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George Bancroft, History of the Colonization of the United States, Vol. 1, 17th edition., History of the United States (search)
he oppressed of every nation. And yet it is but little more than two centuries, since the oldest of our states received its first permanent colony. Before that time the whole territory was an unproductive waste. Throughout its wide extent the arts had not erected a monument. Its only inhabitants were a few scattered tribes of feeble barbarians, destitute of commerce and of political connection. The axe and the ploughshare were unknown. The soil, which had been gathering fertility from the repose of centuries, was lavishing its strength in magnificent but useless vegetation. In the view of civilization the immense domain was a solitude. It is the object of the present work to explain how the change in the condition of our land has been accomplished; and, as the fortunes of a nation are not under the control of blind destiny, to follow the steps by which a favoring Providence, calling our institutions into being, has conducted the country to its present happiness and glory.
ite mercies of his providence overawed the colonists who had been spared by famine, the emigrants who had been shipwrecked and yet preserved, and the new comers who found wretchedness and want, where they had expected the contentment of abundance. The firmness of their resolution repelled despair. It is, said they, the arm of the Lord of Hosts, who would have his people pass the Red Sea and the wilderness, and then possess the land of Canaan. Ibid. 48. Dangers avoided inspire trust in Providence. Doubt not, said the emigrants to the people of England, God will raise our state and build his church in this excellent clime. After solemn exercises of religion, Lord Delaware caused his commission to be read; a consultation was immediately held on the good of the colony; and its government was organized with mildness but decision. The evils of faction were healed by the unity of the administration, and the dignity and virtues of the governor; and the colonists, excited by mutual emul
, after certain years of servitude, they should make them free. The idea of George Fox had been anticipated by the fellow-citizens of Gorton and Roger Williams. Nearly 1652. May 18. twenty years had then elapsed, since the representatives of Providence and Warwick, perceiving the disposition of people in the colony to buy negroes, and hold them as slaves forever, had enacted that no black mankind should, by covenant, bond, or otherwise, be held to perpetual service; the master, at the end of t let his slave go free, or shall sell him away, to the end that he may be enslaved to others for a longer time, shall forfeit to the colony forty pounds. George Fox's Journal, An. 1671. The law of Rhode Island I copied from the records in Providence. Now, forty pounds Chap V.} was nearly twice the value of a negro slave. The law was not enforced; but the principle lived among the people. Conditional servitude, under indentures or covenants, had from the first existed in Virginia. The
return from 1646 Oct. England, articles of peace were established between the inhabitants of Virginia and Necotowance, the successor of Opechancanough. Ibid. 323—326. Compare Drake's Indian Biography, b. IV. 22—24; Johnson's Wonder-working Providence, b. III. c. XI. Submission and a cession of lands were the terms on which the treaty was purchased by the original possessors of the soil, who now began to vanish away from the immediate vicinity of the settlements of their too formidable invae in Virginea; 1657; p. 13, 14. The prohibition alluded to is not in the Navigation Act of St. John, nor did any such go into effect. See Albany Records, IV. 236. The very rare tract of L. G., I obtained through the kindness of John Brown, of Providence. and at last a special statute of 1660 Virginia extended to every Christian nation, in amity with England, a promise of liberty to trade and equal justice. Smith, 27. Hening, i. 450. At the restoration, Virginia enjoyed freedom of commerce
VII.} 1655 and the leaders of this new revolution were able to surprise and get possession of the provincial records. They marched, also, from Patuxent towards Anne Mar 25. Arundel, the chief seat of the republicans, who insisted on naming it Providence. The inhabitants of Providence and their partisans gathered together with the zeal that belongs to the popular party, and with the courage in which Puritans were never deficient. Vain were proclamations, promises, and threats. The party of SProvidence and their partisans gathered together with the zeal that belongs to the popular party, and with the courage in which Puritans were never deficient. Vain were proclamations, promises, and threats. The party of Stone was attacked and utterly discomfited; he himself, with others, was taken, and would have been put to death but for the respect and affection borne him by some among the insurgents whom he had formerly welcomed to Maryland. He was kept a prisoner during part of the administration of Cromwell; On this occasion were published Strong's Babylon's Fall in Maryland, and Langford's Just and Clear Refutation of a Scandalous Pamphlet, entitled Babylon's Fall in Maryland, 1655. Both are minute, a
the concession of this charter, form a new proof, if any were wanting, of that mysterious connection of events by which Providence leads to ends that human councils had not conceived. The patent left the emigrants at the mercy of the unrestrained pot. Yet, during all this season of self-denial and suffering, the cheerful confidence of the Pilgrims in the mercies of Providence remained unshaken. The system of common property had occasioned grievous discontents; the influence of law could notnufactures for beaver and other skins, was almost the only pursuit which promised to be lucrative. The spot to which Providence had directed the planters, had, a few years before, been rendered entirely a desert by a pestilence, which had likewise Massasoit himself, the sachem of the tribe possessing the country north of Narragansett Bay, and between the rivers of Providence and Taunton, came to visit the Pil- Mar 22. grims, who, with their wives and children, now amounted to no more than fi
enevolence of uncultivated nature and the care of Providence, than to endure the constraints of the English la a mutuall consent, through a speciall overruling Providence, and a more than ordinary approbation of the chur softened by the mildest sympathy; while trust in Providence kept guard against weakness and despair. Not a th a glorious peace of soul; fixed in his trust in Providence, and in his adhesion to that cause of advancing c to find in the hands of the aged Moses Brown, of Providence. It is Mr. Cotton's Letter, lately printed, Examined and Answered. By Roger Williams, of Providence, in New England. London. Imprinted in the yeere 1644. S opinions, fully reduced to the form of a law, at Providence, in 1647, in II. Mass. Hist. Coll VII. 96. when e in England began to apprehend a special hand of Providence in raising this plantation, and their hearts 163ied this, word for word, from the Records, now in Providence. It was farther ordered, that none be accounted a
ts, III. Mass. Hist. Coll. i. 2—4. Winthrop, II. 59. Hubbard, 406. and two sachems, near Providence, surrendered the soil to the jurisdiction of that state. Winthrop, II. 120—123. Gorton and om the Puritans, both in their ministry and in their civil administration. The plantations of Providence also desired in vain to participate in the benefits of the union; Mass. Ms. State Papers, Ce had founded! As he reached Seekonk, he found the water covered with a fleet of. canoes; all Providence had come forth to welcome the return of its benefactor. Receiving their successfull ambassadoon, confirmed the decisions. If parliament should be less inclinable to us, we must wait upon Providence for the preservation of our just liberties. The colony then proceeded to exercise the indeptor of the English in America; for he left them to enjoy unshackled the liberal benevolence of Providence, the freedom of industry, of commerce, of religion, and of government. Hutchinson's Coll.