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to be a calumny of Uncas. The magistrates “spent the better part of two days in treating with him, and in conclusion he did accommodate himself to them to their satisfaction.” He had scarcely been dismissed, when still more urgent letters came from Connecticut, insisting on the reality of the plot and the immediate necessity of counteraction; and others from Plymouth, communicating intelligence received there to the same effect. On his way home, Miantonomo killed one of his attendants, whom, for participation in the attempts to assassinate Uncas, he had promised to surrender to that chief. This was interpreted as a precaution on his part against further discoveries. But the Massachusetts Magistrates, on consultation, resolved not to recede from the ground which they had taken, and reiterated their advice to the western settlements to practise longer forbearance." A further occasion of disquiet was presented by a connection which Miantonomo now formed with some disaffected English borderers. One of the numerous quarrels in the Narragansett plantations had taken place a year before at Providence. A portion of the associates j of Roger Williams had established themselves on ... the west side of the bay, north of the river Pawtuxet. Here they found themselves so incommoded by some lawless persons who sat down among Applea, them, that, for want of any nearer authority .* competent to give them redress, they were fain protection to apply themselves to that of Massachusetts against them. - a - ion." Bay. In a petition to the Magistrates of that ** Colony, they professed to give “true intelligence of the insolent and riotous carriages of Samuel Gorton and his company, which came from the island of Aquetnet,
Haynes at Hartford, from sources inde- This anonymous tract was probably pendent of each other. (A True Re- written in August, 1642.) lation of a Conspiracy of Miantonomo,” Winthrop, II. 81–83; Records, &c., in Mass. Hist. Coll., XXIII. 161. &c., in Hazard, IL. 9.
together with John Greene and Francis Weston.” These persons, they alleged, were combined with others “against the fairest and most just and honest ways of proceeding in order and government that we could rightly and truly use for the peaceable preservation and quiet subsistence of ourselves and families, or any that should have fair occasion to go out or come in amongst us;” and by their “writings, words, and actions” showed a design “to have no manner of honest order or government, either over them or amongst them.” The petitioners sustained their complaint by the recital of particular acts of disorder and violence; and they concluded by entreating the Massachusetts people, “of gentle courtesy, and for the preservation of humanity and mankind, to consider their condition, and lend them a neighborlike helping hand, and send assistance to help them and ease them of their burden.” The petition was signed by thirteen persons." The General Court not being together, the Magistrates replied. “We told them,” writes Winthrop, “that except they did submit themselves to some jurisdiction, either Plymouth's or ours, we had no calling or warrant to interpose in their contentions; but if they were once subject to any, then they had a calling to protect them.” Of four disturbers complained of by name in the petition, three were afterwards especially conspicuous in a long series of events. Randall Holden had been one of the original confederates with Coddington, and then one of those who helped to displace him from the government at Portsmouth." He had been appointed successively Corporal and Marshal, “reunited to the body” at the coalition of the towns, and finally disfranchised and disarmed.” It must have been about the time of these censures, that he followed his friend Samuel Gorton from Portsmouth to Providence. John Greene, said to have been previously a surgeon at Salisbury in England, had been at Providence almost from its beginning.” leg. Soon after taking up his residence there, he made *** a visit to Boston, where he was fined twenty pounds, and “enjoined not to come into the jurisdiction, for speaking contemptuously of the Magistrates.”* Gorton, previously a clothier in London, had come to Boston during the Antinomian controversy," and thence, after a short time, removed to Plymouth. At that place he found a home with the minister, Mr. Smith, and before long attracted notice by a dispute with his host, originating, as Gorton supposed, in the preference of Smith's wife for Gorton's prayers over those of her husband." Whatever may have been its cause, its consequence was that Smith repented of his hospitality, and ordered him out of the house, which Gorton refused to leave, insisting that he was not a guest, but a lessee. The court thought otherwise; and, iss.
* It is in Mass. Hist. Coll., XXI. 2; R. I. Hist. Coll., II. 191. – William Arnold, of Providence, wrote, May 25, 1642: “I do not only approve of what my neighbors before me have written, - - - - - but this much I say, that it is also evident, and may easily be proved, that the said Gorton nor his company are not fit persons to be received in and made members of such a body in so weak a state as our town is in at present.” “There is no state but in the first place will seek to preserve its
own safety and peace.” (Letter “to
Earlier history of Gorton.
* See Vol. I. 514.
* R. I. Rec., I. 46, 47, 52, 56, 60, 100, 119, 123.
* Ibid., 22.
* Mass. Rec., I. 203. On his submission, the fine was remitted; but he no sooner got back to Providence, than he wrote a letter to the General Court, retracting his apology. (Ibid., 224; Winthrop, I. 256.)
* Simplicitie's Defence against SevenHeaded Policy, &c., 2, 3. “And continued awhile in our town,” says Cotton (Bloody Tenent, &c., Appendix, 5), “till a reverend minister in London, Mr. Walker, sent over directions
to some friends to demand an hundred pound debt of him, which he having borrowed it of a citizen, the citizen bequeathed it to some good use, whereof Mr. Walker was called to some trust. But then Mr. Gorton departed out of this jurisdiction to Plymouth.” Representations of this kind, however, against a man so troublesome and odious in his day, are not to be taken à la rigueur.
• Letter of Gorton to Nathaniel Morton in Force's Tracts and Other Papers, IV. (vii.) 7. A very imperfect copy of this letter is in Hutchinson, I. 467, and in R. I. Hist. Coll., II. 246.
at the same time that this question went against " +
him, he compelled them to take up other matter. In court, he called the Assistant, who was examining him, Satan, and bade him “come down from Jehoshuah's right hand;” and, on the whole, “carried so mutinously and seditiously, as that he was, for the same, and for his turbulent carriages towards both magistrates and ministers in the presence of the court, sentenced to find sureties for his good behavior during the time he should stay in the jurisdiction, which was limited to fourteen days, and
also amerced to pay a considerable fine.”
This was a
strong measure for the usually long-suffering Colony of
After some wanderings unexplained in his narrative.” he appeared in the new settlement at the north end of
Rhode Island, where he immediately took a part in the movement for the deposition of Codding
ton,” and where, notwithstanding the local theory of the largest freedom of speech and action, he managed ico.
before long to get himself punished by whipping.”
* Morton, Memorial, 203; comp. Plym. Rec., I. 100, 105,106.— Winslow (Hypocrisie Unmasked, 66–68) tells the story of Gorton's behavior in full. As to the fine, he says, “Being but poor and low in his estate, we took not above eight or ten pounds of it, lest it might lie too heavy upon his wife and children.”
* In this part of his story, as too commonly elsewhere, Gorton uses a remarkable looseness of statement. The confiding reader imagines that repeated “confinements, imprisonments, chains, whippings, and banishment out of their jurisdictions,” were already accumulated in the hardship of his lot. (Simplicitie's Defence, pp. 3, 4.) He
says nothing here of his having been at Plymouth between his coming to Boston and his residence in Rhode Island.
* R. I. Rec., I. 70.
* “Lately [after the union between Newport and Portsmouth] they whipped one Master Gorton, a grave man, for denying their power, and abusing some of their magistrates with uncivil terms, the Governor, Master Coddington, saying in court, ‘You that are for the King, lay hold on Gorton;' and he again on the other side called forth, “All you that are for the King, lay hold on Coddington.’” (Lechford, Plaine Dealing, 41 ; comp. Hypocrisie Unmasked, 54, 55.) The mode of punishment has
Next he betook himself to Providence, where, after making himself a nuisance to Williams and his friends.” he helped in fomenting the disorders which occasioned the appeal to Massachusetts that has been mentioned. The cautious answer to that appeal having done nothing towards mending affairs, the aggrieved residents resolved on the same step, which, under similar circumsurrender of stances, had not long before been taken by the
i.” New Hampshire towns.” “Upon their petition,”
they were “taken under the government and
so's protection” of Massachusetts; four of their num
been vehemently denied by Gorton's
to Winthrop, March 8, 1641, as follows