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eligion the tribune of the people and the guardian of the oppressed, had written, that Nature having made no slaves, all men have an equal right to liberty. See his letter to Lupus, king of Valencia, in Historiae Anglicanae Scriptores; Londini, 1652, i. 580. Cum autem omnes liberos natura creasset, nullus conditione nature fuit subditus servituti. But the slave-trade had never relented among the Mahometans: the captive Christian had no alternative but apostasy or servitude, and the captive lanters, that they should deal mildly and gently with their negroes; and that, after certain years of servitude, they should make them free. The idea of George Fox had been anticipated by the fellow-citizens of Gorton and Roger Williams. Nearly 1652. May 18. twenty years had then elapsed, since the representatives of Providence and Warwick, perceiving the disposition of people in the colony to buy negroes, and hold them as slaves forever, had enacted that no black mankind should, by covenant,
ommonwealth, she might be the mistress of her own destiny. What opposition could be made to the parliament, which, in the moment of its power, voluntarily pro- 1652 Mar. posed a virtual independence? No sooner had the Guinea frigate anchored in the waters of the Chesapeake, than all thoughts of resistance were laid aside, ple of England; should intrust their business, as formerly, to their own grand assembly; should remain unquestioned for their past loyalty; and should Chap. VI.} 1652. have as free trade as the people of England. No taxes, no customs, might be levied, except by their own representatives; no forts erected, no garrisons maintaineand so evident were the designs of all parties to promote an amicable settlement of the government, that Richard Bennett, himself a commissioner of the Chap VI.} 1652. April 30. parliament, and, moreover, a merchant and a Roundhead, was, on the recommendation of the other commissioners, unanimously chosen governor. Hening, i.
ept. structed to reduce all the plantations within the Bay of the Chesapeake; Thurloe, i. 198. Hazard, i. 557. Hammond, 20, 21. and it must be allowed, that Clayborne might find in the ambiguous phrase, intend- 1652 ed perhaps, to include only the settlements of Virginia, a sufficient warrant to stretch his authority to Maryland. The commissioners accordingly entered the province; and, after much altercation with Stone, depriving him of his commission from Lord Baltimore, Chap. VII.} 1652. June. and changing the officers of the province, they at last established a compromise. Stone, with three of his council, was permitted to retain the executive power till further instructions should arrive from England. Strong, 2 and 3. Langford, 7 and 8. Bacon's Preface. McMahon, 204, 205. Chalmers, 122. The dissolution of the Long Parliament threatened 1653. April. a change in the political condition of Maryland; for, it was argued, the only authority, under which Bennett and
; and, with Nov. John Clarke, his colleague in the mission, was again successful. The dangerous commission was vacated, 1652 Oct. 2. and the charter and union of what now forms the state of Rhode Island confirmed. The general assembly, in its gra for the purpose of self-government. Massachusetts readily offered its protection. The great charter of the Bay company 1652 May 30. was unrolled before the general court in Boston, and, upon perusal of the instrument, it was voted, that this juri promptly despatched to the eastward to settle the government. The firm remonstrances of Edward Godfrey, then Chap. X.} 1652-3 governor of the province, a loyal friend to the English monarchy and the English church, were disregarded; and one town to be aimed at those who should assert the absolute supremacy of the English parliament. The establishment of a mint, in 1652, was a further exercise of sovereignty. Whilst the public mind was agitated with discussions on liberty of conscience a