Gambar halaman
PDF

It created “a body corporate and politic, in fact and

Charter of
Rhode Island
and Provi-
dence.

July 8. . -
ica.”

prays your Majesty, of your princely
grace and favor, to bestow upon him
the government of the said island and
islands adjacent, or liberty to the in-
habitants to choose a Governor and
Assistants yearly.”
The King pretended to believe him
so far as to direct a reference of the
petition (June 26, 1663) to the Com-
mittee of Foreign Plantations, with
an intimation of his being “most gra-
ciously inclined to encourage him
[Scott] in his desires.” Arcades ambo.
Scott's next appearance is in an or-
der of the Council for Plantations
(July 6, 1663), “that Captain Scott,
and Mr. Maverick, and Mr. Baxter
[George Baxter, formerly of New Neth-
erland (see above, p. 810; comp.
Brodhead, I. 620)] do draw up a brief
narration of and touching these par-
ticulars following, viz. 1. Of the title
of his Majesty to the premises [New
Netherland]; 2. Of the Dutch intru-
sion; 3. Of their deportment since,
and management of that possession,
and of their strength, trade, and gov-
ernment there; 4 and lastly. Of the
means to make them acknowledge and
submit to his Majesty's government,
or by force to compel them thereunto
or expulse them;—and to bring in such
their draft on paper to this Council on
this day sevennight, that this Council
may humbly make report to his Majes-
ty touching the whole matter as they
shall see cause.” (Documents relative
to the History of New York, III.46.)
Scott returned from England in
December, 1663, bringing with him
the royal instructions concerning the
enforcement of the Acts of Navigation.

name, by the name of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England in AmerSimilar to that of Connecticut in grants marked by a liberality hitherto unexampled, it added the extraordinary provision, that “no person within the said Colony, at any time thereafter, should be anywise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any difference of opinion in matters of religion which did not actually disturb the civil peace of the said Col. ony; but that all and every person and persons might, from time to time, and at all times thereafter, freely and fully have and enjoy his and their own judgments and

(N. H. Rec., II. 510; see above, p. 554.) He had somehow established such credit with the western Colonies, that the General Court of New Haven (January 7, 1664) instructed a committee to “treat with Captain Scott about getting a patent for Delaware” (N. H. Rec., II. 515), and Connecticut made him a Magistrate on Long Island. (Ibid., 541; comp. Documents relative to the Colonial History of New York, II. 893, 399–407.) He presently got himself into trouble with the latter government by attempting to detach from it the settlements which it claimed on the island (Brodhead, 726; O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, 500, 502); and orders were issued (March 10) to the Marshal to arrest him, and bring him to trial, “for sundry heinous crimes and practices seditious, to the great disturbance of the peace of his Majesty's subjects on the Island,” and for a long list of other offences. (Conn. Rec., I. 418, 420, 421,424.) He was apprehended accordingly, after making resistance. (O'Callaghan, Hist. New Netherland, II. 512.) This proceeding, for some reason, excited a strong sensation in New Haven. By Scott's servant, who, it seems, went express to Boston, Governor Leete wrote (April 22) to the Council of Massachusetts. (Mass. Archives, II. 183; N. H. Rec., II. 540.) He referred to a previous letter which he had written, “of the sad business respecting Captain Scott, to MajorGeneral Leverett, who, he conceived, did best know him, his interest in England, and service to this country there." “The extremity of hazards to him [Scott] and the country, growing on so fast by some transactions of a cloudy aspect,” had caused the writer to “think it a duty incumbent on him again to solicit them [the government of Massachusetts] as confederates of a special interest in the weal public and peace of the country, entreating them to lay the matter to heart, and do their utmost for the preventing of Captain Scott's ruin, and the hurt that might come thereby to the country, he being reputed his Majesty's servant, and upon service now by letter to the four United Colonies, when thus obstructed.” “If ever advice and succor were needful to confederates,” Leete continues, “it is now ; but to prescribe the way is difficult.” He says he hears that Scott's trial is fixed for “the 8th of May next, if he be not dead before, as was like to have been the other day, by poison, as he [Scott] conceives;” and he recommends that instant application be made by Massachusetts to Plymouth to unite with her in procuring a meeting of the Federal Commissioners at Hartford before that day. “The main of the matter seems to him to lie in the expedition;” and he concludes with expressing his “hope that the Lord would appear in the Mount Difficulty, and withhold every arm stretched forth unto any fatal blow that might bring hurt unto God's people and their concerns.” Thus much only appears clear about the transaction, — that Leete, and not Leete only, understood Scott to possess some dangerous power, which, for reasons of his own, he was in no haste to use, but which he would use if Con

necticut pressed him too far. Whatever the “Mount Difficulty” was, it may be supposed, from the action of the Massachusetts Magistrates, that it loomed high in their view, as well as in Leete's. Without loss of time, they despatched Leverett and Captain William Davis to Hartford (April 27), there to present themselves “to the Honorable John Winthrop, Esq., Governor of Connecticut Colony, and to acquaint him, that, on information referring to John Scott, Esq., of some severe proceedings by their authority

against him, they [Leverett and Davis]

were appointed messengers and commissioners to him in a friendly way, as loving neighbors and confederates that stand obliged to seek the mutual peace of each other, to inquire concerning the said Scott's condition, and further to declare their [the Magistrates'] sense thereof, as the matter should to them [the messengers] appear, according to instructions given them.” (Mass. Archives, II. 184.) The main import of the letters conveyed by the messengers (Ibid., 357) was to bespeak credit and attention to their representations and advice. Evidently it was not intended to conduct the negotiation in writing. Only two days later, Plymouth despatched William Bradford and Thomas Southworth to Hartford on the same errand. (N. H. Rec., II. 541; comp. Hutch. Coll., 384.) Connecticut, however, had her own views on the subject. She brought Scott to trial, convicted him (May 24) under ten charges,—one of them being for forgery, - and sentenced him to pay a fine of £250, to be imprisoned during the pleasure of the Court, and to give bonds to the amount of £500 for future good behavior. (Conn. Rec., II. 16; comp. 430.) “New-Haven champion,” wrote Rossiter to the Connecticut Court, “in whom they have so much confided, and yourselves so much feared, being now disclosed and foiled.” (N. H. Rec., II. 539.) Before July 1st, he broke gaol, and escaped (Conn. Rec., I. 436); and it is likely that the Colony congratulated itself on obtaining so easy and complete a riddance of him. There are indications that one way in which he had made himself formidable was by threatening charges of treason, which he would agree to suppress for a consideration. He could carry on this business to advantage by vaunting his interest with his friend Chiffinch, and with the royal friend of both. He also declared himself to be an agent of the Duke of York. (Documents relative to the Colonial History of New York, III.400.) On his trial, he “affirmed that he had testimonies, to the number of fifty-four, against several persons in authority here, and others, for heinous crimes, – many of them were.” But he ended by making an humble submission to the mercy of the Court, professing penitence in abject terms (O'Callaghan, II. 553), and retracting a special charge, which he had made against one individual, of uttering “treasonable words.”—These last facts are furnished to me by Mr. J. Hammond Trumbull, from the Council Records of Connecticut. After one other little attempt (January, 1665) at mischief-making on

consciences in matters of religious concernments.”

Lord

Long Island (Documents relative to the Colonial History of New York, III. 86), which was easily arrested, Scott's American career was closed. In 1665 or 1666, he went to Barbadoes, whence Lord Willoughby wrote to Colonel Nicolls that he meant to send him prisoner to England. (Documents relative to Col. Hist. of N. Y., III. 136.) But Chiffinch's client, once on English ground, probably did not much fear Lord Willoughby's frown. There was a Colonel John Scott, known by Pepys to his cost, who may, or may not, have been the same person. He had accused Pepys of Popery and treason. (Grey, Debates of the House of Commons, VII. 303–311.) He killed a coachman in London, in 1682, much to Pepys's relief, who trusted that there was an end to trouble from him. (Pepys, Memoirs, &c., W. 92; comp. I. xxxv.) Pepys speaks of him (Ibid., W.94) as “our friend Scott, whom God is pleased to take out of our hands into his own for justice.” He interests himself with his correspondent to prevent Scott's getting a pardon from the King, “which,” Pepys proceeds, “I suppose he will not easily compass, except by some confessions, which I am confident he is able to make, relating to the State, as well as us, that might enough atone for this his last villany; nor do I doubt but, to save his own life, he will forget his trade, and tell truth, though to the hazard of the best friends he has.” In the investigation of Scott's charges against Pepys, “numerous affidavits were made by persons resident in France, Holland, America, and England, all agreeing as to the in

Clarendon was creating a precedent with which he might hereafter rebuke Massachusetts; and the King was already exercising that dispensing power, to which, as a royal prerogative, he and his successor meant by and by to give a wider extension for the relief of their Romish friends." No oath of allegiance was prescribed. All inhabitants of the Colony were to have unmolested passage, at their pleasure, through the territory of the other jurisdictions. Benedict Arnold was appointed the first Governor, and William Brereton the first Deputy-Goverelection, which was afterwards to be made annually in the Colony. Ten Assistants were also named, of whom Williams was one, but not Coddington." The charter was received with transports of joy. It was “taken forth and read by Captain George Baxter ason... [who brought it] in the audience and view of all the people; . . . . . with his Majesty's royal

nor, to continue in office till

the time designated for the

famy of Scott's character.” (Ibid., I.
xxxvi.)
In the State-Paper Office is a memo-
randum of matters written down (ac-
cording to a note in the margin) “from
Major Scott's mouth.” It is in the hand-
writing of Sir Joseph Williamson, after-
wards Secretary of State, but, in the
years here spoken of, Under-Secretary
to Bennett. He was a bustling person,
greedy for all sorts of information, and
not careful about the sources whence
he obtained it. There is no date to
the paper; but, from the way in which
the year 1662 is mentioned in it, I in-
cline to think that it was not written
so early as 1663; and, if this conclu-
sion is correct, then it must have been
written on a return of Scott to Lon-
don after his troubles in Connecticut,
for they took place early in 1664, he
having come to America in the autumn
of 1663.
“Sir Henry Vane [such was the
intelligence with which Scott enlight-
ened Williamson] in 1637 went over
as Governor to New England, with two
women, Mrs. Dyer and Mrs. Hutch-
inson, wife to Hutchinson's brother,
where he debauched both, and both
were delivered of themselves. – Re-
moved [from] the King's commission,
then banished. [I suppose that Scott,
in his small acquaintance with Massa-

chusetts, may have imagined Vane to
have been included in a royal commis-
sion of magistracy, and that he intend-
ed to represent to his believing hearer
that William Hutchinson, husband of
Ann, was brother of Colonel Hutchin-
son, the regicide, – the best-known
person of those who bore the name.]
“One Pike [Captain Robert Pike,
of Salisbury], a hopeful man, and of
great interest among them.
“T. T. [Sir Thomas Temple] dwells
idly at Boston, and is fooled by them.
“Boston persuaded T.T. to raze his
forts, 1662, (to spare charge, and so he
did,) to free themselves from us, and
to take off the check we might have
over them.
“The militia is under a Major-Gen-
eral, chosen annually by beans.
“Leverett is their Major (and the
people is the General).
“Several of these towns [of Maine]
have been hooked in by Massachu-
setts.”
* “This his Majesty's grant,” says
Roger Williams, referring to this pro-
vision, “was startled at by his Majesty's
high officers of state, who were to view
it in course before the sealing, but, fear-
ing the lion's roaring, they crouched,
against their wills, in obedience to his
Majesty's pleasure.” (Letter to Major
Mason, in Mass. Hist. Coll., I. 281.)

the charter

* stamp and the broad seal with much becoming ** gravity held up on high, and presented to the perfect view of the people.” “ Humble thanks” were

voted to the King for his “high and inestimable, yea, incomparable grace and favor unto the Colony,” and to Lord Clarendon “for his exceeding great care and love;” and gratuities were granted to Clarke and to Baxter of a hundred pounds and twenty-five pounds respectively. Provisional arrangements were made for carrying on the public business till another General Court;

Nov. 28.

now created.”

1664.

and the Narragansett Indians were informed that the King had placed them under the government In the following spring definite orders were adopted for administering the Colony under

** the charter; and a Governor (Benedict Arnold”),

* The charter of “The English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, in America,” is in Hazard, I. 612 et seq.; R. I. Rec., II. 8 et seq. The population of the four towns of which it consisted is estimated by Judge Durfee (Discourse before the R. I. Hist. Soc., p. 16) to have been, at this time, “not more than three or four thousand souls.” Trumbull understands Connecticut to have had, at the same time, “eight or nine thousand inhabitants.” (History, I. 287.) The whole English population of New England was probably not far from forty thousand.

* R. I. Rec., I. 508–515.-Warwick did not like to pay its share of the assessment levied for Clarke's benefit,

and, in a memorial to the General Assembly (December 12, 1664), made several objections. One thing objected was: “We know that Mr. Clarke did publicly exercise his ministry in the word of God in London, as his letters have made report, as that being a chief place for his profit and preferment, which we doubt not brought him in good means for his maintenance; as also he was much employed about modelizing of matters concerning the affairs of England, as his letters have declared.” (Ibid., II. 79; comp. 142.)

* Arnold had been an Assistant, for Newport, in 1654 and 1655, and President in 1657, 1658, 1659, 1662, and 1663. (Ibid., I. 282, 803, 353, 386, 407, 467, 504.)

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »