that both aspirants now appealed to the Bay
trates, and solicited them to act as umpires.
The cause was learnedly argued in Boston
, and the decree of the court was oracular.
Neither party was allowed to have a clear right; and both were enjoined to live in peace.
But how could Vines and Cleaves
assert their authority?
On the death of Gorges
, the people repeatedly wrote to his heirs.
No answer was received; and such commissioners as had authority from Europe
There was no relief for the colonists but in themselves; and the inhabitants of Piscataqua
, Gorgeana, and Wells
, following the
American precedent, with free and unanimous consent1
formed themselves into a body politic for the purpose of self-government.
readily offered its protection.
The great charter of the Bay
was unrolled before the general court in Boston
, and, ‘upon perusal of the instrument, it was voted, that this jurisdiction extends from the northernmost part of the River
Merrimack, and three miles more, north, be it one hundred miles, more or lesse, from the sea; and then upon a straight line east and west to each sea.’2
The words were precise.
Nothing remained but to find the latitude of a point three miles to the north of the remotest waters of the Merrimack
, and to claim all the territory of Maine
which lies south of that parallel; for the grant to Massachusetts
was prior to the patents under which Rigby
and the heirs of Gorges
had been disputing.
Nor did the ‘engrasping’ Massachusetts
make an idle boast of the territorial extent of its chartered rights.
Commissioners were promptly despatched to the eastward to settle the government.