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Maverick appeared once more in Boston with a message from Nicolls;" its purport is not recorded, and, whatever it was, it was fruitless. At the end of three years from the last meeting of the Federal wo Congress, six Commissioners came together at ot. Hartford. One star was lost out of its sphere; . and with the wholeness of the system, its at- *** tractions, its balance, and its forces had departed. Of the brave Confederacy of the Four Colonies only the shadow of a great name remained.
The defunct jurisdiction of New Haven was complimented by the election of Leete, who now came as one of the Commissioners for Connecticut, to be President of the Congress. The Commissioners for Massachusetts and Plymouth brought authority only to “act about the Indian affairs of the Corporation, and to agitate and treat of any propositions that should be made for the renewing or entering into a new confederation.” A letter was produced, which had been addressed by Plymouth to Massachusetts two years before, containing a protest of that Colony against the extinction of New Haven, and a declaration that its “reason” was not “seated in sufficient light to continue confederation with three Colonies.” Statements of the “terms of agreement” between Connecticut and New Haven, and of a concurrence of Connecticut, as now constituted, with the plan for a “tripartie” Confederacy, were called for; but “none appeared.” The Commissioners from Connecticut made some conciliatory explanations; and the Congress separated, after disposing of a little business relative to the preaching to the Indians, and preparing a proposal to the several Colonies for a new confederation, with some alteration of the articles of the original compact.”
* Hutch. Coll., 411. expressed disapprobation of some pro* Records, &c., in Hazard, II. 501 ceedings of Connecticut. (Ibid., 504.) — 511. — The Federal Commissioners
If the Confederacy was crippled, Massachusetts was neither won to the court, nor overcome, nor disabled, nor intimidated. And now Lord Clarendon had fallen from power, and the ministers, afterwards called the Cabal, were at the helm. To Massachusetts, as yet, the name of Clifford was scarcely significant. In a hot contest with Arlington, she had lately come off victorious." In the Duke of Buckingham, if she had read him rightly, there was little to give her cause for alarm. From the versatile Ashley, the friend of Monk and of Southampton, she might even hope for some favor, if any of his professions during the Civil Wars had been sincere. Lauderdale she knew as, of old, a busy Covenanter, who would now have sufficient business on his hands in taking care of Scotland. Now was the time for Massachusetts to re-establish her position, and reclaim what remained withholden of her rights. The French war had frightened the settlers in Maine, i.e., living as they did in scattered families, in the ormon face of Indian tribes, who were under the in... fluence of the missionaries from Quebec. The .." King of England took no thought for them; Gorges could not defend them; the only power in a posture to afford them protection was Massachusetts; and, when again she turned her attention towards them, it was to find the ancient loyalty to her increased, and little opposition to her claims requiring to be overcome, except what was offered by interested officials. The General Court took up the case of its county of York, and considered that, “about three years now past, is some interruption had been made to the peace ** of that place and order there established, by the imposition of some who, pretending to serve his Majesty's interest, with unjust aspersions and reflections upon this
* The Secretary Bennett was created Earl of Arlington, March 14, 1665.
government here established by his royal charter, had unwarrantably drawn the inhabitants of that county to subjection unto officers that had no royal warranty, thereby infringing the liberties of the charter, and depriving the people there settled of their just privileges; the effect whereof now appeared to be not only a disservice to his Majesty, but also the reducing of a people that were found under an orderly establishment to a confused anarchy.” They accordingly issued a proclamation requiring the inhabitants of the county “to yield obedience" to the colonial laws and officers, and commissioned the Magistrates Leverett and Tyng, and the Deputies Waldron (of Dover) and Pike (of Salisbury), to repair to York, hold a court, and reconstruct the lawful government." At York, “Mr. Josselyn and several others, styled justices of the peace,” presented themselves to the commissioners, and, pleading their authority from Colonel Nicolls, were told that the General Court had already considered and overruled it.” The commissioners “repaired to the meeting-house, and there opened the court by reading their commission publicly, and declaring to the people wherefore they came; whereto there was great silence and attention.” The Yorkshire towns had already been directed to choose their local officers and jurymen. Their votes were now sent in ; and, while the commissioners were counting them, Josselyn and his friends disputed the authority of the court, harangued the people outside, and endeavored to make a disturbance. Partly by committing some of the most forward to the custody of his marshal, and partly by friendly reasoning, Leverett succeeded in restoring order; and the business of the court went on. Constables and jurors were sworn; military officers were put in commission for six companies; and, on the third day of their visit, the commissioners set off for their return to Massachusetts, to report that once more she was mistress of Maine. She might seem to herself to stand erect again; as sovereign as in the time of Cromwell, and with the advantage of more people, more wealth, institutions better knit together, a confirmed public spirit, and a generation of citizens born upon her soil.
* Mass. Rec., IV. (ii.) 370-373. — Nicolls remonstrated against this proceeding in a letter (June 12th) from New York. (Hutch. Coll., 427.)
* In the State-Paper Office is Major Nathaniel Phillips's “True Account of the Usurpation of Massachusetts” in Maine. Phillips says: “Major-General Leverett sat in court with his sword by his side, a thing not usual in courts of peace and justice.”
The commissioners' Beport of their proceedings is in Mass. Rec., IV. (ii.) 400–404. — “We told them that,
through the good hand of God, and the King's favor, the Massachusetts were an authority to assert their right of government there by virtue of the royal charter; and that we did not doubt but that the Massachusetts Colony's actings for the forwarding his Majesty's service would outspeak others' words.” John Josselyn, who was a brother of the would-be magistrate, has given his account of this transaction. (Account of Two Voyages, &c., 198.)