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Cumberland. He was a man of learning, and had received Episcopal ordination in England, and seems to have been of the puritan persuasion, and to have left his native country for his non-conformity; at what time is quite unknown: But when the Massachusetts colony first came to America, they found him settled on that peninsula where the town of Boston now stands ; he had been there so long as to have raised apple-trees and planted an orchard. Upon his invitation, the principal part of that colony removed from Charlestown thither, and began the town on the land he generously gave them for that purpose. However, it was not long before a new kind of non-conformity obliged him to leave the remainder of his estate on that renowned peninsula, to these numerous new-comers, and to remove a second time into the wilderness. On this occasion, he made use of these remarkable expressions, “I left England to get from under the power of the lord bishops, but in America I am fallen under the power of the lord brethren." At this his new plantation he lived uninterrupted for many years, and there again raised an orchard, the first that ever bore apples in the colony of Rhode Island: He had the first of that sort called yellow sweetings, that were ever in the world ; perhaps, the richest and most delicious apple of the whole kind: Many of the trees, which he planted about one hundred and thirty years ago, are still i pretty thrifty fruit-bearing trees. Mr. Blackstone used frequently to come to Providence, to preach the gospel; and to encourage his younger hearers, gave them the first apples they ever saw. It is said, that when he was old, and unable to travel on foot, and not having any horse, he used to ride on a bull, which he had tamed and tutored to that use. His family is now extinct.
The fame of the good lands on the borders of Connecticut River, invited some people from the Massachusetts thither, who,
history of Boston,” I. 84-85, where he is pronounced " the first white inhabitant” of Rhode Island. Compare, however, Winthrop's Journal,
I. 87. (1 )1765.
in the year 1635, viewed those lands, examined and found out the most suitable places for, and made some preparations toward a settlement; and the next year, 1636, a large number of people removed from the Massachusetts; some of the principal of which were Mr. Hains, 1 who, as I suppose, was the year before governor of that province, Mr. Hopkins, 2 first governor of Connecticut, Mr. Hooker, first minister of Hartford, Mr. Ludlow, and others, and made an effectual settlement of the towns of Hartford, Weathersfield 3 and Windsor, all on the banks of the said river. This was the beginning of Connecticut, the fourth 4 of the New England colonies ; which seems not to have been began for the same cause, that the other three which preceded it were ; that is, to avoid persecution, and enjoy liberty of conscience; 5 but the people were induced to make this remove to better their circumstances ; & and indeed the choice they made of a place to remove to, hath fully vindicated their judgment to succeeding generations; being seated by the sides of much the largest and finest river in New-England, which is capable of affording, perhaps the most exten
(1) “John Haynes” is the correct spelling. He was governor of the colony
of Massachusetts Bay, 1635, and first governor of the colony of Connecticut, serving in 1639, 1641, and 1643. It was under him that Roger
Williams was sentenced, in Massachusetts. (2) Governor Edward Hopkins, of Connecticut, was not the "first” but the
second governor of that colony. There is no connection between his family and that of Governor Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island. See
Foster's “ Stephen Hopkins,” I. 11, II. 222. (3) Now written “Wethersfield.” (4) Governor Hopkins is again misled by the adoption of 1634 as the date of
Williams's removal. Connecticut is the third, and Rhode Island the
fourth. The settlement at Hartford was made in November, 1635. (5) See Appendix I. (6) Palfrey points out as a significant fact, that “the Connecticut emigrants
did not adopt in their own settlement that radical feature of the social system of Massachusetts, which founded the civil franchise on church membership.” (History of New England," I. 447.) (Compare also the "Fundamental orders of Connecticut,” printed in the “Federal and state constitutions,” I. 251).
sive l water-carriage of any river that empties into the sea between Carolina and the Bay of St. Laurence; and which like the famed Nile, annually, about the beginning of April, overflows and fertilizes all the intervals and low lands near it. Yet not in the exceeding fruitfulness of these low lands only, does this colony exceed, but even their hill lands, both for pasturage and for tilling, have been found, by experience, to produce much better than the other lands in New-England.
The following year, 1637, a settlement was begun at New Haven, 2 by a number of people directly from England, 3 under the leading of Mr. Eaton and Mr. Davenport; doubtless for the same reason 4 the first three were planted, because they were not permitted, in their native country, to worship God in the manner they thought most acceptable to him. 5 This settlement had for some time, the name of the Colony of New Haven, and was the fifth planted in New England; but, in process of time, came to be united to, and swallowed up in the name of that of Connecticut, as New-Plymouth also was in Massachusetts. 6
Some time in the same year 1637, the first war? broke out in New-England, between the English and the Indians ; this was with a powerful nation, or tribe called Pequots, who dwelt in the southeastern part of the colony of Connecticut, and
(1) This perhaps may be questioned. The geography of the colonies was not
known with great accuracy in 1765. (2) The reconnoitring for a settlement was made in the autumn of 1637; and
a few men occupied the site of New Haven through the winter, but the
great body of the settlers did not arrive until April, 1638. (3) Not "directly from England” but after a winter spent in Boston. (4) Compare also the frame of government adopted Jan. 14, 1639, printed in
Connecticut Colony records, I. 21. See Appendix I. (5) See Appendix I. (6) New Haven was absorbed in Connecticut in 1665; New Plymouth in
Massachusetts Bay in 1691. (7) The main authority for the history of this war is Mason's “History of the
Pequot War," written by the principal military leader in it, but not published until 1736. It lasted from March 1637, to September, 1638.
chiefly on the lands which now make the towns of Stonington and Groton. The occasion of this war was doubtless a jealousy in the Indians of the increasing numbers and growing power of the English, who they saw had already dispersed themselves into all the principal parts of New-England, and whose strength grew daily greater, by the addition of new-comers, that joined them in their various plantations : That the manner in which they improved the land, and fed their domestic animals, some of which were now in the country, must in a short time cut them off from the sea coasts, and quite deprive them of their various fisheries, and at the same time destroy their game in the woods, and in the end quite ruin their hunting. These being the principal sources of their scanty livelihood, no body can wonder they were alarmed at the dreadful mischiefs which threatened them; and at length determined to extirpate by war, the late arrived people, who occasioned the danger, before their numbers and power were too much increased. 1 Indeed, this was by much the most probable attempt ever made by the Indians, to cut off the English settlers, yet, as it were, in their very infancy, and now greatly dispersed ; Connecticut not of two years standing ; Providence, though a year older, had but a handful of people; the Massachusetts had been planted only seven years; and Plymouth, that began seventeen years before, had not yet increased to any considerable number. Had these Indians succeeded in their attempts to unite all the neighboring nations and tribes in this war, as a common cause, in which the loss or preservation of their country, and all they had was concerned, it must have been very difficult, if not impossible for the English, under their present circumstances, to have defended themselves against so great a number of enemies. For it is said, at this time the Narragansets, 3 alone, had
(1) See Senator Foster's memoranda on King Philip's War. (2) “A year younger" would be more correct. See above, note 2, page 18. (3) “Narraganset.” This spelling is usual in early records and accounts.
See the remarks of Dr. J. Hammond Trumbull, “Indian names of places,” p. 35. On the origin of the name see R. I. Col. Records, I. 26.
four thousand fighting men ; by which some guess may be made of the strength of the other Indian nations, who dwelt in NewEngland. Here we shall have occasion to view Mr. Williams, in, perhaps, the most useful and important part of his life : We have already seen him the founder of one colony, but must now consider him as a principal instrument in preserving them all. 1 He, by great application, had made himself master of the Indian language, 2 and by a courteous behaviour to the natives, and a conduct honest and quite disinterested, had made himself highly respected by the Narraganset sachems, and all their people, and had at this time much more influence over them, than any other man ever had at any time. And as Joseph was sold by his envious brethren, with intent to get him out of their way, yet Divine Providence over-ruled this cruel action quite otherwise than they intended, and made it the means of their future preservation ; so the harsh treatment and cruel exile of Mr. Williams, seem designed by his brethren for the same evil end, but was, by the goodness of the same overruling hand, turned to the most beneficent purposes. For no sooner was it known that the Pequots meditated a war with the English, than they, from every colony, applied to Mr. Williams, to use his influence with the Narragansets, and to prevent, if possible, their joining with the Pequots, in making war with them. This service he chearfully undertook, and succeeded in it beyond their warmest expectations ; for he prevailed with the Narraganset Indians, not only to remain in peace with the Eng(1) The recognition of his services by Gov. Winthrop was particularly grate
ful to him. He writes, (in 1670): “I judge it no impertinent digression to recite (out of ihe many scores of letters at times, from Mr. Winthrop), this one pious and heavenly prophecy, touching all New England, of that gallant man, viz. : 'If the Lord turn away his face from oursins, and bless our endeavors and yours, at this time against our bloody enemy, we and our children shall long enjoy peace, in this our wilderness condition.' And himself and some other of the council motioned, and it was debated, whether or no I had not merited, not only to be recalled from banishment, but also to be honored with some remark of favor.”
(Letter to Major Mason. June 22, 1670, Narragansett Club, VI. 339.) (2) His “Key into the language of America,” published in 1643, represented
the fruits of at least twenty years' careful study of the Indian dialects.