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Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Volume X. Transactions, 1904-1906. (Boston, 1907, pp. xx, 476.) This volume embraces the proceedings of the society from December, 1904, to November, 1906. Some of the papers and many of the documents contained in the volume are of a purely local character, but there are also several papers of more general interest. Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis has valuable papers on the Limitation of Prices in Massachusetts, 1776–1779, and on the Beginnings of Stock Speculation. Mr. William C. Lane contributes a paper on the Rebellion of 1766 in Harvard College. Of especial value are the remarks of Mr. Albert Matthews on the proper editing of old documents and books. Some interesting documents relating to the witchcraft episode in Massachusetts are printed, and there is a facsimile reproduction of the recently discovered election sermon preached by John Davenport in 1669. The meeting of the society for January, 1906, was devoted to a commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, and some interesting material regarding Franklin was presented, especially that with reference to his relations with Harvard College.
Early New England Towns: a Comparative Study of their Development, by Anne Bush MacLear, Ph.D. [Studies in History, Economics and Public Law, edited by the Faculty of Political Science of Columbia University. Volume XXIX., No. 1.] (New York, Columbia University, 1908, pp. 181.) More exactly, this is a comparative study of the early development of five Massachusetts towns-Salem, Dorchester, Watertown, Roxbury and Cambridge. It is not made entirely plain why these five were selected. They were distinctly not typical in respect to origin, and not wholly so in other respects. Under six headings-courts, finances, lands, government, church, and schools-the institutions of these towns, institutions of a form now pretty familiar to historical readers, are once more described with patient care, and with abundant illustrative citations, but without much insight and with hardly a glance outside the boundaries of the five towns selected. Within the chosen limits of the monograph, however, a useful array of facts is brought together in an orderly manner. No attempt is made to touch the problem of transatlantic origins.
Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society. Volume XI. (Hartford, Published by the Society, 1907, pp. xxxv, 391.) When in 1892 and 1896, the Connecticut Historical Society issued in volumes IV. and V. of its Collections the papers of Governor Talcott, it was understood that the papers of Talcott's successor, Law, would be taken up in good time. After a lapse of twelve years, during which the society has been issuing volumes of a military and genealogical character, designed to satisfy local interests, the promise has been fulfilled, and the first of two volumes covering Law's administration from 1741
to 1750 has been issued. Volume XI. is, therefore, the logical successor of volumes IV. and V. The subject-matter of this volume is much the same as that contained in the Talcott Papers, the intestacy case, the Mohegan controversy, boundary disputes, the New Lights, bills. of credit, and, on the military side, instead of the Carthagena expedition, the expedition to Louisburg. Taken as a whole the collection is probably less valuable and complete than is that which concerned the previous administration, but it is none the less of importance and in
The intestacy trouble was revived in 1742, in the appeal of Clark vs. Tousey, and Law showed considerable shrewdness in deciding to shift the ground of defense and to compel the appellant to prove that the common law extended to the colonies instead of attempting to defend the intestacy law which had been judged contrary to the law of England. He was fortunate in obtaining the services of John Sharpe, brother of Governor Sharpe of Maryland and Solicitor of the Treasury from 1742 to 1756. Sharpe was a very able solicitor, and Bourryau, partner of Francis Wilks, Connecticut's agent, was probably right in deeming him. "the ablest man in his profession". The issue might have been different had he had charge of the case in 1727. As it was he had no chance to show his skill, for Clark's petition was dismissed and the case never came to trial. The Mohegan controversy here drags on its weary way. The editor, Mr. Bates, prints the decree of the commissioners of review of 1743, reversing the decree of 1705. The later history of the case is obscure. No new commission of enquiry or review was ever issued, so far as I know, and the later interest chiefly centres in the attempts of the Masons to obtain compensation from the British Treasury. Samuel Mason sent in at least two memorials between 1750 and 1756 and the matter was referred to the Treasury Solicitor, who reported on it, June 4, 1756, and among whose papers are many documents connected with the case. John Mason petitioned twice in 1768, and in 1769 Moses Park, as agent for the Indians, petitioned for additional allowances. Apparently the Masons deemed the case against the colony hopeless, for on March 15, 1773, John Mason, in behalf of Uncas and his fellow Mohegans, appealed to the Privy Council for a grant of land on the Ohio, offering to remove the tribe thither. I do not know what action the Privy Council took on the petition, but nothing further appears to have been done in the matter.
C. M. A.
The Witchcraft Delusion in Colonial Connecticut, 1647-1697. By John M. Taylor. [The Grafton Historical Series, edited by Henry R. Stiles, A.M., M.D.] (New York, The Grafton Press, 1908, pp. xv, 172.) To careful students of the early history of Connecticut it has long been known that her once boasted innocence of the persecution of witches was an illusion; and in these later years the documents and entries, long
secreted or obscured by family and local pride, which have been coming singly or in groups to light, have put the matter out of controversy. But it is a satisfaction to have now, in a series under the editorial care of a veteran mouser in Connecticut records, and from the pen of a Connecticut scholar, a volume on the subject. It is but a modest volume: a few pages on witchcraft in general, with a glance at the Salem panic, then a hundred of extracts from Connecticut witch-trials, selected at random for their interest, their order not even chronological, and at end “a record of the men and women who came under suspicion or accusation of witchcraft in Connecticut, and what befell them". Thirty-six of them he reckons, all told, from Alse Young, in 1647, to Sarah Spencer, in 1724 for his Bristol episode of 1768 involved no indictment or thought of one-of whom eleven seem to have been put to death. It is still short of the tale of the sister colony, and the sane advice of the Connecticut ministers in 1692 offers yet sounder reason for pride, were not Mr. Taylor wisely above it. A fuller publication of the records he is content to leave to some future "accurate and complete history of the beginnings of the commonwealth ", but he tells us where these records may be found, and thus earns the hearty thanks of later workers. His book shows marks of haste, especially in the somewhat chaotic and inaccurate opening chapters, and one may be permitted to suspect some errors in his transcripts and even a possible incompleteness in his roll of witches, but, such as it is, the little volume is most welcome.
GEORGE L. BURR.
Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts, being the Letters of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, 1630-1643, and other Documents relating to the Colony of Rensselaerswyck. Translated and edited by A. J. F. van Laer, Archi
vist. (Albany, University of the State of New York, 1908, pp. 909.) John Romeyn Brodhead, that most excellent searcher, than whom no American government ever had a better record agent, explored the public archives of the Netherlands so thoroughly for New Netherland materials, sixty years ago, that all the intervening years have brought to light little of consequence. He left the state not much to do in this field but to translate his rich spoils, which it did, badly enough, and to publish them. It was always possible that there remained valuable stores of material among the papers of private families in the Netherlands. The new era in the management of archival and historical matters at Albany is well signalized by the publication of what must surely be, in view of the Rensselaer patroonship, the most important of such hoards. Preserved for generations by the Amsterdam branch of the family, happy accidents brought it to the attention of the New York authorities when it was in danger of loss. It embraces the first patroon's letter-book to 1643, many letters to him, copies of legal and commercial papers of his time, and subsequent documents extending throughout the Dutch period of the colony. They throw a flood of light on all the events and conditions
of the chief patroonship and of a most interesting settlement and form of local government. They likewise add considerably to our knowledge. of the history of the province. The volume also contains translations of articles on Kiliaen van Rensselaer and his colony, by the late Mr. de Roever, archivist of Amsterdam, a careful list of settlers, and an interesting map made about 1632. Mr. van Laer's editing is of the very highest type, exhibiting excellent general scholarship, detailed and exact knowledge of the particular subject, and sound judgment. At the beginning of the book he prints a translation of the charter of the Dutch West India Company and its amplifications and of the Freedoms and Exemptions of 1629. Strange to say, these are the first correct translations of these documents ever printed; and they are of such unusual excellence as to inspire our confidence in the translations of the Van Rensselaer Bowier manuscripts which follow and in which we cannot make the comparison with the original. The state of New York is greatly to be congratulated that such tasks are now in such hands.
Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Edited by William Nelson. [Archives of the State of New Jersey, First Series, Volume XXVII.] Extracts from American Newspapers, relating to New Jersey. Volume VIII., 1770-1771. (Paterson, N. J., 1905, pp. xii, 713.) This volume possesses the same general characteristics, the same quality of good workmanship that has characterized its predecessors, and, like its predecessors, makes manifest through. these newspaper extracts many phases of the social and industrial life of the time. A rapid survey of the pages is likely to give the impression that newspapers existed mainly for the purpose of advertising property for sale, and for runaway slaves or servants. The proportion of such notices is large; and sometimes slaves are advertised for sale, though such instances are not, perhaps, unduly numerous. Now and then, indeed, we get a glimpse of the intellectual, as for instance, when Thomas Moody, "philomathematicus, from Hibernia", "would be willing to accept a professorship in some seminary of learning, if he could. meet with proper encouragement". But there is also food for the student of political history. There are proclamations of the governor announcing allowances and disallowances by the crown of legislative enactments; several addresses to the governor from Council or House and the governor's replies. Of still greater moment are several series of resolutions in favor of the Non-Importation Agreement, together with numerous and severe denunciations of the people of New York for their defection from the Agreement. There are occasional biographical notes by the editor, and there is also a good index to the volume.
Documents relating to the Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey. Edited by William Nelson. [Archives of the State of New Jersey, Second Series, Volume III.] Extracts from American News
papers relating to New Jersey. Volume III., 1779. (Trenton, N. J., 1906, pp. xi, 786.) This volume is particularly noteworthy for the material which it contains bearing upon the progress of the Revolution. As New Jersey was the principal field of military operations there are, naturally, many news-items concerning engagements and the movement of troops, as also many military orders and official announcements. Numerous extracts from the Royalist press give us a view of the other side of the struggle. We discover too that the loyalists in New Jersey were not an inconsiderable body. The frequent notices of robberies and advertisements of rewards for stolen property are to be expected; but from another class of advertisements, also numerous, it would seem that even if horses were frequently stolen horse-raising was profitable. Political and economic questions are also agitating the Jersey mind. There are long and frequent discussions of the state of the country in general and of the depreciation of the currency in particular, by "A True Patriot" and others, including Governor Livingston. In the opinion of "A True Patriot ", however, not all the ills are due to depreciated currency. Much and often he bewails the general decay of public spirit, patriotism and the social virtues. Along with "Timoleon" he makes an attack upon the conduct of Azariah Dunham of the commissary department, and even hurls his criticisms at the Continental Congress. There are numerous annotations in the volume, mainly biographical, and an index occupying sixty pages.
The Old Dominion: Her Making and Her Manners. By Thomas Nelson Page. (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1908, pp. x, 394.) This is a collection of the by-products of a literateur. It is made up of nine chapters with the following titles: The Beginning of America; Jamestown, Birthplace of the American People; Colonial Life; the Revolutionary Movement; Jefferson and the University of Virginia; the Southern People during Reconstruction; the Old Dominion since. the War; an Old Neighborhood in Virginia; and the Old Virginia Sunday. Most of these chapters were delivered as addresses and there is therefore no unity or systematic connection between the parts of the book.
Mr. Page is confessedly an artist who looks with contempt upon the scientific historian, as latter day students of history have been called (p. 46). It is therefore with some trepidation that the present writer undertakes to estimate the value of his book. One thing is evident that historically nothing new or fresh has been attempted. Even the point of view is nowise novel. In fact it is traditional Virginia which is described-colonial lords and ladies, or close imitators: the gentleman, who would have answered to a description of a Walpole Tory fox-hunter; the unfortunate class who have not the right to the title gentleman; and the negro, appear each in his accustomed place. The Revolution with all its bitterness, class hatred and shrewd political