« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
The relations with borderers and Indians were not the only external relations which the progress of events had
summoned Massachusetts to
oversee. The New-England
Confederacy was the strongest power on the Atlantic seaboard of America. Virtually, — almost formally,'— Massachusetts was at its head; and, with a sense of this new importance, it was not unnatural that she should assume a position of authority in respect to European colonies
higher importance to the affair. The settlements had been distressed by intelligence of a scheme on foot for a general rising of the Indians, under the lead of the Narragansetts, the most powerful Indian tribe, and of their able and restless chief, from whom Gorton and his company pretended to have made their purchase. The excitement was at its height at the time when these dangerous persons had become the savage's fast friends, had dealt with him for lands, and established themselves near him at the most important point of passage and communication between the different English settlements. No good offices could be expected from them. The worst might reasonably be feared. At all events, the place was one too favorable for hostilities, to be left in the occupation of bitter and capable enemies. And the emergency became pressing, when Miantonomo, in violation of a treaty, made war upon Indian allies of the English, and when, on his being taken prisoner, Gorton established a further interest with his tribe by writing a threatening letter to his captor to procure his release. “Many reasons concerning our safety,” wrote Winthrop to the Providence men who had proposed themselves as mediators, “have necessarily put us upon this course;” and he explained himself by adding, “the bottom of it [that is, of the action of Gorton's party] is easily sounded; which is, to win time to discourage the Indians under our subjection, and to give them time and opportunity to stir up, as much as in them lieth, the other Indians against us.” (R. I. Hist. Col., II. 110.)
The means of redress and of security were furnished when the Indian chiefs of Shawomet, having satisfied the Massachusetts Court that the land said to have been sold by Miantonomo to Gorton was not his to sell, but theirs, yielded it and themselves to her government. It was thought that the land might lie within the Plymouth patent; but the Federal Commissioners, with the consent of those who represented Plymouth, requested Massachusetts to assume jurisdiction. She proceeded to do so; and was defied. While her blood was up against King Charles, with whom her friends were now fighting a critical battle for all that is dearest to good men, the opposition she was aiming to put down was made more alarming and offensive by the threat of bringing in his authority to overbear her own; and at length she undertook to subdue with the vigor of military action the pertinacious disturbers whom the Colonies previously infested by them had dealt with in vain.
Their persons being seized, they were arraigned both as blasphemers and as “enemies of all civil authority.” If, for good and sufficient reasons concerning the public weal, it was right
that they should be disabled, the charge of blasphemy was, in the circumstances,
no unfit or dishonest expedient for the purpose. Undoubtedly the rulers in Massachusetts believed that their prisoners had been guilty of it, and that it was an offence properly punishable by human tribunals. The people's horror of blasphemy was on their side. The people familiarly recognized it as a great crime. It stood as such on the statute-book in England, as well as in
not embraced in the alliance. It has been men
tioned that the New-Haven people had projected the establishment of a factory on the Delaware, near to a spot earlier occupied by a few Swedes.” The visitors from New Haven were maltreated and expelled by the
almost all the English settlements in
terlarded with Scripture. Nor will it
Swedish governor;" and that Colony laid its complaint before the Commissioners of the Confederacy. A letter written under their direction by Winthrop to Transactions the Swedes” brought a reply with “large expres- with the sions of their respect to the English, and par- ...” ticularly to Massachusetts,” and a promise to "...a refrain from molesting any visitors who should “” bring authority from the Commissioners.” The Dutch Governor at New Amsterdam made a complaint Transactions to “the Governor and Senate of the United win the Provinces of New England,” of encroachments or. on the part of Connecticut, and desired to be "..., informed whether, by a rupture with that Colony, he should expose himself to hostility from its confederates. Winthrop replied at first with only some conciliating generalities. Afterwards, under the direction of the Federal Commissioners, to whom Connecticut and New Haven had also addressed themselves, he made to the Dutch Governor a statement of the grievances of those Colonies, “requiring answer to the particulars; that,” he added, “as we will not wrong others, so we may not desert our confederates in any just cause.” The settlers at New Amsterdam, though not disposed to withdraw “their complaint of injuries,” were presently so much pressed by the Indians, that, instead of further reclamations from New Haven, they were fain to apply to that Colony for an auxiliary force of a hundred men. The proposal was declined, both as inconsistent with one of the articles of confederation, and from want of knowledge as to the justice of the war. But an offer was made of a supply of provisions, the savages having made great destruction of cattle and stores." With her French neighbors on the other side, Massachusetts had more communication. On the death of Razilly, the Governor of Acadie, his lieutenants," D'Aulnay de Charnisé and La Tour, now his successors, quarrelled about the limits of their respective jurisdictions,” and at length proceeded to acts of violence, which their superiors in France made only careless and ineffectual attempts to restrain. The rival chiefs were fur-traders with the Indians at the same time, and their interferences in the market exasperated their feud. D'Aulnay held posts on the Penobscot, and at Port Royal (now Annapolis) and La Hève” (now New Dublin) in Nova Scotia." La Tour had fortified himself at St. John, at the mouth of the river of that name, in what is now New Brunswick. D'Aulnay had been inign structed by the King to arrest him,” unless he ** should promptly obey an order which had been sent him to return to France. La Tour, hoping that sympathy with his professed Protestantism might procure him aid from Boston against D’Aulnay, who was a Catholic, sent a messenger on that errand, at the same time proposing a free trade between his ports and those of New England, and an arrangement by which he might import through New England * commodities from Europe. The request for free for aid from trade was complied with ; the others were re- -jected. D'Aulnay, in a letter to Winthrop, de- "..." nounced La Tour as a rebel, and threatened to * break up the trade, and to make prize of any Massachusetts vessel which he might intercept while engaged in it. After the confederation, but before the first meeting of the Commissioners, La Tour, blockaded in the 1648. harbor of St. John, escaped by night, and came ** to Boston, where in person he reiterated his request for military aid, and enforced it by showing a document, “under the hand and seal of the Vice-Admiral of France,” which recognized him as “the King's Lieutenant-General in Acadie.”" His former misconduct at Machias, and a general distrust of his character and designs, operated against him. But there was a much stronger resentment against his enemy;” and the trade which had been opened was thought to be valuable. The decision of the Magistrates was, that, though the obligations of Massachusetts as a member of the Confederacy forbade her to contribute the assistance desired, she might permit the chartering of vessels in her ports and the enlistment of volunteers.” La Tour hired four ships, enlisted some seventy men," and set sail to encounter his enemy. The expedition obtained no decisive success, though D'Aulnay, suddenly attacked before St. John, was beaten, and pursued to Port Royal. He soon after sailed for
* Winthrop, II. 140, 141 ; N. H. * Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 11; Rec., I. 106 – 108. comp. Winthrop, II. 129, 130, 140.
* Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 11. * Winthrop, II. 157.
* Winthrop, II. 157; comp. 179, 187. " N. H. Rec., I. 116, 117.
The French in Acadie. 1635. November.
1 See Vol. I. 540.
D'Aulnay-Charnisé hath . . . . . built
* Winthrop, II. 42,43, 91, 108,125. — It is true that La Tour had received such a commission from Cardinal Richelieu, as long ago as the year 1634. But it had been revoked by the Cardinal, February 23, 1641, and the act of revocation had been confirmed by
VOL. II. 13
the King in Council, February 21,