Gambar halaman

or the overthrow of the churches of God or of his worship, here prudence was to be improved in the enacting and execution of laws.” The protracted disputes with the Dutch and the Indians, which agitated the two youngest members of the Confederacy, had borne especially hard upon New son, Haven. When that Colony despaired of the co-o: operation of Massachusetts in active hostilities los. against New Netherland, “the Court saw them- *** selves called to seek for help elsewhere, and could conclude of no better way than to make their addresses to the State of England.” At their solicitation, Connecticut joined in the movement; and Governor Haynes was desired to write to Mr. Hopkins, who had lately gone to England, to further the application by his interest with the Protector and with other leading men.” Mr. Astwood, a distinguished citizen of New Haven, and lately a Federal Commissioner, was appointed to make personal solicitation to Cromwell.” The intelligence of the arrival at Boston of the expedition under Sedgwick and Leverett gave the liveliest satisfaction to the people of New Haven. They immediately despatched Leete, a Magistrate, and Jordan, a Deputy, to congratulate the commander, and consult with him on a course of proceeding. The messengers were to assure him that they intended, “according to their ability and means, to afford their best assistance, both in men and provisions,” and that, “if the Massachusetts should upon any consideration refuse or delay, yet they would readily join with the other two Colonies, or with Connecticut; yea, this jurisdiction alone, if others differed in judgment, would improve the utmost of their ability to manifest their due submission to the authority of England, and readiness to a service wherein all New England, at least the western Colonies, were so much concerned.” While waiting an answer to their message, the Colony ordered frequent trainings, laid an embargo on provisions, set shoemakers, bakers, and armorers at work, provided relays of horses for the conveyance of orders, and levied a rate of two hundred pounds." On receiving information from their agents “that the design against the Dutch was like to go on,” they raised, officered, and provisioned a force of a hundred and thirty-three men, pressed vessels for transports, and appointed a day in the next week, to “be set apart by all the plantations in the jurisdiction to seek God in an extraordinary way in fasting and prayer for a blessing upon the enterprise abroad, and for the safety of the plantations at home.” Before the appointed fast-day, news came that peace was made. The affrighted Dutch Governor sent post-haste to New Haven to inquire whether it was true; and Eaton — with no satisfaction we may presume — despatched to him a copy of the proclamation, which allowed New Netherland to be a thorn in the side of New England for a while longer. Greenwich, on the Dutch border, had all along been an occasion of trouble. Seven years after Patrick had caused it to be annexed to New Netherland,” it had been ceded back to New Haven by the boundary treaty made with Stuyvesant." Disturbances which occurred in that settlea..... ment were complained of by the Deputies of Stamtoo. ford to the General Court, which caused a message go to be sent to the inhabitants, “requiring them, ac** cording to the justice of the case, to submit themselves to the jurisdiction” of New Haven." At the next annual Court of Elections, the people of Green- ion. wich made an answer to the demand, with ** which “the Court declared themselves much unsatisfied,” adding a threat, that, unless it were immediately amended, they would seize some of the principal offenders and bring them to New Haven “to answer their contempt.” After some little delay, the menace had its desired effect, and Greenwich sent in its formal submission." The seven towns now comprehended in the Colony of New Haven gave it the utmost extent that it ever attained.” The people of that Colony were of opinion that, in order to maintain the strict accountability of public officers, it was fit to make them stipendiaries of the community which they undertook to serve; and the Governor, though the richest man among them, and as generous as rich, received an annual salary of fifty pounds.” Their sense of the importance of liberally educating their youth was such, that, before their earliest town was ten years old, it had projected the establishment of a College.” It “raised above three hundred pound to en- e.g., courage the work,” and Milford pledged another New Haven. hundred.” The scheme proved to be premature; * and, for the present, these distant plantations had to expend their judicious bounty on the College of the older Colony, to which their Governor did not fail frequently to invite their attention, reminding them to send their yearly contributions of corn." Before the lor. first English child born in New Haven had at- " ". tained his majority, “it was propounded that the Court

June 9.

* Brigham, Compact, &c., 107. Hopkins, and Colonel Haynes” (the

* N. H. Rec., II. 37. — It is probable Governor's son). that Haynes wrote accordingly. But * In Thurloe's State Papers (I. 564) the Connecticut records (L. 248, 249) is a letter from Mr. Hooke, colleague mention only letters from “the Gen- of Davenport, introducing Astwood to eral Court to Colonel Fenwick, Mr. the Protector.

June 23.

July 5.

* N. H. Rec., II. 100 – 104. * See above, p. 310. * Ibid., 107 – 110. * N. H. Rec., II. 144. — Perhaps it * See Vol. I. 601. was in relation to this business that

[ocr errors]

New Haven, at this Court, raised its * See above, p. 237. In 1651 or first troop of cavalry. (Ibid., 173.) 1652, Mr. Goodyear offered to promote * Ibid., 176,216; comp. 185. the object by the gift of his house, * Greenwich, however, never had a which was one of the best in the town. separate representation in the General * N. H. Rec., II. 141, 142. Court of New Haven. It was reck- * Ibid., 149, 210, 225, 311, 318, 354, oned as part of Stamford. 357, 382. * N. H. Rec., II. 15, 99. VOL. II. 32

would think of some way to further the setting up of schools for the education of youth.” Still earlier the town had “provided that a schoolmaster should be maintained at the public charge, and Milford had made provision in a comfortable way;” and the imitation of their good example was now enforced by a colonial “order, that in every plantation where a school was not already set up and maintained, forthwith endeavors should be used that a schoolmaster might be procured that might attend that work; and what salary should be allowed unto such schoolmaster for his pains, one third part should be paid by the town in general as other rates, the good education of children being of public concernment.”" The tranquillity which succeeded in New Haven to the preparations for Dutch and Indian wars had given opportunity for the completion of a body of laws. Agreeably to a request which the Court had made to the Governor some time before, he presented a compilation of such orders of earlier date as he considered “most necessary to continue.” The Court approved his digest, and directed it to be printed, “with the Articles of Confederation also.” The Governor was, however, first “to send for one of the new books of laws in the Massachusetts Colony, and to view over a small book of laws newly come from England, said to be Mr. Cotton's, and to add to what was already done as he should think fit;” and “the Elders of the jurisdiction” were to “ have the sight of them for their approbation also.” In the

Collection of laws. 1655. May 30.

* N. H. Rec., II. 219, 220. —It may be mentioned here that Townsmen (Selectmen) were chosen in Hew Haven for the first time, Nov. 17, 1651. (Ibid., 581.)

* This must have been Aspinwall's edition of Cotton's book. See above, p. 25.

* N. H. Rec., II. 146; comp. 154. — The manuscript was sent to Mr. Hop

kins in London, to be printed. The next summer the Magistrates received from him five hundred copies. They had cost ten guineas, for which the several plantations assessed themselves. Mr. Hopkins at the same time sent “six paper books for records for the jurisdiction,” with a present from himself of “a seal for the Colony.” (Ibid., 186.) A copy of the original impres

Code thus framed, the first Article — which is in the nature of a Bill of Rights — was copied from the Code of Massachusetts; and the list of capital offences was the same, with the additions of incest, and of violence, or outrageous insult, or stubborn disobedience, to parents." The Code contains none of the provisions known in New

England fable under the name of Blue Laws. A system of written law for Connecticut bears an earlier date. Within four years after the appointment of

sion of the laws, in the library of the American Antiquarian Society, is the only complete copy now known to exist. It probably belonged to Davenport. There is an imperfect copy in the Boston Athenaeum. The title of the book is, “New-Haven's Settling in New England, and some Laws for Government, published for the Use of that Colony; though some of the Orders intended for Present Convenience may probably be hereafter altered, and, as need requireth, other Laws added.” The Titles are arranged in alphabetical order. The Articles of Confederation were now probably printed for the first time. A reprint of the collection is appended to the second volume of Mr. Hoadly's excellent edition of the New-Haven Colonial Records. The chasm in the Records of New Haven Colony between April, 1644, and May, 1653, leaves usin uncertainty whether the code of 1656 was the first essay of the kind. I have suggested (see above, p. 236; comp. N. H. Rec., II. iv.) the probability that some digest of laws for New Haven was made about the year 1648 or 1649. It appears in 1655 (N. H. Rec., II. 146), that the Governor had been “formally desired to view over the laws,” &c.; but as, in the full record of the two next preceding years, there is no appearance of an expression of that de

sire, it was probably expressed earlier, and not improbably acted on, to some extent. Massachusetts had had a printed code since 1648 (see above, p. 260); and in some particulars, at least, its provisions were adopted, within a year afterwards, by New Haven. (N. H. Rec., I. 464, 494, 499; comp. II. 571, 576.)

* N. H. Rec., 571, 576-578, 593; see above, p. 29. — Unnatural lust had been punished by capital execution in New Haven, as it had hitherto been in no other Colony but Plymouth. Considerations of the methods of interpreting Scripture, and of the theological theories, which were in credit, will suggest explanations of the morbid vigilance expressed in the laws in respect to diabolical and to bestial crimes. In those days, New-England men meant as they professed. Their convictions, covering the whole length and breadth of their creeds, laid a wide basis for imagination and emotion; and the honest, bond fide, contemplative believer in that theory of man's nature which is set forth in the Westminster Catechism, logically understood himself to be living in the midst of crimes of dark and mysterious enormity. All but saints were to him moral lepers; and he easily accepted evidence, were it better or worse, of the breaking out of the disease in the most transcendently odious forms.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »