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deserve our praise and approbation, yet it seems to be set off with more lustre, by the contrary deportment of the colony of Massachusetts. We shall never be unmindful of this your loyal and dutiful behaviour.” 1
At the general election, May 11th, 1666, the former governor and council were re-elected.
The general assembly, at this session, proceeded to ascertain the limits of the counties and the business of the county courts. It was enacted, that the towns upon the river, from the north bounds of Windsor, with Farmington, to thirty miles island, should be one county, to be called the county of Hartford. That from Pawcatuck river, with Norwich, to the west bounds of Hammonasset, should be one county, by the name of the county of New-London; and that from the east bounds of Stratford to the western boundary of the colony, be another county, to be known by the name of the county of Fairfield. The county courts were to consist of one magistrate, at least, and of two justices of the quorum. If three magistrates were present they were authorised to proceed to business, though the justices were absent. The probation of wills and all testamentary matters, which before had been transacted in the court of magistrates, were referred to the county courts, with the liberty of appeal to the superior court.
In May, 1667, no alteration was made with respect to the governor and council, but governor Winthrop, at first, declined his office. The assembly appointed a committee, and desired to know the reasons of his desire to leave the chair. They reported the reasons to the assembly. It seems that the expense of his office was such, in his opinion, that he could not, consistently with his duty to himself and family, continue in it, without some further allowance from the colony. The assembly continued their earnest desire, that he would accept the trust to which he had been chosen. To enable him to support his office with dignity, the legislature freed all his estate, in the colony, from taxation, and granted him a hundred and ten pounds out of the public treasury. Upon these encouragements, in connection with the desire and unanimity of the freemen, he consented to accept his appointment.
About the year 1664, settlements commenced on the east side of Connecticut river, upon the tract, on that side, which originally belonged to the town of Saybrook. In May, 1667, the inhabitants were so increased, that the assembly made them a distinct town by the name of Lyme. The Indian name for the eastern part of the town was Nehantick.
At the election, May 14th, 1668, the freemen elected Mr. Alexander Bryan, Mr. James Bishop, Mr. Anthony Hawkins, and Mr. Thomas Wells, magistrates, instead of Mr. Matthew Allen, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Crane, and Mr. Clark.
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In this and the next year, several new settlements were made and new towns incorporated.
On the 20th of May, 1662, a purchase was made of the Indians, of a township of land termed thirty miles island. The Indian name of the tract, east of the river, since calledEast-Haddam, was Machemoodus. The original proprietors were twenty eight. They began their settlements on the west side of the river, and the inhabitants were so increased that, in the session in October, 1668, the plantation was vested with town privileges, and named Haddam. The extent of the town was six miles east and west of the river.
About the same time a settlement was made at Massacoe. In April, 1644, the general court of Connecticut gave liberty to governors Hopkins and Haynes to dispose of the lands upon Tunxis river, called Massacoe, to such of the inhabitants of Windsor as they should judge expedient. In 1647, the court resolved, that Massacoe should be purchased by the country, and a committee was appointed to dispose of it to such of the inhabitants of Windsor as they should choose. A purchase of the lands was made of the Indians, and settlements began under the town of Windsor. The plantation, at first, was considered as an appendix, or part of that town. In the session in May, 1670, it was enacted, that Massacoe should be a distinct town, by the name of Symsbury. The limits granted were ten miles northward from the north bounds of Farmington, and ten miles westward from the western bounds of Windsor.
At the same time, New-Haven Village was incorporated and made a town, by the name of Wallingford. The purchase of the town was made by governor Eaton, Mr. Davenport, and other planters of New Haven, in December, 1638. The settlement was projected in 1669. A committee was appointed, by the town of New-Haven, vested with powers to manage the whole affair of the settlement. This committee held the lands in trust, and acted in all the affairs of the town, as trustees, until May, 1672, when they resigned their trust to the town.
At the general election, May 12th, 1670, William Leet, Esq. was chosen deputy governor, and major Mason, who for many years had been deputy governor, was chosen the first magistrate.
Until this time, the great body of the freemen had annually convened at Hartford, upon the day of election, to make choice of the governor, magistrates, and civil officers, appointed by charter, to be elected on that day. But the freemen were now become so numerous, and it had been found to be so expensive and inconvenient, that it was judged necessary to alter the mode of election. The assembly resolved, " That henceforth all the freemen of this jurisdiction, without any further summons, from year to year, shall or may upon the second Thursday in May yearly, in person or in
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proxy, at Hartford, attend and consummate the election of governor, deputy governor, and assistants, and such other public officers as his majesty hath appointed, by our charter, then yearly to be chosen.” A law was then made regulating the freemen's meetings and the mode of election, for substance nearly the same with the law respecting the election at the present time.
While the colony was thus extending its settlements, and regulating its internal police, great troubles arose respecting the boundaries between Connecticut and Rhode-Island. From year to year Connecticut had appointed committees to settle the boundary line between the colonies, but all their attempts had been unsuccessful.
In 1668, the assembly appointed Mr. Wyllys, and Mr. Robert Thompson, of London, by petition or otherwise, to represent the affair to his majesty, and obtain a resolution respecting the boundary line. Nothing decisive, however, was effected. Meanwhile, the conduct of Rhode Island was such, that the General Assembly of Connecticut declared it to be intolerable, and contrary to the settlement made by his majesty's commissioners. The assembly, therefore, in May, 1670, appointed Mr. Leet, the deputygovernor, John Allen, and James Richards, Esquires, captain John Winthrop, and captain Benjamin Newbury, a committee to meet at New-London, the June following, to treat with such gentlemen, from Rhode Island, as should be sent, properly authorised to act in the affair; and concerning the injuries which the inhabitants of that colony had done to the people of Connecticut. They were not only vested with plenary powers to compromise these difficulties, but, in case the commissioners from RhodeIsland would not agree to some equitable mode of settlement, to reduce the people of Squamacuck and Narraganset to obedience to this colony. They were also authorised to hold courts in the Pequot and Narraganset country, and to hear and determine all cases of injury, which had been done to the inhabitants of Connecticut, according to law. Instructions were also given them to appoint all officers, necessary for the peaceable government of that part of the colony.
The commissioners of the two colonies met at New-London, but could effect no settlement of the controversy. The commissioners from Rhode-Island, insisted that Pawcatuck river was their boundary, according to the express words of their charter. Those from Connecticut, insisted that their charter, which was prior to that of Rhode Island, bounded them easterly upon Narraganset bay and river, and that the Pequot country, which they had conquered, extended ten miles east of Pawcatuck; that, therefore, they had a right to that part, both by charter and conquest.
As no agreement could be effected, the committee from Connecticut, went into the Narraganset country, and read the charter
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at Wickford, and the plantations east of Pawcatuck river, and, in the name of the General Assembly of Connecticut, demanded the submission and obedience of the people to its authority and laws. They also appointed officers for the good government of the people.
Both colonies had something plausible to plead. The case, truly stated, is this. The old patent of Connecticut, to lord Say and Seal, lord Brook, and their associates, bounded the tract conveyed eastward, by Narraganset bay and river. The charter granted in April, 1662, gave the same boundaries as the old patent in 1631. Pawcatuck river was never known by the name of Narraganset river, and it made no bay; consequently the mouth of it, and the sea there, could not be called Narraganset bay. But when Mr. John Clark was in England, as agent for the colony of RhodeIsland, in 1663, there arose much difficulty between him and Mr. Winthrop, respecting the boundaries between the two colonies. They were advised, by their friends, to submit the controverted points to arbitrators, in England, to which they consented. William Breereton, Esq. major Robert Thompson, capt. Richard Deane, capt. John Brookhaven, and doctor Benjamin Worseley, were mutually chosen to hear and determine the differences between them. They came to the following determination:
“ FIRST, That a river there commonly called and known by Pawcatuck river, shall be the certain bounds between those two colonies, which said river shall, for the future, be also called alias Narragance or Narraganset river.”
“ SECONDLY, If any part of that purchase at Quinebaug doth lie along upon the east side of the river, that goeth down by NewLondon, within six miles of the said river, that then it shall wholly belong to Connecticut colony, as well as the rest which lieth on the western side of the aforesaid river.”
“THIRDLY, That the proprietors and inhabitants of that land about Mr. Smith's trading house, claimed or purchased by major Atherton, capt. Hutchinson, lieut. Hudson, and others, or given unto them by Indians, shall have free liberty to choose to which of those colonies they will belong.”
“ FOURTHLY, That propriety shall not be altered nor destroyed, but carefully maintained through the said colonies.”
To this the two agents, John Winthrop and John Clark, Esquires, interchangeably set their hands and seals, as an agreement finally terminating the controversy between them. This was signed on the 7th of March, 1663.
In consequence of this agreement, the charter of Rhode Island, granted July 8th, 1663, bounded that colony westward by Pawcatuck river, and ordained, with particular reference to the agreement, which is recognized in the charter, that this river should be
1 Records of Connecticut.
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called alias Narragance or Narraganset river; and that the same shall be holden by the colony of Rhode Island, “any grant, or clause in a late grant, to the governor and company of Connecticut colony in America, to the contrary thereof, in any wise notwithstanding."
The proprietors, mentioned in the agreement, made choice of the government of Connecticut, July 3d, 1663, and were taken under the jurisdiction and protection of this colony.
Connecticut insisted, that Mr. Winthrop's agency was finished before the agreement with Mr. Clark, and that he had never received any instructions from the colony authorizing him to enter into any such compact. It was also pleaded, that his Majesty could not re-grant that which he had previously granted to Connecticut. Rhode Island insisted on the agreement between Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Clark, and on the limits granted in the charter of that colony. Hence arose a controversy between the colonies, which continued more than sixty years.
Governor Winthrop, at the session in October, again proposed a resignation of his office, and desired the consent and approbation of the general assembly. The assembly were utterly opposed to it, and could, by no means, be persuaded to give their consent. Through the influence of the houses, he was persuaded to keep the chair, and means were adopted to give him satisfaction. The assembly, at the next session, granted a hundred and fifty pounds salary. Grants were several times made him of valuable tracts of land. These considerations, with the great unanimity and esteem of the freemen, prevailed with him to continue in office until his death.
In May, 1671, the former officers were all re-chosen.
During the term of eighteen or twenty years, attempts had been making to settle a township at Paugasset. About the year 1663, it appears that governor Goodyear, and several other gentlemen in New-Haven, made a purchase of a considerable tract there. About the year 1654, it seems that some few settlements were made. The next year, at the session in October, the planters presented a petition to the general court, at New-Haven, to be made a distinct town, and to order their affairs independently of the other towns. The court granted their petition; gave them liberty to purchase a tract sufficient for a township; released them from taxes; and appointed Richard Baldwin moderator to call meetings, and conduct the affairs of the plantation. At the next court, however, Mr. Prudden, and the people of Milford, made such strong remonstrances against the act, that the court determined the people at Paugasset should continue, as they had been, under the town of Milford, unless the parties should come to an agreement, respecting the incorporation of the inhabitants there into a distinct township. In 1657 and 1659 a purchase was made of the