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ing in them. But what seems to settle the question, (if in fact it be a question) is, that he himself, though he frequently alludes to his sufferings and transactions “during the bitter cold winter,” no where intimates that any white man participated in them. He uniformly speaks in the first person singular: “I was sorely tossed for fourteen weeks—I left Salem in the winter's snow-I found a great contest going on between the chiefs—I travelled between them-I first pitched and began to build and plant at Seekonk-I received a message from Mr. Winslow-I crossed the Seekonk and settled at Mooshausick.” It is strange that he should, on no occasion, mention that some of his friends suffered with him, if any actually did. All accurate information concerning Williams, during these fourteen weeks, must, I apprehend, be drawn from his writings; and I have chosen to follow them. And indeed had he been accompanied by one or more of his friends, they could not have aided the author in the conduct of his narrative, any more than they could have borne a part in the trials and labors of Williams.
Williams says that he mortgaged his house and land in Salem to go through, and all that came with him afterwards were not engaged, but came and went at pleasure; but he was forced to go through and stay by it. (His purchase of the Indians.)
I have not been able to ascertain in what particular part of Seekonk Williams attempted to form his plantation, and have consequently felt myself at liberty to suppose it was in the neighborhood of Pawtucket Falls.
Netop, Whatcheer !” broke on the listening air. Netop-friend. The tradition is, that when Williams in a canoe approached the western banks of the river, at a place now called Whatcheer Cove, he saw a gathering of the natives. When he had come within hail, he was accosted by them in broken English with the friendly salutation, “ Wha-cheer! Whacheer!” Here he landed, and was kindly received by them. The land which was afterwards set off to him included this spot, and he commemorated the amicable greeting of his Indian friends by naming the field there assigned to him the Manor of Whatcheer, or Whatcheer Manor. This field is now the property of Governor Fenner, and the field adjoining it, which was like
wise set forth to Williams, has continued to the present day in the possession of his descendants. We are probably indebted to the name which Williams gave the first mentioned field, for the preservation of this tradition.
Ay, almost hears the future pavements jar
Thy earliest altars—thy predestined state. To show that Williams was not without a presentiment of the temporal advantages that might arise to his projected settlement, from a full liberty in religious concernments, I quote the following from his memorial to Parliament, prefixed to his Bloody Tenent made more bloody, &c. Speaking of Holland he says:
“ From Enchuysen, therefore, a den of persecuting lions and mountain leopards, the persecuted fled to Amsterdam, a poor fishing town, yet harborous and favorable to the flying, though dissenting consciences. This confluence of the persecuted, by God's most gracious coming with them, drew boatsdrew trade-drew shipping, and that so mightily in so short a time, that shipping, trade, wealth, greatness, honor, (almost to astonishment in the eyes of all Europe and the world), have appeared to fall, as out of Heaven, in a crown or garland upon the head of this poor fishertown.”
From wild Pawtucket to Pawtuxet's bounds,
To thee and thine be all the teeming grounds. The first grant made by Canonicus and Miantonomi to Williams, appears to have been a verbal grant of all the lands and meadows upon the two fresh rivers, called Mooshausick and Wanaskatucket; but on the 24th of March, 1637, they confirmed this grant by deed, and, in consideration of the many kindnesses and services he was constantly rendering them, made the bounds Pawtuxet river on the south, Pawtucket on the northwest, and the town of Mashapauge on the west, This grant includes nearly all the county of Providence, and a part of the county of Kent.
For, at that moment, down the boundless range
Stood manifest in its celestial grace. This passage, it is true, supposes action on the mind by a supernatural being, but it does not suppose the outward bodily manifestation of the angelic form described. It simply supposes the image or conception, wrought in the mind by the supernatural agency, to externize itself through a change effected by a sympathetic action in the visual organ. Or, in other words, it supposes the internal image to become so distinct as to reflect itself into the retina and overcome the action of external objects thereon; whereby the internal image is made to appear in the field of vision as an external reality. In justification of this idea, I am glad to have it in my power to refer to No. C. of the Family Library, entitled “ Outlines of Disordered Mental Action, by Professor Upham, of Bowdoin College” – p. 117.
I feel that these remarks are due to the very friendly criticism which this poem has received on the other side of the Atlantic; in which, understanding (as I suppose) the apparition to be represented as an external reality, the reviewer blames it as an extravagance not in accordance with the general character of the narrative.
Her well-cast anchor here her lasting hope in Thee. The Anchor, with the motto Hope, which formed the device on the seal of the Colony, may be considered as having reference to the dangers and difficulties through which the settlers had passed, and were passing at the time it was adopted. This was done in 1663.
STANZA XLIX. And ages hence our children shall recite Of thy protecting grace their Father's sense, And, when they name their home, proclaim Thy Providence.
Williams carried the philanthropy, which breathes in his great principle of Soul-Liberty, into all the important acts of his life.
NOTES TO CANTO NINTH.
Although the munificent grant of Canonicus and Miantonomi had been made to him only, he shortly after made it the common property of his friends who joined him at Providence, reserving to himself no more than an equal share, and receiving from them the small sum of thirty pounds, not as purchase money, but as a remuneration for the gratuities which he had made to the Indians out of his own estate.
“ The following passage,” says Mr. Benedict, in his history of the Baptists, “explains, in a very pleasing manner, Mr. Williams's design in these transactions :" "Notwithstanding I had frequent promise from Miantonomi, my kind friend, that it should not be land that I should want about these bounds mentioned, provided I satisfied the Indians there inhabiting, I having made covenant of peaceable neighborhood with all the sachems and natives round about us, and having in a sense of God's merciful Providence to me in my distress, called the place Providence; I desired it might be for a shelter to persons distressed for conscience. I then considered the condition of divers of my countrymen. I communicated my said purchase unto my loving friends, John Throckmorton and others, who then desired to take shelter here with me. And whereas, by God's merciful assistance, I was procurer of the purchase, not by moneys nor payment, the natives being so shy and jealous that moneys could not do it, but by that language — acquaintance and favor with the natives, and other advantages which it pleased God to give me, and also bore the charges and venture of all the gratuities which I gave to the great sachems and natives round about us, and lay engaged for a loving and peaceable neighborhood with them to my great charge and travel; it was therefore thought fit that I should receive some consideration and gratuity. Thus, after mentioning the said thirty pounds, “this sum I received, and in love to my friends and with respect to a town and place of succor for the distressed as aforesaid, I do acknowledge this said sum a full satisfaction,' he went on, in full and strong terms, to confirm those lands to said inhabitants, reserving no more to himself that an equal share with the rest; his wife also signing the deed.”
HAVING in the preceding notes given some account of the principal events which marked the life of Williams up to the time he settled at Mooshausick, it may be agreeable to such of my readers, as have not his biography at hand, to find here some notice of the actions which distinguished the remainder of his days. The following summary is drawn chiefly from Mr. Benedict's History of the Baptists, and the Sketch of the Life of Williams annexed to the first volume of the Rhode Island Historical Collections.
Williams was soon joined at Providence by a number of his friends from Salem. In a short time their number amounted to forty persons. They then adopted a form of government, by which they admitted none to become their associates, but such as held to the principle of Religious Freedom.
The year following his settlement, a formidable conspiracy of the Indians was planned against the English colonists. He gave his persecutors information of the fact. He addressed a letter to the Commissioners of the United Colonies, “ assuring them that the country would suddenly be all on fire, meaning by war—that by strong reasons and arguments he could con vince any man thereof that was of another mind that the Narragansets had been with the plantations combined with Providence, and had solemnly settled a neutrality with them, which fully shewed their counsels and resolutions for war. Had this plot been carried into effect, it would probably have eventuated in the ruin of the colonies from which he had been banished. Instead of indulging resentment by remaining inactive, he immediately exerted himself to bring about a dissolution of the Indian confederacy. He accomplished what no other man in New England at that time would have attempted. By his influence with the Narragansets, he broke up the combination,
* Hutchinson's State Papers.