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George Bancroft, History of the Colonization of the United States, Vol. 1, 17th edition. 2 0 Browse Search
George Bancroft, History of the United States from the Discovery of the American Continent, Vol. 2, 17th edition. 2 0 Browse Search
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ed, that this jurisdiction extends from the northernmost part of the River Merrimack, and three miles more, north, be it one hundred miles, more or lesse, from the sea; and then upon a straight line east and west to each sea. Mass. State Papers, Case i. File VII. Nos. 4. 20. 58; VIII. Nos. 17.44, 45, 46, 47; x. No. 88. The words were precise. Nothing remained but to find the latitude of a point three miles to the north of the remotest waters of the Merrimack, and to claim all the territory of Maine which lies south of that parallel; for the grant to Massachusetts was prior to the patents under which Rigby and the heirs of Gorges had been disputing. Nor did the engrasping Massachusetts make an idle boast of the territorial extent of its chartered rights. Commissioners were promptly despatched to the eastward to settle the government. The firm remonstrances of Edward Godfrey, then Chap. X.} 1652-3 governor of the province, a loyal friend to the English monarchy and the English
England had surrendered. Was it not safest for the colony to decline a contest, and throw itself upon the favor or forbearance of the king? Such was the theme of universal discussion throughout the colony; the common people spoke of it at their firesides; the topic went with them to church; it entered into their prayers; it filled the sermons of the ministers; and, finally, Massachusetts resolved, in a manner that showed it to be distinctly the sentiment of the people, to resign the territory of Maine, which was held by purchase, but not to concede one liberty or one privilege which was held by charter. If liberty was to receive its death-blow, better that it should die by the violence and injustice of others, than by their own Chap. XII.} weakness. The message closed the duties of the agents. A quo warranto was issued; Massachusetts was arraigned 1683. before an English tribunal, under judges holding their office at the pleasure of the crown; and Randolph, the hated messeng