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Chapter 13:

Shaftesbury and Locke Legislate for Carolina.

MEANTIME civilization had advanced at the south
Chap. XIII.}
and twin stars were emerging beyond the limits of Virginia. The country over which Soto had rambled in quest of gold, where Calvinists, befriended by Coligny, had sought a refuge, and where Raleigh had hoped to lay the foundations of colonial principalities, was beginning to submit to the culture of civilization.

Massachusetts and Carolina were both colonized under proprietary charters, and of both the charters were subverted; but while the proprietaries of the former were emigrants themselves, united by the love of religious liberty, the proprietaries of the latter were a company of English courtiers, combined for the purpose of a vast speculation in lands. The government established in Massachusetts was essentially popular, and was the growth of the soil; the constitution of Carolina was invented in England. Massachusetts was originally colonized by a feeble band of suffering yet resolute exiles, and its institutions were the natural result of the good sense and instinct for liberty of an agricultural people; Carolina was settled under the auspices of the wealthiest and most influential nobility, and its fundamental laws were framed with forethought by the most sagacious politician and the [129] most profound philosopher of England. The king,

Chap. XIII.}
through an obsequious judiciary, annulled the government of Massachusetts; the colonists repudiated the constitutions of Carolina. The principles of the former possessed an inherent vitality, which nothing has yet been able to destroy; the frame of the latter, as it disappeared, left no trace of its transitory existence, except in the institutions which sprung from its decay.

The reign of Charles II. was not less remarkable for the rapacity of the courtiers, than for the debauchery of the monarch. The southern part of our republic, ever regarded as capable of producing all the staples that thrive on the borders of the tropics, was coveted by statesmen who controlled the whole patronage of the British realms. The province of Carolina, extending from the thirty-sixth degree of

1663 Mar. 24.
north latitude to the River San Matheo, was accordingly erected into one territory; and the historian Clarendon, the covetous though experienced minister, hated by the people, faithful only to the king;1 Monk, so conspicuous in the restoration, and now ennobled as duke of Albemarle; Lord Craven,2 a brave Cavalier, an old soldier of the German discipline, supposed to be husband to the queen of Bohemia; Lord Ashley Cooper, afterwards earl of Shaftesbury; Sir John Colleton, a royalist of no historical notoriety; Lord John Berkeley, with his younger brother,3 Sir William Berkeley, the governor of Virginia; and the passionate, and ignorant, and not too honest Sir George Carteret,4 —were instituted its proprietors and immediate sovereigns. [130] Their authority was nearly absolute; nothing
Chap. XIII.}
was reserved but a barren allegiance. Avarice is the vice of declining years; most of the proprietaries were past middle life. They begged the country under pretence of ‘a pious zeal for the propagation of the gospel;’ and their sole object was the increase of their own wealth and dignity.5

The grant had hardly been made before it became apparent that there were competitors, claiming possession of the same territory. It was included by the Spaniards within the limits of Florida; and the castle of St. Augustine was deemed proof of the actual possession of an indefinite adjacent country. Spain had never formally acknowledged the English title to any possessions in America; and when a treaty was

1667. May 23.
finally concluded at Madrid, it did but faintly concede the right of England to her transatlantic colonies, and to a continuance of commerce in ‘the accustomed seas.’

And not Spain only claimed Carolina. In 1630, a patent for all the territory had been issued to Sir Robert Heath; and there is room to believe that, in 1639, permanent plantations were planned and perhaps attempted by his assign.6 William Hawley appeared in Virginia as ‘governor of Carolina,’ the land between the thirty-first and thirty-sixth parallels of latitude; and leave was granted by the Virginia legislature, that it might be colonized by one hundred persons from Virginia, ‘freemen, being single, and disengaged of debt.’7 The attempts were certainly unsuccessful, for the patent was now declared void,

[131] because the purposes for which it was granted had
Chap XIII.} 1660 or 1661
never been fulfilled.8

More stubborn rivals were found to have already9 planted themselves on the River Cape Fear. Hardly had New England received within its bosom a few scanty colonies, before her citizens and her sons began roaming the continent and traversing the seas in quest of untried fortune. A little bark, navigated by New England men, had hovered off the coast of Carolina; they had carefully watched the dangers of its navigation; had found their way into the Cape Fear River; had purchased of the Indian chiefs a title to the soil, and had boldly planted a little colony of herdsmen far to the south of any English settlement on the continent. Already they had partners in London, and hardly was the grant of Carolina made known, before their agents

1663 Aug. 6.
pleaded their discovery, occupancy, and purchase, as affording a valid title to the soil, while they claimed the privileges of self-government as a natural right.10 A compromise was offered; and the proprietaries, in their ‘proposals to all that would plant in Carolina,’ promised emigrants from New England religious freedom, a governor and council to be elected from among a number whom the emigrants themselves should nominate, a representative assembly, independent legislation, subject only to the negative of the proprietaries, land at a rent of a halfpenny an acre, and such freedom from customs as the charter would warrant.11 Yet the lands round Cape Fear were not inviting [132] to men who could choose their abodes from the
Chap. XIII.}
whole wilderness; the herds, and the fields in which they browsed, were for a season abandoned to the scare of friendly Indians;12 and the emigrants, revisiting their former homes, spread a reproach on the harbor and the soil.13 But the colony was not at once wholly deserted; and if its sufferings became extreme, Massachusetts, the young mother of colonies, not indifferent to the fate of her children, listened to their prayer ‘for some relief in their distress,’ and in May, 1667, ministered to their wants by a general contri-
ution through her settlements.14 The infant town planted on Oldtown Creek, near the south side of Cape Fear River, did not prosper, the Indians took offence at the New England planters, and though they had no guns, yet they never gave over, till, by their bows and arrows, they had entirely rid themselves of the intruders.15 Other causes than the roving restlessness of the Independents from Massachusetts produced ‘the distractions’ which ensued; nature herself, especially in the wilderness, prompts and encourages the love of freedom.

The conditions offered to the colony of Cape Fear ‘were not intended for the meridian’ of Virginia. ‘There,’ said the proprietaries, in their instructions to Sir William Berkeley, ‘we hope to find more facile people’ than the New England men. Yet they intrusted the affair entirely to Sir William's management. He was to get settlers as cheaply as possible; yet at any rate to get settlers. [133]

Like Massachusetts, Virginia was the mother of a

Chap XIII.}
cluster of states; like the towns of New England, the plantations of Virginia extended along the sea. The country on Nansemund River had been settled as early as 1609; in 1622, the adventurous Porey, then secre-
1622. Feb.

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