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Those who had been taken alive were sold as slaves, or reduced to servitude at home. 1643
The dangers to which the New England colonies
were exposed, from domestic and foreign enemies, induced them to form an alliance for their mutual defence. This confederation included all except Rhode Island, which Massachusetts was unwilling to admit, and was regulated by stated assemblies, continued, with little alteration, until their charters were annulled by James the second.
Whilst the settlers were lessening the number of the an. cient inhabitants, they were daily, receiving an addition to their own. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the British government to check the tide of emigration, the measures of the crown were so hostile to the public rights, that, in the course of the year 1638, about three-thousand persons embarked for New England; choosing rather to bear all the consequences of a royal mandate, than remain longer under oppression. But, on the assumption of the supreme power by the parliament, those motives to emigrate entirely ceased. The Puritanical maxims, with respect to the government of the church and state, became predominant in England, and were enforced by the hand of power. Up to this period, twenty-one thousand British subjects had settled in New England; but the number of people with which it afterwards. l'ecruited the parent country, is supposed, to equal the amount previously received. Some returns also for the expenses incurred by its planters were now made: they began to extend the fishery, to export corn and lumber to the West Indies, which, with the produce of the former, have since grown to be their staplc articles of commerce.
At length, a decided indication of increasing importance was displayed. In the year 1652, the general court of Massa. chusetts ordered a coinage of silver money at Boston, stamped with the name of the colony, and with a tree, as an appropriate symbol of progressive vigour. No other colony. ever presumed to coin metal into money. But the royal government in England was recently overthrown. The mint-master, John Hull, made a large fortune. It was commonly reported, that he gave his daughter a marriage portion of thirty thousand New England shillings.
Although these children of the forest thus approached the situation of their parent, in the external relations of som ciety, in wealth, in commerce, in population; they seemed
to make an opposite movement in rectitude of judgment: the absence of which produced bigotry, superstition, intolerance, and cruelty. That persecuting spirit which consigned its victims to the flames, having spent its rage in almost every European nation, and been, in England, lorg since exhausted, or restrained by a superior power, now burst forth from those bosoms which had indignantly recoiled from its effects. We here allude to the trea nent of the Quakers. 1656
A number of these people, having arrived from
England and Barbadoes, and given offence to the clergy of the established church, by the novelty of their religion, at that time, certainly a little extravagant, were imprisoned, and, by the first opportunity, sent away. A law was then made, which prohibited masters of ships from bringing any Quakers into Massachusetts, and themselves from coming there; under a graduated penalty, rising, in case of a return from banishment, as high as death. In consequence of this barbarous proscription, several were hanged; a mode of punishment not adopted on account of its being more ignominious than that of burning, practised in Europe, but perhaps to avoid a too strict conformity with the usage of their ancient enemies.* These proceedings are still the more reprehensible and remarkable, when contrasted with a previous declaration of their government, which tendered " hospitality and succour to all Christian strangers, dying from wars, famine, or the tyranny of persecution."
But this sanguinary conduct was soon prohibited, by an order obtained from Charles the second. During its continuance the number of the Quakers in Massachusetts increased, instead of being diminished. The pillory, served as a pulpit for the celebrated George Fox, the founder of the sect.
The Anabaptists were the next object of persecution. Many of these were disfranchised, and some were banished. But, as oppression again created what it was intended to .destroy, the court judged it expedient to withdraw it, and persecution for a while ceased.
* The following Quakers were hanged, for retarping after being banished:
William Robinson, on the 27th October, 1656
Why, it may be asked,are these early scenes of folly.rem coloured, and exhibited on the stage of history, in this remote age.
Are they meant to calumniate the fathers of our people, and augment the inclination towards religious intolerance; to wound the feelings of our youth, and create anew, the malignant spirit of recrimination ? No, it is answered.; they are to guard against a repetition, by reminding society, that the same causes will produce similar effects, amongst every nation, in every age; and that the same. ascendency over the civil authorities, which then prevailed, might plunge us, even at this enlightened period, into that unhappy state, now contemplated with so much regret.-A great American statesman and profound philosopher, in acknowledging the receipt of a discourse on the consecration of a synagogue, expresses himself in these words : “ Your sect, by its suf. ferings, has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance, inherent in every sect; dis. claimed by all while feeble, and practised by all when in power. Our laws have applied the only antidote to this vice; protecting our religious, as they do our civil, rights, by placing all on an equal footing. But, more remains to be done; for, though we are free by the law, we are not so in practise : public opinion erects itself into an inquisition, and exercises its office with as.much fanaticism as fans the flames of an auto de fe.*
On the accession of James the.second, several of the New England colonies were deprived of their charters; which however, with various modifications, not essential to be enu: merated, were restored after the ensuing revolution. But this was not the only evil arising from the contests o: that period. France, being engaged in war with the parent state, thought the opportunity favourable for disturbing her Amers ican dominions: and, from the contiguity of Canada, where the former was then established, was enabled to keep the northern provinces in continual alarm. Vigorous exertions were made to carry hostilities into the colony of the aggreso
The command was given to Sir William Phipps, a distinguished character of those days, and the first governor appointed under the new charter. His earliest olject was the conquest of L'Acadie, now called Nova Scotia ; for which, having, sailed from New England with a force of
• Mr./Jefferson's letter to Mr. Noah, of New-York, dated Mantecellag May 28, 1818
seven-hundred men, he arrived at Port Royal, and took pos. session of the entire province for Great Britain. But his next attempt was wholly unsuccessful. Proceeding with a much larger equipment, and arriving before Quebec, the winter was so far advanced, that the troops from Connecticut and New-York returned after they had reached the lakes : and his own troops being sickly and discouraged, he relinquished his intentions; sailing again to Boston, with ibe loss of one thousand men.
The new charter, whilst it curtailed the liberties, extended the territory of Massachusetts. Toi!, were now annexed, New Plymouth, Maine, and Nova Scotia, with all the country between the two latter and the river St. Lawrence : also Elizabeth Islands, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. The people, however, had just reason to complain: they no Jonger chose their governor, secretary, nor officers of the admiralty: the militia was placed under the control of the governor, and the same officer levied taxes and tried capital offenders. Against these innovations, however, an admirable spirit was evinced in the very first act passed under the new constitution. It was resolved, that no loan or imposie tion of any kind, should be raised in the colony, unless with the approbation of the council and the representatives of the people, assembled in a general court.
-« Sir William Phipps," observes a New England historian, “ found the province in a most deplorable situation. An Indian war was, wasting the frontiers ; an agitation, a terror in the public mind, in the greater part of Essex county, was driving the people to the most desperate conduct. In the tempest of passion, a government of laws, trial by jury, all the guards against oppression, were too feeble to protect the person or property of the most loyal subject. The pillars of society were shaken to their foundation by the amazing, powers of imaginary witchcraft. The people of that county had lived amongst the Indians; they had heard their narratives of Hobbamocko, or the devil; of his ifiquent appear. ances to them, of his conversations with them, and of his sometimes carrying them off. Thesc were the familiar tales of their winter evenings; which confirmed their opinions, laid the basis of superstition, and furnished materials. for approaching terrors, The circumstances attending the first strange accounts were most unfortunate, and powerfully tended to give them. currency. They appeared in the family of their minister : he was credulous; this excited be
Jief in others. An Indian and his wife were in the house : they were supposed adepts in the science of witchcraft; their opinions were important : to complete the misery, the physician joined his suffrage; the evidence now in the public mind was conclusive. It is no wonder that the alarm was sudden and terrible. Children, not twelve years old, were allowed to give in their testimony. Indians related their own personal knowledge of invisible beings, and women told their frights. The testimonies then received, would now be considered a burlesque on judicial proceedings. One circumstance, however, deserves to be noticed. The persons accused had generally, if not universally, done some singular or forbidden action ; were mostly in the lower walks of life, and their misfortunes or accidents, of thirty years standing, were now arrayed as fatal charges against them. The frenzy lasted from March to October, 1692. In the beginning of this period of delirium, fasts were held at the ministers' houses; afterwards, in several congregations in the infected neighbourhood; and, finally, the general court appointed a fast throughout the colony. Twenty porsons, men and women, having been executed, the supposed sufferers. by their alleged enchantments became more daring, and accused some of the best people in the country. Suspicion now roused from its lethargy; condemnation ceased; the accusers were silent; those under sentence were reprived, and afterwards pardoned
Seldom does the historic page offer to the biographer a character more strongly marked than that of Phipps; of whose life, a cursory sketch may be found both instructive and entertaining He was born at a small plantation on the river Kennebeck; his father was a gun-smith, formerly of Bristol, in England. His mother had twenty-six children, twenty-one of whom were sons. William, one of the young.. est, remained with her when a widow, tending sheep, until arrived at the age of eighteen. Actuated now by a powerful impulse, he conceived that he was born to fill a more important part in the drama of human life, resisted the desire of his friends that he would become a planter, and, as the first step towards attaining his imagined elevation, bound himself apprentice to a ship-carpenter. In this profession, he shortly became an adept. Having removed to Boston, he there followed his trade for about a year, and, by his con. duct, obtained in marriage the daughter of captain Spencer, a respectable citizen. Notwithstanding a severe disappoint