounds, notwithstanding the
prices were advanced one shilling per pound, upon the pretence of
raising money to pay for the tea destroyed, in order to secure the
religion and liberty of America, which, under that idea, it was
generally acknowledged ought to be done. When the tea was mostly
disposed of, the people found that the extra price they had given for
it was designed for the venders, instead of for the East-India
Company, whose tea at the bottom of the harbour was not to be paid
for. They murmured; whereupon the smugglers voted that they would not
drink any more tea, but burn on the Common what they had left. Some
tea was disposed of, and the public-spirited transaction blazoned in
the newspapers. But this was not all: the smugglers sent letters to
the leaders of mobs in the country, enjoining them to wait upon the
purchasers of their tea, and compel them to burn it, as a proof of
their patriotism. Those honourable instructions were obeyed, to the
real grievance of the holders of the tea. “Let Mr. Handcock,” said
they, “and the other merchant-smugglers, return us our money, and then
you shall be welcome to burn the tea according to their orders.”

But it signified nothing to dispute the equity of the requisition; the
cry was, “Join, or die!” Nor would the Sons of Liberty be satisfied
with anything less than that each owner of tea should with his own
hands bring forth the same and burn it, and then sign a declaration
that he had acted in this affair voluntarily and without any
compulsion, and, moreover, pay the printer for inserting it in the

An act of Parliament for shutting up the port of Boston was the
immediate consequence of the destruction of the East-India Company’s
tea. It took place in June, 1774, and was considered by the Americans
as designed to reduce the Bostonians “to the most servile and mean
compliance ever attempted to be imposed on a free people, and allowed
to be infinitely more alarming and dangerous to their common liberties
than even the hydra, the Stamp Act.”

Due care had been taken to enforce it, by sending General Gage, as
Governor, to Boston, where he arrived the preceding month with a
number of troops. Determined, however, as Parliament seemed, on
compulsion, the colonists were equally bent on resistance, and
resolved on a Continental Congress to direct their operations. In the
mean time, contributions for relieving the distressed people in Boston
were voted by the colonies; and Connecticut, through the officiousness
of Jonathan Trumbull, its Governor, had the honour of first setting
the example, by having a meeting called in Hebron, the inhabitants of
which remained loyal and refused to vote for the collection. Governor
Trumbull imputed this to the influence of the Rev. Samuel Peters (of
whom more will be said hereafter) and his family. Many were the
attempts made to ruin his character, but unsuccessfully; he was too
well beloved and befriended in the town.

Falsehoods and seditions had now for some time been every day
increasing in the province; and men who were secret propagators of
traitorous opinions, pretended in public to look up to the
Consociation, the great focus of Divine illumination, for direction.
After much fasting and praying, that holy leaven discovered an
admirable method of advancing the blessed work of protestant liberty.
The doors of prisons were opened, and prisoners became leaders of mobs
composed of negroes, vagabonds, and thieves, who had much to gain and
nothing to lose. The besom of destruction first cleared away the
creditors of the renegades, and then the Sandemanians, presbyterians,
and episcopalians. The unfortunate complained to the Governor and
magistrates of the outrages of the banditti, begging the protection of
the laws. The following was the best answer returned by the

“The proceedings of which you complain are like the acts of
Parliament; but be this as it may, we are only servants of the people,
in whom all power centres, and who have assumed their natural right to
judge and act for themselves.”

The loyalists armed, to defend themselves and property against the
public thieves; but the Liberty Boys were instantly honoured by the
ministers, deacons, and justices, who caused the Grand Jury to indict,
as tories and rioters, those who presumed to defend their houses, and
the courts fined and imprisoned them.

Thus horridly, by night and day, were the mobs driven on by the hopes
of plunder and the pleasure of domineering over their superiors.
Having sent terror and lamentation through their own colony, the
incarnate fiends paid a visit to the episcopalians of Great
Barrington, whose numbers exceeded that of the _Sober Dissenters_.
Their wrath chiefly fell upon the Rev. Mr. Bostwick and David
Ingersoll, Esq. The former was lashed with his back to a tree, and
almost killed; but on account of the fits of his wife and mother, and
the screamings of the women and children, the mob released him upon
his signing the eighteen articles, or their League or Covenant, as
they called it, (which without doubt was the same as that drawn up and
written by Governor Trumbull, which will be referred to hereafter.) As
to Mr. Ingersoll, after demolishing his house and stealing his goods,
they brought him almost naked into Connecticut upon the bare back of a
horse, in spite of the distresses of his mother and sister, which were
enough to melt the heart of a savage, though producing in the _Sober
Dissenters_ but peals of laughter that rent the skies.

Treatment so extremely barbarous did Mr. Ingersoll receive at their
hands, that the sheriff of Litchfield County could not withhold his
interposition, by which means he was set at liberty, after signing the
league and covenant. The Grand Jury indicted some of the leaders in
this riot, but the Court dismissed them, upon receiving information
from Boston that Ingersoll had seceded from the House of
Representatives, and declared for the King of England.

What caused this irruption of the mob into Great Barrington, follows:
The laws of Massachusets-Bay gave each town a power to vote a tax for
the support of the ministry, schools, poor, &c. The money, when
collected, was deposited with the town treasurer, who is obliged to
pay it according to the determination of the majority of the voters.
The _Sober Dissenters_, for many years, had been the majority in
Barrington, and had annually voted about two hundred pounds sterling
for the ministry, above half of which was taken from the Churchmen and
Lutherans, whose ministers could have no part of it, because
separately the greatest number of voters were _Sober Dissenters_, who
gave the whole to their minister. This was deemed liberty and gospel
in New-England; but mark the sequel. The Lutherans and some other
sects having joined the Church party, the Church gained the majority.
Next year the town voted the money, as usual, for the ministry, &c.;
but the majority voted that the treasurer should pay the share
appointed for the ministry to the Church clergyman, which was
accordingly done; whereupon the _Sober Dissenters_ cried out, “Tyranny
and persecution!” and applied to Governor Hutchinson, then the idol
and protector of the Independents, for relief. His Excellency, ever
willing to leave “Paul bound,” found a method of reversing the vote of
the majority of the freemen of Barrington in favour of the Churchmen,
calling it “a vote obtained by wrong and fraud.” The Governor, by law
or without law, appointed Mayor Hawley, of Northampton, to be
Moderator of the town-meeting in Barrington. The Mayor accordingly
attended, but, after exerting himself for three days in behalf of his
oppressed brethren, was obliged to declare that the episcopalians had
a great majority of legal voters; he then went home, leaving matters
as he found them.

The _Sober Dissenters_ were always so poor in Barrington that they
could not have supported their minister without taxing their
neighbours; and when they lost that power, their minister departed
from them, “because,” as he said, “the Lord had called him to
Rhode-Island.” To overthrow the majority of the Church, and to
establish the American Vine upon its old foundation, was the main
intention of the _Sober Dissenters_ of Connecticut in visiting Great
Barrington at this time.

The warlike preparations throughout the colonies, and the intelligence
obtained from certain credible refugees of a secret design, formed in
Connecticut and Massachusets-Bay, to attack the royal army, induced
General Gage to make some fortifications upon Boston-Neck for their
security. These, of course, gave offence; but much more the excursion
of a body of troops, on the 19th of April, 1775, to destroy a magazine
of stores at Concord, and the skirmishes which ensued. In a letter of
the 28th of April from Mr. Trumbull, the Governor of Connecticut, to
General Gage, after speaking of the “very just and general alarm”
given the “good people” of that province by his arrival at Boston with
troops, and subsequent fortifications, he tells the General that “the
late hostile and secret inroads of some of the troops under his
command into the heart of the country, and the violence they had
committed, had driven them almost into a state of desperation.”
Certain it is, that the populace were then so maddened by false
representations and aggravations of events, unfortunate and lamentable
enough in themselves, as to be quite ripe for the rebellion the
Governor and Assembly were on the point of commencing, though they had
the effrontery to remonstrate against the defensive proceedings of the
General, in order to conceal their own treachery. Further on, in the
same letter, Mr. Trumbull writes thus: “The people of this colony, you
may rely upon it, abhor the idea of taking up arms against the troops
of their sovereign, and dread nothing so much as the horrors of civil
war; but, at the same time, we beg leave to assure your Excellency
that, as they apprehend themselves justified by the principles of
self-defence, so they are most firmly resolved to defend their rights
and privileges to the last extremity; nor will they be restrained from
giving aid to their brethren, if an unjustifiable attack is made upon
them. Is there no way to prevent this unhappy dispute from coming to
extremities? Is there no alternative but absolute submission or the
desolations of war? By that humanity which constitutes so amiable a
part of your character, for the honour of our sovereign, and by the
glory of the British empire, we entreat you to prevent it, if it be
possible. Surely, it is to be hoped that the temperate wisdom of the
empire might, even yet, find expedients to restore peace, that so all
parts of the empire may enjoy their particular rights, honours, and
immunities. Certainly this is an event most devoutly to be wished for;
and will it not be consistent with your duty to suspend the operations
of war, on your part, and enable us, on ours, to quiet the minds of
the people, at least till the result of some further deliberations may
be known?” &c. &c.

From this letter, written, as it was, from the Governor of a province
at the desire of its General Assembly, the people of England might
have learned to think of the American as they did of the French
sincerity. It is almost past credit that, amidst the earnest
protestations it contains of a peaceable disposition in Mr. Trumbull
and the rest of his coadjutors in the Government of Connecticut, they
were meditating and actually taking measures for the capture of
certain of the King’s forts, and the destruction of General Gage and
his whole army, instead of quieting the minds of the people! Yet such
was the fact. They had commissioned Motte and Phelps to draft men from
the militia, if volunteers should not readily appear, for a secret
expedition, which proved to be against Ticonderoga and Crown Point;
and the treasurer of the colony, by order of the Governor and Council,
had paid 1500_l._ to bear their expenses. Nay, even before the date of
the above amiable epistle, Motte and Phelps had left Hertford on that
treasonable undertaking, in which they were joined on the way by
Colonels Allen and Easton. Nor was this the only insidious enterprise
that they had to cover. The “good people” throughout the province, to
the number of nearly 20,000, were secretly arming themselves, and
filing off, to avoid suspicion, in small parties of ten and a dozen,
to meet “their brethren” the Massachusets; not, however, with the view
of “giving aid, should any unjustifiable able attack be made upon
them,” but to “surprise” Boston by storm. In addition to the
Governor’s letter, the mock-peacemakers, the General Assembly, had
deputed Dr. Samuel Johnson, son of the Rev. Dr. Johnson, spoken of in
this work, and Oliver Wolcott, Esq. both of the Council, which had
ordered the 1500_l._ for the adventurers to Ticonderoga, to wait upon
General Gage, the more effectually to amuse and deceive him into
confidence and inaction. But happily, at a critical time, just before
the intended storm and slaughter at Boston, the news of the success of
the secret expedition reached the town, which fully discovered the
true character and business of the two Connecticut ambassadors, and
rendered it necessary for them, _sans cérémonie_, to retire from
Boston, and General Gage immediately to render the fortifications at
the Neck impregnable.

The _Sober Dissenters_, chagrined at being disappointed in their
hostile project against Boston, readily embraced the opportunities
which afforded of wreaking their vengeance upon New-York. At the
instance of the rebel party there, who found themselves too weak to
effect their purpose of subverting the Constitution of the province, a
large body immediately posted to their assistance, delivered “their
brethren” from the slavery of regal government, and invested them with
the liberty of doing that which was fit in their own eyes, under the
democratic administration of the immaculate Livingstons, Morris,
Schuyler, &c. As seemed necessary to the furtherance of their pacific
views, frequent irruptions were made afterwards, in which many
loyalists were disarmed and plundered, and some of them taken
prisoners. Among these last were the Rev. Dr. Seabury and the Mayor of
New-York. Governor Tryon happily escaped their fury; as also did the
Rev. Miles Cooper, LL.D., who was leaving his house through a back
window when a party of ruffians burst into his chamber and thrust
their bayonets into the bed he had just quitted. Mr. Rivington was one
of the sufferers by the loss of his property.

These “good people” of Governor Trumbull’s, who dreaded nothing so
much as a civil war, with the reverse of reluctance, plundered his
house of all printing materials and furniture, and carried the type to
Newhaven, where they were used in the service of Congress.

The King’s statue, however, maintained its ground till after General
Washington, with the Continental army, had taken possession of the
city; when it was indicted for high treason against the Dominions of
America, found guilty, and received a quaint sentence of this kind,
viz. That it should undergo the act of decollation; and, inasmuch as
it had no bowels, its legs should be broken, and that the lead of it
should be run into bullets, for the destruction of the English
bloody-backs, and the refuse cast into the sea. The sentence was
immediately carried into execution, amidst the huzzas and
vociferations of “Praise ye the Lord!”

This insult upon his Majesty, General Washington, to his credit,
thought proper thus to notice in his general orders of the next day.
He was sorry, he said, that his soldiers should in a riotous manner
pull down the statue of the King of Great Britain.

While General Washington remained in possession of New-York,
Connecticut served as a prison for those persons who had the
misfortune to fall under his suspicion as disaffected to the cause of
freedom. He was himself, however, at length obliged to evacuate it by
General Howe, to the great relief of such royalists as remained.

In April, 1777, some magazines having been formed by the Americans at
Danbury and Ridgfield, Major-General Tryon was sent with 1800 men to
carry off or destroy them.

They reached the places of their destination with little opposition;
but the whole force of the country being collected to obstruct their
return, the General was obliged to set the stores on fire, by which
means those towns were unavoidably burnt. David Wooster, the rebel
general, Benedict Arnold’s old friend and acquaintance, and mobbing
confederate, received a fatal ball through his bladder as he was
harassing the rear of the royal troops, of which, after being carried
forty miles to Newhaven, he died, and was buried by the side of the
grave of David Dixwell, one of the Judges of Charles the First.

In the summer of 1779 Sir Henry Clinton sent General Tryon, with a
large party of soldiers, for the relief of the loyalists in
Connecticut. They landed at Newhaven after much opposition, and,
having accomplished their object, sailed to Fairfield, which town they
were necessitated, by the opposition of the rebels, to set fire to,
before the loyalists could be released from prison. General Tryon then
repaired to Norwalk, where, having by proclamation enjoined the
inhabitants to keep within their houses, he ordered sentinels to be
stationed at every door to prevent disorders--a tenderness, however,
they insulted, by firing upon the very men thus appointed to guard
them. The consequence was, destruction to themselves, and the whole
town, which was laid in ashes.

I have now mentioned the principal proceedings by which the people of
Connecticut had distinguished themselves in bringing on and supporting
the rebellion in America, and that, I believe, in a manner
sufficiently particular to show their violence and deceit.

It is very observable that a peculiar characteristic resolution
appeared to possess the people of Connecticut. As, on the one hand,
rebellion had erected her crest in that province with more insolence
and vigour than in the rest, so, on the other hand, loyalty had there
exhibited proofs of zeal, attachment, perseverance, and fortitude, far
beyond example elsewhere to be found in America. In particular, the
episcopal clergy had acquired immortal honour by their steady
adherence to their oaths and firmness under the “assaults of their
enemies;” not a man among them all, in this fiery trial, having
dishonoured either the King or Church of England by apostacy. The
sufferings of some of them I cannot pass over in silence.

Among the greatest enemies to the cause of the _Sober Dissenters_, and
among the greatest friends to that of the Church of England, the Rev.
Samuel Peters stood conspicuous. A descendant of one of the first
settlers in the colony, greatly venerated and beloved by the
inhabitants of Hebron, where he was born in 1735, and being a man of
such truth and integrity as to command great weight in all that
concerned the benefits of the colony, it may not be out of place to
give a slight sketch of the treatment he received at the commencement
of the war, and the cause that drove him from his native country.[42]

In the year 1758 Dr. Peters went to England for the purpose of being
ordained. He had been in ill health for some time previous to this,
but was most anxious for his ordination on account of the church in
Hebron being vacant. He remained in England, very feeble, for some
time, and refused a living there because he wished to return to his
numerous relations and friends in New-England, and especially to
Hebron, where he had left his mother, whom he highly loved and
venerated for her maternal tenderness, wisdom, and piety, and for the
sake of the episcopal church in that town, erected in 1785, which
never had a resident clergyman, though they had sent four candidates
to London for holy orders, and all perished in going or returning,
viz. The Rev. B. Dean, in returning, the ship and crew were lost in a
storm; the Rev. Jonathan Cotton, returning, died at sea with the
smallpox; the Rev. ---- Feveryear, died on returning in the West-Indies;
Mr. James Usher, A. M., in going out, was taken by the French and
carried into Bayonne, dying there with the smallpox.

These four deaths manifested the want of a bishop in North-America,
which was owing to bad policy, and not religion, and was one great
reason of the separation of the two countries, as clearly now appears
by bishops being now established in many States without any offence to
other protestant sects of christians.

His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord-Bishop of London
willingly gratified the wish of Dr. Peters, appointing him Rector of
Hebron and Hertford. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in
Foreign Parts appointed him their itinerant missionary in New-England,
and his Majesty George the Second granted him his letters-patent of
protection to all governors, admirals, generals, and officers by sea
and land, to protect him against all insults and abuse, and to support
him at all times in his sacred office.

Dr. Peters returned to Hebron in 1760, and was received with much joy
and gratitude by the people of all denominations, with whom he had
lived fourteen years in love, peace, and harmony, without knowing an
enemy, until the tea belonging to the East-India Company was destroyed
in Boston. The news, reaching Hertford, caused great surprise and
sorrow, and the people condemned the illegal and violent action of the
mob in Boston.

The news soon reached England, and the Government sent General Gage
and Admiral Graves to block up the harbour of Boston and demand
payment for the teas destroyed. Soon after their arrival at Boston a
report was spread through the country that General Gage had shut up
the town of Boston, and the people must perish with hunger; whereupon
Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of Connecticut, pretending to credit the
report, sent his circular letter to every clergyman in the colony,
requiring it to be read on the Sabbath-day to their respective
congregations, and to urge the selectmen to warn town-meetings to
appoint a general contribution for the support of the poor people in
Boston, shut up to starve by General Gage and Admiral Graves.

The Governor’s letter was obeyed. Hebron held the first meeting.
Deacon John Phelps was chosen Moderator, and explained the business of
the meeting, giving leave to all persons to speak their minds on the
subject. Capt. Ben. Buell was the first who spoke in favour of passing
a vote for a general collection. Col. Alex. Phelps next spoke against
having any collection. The Rev. Elijah Lathrop made the third speech,
in favour of a general collection. The Rev. Dr. Samuel Peters made the
fourth speech, against having any vote or collection, for the reasons

“First: Because Boston is not, and has not been, shut up by order of
General Gage, and all people pass out of and into Boston as usual, and
the citizens want not our charitable help; of consequence, Governor
Trumbull’s letter was premature, occasioned, perhaps, by false
information from some friend to the destroyers of the teas, or an
enemy to America.

“Secondly: Governor Trumbull, in his letter, has not assigned any
proof of the fact that Boston is, or has been, shut up by General

“Thirdly: The teas destroyed in the harbour of Boston ought to be paid
for by the author of that horrible crime; for which deed the King and
Parliament have ordered Admiral Graves to blockade the harbour of
Boston, until the teas wickedly destroyed are paid for; when the
blockade will cease, or I will give my last shilling to help the poor
of Boston.”

The question was then called for.

The Moderator commanded silence, and said: “Will not more of this
Assembly speak on the subject?”

The answer was a general cry of “No! no!”

The Moderator then put the question: “Will you vote for the general
collection for the support of the poor, said to be shut up in Boston
to perish with hunger, by the order of General Gage? You that are for
the affirmative, hold up your right hands.”

Only four hands were held up.

The Moderator said: “You that are for the negative, hold up your right

Every hand but the four was held up.

The Moderator proclaimed that the negatives, by a vast majority, had
determined the question. “Therefore, I dissolve this town-meeting.”

Hertford, the capital of Connecticut colony, held the next
town-meeting, and, after due consideration of Governor Trumbull’s
letter, unanimously negatived to vote for a general collection, and
the Moderator dissolved the town-meeting.

The doings of Hertford and Hebron were soon spread, and put a stop to
all other town-meetings in Connecticut, to the disappointment and
mortification of Governor Trumbull, who laid the blame on the
influence of Dr. Peters, the episcopal clergyman of these two towns.

Hence the Governor spread the report that Dr. Peters was a dangerous
enemy to America, by his correspondence with Lord North and the
bishops of England, and ought to be driven out of his native country
for the safety of it. Governor Trumbull began and effected this by his
Windham mobs, and the mobs of the tea-destroyers in Boston harbour.

This is the true cause of Dr. Peters leaving America, and not because
he was an enemy; for he was never an enemy to any man in his life.

This statement Governor Trumbull spread by his letters to the
ministers in Windham, where he resided, and added that it could be
proved by copies of letters in the Doctor’s house, if sought for
suddenly. This letter was read at the meeting on Sunday, the 14th of
August, 1774, which caused a large number of the hearers to unite in
the afternoon and ride to Hebron, and, after midnight, to surround the
house of Dr. Peters, awaking him and his family in great surprise.

Dr. Peters opened the window, and desired to be informed what was the
occasion of such a multitude assembling? The answer was, “To search
your house! Open your doors!”

Dr. Peters said: “I know you not, but will open my doors very soon.”

Having put on his clothes, he opened his doors and gate, when ten men
came into his house. Dr. Peters begged them to be seated, and they sat
down. They then said: “We have waited upon you, sir, to search your
house from top to bottom, to find your correspondence with the English
bishops, Lord North, and other people in Great Britain.”

Dr. Peters replied: “Your demand is new and extraordinary; but here
are my keys and library, and you can search my house, but I hope you
will not destroy my papers.”

They searched, and read all his correspondence with the bishops and
people in England and Europe, and on Monday, before noon, reported to
the multitude that they had “seen and read the correspondence held by
Dr. Peters with the people of England, and found nothing against the
liberty and rights of America; and, as we have been misinformed, let
us return home;” and off they went.

This did not satisfy Governor Trumbull. He therefore sent another mob
from Windham, armed with guns, swords, and staves, to visit Dr.
Peters, and require his signature to eighteen articles which he (the
Governor) had written, and his son David, one of the commanders of the
mob, presented to Dr. Peters, who read and returned it, saying: “Sir,
I cannot sign it without violating my conscience, the laws of my God,
and my oath to my King.”

David Trumbull replied: “My father told me you might sign it with
safety, and it would save you and your house.”

Dr. Peters replied he would not sign it to save his life, and all the
world, from destruction.

David Trumbull said: “Then you must take the consequences.”

His mob then fired balls into the house, and with stones, bricks, and
clubs broke the doors, windows, and furniture, wounding his mother,
the nurse of his infant son, and his two brothers, and seizing him,
tore off his hat, wig, gown, and cassock, stripping off his shirt,
made him naked, (except his breeches, stockings, and shoes,) struck
him with their staves and spat in his face, and then placed him upon a
horse and carried him more than a mile to their liberty-pole, where
they threatened to tar and feather him, and hang him up by the hands,
unless he would sign the eighteen articles.

Dr. Peters said: “I am in your power; you can soon finish my mortal
existence, but you cannot destroy my immortal soul; and, to save it, I
refuse to sign any one of those articles.”

The mob now cried: “Send for the Rev. Dr. Pomeroy to pray for this
stubborn old tory, before we send him to his own place.”

A sergeant and twelve men were ordered to call on Dr. Pomeroy and
desire him to attend and pray for this wicked old tory Peters.

Dr. Pomeroy answered: “I will not attend, nor give any countenance in
murdering the best man in Hebron.”

The sergeant reported Dr. Pomeroy’s answer. Then an order was given to
the mob to go and bring Dr. Pomeroy to the liberty-pole, to be dealt
with according to his demerits. The mob went, but could not find Dr.

By this time the mob had drunk sufficiently, and the two commanders
(David Trumbull and Major Wright) stood near Dr. Peters. The Hebron
people had now collected, and were prepared to take Dr. Peters out of
the hands of the mob. Three bold troopers rode up to the commander,
and said: “We have come to kill you, or deliver Dr. Peters. Resign
him, or die!”--placing their pistols at the commanders’ breasts. They
said: “Take him away, and be silent.” They then instantly led him

Major Wright mounted his horse, and cried to his mob, “Silence! We
have done enough to this old tory priest for one day, and in four days
we will return and subdue his obstinate temper and finish this day’s
work. Make ready and follow me to Lebanon.”

The mob obeyed, and on their way they saw the wife of John Manee, Esq.
sister to Dr. Peters, at whom they discharged three musket-balls,
which missed her. The mob huzzaed, and cried out, “We are dam’d

The troopers carried Dr. Peters into the house of David Barber, Esq.
where they put on his clothes, and conducted him home to his
half-ruined house.

The next day Dr. Peters went in his carriage and called on Governor
Trumbull, and demanded his protection against the Windham mobs.

The Governor replied: “I was once Governor of the people, but they
have taken all power out of my hands into their own; and you must
apply to them for protection, and it is in your power to gain it.”

Dr. Peters asked his Honour to tell him by what means.

The Governor said: “By signing the paper they presented to you
yesterday, which you refused to sign, and so brought on you their just

Dr. Peters replied: “Sir, do you think it my duty to sign the eighteen
articles your son David, at the head of a mob, demanded me to sign?”

The Governor answered: “Yes, by all means.”

Dr. Peters: “Do you wish to have me justify the outrageous action of
casting into the sea the teas, the property of English merchants?”

The Governor replied: “Yes; and all friends of America will do it.”

Dr. Peters: “Did your Honour mean to have me guilty of perjury and
high treason, by signing those eighteen articles, which you wrote and
gave to your son David for me to sign?”

The Governor replied: “Why do you say I wrote those eighteen

Dr. Peters answered: “Because I read them, and well know your
handwriting; and your son David, Major Wright, and Mr. Croker, told me
so, and that you had sent them to demand my signature to the paper. I
told them I dare not and could not sign them without committing
perjury and high treason, and violating my own conscience and God’s

The Governor replied: “There is no treason in saying that George the
Third, King of England, is a ‘Roman Catholic,’ a ‘tyrant,’ and an
‘idiot,’ and has forfeited the crown; that no true friend of America
ought to obey him, or any of his laws.”

Dr. Peters here arose and took leave of the Governor, with the Hon.
William Hillhouse and Capt. David Tarbox, who had been present during
the interview, and, when out of the house, declared they were
astonished at the words and conduct of the Governor.

Dr. Peters then rode to the Judges of the Supreme Court sitting at
Hertford, Col. Eliphalet Dyer being one of the Judges, and desired the
Court to protect him from the mob at Windham, who had ill-used him,
and threatened to take his life in four days if he did not sign his
name to a paper containing eighteen treasonable articles.

The Court replied: “We are ready to do our duty, when the King’s
Attorney shall exhibit an indictment against the rioters.”

The Attorney arose, and told the Court that it was the duty of the
Grand Jury to exhibit the indictment, and not his.

Thus ended the protection of the Supreme Court of Connecticut.

From thence Dr. Peters drove in his carriage to Newhaven, forty miles
west from Hertford, and so shunned a third visit of the Windham mob.
Here the Doctor applied to the Hon. James Hillhouse for protection,
who said: “My house is your protection; yet I want protection myself
against the mobs of Colonel Wooster and Dr. Benedict Arnold, who are
mobbing the Sandemanians for having spoken against the outrageous
conduct of the destroyers of the teas in Boston harbour. But as you
decline my offer, I advise you to put up at the house of the Rev. Dr.
Hubbard, and, if any disturb you, warn them to keep out of the yard
and house upon pain of death; and if they break the gate, shoot them,
and kill as many as enter the yard. I will raise men, and come to your

The Rev. Dr. Hubbard gave up his house to Dr. Peters, and, on hearing
that Arnold and Wooster had said they would visit Peters and Hubbard
as soon as they had finished with the Sandemanians, Dr. Hubbard
removed his wife and children to a neighbour’s house, and Dr. Peters
told him he would pay for all the damage that might be done to his
house. Dr. Peters fastened the gate, and obtained twenty muskets,
powder, and balls, and, loading the muskets, with his servants and a
friend waited for the mob’s coming.

At ten o’clock in the evening Dr. Arnold and his mob came to the gate,
and found it shut and barred. He called out to open the gate, and Dr.
Peters answered: “The gate shall not be opened this night but on pain
of death!”--holding a musket in his hand.

The mob cried: “Dr. Arnold, break down the gate, and we will follow
you, and punish that tory Peters!”

Arnold replied: “Bring an axe, and split down the gate!”

Dr. Peters said: “Arnold, so sure as you split the gate, I will blow
your brains out, and all that enter this yard to-night!”

Arnold retired from the gate, and told one of his fellows to go
forward and split the gate. The mob then cried out: “Dr. Arnold is a

Arnold replied: “I am no coward; but I know Dr. Peters’ disposition
and temper, and he will fulfill every promise he makes; and I have no
wish for death at present.”

The mob then cried: “Let us depart from this tory house!”

In half an hour after appeared another mob, under the command of Col.
David Wooster, and ordered the gate to be opened.

Dr. Peters told Wooster not to open that gate unless he was ready to
die, and whoever came this night into the yard, or house, he would
shoot, at the same time showing his musket.

Wooster then said to his mob: “Let us go on, and leave this episcopal
tory, who has madness enough to kill any man, and we will see him

The mobs raised a liberty-pole, and kept watch all night over Dr.
Peters; but some friends took his horses over the water to Branford,
where Dr. Peters and his servant went the next day in disguise, and
from there to Saybrook, and thence to Hebron, where they arrived at
midnight on Saturday, and found ten men watching his return; who soon
informed the Windham mobs, who prepared on Sunday to pay a visit to
Dr. Peters on Sunday night.

The Doctor preached in the church to a numerous congregation in the
morning. At 11 o’clock a friend arrived from Windham and informed the
Doctor that a large mob would be at his house by midnight, and advised
him to abscond, and not attend church in the afternoon.

Dr. Peters desired him to be silent, and attended church in the
afternoon, when the assembly was much increased, and the Doctor
preached an affectionate sermon from these words: “O that my head was
water, and my eyes fountains of tears. I would weep day and night for
the transgressions of my people.” The discourse drew tears from every
eye, and the congregation was dismissed, after a most excellent
prayer. Many people attended the Doctor to his house, and quietness
remained till darkness came on, when several persons were observed
around the house as spies.

The Doctor then ordered a servant to take a valuable horse and ride to
the west two miles, and then turn and ride to the east until he
reached Carter’s tree, and there abide until the Doctor came to him.

Dr. Peters then told his mother, to prevent a civil war between the
Windham mob coming and the people of Hebron, he must leave her, and go
to Boston for protection. He then walked out into his garden in the
dark, and thence, unsuspected, across the fields to his servant and
horse. Mounting, he told his servant to go home, and tell no person
where he saw him last. He then rode off for Boston, 100 miles, and
reached there at 5 P. M. the next day, and had an interview with
General Gage and Admiral Graves, who gave him ample protection.

The Windham mob went to the east border of Hebron, and three spies met
them, and told them Dr. Peters had gone off to the west--likely to
New-York. The mob therefore returned home.

Dr. Peters remained in Boston some weeks, and hearing that the ship
Fox was soon to sail for England, he went off in the night and walked
ten miles, when the stage-coach overtook him and carried him to

Sir John Wentworth, Governor of Newhampshire, and the Hon. Col.
Atkinson, called upon him and invited him to dine, and begged him to
preach on Sunday, as their church was vacant by the death of Dr.
Browne. Dr. Peters replied: “I would readily comply with your request,
but for fear of letting the tea-destroyers of Boston know where I am;
and you know their malice against me by the newspapers.”

Sir John replied: “They have no influence in Portsmouth, and we can
and will protect you against those public enemies.”

Dr. Peters consented, and preached in their church on the following

All was quiet till Wednesday, at noon, when a man rode up to the door
and called the hostler to take his horse and feed him. He then came in
and called for dinner. He saw Dr. Peters, but did not know him, and
asked him if he belonged to the house.

The Doctor said “Yes.” He then gave him a Boston newspaper, in which
was an advertisement, signed John Hancock, promising 200_l._ to any
person taking up the Rev. Samuel Peters and delivering him to a
Committee of Safety, he having “retreated from Boston in the night,
and will do mischief wherever he goes, being a most bitter enemy to
the rights and liberty of America.”

The man asked the Doctor: “Have you seen that wicked old priest?”

The Doctor replied: “The landlord was at church, and a stranger
preached last Sunday; perhaps he can tell his name. I will go and call

The Doctor went and told the landlord what the stranger was in pursuit
of, and wished to see him.

The landlord told his servant to run and tell the ferryman to say to
any one inquiring after a clergyman, that he had carried over a man in
black clothes last Monday, who looked like a clergyman, and who said
he was going to Casco Bay, and from thence to London in a mast-ship.
The servant soon did his errand, and the landlord went with the Doctor
to the stranger at dinner, who wished to know if he could inform him
whether Priest Peters had been in Portsmouth.

The landlord replied: “Yes; he preached in our church last Sunday, and
it was said he was going to Casco Bay, to take passage to London in a

The stranger said: “I am in pursuit of him, and four other men coming
from Boston will be here soon, and we will have him in custody. I will
follow him to Casco Bay, or hell, to take him. Tell my friends so when
they arrive.”

He then mounted his horse and rode to the ferry. Asking the ferryman
if he had carried over Priest Peters, he answered: “I cannot tell. I
carried over a man in black clothes last Monday, who was going to
Casco Bay.”

The stranger said: “Mr. Ferryman, shoot me over quick, and I will give
you five shillings.” The ferryman soon got his five shillings, and the
stranger rode off with speed seventy miles, and returned without his

His four companions arrived in the evening, and caused the bells to be
rung and the mobs to assemble, who searched the Governor’s house and
the town to find Dr. Peters, and gain Hancock’s reward of 200_l._, but
found not the Doctor, who was well secured in a cave on the seashore,
where he remained fourteen days.

The Casco Bay news enraged the mob, and they again searched the
Governor’s house, the town, and Captain Norman’s ship, the Fox,
placing a guard on board to prevent him taking passengers or sailing
for London. They searched the fort three times for the Doctor, but
found him not, and placed sentinels in every part of the town, by day
and night, to discover him.

The news of the situation of Dr. Peters reached Boston. General Gage
and Admiral Graves sent an armed ship of sixteen guns to take him from
the cave and carry him to Boston, or any other place he might select.
The ship arrived in the night, and took the Doctor on board.

The captain asked him if he should carry him to Boston, or Halifax?

The Doctor said he preferred London, in the ship Fox, Commander
Norman, lying in the river Piscataqua, but that the mob would not
permit him, or the ship, to sail.

The captain replied: “I will see to that!” and sailed into the river,
hailed the ship Fox, and asked if she was ready to sail. The answer
was, “Yes.” The captain then said: “Let down a chair.” It was done,
and he and his men went on board the ship Fox, and called for the
master. He appeared, and the captain asked: “What men are those on
your decks?”

The master replied: “The committee of safety sent on board by the mob
of the town of Portsmouth.”

The captain said: “I commit to your care this worthy and venerable
clergyman, Dr. Samuel Peters; conduct him to your cabin, and carry him
safe to England;” and then, turning to the Committee of Safety, he
ordered them to quit the ship in five minutes, or he would throw them
overboard into the river. “Your company is not wanted here. I will
guard the ship.”

The committee of safety instantly fled into their boats, and went on

The captain ordered the master to hoist his anchors and sails and go
to sea. The master obeyed the order, and, October 27, 1774, sailed
down the river, the captain following with his ship. The mob on shore,
behind some rocks, fired three cannon at the war-ship, who returned
their shots, which silenced the mob, and they ran away.

The captain guarded the ship Fox out to sea, clear of the land, and
then took leave of her and returned to Boston.

Captain Norman arrived in Portsmouth, December 21, 1774, and carefully
executed his orders--put Dr. Peters on shore, who next day reached
London, where he was graciously received by the Lord-Archbishop of
Canterbury, Dr. Cornwallis, and the Lord-Bishop of London, Dr.
Terrick, and the Ministry. He had also the honour of kissing the hand
of his Majesty, King George the Third.

General Gage and Admiral Graves, two years after, sent, in the
Somerset man-of-war, the only daughter of Dr. Peters to England, who
was at boarding-school at Boston, (she having seen the battle of
Bunker’s Hill,) to save her from future evils, and comfort her father
in his retreat from the tyranny of the mobs in his native country.

Thus suffered the venerable and exemplary Dr. Samuel Peters, only for
obeying his conscience, his God, his king, and the laws of his native
country, by censuring the rioters and destroyers of the teas, the
property of the East-India Company.

He was highly respected, in England as well as in America, by all
pious, benevolent, scientific, and moral christians of all
denominations; and he never knew he had an enemy, (until Gov. Jonathan
Trumbull, of Connecticut, vouchsafed to support the atrocities of the
mobs,) as appears by his benevolent conduct in England to his enemies
of New-England, who had ill-treated him two years before the rebellion
was commenced.

After the war began many of the Windham mob, who spat in the Doctor’s
face and grossly insulted him otherwise, were brought prisoners into
England, and were in great distress. They then applied to the Doctor
for help, (knowing his character in America,) and they never applied
in vain; he always helped them, and in many instances obtained their
release. They returned home and reported that Dr. Peters was like
Joseph in Egypt, and had delivered them out of all their troubles.
“Dr. Peters,” they said, “fed us when we were hungry, clothed us when
naked, visited us in prison, and delivered us out of our distress. He
never reproached us for what we had done to him and his family. When
we confessed to having abused him, he replied, ‘God hath sent me here
before you to save your lives; it was not you that sent me here. Haste
ye; go home, and sin no more.’”

Notwithstanding such reports were spread through New-England by the
redeemed captives, the destroyers of the teas, and their mobs,
continued their malicious and false sayings in the newspapers against
the Doctor, of whom no man in New or Old-England ever knew one crime
of his from his birth; but, on the contrary, was known for his actions
of charity, goodwill, and kindness, to all of the human family.

In June, 1806, the Doctor paid a visit to Hebron, his native town, and
was received with acclamations of great joy by the inhabitants, the
children of his contemporaries, who were all dead in thirty-one years
during his absence (except ten persons). He remained in Hebron six
weeks, and then paid a visit to Hertford, the capital of Connecticut
State, once his faithful parish, and now the seat of bishops. He was
kindly and joyfully received by the inhabitants, with whom he spent
some time with great pleasure, and from thence returned to New-York,
which he made his home.

The Rev. Messrs. Mansfield and Veits were cast into gaol, and
afterwards tried for high treason against America. Their real offence
was charitably giving victuals and blankets to loyalists flying from
the rage of drunken mobs. They were fined and imprisoned, to the ruin
of themselves and families. The Rev. Messrs. Graves, Scovil, Debble,
Nichols, Leaming, Beach, and divers others, were cruelly dragged
through mire and dirt. In short, all the clergy of the Church were
infamously insulted, abused, and obliged to seek refuge in the
mountains, till the popular frenzy was somewhat abated.

In July, 1776, the Congress, having declared the independence of
America, ordered the Commonwealth to be prayed for, instead of the
King and royal family. All the loyal episcopal churches north of the
Delaware were shut up, except those under the protection of the
British army, and one in Newtown, in Connecticut, of which last the
Rev. Mr. John Beach was the rector, whose gray hairs, adorned with
loyal and christian virtues, overcame even the madness of the _Sober

This faithful disciple disregarded the congressional mandate, and,
praying for the King as usual, they pulled him out of his desk, put a
rope about his neck, and drew him across the Osootonoc River at the
tail of a boat, to cool his loyal zeal, as they called it; after which
the old confessor was permitted to depart, though not without
prohibition to pray longer for the King. But his loyal zeal was
insuperable. He went to church and prayed again for the King, upon
which the _Sober Dissenters_ again seized him, and resolved upon
cutting out his tongue; when the heroic veteran said: “If my blood
must be shed, let it not be done in the house of God.” The pious mob
then dragged him out of the church, laid his neck upon a block, and
swore they would cut off his head, and insolently cried out: “Now, you
old devil, say your last prayer!” He prayed thus: “God bless King
George, and forgive all his and my enemies.” At this unexpected and
exalted display of christian patience and charity the mob so far
relented as to discharge him, and never molest him afterwards for
adhering to the liturgy of the Church of England and his
ordination-oath; but they relaxed not their severities towards the
other clergymen, because, they said, younger consciences are more

I cannot conclude this work without remarking what a contrast to the
episcopal clergy of Connecticut, and especially the illustrious
examples of the venerable Beach and Peters, was offered to many of
those that were in the provinces south of the Delaware! In
Connecticut, where they suffered everything but death for tenaciously
adhering to their ordination-oaths, there some of them, with more
enlarged consciences, were not ashamed to commit perjury in prayer and
rebellion in preaching. Though, be it remembered, these expressions
were decent when compared with those of the fanatics in New-England.

The following prayer, used by them before Congress after the
declaration of independence, is likely to gratify the curiosity of my
readers. It brought the clergymen into disgrace merely by its

“O Lord, our heavenly Father, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who
dost from Thy throne behold all the dwellers of the earth, and
reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all kingdoms,
empires, and governments: look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, upon
these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the
oppressor, and thrown themselves upon Thy gracious protection,
desiring henceforth to be dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they
appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they look up
for that countenance and support which Thou alone canst give. Take
them, therefore, heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them
wisdom in council and valour in the field. Defeat the malicious
designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness
of their cause, and, if they still persist in their sanguinary
purposes, O let the voice of Thy unerring justice, sounding in their
hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their enervated
hands in the day of battle. Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and
direct the councils of this honourable Assembly. Enable them to settle
things upon the best and surest foundation; that the scenes of blood
may soon be closed; that order, harmony, and peace may effectually be
restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and
flourish amongst Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and
the vigor of their minds; shower down upon them, and the millions they
represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in
this world, and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to
come. All this we ask in the name, and through the merits, of Jesus
Christ Thy Son, our Saviour. Amen.”

     [42] Which is taken from a manuscript written by the Doctor
     himself and using his own language. This manuscript came
     into my hands only a few weeks ago, with many other
     documents relating to the Revolutionary War.--ED. NOTE.



  Allen, Ethan, origin of his fame, 106;
    joins in the secret expedition against Ticonderoga, 257.

  Amusements, 221.

  Argal, Sir Samuel, compels the Dutch at Manhattan to submit, 12.

  Arnold, Dr. Benedict, attacks Dr. Peters, 268.

  Arran, Earl of, claims part of Connecticut, 27.

  Ashford, 133.

  Assembly, General, chosen by the people, 82;
    times of meeting, 83;
    their laws not to be repealed but by their own authority, 85;
    resolved to settle their lands on Susquehanna River, 96;
    hold a special meeting to consider the Stamp-act, 232;
    vote that the Governor do not take the oath required by it, 235;
    and treat the populace on its repeal, 239;
    conduct of, in regard to Colonel Street Hall and the revolters,


  Bays, two principal, 119.

  Beach, the Rev. Mr., joins the Church of England, 167;
    ignominiously and most cruelly treated, his heroism, 274.

  Bear, a she, and her cubs, killed by General Putnam, 133, 134.

  Beauford, 161.

  Bellamy, the Rev. Dr., some account of, 146.

  Birds, 185, 186.

  Bishop of London’s authority derided by an American judge, 144.

  Bishops, their neglectful conduct in regard to America, 172;
    animadversions upon, 173;
    notices concerning, 61, 171, 172.

  Blaxton, the Rev. Mr., particulars relating to, 51, _Note_.

  Blue Laws, specimens of, 58.

  Bolton, 139.

  Boston, peninsula of, obtained and occupied by the Rev. Mr. Blaxton,
         51, _Note_;
    town of, founded, 16;
    its port shut up, 256;
    attack meditated against it, 258;
    Neck fortified by General Gage, 258.

  Bostwick, the Rev. Mr., attacked by the mob, 254.

  Boundaries, disputes concerning, 99;
    of Connecticut, as at present allowed, 114.

  Bribery disallowed, 222.

  Briton, Mr., humourous story concerning him and a deacon’s daughter,

  Brown, the Rev. Mr., declares for the Church of England, 166.

  Brownists set sail for America, and found Plymouth, 16.

  Buckley, the Rev. John, some account of, 141.

  Buckley, the Rev. Peter, character of, 142.

  Bull-fly, description of, 187.

  Bundling, singular custom of, justified, 224-229.

  Byles, Dr. Mather, disingenuous treatment, 218.


  Canaan, 147.

  Cansey American Indians enjoy liberty in perfection, 110.

  Canterbury, 135.

  Caterpillars ravage the border of Connecticut River, 131.

  Chandler, the Rev. Thomas Bradbury, where born, 133.

  Charter, petitioned for privately, 66;
    obtained, 68;
    claim founded upon, and prevarications concerning it, 36;
    powers conferred by, 83, 84;
    strengthens notions of independence, 86;
    formally surrendered by the colony to Sir Edmund Andros, 89;
    regained by a mob, hid in a tree, and reassumed, 90;
    violated by George II., 102.

  Chatham, 139.

  Church of England, the first erected in Connecticut, 163;
    professors of the, number of, in 1770, 168, 169;
    reason of their great increase, 166;
    their zeal, 170;
    measures adverse to, 171.

  Clergy, Episcopal, in Connecticut, morality of, 171;
    one punished for not observing the Sabbath agreeably to the notions
         of Sober Dissenters, 213;
    acquire immortal honour by adhering to their ordination-oaths, 260;
    immoral, anti-episcopal, and rebellious conduct of some of them in
         the southern provinces, 172-174.

  Colchester, 141.

  Colden, Lieutenant-Governor, of New-York, grants lands in Verdmont, 105.

  Coldness of the winter in Connecticut accounted for, 176.

  Comic Liturgy, acted in Connecticut on occasion of the Stamp-act, 231.

  Commerce of Connecticut, 191.

  Company for Propagating the Gospel in New-England, charter obtained for
         the, and abuse of it, 52, _Note_.

  Connecticote, his kingdom, 135;
    his conduct toward the settlers, 53;
    his death, 57.

  Connecticut, its latitude and longitude, 175;
    whence named, 15;
    three parties of English adventurers arrive in, 16;
    right to the soil of, considered, 31-35;
    civil and religious establishments and proceedings of the first
         English settlers, 37;
    forms a confederacy with New-Plymouth and Massachusets-Bay, 62;
    obtains a charter of incorporation, 68;
    divided into counties, townships, &c., 83;
    sketch of its religious-political free system since the Charter,
    half the territory of, granted to the Duke of York, 75;
    its consequent loss of territory, 77, 101;
    dimensions of, as at present allowed, 114;
    description of, at large, 115;
    treatment English travelers met with then from landlords, 111;
    proceedings of, in regard to the Stamp-act, 229-245;
    to the Tea-act, 251;
    to that for shutting the port of Boston, 253;
    commits the first overt act of high treason, 254.

  Connecticut River, description of, 115;
    astonishing narrows in it, 115, 116.

  Contingencies, extraordinary allowance for, 198;
    of what sort some are, 220.

  Convention, grand continental, of dissenting ministers at Newhaven,
         notices concerning, 160.

  Cooper, the Rev. Miles, LL.D., narrowly escapes the fury of the mob
         in New-York, 258.

  Cornwall, 147.

  Cotton, the Rev. Mr., notices relating to, 50;
    _Note_, 138.

  Council of Plymouth, their grant, 12.

  Courts, instituted in Connecticut, 83, 84;
    cruelty of the ecclesiastical, in New-England, 128.

  Coventry, 132.

  Cuba, description of an animal so called, and extraordinary qualities
         of male and female, 183.

  Cursette, Mrs., surprising discovery of her will, 153.

  Customs of the people, 211;
    borrowed of the Indians, 223.

  Cutler, the Rev. Dr., joins the Church of England, 166.


  Dagget, the Rev. Mr. Naphthali, character of, 160.

  Danbury, 168;
    burnt, 258.

  Davenport, the Rev. John, arrives at Newhaven, 20;
    his church-system, 42, 43.

  Dead, buried with their feet to the west, 123.

  Debble, the Rev. Mr., cruelly treated, 274.

  Derby, 162.

  Dixwell, buried at Newhaven, 63, _Note_.

  Douglas, Dr., some account of, 101.

  Durham, 162.

  Dutch, get footing on Manhattan Island, but are compelled to submit
         by Argal, 12;
    revolt, 15.

  Dyer, Mr., takes active part in Stamp-act, 236.


  East Haddam, 139.

  East Windsor. _See_ Windsor, 139.

  Eaton, Mr. Theophilus, arrives at Newhaven, 20;
    chosen Governor, 42;
    his true character, 150.

  Election, management of, in Connecticut, 222.

  Elliot, the Rev. Mr., some mention of, 129.

  Endfield, 139.

  Expenditure of Connecticut, 196.

  Exports of Connecticut, 191.


  Fairfield, 163;
    burnt, 260.

  Farmington, 142.

  Fenwick, George, Esq., first arrival at Saybrook, 17;
    his and associates’ right to settle in Connecticut discussed and
         disproved, 24-28;
    disposes of his property in America and returns to England, 49.

  Fish of Connecticut, 189.

  Fitch, Governor, his conduct on occasion of Stamp-act, 231, 235,
         237, 240.

  Franklin, Dr., notices concerning, 231, 232, 251.

  Frogs, an amazing multitude, humourous story, 129.


  Gage, General, arrives at Boston, 253;
    fortifies Boston Neck, 256;
    in danger of being surprised, 257.

  Gates, Sir Thomas, and associates, account of their patent, 11.

  Gavelkind, custom of, prevails in Connecticut, 220.

  General Assembly. _See_ Assembly, 82.

  General List, account and specimen of, 206.

  Gibbs, the Rev. Mr., inhuman treatment of, 143.

  Glastonbury, 149.

  Glover, Mr., his concealment of Mrs. Cursette’s will, 152.

  Glow-bug described, 188.

  Goshen, 147.

  Government, some account of, 198;
    the Clergy, Merchants, and Lawyers, the three grand parties in the
         State, 201.

  Governments, bad policy of most, 245.

  Graves, the Rev. Mr., cruel treatment of, 274.

  Great Barrington, why obnoxious to the mob, 255.

  Greensmith, Mrs., the first person executed as a witch in America, 136.

  Greenwich, 163.

  Grenville, George, Esq., mobbed, hung and burnt in effigy, 234, _Note_.

  Grigson, Mr., extraordinary concealment of his will, 150.

  Groton, 122.

  Guilford described, 161.


  Haddam, 139.

  Hall, Colonel Street, chosen commander of the mob of revolters against
         the General Assembly, his conduct, and extraordinary speech,

  Hamilton, Marquis of, his title to part of Connecticut proved, 26.

  Hancock, Mr., his opposition to the Tea-act, and artifice in disposing
         of his own stock, 251.

  Hancock, John, Esq., his dishonourable conduct in regard to Mrs.
         Cursette’s will, 152, 153.

  Harrington, 142.

  Harrison, Peter, Esq., his spirited and honourable conduct in
         discovering Mr. Grigson’s will, 151.

  Harrison, Major-General Thomas, hanged at Charing Cross, 141.

  Hartland, 147.

  Harvey, Mr. Joel, receives a premium from the Society of Arts in
         London, 147.

  Haynes, John, settled at Hertford, 18;
    chosen Governor, 38, 39.

  Hebron, description of, 139;
    refuses to contribute to the relief of the Bostonians, on the
         shutting up of their port, 262;
    town-meeting for collecting money, 263.

  Hertford, first settlement there by the English, 16, 17;
    by what authority, 30;
    description of, 136;
    curiosities in, 137.

  Hillhouse, William, present at interview with Governor Jonathan
         Trumbull, 267.

  Hooker, Rev. Thomas, settles at Hertford, 18;
    his motive for quitting Massachusets-Bay, 29;
    Church-system, 39.

  Howling wilderness, Connecticut improperly so called, 107.

  Huet, the Rev. Mr., some mention of, 139.

  Humble-bee, description of, 188.

  Humility, a bird so called, described, 186.


  Imports, 192.

  Independence, idea of, strengthened by Charter, 86;
    symptoms of, manifested by the colonies, 229;
    not the wish of the common
    people, 260;
    formally declared by Congress, 274.

  Indians, their mode of counting, 35, _Note_;
    number of them killed in Hispaniola, Porto Rico, and South America,
         and in Connecticut and Massachusets-Bay, 107;
    in the whole of North America and West Indies, 108;
    their aversion to the Protestant religion, 206.

  Ingersoll, David, barbarously treated, 254.

  Ingersoll, Jared, Esq., mobbed, and forced to resign his post of
         Stamp-master, 233;
    hung and burnt in effigy, 233, _Note_.

  Inhabitants in Connecticut, 190;
    their hospitality to strangers, 211;
    of the men, 223;
    of the women, 224.

  Insects, 187.


  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, character of, 161;
    declares for the Church of England, 167;
    treacherous embassy of his son, 258.

  Joshua, a pretended sachem, 32.


  Kent, 147.

  Killingsley, 133.

  Killingsworth, 129.

  King’s statue, at New-York, destroyed, 259.


  Latitude and longitude of Connecticut, 175.

  Laws, Blue, specimen of, 58-60;
    other laws, 85.

  Law-suits, amazing number of, 200;
    remarkable nature of some of them, 211.

  Leaming, the Rev. Mr., cruelly treated, 274.

  Lebanon, 132.

  Litchfield described, 144.

  Little Isaac, a nickname given to Americans, 189.

  Lyme, 124.


  Manners of the people, 211.

  Mansfield, the Rev. Mr., tried for high treason, 274.

  Mansfield, town, 132.

  Manufactures of Connecticut, 190.

  Mason, his claim to land in Connecticut, 33.

  Massachusets-Bay, settled by Puritans, 16;
    loses part of its territory, 103.

  Merret, his singular treatment, charged with incest, 127.

  Middletown described, 138.

  Milford, 161.

  Mill, curious invention of Joel Harvey, 147.

  Minister, Sober Dissenting, manner of settling and dismissing, 217.

  Moodus, a pretended sachem, 32.

  More, Sir Henry, begins to regrant Verdmont, 105.

  Motte treacherously sent against Ticonderoga and Crown Point, 257.

  Moyley, the Rev. Mr., fined for marrying a couple of his own
         parishioners, 144.


  Neal, the Rev. Mr., his representation about Sunksquaw, Uncas, Joshua,
         Moodus, &c., exploded, 32-34, 56;
    refutation of his doctrine concerning synods, 125;
    a sacramental test, 202;
    the loyalty of New-Englanders, 204;
    his enmity against the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
         exposed, 205;
    notice concerning, 33, 107.

  Negro tried for castration, 85;
    negro slaves, 108.

  Nell, Mr., 164.

  New-England, the Massachusets county, first so called by Charles,
         Prince of Wales, 11;
    divisions of, 13;
    cause of its first settlement discussed, 107.

  New-Fairfield, 147.

  Newhampshire deprived of territory, 108.

  Newhaven, first settled by the English, 20;
    totally without authority, 31;
    early proceedings, 56;
    Blue Laws, 58;
    state of, after the death of Cromwell, 62;
    accedes to the Charter, 69;
    particular description of, 147;
    a ship fitted out to secure a patent, and wonderful consequences, 149.

  New-Hertford, 147.

  New Lights, notices concerning, 99, 202-204.

  New-London, described, 120;
    port of, well calculated for the grand emporium of Connecticut, 194.

  New-Milford, 146.

  Newtown, 168.

  New-York, gains land from Connecticut, 77, 101;
    from Massachusets-Bay and Newhampshire, 103, 104;
    constitution of, subverted by the Sober Dissenters, 258.

  Nichols, Colonel, deprives Connecticut of Long Island, 77.

  Nichols, the Rev. Mr., cruelly treated, 274.

  Norwalk, 163;
    burnt, 260.

  Norwich, description of, 123.


  Old Lights, notices concerning, 99, 202-205.

  Oneko, King of Mohegan, 32.

  Onions, vast quantity raised in Weathersfield, 188;
    beds of, weeded by the females, 138.

  Osootonoc River, description of, 119.


  Parsons, Hugh, found guilty of witchcraft, 137.

  Penderson, Rev. Mr., joins the Church of England, 167.

  Peters, the Rev. Hugh, account of himself and family, 50.

  Peters, the Rev. Samuel, account of, 140;
    interview with Governor Trumbull, 266;
    escape from Portsmouth and Boston, 270;
    reward offered by John Hancock for his capture, 270.

  Peters, Rev. Thomas, his arrival at Saybrook, 17;
    Church-system, 37;
    school, 49;
    character, 50;
    some particulars of his life, 50, _Note_.

  Peters, William, particulars relating to, 50-52, _Note_.

  Phelps, treacherously sent upon an expedition against Ticonderoga
         and Croton Point, 257.

  Pitt, Mr., a Churchman, whipped for not attending meeting, 208.

  Plainfield, 135.

  Plymouth, New, founded, 16.

  Pomeroy, Rev. Dr., character, 140;
    sent for by the Windham mob, 265.

  Pomfret, 133.

  Population, 190.

  Pork, unfair dealing in, 193.

  Potter, Deacon, unjustly convicted of bestiality, 154.

  Poultry of Connecticut, 185.

  Powwow, ancient Indian rite, celebration of, at Stratford described,

  Prayer of some of the Episcopal clergy in the southern provinces
         before Congress, 275.

  Presbyterians, disliked and ill-treated by Sober Dissenters, 135, 199.

  Preston, 123.

  Produce of Connecticut, 178.

  Pumpkin, hair cut by the shell, 153, 154.

  Pumpkin-heads, a name given to New-Englanders, 153.

  Putnam, General, curious anecdotes of, 133;
    kills a bear and cubs, 134;
    his narrow escape from Indians, 134;
    terrible to them, 135;
    alarms the country in a letter concerning Admiral Graves and General
         Gage, 262.


  Quackery triumphant, 145.

  Quaker, shrewd retort of one upon his judges, 99.

  Quinnipiog, kingdom, 147;
    refuses to grant land to the settlers, and is murdered, 56.


  Rattlesnake, some account of, 188;
    use of skin, 223.

  Reading, 168.

  Rebellion, true sources of, in America, 247.

  Religion, the established, 84, 85.

  Reptiles, 188.

  Revenue, 196;
    objections against raising, in America, 244.

  Rhode-Island, infamous law of the General Assembly, 169.

  Ridgfield, 168;
    burnt, 259.

  Rivers, the three principal, described, 114-118.

  Rivington, Mr., plundered, 258.


  Sabbath, rigidly observed, 213;
    how broken by an Episcopal clergyman, 213.

  Salary of the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, &c., 198.

  Salisbury, 147.

  Sandeman, Rev. Mr., doctrine of, 168.

  Sassacus, Sachem of the Pequods, his kingdom and character, 119, 120.

  Saybrook, founded, 16;
    described, 124;
    its civil and religious establishments, 37;
    early proceedings, 46;
    enters the confederacy, 62;
    refuses to send agents to England to oppose the king, 49;
    forms an alliance with Hertford, 49;
    and joins in a secret application for a Charter, 64.

  Saybrook platforms, some account of the, 155.

  Scovil, the Rev. Mr., cruel treatment of, 274.

  Sealbury, Rev. Dr., taken prisoner, 258.

  Sects, religious, in Connecticut, some account of the, 198.

  Sharon, famous for a mill, 147.

  Ship, wonderful story of one fitted out in Newhaven, 149.

  Sick, horrid mode of visiting, 219.

  Skunk, description and wonderful property of the, 184.

  Smith, Rev. Mr., notices of, 53, 138.

  Smith, William, notices concerning, 100-102, 105, 113, 175.

  Sober Dissenters, religion of, in Connecticut, 85;
    their uncandid conduct toward Episcopalians, Anabaptists, Quakers,
         &c., in regard to parish rates, 207;
    and their severe treatment of Mr. Gibbs for refusing to pay them, 148;
    their humanity to sick strangers and persons shipwrecked, 219;
    partial support, 219.

  Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, notices
         concerning, 52, _Note_, 105, 167, 170-175, 205.

  Soil, 178.

  Sommers, 139.

  Stafford, the New-England “Bath,” 142.

  Stamp-Act, proceedings and opinions relating to, in Connecticut, 229.

  Stirling, Earl of, his claim in Connecticut, 25.

  Stonington, 122.

  Stratford, description of, 163.

  Stratford River, 118.

  Strong, Rev. Nehemiah, 160.

  Suffield, 139.

  Sunksquaw, a pretended sachem, 32.

  Superstition, striking instance, 200.

  Symsbury mines, account of, 142.


  Tarbox, Capt. David, remark on leaving Governor Trumbull’s house, 267.

  Tea, act of sending, to America opposed, 251.

  Temple, Mr., seditious letters imputed to, 251.

  Test, sacramental, unnecessary in New-England, 202.

  Thames River described, 114.

  Ticonderoga, secret expedition against, 258.

  Tolland, 139.

  Torrington, 147.

  Travellers, English, how treated by landlords, 111.

  Tree-frog, agility of, 189.

  Trumbull, Governor, furnishes a dress for the effigy of Mr. Grenville,
         233, _Note_;
    writes an insidious letter to General Gage, 256;
    adds to an alarming one of General Putnam’s, 262;
    and spirits up the mob against the loyalists, 264;
    writes the eighteen articles for Dr. Peters to sign, 264;
    his reply to Dr. Peters when asking protection from the Windham
         mob, 266.

  Trumbull, David, in command of the Windham mob, 264;
    handing Dr. Peters the document containing high treason, to sign, 264;
    his remark upon Dr. Peters refusing to sign it, 265.

  Tryon, Governor, his character, 113;
    escapes the mob at New-York, 258;
    leaves Danbury, 258;
    Ridgfield, 259;
    releases the prisoners at Newhaven, 260;
    leaves Fairfield and Norwalk, 260.


  Uncas, a pretended sachem, 32.

  Union, 132.


  Verdmont, account of, 106.

  Viets, Rev. Mr., tried for high treason, 274.

  Visey, Rev. Mr., suppresses the powwow at Stratford, 164.

  Voluntown, 135.


  Wallingford, description of, 162.

  Warwick, Earl of, his title to the soil of any part of Connecticut
         disproved, 23-26.

  Waterbury, 162.

  Weathersfield, description of, 138;
    singular industry of the females there, 138.

  Wentworth, Benning, Esq., grants townships in Verdmont, 104.

  Whapperknocker, description of, 182.

  Wheelock, Dr. Eleazer, notices concerning, 53, _Note_, 132.

  Whippoorwill, description of, 186.

  Whitefield, Rev. George, anecdote of, 121;
    and character, 161;
    attempts to work a miracle at Saybrook, 128;
    his character of the people of Norwich, 124;
    of those of Hebron, 140;
    of Guilford, 161;
    of Connecticut in general, 170, 212.

  Whitemore, Rev. Mr., joins Church of England, 166.

  Will, scandalous concealment of Mr. Grigson’s, 151;
    of Mrs. Cursette’s, 152.

  Willington, 132.

  Winchester, 147.

  Windham, 129;
    inhabitants alarmed by frogs, 130.

  Windsor described, 139.

  Wolcott, Oliver, treacherous embassy of, 258.

  Woodbury, 146.

  Woodchuck, 183.

  Woodstock, 133.

  Wooster, General, attacks Dr. Peters, 268;
    mortally wounded, 259.

  Wright, Major, his actions with the Windham mob, 266.


  Yale College, account of, 155-161.

  York, Duke of, obtains a grant including half of Connecticut, 75.



    author of “Physics and Politics.” Latest revised edition. 1 vol.,
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Transcriber’s Note:

Words and phrases in italics are surrounded by underscores, _like
this_. Obvious printing errors, such as backwards, upside
down, or partially printed letters, were corrected. Final stops
missing at the end of sentences were added.

Footnotes were renumbered in sequence and moved to the end of the
section in which the footnote anchor occurs.

Italic “l.” was used to indicate British pounds throughout the book.

Dialect, obsolete and alternative spellings were left
unchanged, e.g. Qunnipiack, befal, pateroons, and Massachusets.

In the Rate of Taxation table, the numbers are shown as printed,
although the total of 65_l._ is not the correct sum.

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