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it; in others, he was equally unfit. He knew perfectly the relations of the pending question. An inhabitant of New England before the charter government of Massachusetts was erected, he had watched, close at hand and with an intelligence sharpened by disaffection, the course by which that government had established, in all but the name, an independence of the parent country. No man better knew the strength or the weakness of that government. He would have been a more dangerous, had he been a less violent, enemy. With some excellent qualities, he had strong passions, and they had been stimulated in successive quarrels with the Magistrates. The Magistrates had made him remove from his island, when they were threatened by King Charles the First. They had fined and imprisoned him, when they were in alarm from the Presbyterian Parliament. At the Restoration, he lost no time in looking after his revenge ; and the result was, that he was invested with ample powers for
executing it, by being placed upon this commission."
* See Vol. I. pp. 233, 395; also see above, pp. 168, 175. — Maverick had gone to England before the Restoration. (See above, p. 420.) The King seems to have been imposed upon, respecting him;-‘You being strangers and without any interest or dependence there,” &c. (Commission, in Hazard, II. 638; O'Callaghan, Documents, &c., III. 51.) Mr. Curwin, of Salem, met Maverick in London, in 1663 or 1664; and wrote home: “Mr. Maverick said, before all the company, that New England were all rebels, and he would prove them so, and that he had given in to the Council so.” (Maine Hist. Coll., I. 301.) Lord Clarendon feared he would overdo his business: “If you should revenge any old discourtesies at the King's charge, and, as his Commissioner, should do anything upon the memory of past injuries, the King would take it very ill, and do himself
justice accordingly.” (Clarendon to Maverick, March 5, 1665, in O'Callaghan, Documents, &c., III. 92.) — The Commissioner, Samuel Maverick, has been commonly understood to be, not the primeval Maverick of Noddle's Island, but his son. But that question is positively settled the other way by a letter of Maverick's daughter, Mary Hooke, as well as by other considerations adduced by Mr. William H. Sumner, in his valuable History of East Boston (107, 155 – 157). On the other hand, I undoubtingly dissent from Mr. Sumner's opinion that Samuel Maverick was the son of the Reverend John Maverick of Dorchester. He founds it on an express assertion of Josselyn (Account of Two Voyages, &c., 252). But as to such a point, I cannot admit the testimony of that writer, (who was but a transient visitor at Boston,) impugned, as in this in
Three days before the arrival of their associates at Bos. loa ton, Maverick and Carr landed at Portsmouth on ** the Piscataqua." There they still remained, when Nicolls and Cartwright, on the third day after disem. barking, had a conference with the Magistrates. They presented a Letter addressed to the Governor by the King; his Commission to themselves; and a portion of the Instructions which were to guide their action under it. The Letter declared one object of the embassy to be, to obtain information for the King's guidance in his endeavors to advance the well-being of his subjects Royal Letter . onju in New England ; another, to “suppress and "...a utterly extinguish those unreasonable jealousies and malicious calumnies which wicked and unquiet spirits perpetually labored to infuse into the minds of men, that his subjects in those parts did not submit to his government, but looked upon themselves as independent upon him and his laws;” another, to compose such differences as existed upon questions of boundaries between different Colonies, – questions perhaps left on purpose to create a pretext for interfering; another, to assure the native tribes of his protection; another, to overthrow the usurped authority of the Dutch; and another, to “confer upon the matter of his former letter" sent by Bradstreet and Norton, “and their answer thereunto, of which he would only say that the same did not answer his expectations, nor [the] professions made by their messengers.” The Letter required that it should be forthwith communicated to the Council, and, within twenty days, to a “General Assembly.” The Commission, which was of two days' later date, gave authority to the persons therein named, or to any three of them,- or to any two, Colonel Nicolls c. being one and having a casting vote, – “to visit of the agents. all and every the several Colonies” of New Eng- ** land, and “to hear and receive, and to examine and determine, all complaints and appeals in all causes and matters, as well military as criminal and civil, and proceed in all things for the providing for and settling the peace and security of the said country, according to their good and sound discretions, and to such instructions as they . . . . . should from time to time receive.” Of Instructions there were two sets, with the contents of both of which it is not improbable that the Governor of Massachusetts was acquainted; for it is certain Thornthat he had means of obtaining secret intelli- ". gence.” One of these papers abounded in professions of the respect and friendship entertained by the King for that Colony. It directed the Commissioners (with the help of maps, with which they were to require the authorities to furnish them) to define the lines of boundary of the several chartered jurisdictions, subject, however, to the approval of the King; — to give redress to any native princes who had been injured;— to report “what progress had been towards the foundation and maintenance of any college or schools for the education of youth, and in order to the conversion of infidels;”—to be cautious and lenient in the treatment of “accusations against those who were, or had been, in place of government,” but, in cases well avouched, to “proceed in examination and determination according to the rules of justice, without any respect to persons;”—to urge a compliance with the King's requisitions made two years before, reserving this application, however, till they should “ have entered into a good conversation and acquaintance with the principal persons;” — to inquire whether any persons attainted for high treason were now within the Colony, or had “been entertained and received there,” and to apprehend such persons if they could be discovered;— to “take care that such orders were established there that the Act of Navigation should be punctually observed;” — and to send home a detailed report of the frame and constitution of the local government in church and state, of the amount and methods of taxation, of the tonnage, the military force, and the walled or fortified places, with other particulars of information illustrative of the condition and resources of the people." The other set of Instructions to the Commissioners was “to be considerated and communicated only between themselves.” “The main end and drift of your employment” — such is the statement with which it begins— “is to inform yourselves and us of the true and whole state of those several Colonies, and by insinuating yourselves by all kind and dextrous carriage into the good opinion of the principal persons there, that so you may (after a full observation of the humor and interest both of those in government, and those of the best quality out of government, and generally of the people themselves) lead and dispose them to desire to renew their charters, and to make such alterations as will appear necessary for their own benefit.” The Commissioners were to acquaint themselves minutely with the existing charters, ascertain in what particulars they had been disregarded, and obtain “a general consent and desire” for amendments. In communications with unofficial persons, as well as in transactions with those in authority, they were to proceed with great circumspection according to special directions which were given. “Designs of profit” would be premature, and “should not be affected further . . . . . than to settle some annual tribute of the growth of the country, as masts, corn, and fish,” for a royal revenue. Two objects are specified as peculiarly entitled to attention. “Besides the general disposing the people to an entire submission and obedience to our government, . . . . . and leading them to a desire to renew their charters, - - - - - there are two points we could heartily wish should be gained upon them; the first, that we may have the nomination of the Governor . . . . . or approbation; the other, that the militia should be put under an officer nominated or recommended by us. . . . . . But how to approach to these two points we cannot tell, but must leave it to your skill and dexterity. . . . . . In the mean time, we should look upon it as a good omen, if they might be so wrought upon at the General Assembly, as that Colonel Nicolls might be chosen by themselves for their present Governor, and Colonel Cartwright for their Major-General.” “After all ceremonies were performed, and in the first place of all business,” explanations were to be made to the Magistrates of the necessity “ of reducing the Dutch" in their neighborhood; and they were to be desired to give “their advice and concurrence,” and to
- - - -
stance it is, more or less, by every
length come into these parts, of whom
* Hazard, II. 634.
* Ibid., 638.
* “The copy of his Majesty's signification to the Massachusetts Colony was surreptitiously conveyed over to them by some unknown hand, before the original came to Boston; and formerly the very original of Mr. Maverick's petition to the King and Council concerning the Massachusetts Colony was stolen out of the Lord Arlington's office
in Whitehall by one Captain John Scott, and delivered to the Governor and Council at Boston. This I affirm positively to be true, though, when I questioned Scott upon the matter, he said a clerk of Mr. Williamson's gave it him.” (Letter of Nicolls to Morrice, in O'Callaghan, Documents, &c., III. 136.) The purloiner could have been no other than the versatile Long-Island knave. (See above, p. 564, note.)
* O'Callaghan, Documents, &c., III. contents in England. The court was 51–54. — Some fear is indicated in cautious by reason of apprehension the Instructions (Ibid. 51) of the from the designs of the Dutch, and power of Massachusetts to foment dis- of the opposition at home.