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- be read at New Haven.” Three months later they pro
ceeded to raise a committee “to treat,” not with New Haven as a Colony, but “with their honored friends of New Haven, Milford, Branford, and Guilford,” as if these were but separate communities. The committee was merely charged to inform the people of those towns, that “this Assembly could not well resent their proceeding in civil government as a distinct jurisdiction,” and “could not but expect” that they would “ yield subjection to the government established according to the tenor of the charter.” The charter, of which a copy was still refused, was “publicly to be read in New Haven.” This was rough treatment for men who had hitherto been known as the peers of the best in New England; and it was borne with exemplary dignity. At the annual meeting of the Federal Commissioners, which was held this year at Boston, Governor Leete and Benjamin Fenn appeared as Commissioners for New Haven, and without opposition were recognized in that character. Winthrop, who had now returned from England,” and Captain John Talcott, represented Connecticut. Massachusetts protested against a claim which, in violation, as was alleged, of an arrangement formerly made by the Federal Congress, was recently set up by Connecticut to that part of the Pequot country, east of Mystic River, which included the settlement of Southertown;' and the Commissioners of Ply- . mouth and New Haven advised the parties to “respite the matter at present,” and resume it at the next meeting, unless they should meanwhile be able to agree.* “Captain Denison, in the behalf of Southertown,” complained of the annoyance experienced from Connecticut in her claim for jurisdiction; and the Commissioners repeated their advice to Connecticut to desist.” The Governor of New Netherland appeared with a complaint of the encroachments of Connecticut upon his domain. The Commissioners of that Colony replied, that it had received no notice on the subject, which was “of great concernment,” and asked that the consideration of it might be deferred to the next annual meeting. But the other Commissioners agreed that the treaty made with the Dutch thirteen years before was “binding according to its true intent and meaning, and that they would not countenance the violation thereof.”* New Haven, by her Commissioners, represented the usurpations from which she was suffering, and asked redress. The Commissioners from Connecticut replied; the Commissioners from New Haven rejoined; and those from the other two Colonies — Bradstreet and Danforth for Massachusetts, and Prince and Josiah Winslow for Plymouth — gave their judgment on the dispute. It was, that “the Colony of New Haven . . . . . might not, by any act of violence,
Meeting of the Federal Commissioners.
* Conn. Rec., I. 402,403, 405.
* Ibid., 407, 408.
* The time of Winthrop's arrival was not far from the last of June. He did not leave England till late in April, as appears from John Scott's letter to Edward Hutchinson, published by Mr. Arnold (Hist., I. 383). On the other hand, in the Connecticut Archives (Colony Boundaries, I. 7) is a copy of a paper expressing the desire of “the inhabitants and the proprietors” of lands in the Narragansett country “to
be under the government of Connecticut Colony.” The date is July 3, and John Winthrop was one of the subscribers. It is probable that he took care to lose no time after his arrival in meeting his partners in order to secure in this matter the benefit of an agreement which he had made in England, to the effect that it should be optional with those “inhabitants and proprietors” to determine whether they would be governed by Rhode Island or by Connecticut. (See below, p. 564.)
* See above, pp. 382, 883; comp. Mass. Rec., IV. (ii.) 75; Conn. Rec., I. 389. — It will be remembered that the question between Massachusetts and Connecticut, as to their respective rights to the lands on the Pequot River, was settled in 1658 by the Federal Commissioners, who made the river the dividing line. Southertown, on the east of it, thus belonged to Massachusetts. In 1659, the Commissioners of Connecticut “earnestly re
quested a review of the case;” but the neutral Commissioners, on a full hearing, “saw no cause to vary from the determination given in the last year.” (Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 415– 422.) Under her charter, Connecticut now peremptorily reasserted her claim. See above, p. 546.
* Ibid., 478.
* Ibid., 485, 486.
* Ibid., 479.
have their liberty of jurisdiction infringed by any other of the United Colonies, without breach of the Articles of Confederation; and that, where any act of power had been exerted against their authority, the same ought to be recalled, and their power reserved to them entire, until such time as in an orderly way it should be otherwise disposed.” It is likely that Winthrop returned from Boston fortified in the wish, rather than in the power, to moderate the severity of the course which his friends were pursuing. They had made up their minds that they had too efficient protection elsewhere, to need to be overawed by the judgment of a New-England confederacy. Again assuming that there was no longer a Colony of New Haven, they voted, that they could “do no less for their own indemnity than to manifest their dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the plantations of New Haven, Milford, Branford, &c., in their distinct standing in point of government,” and that they “expected their submission according to the Charter, and his Majesty's pleasure therein expressed.” The record is careful to note (perhaps by his own direction): “The Governor absent when this vote passed.” The Committee of New Haven “sent a letter to Connecticut,” urging her compliance with the Com-r....., missioners' award.” It probably arrived imme- New Haven. diately before the vote just now mentioned was “ passed; and it brought no other answer. To complete its list of troubles, New Haven was greatly straitened in pecuniary resources by the revolt of so many of its people, for only three towns adhered to the old government; and, “considering the low estate of the Colony and many falling off,” it felt obliged to reduce the provision for the Governor and Deputy-Governor to forty pounds and ten pounds respectively. But it was not yet prepared for surrender; and the General Court passed a vote, “that no treaty be made by this Colony with Connecticut, before such acts of power exerted by them upon any of our towns be revoked and recalled, according to honored Mr. Winthrop's letter engaging the same, the Commissioners' advice, and our frequent desires.” They “set apart a day for extraordinary humiliation and seeking of God by fasting and prayer.” They seemed to themselves to have obtained an advantage when they received a royal missive requiring observance of the Navigation Laws, addressed to “the Governor and Assistants of New Haven,” and bearing a date a year later than that by which New Haven had been said to be annihilated; and they proceeded to turn it to the best account by prompt and liberal compliance with the demands which were made. They seized the opportunity, afforded by the order, to say that, to give effect to their legislation for this, as for any other purpose, it was necessary that the authority of their government should be maintained, and, to that end, it was necessary that its legal revenues should be collected. They accordingly issued what they named a Declaration, calling upon seceders “to return to their due obedience, and pay their arrears of rates.” To such as should do this within three days, indemnity was promised for past malfeasances. “If any should presume to stand out against his Majesty's pleasure so declared,” it would be “at their peril,” as the Court “would not fail to call the said persons to a strict account, and proceed against them as disloyal to his Majesty, and disturbers of the peace of the jurisdiction.”” Bray Rossiter and his son John, citizens of Guilford, long disaffected to the government of New Haven, were of those who had lately submitted themselves to the sister Colony. When the Declaration was published in their town, they repaired to Hartford, and “obtained two of their Magistrates, marshal and sundry others, to come down with them to Guilford. Coming into the town at an unseasonable hour of the night, their party, by shooting off sundry guns, caused the town to be alarmed, and great disturbance, and some of them giving out threatening speeches, which caused the Governor to send away speedily to Branford and New Haven for help, which caused both towns to be alarmed also, to great disturbance.” At Stamford, the Declaration, “set up in a public place,” was “violently plucked down, . . . . . and with reproachful speeches rejected.” Leete convened his General Court, and told his story. He set forth the dangers and scandal of the 1964. existing state of things, and advised the opening ** of another negotiation, which, he said, “the gentlemen from Connecticut did earnestly desire.” The Court would entertain no such proposal. They remained firm in the purpose to adhere to their Declaration, and not to treat till the usurpations which had been practised upon them were forborne.” This decision was not without effect. The Magistrates of Connecticut offered, as the condition of a treaty, a provisional restitution of the ancient order of things at Guilford and Stamford, and a continuance, for the present, of the Colonial government of New Haven.” The freemen met in the spring for their annual election as usual. Deputies appeared for Guilford and Stamford, as well as for
* Records, in Hazard, II. 487, 488. * N. H. Rec., II. 501.