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[407] cent. on imports, and really insufficient to meet the ex-
Chap XVII.} 1678
penses of the colony; while the claim to exercise prerogative in the church was abandoned. As in the days of Lovelace, the province was ‘a terrestrial Canaan. The inhabitants were blessed in their basket and their store. They were free from pride; and a wagon gave as good content as in Europe a coach; their home-made cloth as the finest lawns. The doors of the low-roofed houses, which luxury never entered, stood wide open to charity, and to the stranger.’1 The Island of New York may, in 1678, have contained not far from three thousand inhabitants; in the whole colony there could not have been far from twenty thousand. Ministers were scarce, but welcome, and religions many; the poor were relieved, and beggars unknown. A thousand pounds were opulence; the possessor of half that sum was rich. The exports were land productions—wheat, lumber, tobacco—and peltry from the Indians. In the community, composed essentially of farmers, great equality of condition prevailed; there were but ‘few merchants,’ ‘few servants, and very few slaves.’

What was wanting to the happiness of the people? Prompted by an exalted instinct, they demanded power to govern themselves. Discontent created a popular

1681 Wood 99
convention; and if the two Platts, Titus, Wood, and Wicks of Huntington, arbitrarily summoned to New York, were still more arbitrarily thrown into prison, the fixed purpose of the yeomanry remained unshaken.

The government of New York was quietly maintained over the settlements south and west of the Delaware, till they were granted to Penn; over the

1 Denton's New York, printed in 1670, describes it under the duke's government, p. 19 and 20. Andros, in Chalmers, 601, &c.

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