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IN Massachusetts, after the death of Winthrop, Endicott appears to have been regarded as excelling every contemporary in that combination of qualities which on. was required for the conduct of the public busi, o, ness. Two years excepted, he was always Chief " Magistrate thenceforward till, at the age of seventy-seven, he died. Dudley and Bellingham each filled the loo. office one year during this period. In these two “ years, Endicott was Deputy-Governor; and when he held the first place, Dudley held the second till the last year of his life, as Bellingham did after that time without interruption.
By many titles Dudley might seem to be marked as Winthrop's natural successor. They had been associates, from the first, in the councils of the Colony, generally occupying the two highest stations; and Dudley was a person of eminent integrity, ability, and public spirit. But he was already old when Winthrop died, and it is probable that the infirmities of age had somewhat impaired his activity. That his death was not sudden may be probably inferred from his absence from the General Court held two months before, at which Court los. he should have taken his place as Deputy-Gover- * * nor." Bellingham was a man of great capacity, and at a later period rendered long and excellent service. But the natural acerbity of his character was not yet tempered by years; and it may be supposed that his course of factious opposition to Winthrop had brought on him a degree of distrust, which it required time to overcome. By some of the statesmanlike qualities of his admirable predecessor Endicott was not distinguished; but under the guidance of that master mind the Colony had surmounted its first difficulties, and had established a definite line of policy which could be understood and followed out by such as might not have been competent to project it; so that, on the whole, the energetic pioneer and soldier, trained as he now had been by an instructive experience and companionship of more than twenty years, was recognized as the leader required by those stirring times. The period which began with the Commonwealth of England, and reached beyond it by five years, might be called, in relation to Massachusetts, the period of Endicott's administration; for during that time he was scarcely discharged from the chief magistracy often enough to suggest that it was not intended to be vested for life. During the first half of this time, Massachusetts extended her confines in two opposite directions. A tract between the Paucatuck River, which now makes i... part of the western boundary of the State of .* Rhode Island, and the Mystic River, by which stood the Pequot fort destroyed by Captain Mason, had been selected for a plantation by William Chesebrough, who went thither from Rehoboth." By degrees he was joined by others; and, the question having arisen whether his settlement belonged to Connecticut or to Massachusetts, which latter Colony claimed it as part of her share in the spoil of the Pequot war, the Federal Commissioners were appealed to by the parties. They decided that the Mystic should be los. the boundary between the respective portions of *** the conquered soil; and Chesebrough's settlement, known in later times as Stonington, received from the General Court of Massachusetts a municipal organization with the name of Southertown." When Massachusetts thus spread herself southwardly to Long-Island Sound, she had received a large accession of territory on the northeast. Maine and Lygonia, provinces belonging respectively to Gorges and o to Rigby, had been neglected by their proprie- ..." tors amid the distractions of the times.” The old question of their limits had, however, been brought before the Commissioners for Foreign Plantations, who, favoring the pretensions of Rigby, had decided that the ico. river Kennebunk was the boundary between * them, thus severing Saco from the principality of Maine.” Reduced to these dimensions, Maine comprehended on the mainland only Gorgeana, Wells, and a settlement which had grown up at the mouth of the Piscataqua, ign. opposite to Strawberry Bank (Portsmouth), and ** which now received the name of Kittery. The planters, desirous of some more regular government, and despairing of receiving it from their feudal chief, determined to institute an administration of their own. They accordingly met at Gorgeana, and contracted with isso. each other for a civil society by an obligation con- ". ceived in these words: “The inhabitants, with one free and universanimous consent, do bind themselves in a body politic and combination, to see these parts of the country and province regulated according to such laws as formerly have been exercised, and such others as shall be thought meet, but not repugnant to the fundamental laws of our native country.” A Governor and five Counsellors, annually chosen, were to have charge of the public affairs. Edward Godfrey, of Agamenticus, the only Counsellor who had been appointed by Gorges, was chosen Governor. The Counsellors were Edward Rushworth, also of that city, and Richard Leader, Nicholas Shapleigh, and Thomas Withers, of Kittery* George Cleaves, with a council of Assistants, carried on the government of Lygonia, as agent for Rigby; but on the death of the proprietor, Cleaves went to England, and the bond of allegiance to the heir was more lightly felt by the planters. Both in that province and in Maine, there were numbers who were dissatisfied with the existing state of things. Some desired a different settlement under a new charter; others preferred to follow the example of the Piscataqua towns, and place themselves under the government of Massachusetts. The patent of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay granted a territory having for its northern ... boundary a line extending westward from the .* Atlantic Ocean on a parallel of latitude three miles north of the most northerly part of the river Merrimack. The General Court had obtained some knowledge of the geography of the region, and of their apparent right to lands earlier granted to themselves, but now claimed by the representatives of Gorges and Rigby; and they saw that circumstances favored their producing their claim, and obtaining a recognition of it which would be for the advantage of the settlers as well as for their own. They decided to begin with the inhabitants of Kittery, and accordingly appointed a commission isol of three distinguished citizens,— Mr. Bradstreet, ** Mr. Denison, and Mr. Hathorne,— to proceed to that place, conveying “a loving and friendly letter” to the
* Mass. Rec., IV. (i.) 119.
* William Chesebrough took the oath of a freeman of Massachusetts at the first admission of freemen on this side of the water, in May, 1631. (Mass. Rec., I. 366.) In the following year, he was one of the two persons commissioned by Boston “to confer with the Court about raising of a public stock.”
(Ibid., 95; see Vol. I. 354.) He was a Deputy in the General Court for Braintree in 1640 (Mass. Rec., I. 301), and in the same year was made a Commissioner “to try small causes” in that town. (Ibid., 306.) He was at Rehoboth in 1646, and as late as 1648. (Plym. Rec., II. 99, 103,136.)
* Conn. Rec. I. 570; Mass. Rec., IV. * See Vol. I. 527, 595. (i.) 353; Records, &c., in Hazard, II. * Williamson, History, &c., I. 301; 395 – 397. comp. Winthrop, II. 256, 257.
inhabitants, and offering “to receive them under this government, if terms of agreement could be concluded upon by mutual consent; otherwise, having ..... laid claim to the place, to protest against any further proceeding by virtue of their combination, or other interest whatsoever.” The Provincial Court of Maine solicited the intervention of Parliament, and sent a memorial, praying for a confirmation of the government which they had established among themselves “by way of combination.”* Winslow, still agent of Massachusetts in London, had an advantage in being able to argue that the opposition was prompted by the prejudices of royalists; and the petition had no effect. The General Court of Massachusetts, “on perusal of the charter,” re- lea. solved that, by the royal grant therein, their north- ** ern boundary was that which has been above described; and they appointed commissioners to survey the line.” A correspondence between Rawson, Secretary of Massachusetts, and Edward Godfrey, calling himself “Governor of the Province of Maine,” expressed the pretensions of the respective parties, but did nothing towards composing the dispute. The commissioners of Massachusetts came to Kittery, and there, after a conference with Godfrey and four others, “who declared themselves to be persons in present power,” they formally claimed the jurisdiction as belonging to their Colony, and forbade the exercise of any local authority after the expiration of three months. Godfrey and his associates replied that they “resolved and intended to go on, till lawful power commanded the contrary.” But such opposition as they could make caused no delay. Surveyors, employed by the General Court, traced the stream of the Merrimack as far north as the ol,
parallel of forty-three degrees, forty minutes, and
* Mass. Rec., III. 250, 251. * Mass. Rec., III. 274, 278. * Hazard, I. 559. * Hazard, I. 564 – 569. VOL. II. 33