Consolidates the Northern Colonie.
the country which, after the reconquest of the New
Chap XVII.} 1674 June 29.
, was again conveyed to the duke of York
, included the New England
frontier from the Kennebee
to the Saint Croix
, extended continuously to Connecticut River
, and was bounded on the south by Maryland
We have now to trace an attempt to consolidate the whole coast north of the Delaware
The charter from the king sanctioned whatever ordinances the duke of York
or his assigns might establish; and in regard to justice, revenue, and legislation, Edmund Andros
, the governor, was left responsible only to his own conscience and his employer.
He was instructed to display all the humanity and gentleness that could consist with arbitrary power; and to use punishments not from wilful cruelty; but as an instrument of terror.
On the last day of October, he received the surrender of the colony from the representatives of the Dutch
, and renewed the absolute authority of the proprietary.
The inhabitants of the eastern part of Long Island
resolved, in town-meetings, to adhere to Connecticut
The charter certainly did not countenance their decision; and, unwilling to be declared rebels, they submitted to New York.
In the following summer, Andros
, with armed sloops,
proceeded to Connecticut
to vindicate his jurisdiction
as far as the river.
On the first alarm, William Leet
the aged deputy-governor, one of the first seven pillars of the church of Guilford
, educated in England
as a lawyer, a rigid republican, hospitable even to regicides, convened the assembly.
A proclamation was unani-
mously voted, and forwarded by express to Bull
, the captain of the company on whose firmness the independence of the little colony rested.
It arrived just as Andros
, hoisting the king's flag, demanded the sur-
render of Saybrook Fort.
Immediately the English
colors were raised within the fortress.
Despairing of victory, Andros
Having been allowed to land with his personal retinue, he assumed authority, and in the king's name ordered the duke's patent, with his own commission, to be read.
In the king's name, he was commanded to desist; and Andros
was overawed by the fishermen and farmers who formed the colonial troops.
Their proclamation he called a slender affair, and an ill requital for his intended kindness.
militia, escorting him to his boat, saw him sail for Long Island
; and Connecticut
, resenting the aggression, made a declaration of its wrongs, sealed it with its seal, and transmitted it to the neighboring plantations.
In New York itself Andros
was hardly more wel-
come than at Saybrook
; for the obedient servant of the duke of York
discouraged every mention of assemblies, and levied customs without the consent of the people.
But, since the Puritans of Long Island
claimed a representative government as an inalienable English birthright, and the whole population opposed the ruling system as a tyranny, the governor, who was personally free from vicious dispositions, advised his master to concede legislative franchises.
The dull James II., then duke of York
, of a fair
complexion and an athletic frame, was patient in details, yet singularly blind to universal principles, plodding with sluggish diligence, but unable to conform conduct to a general rule.
Within narrow limits he reasoned correctly; but his vision did not extend far. Without sympathy for the crowd, he had no discernment of character, and was the easy victim of duplicity and intrigue.
His loyalty was but devotion to the prerogative which he hoped to inherit.
Brave in the face of expected dangers, an unforeseen emergency found him pusillanimously helpless.
He kept his word sacredly, unless it involved complicated relations, which he could scarcely comprehend.
Spiritual religion is an enfranchising power, expanding and elevating the soul, a service of forms was analogous to the understanding of James; to attend mass, to build chapels, to risk the kingdom for a rosary,—this was within his grasp; he had no clear perception of religious truth.
Freedom of conscience, always an ennobling conception, was, in that age, an idea yet standing on the threshold of the world, waiting to be ushered in; and none but exalted minds—Roger Williams
, and Bun
yan—went forth to welcome it; no glimpse of it reached James, whose selfish policy, unable to gain immediate dominion for his persecuted priests and his confessor, begged at least for toleration.
Debauching a woman on promise of marriage, he next allowed her to be traduced as having yielded to frequent prostitution, and then married her; he was conscientious, but his moral sense was as slow as his understanding.
He was not bloodthirsty; but to a narrow mind fear seems the most powerful instrument of government, and he propped his throne with the block and the gallows.
A libertine without love, a devotee without spirituality,
an advocate of toleration without a sense of the natural right to freedom of conscience,—in him the muscular force prevailed over the intellectual.
He floated between the sensuality of indulgence and the sensuality of superstition, hazarding heaven for an ugly mistress, and, to the great delight of abbots and nuns, winning it back again by pricking his flesh with sharp points of iron, and eating no meat on Saturdays.
Of the two
brothers, the duke of Buckingham
said well, that Charles would not, and James could not see. James
put his whole character into his reply to Andros
is as follows:—
‘I cannot but suspect assemblies would be of dangerous consequence; nothing being more known than the aptness of such bodies to assume to themselves many privileges, which prove destructive to, or very often disturb, the peace of government, when they are allowed.
Neither do I see any use for them.
Things that need redress may be sure of finding it at the quarter sessions, or by the legal and ordinary ways, or, lastly, by appeals to myself.
However, I shall be ready to consider of any proposal you shall send.’
In November, some months after the province of Sagadahock, that is, Maine
beyond the Kennebec
, had been protected by a fort and a considerable garrison, Andros
hastened to England
; but he could not give eyes
to the duke; and, on his return, he was ordered to continue the duties, which, at the surrender, had been established for three years. In the next year, the rev-
enue was a little increased.
Meantime the Dutch Calvinists
had been inflamed by an attempt to thwart the discipline of the Dutch Reformed church.
Yet it should be added, that the taxes were hardly three per
on imports, and really insufficient to meet the ex-
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
convention; and if the two Platts
, and Wicks
, 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
claimed a paramount authority.
have seen the Quakers refer the contest for decision to an English commission.
In East New Jersey
, Philip Carteret
had, as the deputy of Sir George, resumed the government, and, gaining popularity by postponing the payment of quitrents, confirmed liberty of conscience with representative government.
A direct trade with England
, unencumbered by customs, was encouraged.
The commerce of New York was endangered by the competition; and, disregarding a second patent from the duke of York
claimed that the ships of New Jersey
should pay tribute at Manhattan
After long altercations, and the arrest of Carteret
, terminated only by the honest verdict of a New York jury, Andros
again entered New Jersey
, to intimidate its assembly by the
royal patent to the duke.
The people of New Jersey
could not, as in the happier Connecticut
, plead an earlier grant from the king.
But when were Puritans at a loss for arguments in favor of freedom?
‘We are the representatives of the freeholders of this province;’ —such was the answer of the assembly;—‘his majesty's patent, though under the gieat seal, we dare not grant to be our rule or joint safety; for the great charter of England
, alias Magna Charta
, is the only rule, privilege, and joint safety of every free-born Englishman.’2
The firmness of the legislature preserved the independence of New Jersey
; the decision of Sir William Jones
protected its people against arbitrary taxation; its prosperity sprung from the miseries of Scotland
The trustees of Sir George Carteret
, tired of the burden
of colonial property, exposed their province to sale;
Chap. XVII.} 1682 Feb. 1 and 2.
and the unappropriated domain, with jurisdiction over the five thousand already planted on the soil, was pur-
chased by an association of twelve Quakers, under the auspices of William Penn
A brief account of the
province was immediately published; and settlers were allured by a reasonable eulogy on its healthful climate and safe harbors, its fisheries and abundant game, its forests and fertile soil, and the large liberties established for the encouragement of adventurers.
Model of the Government of N. J. 146
1682, possession was taken by Thomas Rudyard,3
as temporary deputy-governor; the happy country was already tenanted by ‘a sober, professing people.’
Meantime the twelve proprietors selected each a partner; and, in March, 1683, to the twenty-four, among whom was
the timorous, cruel, iniquitous Perth
, afterwards chancellor of Scotland
, and the amiable, learned, and ingenious Barclay
, who became nominally the governor of the territory, a new and latest patent of East New Jersey
was granted by the duke of York
the largest emigration was expected; and, in 1685, just before embarking for America
with his own family and about two hundred passengers, George Scot of Pitlochie addressed to his countrymen an argument in favor of removing to a country where there was room for a man to flourish without wronging his neighbor.
‘It is judged the interest of the government’—thus he
wrote, apparently with the sanction of men in power—‘to suppress Presbyterian principles altogether; the whole force of the law of this kingdom is levelled at the effectual bearing them down.
The rigorous putting these laws in execution hath in a great part ruined many of those who, notwithstanding
thereof, find themselves in conscience obliged to retain
A retreat, where, by law, a toleration is allowed, doth at present offer itself in America
, and is no where else to be found in his majesty's dominions.’
This is the era at which East New Jersey
, till now chiefly colonized from New England
, became the asylum of Scottish Presbyterians.
Who has not heard of the ruthless crimes by which the Stuarts attempted to plant Episcopacy in Scotland
, on the ruins of Calvinism, and extirpate the faith of a whole people?
To whom has the tale not been told of the defeat of Graham
on Loudon Hill, and the subsequent rout of the insurgent fanatics at Bothwell Bridge?
Who has not heard of the Cameronians, hunted like beasts of prey, and exasperated by sufferings and despair?
refusing, in face of the gallows, to say, ‘God save the king;’ and charged even by their wives to die for the good old cause of the covenant?
‘I am but twenty,’ said an innocent girl at her execution; ‘and
they can accuse me of nothing but my judgment.’
The boot and the thumbikins could not extort confessions.
The condemnation of Argyle
prime nobility as ‘the vilest of mankind;’ and wide-
spread cruelty exhausted itself in devising punishments.
Just after the grant of East New Jersey
, a proclamation, unparalleled since the days when Alva drove the Netherlands into independence, proscribed all who had ever communed with rebels, and put twenty thousand lives at the mercy of informers.
‘It were better,’ said Lauderdale
, ‘the country bore windle straws and sand larks than boor rebels to the king.’
After the insurrection of Monmouth
, the sanguinary excesses of
despotic revenge were revived, gibbets erected in villages
to intimidate the people, and soldiers intrusted
with the execution of the laws.
Scarce a Presbyterian family in Scotland
but was involved in proscriptions or penalties; the jails overflowed, and their tenants were sold as slaves to the plantations.
Maddened by the succession of military murders; driven from their homes to caves, from caves to morasses and mountains; bringing death to the inmates of a house that should shelter them, death to the benefactor that should throw them food, death to the friend that listened to their complaint, death to the wife or the father that still dared to solace a husband or a son; ferreted out by spies; hunted with packs of dogs,—the fanatics turned upon their pursuers, and threatened to retaliate on the men who should continue to imbrue their hands in blood.
The council retorted by ordering a massacre.
He that would not take the oath, should be executed, though unarmed; and the recusants were shot on the roads, or as they labored in the fields, or as they stood in prayer.
To fly was a confession of guilt; to excite suspicion was sentence of death; to own the covenant was treason.
The houses of the victims were set on fire; their families shipped for the colonies.
‘It never will be well with Scotland
, till the country south of the Forth is reduced to a huntingfield.’
The remark is ascribed to James.
‘I doubt not, sir, but to be able to propose a way how to gratifie all such as your majestie shall be pleased to thinke deserving of it, without touching your exchequer,’ wrote Jeffries
to James II., just as he had passed sentence of transportation on hundreds of Monmouth
's English followers.
sent the hint to the north, and in Scotland
the business was equally well Understood.
The indemnity proclaimed on the acces-
sion of James II.
was an act of delusive clemency.
Every day wretched fugitives were tried by a jury of soldiers, and executed in clusters on the highways; women, fastened to stakes beneath the sea-mark, were drowned by the rising tide; the dungeons were crowded with men perishing for want of water and air. The humanity of the government was barbarous; of the shoals transported to America
, women were often burnt in the cheek, men marked by lopping off their ears.
Is it strange, that Scottish Presbyterians of virtue,
education, and courage, blending a love of popular liberty with religious enthusiasm, hurried to East New Jersey
in such numbers as to give to the rising common-
wealth a character which a century and a half has not effaced?
In 1686, after the judicial murder of the duke of Argyle
, his brother, Lord Neill Campbell
, who had purchased the proprietary right of Sir George Mackenzie
, and in the previous year had sent over a large number of settlers, came himself to act for a few months as chief magistrate.
withdrew, the executive power, weakened by transfers, was intrusted
by him to Andrew Hamilton
The territory, easy of access from its extended seaboard, its bays and rivers, flanked on the west by the safe outposts of the peaceful Quakers
, was the abode of peace and abundance, of deep religious faith, and of honest industry.
Peaches and vines grew wild on the river sides; the woods were crimsoned with strawberries; and ‘brave oysters’ abounded along the shore.
and rivulets, with ‘curious clear water,’ were as plenty as in the dear native Scotland
; the houses of the towns, unlike the pent villages of the old world, were scattered upon the several lots and farms; the highways were so
broad, that flocks of sheep could nibble by the roadside;
troops of horses multiplied in the woods.
In a few years, a law of the commonwealth, giving force to the common principle of the New England
and the Scottish Calvinists
, established a system of free schools.
It was ‘a gallant, plentiful’ country, where the humblest laborer might soon turn farmer for himself.
In all its borders, said Gawen Laurie
, the faithful Quaker
merchant, who had been Rudyard's successor, ‘there is not a poor body, or one that wants.’
Thus the mixed character of New Jersey
springs from the different sources of its people.
Puritans, Covenanters, and Quakers, met on her soil; and their faith, institutions, and preferences, having life in the common mind, survive the Stuarts.
Every thing breathed hope, but for the arbitrary cupidity of James II., and the navigation acts.
, the collector, eager to levy a tax on the commerce of the colony, complained of their infringement; in April, 1686, a writ of quo warranto against the proprietaries, menaced New Jersey
with being made ‘more dependent.’
It was of no avail to appeal to the justice of King James, who revered the prerogative with idolatry; and in 1688, to stay the process for forfeiture, the proprietaries, stipulating only for their right of property in the soil, surrendered their claim to the jurisdiction The province was annexed to New York.
In New York, the attempt to levy customs without
a colonial assembly, had been defeated by the grand Mar jury; and trade became free, just as Andros
was returning to England
All parties joined in entreating for the people a share in legislation.
The duke of York
The provincial revenue had expired; the ablest lawyers in England
questioned his right to
renew it; the province opposed its collection with a
spirit that required compliance, and in January, 1683, the newly appointed governor Thomas Dongan
, a Roman Catholic
, was instructed to call a general assembly of all the freeholders, by the persons whom they should choose to represent them.
Accordingly, on the seventeenth of the following October, about seventy years after Manhattan
was first occupied, about thirty years after the demand of the popular convention by the Dutch
, the people of New York met in assembly, and by their first act, claimed the rights of Englishmen.
‘Supreme legislative power’ —such was their further declaration—‘shall forever be and reside in the governor, council, and people, met in general assembly.
Every freeholder and freeman shall vote, for representation without restraint.
No freeman shall suffer but by judgment of his peers; and all trials shall be by a jury of twelve men. No tax shall be assessed, on any pretence whatever; but by the consent of the assembly.
No seaman or soldier shall be quartered on the inhabitants against their will.
No martial law shall exist.
No person, professing faith in God by Jesus Christ
, shall at any time be any ways disquieted or questioned for any difference of opinion.’
Thus did New York by its selfenacted ‘charter of liberties,’ take its place by the side of Virginia
, surpassing them both in religious toleration.
The proprietary accepted the revenue granted by the legislature for a limited period, permitted another session to be held, and promised to make no alterations in the form or matter of the bill containing the franchises and privileges of the colony, except for its advantage; but in 1685, in
less than a month after James the Second had ascended the throne, he prepared to overturn the institutions
which he had conceded.
A direct tax was
Chap XVII.} Wood, 103, 104
decreed by an ordinance; the titles to real estate
were questioned, that larger fees and quitrents might be extorted; and of the farmers of Easthampton
who protested against the tyranny, six were arraigned before the council.
While the liberties of New York were thus sequestered by a monarch who desired to imitate the despotism of France
, its frontiers had no protection against encroachments from Canada
, except in the valor of the Iroquois
, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas, the Five Nations, dwelling near the river and the lakes that retain their names, formed a confederacy of equal tribes.
The union of three of the nations precedes tradition; the Oneidas and Senecas were younger associates.
Each nation was a sovereign republic, divided again into clans, between which a slight subordination was scarcely perceptible.
The clansmen dwelt in fixed places of abode, surrounded by fields of beans and of maize; each castle, like a New England
town or a Saxon hundred, constituted a little democracy.
There was no slavery; no favored caste.
All men were equal.
The union was confirmed by an unwritten compact; the congress of the sachems, at Onondaga
, like the Witena-gemots of the Anglo-Saxons, transacted all common business.
Authority resided in opinion; law in oral tradition.
Honor and esteem enforced obedience; shame and contempt punished offenders.
The leading warrior was elected by the general confidence in his virtue and conduct; merit alone could obtain preferment to office; and power was as permanent as the esteem of the tribe.
No profit was attached to eminent station, to tempt the sordid.
As their brave men went forth to war, instead of martial
instruments, they were cheered by the clear voice of
On the smooth surface of a tree from which the outer bark had been peeled, they painted their deeds of valor by the simplest symbols.
These were their trophies and their annals; these and their war-songs preserved the memory of their heroes.
They proudly deemed themselves supreme among mankind; men excelling all others; and hereditary arrogance inspired their young men with dauntless courage.
, John Smith
, and Champlain
, were in America
together, the Mohawks had extended their strolls from the St. Lawrence
; half Long Island
paid them tribute; and a Mohawk sachem was reverenced on Massachusetts Bay
The geographical position of their fixed abodes, including within their immediate sway the headlands not of the Hudson
only, hut of the rivers that flow to the gulfs of Mexico
and St. Lawrence, the bays of Chesapeake
, opened widest regions to their canoes, and invited them to make their war-paths along the channels where New York and Pennsylvania
are now perfecting the avenues of commerce.
Becoming possessed of fire-arms by intercourse with the Dutch
, they renewed their merciless, hereditary warfare with the Hurons;
and, in the following years, the Eries, on the south
shore of the lake of which the name commemorates their existence, were defeated and extirpated.
ny was next descended, and the tribes near Pittsburg
, probably of the Huron
race, leaving no monument but a name to the Guyandot River
of Western Virginia
, were subjugated and destroyed.
In the east and in the west, from the Kennebec
to the Mississippi
, the Abenakis as well as the Miamis and the remoter Illinois
, could raise no barrier against the invasions of the Iroquois
but by alliances with the French
But the Five Nations had defied a prouder enemy.
At the commencement of the administration of Dongan
, the European
population of New France, which, in 1679, amounted to eight thousand five hundred and fifteen souls, may have been a little more than ten thousand: the number of men capable of bearing arms was perhaps three thousand, about the number of warriors of the Five Nations.
But the Iroquois
were freemen; New France suffered from despotism and monopoly.
recruited their tribes by adopting captives of foreign nations; New France was sealed against the foreigner and the heretic.
For nearly fourscore years, hostilities had prevailed, with few interruptions.
Thrice did Champlain
invade the country of the Mohawks, till he was driven with wounds
and disgrace from their wilderness fastnesses.
The Five Nations, in return, at the period of the massacre in Virginia
, attempted the destruction of New France.
Though repulsed, they continued to defy the province and its allies, and, under the eyes of its governor,
openly intercepted canoes destined for Quebec
The French authority was not confirmed by founding a
feeble outpost at Montreal
; and Fort Richelieu, at the
mouth of the Sorel, scarce protected its immediate environs.
Negotiations for peace led to no permanent
result; and even the influence of the Jesuit
missionaries, the most faithful, disinterested, and persevering of their order, could not permanently restrain the sanguinary vengeance of the barbarians.
warriors scoured every wilderness to lay it still more waste; they thirsted for the blood of the few men who roamed over the regions between Huron
, and Ontario
Depopulating the whole country on the
Outawa, they obtained an acknowledged superiority
over New France, mitigated only by commercial rela-
tions of the French
traders with the tribes that dwelt farthest from the Hudson
The colony was still in perpetual danger; and Quebec
itself was besieged.
To what use a winter's invasion of the country of the Mohawks?
The savages disappeared, leav-
ing their European
adversaries to war with the wilderness.
By degrees the French
made firmer advances; and a fort built at the outlet of Ontario
, for the purpose, as
was pretended, of having a convenient place for treaties, commanded the commerce of the lake
We have seen the Mohawks brighten the covenant
chain that bound them to the Dutch
, on recovering the banks of the Hudson
, confirmed, without delay, the Indian
alliance, and, by the confidence with which their friendship inspired the Iroquois
, increased the dangers that hovered over New France.
The ruin which menaced Canada
gave a transient
existence to a large legislative council; and an assembly of notables
was convoked by De la Barre
, the governor-general
, to devise a remedy for the ills under which the settlements languished.
It marks the character of the colonists, that, instead of demanding civil franchises, they solicited a larger garrison from Louis XIV.
The governor of New York had been instructed to
preserve friendly relations with the French
; but Dongan
refused to neglect the Five Nations.
From the French
traders who were restrained by a strict monopoly, the wild hunters of beaver turned to the English
, who favored competition; and their mutual ties were strengthened by an amnesty of past injuries.
Along the war-paths of the Five Nations, down the
Susquehannah, and near the highlands of Virginia
, and Cayuga
warriors had left bloody traces of their presence.
The impending struggle with New France quickened the desire of renewing peace with the English
; and the deputies from the Mohawks and the three offending tribes,
soon joined by the Senecas, met the governors of New York and Virginia
To the complaints and the pacific proposals of Lord
Howard of Effingham
, Cadianne, the Mohawk
‘Sachem of Virginia
, and you, Corlaer
, sachem of New York, give ear, for we will not conceal the evil that has been done.’
The orator then rebuked the Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas, for their want of faith, and gave them a belt of wampum, to quicken their memory.
Then, turning to Effingham
, he continued:—
Great sachem of Virginia, these three beaver-skins are a token of our gladness that your heart is softened; these two of our joy, that the axe is to be buried.
We are glad that you will bury in the pit what is past.
Let the earth be trod hard over it; let a strong stream run under the pit, to wash the evil away out of our sight and remembrance, so that it never may be digged up.
You are wise to keep the covenant-chain bright as silver; and now to renew it and make it stronger.
These nations are chain-breakers; we Mohawks
—as he spoke he gave two beavers and a raccoon—
we Mohawks have kept the chain entire.
The covenant must be preserved; the fire of love of Virginia and Maryland, and of the Five Nations, burns in this place: this house of peace must be kept clean.
We plant a tree whose top shall touch the sun, whose branches
shall be seen afar.
We will shelter ourselves under it, and live in unmolested peace.
At the conclusion of the treaty, each of the three offending nations gave a hatchet to be buried.
‘We bury none for ourselves,’ said the Mohawks, ‘for we have never broken the ancient chain.’
The axes were buried, and the offending tribes in noisy rapture chanted the song of peace.
‘Brother Corlaer,’ said a chief for the Onondagas
and Cayugas, ‘your sachem is a great sachem; and we are a small people.
When the English
came first to Manhattan
, to Virginia
, and to Maryland
, they were a small people, and we were great.
Because we found you a good people, we treated you kindly, and gave you land.
Now, therefore, that you are great and we small, we hope you will protect us from the French
They are angry with us because we carry beaver to our brethren.’
The envoys of the Senecas soon arrived, and ex-
pressed their delight, that the tomahawk was already buried, and all evil put away from the hearts of the English
On the same day, a messenger from De la Barre
appeared at Albany
But his complaints were unheeded.
‘We have not wandered from our paths,’ said the Senecas.
‘But when Onondio, the sachem of Canada
, threatens us with war, shall we run away?
Shall we sit still in our houses?
Our beaverhunters are brave men, and the beaver-hunt must be free.’
The sachems returned to nail the arms of the duke of York
over their castles—a protection, as they thought, against the French
—an acknowledgment, as the English
deemed, of British sovereignty.
Meantime the rash and confident De la Barre
, with six hundred French soldiers, four hundred Indian allies,
our hundred carriers, and three hundred men for a
garrison, advanced to the fort which stood near the outlet of the present Rideau Canal.
But the unhealthy exhalations of August on the marshy borders of Ontario
disabled his army; and, after crossing the lake, and disembarking his wasted troops in the land of the Onondagas, he was compelled to solicit peace from the tribes whom he had designed to exterminate.
, at the request of the English
, refused to negotiate, but the other nations, jealous of English supremacy, desired to secure independence by balancing the French
against the English
chief called Heaven to witness his resentment at English interference.
‘Onondio,’ he proudly exclaimed to the envoy of New York, ‘Onondio has for ten years been our father; Corlaer
has long been our brother.
But it is because we have willed it so. Neither the one nor the other is our master.
He who made the world gave us the land in which we dwell.
We are free.
You call us subjects; we say we are brethren; we must take care of ourselves.
I will go to my father, for he has come to my gate, and desires to speak with me words of reason.
We will embrace peace instead of war; the axe shall be thrown into a deep water.’
The deputies of the tribes repaired to the presence
of De la Barre
to exult in his humiliation.
‘It is well for you,’ said the eloquent Haaskouaun
, rising from the calumet, ‘that you have left under ground the hatchet which has so often been dyed in the blood of the French
Our children and old men had carried their bows and arrows into the heart of your camp, if our braves had not kept them back.—Our warriors have not beaver enough to pay for the arms we have taken from the French
; and our old men are not afraid of
war.—We may guide the English
to our lakes.
We depend neither on Onondio nor Corlaer
Dismayed by the energy of the Seneca
chief, the governor of Canada
accepted a disgraceful treaty, leaving his allies at the mercy of their enemies.
Meantime fresh troops arrived from France
, and De la Barre
was superseded by Denonville, an officer whom Charlevoix
extols as possessing, in a sovereign degree, every quality of a perfectly honorable man. His example, it is said, made virtue and religion more respectable: his tried valor and active zeal were en-
hanced by prudence and sagacity.
But blind obedience paralyzes conscience and enslaves reason; and quiet pervaded neither the Five Nations nor the English
For the defence of New France, a fort was to be established at Niagara
The design, which would have
controlled the entire fur-trade of the Upper Lakes
, was resisted by Dongan
; for, it was said, the country south of the lakes, the whole domain of the Iroquois
, is sub ject to England
Thus began the long contest for territory in the west.
The limits between the English
and French never were settled; but, for the present, the Five Nations of themselves were a sufficient bulwark against encroachments from Canada
, and in the summer of 1686, a party of English traders penetrated even to Michilimackinac.
The gentle spirit which swayed William Penn
at Shackamaxon did not find its way into the voluptuous councils of Versailles
‘The welfare of my service’— such were the instructions of Louis XIV.
to the gov-
ernor of New France—‘requires that the number of the Iroquois
should be diminished as much as possible.
They are strong and robust, and can be made useful
Do what you can to take a large
number of them prisoners of war, and ship them for France
By open hostilities, no captives could be made; and Lamberville
, the missionary among the Onondagas, was unconsciously employed to decoy the Iroquois
chiefs into the fort on Ontario
Invited to negotiate a treaty, they assemble without distrust, are surprised, put in irons, hurried to Quebec
, and thence to Europe
, and the warrior hunters of the Five Nations, who used to roam from Hudson's Bay to Carolina
, were chained to the oar in the galleys of Marseilles
But the counsels of injustice are always fearfully avenged; and the sins of the fathers are jealously visited on the children unto the third and fourth generation.
We shall hereafter have occasion to pursue the maritime destinies of a monarchy of which the fleets employed slaves for mariners.
Meantime the old men of the Onondagas summoned Lamberville
to their presence.
‘We have much reason,’ said an aged chief, ‘to treat thee as an enemy, but we know thee too well.
Thou hast betrayed us; but treason was not in thy heart.
Fly, therefore, for when our young braves shall have sung their war-song, they will listen to no voice but the swelling voice of their anger.’
And trusty guides conducted the missionary through by-paths into a place of security.
The noble forbearance was due to the counsel of Garonkonthie.
your honor shall endure, if words of mine can preserve the memory of
An incursion into the country of the Senecas followed.
The savages retired into remoter forests; of the country which was overrun without resistance, possession was taken by the French
, and a fort erected
seemed to have gained firm pos-
session of Western New York.
But as the French
army withdrew, the wilderness remained to its old inhabitants.
in their turn made a descent upon their still feebler enemy; and the Onondagas threatened war. ‘Onondio has stolen our sachems; he has broken,’ said they, ‘the covenant of peace;’ and Dongan
, at the solicitation of the French
, offered himself as mediator, but only on condition that the kidnapped chiefs should be ransomed, the fort in the Iroquois
country razed, and the spoils of the Senecas restored.
The negotiations fail; and Haaskouaun advances
with five hundred warriors to dictate the terms of peace.
‘I have always loved the French
,’ said the proud chieftain to the foes whom he scorned.
‘Our warriors proposed to come and burn your forts, your houses, your granges, and your corn; to weaken you by famine, and then to overwhelm you. I am come to tell Onondio he can escape this misery, if within four days he will yield to the terms which Corlaer
Twelve hundred Iroquois
were already on Lake St. Francis
; in two days they could reach Montreal
The haughty condescension of the Seneca
chief was accepted, the ransom of the Iroquois
and the whole country south of the chain of lakes rescued from the dominion of Canada
In the course of events, New York owes its present northern boundary to the valor of the Five Nations.
But for them Canada
would have embraced the basin of the St. Lawrence
During these events, James II.
had, in a treaty with
Louis XIV., made it a condition of amity between the colonies of the two states, that neither should assist the
indian tribes with whom the other might be at war.
Thus did the king of England
ignorantly abandon his allies.
Yet, with all his faults, James II.
had a strong sentiment of English nationality; and, in consolidating the northern colonies, he hoped to engage the energies of New England
in defence of the whole English frontier.
The alarm of Massachusetts
at the loss of its charter
had been increased by the news that Kirke
, afterwards infamous for military massacres in the West
, was destined for its governor.
It was a relief to find that Joseph Dudley
, a degenerate son of the colony, was intrusted for a season with the highest powers of magistracy over the country from Narragansett
to Nova Scotia
The general court, in session at his arrival, and unprepared for open resist-
ance, dissolved their assembly, and returned in sadness to their homes.
The charter government was publicly
displaced by the arbitrary commission, popular representation abolished, and the press subjected to the
censorship of Randolph
At last, Sir Edmund Andros
, glittering in scarlet and
lace, landed at Boston
, as governor of all New England
How unlike Penn
He was authorized to remove and appoint members of his council, and, with their consent, to make laws, lay taxes, and control the militia of the country.
He was instructed to tolerate no printing-press
, to encourage Episcopacy, and to sustain authority by force.
From New York came West as secretary; and in the council, four subservient members, of whom but one was a New England
man, alone commanded his attention.
The other members of the council formed a fruitless but united opposition.
‘His excellency,’ said Randolph
, ‘has to do with a perverse people.’
A series of measures followed, the most vexatious
and tyrannical to which men of English descent were ever exposed.
‘The wicked walked on every side;
and the vilest men were exalted.’
As agents of James II., they established an arbitrary government; as men in office, they coveted large emoluments.
The schools of learning, formerly so well taken care of, were allowed to go to decay.
The religious institutions were impaired by abolishing the methods of their support.
‘It is pleasant,’ said the foreign agents of tyranny, ‘to behold poor coblers and pitiful me-
chanics, who have neither home nor land, strutting and making noe mean figure at their elections, and some of the richest merchants and wealthiest of the people stand by as insignificant cyphers;’ and therefore a town-meeting was allowed only for the choice of town
The vote by ballot was rejected.
To a committee from Lynn
said plainly, ‘There is no such thing as a town in the whole country.’
To assemble in town-meeting for deliberation was an act of sedition or a riot.
Personal liberty and the customs of the country
None might leave the country without a special permit.
Probate fees were increased almost twenty fold.
‘West,’ says Randolph
,—for dishonest men betray one another,—‘extorts what fees he pleases, to the great oppression of the people, and renders the present government grievous.’
To the scrupulous Puritans, the idolatrous custom of laying the hand on the Bible
, in taking an oath, operated as a widely-disfranchising test.
The Episcopal service had never yet been performed within Massachusetts Bay
, except by the chaplain of the hated commission of 1665.
Its day of liberty was come.
demanded one of the meeting-houses
for the church.
The wrongs of a century crowded
on the memories of the Puritans as they answered, ‘We cannot with a good conscience consent.’
declared he would not ring the
bell; but at the appointed hour the bell rung; and the love of liberty did not expire, even though, in a Boston meeting-house, the Common Prayer
was read in a surplice.
By-and-by, the people were desired to con-
tribute towards erecting a church.
‘The bishops,’ answered Sewall
, and wisely, ‘would have thought strange to have been asked to contribute towards setting up New England
At the instance and with the special concurrence of James II., a tax of a penny in the pound, and a poll-tax
of twenty pence, with a subsequent increase of duties, were laid by Andros
and his council.
The towns generally refused payment.
Wilbore, of Taunton
, was imprisoned for writing a protest.
To the people of Ipswich
, in town-meeting, John Wise
, the minister who
used to assert, ‘Democracy is Christ
's government in church and state,’ advised resistance.—‘We have,’ said he, ‘a good God and a good king; we shall do well to stand to our privileges.’—‘You have no privilege,’ answered one of the council, after the arraignment of Wise
and the selectmen, ‘you have no privilege left you but not to be sold as slaves.’—‘Do you believe,’ demanded Andros
, ‘Joe and Tom may tell the
king what money he may have?’
The writ of habeas corpus was withheld.
The prisoners pleaded Magna Charta
. ‘Do not think,’ replied one of the judges, ‘the laws of England
follow you to the ends of the earth.’
And in his charge to the packed jury, Dudley
spoke plainly, ‘Worthy gentlemen, we expect a good verdict from you.’
The verdict followed; and after imprison ment came heavy fines and partial disfranchisements.
Oppression threatened the country with ruin; and
the oppressors, quoting an opinion current among the mercantile monopolists of England
, answered without disguise, ‘It is not for his majesty's interest you should thrive.’
The taxes, in amount not grievous, were for public
purposes. But the lean wolves of tyranny were themselves hungry for spoils.
In 1680, Randolph
had hinted that ‘the Bostoneers have no right to government or land, but are usurpers.’
King James did indeed command, that ‘their several properties, according to their ancient records,’ should be granted them; the fee for the grants was the excuse for extortion.
the inhabitants,’ wrote Randolph
, exultingly, ‘must take new grants of their lands, which will bring in vast profits.’
Indeed, there was not money enough in the country to have paid the exorbitant fees which were demanded.
The colonists pleaded their charter; but grants under the charter were declared void by its forfeiture.— Lynde
, of Charlestown
, produced an Indian deed.
It was pronounced ‘worth no more than the scratch of a bear's paw.’
Lands were held, not by a feudal tenure, but under grants from the general court to towns, and from towns to individuals.
The town of Lynn
produced its records; they were slighted ‘as not worth a rush.’
Others pleaded possession and use of the land.
‘You take possession,’ it was answered, ‘for the king.’—‘The men of Massachusetts
did much quote Lord Coke;’ but, defeated in argument by An-
dros, who was a good lawyer, John Higginson
, minister of Salem
, went back from the common law of England
to the book of Genesis, and, remembering that God
Revolu uon in N E. 18, 19.
gave the earth to the sons of Adam
to be subdued and
replenished, declared, that the people of New England
held their lands ‘by the grand charter from God.’
, incensed, bade him approve himself ‘a subject or a rebel.’
The lands reserved for the poor, generally all common lands, were appropriated by favorites; writs of intrusion were multiplied; and fees, amounting, in some cases, to one fourth the value of an estate, were exacted for granting a patent to its owner.
A selected jury offered no relief.
‘Our condition,’ said Danforth
, ‘is little inferior to absolute slave-
ry;’ and the people of Lynn
afterwards gave thanks to God for their escape from the worst of bondage ‘The governor invaded liberty and property after such a manner,’ said the temperate Increase Mather
, ‘as no man could say any thing was his own.’
The jurisdiction of Andros
had, from the first, com-
prehended all New England
Against the charter of Rhode Island
a writ of quo warranto
had been issued.
The judgment against Massachusetts
left no hope of protection from the courts, submissive to the royal will; and the Quakers, acting under instructions from the towns, resolved not ‘to stand suit,’ but to appeal to the
conscience of the king for the ‘privileges and liberties granted by Charles II., of blessed memory.’
Flowers were strown on the tomb of Nero
; and the colony of Rhode Island
had cause to bless the memory of Charles II.
Soon after the arrival of Andros
, he demanded the surrender of the charter.
, the governor,
insisted on waiting for ‘a fitter season.’
Repairing to Rhode Island
dissolved its government and
broke its seal; five of its citizens were appointed members of his council, and a commission, irresponsible to the people, was substituted for the suspended system of freedom.
That the magistrates levied moderate taxes,
payable in wool or other produce, is evident from the
It was pretended that the people of Rhode Island
were satisfied, and did not so much as petition for their charter again.
In the autumn of the same year, Andros
by some of his council, and by an armed guard, set forth for Connecticut
, to assume the government of that place.
How unlike the march of Hooker
and his peaceful flock!
had in vain solicited the people of Connecticut
to submit to his jurisdiction; yet they desired, least of all, to hazard the continuance of liberty on the decision of the dependent English courts.
On the third writ of quo warrant
, the colony, in a petition to the king, asserted its chartered rights, yet desired, in any event, rather to share the fortunes of Massachusetts
than to be annexed to New York.
found the assembly in session, and demanded
the surrender of its charter.
The brave Governor Treat
pleaded earnestly for the cherished patent, which
had been purchased by sacrifices and martyrdoms, and was endeared by halcyon days.
The shades of evening descended during the prolonged discussion; an anxious crowd of farmers had gathered to witness the debate.
The charter lay on the table.
Of a sudden, the lights are extinguished; and, as they are rekindled, the charter has disappeared.
, of Hartford
, stealing noiselessly through the opening crowd, concealed the precious parchment in the hollow of an oak, which was older than the colony, and long remained
to confirm the tale.
assumed the government, selected councillors, and, demanding the records of Connecticut
, to the annals of its freedom set the word Finis
resist, and alone declare independence?
The colonists submitted; yet
their consciences were afterwards ‘troubled at their
lost its liberties, the eastern frontier, was depopulated.
An expedition against the French
establishments, which have left a name to Castine
, roused the passions of the neighboring Indians
; and Andros
, after a short deference to the example of Penn
, made a vain pursuit of a retreating enemy, who
had for their powerful allies the savage forests and the inclement winter.
Not long after the first excursion to the east, the
whole seaboard from Maryland
to the St. Croix
was united in one extensive despotism.
The entire dominion, of which Boston
, the largest English town in the New World, was the capital, was abandoned to Andros
, its governor-general, and to Randolph
, its secretary, with his needy associates.
But the impoverished country disappointed avarice.
The eastern part of Maine
had already been pillaged by agents, who had been—it is Randolph
's own statement—‘as arbitrary as the Grand Turk
;’ and in New York also, there was, as Randolph
expressed it, ‘little good to be done,’ for its people ‘had been squeezed dry by Don-
But, on the arrival of the new commission, Andros
hastened to the south to supersede his hated 30.
rival, and assume the government of New York and New Jersey
The spirit which led forth the colonies of New England
, kept their liberties alive; in the general gloom, the ministers preached sedition, and planned resistance.
Once at least, to the great anger of the governor, they put by thanksgiving; and at private
fasts they besought the Lord
to repent himself for his servants, whose power was gone.
refused to despair, confident that God would
yet ‘be exalted among the heathen.’
On the Lord
's day, which was to have been the day of thanksgiving for the queen's pregnancy, the church was much grieved at the weakness of Allen
, who, from the literal version of the improved Bay Psalm Book, gave out,—
Jehovah, in thy strength
And joy in thy salvation,
Thou granted hast to him
And thou hast not with holden back
The king shall joyful be,
How vehemently shall hee!
That which his heart desired,
That which his lips required.
, while, before prayer, he read, among many other notices, the occasion of the governor's gratitude, and, after Puritan
usage, interceded largely for the king, ‘otherwise altered not his course one jot,’ and, as the crisis drew near, goaded the people with the text, ‘Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, warring against sin.’
Yet desperate measures were postponed, that one of the ministers might make an appeal to the king; and Increase Mather
, escaping the vigilance of Randolph
, was already embarked on the dangerous mission for redress.
But relief came from a revolution of which the influence was to pervade the European
On the restoration of Charles II., the Puritan
publican element lost all hope of gaining dominion; and the history of England
, during its next period, is but the history of the struggle for a compromise between the republican and the monarchical principle The contest for freedom was continued, yet within limits so narrow as never to endanger the existence, or even question the right, of monarchy itself.
The people had attempted a democratic revolution, and had failed; it was now willing to wait and watch the
movements of the property of the country, and, no
longer struggling to control events, ranged itself generally, yet without enthusiasm, on the side of the more liberal and tolerant party of the aristocracy.
The ministry of Clarendon
, the first after the resto-
ration, acknowledged the indefeasible sovereignty of the king, and sought in the prelates and high nobility the natural allies to the royal prerogative.
Its policy, not destitute of honest nationality, nor wholly regardless of English liberties, yet renewed intolerance, and, while it respected a balance of powers, claimed the preponderance for the monarch.
But twenty years of freedom had rendered the dominion of the Church of England impossible.
was dissatisfied; ceasing to desire a republic, she still demanded greater security for freedom.
But as no general election for parliament was held, a change of ministry could be effected only by a faction within the palace.
The royal council sustained Clarendon
; the rakes about court, railing at his moroseness, echoed the popular clamor against him. His overthrow ‘was certainly designed in Lady Castlemaine
's chamber;’ and, as he retired at noonday from the audience of dismission, she ran undressed from her bed into her aviary, to enjoy the spectacle of the fallen minister, and ‘bless herself, at the old man's going away.’
gallants of Whitehall
crowded to ‘talk to her in her bird-cage.’—‘You,’ said they to her, as they glanced at the retiring chancellor, ‘you are the bird of passage.’
The administration of the king's cabal followed. England
had demanded a liberal ministry; it obtained a dissolute one: it had demanded a ministry not enslaved to prelacy; it obtained one indifferent to all religion, and careless of every thing but pleasure.
, the noble buffoon at its head, debauched other men's
wives, fought duels, and kept about him a train of vo-
Chap. XVII.} 1668 to 1671.
luptuaries; but he was not, like Clarendon
, a tory by system; far from building up the exclusive Church of England, he ridiculed bishops as well as sermons; and when the Quakers went to him with their hats on, to discourse on the equal rights of every conscience, he told them, that he was at heart in favor of their princi-
ple. English honor was wrecked; English finances became bankrupt; but the progress of the nation towards internal freedom was no longer opposed with steadfast consistency; and England
was better satisfied than it had been with the wise and virtuous Clarendon
As the tendency of the cabal became apparent, a new division necessarily followed: the king was surrounded by men who still desired to uphold the prerogative, and stay the movement of the age; while Shaftesbury
, always consistent in his purpose, ‘unwill-
ing to hurt the king, yet desiring to keep him tame in a cage;’ averse to the bishops, because the bishops would place prerogative above liberty; averse to democracy, because democracy would substitute freedom for privilege,—in organizing a party, afterwards known as the whig party, suited himself to the spirit of the times.
It was an age of progress towards liberty of conscience; Shaftesbury
favored toleration: it was an age when the vast increase of commercial activity claimed for the moneyed interest an influence in the government; Shaftesbury
always lent a willing ear to the merchants.
Commerce and Protestant toleration were the elements of his power over the public mind.
He did not so much divide dominion with the merchants and the Presbyterians, as act as their patron; having himself for his main object to keep ‘the bucket’ of
the aristocracy from sinking.
The declaration of in
dulgence, an act of high prerogative, yet directed
Chap XVII.} Penn, III. 212, 213.
against the friends of prerogative, was his measure.
Immediately freedom of conscience awakened in English industry unparalleled energies, and Shaftesbury
, the skeptic chancellor, was eulogized as the savior of religion.
Had the king been firm, the measure would probably have succeeded.
The king wavered; for he feared the dissenters: the Presbyterians wavered also; for how could they be satisfied with relief dependent on the royal pleasure?
The seal of the declaration was broken in the king's presence; and Shaftesbury
, confiding no longer in the favor of his fickle sovereign, courted a popular party by securing the passage of a test act against Papists, and advocating with power a bill for the ease of Protestant dissenters.
Under the Lord Treasurer Danby
, the old Cavaliers
It was the day for statues to Charles I., and new cathedrals.
To win strength for his party from the favor of Protestant opinion, Danby
avowed his willingness to aid in crushing Popery, and he gave his influence to the Popish plot.
was already sure of the merchants and dissenters.
‘Let the treasurer,’ exclaimed the fallen chancellor, ‘cry as loud as he pleases; I will cry a note louder, and soon take his place at the head of the plot;’ and, indifferent to perjuries and judicial murders, he was successful.
In the subservient house of commons, there were many corrupt members who would never have been elected but in the first fit of loyalty at the restoration.
preferred the unfitness of a perpetual parliament to the hazard of a new election, and, by pensions and rewards, purchased the votes of the profligate.
But knavery has a wisdom of its own; the
profligate members had a fixed maxim, never to grant
so much at once that they should cease to be wanted; and, discovering the intrigues of Danby
for a permanent revenue from France
, they were honorably true to nationality, and true also to the base instinct of selfishness,
they impeached the minister.
To save the minister, this longest of English parliaments was dissolved.
When, after nineteen years, the people of England
were once more allowed to elect representatives, the great majority against the court compelled a reorganization of the ministry; and, by the force of public opinion, and of parliament, Shaftesbury
, whom, for his mobility and his diminutive stature, the king called Little Sincerity, compelled the reluctant monarch to
appoint him lord president of the council.
The event is an era in English history.
Ministers had been impeached and driven from office by the commons.
It is the distinction of Shaftesbury
, that he was the first statesman to attain the guidance of a ministry through parliament by means of an organized party, and against the wishes of the king.
In the cabinet, the bill of exclusion of the duke of York
from the succession was demanded; a bill for that purpose was introduced into the house of commons; and it was observed, that the young men cried up every measure against the duke;
‘like so many young spaniels, that run and bark at every lark that springs.’—‘The axe,’ wrote Charles, ‘is laid to the root; and monarchy must go down too, or bow exceeding low before the almighty power of parliament;’ and just after Shaftesbury
, who, as
chancellor, had opened the prison-doors of Bunyan
, now, as president of the council, had procured the passage of the habeas corpus act, the commons were prorogued and dissolved.
and henceforward the councils of the Stuarts inclined
Chap. XVII.} Penn, III. 181 1679 Oct. 5
Immediately universal agitation roused the spirit of the nation.
Under the influence of Shaftesbury
's genius, on Queen Elizabeth's night, a vast procession, bearing devices and wax figures representing nuns and monks, bishops in copes and mitres, and also—it should be observed, for it proves how much the Presbyterians were courted—bishops in lawn, cardinals in red caps, and, last of all, the pope of Rome
, side by side in a litter with the devil, moved through the streets of London
, under the glare of thousands of flambeaux, and in the presence of two hundred thousand spectators; the disobedient Monmouth
was welcomed with bonfires and peals of bells; a panic was created, as if every Protestant freeman were to be massacred, every wife and daughter to be violated; the kingdom was divided into districts among committees to procure petitions for a parliament, one of which had twenty thousand signatures, and measured three hundred feet; and at last the most cherished Anglo-Saxon
institution was made to do service, when Shaftesbury
, represented to the grand jury the mighty dangers from Popery, indicted the duke of York
as a recusant, and reported the duchess of Portsmouth
, the kings new mistress, as ‘a common neusance.’
The extreme agitation was successful; and in two successive parliaments, in each of which men who were at heart dissenters had the majority, the bill for excluding the duke of York
was passed by triumphant votes in
the house of commons, and defeated only by the lords and the king.
But the public mind, firm, even to superstition, in its respect for hereditary succession, was not ripe for
the measure of exclusion.
After less than a week's
Chap. XVII.} 1681. March 21 to 27.
session, Charles II.
dissolved the last parliament of his reign, and appealed to the people against his enemies.
To avoid the charge of despotism, he still hanged a Papist whom he knew to be innocent; and his friends declared him to have no other purpose than to resist the arbitrary sway of ‘a republican prelacy,’ and the installation of the multitude in the chair of infallibility.
The ferocious intolerance which had sustained the Popish plot, lost its credit; men dreaded anarchy and civil war more than they feared the royal prerogative.
The king had already exercised the power of restricting the liberty of the press; through judges, who held places at his pleasure, he was supreme in the courts; omitting to convoke parliament, he made himself irresponsible to the people; pursuing a judicial warfare against city charters and the monopolies of boroughs, he reformed many real abuses, but, at the same time, subjected the corporations to his influence.
Controlling the appointment of sheriffs, he controlled the nomination of juries; and thus, in the last three or four years of the reign of King Charles II., the government of England
was administered as an absolute monarchy.
An ‘association’ against the duke of York
could not succeed among a calculating aristocracy, as the Scottish covenant had done among a faithful people; and, on its disclosure and defeat, the voluntary exile of Shaftesbury
excited no plebeian regret.
No deep popular indignation attended Russel
to the scaffold; and on the day on which the purest martyr to aristocratic liberty laid his head on the block, the university of Oxford
decreed absolute obedience to be the character of the Church of England, while parts of the writings of Knox
, and Baxter
, were pronounced
‘false, seditious and impious, heretical and blasphe-
Chap. XVII.} 1683. Dec. 7
mous, infamous to the Christian
religion, and destructive of all government,’ and were therefore ordered to be burnt.
followed to the scaffold.
Thus liberty, which excited loyalty, at the restoration, banished from among the people, made its way through rakes and the king's mistress into the royal councils.
Driven from the palace, it appealed to parliament and the people, and won power through the frenzied antipathy to Roman Catholics.
Exiled from parliament by their dissolution, from the people by the ebb of excitement, it concealed itself in an aristocratic association and a secret aristocratic council.
Chased from its hiding-place by disclosures and executions, and having no hope from parliament, people, the press, the courts of justice, the king, it left the soil of England
, and fled for refuge to the country of the prince of Orange
How entirely monarchy had triumphed in England
appeared on the death of Charles II.
His brother, whom the commons, in three successive parliaments, had desired to exclude, ascended the throne without opposition, continued taxes by his prerogative, easily suppressed the insurrection of Monmouth
, convened a parliament, under the new system of charters, so subservient, that it bowed its back to royal chastisement; while the ‘Presbyterian rascals,’ the troublesome Calvinists
, who, from the days of Edward VI., had kept English liberty alive, were consigned to the courts of law. ‘Richard,’ said Jefferies to Baxter
, ‘Richard, thou art an old knave; thou hast written books enough to load a cart, every one as full of sedition as an egg is full of meat.
I know thou hast a mighty party, and a great many of the brotherhood are waiting in corners
to see what will become of their mighty Don; but, by
the grace of Almighty God, I'll crush you all;’ and the docile jury found ‘the main incendiary’ guilty of sedition.
Faction had ebbed; ‘rogues’ had grown out of fashion; there was nothing left for them but to ‘thrive in the plantations’ of our America
, and learn, said the royalists,
How Pennsylvania's air agrees with Quakers,
And Carolina's with Associators;
Both e'en too good for madmen and for traitors.
Truth is, the land with saints is so run o'er,
And every age produces such a store,
That now there's need of two New Englands more.
But the tide of liberty was still swelling, and soon wafted the ‘saints,’ and ‘rogues,’ and ‘rascals,’ to their deliverance.
To understand fully the revolution which followed, it must be borne in mind, that the great mass of dissenters were struggling for liberty; but, checked by the memory of the disastrous issue of the previous revolution, they ranged themselves, with deliberate moderation, under the more liberal party of the aristocracy.
's army, the officers had been, ‘for the most
part, the meanest sort of men, even brewers, coblers, and other mechanics;’ recruits for the camp of William
were led by bishops and the high nobility.
There was a vast popular movement, but it was subordinate; the proclamation of the prince took notice of the people only as ‘followers’ of the gentry.
Yet the revolution of 1688 is due to the dissenters quite as much as to the whig aristocracy; to Baxter
hardly less than to Shaftesbury
It is the consummation of the collision which, in the days of Henry VIII.
and Edward, began between the Churchmen and the Puritans,
between those who invoked religion on the side
of passive obedience, and those who esteemed religion superior to man, and held resistance to tyranny a Christian duty.
If the whig aristocracy looked to the stadtholder of aristocratic Holland
as the protector of their liberties, Baxter
and the Presbyterians saw in William the Calvinist their tolerant avenger.
Of the two great aristocratic parties which led the politics of England
, both respected the established British constitution.
But the tory opposed reform, and leaned to the past; he defended his privileges against the encroachments of advancing civilization.
The bishops, claiming for themselves a divine right by direct succession, were his natural allies; and to assert the indefeasible rights of the bishops, of the aristocracy, and of the king, against dissenters, republicans, and whigs, was his whole purpose.
The whigs were also a party of the aristocracy, bent on the preservation of their privileges against the encroachments of the monarch.
In an age that demanded liberty, the whigs, scarce proposing new enfranchisements, gathered up every liberty, feudal or popular, known to English law, and sanctioned by the fictitious compact of prescription.
In a period of progress in the enfranchisement of classes, they shared political influence with the merchants and bankers; in an age of religious sects, they embraced the more moderate and liberal of the Church of England, and those of the dissenters whose dissent was the least glaring; in an age of speculative inquiry, they favored freedom of the press.
How vast was the party, is evident, since it cherished among its numbers men so opposite as Shaftesbury
and Sidney, as Locke
These two parties embraced almost all the wealth
and learning of England
But there was a third party
of those who were pledged to ‘seek, and love, and chuse the best things.’
They insisted that all penal statutes and tests should be abolished; that, for all classes of nonconformists, whether Roman Catholics or dissenters, for the plebeian sects, ‘the less noble and more clownish sort of people,’ ‘the unclean
kind,’ room should equally be made in the English
ark; that the Church of England, content with its estates, should give up jails, whips, halters, and gibbets, and cease to plough the deep furrows of persecution; that the concession of equal freedom would give strength to the state, security to the prince, content to the multitude, wealth to the country, and would fit England
for its office of asserting European
liberty against the ambition of France
; that reason, natural right, and public interest, demanded a glorious magna charta
for intellectual freedom, even though the grant should be followed by ‘a dissolution of the great corporation of conscience.’
These were the views which were advocated by William Penn
against what he calls ‘the prejudices of his times;’ and which overwhelmed his name with obloquy as a friend to tyranny and a Jesuit priest in disguise.
But the easy issue of the contest grew out of a
division in the monarchical party itself.
could not comprehend the value of freedom, or the obligation of law. The writ of habeas corpus he esteemed inconsistent with monarchy, and ‘a great misfortune to the people.’
A standing army, and the terrors of corrupt tribunals, were his dependence; the pupil of Turenne
delighted in military parades; the Catholic
convert, swayed by his confessor, dispensed with the laws, multiplied Catholic chapels, rejoiced in
the revocation of the edict of Nantz, and sought to
intrust civil and military power to the hands of Roman Catholics.
The bishops had unanimously voted against his exclusion; and, as the badge of the Church of England was obedience, he for a season courted the alliance of ‘the fairest of the spotted kind,’ the only tolerable Protestant sect.
To win her favor for Roman Catholics, he was willing to persecute Protestant dissenters.
This is the period of the influence of Rochester
The Church of England refused the alliance.
king would now put no confidence in any zealous Protestant; he applauded the bigotry of Louis XIV., from whom he solicited money.
‘I hope,’ said he, ‘the king of France
will aid me, and that we together shall do great things for religion;’ and the established church became the object of his implacable hatred.
‘Her day of grace was past.’
The royal favor was withheld, that it might silently waste and dissolve like snows in spring.
To diminish its numbers, and apparently from no other motive, he granted—what Sunderland
might have done from indifference, and Penn
from love of justice—equal franchises to every sect; to the powerful Calvinist
and to the ‘puny’ Quaker
, to Anabaptists and Independents, and ‘all the wild increase’ which unsatisfied inquiry could generate.
The declaration of indulgence was esteemed a deathblow to the church, and a forerunner of the reconciliation of England
The established franchises of Oxford
were invaded, that its rich endowments might be shared among the Catholics; the bishops were imprisoned, because they would not publish in their churches the declaration, of which the purpose was
their defeat; and, that the system of tyranny might
be perpetuated, Heaven, as the monarch believed, blessed his pious pilgrimage to St. Winifred's Well, by the pregnancy of his wife and the birth of a son. The party of prerogative was trampled under foot; and, in their despair, they looked abroad for the liberty which they themselves had assisted to exile.
The obedient Church of England set the example of rebellion.
Thus are the divine counsels perfected.
‘What think you now of predestination?’
demanded William, as he landed in England
Tories took the lead in inviting the prince of Orange
to save the English church; the
whigs joined to rescue the privileges of the nobility; the Presbyterians rushed eagerly into the only safe avenue to toleration; the people quietly acquiesced.
King James was left alone in his palace.
His terrified priests escaped to the continent; Sunderland
was al ways false; his confidential friends betrayed him; his daughter Anne, pleading conscience, proved herself one of his worst enemies.
‘God help me,’ exclaimed the disconsolate father, bursting into tears, ‘my very children have forsaken me;’ and his grief was increased by losing a piece of the true wood of the cross, that had belonged to Edward the Confessor.
Paralyzed by the imbecility of doubt, and destitute of counsellors, the good soul fled beyond the sea, and gave up three kingdoms for a mass.
Aided by falsehoods, the prince of Orange
, without striking a blow, ascended the throne of his father-in-law, and Mary, by whose dishonest letters James was lulled into security, came over exultingly to occupy the throne, the palace, and the bed of her father, and sequester the inheritance of her brother.
Thus were the rights of Englishmen rescued from
danger; thus did Protestant liberty, after a long strug-
gle, achieve its triumph, and put an end forever to absolute power, in England
, in the state and over mind.
Nolumus leges Anglioe mutari
blazed in golden letters on the standard of the rejoicing aristocracy, desiring to give immortality to their privileges.
Humanity was present also, and rejoiced at the redemption of English liberties; she reproved the unnatural conduct of daughters who drove their father into poverty and exile; she sighed for the Roman Catholics
who were oppressed, for the dissenters who were but tolerated; and as, on the evening of the long struggle which had been bequeathed by Rogers
, and had lasted more than a century and a half, she selected a restingplace, it was but to gather strength, with the fixed purpose of renewing her journey on the dawn of morning.
The great news of the invasion of England
, and the
declaration of the prince of Orange
, reached Boston
on the fourth day of April, 1689.
The messenger was immediately imprisoned; but his message could not be suppressed; and ‘the preachers had already matured the evil design’ of a revolution.
For the events that
followed were ‘not a violent passion of the rabble, but a long-contrived piece of wickedness.’
‘There is a general buzzing among the people,
great with expectation of their old charter, or they know not what;’ such was the ominous message of Andros
to Brockholt, with orders that the soldiers should be ready for action.
About nine o'clock of the morning of the 18th, just as
George, the commander of the Rose
frigate, stepped on shore, Green
and the Boston
ship-carpenters gathered about him, and made him a prisoner.
The town took the
The royalist sheriff endeavored to quiet the
multitude; and at once the multitude arrested him. They next hastened to the major of the regiment, and demanded colors and drums.
He resisted; they threatened.
The crowd increased; companies form under Nelson
, their old officers; and already at ten they seize Bullivant
, and Ra-
Boys ran along the streets with clubs; the drums beat: the governor, with his creatures, resisted in council, withdrew to the fort to desire a conference with the ministers and two or three more.
The conference was declined.
All the companies soon rallied at the town-house.
Just then, the last governor of the colony, in office when the charter was abrogated, Simon Bradstreet
, glorious with the dignity of fourscore years and seven, one of the early emigrants, a magistrate in 1630, whose experience connected the oldest generation with the new, drew near the townhouse, and was received by a great shout from the freemen.
The old magistrates were reinstated, as a council of safety; the whole town rose in arms, ‘with the most unanimous resolution that ever inspired a people;’ and a Declaration, read from the balcony, defended the insurrection as a duty to God and the country.
‘We commit our enterprise,’ it was added, ‘to Him who hears the cry of the oppressed, and advise all our neighbors, for whom we have thus ventured ourselves, to joyn with us in prayers and all just actions for the defence of the land.’
side, a thousand soldiers crowded together; and the multitude would have been larger if needed.
The governor, vainly attempting to escape to the frigate, was, with his creatures, compelled to seek protection by submission; through
the streets where he had first displayed his scar-
Chap XVII.} 1689 April 19.
let coat and arbitrary commission, he and his fellows were marched to the town-house, and thence to prison.
On the next day, the country came swarming across the Charlestown
and Chelsea ferries, headed by Shepherd
, a schoolmaster of Lynn
All the cry was against Andros
The castle was taken; the frigate was mastered; the fortifications were occupied.
How should a new government be instituted?
Townmeetings, before news had arrived of the proclamation of William and Mary, were held throughout the colony.
Of fifty-four towns, forty certainly, probably more, voted to reassume the old charter.
Representatives were chosen; and once more Massachusetts
in general court.
It is but a short ride from Boston
Already, on the twenty-second of April, Nathaniel Clark
, the agent of Andros
, was in jail; Hinckley
resumed the government, and the children of the Pilgrims renewed the institution which had been unanimously signed in the Mayflower
But not one of the fathers of the old colony remained alive.
, the last survivor of the signers, famed for his frugal habits, and an arm before which forests had bowed, was silent in death.
The days of the Pilgrims were over, and a new generation possessed the soil.
The royalists had pretended that ‘the Quaker
grandees’ of Rhode Island
had imbibed nothing of Quakerism but its indifference to forms, and did not even desire a restoration of the charter.
On May-day, their
usual election-day, the inhabitants and freemen poured into Newport
; and the whole ‘democracie’ published
to the world their gratitude ‘to the good providence
of God, which had wonderfully supported their predecessors and themselves through more than ordinary difficulties and hardships.’-‘We take it to be our duty’— thus they continue—‘to lay hold of our former gracious privileges, in our charter contained.’
And by a unanimous vote, the officers, whom Andros
had displaced, were confirmed.
But Walter Clarke
For nine months there was no acknowledged chief magis-
The assembly, accepting Clarke
's disclaimer, elected Almy
Again excuse was made.
Did no one dare to assume responsibility?
All eyes turned to one of the old Antinomian exiles, the more than octogenarian, Henry Bull
; and the fearless Quaker
, true to the light within, employed the last glimmerings of life to restore the democratic charter of Rhode Island
Once more its free government is organized: its seal is renewed; the symbol, an anchor; the motto, hope.
rose in arms, and perfected its revolution without concert; ‘the amazing news did soon fly like lightning;’ and the people of Connecticut
spurned the government, which Andros
had appointed, and which they had always feared it was a sin to obey.
The charter, discolored, but not effaced, was taken from its hiding-place; an assembly was convened; and,
in spite of the Finis of Andros
, new chapters were begun in the records of freedom.
, on Long Island
, rejoined Connecticut
New York also shared the impulse, but with less unanimity.
plot’ was matured by Jacob Leisler
, a man of energy, but passionate and ill-educated, and not possessed of that happy natural sagacity which elicits a rule of action from its own instincts.
But the common people among the Dutch
, led by Leisler
his son-in-law Milborne
, insisted on proclaiming the
stadtholder king of England
In New Jersey
there was no insurrection.
The inhabitants were unwilling to invoke the interference of the proprietaries.
There is no reason to doubt, that, in the several towns, officers were chosen, as before, by the inhabitants themselves, to regulate all local affairs; while the provincial government, as established by James II., fell with Andros
We have already seen
had also perfected a revolution, in which Protestant intolerance, as well as popular liberty, had acted its part.
The passions of the Mohawks, also, are kindled by the certain prospect of an ally; they chant their loudest war-song, and prepare to descend on Montreal
Thus did a popular insurrection, beginning at Boston
, extend to the Chesapeake
, and to the wilderness.
This New England
revolution ‘made a great noise in the world.’
Its object was Protestant liberty; and William and Mary, the Protestant sovereigns, were proclaimed with rejoicings such as America
had never before known in its intercourse with England
Could it be that America was deceived in her confidence; that she had but substituted the absolute sovereignty of parliament, which to her would prove the sovereignty of a commercial aristocracy, for the despotism of the Stuarts?
was the centre of the revolution which now spread to the Chesapeake
; in less than a century, it would commence a revolution for humanity, and rouse a spirit of power to emancipate the world.