This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 seem to expand together. This fraternal bond was especially strengthened in our ancestors' hearts, when, by the charter of Oct. 7, 1691, Plymouth was annexed to Massachusetts. May 10, 1643: The General Court say “that the whole plantation, within this jurisdiction, is divided into four shires; to wit, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Suffolk.” Each had eight towns, except Norfolk, which had six. June 4, 1689: “Ensign Peter Tufts was chosen by the town as Representative, according to the Honorable Council's signification.” May 21, 1690: “Peter Tufts was chosen Deputy to attend the first session of the General Court, or until another shall be legally chosen.” May 3, 1697: “Voted to pay the Representative 18d. per day, during his services in the General Court.” The indignation of our fathers in Medford, at the oppressive taxation of Andross, was expressed by a fisherman, in a pointed figure drawn from his craft. Sir Edward Andross, belonging to that select political family of which Benedict Arnold was an accepted member, was sent by the king as a spy to New England in 1684. He gathered facts from his imagination, and returned to persuade the credulous royal government that the Colonies had forfeited their charter. This induced the king to appoint him “Governor-General and Vice-Admiral of New England, New York, and the Jerseys.” He arrived in Boston, Dec. 29, 1686, and commenced, as despots generally do, with professions of friendship and patriotism. But he came prepared for trampling on the liberties of the people, by bringing with him power to enact laws, raise an army, impose taxes, and abolish the representative system. He thus destroyed townships, and said,--“There is no such thing as a town in the whole country.” He and his Council were vested with all legislative and executive powers. And thus the country mourned over their lost charter and fallen liberties. This tyrant contended that every owner of land must renew his title to it, and for his agency the most exorbitant fees were demanded. He levied taxes without any permission from the people or government, and punished cruelly those who refused to pay. The inhabitants of every town were forbidden to meet and exercise their corporate powers, except once a year: and they were told by the Judges, in open Court, “that they had no more privileges left them, than not to be sold for slaves.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.