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In the mean time, events had occurred in England Chap. IX. which were to have a material influence upon the rival
1640. European colonies in America. Soon after the meeting Progress of of the “ Long Parliament,” among the members of which tans une were many zealous friends of New England, the Puritan gland. emigrants were urged to “send over some" to solicit favors for them in that body, to which the king had now left "great liberty.” At first, the suggestion was declined. But the next year, news of the fall of the Earl of Straf- 1641. ford, and of Archbishop Laud, their great enemy," reaching Massachusetts, the General Court thought fit“ to send some chosen men into England, to congratulate the happy success there,” and “to be ready to make use of any opportunity God should offer, for the good of the country here." The persons chosen for this service were the Delegater “ fiery” Hugh Peters, pastor of the church in Salem, MassachuThomas Welde, pastor of the church in Roxbury, and William Hibbins, of Boston. The younger Winthrop also accompanied the commissioners, who presently sailed for 3 Augus. England by way of Newfoundland.*
The Hartford people now determined to arrange, if pos- Hopkins sible, their controversy with the Dutch. Edward Hop- Hartford. kins, who had just been succeeded by John Haynes as governor, being about to visit London, the General Court 9 Sept. desired him to arbitrate or issue the difference betwixt the Dutch and us, as occasion shall be offered when he is in England.”+ As Peters was well acquainted with some of the leading members of the West India Company, it was thought that advantage might be taken of that circumstance to " pacify” the directors, and arrange, if possible, the questions in dispute between New Netherland and New England. Winthrop and Haynes, as governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut, accordingly signed a joint letter authorizing Peters, "if occasion permit him to go to the Netherlands, to treat with the West India Company there concerning a peaceable neighborhood between!
* Winthrop, ii., 25, 26, 31, 32; Chalmers's Revolt of the Colonies, i., 83, 84. # Col. Rec. Conn., 68.
# Winthrop, ii., 32.
CHAP. IX. the New England and New Netherland colonists.
ries of " propositions,” the scope of which was to induce 1641.
the Amsterdam directors to define the limits between the Paters.com- Dutch and English territory; "abstain from molesting? who neate the English on the Connecticut; and " see in the inhabCompany. itants of New England, who number about forty thousand
souls, a people who covet peace in their ways, the planting of the Gospel above all things, and not to cause trouble or injury in any manner whatever to the company," was also sent out to Peters. *
The New England agents, on reaching London, found many warm friends of the Puritan colonies. Among these,
was Dr. Lawrence Wright, of the Charter House, an "honVright , of ored friend” of Hopkins.† Wright was also a familiar
correspondent of Sir William Boswell, the English minis
ter at the Hague; to whom he immediately sent a memo. 1642. rial which Hopkins had drawn up, on the subject of the 22 January. English settlements in Connecticut. In a few days, Bos. Boswell's well replied to Wright, lamenting that the unsettled state Wriglat. of English domestic politics had diminished his own in
fluence with the Dutch government; but suggesting that the parties in London who had drawn the memorial should procure from Parliament, or, “ at least, from the House of Commons," some declaration, “ whereby it may appear that they take notice and care of our people and plantations in those parts." Formal instructions on the subject should also be sent him from the council; and “persons of quality should acquaint the Dutch ambassador in London with the state of the case. But, above all, Boswell urged that, in the mean time, the English in Connecticut should “not forbear to put forward their plantations, and crowd on-crowding the Dutch out of those places where they have occupied.”'\:
* Hol. Doc., vii., 131 ; ix., 224, 225; O'Call., i., 235, 236. As these papers are re-trans lated from the Dutch in the Archives at the Hague, they may not be precisely identical with the original English. But they show, at all events, that Winthrop is strangely inaccurate in stating that, when Peters "undertook to pacify the West India Company," they “would not treat with him," " for want of commission from those of Hartford." + Winthrop, i., 229.
# Trumbull's Col. Rec. Conn., App., D. 565, 565.
The spirit of popular freedom which the Dutch colo- Chap. X. nists brought with them to New Netherland had already
1642. made itself felt by the provincial government. Under the pressure of public sentiment, Kieft, though intrusted with of the almost dictatorial authority, had been compelled to sum-mistshat mon the people into council, and yield his personal wishes to the judgment of their representatives. The war which the director was anxious to begin, had been postponed by the votes of the Twelve Men. But Kieft did not abandon his design; the moment winter had fairly set in, he convoked again the popular delegates.
The Twelve Men met accordingly. The murderer of 21 Jannary. Smits had not been delivered up; and the Indians were Twelve now on their hunting excursions. It was, therefore, agreed convoked. that an expedition should be prepared at once to attack the Weckquaesgeeks. The director should head it in person, and the commissariat of the company should provide ammunition and necessary provisions. Such of the expedition as might be wounded while on service should be nursed, and their families maintained at the expense of the company, which had promised to “protect and defend” all the colonists.* Upon these conditions the Twelve Assent co Men assented to the hostile measures which Kieft so urg- posed exf9ently pressed. Their assent was unwillingly given; it against etie was conditional, specific, and limited; it was obtained quaesonly after repeated solicitations had failed to procure the surrender of an identified murderer; it had no ultimate
* Hol. Doc., V., 330, 332.
Popular spirit of the velve Men.
CHAP. X. design to exterminate an aboriginal race, that strangers
might turn the red man's pleasant hunting grounds into 1642.
fields of waving corn.
But the popular representatives were not content to limit their action to the registry of a proposed decree of their director. The time had now come for the people to take the initiative. For many generations, the towns and villages of the Fatherland had been accustomed to the gove ernment of magistrates elected by their fellow - citizens. Domineering arrogance was restrained, and honest ambition encouraged, by the system of rotation in office, under which the burghers of Holland annually invested new candidates with municipal dignities. The self-relying men, who had won their country from the sea, and their liberties from the relaxing grasp of feudal prerogative, knew that they could govern themselves; and they did govern themselves.*
Why should the system, under which Holland had prospered and grown great, not be transplanted into New Netherland ? It was true, indeed, that the circumstances of the Fatherland differed somewhat from those of its province. The supreme government at the Hague had unwisely committed the management of New Netherland to a commercial corporation, whose enormous monopoly, at the same time, comprehended interests in comparison with which even the affairs of an embryo empire were too often esteemed insignificant. But if the Fatherland sometimes
forgot its transatlantic province, the emigrants from HolDesire the land did not, in their wilderness home, forget the country or the Faof their birth, nor her local names, her religion, her laws,
and her freedom. When they first emigrated, they voluntarily pledged themselves to submit to the government of the West India Company. For many years they did patiently submit to that government; and though experi
* Alb. Rec., X., 221 ; xix., 131 ; “It is customary in our Fatherland, and other well-regulated governments, that some change takes place annually in the magistracy, so that some new ones are appointed, and some are continued to inform the newly appointed.” See also Meyer's "Institutions Judiciaires," iii., 47–70, 165–185 ; Davies, i., 76-106; O'Call., i., 392 ; post p. 453.
ence had prompted many to long for those franchises Chap. X which they had enjoyed in Holland, no opportunity for in
1642 troducing any political reforms had yet occurred.
The grievance which they felt most oppressively was organizathe organization of the Council of New Netherland. This, Provincial in effect, was the director alone; for La Montagne, the chief grievonly nominal counselor, had but one vote, while Kieft reserved two votes to himself. It often happened, however, that the director found it necessary to have the assistance of other persons; and on these occasions, instead of calling upon such of the colonists as were the most competent and worthy, he invariably chose some of the inferior agents of the company; "common people," who were dependent immediately upon himself for their daily emoluments. This naturally excited criticism and distrust; and the discontent of the community was now officially expressed in a memorial to the director. The Twelve Men demanded that the colonial council should be reorganized, 21 January and the number of its members increased, so that there Twelve should be at least five; for, argued the popular represent- mand roatives, “in the Fatherland the council of even a small village consists of five or seven schepens." To save land from oppression,” four persons, elected by the commonalty, should have seats in the colonial council. Two of these four counselors should annually be replaced by two others, to be chosen from the Twelve Men selected by the people. The company's 66 common men" should no longer have seats in the council.
Judicial proceedings should be had only before a full board. The militia of the province should be mustered annually, and every male, capable of bearing arms, should be required to attend with a good gun; the company to furnish each man with half a pound of powder for the occasion. Every freeman should be allowed to visit vessels arriving from abroad, " as the custom is in Holland." All the colonists should enjoy the right freely to go to and trade with the neighboring places belonging to friends and allies, always paying the company's duties and imposts. To these demands,