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George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent, Vol. 2, 17th edition. 2 0 Browse Search
George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent, Vol. 3, 15th edition. 2 0 Browse Search
Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches 1 1 Browse Search
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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, Elizur Wright (search)
term as Insurance Commissioner for Massachusetts, have formed a sort of constitution by which the policy of all lifeinsurance companies is still guided. His name deserves a place beside those of Horace Mann and William Lloyd Garrison. Apart from this, his biography is one of the most interesting, one of the most picturesque, when compared with those of the many brilliant men of his time. His grandfather was a sea captain, and his father, who was also named Elizur, was a farmer in Canaan, Connecticut. His mother's name was Clarissa Richards, and he was born on the twelfth of February, 1804. In the spring of 1810 the family moved to Talmage, Ohio, making the journey in a two-horse carriage with an ox-team to transport their household goods. Their progress was necessarily slow, and it was nearly six weeks before they reached Talmage, as it was generally necessary to camp at night by the way-side. This romantic journey, the building of their log-cabin, the clearing of the forest,
blished for three years. In the next year, the rev- 1679. enue was a little increased. Meantime the Dutch Calvinists had been inflamed by an attempt to thwart the discipline of the Dutch Reformed church. Yet it should be added, that the taxes were hardly three per cent. on imports, and really insufficient to meet the ex- Chap XVII.} 1678 penses of the colony; while the claim to exercise prerogative in the church was abandoned. As in the days of Lovelace, the province was a terrestrial Canaan. The inhabitants were blessed in their basket and their store. They were free from pride; and a wagon gave as good content as in Europe a coach; their home-made cloth as the finest lawns. The doors of the low-roofed houses, which luxury never entered, stood wide open to charity, and to the stranger. Denton's New York, printed in 1670, describes it under the duke's government, p. 19 and 20. Andros, in Chalmers, 601, &c. The Island of New York may, in 1678, have contained not far from th
age; and, as the spirit of the reformation, which was but a less perfect form of freedom of mind, was advancing, reason was summoned to interpret the records of the past, and to separate time-hallowed errors from truths of the deepest moment. The statute-book, in obedience to this adoration of the letter, had asserted the existence of witchcraft by establishing death as its penalty; sustaining both the superstition and its pun ishment by reference to the Jewish records. New England, like Canaan, had been settled by Chap. XIX.} fugitives. Like the Jews, they had fled to a wilderness; like the Jews, they looked to heaven for a light 1688. to lead them on; like the Jews, they had no supreme ruler but God; like the Jews, they had heathen for their foes; and they derived their legislation from the Jewish code. But, for the people of New England, the days of Moses and of Joshua were past; for them there was no longer a promised land—they were in possession. Reason now insisted on br