« PreviousContinue »
CHAP. VIII. Plantation Board. Gorges and Mason were opposed to
Winslow's petition, because Gorges hoped, through the 1634.
archbishop's influence, to be sent out as Governor General of all the English colonies. Laud, too, was anxious to exercise hierarchal power in America, and stop the growth of dissent. Winslow was, therefore, severely questioned in the board. He frankly admitted, that "he did exercise his gift” in public preaching; and that, as a magistrate, “ he had sometimes married some," for he considered marriage "a civil thing," and had himself been married in Holland by the magistrates in their State House. But, by the statutes of England, such proceedings were unlawful; and the archbishop readily made out his case in the compliant tribunal over which he exercised a paramount influence. Winslow was committed to the Fleet, and " lay there seventeen weeks, or thereabouts, before he
could get to be released."* Jealousy of Thus the jealousy of the home government refused to the English
the Puritan colonists any authority to interfere with the Dutch possessions on the Connecticut. The people of New England were esteemed “men of refractory humors;" and complaints constantly resounded of their sects and schisms, their hostility to the Established Church, and their trea
sonable designs against the royal authority. Emigration December. was therefore restrained ; the lord warden of the Cinque
Ports was directed to stop promiscuous and disorderly departure out of the realm to America ;" and persons of humble station, who might obtain leave to emigrate, were required first to take the oaths of allegiance and suprem
Laud's watchful intolerance reached even further. While Amsterdam was liberally opening her gates to
strangers of every race and creed, the Primate of all En1635. gland, by order of the king, was requiring all the Reform2 January. ed Dutch churches, within the province of Canterbury, to
adopt the English Liturgy. But the attention of the gov
* Winthrop, i., 137, 172; Hutchinson, ii., 410. + Hazard, i., 347 ; Bancroft, i., 407. # Rymer Fed., xix., 588; Rapin, ii., 293.
tí Hollanders' Plantation."
ernment was chiefly engaged in checking the emigration Chap. VIII of disaffected Englishmen to America. A Dutch ship “of
1635. four hundred tons,” bound to New Netherland, was lying at Cowes, ready to sail; and her officers were reported to be drawing " as many of his majesty's subjects as they can to go with them, by offering them large conditions." To put a stop to “so prejudicial a course," the Privy Coun- 20 March. cil dispatched an order to the Earl of Portland, to restrain subjects British subjects from going in that or any other Dutch go to the vessel 66 to the Hollanders' Plantation in Hudson's River."* Three years before, a Dutch ship, coming from Manhattan, had been arrested at Plymouth for illegally trading within his majesty's alleged dominions. Now the chief care of the Privy Council seems to have been to prevent English subjects going in Dutch vessels to what the British government recognized, in an official state paper, as "the Hollanders' Plantation."
The New England patent, which James I. had granted in 1620, had by this time become intolerably odious to Parliament, and the council of Plymouth was in disrepute with the High Church party. The patentees, accordingly, after conveying by deed, to William, earl of Stirling, 22 April. “part of New England, and an island adjacent, called and conLong Island," divided the residue of the territory between Lord StirAcadia and Virginia into shares, which they distributed, in severalty, among themselves; and then, under their June. common seal, surrendered their worthless charter to the England king. * Thus was dissolved, by voluntary consent, aris- rendered to ing from mere debility, the council of Plymouth, so famous in the story of New England.”+
At this crisis, John Winthrop, the son of the governor of Massachusetts, revisiting England, confirmed the accounts, which had already been sent over, of the value and importance of Connecticut. Lord Say, and the other grantees of Lord Warwick's conveyance in 1632, there
the crown. 18 July. John Win
* Lond. Doc., i., 55 ; N. Y. Col. MSS., iii., 19.
† Lond. Doc., i., 118; N. Y. Col. MSS., iï., 42 ; Chalmers, 95 ; Hazard, i., 382, 390, 393 ; Gorges, in iii., Mass. Hist. Coll., vi., 82, 83 ; Bancroft, i., 408; Chalmers's Revolt of the Colonies, i., 56 ; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 322, 323.
24 Nov, Winthrop
CHAP. VIII. fore took immediate measures for the colonization of that
region. Saltonstall promptly dispatched a bark with 1635. first colo twenty men, which arrived at Boston in mid-summer, Coatienior From there the party proceeded to the Connecticut, with est endish the intention of settling themselves 6 between the falls patenteers and the Plymouth trucking-house.” But Ludlow and the
Dorchester men defeated Saltonstall's plans; and their selfish conduct soon gave rise to large claims for damages.*
The younger Winthrop was soon afterward commissioned, throp com by Lord Warwick’s grantees, as “governor of the River of an govern- Connecticut, with the places adjoining thereunto," Early 6 October. in the following October, he reached Boston, accompanied
by his father-in-law, Hugh Peters, lately pastor of the English church at Rotterdam, and bringing along with him
men and ammunition, and two thousand pounds in money, to begin a fortification at the mouth of the river."4
A few weeks after his arrival at Boston, Winthrop distakes pos- patched a bark of thirty tons, and about twenty men, with the mouth all needful provisions, to take possession of the mouth of
the Connecticut, and erect some buildings. This was the first regular English occupation of the territory comprehended within Lord Warwick's grant. The officers of the Dutch West India Company had purchased this land from its Indian occupants three years before, and had affixed the arms of the States General to a tree, in token of
their possession of the “ Kievit's Hook," and of the river The Dutch above. These arms the English invaders now contemptu
ously tore down, 6 and engraved a ridiculous face in their place.”
Van Twiller finding that protests were ineffectual to dislodge the English intruders from the Fresh River, had, meanwhile, applied to the West India Company “for com
mission to deal with” them summarily. Winthrop's new attempt to party had scarcely reached the mouth of the Connecticut, English, before a sloop, which the director had dispatched from
of the Connecticut.
arns torn down
* Letter of Saltonstall to Winthrop, in Mass. Hist. Coll., xviii., 42, 43. † Winthrop, i., 161, 169, 170, 172; Trumbull, i., 497; Hildreth, i., 229. I Winthrop, i., 173, 174.
Hol. Doc., iv., 110; ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 277 ; ante, 234.
Manhattan to secure the possession of the Dutch, arrived CHAP. VIII. at the Kievit's Hook. But the English immediately got
1635. "two pieces on shore, and would not suffer them to land." **
The Dutch being thus repulsed, the English changed 1636. the name of Kievit's Hook to “Saybrook," in compliment at sayto the leading English proprietors of Connecticut, Lord Say and Lord Brook. . A fort was immediately constructed at the point, under the superintendence of Lion Gar- Lion Gardiner, an engineer or master workman, who had served under the Prince of Orange in Holland, and who had been induced by John Davenport and Hugh Peters, of Rotterdam, to enter into the service of the English patentees of Connecticut. After remaining four years in command of the post at Saybrook, Gardiner removed his family to the 1640. island which now bears his name, at the eastern extremity of Long Island. |
Though the Massachusetts emigrants had originally gone
to the Connecticut valley under a stipulation to continue in allegiance to the General Court, the territory upon which they planted themselves was distinctly admitted to be out of the claim of the Massachusetts patent." A new settlement was, however, soon commenced at a place 1636. which was actually within the chartered limits of Massachusetts Bay. Early in 1636, William Pynchon, with William eight other persons, emigrated from Roxbury to the upper begins a part of the Connecticut River, and built a trading-house at Springat " Agawam." The original Indian name of that place was immediately changed to “Springfield," after the town in England where Pynchon had formerly lived. This new settlement brought the English within a few miles of the Dutch post at Fort Orange. A large peltry trade, divert
* Winthrop, i., 166, 175; Trumbull, i., 61.
† Winthrop, i., 174, 175; Hubbard, 179; Lion Gardiner, in Mass. Hist. Coll., xxiii., 136 ; Trumbull, i., 61, 110. De Vries, p. 149, speaks of Gardiner, whom he found in command at Saybrook, on the 7th of June, 1639, as having married a Dutch wife at Woerden, in Holland, where he had “ formerly been an engineer and baas-workman.” The Dutch phrase “werk-baas," or "work-master"---so familiar to this day in New Yorkseems to have been quite unintelligible to the learned editor of Winthrop.-Savage's note, i., p. 174. Several interesting particulars of Gardiner's biography (whose baptismal name was Lion, and not David, as Trumbull and Savage affirm) may be found in Thompson's Long Island, i., 305, 306, and in Mass. Hist. Coll., xxiii., 136.
CHAP. VIII. ed from the North River, soon rewarded the enterprise of
Pynchon; and the good judgment, which originally led 1636.
him to occupy so advantageous a spot, has since been amply vindicated in the prosperity of the flourishing city of Springfield.*
Thus English progress, step by step, encroached upon settlements. the territories of the West India Company, until nearly
the whole valley of the “ Fresh River” was wrested from its rightful European proprietors. The annals of colonization "can scarcely show the commencement of a settlement so extremely faulty as that of Connecticut.” In a short time, the “ Hope,” at Hartford, was all the foothold which the Dutch had left to them in Eastern New Netherland. From Sagadahoc to Saybrook, the Anglo-Saxon race was now without a European rival; and the advancing tide of its population was soon to roll still nearer to Manhattan. It was its destiny ultimately to triumph;
and numbers and assurance carried the day against fewTrue Euro- ness and equity. Yet the true European title, by acLong Isl- tual discovery and continuous visitation, to the coasts of Connecti- Long Island Sound and the valley of the Connecticut, was
clearly and undeniably in the Dutch. As far as there was any color of English title to the region south of the Massachusetts line, that title was vested in the grantees of the Earl of Warwick, or, after the surrender of the Plymouth charter, in the crown. The Puritan colonists who first settled themselves on the Connecticut, and endeavored to expel the Hollanders from the territory which they had carefully explored long before it was seen or known by the English, did so without a shadow of title from the Plymouth Company, under whom they professed
to claim; and it was not until two years after the Resto1662. ration of Charles II., that a royal charter gave the people
of Connecticut the territorial security which they desired
pean title to
* Chalmers, 287; Hutchinson, i., 95 ; Trumbull, i., 66 ; Young, Ch. Mass., 283 ; Vertoogh van N. N., in ii., N. Y. H. S. Coll., ii., 273. This post is marked on Visscher's and Van der Donck's maps of New Netherland as “Mr. Pinser's handel-huys."