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names, and in behalf of the magistrates of Connecticut, pressed their immediate subjection to their government. Further, the court was certified, that after some treaty with those 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 assert 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 necessity of an incorporation with Connecticut. The opposition, however, was so general ainong the people, that nothing further could be effected.
The court of commissioners was so near at hand, that governor Winthrop and his council judged it not expedient to make any further demands upon New-Haven, until their advice could be known. However, when the general assenibly niet, carly in September, they passed a remonstrance against the sitting of governor Leet and deputy governor Jones with the comniissioners. In the remonstrance they declared, that New-Haven was not a colony, but a part of Connecticut, and avowed their 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 rights 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 were conveyed by their charter.
On the ist 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. They represented, that the divine honor, and the welfare of all the colonies, as well as their own, were greatly concerned in the event.
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 determina
tions 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 to the court, that the meeting, which of course had been at New-Haven, should be at Hartford."
In compliance with the advice of the commissioners, governor Leet convened the general court at New-Haven, on the 14th of September, and communicated the advice which had been given, and papers from the committee of Connecticut, advising and urging them to unite. They referred it to their most serious consideration, 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 a royal patent, than in their then present circumstances. Many insisted, notwithstanding, “ That to stand as God had kept them to that time was their best way.” Others were entirely of the contrary opinion, and after the fullest 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. The ministers and churches in Connecticut were, a considerable number of them, in favor of the propositions of the general council, which met at Cambridge, in 1662, relative to the baptism of children, whose parents were not in full communion. The ministers and churches of NewHaven 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 this colony could be a freeman, unless he were 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 the opposition, were, doubtless, jealous that an union would mar the purity, order, and beauty of their churches, and have an ill influence on the civil administrations. The removal of the seat of government; the apprehension which some had of losing their places of trust and general influence; with strong prejudices and passions against Connecticut, on account of the injuries, which it was conceived it had done the colony, all operated in forming the opposition. 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 commonwealth, and had been so many years owned as one, their existence must cease and their name be obliterated.
1 Records of the united colonies. It was determined, at this court, that their meetings, for the future, should be triennial.
This event, however, was hastening, and grew more and more urgent. Milford, at this time, broke off from them, and would no more send either magistrate or deputies to the general court. Mr. Richard Law, a principal gentleman at Stamford, also deserted them.
In this state of affairs, the general assembly of Connecticiit convened, on the 13th of October. This was an important crisis with the colony. In few instances, have so many important objects of consideration, at one time, presented themselves to a legislature. Their liberties were not only in equal danger with those of their 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. The Massachusetts were encroaching upon them on their northern and eastern boundaries. William and Anne, the duke and dutchess 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 coloriel Nichols and the other commissioners. Besides, the state of affairs with New-Haven was neither comfortable nor safe.
In these circumstances, the legislature viewed it as a point of capital importance to conciliate the commissioners, and obtain the good graces of his majesty. For this purpose, they ordered a present of five hundred bushels of corn, to be made to the king's commissioners. A large committee was appointed to settle the boundaries between Connecticut and the duke of York. A committee, consisting of Mr. Allen, Mr. Wyllys, Mr. Talcott, and Mr. Newbury, was also 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 authorised 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 gracious grant to this colony, and to receive their answer.” They had instructions to declare all the freemen, in those towns, free of the corporation of Connecticut; and to make all others, in the respective towns mentioned, qualified according to law, freemen of Connecticut. At the same time, they were directed to administer to them the freeman's oath.
Besides, they were authorised to make declaration, that the assembly did invest William Leet and William Jones, Esquires, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Fenn, Mr. Crane, Mr. Treat, and Mr. 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. It was proclaimed also, that all other officers, civil and military, were established in their respective places; and that cognizance should not be taken of any case which had been prosecuted, to a final adjudication, in any of the courts of that colony.
The gentlemen appointed to this service, on the 19th of November, went to New-Haven, and proceeded according to their instructions.
About the same time, Governor Winthrop, Mr. Allen, Mr. Gould, Mr. Richards, and John Winthrop, the committee appointed to settle the boundaries between Connecticut and NewYork, waited on the commissioners upon York Island. After they had been fully heard, in behalf of Connecticut, the commissioners determined, November 30th, “That the southern bounds of his majesty's colony of Connecticut, is the sea; and that LongIsland is to be under the government of his royal highness, the duke of York, as is expressed by plain words in the said patents respectively. We also order and declare, that the creek or river called Mamaronock, which is reputed to be about 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-north-west, to the line of Massachusetts, be the western bounds of the said colony of Connecticut; and the plantations lying westward of that creek, and line so drawn, to be under his royal highness's government; and all plantations lying eastward of that 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, with the freemen, and as many of the inhabitants of the colony as chose to attend, on the 13th of December, 1664. The following resolutions were then unanimously passed.
1. “That, by this act or vote, we be not understood to justify Connecticut's former actings, nor any thing disorderly done by their own people, on such accounts."
2. “That, by it, we be not apprehended to have any hand in breaking or dissolving the confederation.”
3. “ 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 salvo jure 1 Records of Connecticut. 1
? No, XVI.
of our former rights and claims, as a people, who have not yet been heard in point of plea.” 1
The members of the court, then present, the elders of the colony, with Mr. John Nash, Mr. James Bishop, Mr. Francis Bell, Mr. Robert Treat, and Mr. Richard Baldwin, were appointed a committee to consummate an union between the colonies.
Several letters passed between the committees of the two colonies, on the subject, in which the committee of New-Haven sig. nified, that the officers in that colony would continue to act in their respective offices, and expressed their good designs and wishes towards Connecticut, and their loyalty to his majesty. They also represented their expectations, that the governor and company, according to their engagements, would give them all the advantages and privileges which they could do, consistent with the patent, and their desires still to continue the confederation.”
The committee of Connecticut, in answer to New-Haven, assured them of their willingness to bestow on them all the privileges granted in their charter, prepared ready to their hands. They acquainted them, that provision had been made for the continuance of the confederation, according to their wishes. They pleaded the necessity and importance of their incorporation with Connecticut, as they were nearly in the centre of the colony, as an apology for the measures which they had taken. They expressed their strong desires that New-Haven would cordially unite with them, and, by no means, view it as a matter of constraint: that mutual candour might be exercised; and that all reflections and past conduct, disagreeable to either of them, be entirely buried and for ever forgotten.
The general assembly of Connecticut appointed no committee to meet with that chosen by the general court of New-Haven. Of this their committee complain, in their last letter. However, at a session of theirs, the 20th of April, 1665, they passed several resolves, for the further completion of the union.
It was resolved, that William Leet and William Jones, Esquires, Mr. Benjamin Fenn, Mr. Matthew Gilbert, Mr. Jasper Crane, Mr. Alexander Bryan, Mr. Law, and Mr. Robert Treat, should stand in the nomination for magistrates at the next election.
The assembly, also, passed the following declaration: “ That all acts of the authority of New-Haven, which had been uncomfortable to Connecticut, should never be called to an account, but be buried in perpetual oblivion." 5
The king's commissioners presented the following propositions, or requisitions, from his majesty, to this assembly. 1. “That all householders, inhabiting this colony, take the oath I Records of New Haven.
No. XVII. 3 Letter of Connecticut to New Haven, No. XVIII. * No, XIX,
• Records of Connecticut.