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[397] Haynes had for one year been the governor of Massa-
Chap IX.}
chusetts; and Hooker had no rival in public estimation but Cotton, whom he surpassed in force of character, in boldness of spirit, and in honorable clemency. Historians, investigating the causes of events, have endeavored to find the motives of this settlement in the jealous ambition of the minister of Hartford. Such ingenuity is gratuitous. The Connecticut was at that time supposed to be the best channel for a great internal traffic in furs; and its meadows, already proverbial for the richness of their soil, had accquired the same celebrity as in a later day the banks of the Genesee, or the bottom lands of the Miami.

The new settlement, that seemed so far towards the west, was environed by perils. The Dutch still indulged a hope of dispossessing the English, and the natives of the country beheld the approach of Europeans with malignant hatred. No part of New England was more thickly covered with aborignal inhabitants than Connecticut. The Pequods, who were settled round the Thames, could muster at least seven hundred warriors; the whole number of the effective men of the emigrants was much less than two hundred. The danger was incessant; and while the settlers, with hardly a plough or a yoke of oxen, turned the wild fertility of nature into productiveness, they were at the same time exposed to the incursions of a savage enemy, whose delight was carnage.

For the Pequods had already shown a hostile spirit.

Several years had elapsed since they had murdered the clew of a small trading vessel in Connecticut River. W th some appearance of justice they pleaded the necessity of self-defence, and sent messengers to Boston
1634 Nov
to desire the alliance of the white men. The government

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