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[389] <*>ad never been confuted,1 in spite of the remonstrance
Chap IX.} 1637 May 17.
of the governor, was censured by the general court for sedition.2 At the ensuing choice of magistrates, the religious divisions controlled the elections. The friends of Wheelwright had threatened an appeal to England; but in the colony it was accounted perjury and treason to speak of appeals to the king.3 The contest appeared, therefore, to the people, not as the struggle for intellectual freedom against the authority of the clergy, but as a contest for the liberties of Massachusetts against the power of the English government. Could it be doubted who would obtain the confidence of the people? In the midst of such high excitement, that even the pious Wilson climbed into a tree to harangue the people on election day, Winthrop and his friends, the fathers and founders of the colony, recovered the entire management of the government.4 But the dispute infused its spirit into every thing; it interfered with the levy of troops for the Pequod war;5 it influenced the respect shown to the magistrates; the distribution of town-lots; the assessment of rates; and at last the continued existence of the two opposing May
May
parties was considered inconsistent with the public peace. To prevent the increase of a faction esteemed to be so dangerous, a law, somewhat analogous to the alien law in England, and to the European policy of passports, was enacted by the party in power; none should be received within the jurisdiction, but such as should be allowed by some of the magistrates. The dangers which were simultaneously menaced from the Episcopal party in the mother

1 Henry Vane, in Hutch. Coll. 82.

2 Comp S. Gorton's Simplicity's Defense. 44.

3 Burdett's Letter to Laud.

4 Winthrop, i. 219, 220. Col. Records. Hutch. coll. 63, and ff.

5 Welde, 27. Mather, b. VII. c. III. s. 5. Hutch. Col 80.

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