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dangerous enemies as their malignant neighbors, the Narigansetts;” 2. that they would “never suffer Samuel Gorton, the pestilent disturber, . . . . . any more to go to New England to disquiet the peace thereof;” 3. that they would “suffer New Plymouth to enjoy their former liberty in the line of their government, which includeth their very seat, even Shawomet itself; ”’ 4. that they would refuse to receive appeals from New England; 5. that they would “patronize” him in the “just defence”
quoted in these pages under the title of “Hypocrisie Unmasked,” &c. The date in the imprint of the edition is 1646. But Winslow sailed for England in the middle of December, 1646, at which time, according to the reckoning of the Old Style, there remained a little more than three months of that year. Again he says (Hypocrisie Unmasked, 77) that the time since his “departure from New England” had been “not much above two months.” (comp. Pref., iv.); from which the inference is, that he published in the early part of March, 1647 (N. S.); a fact useful to be settled, as it shows that there was time for the book to exert an influence on that decision of the Commissioners which was announced in May. The attentive reader constantly discerns in Winslow's book the influence of that state of affairs and of sentiment, which on his arrival he found existing in England. The Presbyterians and Independents were not unequally matched. He desired the goodwill of both. “How easy would the differences be reconciled between the Presbyterian and Independent way. - - - - - As they have fought together for the liberties of the kingdom, ecclesiastical and civil, so may they join together in the preservation of them.” (Hypocrisie Unmasked, &c., 94.) He aims to avert the hostility of the Presbyterians by informing them that they whose cause he pleaded had not rejected the communion of Dutch, French, Scotch, or English of that inclining, and that they gave no disturb
ance to Presbyterians in New England. (Ibid., 95, 96, 98 – 100; comp. Vol. I. 489, note 2.) The English Anabaptists were a party too considerable to be slighted. Accordingly, he shows, in the case of Chauncy of Plymouth and others, how unmolested they might live in New England, if they gave no other offence than by their sectarian opinions and practice; and he avers, that, though “the churches of New England were confident through God's mercy that the way in which they walked . . . . . concurred with those rules our blessed Saviour hath left upon record by the Evangelists and Apostles, yet nevertheless, if any, through tenderness of conscience, were otherwise minded, to such they never turned a deafear, nor became rigorous.” (Hypocrisie Unmasked, &c., 101, 102.)
The book sometimes quoted under the title, “The Danger of tolerating Levellers in a Civil State,” is the same as Hypocrisie Unmasked, except that instead of the Dedication, in the latter, to the Earl of Warwick and his fellowCommissioners, the former has a full table of contents. As to the body of the respective works, they are not dif. ferent editions, but both were struck off from the same types. This fact shows them to have been published about the same time; and, if so, they were intended to reach different hands. In respect to the “Danger of tolerating Levellers,” Winslow well knew that he might look to a large class of his English friends for an active sympathy against Gorton.
which he was making, and
thus place his constituents
under an obligation to “engage with and for” the Parliament and the Commissioners “against all opposers of the State, to the last drop of blood in their veins.” The representations of Winslow exhibited the case to the Commissioners in a new light; and they hastened to relieve the anxiety of the colonists as to the most important question. To the claim of the Massachusetts Company to exemption from appeals, they replied: “We intended not to encourage any appeals from your lear. justice, nor to restrain the bounds of your juris- ** diction to a narrower compass than is held forth by your letters patent, but to leave you with all that freedom and latitude that may in any respect be duly claimed by you, knowing that the limiting of you in that kind may be very prejudicial, if not destructive, to the government and public peace of the Colony;” and they professed the like liberal intentions in respect “to all the other governments and plantations in New England.” On a hearing of Winslow, and of Gorton with his friends, at Westminster, “it pleased the Lord to bring about the hearts of the Committees, so as they discerned of Gorton, &c. what they were, and of the justice of the proceedings against them.” Their application for an authoritative interference in their behalf obtained no more than an intercession that they might be treated with indulgence. The Commissioners wrote: “We commend it to the government, within whose jurisdiction they shall appear to be, (as our only desire at present in this matter,) not only not to remove them from their plantations, but also to encourage them, with protection and assistance, in all fit ways, provided that they demean themselves peaceably, and do not endanger any of the English "colonies by a prejudicial correspondence with the Indians, or otherwise; wherein if they shall be faulty, we leave them to be proceeded with according to justice.”
* Gorton had “taxed Plymouth to join with the Massachusetts to frustrate their government by virtue of their new charter.” (Hypocrisie Unmasked, &c., 82.) The reference is to the Charter of Providence Plantations. (See below, p. 215.)
“The line of their [Plymouth's] government,” argued Winslow, agreeably to his instructions, “includeth their [the Warwick Company's] very seat, even Shawomet itself.” Of course this refers to the boundary to which Plymouth was entitled by the patent granted to Bradford by the Council for New England in 1630. (See Vol. I. 832.) At the time of that grant, the geography of the region was little known. The territory conveyed to Bradford was described in it as lying between the ocean on the east; “a certain rivulet or runlet, there commonly called Coahasset alias Conahassett, towards the north; the river, commonly called Narragansetts River, towards the south; and between and within a straight line directly extending up into the mainland towards the west from the mouth of the said river called Narragansetts River, to the utmost limits and bounds of a country or place in New England called Pokanoket alias Sowamsett westward, and another like straight line extending itself directly from the mouth of the said river called Coahasset alias Conahassett towards the west, so far up into the mainland westwards, as the utmost limits of the said place or country commonly called Pokanoket alias Sowamsett do extend, together with one half of the said river called Narragansett,
and the said rivulet or runlet, called Coahassett alias Conahassett,” &c. (Brigham, Charter, &c., 22, 23.) This definition of a western boundary for Plymouth Colony does not correspond to the natural features of the country. In the impracticability of putting a strict verbal construction upon it, the Plymouth people, it appears, adopted some interpretation which brought Shawomet within their bounds, – an interpretation also approved by their allies in the Confederacy. In urging, at this time, upon the Parliamentary Commissioners for the Colonies, that Shawomet belonged by patent to Plymouth, Winslow may seem to have condemned a former judgment of his. In 1670, Roger Williams wrote to Major Mason (see Vol. I. 422), that, when he was looking out for a place of refuge, Winslow told him that, if he would but cross the river to Seekonk, he would be “free,” and beyond “the edge of their bounds.” Williams was an entirely honest man, and his statements are entitled to all that confidence which should respond to an intention to speak the truth. But he was also an impulsive and an imaginative man; nor is it safe to trust the memory of any witness, sixty-four years old, for the particulars of a conversation which took place when he was thirty. Supposing Winslow to have precisely expressed the opinion ascribed to him by Williams, it does not show that the same was the opinion of Winslow's Colony, or of other eminent persons in the Colony, equally entitled to be consulted; nor would his or their ex
pression of it, unauthorized by a public * Hypocrisie Unmasked, &c., Pref., v. act, preclude their changing it after- * Possibly this supererogatory assurwards, on what they should consider ance was suggested by Fenwick, who better information respecting the in- was now one of the Parliamentary tent of the patent and the rights of Commissioners for the Colonies (Wintheir community; nor would it impose throp, II, 320), and who must have an obligation upon any one. always had Connecticut in his mind.
Despairing of success with the Commissioners, Gorton son, set his face homeward. He arrived at Boston, ... where, when about to be apprehended, he proigs duced a letter from the Earl of Warwick, “desir
* ing only that he might have liberty to pass home.” Upon this, “the Court recalled their former order, and gave him a week's liberty to provide for his departure. This was much opposed by some; but the most considered that, it being only at the Earl's request (no command), it could be no prejudice to our liberty; and, our Commissioner being still attending the Parliament, it might much have disadvantaged our cause and his expedition, if the Earl had heard that we should have denied him so small a request. Yet it was carried only by a casting voice.” No inconvenience followed for the present. Gorton had come home a sadder and more peaceable, if not a wiser, man. Several of his old friends had re-assembled at Shawomet, which place, since that time, has borne the name of Warwick, given it in commemoration, or in hope, of favor from the noble head of the Parliamentary Commission. They had no sooner learned from their emissary the position of their affairs, than they “sent two of their company to petition the General Court,” then in session at Boston, and “make their peace.” Hearing, when they reached Dedham, that the Court had adjourned, the messengers wrote to Winthrop, in terms not so much deferential as abject, asking leave to wait upon him with the “humble request” which they had in charge. What answer the Governor made does not appear.” While the people at Warwick should refrain from offence, as they had lately done, and as there was now an increased probability that they would continue to do, Massachusetts had no desire to disturb them. Several months before Gorton left America, Roger Williams had returned, after an absence of a year and a half." He had been favorably introduced by Sir Henry Vane, and had obtained from the Parliamentary Commissioners a patent, which associated “the towns ora, of Providence, Portsmouth, and Newport” in . one community, “by the name of the Incorpo- 1844. ration of Providence Plantations, in the Narra- “ gansett Bay, in New England.” It prescribed no criterion of citizenship, and no form of organization. It simply invested the “inhabitants” of the towns with “full power and authority to rule themselves, and such others as should hereafter inhabit within any part of the said tract of land, by such a form of civil government as, by voluntary consent of all or the greater part of them, they should find most suitable to their estate and condition; and for that end, to make and ordain such civil laws and constitutions, and to inflict such punishments upon transgressors, and, for execution thereof, so to place and displace officers of justice, as they, or the greatest part of them, should by free consent agree unto; provided, nevertheless, that the said laws, constitutions, and punishments for the civil government of the said plantations, should be conformable to the laws of England, so far as the nature of the case would admit.”” With this instrument Roger Williams arrived in Boston, fortified by a letter to the Magistrates, in which
* Winthrop, II. 818–820; R. I. Hist. * Winthrop, II. 822, 823. Coll., II. 204. Comp. Hazard, IL 135.
* Winthrop, II. 193; see Vol. I. 609. tent, south on the ocean, and on the
* The instrument is in Hazard, I. west and northwest by the Indians 538, and in R. I. Rec., I. 143.-The called Nahigganneucks, alias Narra“said tract of land” is described as gansetts; the whole tract extending “bordering northward and northeast about twenty-five miles into the Pequot on the patent of the Massachusetts, river and country.” east and southeast on Plymouth pa