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The protest of D'Aulnay against the course of the Massachusetts Magistrates in permitting his enemy to hire vessels and enlist men within their jurisdiction, was not unreasonable. The Federal Com. Fo missioners, coming together, for the second time, ..." soon after the troublesome consequences of that "..." proceeding had appeared, must be considered to sept. 5. have intended to express a censure of it, in terms not disrespectful to Massachusetts, when they passed a general order, “that no jurisdiction within this Confederation shall permit any voluntaries to go forth in a warlike way against any people whatsoever, without order and direction of the Commissioners of the several jurisdictions.”
The record of other proceedings at this meeting — which, like the first, lasted a fortnight or more" — gives an idea of what were regarded as the proper subjects for the cognizance of the Commissioners. They entertained an application from Massachusetts for a share in the lands conquered from the Pequots, and a communication from Mr. Fenwick respecting the conflicting right of his principals. They advised the General Courts of the several Colonies to make permanent provision by law for a proper maintenance of the clergy. They “commended to the several General Courts, as a matter worthy of due consideration and entertainment, the maintenance of poor scholars at the College at Cambridge,” and approved a proposal to “every family, able and willing to give, throughout the plantations, to give yearly towards that object but the fourth part of a bushel of corn, or something equivalent thereunto.” They authorized Massachusetts to “receive Martin's [Martha's] Vineyard into their jurisdiction, if they saw cause.” They confirmed provisionally to Massachusetts the jurisdiction over Woranoake (Westfield), against a claim of Mr. Fenwick. Under the penalty of a fine, prescribed by their own authority, they forbade the selling of arms and of ammunition to the Indians; and they “commended unto the serious consideration of the several jurisdictions, whether it were not expedient and necessary to prohibit the selling of the aforesaid ammunition either to the French or Dutch.” They provided for a proportionate distribution to the several Colonies of “powder and other gifts given to New England in general,” such gifts from abroad having perhaps been found too apt to get no further than Massachusetts. They recommended to the several Colonies a plan for the institution of a joint-stock company for trade with the Indians, to be invested with a monopoly of the trade, but to include every person, or partnership, contributing to its funds not less than twenty pounds." “Some of the inhabitants of Rhode Island having intimated a willingness to be received into and under the government of one of the Colonies,” the Commissioners, considering that, by an utter refusal, they might by the discords and divisions among themselves be exposed to . some great inconveniences, and hoping many of them might be reduced to a better frame by government, thought fit, that, if the major part, and such as had most interest in the island, would absolutely and without reservation submit, either Massachusetts or Plymouth might receive them.” They provided for a yearly return of a census in each Colony of “males from sixteen to sixty years of age.” They advised the governments of the several Colonies to establish a primá facie recognition of the acts of each other's Courts. They approved the recent proceedings of Massachusetts in relation to the French combatants, and assured her of their support if D’Aulnay should prove impracticable. They instructed their President “to take care for the providing some man or men to find and lay out the best way to the Bay, from Connecticut, at the common charge.” In consideration of some recent arming by New Haven and Connecticut against the Indians, they determined that, in cases of expense incurred by any Colony for military operations, “no charge was to be borne by the rest till all the grounds and occasions of the war should be considered, and the jurisdiction invaded cleared by the Commission
* Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 7, 11, charges, with two men and four horses and 13, 26. — “It is ordered [May 20, for that service, allowed them out of 1644], that the Commissioners now ap- the Treasury.” (Mass. Rec., II. 70, pointed for this jurisdiction, and such 71.) This was before the second meetas shall be appointed from time to time, ing; for the first, the Massachusetts for to meet with the Commissioners of Commissioners had no journey to make. the United Colonies, shall have their “The recommendation was not neglected. See Mass. Rec., II. 86; Conn. the adventure, on account of insufficient
Rec., I. 112, 139; N. H. Rec., I. 149,
means, as well as of doubts about its
to the enjoyment of more quiet in his
ers according to the articles.” They gave their judgment against a pretension of Massachusetts to the fee of certain lands on the Piscataqua, deciding that jurisdiction only, and not property, had been conveyed at the time of their annexation to that Colony. They disapproved her claim to a plantation, which had been made at Seekonk, and which they found to lie within the bounds described in the patent of Plymouth.' And, “upon a serious consideration among themselves how the spreading course of error might be stayed, and the truths wherein the churches of New England walked set upon their own firm and clear foundations,” they submitted to “the Elders now present at Hartford ” the question, “Whether the elders might not be entreated seriously to consider of some confession of doctrine and discipline with solid ground, to be approved by the churches and published by consent, till further light, for the confirming the weak among ourselves, and stopping the mouths of adversaries abroad.”” The aid afforded by Massachusetts to La Tour, which failed to command the approbation of the Commissioners, Dissension had been the occasion of much difference among among the the Magistrates, at the time when a majority to favored it; and it continued to provoke division Betts. and debate, and to affect the course of the local business and the position of public men. Though, for the present, Bellingham, placed at a disadvantage by his recent defeat,” prudently kept himself in the background, the old discontent of his party with the Governor took advantage of the posture of affairs to manifest itself anew. iota. A joint written remonstrance“ was addressed to ** Winthrop by three Magistrates, Saltonstall of Wa. tertown, and Bradstreet and Symonds of Ipswich, with their townsman, Nathaniel Ward, and three ministers, namely, Nathaniel Rogers and John Norton of Ipswich, and Ezekiel Rogers of Rowley." The Governor with warmth, but with a noble dignity, answered it at length. The hearty Endicott, though not altogether agreeing with his judgment in the case, sent him a letter of affectionate confidence.” Bradstreet wrote to him, disclaiming the intention to “cast any dishonor” upon him or those who acted with him, or “to write anything that might be matter of just of fence,” and exculpating himself from all share in an indecorum, of which Winthrop had complained, in “the time and manner of sending” the joint letter.” In these documents, as well as in the debate which had preceded the action of the Magistrates, the argument respecting, first, the equity, and, secondly, the safety, of permitting La Tour to recruit at Boston, was rested, by the parties respectively, upon considerations of the general duty of succoring the distressed; of the practice of neutral nations in conniving at aid to belligerents; of the policy of weakening D'Aulnay; of the impolicy of provoking him and his sovereign; of the danger of a connection with Romanists (with whom it appeared probable, on the whole, that La Tour was to be reckoned); and of the Scriptural cases of Jehoshaphat, Ahab, Ahaziah, Josiah,
* Comp. Mass. Rec., II. 68; Plym. * See Vol. I. 613. Rec., II. 22, 23. * To my eye this paper bears un* Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 16 - mistakable traces of the pungent pen 25. of Ward.
* Rogers had matter of private of. fence. He thought he had been unkindly treated by Winthrop in respect to an assignment of land which he desired. (Winthrop, II. 17.) In his Election Sermon in 1643, when Winthrop was Governor, he advised the freemen not to choose the same Governor twice in succession. (Vol. I. 614; comp. Winthrop, II. 99.)
* “Sir, be of good comfort. I doubt not but our God that is in heaven will
carry you above all the injuries of men; for I know you would not permit anything, much less act in anything, that might tend to the least damage of this people; and this I am assured of that most of God's people here about us are of the same mind,” &c. (Hutchinson, Collection, 120.)
* These very interesting papers may be read in Hazard, I. 497, 502– 516, or in Hutchinson, Collection, I. 113– 134.