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and declared for law, by the Commons in Parliament, hath the force of law, and all the people of this nation are included thereby, although the consent and concurrence of the King and House of Peers be not had thereunto.”
The Ordinance constituting the High Court of Justice provided that it should consist of a hundred and thirtythree members; but only sixty-six took their seats. The first two names on the list were those of Fairfax and Cromwell; but Fairfax had now compunctious visitings, and never appeared after the first session. Arraigned in Westminster Hall before this tribunal, the King
- e . ‘’Jan. 20,22,23.
on three successive days’ protested against its
* A Sunday (January 21) followed Journal of the Commons, VI. 132; the day of the arraignment. (White- Parliamentary History, III. 1284. locke, 368.)
C H A PTER III.
THE first year of the civil war in England had just ... ... expired, when the Commissioners of the Conog of the federacy of New England came together at
. Boston for their first conference. All of them
“...s were men held in distinguished estimation at their *** respective homes. Plymouth was represented by Edward Winslow and William Collier; Massachusetts, by John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley; Connecticut, by George Fenwick and Edward Hopkins; and New Haven, by Theophilus Eaton and Thomas Gregson. Their credentials having been mutually exhibited, Winthrop was chosen to preside. The Commissioners gave their consent to the incorporation of Milford into the Colony of New Haven, and of Southampton into the Colony of Connecticut." They then proceeded to deliberate on a question that had arisen from some movements of the two principal nations of neighboring Indians. After the overthrow of the Pequots, the Narragansetts The Narra were the most powerful of the native tribes of :... southern New England; and next to them in dians. numbers and strength were the Mohegans, whose hunting-grounds lay at the west, towards the river Connecticut. The Narragansett chiefs, Canonicus and his nephew Miantonomo, had afforded some feeble aid in the war against the Pequots; and their relations with the colonists cannot be said to have been as yet unfriendly, though at an early period the former had sent a threatening message to Plymouth, and from time to time equivocal conduct on the part of his people had caused Miantonomo to be summoned to Boston to make explanations to the Magistrates.” Roger Williams, now unfortunately absent in Europe, had obtained some influence over the minds of both, and there had been an interchange of friendly offices between them and the English settlers on Narragansett Bay. Uncas, the Mohegan sachem, was on like amicable terms with the planters on Connecticut River. He had rendered them useful aid in the Pequot war; and both from gratitude and from policy they had cultivated his good-will.
* Records of the United Colonies, in Hazard, II. 7.
Jealous of each other's power, and irritated by the frequent collisions occurring on their ill-defined borders after the Pequot wall of separation was broken down, the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes were always on the verge of conflict. A policy too frequently pursued would have led the English to encourage these passions in the rivals, and to allow them to prepare themselves for a common ruin, by exhausting each other in mutual strife. But more generous considerations prevailed, and by the mediation of Connecticut they had been brought to agree to make no war upon each other without the consent of the colonists.”
Miantonomo had long been suspected of unfriendly designs. Plymouth and Connecticut early took
- - - - - Hostile de
alarm at a report of negotiations of his with the sign of the Mohawks for a joint invasion of the settlements; jor and corroborating circumstances communicated . the uneasiness to Massachusetts. In a conference with messengers from this Colony, Miantonomo made disavowals which gave only partial satisfaction;" and in a subsequent interview of the Governor with him at Boston there was little cordiality on either side." Two years more had passed of suspicious amity, when intelligence was brought to Boston from Conless necticut and New Haven that Miantonomo had *** planned a general massacre of the English, to take place after the harvest. Mr. Eaton, Mr. Ludlow, and Mr. Haynes had each received disclosures of the plot from friendly Indians who were unknown to one another.” During the same time, – as the English learned from what they considered trustworthy sources, – repeated attempts to assassinate Uncas, by ambuscade and by poison, had been made at the instigation of his rival.” Connecticut and New Haven would have immediately gone to war. They proposed that Massachusetts should raise a hundred men, to be joined by a proportionate number of their own people." But that Colony, less exposed and more calm, held back from so critical a step. In a General Court, which was promptly convened, the uncertainties and the certain sacrifices of a conflict were pondered; the proof of an Indian conspiracy was not found to be indubitable; and “if”— so they argued – “we should kill any of them, or lose any of our own, and it should be found after to have been a false report, we might provoke God's displeasure, and blemish our wisdom and integrity before the heathen.” Another topic of the deliberation is not to be overlooked. “Lastly, it was considered that such as were to be sent out on such an expedition were for the most part godly, and would be as well assured of the justice of the war as the warrant of their call, and then we should not fear their forwardness and courage; but, if they
1 See Wol. I. 196. Hazard, II. 8; comp. Hypocrisie Un* Winthrop, I. 198, 199, IL 15, 16, masked, 71. 80 – 82. * Winthrop, II. 8; comp. R. I. Rec. * Records of the United Colonies, in I. 110.
* Winthrop, II. 15, 16. This extract is from a “Journal of New
* Ibid., 78, 79. – Lion Gardener had similar information. (Relation of the Pequot Wars, in Mass. Hist. Col., XXIII. 153–155.) So had the Dutch at New Amsterdam. “Miantenimo, principal Sachem of Sloops Bay, came here with one hundred men, passing through all the Indian villages, soliciting them to a general war against both the English and the Dutch.” (Documentary History of New York, IV. 6.
Netherland” for the years 1641–1646,
should be sent out not well resolved, we might fear the
Accordingly, while letters were addressed to Connecticut remonstrating against immediate hostilities, John Leverett and Edward Hutchinson were sent to acquaint Miantonomo with the charges against him, and to invite him to Boston to make his vindication.” In due time he presented himself to the Governor, attended by two or three of his counsellors, whom he always kept at hand as witnesses, and by a few other Indians dwelling nearer
to the town.
He asked to be confronted with his ac
cusers,” and denied the imputed conspiracy, alleging it
* Winthrop, II. 80.-The quoted passage suggests a remark which may appear premature in this place, but may be borne in mind for future verification. Sooner and later, the people of New England have been summoned to not a little military service, and they have performed it generally with becoming determination, not seldom with desperate valor. But they have done it as a duty, not for glorification. I know not that a trace can be found of the foolish and mischievous vocabulary of “martial glory,” “renown in arms,” and the like, in all the narratives or correspondence of their wars. When, from time to time, they have beat their enemies, it has been because that proceeding was required by some definite obligation. But to be attracted to fighting by ambition for fame has been no weakness of that people. From the storming of the Indian fort on the
Mystic to the storming of Lord Cornwallis's lines at Yorktown, they have no more recognized it as a stimulus to their duty in the field of battle, than to their duty in the mowing-field, or in the house of worship.
“Habet ipsa suos heroas alitaue Religio; sed enim stimulis melioribus illos Exacuit, quam spes incertae laudis, et auri Exitiosa faunes, ac turbidus ardor honorum.” Anti-Lucretius, Lib. I.
* Mass. Rec., II. 23.
* “We answered, we knew them not, nor were they within our power.” (Winthrop, II. 82.) — The Indian who made the disclosure to Mr. Ludlow first obtained “a promise that his name might be concealed, for, if he was known, it would cost him his life.” His revelation was extremely circumstantial, and accorded remarkably, as well in particulars as in the general, with equally precise information brought to Mr. Eaton at New Haven and to Mr.