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[149] its own agent to present a remonstrance to the
chap. VI.} 1754.
Board of Trade.1 New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine, which was a part of Massachusetts, had similar regulations; so that all New England was an aggregate of organized democracies. But the complete development of the institution was to be found in Connecticut and the Massachusetts Bay. There each township was also substantially a territorial parish; the town was the religious congregation; the independent church was established by law, the minister was elected by the people, who annually made grants for his support. There, too, the system of free schools was carried to great perfection; so that there could not be found a person born in New England unable to write and read. He that will understand the political character of New England in the eighteenth century, must study the constitution of its towns, its congregations, its schools, and its militia.2

Yet in these democracies the hope of independence, as a near event, had not dawned. Driven from England by the persecution of the government, its inhabitants still clung with confidence and persevering affection to the land of their ancestry, the people of their kindred, and the nationality of their language. They were of homogeneous origin, nearly all tracing their descent to English emigrants of the reigns of Charles the First and Charles the Second. They were a frugal and industrious race. Along the seaside, wherever there was a good harbor, fishermen, familiar with the ocean, gathered in hamlets; and each returning season saw them with an ever increasing number of mariners and vessels, taking the cod

1 Shirley to the Board of Trade, January, 1755.

2 John Adams: Works, v. 495.

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