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Hooker, that he would come over into New-England, and take the pastoral charge of them.
At their desire he left Holland, and having obtained Mr. Samuel Stone, a lecturer at Torcester, in Northamptonshire, for an assistant in the ministry, took his passage for America in the Griffin, a ship of 300 tons, and arrived at Boston, September 4th, 1633. With him came over the famous Mr. John Cotton, Mr. John Haynes, afterwards governor of Connecticut, Mr. Goff, and two hundred other passengers, of importance to the colony.
Mr. Hooker, soon after his arrival at Boston, proceeded to Newtown, where, finding himself in the midst of a joyful and affectionate people, he was filled with joy himself. He embraced them with open arms, saying, in the language of the apostle, “Now I live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.” 1 These were the pious people who afterwards settled the town of Hartford.
Soon after Mr. Hooker's arrival, he was chosen pastor, and Mr. Stone teacher of the people at Newtown. On the IIth of October, 1633, the church was gathered, and, after solemn fasting and prayer, the pastor and teacher were ordained to their respective offices. The church at Watertown, had been gathered before, on the 27th of August, 1630, and Mr. Phillips ordained pastor. Thus, the three churches of Windsor, Hartford, and Weathersfield, were gathered antecedently to their settlement in Connecticut, and it does not appear that they were ever re-gathered afterwards.
on the ses. The church at Wacher were ordained solemn fasti
Por large trans in Amerino provide
THE great Plymouth company wished to make grants of their lands as fast as they could find purchasers; and conformity was so pressed, and the times grew so difficult in England, that men of quality, as well as others, were anxious to provide, for themselves and their friends, a retreat in America. Another patent, therefore, containing a large tract of country in New-England, soon succeeded that of Massachusetts.
On the 19th of March, 1631, Robert, earl of Warwick, president of the council of Plymouth, under his hand and seal, did grant and confirm unto the honourable William Viscount Say and Seal, Robert Lord Brooks, Robert Lord Rich, Charles Fiennes, Esq. Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir Richard Saltonstall, and others, to the number of eleven, and to their heirs, assigns, and associates, for ever, “ All that part of New-England, in America, which lies and extends itself from a river there, called Narraganset river, the
1 Magnalia B. III. The Life of Hooker.
irginia, accouthe lands and, aforesaid, noeth, and
space of forty leagues upon a straight line near the sea shore, towards the south-west, west and by south, or west as the coast lieth towards Virginia, accounting three English miles to the league, and all and singular the lands and hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being within the bounds aforesaid, north and south in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude of, and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout all the main lands there, from the western ocean to the south seas; and all lands, grounds, soil, wood and wood lands, ground, havens, ports, creeks and rivers, waters, fishings and hereditaments whatsoever, lying within the said space, and every part and parcel thereof; and also, all islands lying in America aforesaid, in the said seas, or either of them, on the western or eastern coasts, or parts of the said tracts of land, by these presents to be given or granted.” 1 The council of Plymouth, the preceding year, 1630, granted this whole tract to the earl of Warwick, and it had been confirmed to him by a patent from king Charles the first
This is the original patent of Connecticut. The settlers of the two colonies of Connecticut and New-Haven were the patentees of Viscount Say and Seal, lord Brook, and their associates, to whom the patent was originally given.
President Clap describes the extent of the tract, conveyed by this patent, in the words following: “All that part of New-England which lies west from Narraganset river, a hundred and twenty miles on the sea coast; and from thence, in latitude and breadth aforesaid, to the south sea. This grant extends from Point Judith, to New-York; and from thence, in a west line to the south sea: and if we take Narraganset river in its whole length, this tract will extend as far north as Worcester: it comprehends the whole of the colony of Connecticut, and much more.” 8 Neal, Douglass, Hutchinson,' and all ancient historians and writers, have represented all the New-England grants as extending west from the Atlantic ocean to the south sea. Indeed the words of the patent are most express, declaring its extent to be south west or west, towards Virginia, to be in length and longitude throughout all the main lands to the south sea.
The colony of the Massachusetts, and the commissioners of the
See this patent in the Appendix, No. 1.
? The foundation of the earl of Warwick's claim to this territory is as Johnston remarks, “mythical." The grant to Lord Say and Seal and others shows no title on the part of the grantor, and is merely a quit-claim. The same terrirory was granted by the Plymouth Company in 1635 to the Marquis of Hamilton, whose claim was set up in opposition to the charter in 1662, but was barred by prescription. The fact that the agreement with Fenwick in 1644 provides that he shall arrange that this same territory shall “fall in under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, if it come into his power," indicates that the court of the colony was by no means sure of its jurisdiction.-J. T.
3 Manuscripts of president Clap.
* Neal's history N. E. vol. 1. p. 148. Douglass, vol. i. p. 90 and 160 ; and Hutchinson vol. i. p. 64 and vol. ii. p. 203.
nake settle pal merchants urania, upon 4
united colonies of New-England, understood the patents in this light, and hence extended their claims to the westward of the Dutch settleinents. The Massachusetts, in the year 1659, made a grant of lands, opposite to fort Aurania, upon Hudson's river, to a number of principal merchants, in the colony, who were planning to make settlements in those parts. The same year, the commissioners of the united colonies asserted their claim of all the western lands to the south sea. In a letter to the Dutch governor, September ist, 1659, they write, “ We presume you have heard from your people of the fort of Aurania, that some of our people, the English, have been lately in those parts, upon discovery of some meet places for plantations, within the bounds of the patent of the Massachusetts colony; which from the latitude of 42 degrees and a half, or 42 degrees and 33 and a half minutes, and so northerly, extends itself from east to west, in longitude through the main land of America, from the Atlantic ocean to the south or west sea."
The patents to Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, have ever been understood to have the same westerly extension. In the same light have they always been viewed, by the British kings, and have been pleaded and acted upon, in treaties, between the court of Great-Britain, and the French and Spanish monarchs. By virtue of this construction of patents and charters of the American colonies, it was, that all the western territories, as far as Mississippi, were, in the late peace with Great-Britain, ceded to the states of America. From the same construction of the patents, congress have taken a formal surrender of the unappropriated western lands from particular states, and from Connecticut no less than from others.
The situation of the settled part of Connecticut is chiefly from 41 to 42 degrees of north latitude, and from 72 to 73 degrees and 45 minutes west longitude. It is bounded south by the sea shore about 90 miles, from Byram river, in the latitude of 40 degrees and 58 minutes, and longitude 72 degrees and 25 minutes, to Pawcatuck river, in latitude 41 degrees and 17 minutes, and in longitude 72 degrees and 25 minutes; east on the colony of RhodeIsland 45 miles; north on Massachusetts 72 miles, the line running nearly in the latitude of 42 degrees; and west on New-York about 73 miles. It contains 4,730 square miles, and 3,020,000 acres. One twentieth part of the colony is water and highways.? Exclusive of these there are 2,869,000 acres. Of this about 2,640,000 are estimated improvable. The land is excellently watered, and liberal to the husbandman. Though, in some places, it is mountainous and broken, yet the greatest part of this is profitable either for wood or grazing. There are some thin lands, but these are profitable with proper manuring and cultivation.
i Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 159.
9 To find the quantity of water and highways, an accurate computation was made of the proportion of water and highways in a particular town, which was supposed to contain an average with the towns in general.
The present population is more than fifty souls to every square mile, including land and water. It is about one person to every ten or twelve acres of land.
The first discoveries made of this part of New-England were of its principal river and the fine meadows lying upon its bank. Whether the Dutch at New-Netherlands, or the people of NewPlymouth, were the first discoverers of the river is not certain. Both the English and Dutch claimed to be the first discoverers, and both purchased and made a settlement of the lands upon it nearly at the same time.
In 1631, Wahquimacut, a sachem upon the river Connecticut, made a journey to Plymouth and Boston, earnestly soliciting the governors of each of the colonies to send men to make settlements upon the river. He represented the exceeding fruitfulness of the country, and promised that he would supply the English, if they would make a settlement there, with corn annually, and give them eighty beaver skins. He urged that two men might be sent to view the country. Had this invitation been accepted it might have prevented the Dutch claim to any part of the lands upon the river, and opened an extensive trade, in hemp, furs, and deer skins, with all the Indians upon it, and far into Canada.
The governor of Massachusetts treated the sachem and his company with generosity, but paid no further attention to his proposal. Mr. Winslow, the governor of Plymouth, judged it worthy of more attention. It seems, that soon after he went to Connecticut, and discovered the river and the adjacent parts. The commissioners of the united colonies, in their declaration against the Dutch, in 1653, say, “Mr. Winslow, one of the commissioners for Plymouth, discovered the fresh river when the Dutch had neither trading house nor any pretence to a foot of land there.” 1
It very soon appeared that the earnestness, with which the Indian sachem solicited the English to make settlements on the river, originated in the distressed state of the river Indians. Pekoath, at that time, the great sachem of the Pequims, or Pequots, was conquering them, and driving their sachems from that part of the country. The Indian king imagined that, if he could persuade the English to make settlements there, they would defend him from his too powerful enemies.
The next year, the people of New-Plymouth made more particular discoveries, upon the river, and found a place near the mouth of the little river, in Windsor, at which they judged a trading house might be erected, which would be advantageous to the colony. · Records of the United Colonies.
? Winthrop's Journal, p. 25
that part suade the his too Pole of New and foun they ju
The Indians represented that the river Connecticut extended so far north, and so near the great lake, that they passed their canoes from the lake into it; and that from the great swamps about the lake came most of the beaver in which they traded.
One of the branches of Onion river, in Vermont, is within ten miles of Connecticut river. This was anciently called the French river. The French and Indians from Canada came by this river, and from this into Connecticut, when they made their attacks on the northern frontiers of New-England and Connecticut.
Connecticut river has its source in that grand ridge of mountains which divides the waters of New-England and Canada, and extends north-easterly to the gulf of St. Lawrence. The source of its highest branch is in about 45 degrees and a half, or 46 degrees of north latitude. Where it enters New-England, in 45 degrees of north latitude, it is ten rods in breadth, and in running sixty miles further, it becomes twenty-four rods wide. It forms the boundary line btween New-Hampshire and Vermont about two hundred miles. Thence running through the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut, it disembogues its waters into LongIsland sound, between Saybrook and Lyme. It runs with a gentle flow, as its course is, between three and four hundred miles. Its breadth through Connecticut, as a medium, is between a hundred rods and half a mile. In the high spring floods it overflows its banks, and in some places is nearly two miles in breadth. As its banks are generally low, it forms and fertilizes a vast tract of the finest meadow; feasible, fertile, and in which a stone is scarcely to be found. The general course of this beautiful river, above, and between the states of New-Hampshire and Vermont, is nearly south west; thence it turns and runs but a few degrees west of south to its mouth. At a small distance from its mouth is a bar of sand, apparently formed by the conflux of the river and tide. Upon this there is but ten feet of water at full tide. The bar is at such a distance from the mouth of the river, that the greatest ficods do not increase the depth of the water. This is some obstruction to navigation, but any vessel, which can pass the bar, may proceed without obstruction as far as Middletown, thirty miles from the sound; and vessels of eighty, and a hundred tons, go up to Hartford, fifty miles from the river's mouth. By means of locks and cuts, at the falls, it is now navigable, for boats, more than three hundred miles.
In Connecticut, there is one exception to the lowness of the river's banks. About three miles below Middletown the river makes its way through two mountains, by which its breadth is contracted to about forty rods. This occasions the waters, sometimes, in the spring floods, to rise, even at Hartford, twenty feet above the common surface of the river. This, for the length of its course, its gentle fow, its excellent waters, the rich and ex