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sioners aforesaid, but only to hint a further reason why the motion made by them took so little place with the General Court at that time. Although it is not unworthy the observation of the reader, that the providence of the Almighty did, by solemn accidents, upon sundry persons bear witness against them, who were full fraught with an expectation of great changes like to fall out in New England, upon the sending over the Commissioners, which his Majesty and his Council saw great reason to do, to secure his interest in those parts, and settle the bounds of their Plantations against the approaches of foreigners. But those who, on that occasion, expected a change in the government of the Colonies, or alteration of the religion there established, were miserably disappointed of their hopes. One Mr. Stevens, a young merchant that went to England about this time, informed much against the country; but returning a little before the Commissioners came, was suddenly and strangely smitten with an incurable malady at Boston, and being moved by some about him to send for some of the ministers to pray with or for him, he desperately refused, and charged that none of these black crows (meaning the ministers) should follow his corpse to the grave, and so died. His comrade, one Kirk, that had sent his testimony by him to England, was drowned, as he went soon after to Barbados. Also one Captain Isam, about Pascataqua, hearing of a Commission to come over thither, hasted to England to further it, and coming back in the same ships, soon after he came ashore was seized with a loathsome disease, in which he rotted by piecemeal, and being turned from house to house, at last he miserably died thereby, somewhere about Pascataqua River. Another young man, that was related to one of the Commissioners, having given out sundry vaunting speeches against the country, pleasing himself to declare what would ere long be done to New England, himself was soon after taken away by death, before his eyes saw their arrival. Mention is made of another of the like spirit, that spent some time in New England to take some notice of the strength of the place, the number of soldiers in each town, with the situation of the harbors but
being bound for Barbados, as he was ready to set sail from Nantasket, fell overboard into the water, and was never seen more.
Not to mention the miscarrying of sundry papers and writings, sent over into England full of complaints against the country of New England, many of which were either lost in the vessel by which they were sent, or else were flung overboard by some who had, out of an evil mind, promised to deliver them, but, in distress of weather and of mind, cast them overboard into the sea, lest they should prove the Jonases of their ship, as in part hath been touched already, more particular instances might be given, if it were judged convenient. But to return to what was before intimated, about the Commissioners. It is a necessary and general rule to give to any man an allowance as to the bias and grain of his natural temper; some men are naturally morose, saturnine, suspicious, which qualities render them less desirable companions, yet must not be thought to unfit them for employment and business of great weight and moment, which, notwithstanding the disadvantages forementioned, they may be fully accomplished to discharge ; which was most true of Colonel Cartwright, one of the Commissioners, and principally intended in the premises.
Aster the reducing of the Dutch's the said Commissioners returned, three of them, to Boston, taking their way through some of the other Colonies, where they attempted to settle things in the best manner they could, and, as they apprehended, most conducing to his Majesty's advantage.
Sometime before the Court of Election, sc. before the 25th of March in the said year 1665, happened the death of Mr. Endicot, which occasioned some change in the persons of the Governor and Deputy. For Mr. Bellingham was that year called to the chief place of government, which he held, by annual election, to his death, as did Mr. Willoughby that of the Deputy's place also, to which he was that year in like manner chosen by the
· New Amsterdam was surrendered Aug. 27th, Fort Orange Sept. 24th, and the subjection of New Netherlands was completed by the capitulation, Oct. 1st, of the Dutch and Swedes on Delaware River and Bay. Holmes, i. 331-5.-H. ? Carr, Cartwright, and Maverick returned Feb. 15, 1665.-H. VOL. VI. SECOND SERIES.
general consent of the freemen, who, apprehending the danger of some change, resolvedly fixed their choice upon such persons as they judged most likely to maintain the government in that same state wherein it hath been heretofore, without the least alteration or change.
But before the said Commissioners went to Plymouth, they desired, 1. That all the people might be called together, at the Court of Election, to see the kindness and favor the King had for the people here. 2. That some might be appointed to go with them to shew them the bounds of their Patent, which was readily assented unto; but for the first, the Governor and Council did not understand the reason thereof, and doubted some inconvenience, especially when the people live so remote. It is no more safe for the body politic, than for the body natural, to have all the spirits retire inward from the extreme part to the centre. Colonel Cartwright, when he observed a non-attendance like to follow upon his motion, uttered some harsh and angry words, not needsul here to be inserted. Men that are naturally of a choleric and touchy disposition are very apt to take fire. Some further order was issued by the said Commissioners about the Narrhaganset country, which, at that time, was denominated the King's Province, declaring that none had power to dispose of any conquered lands, but what were within their original grants, without authority derived from them, under their hands and seals. The like was done at Warwick, and all in reference to some complaints made of injustice done on the east side of Pancatuke River.
But after the dispatch of things in Plymouth' they, i. e. the Commissioners, returned in an obscure manner to Boston. Concerning their deportment therein, it was matter of observation, and of no little dissatisfaction, that thereby they prevented the civility and respect that was both intended and prepared for them in sundry places, the reason of which, as in charity may be supposed, was touched upon before. Soon after their arrival at Boston they were met by Colonel Nichols, that was lately come from Manhatos, now, (in honor of his Royal Highness, to whom it was granted by his Majesty,) New York. Being all met together, they fell close upon the business of
See page 664.-H. • The latter end of April, says Hutchinson.
their Commission, or the matter principally (as was supposed,) intended with the Massachusetts. They therefore took the first opportunity to communicate their instructions to the General Court, concerning such things as they had order, by their Commission, to inquire into. The Court complained that they were acquainted with their instructions by piecemeal, and not all at once, by which means they might have taken a view of them together, and so have been in a better capacity to have returned an answer to more satisfaction, but being necessitated to attend the order, in which the Commissioners intended to proceed, they at last complied. There was a pretty large debate betwixt them, and the General Court were very slow to grant what was proposed in the subjecting of the power of the country to a Court of Appeals, wherein things were to be issued by the power of the Commissioners without any jury, At the last, to put the matter to a final conclusion, the Commissioners resolved to sit" as a Court of Appeals, and took notice of two cases, one” criminal, the other” a civil action, to answer unto which they summoned the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts; who, upon serious consideration, chose rather to commit themselves and their affairs to his Majesty's judgment, than to attend such a Commission of Appeals, or of Oyer and Terminer. Some that were the more cordial asserters of the royal interest in the Massachusetts, wished that some other cases had fallen under their cognizances, than those that were pitched upon, which it is thought best not to mention, either the particulars or the circumstances of them, lest it should any ways reflect upon the honor of their persons or their Commission, especially since there is none of them now left behind to return an answer in any thing, by way of defence, or to shew the ground of their proceedings. Offence was taken at the order of the General Court, in declaring their purpose not to attend the summons of the Commissioners by sound of a trumpet." But many in the General Court apprehended that such a concern ought * On May 24th.-H. * The case of John Porter, Jun., who had been sentenced to die for “disobedience to parents,” (Hutchinson, Index,)
and had escaped from prison.—H. * Thomas Dean, and others, v. the Colony.—H.
to be done in that way, which would make their intention the more public, for preventing any confusion that else might have happened. Immediately hereupon, sc. May 24, 1665, the Commissioners declared' they would treat no more with the Court, that would not own their authority and power of determining matters of difference, whether civil or criminal, without a jury. And soon after they took their leave of Boston, and repaired, Colonel Nichols to the government of New York, and the other three to the eastward, beyond and about the parts of Pascataqua River, where they summoned the people together, many of whom made show of a desire to be taken into his Majesty's government; the advantage of which, above any other, was laid before them by the three Commissioners then present. Now it must be minded that, as to the Province of Maine, there were two sorts, that pretended a right to the government thereof: one that derived their power from Sir Ferdinando Gorges's title, the other derived theirs from the General Court of the Massachusetts. For about this time, or not long before, an agent, sent from Sir Ferdinando Gorges's heir,9 had put the people of Yorkshire, or Province of Maine, into some distractions, hy pretending to exercise government there, upon the account of the Patent of the Province of Maine, whereupon the General Court of the Massachusetts declared their purpose still to exert their authority over that part of the country, requiring the inhabitants to continue their obedience thereunto, intimating also their intent to give an account to his Majesty of the reasons why they so do, by presenting some kind of map of the bounds of their northern line.
But the Commissioners passed an act to enervate the claim of both parties, having first received a petition from sundry of the inhabitants to his Majesty, and supposing the desire of the petitioners was to be taken into his Majesty's government and protection, they did accordingly receive them, and appointed several persons for Justices of Peace in the said Province of Maine, viz. Captain Champernoon, Mr. Joseline, Mr. Ryshworth,
· In a letter to the Court, which, with the offensive “Declaration,” may be found in Hutchinson, i. 225-7.-H. * John Archdale; he came with Maverick. Maine Hist. Coll. 1. 109.-H. Ferdinando Gorges, Esq.-H. • Announced in a Proclamation at York, June 23, 1665. Maine Hist. Coll.