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From Boston, the pursuers, setting off in an evening of spring, went to Hartford, where they were informed by Winthrop, that “the Colonels,” as they were called, had lately been in that town, " ". but had departed immediately by the road to New Haven." Thither the messengers proceeded, stopping on the way at Guilford, the residence of Deputy-Governor Leete, who, since the recent death of Governor Newman, was Chief Magistrate of the Colony.”
The Deputy-Governor received them in the presence of several other persons. He looked over their papers, and then “began to read them audibly; whereupon we told him,” say the messengers, “it was convenient to be more private in such concernments as that was.” They desired to be furnished “with horses, &c.” for their further journey, “which was prepared with some delays.” They were accosted, on coming out, by a person who told them that the Colonels were secreted at Mr. Davenport's, “and that, without all question, Deputy Leete knew as much;” and that, “in the head of a company in the field atraining,” it had lately been “openly spoken by them, that, if they had but two hundred friends that would stand by them, they would not care for Old or New England.”
The messengers returned to Leete, and made an application for “aid and a power to search and apprehend.” the fugitives. “He refused to give any power to apprehend them, nor order any other, and said he could do
June 4, 1661; in Archaeol. Amer. III.
afterwards performed.” (“Report made
* Governor Newman died November 18, 1660,
nothing until he had spoken with one Mr. Gilbert and the rest of his Magistrates.” It was now Saturday afternoon; and for a New-England Governor to break the Sabbath by setting off on a journey, or by procuring horses for any other traveller, was impossible. An Indian had been observed to leave Guilford while the parley was going on, and was supposed to have gone on an errand to New Haven. Monday morning the messengers proceeded thither. “To our certain knowledge,” they write, “one John Meigs was sent a horseback before us, and by his speedy and unexpected going so early before day was to give them an information; and the rather because by the delays was used, it was break of day before we got to horse; so he got there before us. Upon our suspicion, we required the Deputy, that the said John Meigs might be examined what his business was, that might occasion his so early going; to which the Deputy answered, that he did not know any such thing, and refused to examine him.” Leete was in no haste to make his own journey to the capital. It was for the messengers to judge whether they would use such despatch as to give an alarm there some time before a Magistrate was present, to be invoked for aid. “He arrived,” they write, “within two hours, or there. abouts, after us, and came to us, to the Court chamber, where we again acquainted him with the information we had received, and that we had cause to believe they [the fugitives] were concealed in New Haven, and there. upon we required his assistance and aid for their apprehension; to which he answered, that he did not believe they were. Whereupon we desired him to empower us, or order others for it; to which he gave us this answer, that he could not, or would not, make us magistrates. - - - - - We set before him the danger of that delay and their inevitable escape, and how much the honor and service of his Majesty was despised and trampled on by him, and that we supposed, by his unwillingness to assist in the apprehension, he was willing they should escape. After which he left us, and went to several of the Magistrates, and were together five or six hours in consultation; and, upon breaking up of their council, they told us they would not nor could not do anything until they had called a General Court of the freemen.” The messengers labored with great earnestness to shake this determination; but all in vain. For precedents they appealed to the promptness of the Governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, “who, upon the recite of his Majesty's pleasure and order concerning the said persons, stood not upon such niceties and formalities.” They represented “how much the honor and justice of his Majesty was concerned, and how ill his sacred Majesty would resent such horrid and detestable concealments and abettings of such traitors and regicides as they were.” “We asked him,” they say, “whether he would honor and obey the King or no in this affair, and set before him the danger which by law is incurred by any one that conceals or abets traitors. To which the Deputy Leete answered, “We honor his Majesty, but we have tender consciences. To which we replied, that we believed that he knew where they were, and only pretended tenderness of conscience for a refusal. - - - - - We told them that for their respect to two traitors they would do themselves injury, and possibly ruin themselves and the whole Colony of New Haven.” “Finding them obstinate and pertinacious in their contempt of his Majesty,” the messengers, probably misled by some false information, took the road to New Netherland the next day, in further prosecution of their business. The Dutch Governor promised them that, if the Colonels appeared within his jurisdiction, he would give notice to Endicott, and take measures to prevent their escape by sea. Thereupon Kellond and Kirk returned by water to Boston, where they made oath before the Magistrates to a report of their proceedings." The fugitives had received timely notice of their danger. A week before their pursuers left the sea-board, they removed from Mr. Davenport's house to that of William Jones, son-in-law of Governor Eaton, and afterwards Deputy-Governor of New Haven.” On the day when the long debate was going on with Governor Leete at Guilford, Whalley and Goffe were conducted to a mill, two miles from New Haven to the northwest, where they remained hidden two days and nights. Thence they went to a spot called Hatchet Harbor, about three miles further in the same direction, where they lay two nights more. Meantime, for fear of the effect of large rewards, which the messengers had offered for their capture, a more secure hiding-place had been provided for them
* Their report is in the State-Paper Office, whither it may have been sent by Endicott for his justification. (Comp. Temple's letter to Secretary Morrice, in Mass. Hist. Coll., XXVIII.325.) Winthrop also went to England this summer on his important errand, of which more is to be said hereafter; and he would naturally like to be preceded there by representations of his alacrity in this business. Comp. Mass. Rec., IV. (ii.) 27.
In the letter of Temple just referred to (dated August 20, 1661) he expresses great solicitude for the apprehension of the Colonels. He says he is persuaded that they are “still in this country,” and adds, that “he had joined himself in a secret design” for their capture “with Mr. Pynchon and Captain Lord, two of the most considerable persons living in those parts” where they were supposed to be. Pynchon, son of the Assistant lately gone
to England (see above, p. 396) was .
the principal man of Springfield, and was thus near Hadley, to which town the Colonels soon after came. I do not think it necessary to suppose that Pynchon was much in earnest as to the arrangement of which Temple writes. Temple probably was so; as his own relations with the Court were critical, and he was just going to England to look after his Nova Scotia property. In the following February he was in • London, as appears from his being
summoned before the Privy Council
Valeant quantum. I have placed no reliance upon them. President Stiles was learned for his time, very inquisitive and diligent, and not a little credulous. On the other hand, the brief narrative of Hutchinson, who wrote with the Diary and other papers of Goffe in his hands, is of the highest authenticity. The Diary was begun on the day of the author's departure from London, and continued to May 4, 1667. With a mass of other papers collected by Governor Hutchinson, it was probably destroyed in the assault upon his house in August, 1765. * There is a tradition that, while this pursuit was hot, Davenport preached to his congregation from words in the sixteenth chapter of the Prophecy of Isaiah (xvi. 3, 4). It is probable that, on the day when Kirk and Kellond were gnashing their teeth in the sabbatical quiet of Guilford, Davenport, having learned from the Indian messenger what had occurred at that place, used these words, but in a little different way. He was at this time preaching a series of sermons, which were soon after published in London, with the title, “Saints' Anchor-Hold.” Copies of the volume are in the libraries of Colonel Aspinwall, of the Old South Society in Boston, and of the Connecticut Historical Society. The following is an extract from one of the sermons (p. 194). WOL. II. 43
“Withhold not countenance, entertainment, and protection from such, if they come to us from other countries, as from France or England or any other place. ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Heb. xiii. 2, 3.) The Lord required this of Moab, saying, ‘Make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday;’—that is, provide safe and comfortable shelter and refreshment for my people in the heat of persecution and opposition raised against them; — ‘hide the outcasts, bewray not him that wandereth: let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.” (Isaiah xvi. 3, 4) Is it objected, But so I may expose myself to be spoiled or troubled? He, therefore, to remove this objection, addeth, “For the danger is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth; the treaders down are consumed out of the land.’ While we are attending to our duty in owning and harboring Christ's witnesses, God will be providing for their and our safety, by destroying those that would destroy his people.” (Comp. Bacon, Thirteen Historical Discourses, 127, 128.)