« PreviousContinue »
some of their subjects, when scampering round the globe; should chance to see their country as they are passing along. With as much justice might fome other nations grant charters to their subjects, of pofsefsions in England and France, because some adventurers of their nations happened to fail along their coasts, as the people in England and France grant charters to their subjects in America. It was a fair acknowledgment of those settlers, that they did not believe their charters gave them a lawful title, when they purchased their lands from the natives of the country; and it is certainly no more than an act of justice, which all nations should observe towards those that are giving them no trouble; to purchase what they mean to pofsefs in their country. If, after they have made their purchase, they intend to hold of their naiive country as subjects for protection, they ought undoubtedly to pay the ordinary respects due to its government, and enjoy the common rights of others of the community. A charter can never lawfully proceed any farther than a promise of protection of those lawful poffefsions which the subjects of a government have acquired : for no government can give a right to a foil which does not belong thereto. It is plain from this observation, that this Massachusetts colony did not derive their right of manorship from any sovereign, but from purchase ; for at no time can it be faid, that ever the lands of the Indians belonged to either king or parliament of any nation in Europe. Their charter affirms that they were to hold their title to the soil in common, and free foca cage, as of the manor of East-Greenwich in Kent *
* MASSACHUSETS COLONY CHARTER. Wheneas our most deare and roy- mory, by his Highness's letters raal Father King James of bleffed ine tento beareng date at Weitmintier
but how a title could be given to a foil by those to whom it did not belong, appears rather whimsical and absurd. It may be an amusement for lawyers to trifle with, but justice and equity will remove all such ideas. One would think the colonists, though they were flying from oppression, had at this time very mean ideas of justice and liberty, to folicit a pa. tent to carry in their pockets, to a foreign country, to claim a right to other people's lawful possessions. It would appear they saw the inconsistency, and claim
the third day of November, in the the southern colonies then before cighteenth year of his reign, hath granted by our faid deare father given and granted unto the Coun- to be planted by fuch of his loving cel established at Piymouth in the subjects in the southern parts. To county of Pevon, for the planting. have and to hold, poffefs and enjoy ruling, ordering, and governing of all and fingular the aforesaid contiNew-England in America, and to nent, lands, territories, islands, hetheir heirs, fucceflours, and af- reditaments and precincts, feas, wafignes for ever: All that part of A- ters, fishings, with all and all manner merica lying and being in breadtf their commodities, royalties, liberfrom fourty degrees of northerly ties,preheminences and profits that latitude from the equinoxtiall line should from thenceforth arise from to fcurty eight degrees of the said thence with all and singular their northerly latitude inclusively, and appurtenances, and every part and in length of and within all the parcel thereof, unto the said Counbreadth aforesaid throughout the cel, and their successors and almaine lands from sea to sea, toge- fignes for ever, to the sole and prother also with all the firme lands, per use, benefit and behoof of them soyles, grounds, havens, ports, ri- the said Councel and their fuccefvers, waters, thing, mines and fors and affignes for ever: To be mineralls, as well royall mines of ňoulden of our faid most dear and gouki and silver, as other mines royal Father, his heirs and succel. and mineralls, precious ftones, fors, as of his manor of Eaft-Greenquarries, and all and fingular other wich in the county of Kent, in free commodities, jurisdictions, privi- and common foccage, and not in Jeges, franchises and preneminen- Capite nor by knights service. ces both within the said tract of Yielding and paying therefore to land upon the maine, and also the said late Xing, his heirs and within the islands and feas ad- fuccellors the fifth part of the ore joining, Provided always that of gould and silver which fhould the said islands or any the pre- from time to time and at all times misses by the faid letters patent thenafter happen to be found, gotintended and meant to be granted ten, had and obtained in, at, or were not then actually poflefied or within any of the laid lands, limits, inhabited by any other christian territories and precincs, or in or prince, or state, nor within the within any part or parcel thereof, bounds limits or territories of for or in respect of all and all man.
ed no right till they had first made a bargain, and paid the purchase. Those who at present debate concerning these old parchments on either fide of the question, will never be able to draw an honourable conclusion from them, worthy of the true friends of liberty. In the history of human nature, it is difficult to find consistency, when men's interests and passions become counsellors for their actions.
The charms of a charter under the great feal of England wrought powerfully upon persons of several
ner of duties, demands and servi- ehree English miles on the south ces whatsoever to be done made or part of the said Charles river, or of paid to our faid dear Father the any or every part thereof, and also late King, his heirs and succeffors; ail and fingular the lands and here: as in and by the said letters patent ditaments whatsoever, lying and be(amongst fundry other clauses, ing within the space of three Engpowers, privileges and grants there- lith miles to the southward of the in contained) more at large ap- fouthermoft part of the said bay peareth.
cailed Massachusetts, alias MattaAnd whereas the said Councel chusetts, alias Mafiatafetes bay, established at Plymouth in the and also all those lands and heredicounty of Devon, for the planting, taments which lye and be within ruling, ordering and governing of the space of three English mailes to New-England in America, have by the northward of the kid river caltheir deed indenred under their led Monomack, alias Merrimack, common seal, bearing date the or to the northward of any and enineteenth day of March last past, very part thereof, and all lands and in the third year of our reign, gi- hereditaments whatsoever, lying ven, granted, bargained, fod, en within the limits aforesaid, north feofred, aliened and confirmed to and fouth, in latitude and breadth, Sir Henry Rosewell, Sir John Young, and in length and longitude, of knights, Thomas Southcott, John and within all the breadth aioreHumphrey, John Endicott and Sy- faid, throughout the main lands, mon Whetcomb, their he and there from the Atlantic and western afsociates forever, all that part of sea and ocean on the east part to the New-England in America aforesaid fouth sea on the west part, and all which lieth and extendeth between lands and grounds, place and plaa great river there called Mono- ces, soils wood and wood grounds, mack, alias Merrimack, and a havens, ports, rivers, waters, fill certain other river there called ing and hereditaments whatsoevers Charles river, being the bottom lying within the said bounds, ani of a certain way there commonly limits, and every part and parcet called Mafsachusetts, alias Mat- thereof, and also alliNandsin Ame-. tachusetts, alias Mattatusetts bay, rica aforefaid in the said feas or eiand also all and singular those lands ther of them on the westerne or and hereditaments whatsoever ly- eafterne coafts or parts of the faict ing and being within the space of tracts of lands by the said indenture
degrees; the distressed, the religious, and the avaris cious, from different motives, flocked to New-Eng. land. Persons descended of ancient families, ministers of the Gospel, merchants, husbandmen, artificers, during the space of twelve years, went over in large bodies to settle in America. The expence of those emigrations was truly extraordinary; it was computed that the passage of the emigrants cost at least ninety thousand pounds; the transportation of the first small cattle, besides their price, cost twelve thou
mentioned to be given. granted, John Éndecott and Symon Whet, baryained, fold, enfeoffed, aliencd comb, their heirs and aflignes, and and confirmed or any of them: their associates, to the only proper And also all mines and mineralls, and abiolute use and behoof of the as well royall mines of gould and faid sir Henry Rosewell, Sir John Gilver, as other mines and mineralls Younge, Thomas Southcott, Jolin whatsoever in the said lands and Humfrey, John Endecottaud Symon premisses or any Part thereof: and Whetcomb, their heirs and aflignes, all jurisdictions, rights, royalties, and associates forevermore. To be liberties, freedoms, immunities, houiden of us, our heirs and sucpriviledges, franchises, prehemi. cessors, as of our mannor of Eastperces and commodities whatso: Greenwich in the county of Kent, ever, which they the said Councel in free and common ioccage, and established at Plymouthin the coun- not in Capite, nor by knights ferty of Devon for the planting ruling vice, yielding and paying therefore ordering and governing of New- unto us, our heirs and fucceffors, England in America then had or the fifth part of the oare of gcuikt might use exercise or enjoy, in and and silver which shall from time to within the said lands and premis time and at al times hereafter bap. ses by the said indénture mention- pen to be found, gotten, had and ed to be given, granted, bargained, obtained, in any of the said lands fould, enfeoffed and confirmed, or within the said limits, orin or within or within any part or parcel in any part thereof, for and in fatifihereof. To have and to hou'd faction of all manner of duties, dethe said part of New-England in mands and services whatsoever, to America which iyeth and extends be done, made or paid to us, our and is abuited as aforesaid, and e beiis or fucceffors, is in and by the very part and parcel thereof; And said recited indenture more at all the said islands, rivers, ports, large may appear. havens, waters, fishings, mines and Now know ye, that we, at the minerals, juriflictions, franchises, humble fuite and petition of the royalties, liberties, privileges, com- faid Sir Henry Kofewell, Sir John inodities, hereditaments and pre- Younge, Thomas Southcoit. Johty misses whatfoever, with the appur- Humirey, John Endecott and Sytenances, unto the said Sir Henry mon Whetcomb, and of others Roiewell, Sir John Younge, Tho- whom they have associated unto mas Southcott, John Humfiey, them, Have, for divers good caufes
fand pounds : the provisions laid in, till more could be provided, cost forty-five thousand pounds: the materials for building their first cottages, cost eigh, teen thousand pounds: their arms and ammunition, including their artillery, twenty-two thousand pounds, Befides these vast sums, the adventurers laid out many other considerable ones; and no fewer than an hundred and ninety-eight ships were employed in carry, ing men, women, children, cattle, and other commodities to this new settlement. It must have been
and considerationsus moving grant- combe, their heirs and assignes. od and confirmed, and by thele pre. and to their aliociates by the said sents of our especiall grace, certain recited irdenture given, granted, knowledge, and meere motion do bargained, fould, enfeoffed, aliengrant and confirm unto the said ed, and confirmed, or mentioned, Sir Henry Rosewell, Sir John or intended thereby to be given, Younge, Thomas Southcott, John granted, bargained, sould, enfeofHumfrey, John Endecott, and Si- fed, aliened, and confirmed: To mon Whetcombe, and to their af- have and to hould the said part of fociates hereafter named (videlicet) New-England in America and oSir Richard Saltonstall Knt. Ifaac ther the premiffes hereby mentionJohnson, Samuel Alderley, John ed to be granted and confrmed Ven, Matthew Craddock, George and every part or parcell thereof Harwood, Increase Nowell, Rich- with the appurtenances unto the ard Bellingham, Nathaniel Wright, faid Sir Henry Rofewell, Sir John Samuel Vaffall
. Theophilus Eaton, Younge, Sir Richard Saltonitall, Thomas Goffe, Thomas Adams, Thomas Southcott, Jolin HumJohn Browne, Samuel Browne, frey, John Endecott, Symon WhetThomas Hutchins, William Vafcombe, Isaac Johnton, Samuel Alfall, Williain Pinchon, and George dersey, John Ven, Matthew Crad. Foxcroft their heirs and assignes, dock, George Harwood, Increase all the said pårt of New England in Nowell, Richard Perry, Richard America, lyeing and extending be- Bellingham, Nathaniel Wright, Satweene the bounds and limits in the muel Vassall, Theophilus Eaton, faid recited indenture expressed, Thomas Goffe, Thomas Adams, and all lands and grounds, place John Browne, Samuel Prowne, and places, foyles, wood and wood Thomas Hutchins, William Vafall, grounds, havens, ports, rivers, William Pinchon, and George Foxwaters, mines, mineralls, jurisdic- croft, their leirs and asiignes for etions, rights, royalties, liberties, ver, to their only propirand absofreedoms, immunities, priviledges, lute use and behoof for «veru ore. franchises, prelieminences, heredi- To be houiden of us our heirs and iaments and commodities whatsoe- fucceffours as of our mannor of ver to them the said Sir Henry East Greenwich aforesaid in free korewell, sir john Younge, Tho- and common soccage, and not in mns Southentt, John Humfrey, Capite nor hy knights service, ard John Endrçots' and Singon het- 2!10 yiiding and paying therefore