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itants at Mystic and Paucatuck [Southertown] should forbear to exercise authority by virtue of commissions from any other Colony,” thus undertaking to oust Massachusetts. And they appointed a committee of two Magistrates and two ministers “to go down to New Haven to treat with the gentlemen and others of their loving friends there.” The impetuosity of these proceedings of Connecticut was unfortunate. In the sister Colony a sense of gratuitous affront deepened the sense of unprovoked wrong. Resistance of The freemen of the town of New Haven held ... a meeting, on the second day after an “exter. traordinary seeking of God by fasting and prayer for his guidance of the Colony in this weighty business.” The Connecticut committee had sent a letter, expressing their desire for “a happy and comfortable union, according to the tenor of the charter;” and the Magistrates of New Haven Colony, replying that *" they would consult their constituents, had added a request “that the issuing of matters might be respited until they might receive fuller information from the honored Mr. Winthrop, or satisfaction otherwise, and that in the mean time the Colony might remain distinct and uninterrupted, as heretofore.” At the New-Haven town-meeting, Mr. Daven... port, in emphatic terms, deprecated the proposed Haven. union of the Colonies, and condemned the proceedings instituted by Connecticut to that end. He argued that the language of the new charter did not by necessary construction require a surrender of the independence of New Haven, and that, as a voluntary measure, it was not to be chosen. “The DeputyGovernor [Gilbert] declared that the things spoken by Mr. Davenport were of great weight.” Mr. Street,
* Conn. Rec., I. 388-390.
Teacher of the church, sustained him in an earnest appeal, concluding with a text from the prophecy of Isaiah: “What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation ? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.” “The matter was largely debated,” and the meeting “by general vote declared their disapproving of the manner of Connecticut Colony's proceeding in this business.” Four days after, a mass meeting of the freemen of the Colony was held at the same place. The wo. Governor took no decided part in the discus-ol. sion which followed. Though officially cautious colony. about a manifestation of his views, his conduct, ** throughout the proceedings, indicated that he was not unfavorably disposed towards the union. Perhaps he was insensibly biassed by the delicacy of his position. No conspicuous man in his Colony, except Davenport, was so much exposed to a prosecution for treason for giving shelter to the regicides; and he may well have been disinclined, at this moment of excitement, to offer new provocation to the crown." The freemen separated after declaring that “they looked upon themselves bound to stand by the Magistrates according to the laws here established,” and appointing a committee (which consisted of the Magistrates and elders of the Colony, with Mr. Law of Stamford) “to draw up an answer to the General Assembly of Connecticut out of these three heads: (1) that there be due witness-bearing against their sin; (2) that there may be a deferring of things till Mr. Winthrop's coming, or we [obtain] satisfaction otherwise, and that we remain in the same state as we are till then; (3) that we can do nothing till we consult with the other confederates.” The committee was to “consider also about making address to his Majesty.” In their answer, prepared accordingly, and submitted to the General Court, the committee said: “We ... do not find in the patent any command given Court. to you, nor prohibition to us, to dissolve cove** nants, or alter the orderly settlements of New England; nor any sufficient reason why we may not so remain to be as formerly; also your beginning to procure, and proceeding to improve, the patent without us, doth confirm this belief; . . . . . yet, if it shall appear (after a due and full information of our state) to have been his Majesty's pleasure so to unite us, as you understand the patent, we must submit according to God.” They set forth the disorders which had already resulted from the hasty course of Connecticut in extending her jurisdiction, and urged, by considerations of reason, justice, and ancient friendship, the propriety of discontinuing such proceedings, while means should be fully used “for the gaining of a right understanding, and to bring a peaceable issue or reconcilement But the triumphant tone of feeling in Connecticut did not respond to this appeal. In Winthrop's absence, John Allyn, of Hartford, a man of ability and resolution, was the leading spirit in the Colony. He had determined on a prompt and thorough assertion of its claim, and in his own circle there was no opposition to embarrass him. Connecticut made no reply to the letter from the sister Colony, except that, four months later, she raised
* Leete was very uneasy about his standing in England, on account of the report which had been sent thither of his sheltering the regicides. A year before the transactions mentioned in the text, he had gone to Boston, and had engaged Mr. Norton to make interest in his behalf with friends of Norton in England. A letter which Norton accordingly addressed to Richard Baxter (September 28, 1661), to bespeak his interposition in Leete's favor, is printed in “Reliquiae Baxterianae” (291). Norton requests that his own name may not be mentioned. Endicott also applied to Baxter (August 7, 1661) for a like mediation. (Ibid., 292.) Davenport was anxious for himself on the same grounds, and wrote to Sir Thomas
Temple (August 19, 1661), who was just about to embark for England, soliciting his good offices there. Some representations in Davenport's letter (for which see Mass. Hist. Coll., XXVIII. 327) require an indulgent construction to reconcile them with facts known to us from other sources. But Davenport's was a bolder nature than Leete's; and, when the questions respecting the charter arose, his personal apprehensions did not prevent him from doing frankly and thoroughly what he esteemed to be a patriot's duty. The stand which he now took must have been more painful to him by reason of a close friendship which had for many years united him with Winthrop. See a series of his letters of the matter.””
to Winthrop, collected by Dr. Bacon the Massachusetts Historical Society (Thirteen Historical Discourses, 366 (XXIX. 276 et seq.; XXX. 3 et seq.). –386). They are also among the Win- N. H. Rec., II.467-471. throp Papers in the Collections of "Ibid., 473–475.
- - - conduct of
a committee of four Magistrates, Allyn being Connecticut. one, “to go down to New Haven to treat with 1963.
their honored and loving friends about settling their union and incorporation.” They were not authorized to consent to any concessions or compromises; the proposals which they made did not touch the main points of the controversy; and the mission proved unsuccessful. The General Court of New Haven, which met in the second following month, resolved to recognize no change in their government, and to go on as usual with their annual elections. At the same time, they sent another remonstrance, enlarging on the topics which had before been urged, and complaining of more recent usurpations.” To this letter also no reply was made. Meanwhile Winthrop, in England, heard with distress of the trouble which he had caused. “Having had serious conference” with the persons there charged with the business of New Haven, he communicated his views upon the Monumer subject in a letter addressed to “Major John "..., Mason [who, as Deputy-Governor, was Chief Magistrate while Winthrop was abroad] and the rest of the Court at Hartford.” “I gave assurance,” he wrote, “before authority here, that it was not intended to meddle with any town or plantation that was settled under any other government; had it been any otherwise intended or declared, it had been injurious, in taking out the patent, not to have inserted a proportionable number of their names in it. . . . . . If any injury had been done by admitting of freemen, or appointing officers, or other unjust intermeddling with New-Haven Colony,” he recommended “that it be forthwith recalled,” and in no case repeated. “And unto this,” he added, “I judge you are obliged, I having engaged to their agents here, that this will be by you performed.” He expressed his confidence that, with such treatment, the desired union might be amicably formed." His just and well-intended intervention was fruitless. A General Court of his Colony, which was held very soon after his letter should have been received, assumed the loftiest attitude. The Court appointed magistrates for Southhold, Stamford, and Greenwich; invited Deputies from plantations “according to the tenor of the charter;” and “voted that they would not send the patent, nor copy thereof, to
* John Allyn was a son of Matthew In March, 1663, he was chosen Secre
Allyn, who was an original proprietor
tary (Ibid., 416), having previously
Persistence of Connecti. cut.
* The letter is in the possession of trates, referring to it in their answer
the Massachusetts Historical Society. (Trumbull MSS., XXII. 9.) There is a mystery about it, which I presume not to penetrate. “The copy of it was sent to Mr. Leete unsealed, with Mr.Winthrop's consent, and was written by his own hand.” (“New Haven's Case Stated,” in N. H. Rec., II. 523.) Its date (Ibid., 522) was “March 3, 1662” (N. S. 1663); yet the Connecticut Magis
to “New Haven's Case Stated,” say, in March, 1664: “Our honored Governor's letter to Major Mason yet never came to our honored Major or our hands.” (Ibid., 534.) They add: “If it be with you, you had done well if you had sent it to us.” But how could Leete have doubted that the original of his copy was in the hands of the persons to whom it had been addressed ?