own allowance,” and “that they who have the power to appoint officers and magistrates, it is in their power, also, to set the bounds and limitations of the power and place into which they call them.”
The reason of this is: “Because the foundation of authority is laid, firstly, in the free consent of the people
This high discourse antedates the famous pamphlets on liberty by Milton
It is a half-century earlier than Locke
's Treatise on government
, a century and a quarter earlier than Rousseau
's Contrat social
, and it precedes by one hundred and thirty-eight years the American Declaration of Independence
But the slightest acquaintance with colonial writings will reveal the fact that such political radicalism as Thomas Hooker
's was accompanied by an equally striking conservatism in other directions.
One of these conservative traits was the pioneer's respect for property, and particularly for the land cleared by his own toil.
once spoke of possession of the soil as the most important and most operative of all social facts.
Free-footed as the pioneer colonist was, he was disinclined to part with his land without a substantial price for it. The land at his disposal was practically illimitable, but he showed a very