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land conveyed as “lying and extending itself [westward] from a river there called Narragansett River.” Intending merely to keep this ancient eastern boundary, but to describe it in more exact language, Winthrop, in preparing his new charter, had used the words, “bounded on the east by the Narrogancett River, commonly called Narrogancett Bay where the said river falleth into the sea.” Besides Rhode Island and Connecticut, a third party was interested in the settlement of this boundary. A company consisting partly of Massachusetts men, n., Aaron and commonly called the Atherson Company, from “..." Humphrey Atherton, one of the partners, had June 17. bought of the Narragansett Indians a tract of loo land on the west side of Narragansett Bay.” “” When they heard that Connecticut was soliciting a charter, they naturally desired that their territory ion. should be placed under the government of that *** Colony, rather than under the government of Rhode Island; and they apprised Winthrop, who was one of their associates, of their wish in that respect. He replied, writing from London, that the arrange- loa. ment which he had made was such as accorded “"“” with their wish, though he had made it for the different reason which has just been pointed out.” There were laws of Rhode Island prohibiting the sale to aliens of lands within her territory." Maintaining that the lands of the Atherton purchase belonged to her jurisdiction, Rhode Island had at once addressed remonstrances upon the subject to the Company, to the General Court of Massachusetts, and to the Federal Commissioners.” But they had produced no effect. In the month in which Winthrop informed his friends of his settlement of the eastern boundary of Connecticut, on..... it appeared that Clarke had made great progress .." towards settling it in a different manner. With steady perseverance, and with a boldness which has its place among the talents for diplomacy, he had, from an early moment, bespoken the royal patronage, and had forced his way against some great difficulties. The plantations, which he represented, had previously solicited and obtained, far more than others in New England, the favor of the English Commonwealth and of its leading men; and had accepted from them constitutions of government, when Massachusetts had been so shy as to refuse to avail herself of a grant inconsiderately obtained for her by Weld, though it gave her nearly the whole of the Narragansett country.” On the other hand, the exclusion of Rhode Island from the New-England Confederacy must have seemed to Lord Clarendon to constitute a claim to the favor of the English court; and if the agent's personal griefs, as well as the public interests which he had in charge, led him to proclaim and manifest a vigorous hostility to Massachusetts, it must have advanced his suit.” When Winthrop thought that he had secured for Connecticut a territory extending eastward to Narragansett Bay, Clarke had obtained for Rhode Island the promise of a charter which pushed the boundary westward to the Paucatuck River, so as to include in the latter Colony a tract twenty-five miles wide, and extending in length from the southern border of Massachusetts to the sea." The interference of the charters with each other endangered both. Complaining of Clarke's unlooked-for opposition, “which was a great wrong, to the hinderance of his voyage,”* Winthrop found it necessary to remain abroad,
* See the patent in Trumbull, Hist, I. 495; Hazard, II. 597.
* R. I. Rec., I. 464, 465. — There were seven partners; namely, Winthrop, Atherton, the two Richard Smiths, father and son, long settled on the spot (see above, p. 218), William Hudson and Amos Richardson, of Boston; and John Ticknor, of Nashaway (now Lancaster). In the Trumbull papers in the Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society (XXII. 5) is a letter from Richardson to Win
throp, of July 9th, 1659, in which he gives an account of the purchase. He describes the tract as lying twelve miles in length on the shore of Narragansett Bay, with “the trading-house [Wickford] in the middle.” Comp. Conn. Rec., II. 541.
* Letters in the Collection of Trumbull MSS. in the Library of the Mass. Hist. Soc., XXII., Nos. 38, 45, and 47. They have been printed by Mr. Arnold (History of Rhode Island, I. 378-381).
* R. I. Rec., I. 126; comp. 401,403. tions boasted to Charles the Second of * Ibid., 421; comp. 428,435, 438. the merits of this transaction [the sur
* See above, pp. 558, 559. render of the Narragansetts to the * See above, pp. 215, 344. King (see above, pp. 136, 137)], and * See above, pp. 122, note 2. at the same time ‘challenged the
* Chalmers has been understood to agents of Boston to display any one refer to Clarke where he says (Annals, act of duty or loyalty shown by their 273), “The Deputies of these planta- constituents to Charles the First, or to The April it.
to complete the business as best he might.
into a negotiation with Clarke; and, after several Agreement
- a - bet months, a composition was effected by the award cond
of four arbiters.
The agreement consisted o four articles, of which two were material.
first was that Paucatuck River should “be the certain
the present King, from their first establishment in New England.’” But I am persuaded that — as to part of this, at least — Chalmers did not here allude to Clarke, but to the Warwick men, who, at a later period, did give the challenge which he describes. The charter, however, recites (Hazard, II. 612, 613) that the King had “been informed by the humble petition of his trusty and well-beloved subject, John Clarke, on the behalf of" various persons, his constituents, that they had, “by near neighborhood to, and friendly society with, the great body of the Narragansett Indians, given them encouragement of their own accord, to subject themselves, their people, and lands unto” the King of Great Britain; and that by the same petitioners he was assured that it was “much on the hearts” of those persons “to hold forth a lively experiment ..... that true piety, rightly grounded upon Gospel principles, will give the best and
greatest security to sovereignty, and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true loyalty.” So the King declares himself willing “to preserve unto them that liberty in the true faith and worship of God, which they had sought with so much travail, and with peaceable minds and loyal subjection to his royal progenitors and himself.” The part relating to what was “much upon their hearts” was copied into the charter from a memorial of Clarke to the King. (R. I. Rec., I. 490, 491.) In the same memorial Clarke says that they for whom he appears “have still in their removes, and in the rest of their actings, made it manifest that they, as the true natives of England, have firmly adhered in their allegiance and loyalty to the sovereignty thereof.”
* Chalmers, Annals, 274; comp. R. I. Rec., I. 482.
* Letter of Winthrop, in Arnold, I. 380.
bounds between the two Colonies, which said river should for the future be also called, ‘alias, Narrogansett, or Narrogansett River.’” By the third, the Atherton Company were authorized to choose “to which of those Colonies they would belong.”
The danger of a dispute which would have led to a revisal, and not improbably to the ruin, of the charters, was averted for both. But to say that “Paucatuck River” meant Narragansett Bay was much the same as to say that the Thames means the British Channel;” and, if the agreement between the agents was valid, Connecticut was sadly curtailed of her domain. The compact concluded, Winthrop without delay embarked for America.”
A singular edict from the King soon followed him. It was addressed to each of the confederated Colonies; and rosta, it recommended the Atherton Company to their ...” “neighborly kindness and protection, the procompany, prietors to be permitted peaceably to improve
“ their colony and plantation in New England.”
The occasion of it was that the King had “been given to understand that his good subjects, Thomas Chiffinch, John Scott, John Winthrop, Daniel Denison,” and others, were “daily disturbed and unjustly molested in their possession and laudable endeavors by certain unreasonable and turbulent spirits of Providence Colony in New England, to the great scandal of justice and government, and the eminent discouragement of that hopeful plantation.”*
* Mass. Hist. Coll., W. 248; R. I. Rec., I. 518.
* See Conn. Rec., III. 275.
* See above, p. 551, note 3. “Mr. Winthrop was very averse to my prosecuting your affairs, ..... but, as soon as I received intelligence of his departure from the Downs,” &c. (Letter of John Scott, April 29th, 1663, in Arnold, 383.)
* Of John Scott, the person named second in the King's letter, I know nothing with certainty before this transaction. He was probably the troublesome person of that name who appears in the Records of New Haven (II. 89, 92) as early as 1654. In that year, a “John Scott, of Long Island, and others, were [by the Dutch authorities] arrested and examined as sus
It was in the third week after the date of this letter that Clarke's charter, which the King probably did not know that he had been contradicting, passed the seals.
pected persons” (Brodhead, I. 579); and, in 1660, he had “caused much embarrassment to the people of Southampton and its neighborhood. . . . . . Claiming to have obtained from the Indians large tracts of land, he executed numerous conveyances, which, after much litigation, were found to be fraudulent and void.” (Ibid., 671.) He was now “John Scott, smith.” It seems, from his letter to Edward Hutchinson, of April 29, 1663, (Arnold, I.383) that Scott, being then in London, and pretending to have some connection with the Atherton Company, had tried to put himself upon Winthrop, who would have nothing to do with him. When he had the field to himself, after Winthrop's departure, he says he used “a parcel of curiosities to the value of £60,” to interest “a potent gentleman” in favor of “a petition against Clarke, &c., as enemies to the peace and well-being of his Majesty's good subjects;” and he was in hope of obtaining “a letter with authorizing expressions to the Colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut that the proprietors of the Narragansett country shall not only live peaceably, but have satisfaction for injuries already received.” Mr. Arnold supposes the King's letter (see my last page) to be the fruit of the potent gentleman's satisfaction with the sixty pounds' worth of curiosities. I have no doubt he is right. I will venture another conjecture. It relates to the identity of the “potent gentleman” whose interest at the ear of the King was secured by Scott's bribe. The first of the King’s “good subjects” named in his letter is Thomas Chif. finch. I presume that Scott's goWOL. II. 48
between was the Tom Chiffinch, who was conspicuous in the scandalous chronicles of the time as a pimp of Charles the Second. Lord Arlington, though not himself fastidious, must have had his thoughts when he signed a missive coupling such a name with the names of Winthrop, Denison, and other patterns of New-England sanctity. It must have made the merry monarch hilarious for one evening. Perhaps Buckingham or Rochester was indulged with composing it for the signature of the graver courtier. Scott practised more boldly yet on the King's indulgence. He presented a petition, which reads as follows (Hutch. Coll., 380) : — “That your Majesty's petitioner's father, in the year 1641, sold & 2,200 per annum, and advanced £14,300 to the use of his Majesty's father, of everblessed memory, besides the loss of his life in the said service; and your petitioner, for a small expression of his loyalty, by cutting the bridles and girts of some of the then Parliament's horses quartering at Turnham Green (and his late Majesty's at Branford) was, after many hearings before a committee of the said Parliament (by a gift of £500 to the said committee, to prevent further mischief), ordered to be sent to New England under the tuition of one Downing, who dealt most perfidiously with your Majesty's petitioner; that your Majesty's petitioner was forced to court any employment to acquire a livelihood, employing himself in and about an island called Long Island, of which island, before your Majesty's happy restoration, the petitioner purchased near one third part. “The petitioner, therefore, humbly