by Edward Elias Atwater
FROM the establishment of the New Haven colonial government, to its extinction by the absorption of the colony into Connecticut, there was a period of twenty-two years. Before proceeding to narrate the political history of the colony during this period, we propose to give some account of the various industries in which its people were employed; of its institutions for the maintenance of intelligence, morality, and religion; of its military organization and achievements; of the aboriginal inhabitants with whom its people had intercourse; and of the domestic and social life which resulted from these concurrent influences.
The leading men at Quinnipiac, having been engaged in commerce before their emigration, endeavored to make their new plantation a commercial town. Trade was soon established with Boston, New Amsterdam, - as New York was then called, - Delaware Bay, Virginia, Barbadoes, and England.
Supplies from the mother-country came chiefly by way of Boston; for the three ships which in 1639 sailed direct from England to Quinnipiac were exceptions to the custom that emigrants into New England landed in
Massachusetts. If the tide of emigration had not ebbed soon after the settlement was made at Quinnipiac, ships from England might have cast anchor in its "fair haven" with such frequency as to render the plantations in the neighborhood independent of Boston as a base of supplies. But, as it happened, small vessels owned in New Haven, and navigated by her seamen, sailed frequently to and fro between the two ports. Doubtless they sometimes returned home freighted with merchandise purchased of Massachusetts men; but there is evidence that New Haven merchants exported and imported by way of Boston, sending their beaver and other furs to be transferred to the ships which had brought them English goods.
The diary of Winthrop records several such voyages that were disastrous, and others that were dangerous, though without fatal results. Nicholas Augur, one of the earliest physicians at New Haven, occupied himself to some extent, as did also his colleagues in the practice of medicine, in commercial adventures. In 1669, "being about to sail for Boston," he made his will, as if he regarded the voyage as exposing him to unusual peril of his life. In 1676 he made another voyage to the same port; and on his return, setting sail from Boston on the tenth of September, he was shipwrecked on an uninhabited island off Cape Sable, where he and all his fellow-voyagers died except Ephraim Howe, the captain of the ketch, who, having endured great hardship during the winter, was taken off by a vessel in the following summer and carried to Salem, whence he returned to his family at New Haven after an absence of nearly eleven months. The pinnaces, shallops, and ketches employed
in this coasting-trade, carried letters and packages from friend to friend; seamen and passengers rendering such service as is now performed by express-companies and by the postmen of the government.(*)
The trade with Manhattan, as Fort Amsterdam is at first named in the records, did not apparently include any great amount of European supplies: otherwise it was in general of similar character to that maintained with Massachusetts Bay. The Dutch however, being exempt from the prejudice against tobacco manifested by the good people of Boston, the merchants of New Haven, when they anchored at Fort Amsterdam on their return from a southern voyage, carried on shore many hogsheads of this Virginia product.(**) To the same market they conveyed their imports from the West Indies, such as cotton, sugar, molasses, and "strong water;" completing a cargo with such products of their own neighborhood as wheat, biscuit, beef,
(* The germ of a post-office appears in an order of the General Court of Massachusetts passed Nov. 5, 1639: "For preventing the miscarriage of letters, it is ordered, that notice be given that Richard Fairbanks's house in Poston is the place appointed for all letters which are brought from beyond the seas, or are to be sent thither, to be brought unto; and he is to take care that they be delivered or sent according to their directions; and he is allowed for every such letter one penny, and must answer all miscarriages through his own neglect in this kind; provided that no man shall be compelled to bring his letters thither, except he please.")
(** Sumptuary laws were early enacted in Massachusetts, prohibiting the use of and the traffic in tobacco. These laws were repealed, in 1637, while the New Haven company were sojourning in Massachusetts; but, though the prohibitory laws were repealed, some of the prejudice which led to their enactment must have remained. The only law regulating the use of tobacco, at New Haven, was one passed by the general court of the jurisdiction in reference to danger from fire.
pork, hides, and furs. It is not so evident what they received in return; but probably the trade between the two towns was chiefly an exchange of merchandise for the supply of whatever articles might be temporarily scarce and dear in either market. The Dutch at one time attempted to discriminate between their own shipping and that of their English neighbors, requiring the latter to anchor under "an erected hand," and to pay an ad valorem duty of ten per cent on all imports and exports; but were shamed into reciprocity by the sharp pen of Gov. Eaton, backed by the commissioners of the United Colonies.
Stephen Goodyear, who in the prosecution of this commerce between the towns often visited Fort Amsterdam, purchased there of the Dutch governor a ship called the Zwoll, to be delivered in the harbor of New Haven. Under pretext of conveying the ship in safety, the Dutch put soldiers on board, who on a Sunday boarded and seized the St. Beninio, a Dutch vessel lying in the harbor of New Haven, and carried her away to Fort Amsterdam, where the vessel was confiscated as a smuggler, the owner having evaded payment of certain duties or "recognitions" claimed by his government. William Westerhouse, who owned the vessel, and Samuel Goodenhouse, another Dutch merchant in some way implicated in the business, were then sojourning at New Haven, and, finding it more agreeable to remain than to follow the vessel which had been seized, placed themselves under the protection of the court, and became permanent residents. The settlement at New Haven of these strangers served to abate somewhat the commercial discour-
agement consequent on a succession of losses. The acquisition of Westerhouse was additionally pleasing, because he was not only a merchant, but a practitioner of medicine. Not long after he became a citizen, he intrusted a cask of liquor to John Lawrencson to be retailed. Some disorder having attracted attention, a fine was imposed upon Lawrencson for "selling strong waters by small quantities," contrary to an order of the court. Westerhouse, hearing of it, "acquainted the court through Mr. Evance, his interpreter, that he knew it not to be an offence to the court that he employed any to sell his strong water, but seeing he had done it he justified the court in the fine they had laid, and he came to tender the payment. The court told him they looked not upon it as his fault, for they intended, not to fine him; but, seeing he would pay it, the court considering how useful he had been in the town by giving physic to many persons, and to some of them freely, the court agreed not to take the fine, but returned it to him again."
Within three years after the foundations of government had been laid at New Haven, "there was a purchase made by some particular persons of sundry plantations in Delaware Bay, at their own charge, for the advancement of public good, as in a way of trade, so also for the settling of churches and plantations in those parts in combination with this. And thereupon it was propounded to the general court, whether plantations should be settled in Delaware Bay in combination with this town, - yea or nay; and, upon consideration and debate, it was assented unto by the court, and expressed
by holding up of hands." This attempt to establish an English settlement in Delaware Bay encountered opposition from the Dutch and from the Swedes, both of whom claimed exclusive jurisdiction in those waters, and, though contending one with the other, united in resisting the English. In 1642 the governor of New Amsterdam "despatched an armed force, and with great hostility burned the English trading-houses, violently seized and for a time detained their goods, and would not give them time to take an inventory of them. The Dutch also took the company's boat, and a number of the English planters whom they kept as prisoners. The damages done to the English at Delaware were estimated at a thousand pounds sterling."(*)
The same year the Swedish governor seized and imprisoned George Lamberton, "master of the pinnace called the Cock," and some.of his seamen, on a false charge of inciting the Indians to rise against the Swedes. Finding himself unable to support the charge, he improved the opportunity to impose a fine for trading at Delaware, though within the limits of the New Haven purchase. Not long after, Mr. Lamberton, happening to be at New Amsterdam, was compelled by the Dutch governor to give an account of all the beaver he had purchased at the New Haven trading-post in Delaware Bay, and to pay an impost upon the whole.
The next year, New Haven becoming confederate with the other New England colonies, the commissioners of the United Colonies sent letters of remonstrance to the Dutch and the Swedes, and gave Lamberton a commission to treat with the Swedish
governor in their name about satisfaction for the injuries done him, and about the settlement of an English plantation in Delaware Bay.
The settlement of a plantation was delayed, however, from one year to another, till, in 1651, a company of about fifty men, chiefly from New Haven and Totoket, afterwards called Branford, started on a voyage for Delaware Bay with the intention of beginning the plantation so long kept in abeyance. Bearing a commission from Gov. Eaton, and letters from him and from the governor of Massachusetts to the Dutch governor, explaining their intention, and assuring him that they would settle upon their own lands only and give no disturbance to their neighbors, they came to anchor at New Amsterdam, and sent their letters on shore. "But no sooner had Gov. Stuyvesant received the letters than he attested the bearers, and committed them close prisoners under guard. Then sending for the master of the vessel to come on shore, that he might speak with him, he arrested and committed him. Others, as they came on shore to visit and assist their neighbors, were confined with them. The Dutch governor desired to see their commission, promising it should be returned when he had taken a copy. But, when it was demanded of him, he would not return it to them. Nor would he release the men from confinement until he had forced them to give it under their hands that they would not prosecute their voyage, but, without loss of time, return to New Haven. He threatened, that, if he should afterwards find any of them at Delaware, he would not only seize their goods, but send them prisoners into Holland."(*)
Three years later, as appears from the following extract from the records, another attempt was made:- "At a general court for the town of New Haven, Nov. 2, 1654, the governor read a letter he wrote on the 6th of July, by order of the general court, to the Swedish governor, with his answer in Latin, dated Aug. 1, and the answer of the commissioners to that, dated Sept. 23. At the same time be informed them, that, while attending the meeting of the commissioners at Hartford, several had spoken with him in reference to settling at Delaware Bay, if it might be planted. The town was desired to consider which way it may be carried on. After,much debate about it, and scarce any manifesting their willingness to go at present, a committee was chosen; viz., Robert Seely, William Davis, Thomas Munson, and Thomas Jeffrey, to whom any that are willing to go may repair to be takerunotice of, and that, if there be cause, they treat with those of New Haven who have purchased those lands, to know what consideration they expect for them."
"On the 27th of November the committee reported that they had spoken with sundry persons in the town, but that not answering expectation, they got a meeting of the brethren and neighbors, and for the most part they were willing to help forward the work, some in person, others in estate, so the work might be carried on and foundations laid according to God; and at that meeting they desired that the governor and one of the magistrates, with one or both the elders, might by their persons help forward that work, whereupon they had a church-meeting and propounded, their desire. The elders declared they were willing to further the work, and glad it was in hand; but Mr. Davenport said in reference to his health, he sees not his way clear to engage in it in person; nor Mr. Hooke, because his wife is gone for England, and he knows not how God will dispose of her. The governor gave no positive answer, but said it was worthy of consideration." "They further informed that some from other plantations see a need of the work, and are willing to engage in it, and the rather if it be begun by New Haven, and foundations laid as here, and government so carried on, thinking it will be for the good of them and their posterity."
"They also declared that they had treated with the proprietors about the purchase of the land, and understand that they are out above six hundred pounds, but are willing to take three hundred pounds to be paid in four years."
Mr. Samuel Eaton and Mr. Francis Newman, being invited to go with the company as magistrates, took the matter into consideration, and on the 4th of December signified their conditional assent.(*) At a general court for the jurisdiction, on the thirtieth day of the following January, a petition was presented on behalf of a company of persons intending to remove to Delaware Bay, wherein they propounded that the Court "would afford some encouragement to help forward so public a work." The Court returned answer:-
"1. That they are willing so far to deny themselves for the furtherance of that work in order to the ends propounded, as to grant liberty to one or both of those magistrates mentioned to go along with them, who, with such other fit persons as this court shall see meet to join with them, may be empowered for managing of all matters of civil government there, according to such commission as shall be given them by this court."
"2. That they will either take the propriety of all the purchased lands into their own hands, or leave it to such as shall undertake the planting of it, provided that it be and remain a part of member of this jurisdiction. And for their encouragement they purpose
(* The person here intended was a son of Theophilus Eaton by his first wife. He graduated at Harvard College in 1649. In April, 1654, the people of New Haven, "hearing that Mr. Samuel Eaton, son of our governor, is now sent for into the Bay, which, if attended to, they feared they may be deprived, not only for the present, but for the future, of the helpfulness which they have hoped for from him, and considering the small number of first able helps here for the work of magistracy for the present, who also by age are wearing away," induced him to remain with them by offering to elect him magistrate. He was accordingly elected, and had now been in office about six months.)
when God shall so enlarge the English plantations in Delaware as that they shall grow the greater part of the jurisdiction, that then due consideration shall be taken for the ease and conveniency of both parts, as that the governor may be one year in one part and the next year in another, and the deputy governor to be in that part where the governor is not, and that general courts for making laws may be ordinarily but once a year, and where the governor resides; and if God much increase plantations in Delaware, and diminish them in these parts, then possibly they may see cause that the governor may be constantly there and the deputy governor here, but that the lesser part of the jurisdiction be protected and eased by the greater part, both in rates and otherwise, which they conceive will be both acceptable to God and (as appears by the conclusions of the commissioners anno 1651) most satisfying to the rest of the United Colonies."
"3. That for the matters of charge propounded for encouragement to be given or lent, to help on their first beginnings, they will propound the things to the several particular plantations, and promote the business for procuring something that way, and shall return their answer with all convenient speed."
A special messenger was sent to Massachusetts in hope of securing recruits from that colony for at a general court for the town of New Haver held on the 16th of the following March:-
"The town was informed that the occasion of (this meeting is to let them understand how things are at present concerning Delaware, now John Cooper is returned. He finds little encouragement in the Bay, few being willing to engage in it at present, and therefore they, may consider whether to carry it on themselves or to let it fall. Mr. Goodyear said, notwithstanding tie discouragements from the Bay, if a considerable company appear that will go, he will adventure his person and estate to go with them in that design; but a report of three ships being come to the Swedes, seems to make the business more difficult. After much debate about it, it was voted by the town in this case, that they will be at twenty or thirty pounds charge; that Mr. Goodyear, Sergeant Jeffrey, and such other as they
may think fit to take with them, may go to Delaware, and carry the commissioners' letter, and treat with the Swedes about a peaceable settlement of the English upon their own right; and then after harvest, if things be cleared the company may resort thither for the planting of it."
On the 9th of April (1655):-
"The town was informed that there were several who have purposes to go, but they conceive they want number of men and estate to carry it on; now if any be willing to further it in person or estate, they may do well to declare it. It having been first made known to them, that, though they may go free and not engaged to be a part of this jurisdiction, yet they and all such as come after must engage upon the same foundations of government as were at first laid at New Haven, which were now read unto them, and though some objections were made, yet notwithstanding the business proceeded, and divers declared themselves willing to further it."
"And for their further encouragement the town granted, if any go and leave none in their family fit to watch, their wives shall not be put upon the trouble and charge to hire a watchman, the persons only which are present being to carry on that service. They also further agreed to lend the company the two small guns which are the town's, or else one of them and one of the bigger, if they can procure leave of the jurisdiction for it, with at least half a hundred of shot for that bigger gun if they have it, and a meet proportion of musket bullets, according to what the town hath, and also a barrel of that powder which the town bought of Mr. Evance. And concerning their houses and lands which they leave, what of them lieth unimproved shall be freed from all rates one year and a half from the time they leave them, paying as now they do for what they improve. Then they shall have one year's time more, that they shall pay but one penny an acre for fenced land and meadow as they do at present."
The project for establishing a plantation at Deleware Bay was never carried into execution, but the agitation of it for fourteen years no only envinces great interest
in that particular region, springing out of and nurtured by the voyages of New Haven merchants, but illustrates the extent to which the commercial spirit ruled in New Haven. It shows us a people, who, having become satisfied that they could never in their present home see their wishes fulfilled, were looking for new shores, where, "foundations being laid as here, and government so carried on," the younger plantation might become "the greater part of the jurisdiction."
It is not impertinent here to observe that during this agitation of the people of New Haven about a removal to Delaware, two attempts were made by Cromwell to divert their attention to other places. Hutchinson says, "Cromwell had been very desirous of drawing off the New Englanders to people Ireland after his successes there; and the inhabitants of New Haven had serious thoughts of removing, but did not carry their design into execution." In another place he says, of the New Haven people, "They had offers from Ireland after the wars were over, and were in treaty for the purchase of lands there for a small distinct province by themselves." Mather says, "They entered into some treaties about the city of Galway, which they were to have had as a small province to themselves." If any formal action was taken at New Haven on the proposal of Cromwell, it was probably taken by the jurisdiction, whose records from 1644 to 1653 have been lost.(*) Five years afterward the Lord Protector, having taken the
(* In Ellis's Collection of Original Letters Illustrative of English History is a letter of certain ministers and others in New England replying to and entertaining Cromwell's proposal. None of the signers are New Haven men. Its date is Dec. 31, 1650.)
island of Jamaica from the Spaniards, offered a portion of it to the people of New Haven. A letter of instructions for. Daniel Gookin, bound for New England, is still extant in the State Paper Office at London, dated Sept. 26, 1655. According to the epitome prepared for the calendar published by authority, he is instructed:-
"To acquaint the governors and inhabitants in New England that the English army took possession of Jamaica on the loth of May last: to describe the situation and goodness of the island, the plenty of horses and cattle, and the convenience of the harbors, which are now being fortified by the English: that there are about seven thousand well armed men there, besides eight bunded more lately sent over with Major Robert Sedgwick, a commissioner in the civil affairs of the island; and that it is intended to defend the place against all attempts, and to have a good fleet always in those seas: to offer to the people of New England to remove to Jamaica, in convenient numbers, for certain specified reasons, viz., to enlighten those parts (a chief end of our undertaking the design) by people who know and fear the Lord, and that those of New England, driven from the land of their nativity into that desert and barren wilderness for conscience' sake, may remove to a land of plenty: to make these propositions to the people of New Haven, who have thoughts of removing to Delaware Bay, viz., that a part of the island next to some good harbor will be granted to them and their heirs forever without payment of rent for seven years, and then one penny an acre; their goods of the growth and manufacture of the island shall be three years free from customs; one of their number to be from time to time appointed governor and commander-in-chief, with persons to assist in the management of affairs; six ships will be sent for their transportation; twenty acres granted to every male above twelve years old, and ten to every other male or female, six weeks after the agreement is concluded; the whole number of males to be transported within two years."
It does not appear from the records whether the project of removing to Delaware Bay had been abandoned
before this offer of Cromwell reached New Haven, or whethef it gave place to his proposal of Jamaica; but his offer was at first favorably entertained. When it had been before the people for consideration about three weeks, the governor desiring the town at a meeting held May 19, 1656, to give an answer:-
"Lieut. John Nash spoke what he conceived to be the mind of the generality of the town, viz., That they conceive it is a work of God, and that it should be encouraged, and if they see meet persons go before them, that is, engage in the design to go with them, or quickly after, fit to carry on the work of Christ in commonwealth and also in church affairs, they are free, and will attend the providence of God in it: provided that they have further encouragement, both of the healthfulness of the place and a prosperous going on of the war, that other places thereabouts be taken, with what also Richard Miles may bring from Capt. Martin. And that this was the town's mind, they all declared by vote."
On the 28th of the same month the matter was brought before the General Court for the jurisdiction, where a copy of the instructions given by his Highness the Lord Protector to Capt. Gookin was read, with letters from Capt. Gookin and letters from Major Sedgwick from Jamaica, and the intelligence which Richard Miles (who by this time had arrived home) "brought from Capt. Martin, to whom he was sent to inquire." "The deputies from the several plantations were desired to let the Court understand what is the mind of their towns in this business." "Much debate there was about this thing, and a serious weighing and considering thereof." The proposal received less favor in this assembly than it had in the town-meeting at New Haven. Perhaps the other plantations, where husbandry was the
principal occupation, did not feel so much need of a change as New Haven felt: perhaps the intelligence which Deacon Miles brought, had affected unfavorably even the New Haven people. The conclusion to which the General Court of the jurisdiction came was: "Though they cannot but acknowledge the great love, care, and tender respect of his Highness the Lord Protector to New England in general, and to this colony in particular, yet for divers reasons they cannot conclude that God calls them to a present remove."
The disposition to find a place more favorably situated for commerce, seems from this time to have yielded to a purpose to make the best of the opportunities afforded by New Haven, and to a willingness so to modify the original intention of the planters that the town should be less dependent on commerce, and give more attention to agriculture, than was at first expected.
In the attempt to write the history of commerce with Delaware Bay, we have been led into a history of the efforts to connect with that commerce the establishment there, of a plantation under the New Haven colonial government. Such a relation is, however, pertinent to the subject, for these efforts grew out of the commerce which New Haven merchants prosecuted between the two places.
Of the commerce itself there is much less to record than we have written of these futile attempts to establish at Delaware Bay the jurisdiction of New Haven and of England. The traffic was carried on by a corporation which owned two large tracts of land lying - one on each side of the bay - above the Swedish forts. On one of these parcels of land was a trading- house
where agents of the company remained to traffic with the Indians, and collect beaver and other pelts to be sent home by the vessels which from time to time came into the bay.
In their traffic with Virginia the New Haven mer chants traded with the English planters, and not with the aborigines as at Delaware. Tobacco was the staple export of Virginia, but they brought away in addition, store of beaver which the planters had purchased of the Indians. In exchange for these commodities they left with the Virginians supplies brought from England and from Barbadoes, as well as from home. The following extract from the record of a general court for the jurisdiction is illustrative:-
"Mr. Allerton, Ensign Bryan, and. Mr. Augur appeared and informed the court, that, by reason of bad biscuit and flour they have had from Janies Rogers of Milford, they have suffered much damage, and likewise the place lies under reproach at Virginia and Barbadoes, so as when other men from other places can have a ready market for their goods, that from hence lies by and will not sell, or if it do, it is for little above half so much as others sell for; they desire, therefore, that some course may be taken to remedy this grievance. The court approved of their proposition, and thought it a thing very just and necessary to be done, and sent for the baker and miller from Milford, who also appeared, and, after some debate, did confess there had been formerly some miscarriages. The baker imputed it, Or a great part of it, to the miller's grinding his corn so badly, which the miller now acknowledgedh might be through want of skill, but he hopes now it is and will be better, which the baker owned; and, as Mr. Allerton now informed his bread is at present better, after much debate about this business, James Rogers was told, that if, after this warning, his flour or bread prove bad, he must expect that the damage will fall upon him, unless it may be proved that the defectiveness of it came by some other "means."
The first mention of commerce between New Haven and Barbadoes occurs in a letter written by Deputy-Gov. Goodyear, advising Gov. Stuyvesant of the delivery of beef, which Goodyear had contracted to deliver upon demand, probably in payment for, the ship which the Dutch governor had sent to him at New Haven. The Dutch commissary having come for the beef at a time inopportune for Goodyear, the latter writes; "I was necessitated to furnish a great part out of what I had provided for the Barbadoes; but my endeavors are and shall be to my utmost to perform my covenzftits in all things. I desire we may attend peace and neighborly love and correspondency one with another." This letter dated Nov. 22, 1647, must have been written at a very early period in the history of the trade with Barbadoes; for sugar, the principal product of that island, began to be exported to England in 1646. At a court held Dec. 7, 1647, "Stephen Reekes, master of a vessel that came from the Barbadoes, was called before the court to answer for some miscarriages of his on the sabbath day, viz.: that he, the said Stephen, did, contrary to the law of God, and of this place, haul up, his ship to or toward the neck-bridge upon the sabbath, which is a labor proper for the six days, and not to be undertaken on the Lord's day." As Mr. Reekes was excused on the ground that he was a stranger, and "did not do it out of contempt but ignorantly," it is evident that vessels not owned in New Haven, participated thus early in transporting hither the products of Barbadoes. In 1651 Mr. Goodyear sold Shelter Island, which he had owned about ten years, for sixteen hun-
dred pounds of good, merchantable, muscovado sugar.(*) One of the purchasers certainly was a resident of Bar badoes, and apparently two others; so that it may be presumed that the sugar was delivered in the West Indies, and brought away by Goodyear in his own ship. To illustrate further the use made of this product of Barbadoes as a medium of exchange, reference is made to the fact already mentioned, that Lieut. Budd sold his house in New Haven for a hogshead of sugar. A more interesting illustration is that which Dr. Bacon thus records in his Historical Discourses: In the year 1665, on the day of the anniversary thanksgiving, a contribution was given in for the saints that were in want in England. This was at the time when, in that country, so many ministers, ejected from their places of settlement, were, by a succession of enactments, studiously cut off from all means of obtaining brea for themselves, their wives, and their children. The contribution was made, as almost all payments of debts or of taxes were made at that period, in grain and other commodities; there being no money in circulation, and no banks by which credit could be converted into currency. It was paid over to the deacons in the February following. We, to whom it is so easy, in the present state of commerce, to remit the value of any contribution to almost any part of the world, cannot easily imagine the circuitous process by which that contribution reached the 'poor saints' whom it was intended to relieve. By the deacons, the articles contributed were probably first exchanged to some extent
(* "Muscovado. The name given to unrefined or moist sugar." - Brandc's Dictionary.)
for other commodities more suitable for exportation. Then, the amount was sent to Barbadoes, with which island the merchants of this place had intercourse, and was exchanged for sugars, which were thence sent to England, to the care of four individuals, two of whom were Mr. Hooke the former teacher, and Mr. Newman the ruling elder, of this church. In 1671 Mr. Hooke, in a letter to the church, said, 'Mr. Caryl, Mr. Barker, Mr. Newman, and myself have received sugars from Barbadoes to the value of about ninety pounds, and have disposed of it to several poor ministers, and ministers' widows. And this fruit of your bounty is very thankfully received and acknowledged by us.'"
Commerce between New Haven and the mother-country was chiefly carried on by way of Boston and Barbadoes. Bills of exchange on London were purchased with beaver-skin's and other products of New England exported from Boston, or with sugar procured by barter in Barbadoes. The funds thus obtained were invested in English goods, sometimes by the New Haven merchants in person when visiting their native land, but usually their correspondents residing in London. These English goods were sent out in the ships which sailed every spring for Massachusetts Bay, and at Boston were re-shipped to New Haven.
Allusion has been made to three vessels, which in 1639 came to New Haven direct from England. We have now to speak of an attempt made at New Haven to establish at a later date a direct trade with the mother-country. Suth an achievement was regarded as
beyond the ability of any individual, and yet so desirable as to demand a general combination of effort. A company was formed, in which apparently all who were able to help, took more or less stock. This company, called "The Ship Fellowship," bought or built a ship which they made ready for sea in January, 1646. She way chartered for a voyage to London, by another association called "The Company of Merchants of New Haven." The [officers?] of the ship-fellowship were "Mr. Wakeman, Mr. Atwater, Mr. Crane, and Goodman Miles." The company of merchants consisted of "Mr. Theophilus Eaton (now governor), Mr. Stephen Goodyear, Mr. Richard Malbon, and Mr. Thomas Gregson." Wjnthrop says, "She was laden with pease and some wheat, all in bulk, with about two hundred West India hides, and store of beaver and plate, so as it was estimated in all at five thousand pounds." Seventy persons embarked in her, some of whom were counted among the most valued inhabitants of New Haven. Dr. Bacon has graphically depicted the departure of the vessel, and the solicitude felt for her safety by those whom she left behind. "In the month of January, 1646, the harbor being frozen over, a passage is cut through the ice, with saws, for three miles; and 'the great ship' on which so much depends is out upon the waters and ready to" begin her voyage. Mr. Davenport arid a great company of the people go out upon the ice, to give the last farewell to their friends. The pastor in solemn prayer commends them to the protection of God, and they depart. The winter passes away; the ice-bound harbor breaks into ripples before the soft breezes of the spring.
Vessels from England arrive on the coast; but they bring no tidings of the New Haven ship. Vain is the solicitude of wives and children, of kindred and friends. Vain are all inquiries.
'They ask the waves, and ask the felon winds, And question every gust of rugged wings That blows from off each beaked promontory.'
"Month after month, hope waits for tidings. Affection, unwilling to believe'the worst, frames one conjecture and another to account for the delay. Perhaps they have been blown out of their track upon some "Undiscovered shore, from which they will by and by return, to surprise us with their safety: perhaps they have been captured, and are now in confinement. How many prayers are offered for the return of that ship, with its priceless treasures of life and affection! At last anxiety gradually settles down into despair. Gradually they learn to speak of the wise and public-spirited Gregson, the tyrave and soldier-like Turner, the adventurous Lamberton, that 'right godly woman' the wife of Mr. Goodyear, and the others, as friends whose faces are never more to be seen among the living. In November, 1647, their estates are settled, and they are put upon record as deceased."(*)
Besides its commerce with the places which have been indicated, New Haven made occasional ventures out of the usual channels, as opportunity offered. Boston had considerable trade with the Canary Islands,
(* Of this ship, and of the strange atmospheric phenomenon which the people of New Haven regarded as a miraculous tableau of her fate, some further account may be found in Appendix III.)
and Winthrop has put on record an attempt which New Haven made to share in it. We copy from his journal under the date of July 2, 1643:-
"Here arrived one Mr. Carman, master of the ship called (blank), of one hundred and eighty tons. He went from New Haven in December last, laden with clapboards for the Canaries, being eanestly commended to the Lord's protection by the church" there. At the island of Palma he was set upon by a Turkish pirate of three hundred tons, twenty-six pieces of ordnance, and two hundred men. He fought with her three hours, having but twenty men and but' seven pieces of ordnance that he could use, and his muskets were unserviceable with rust. The Turk lay across his hawse, so as he was forced to shoot through his own hoodings, and by these shot killed many Turks. Then the Turk lay by bis side, and boarded him with near one hundred men, and cut all his ropes, &c.; but his shot having killed the captain of the Turkish ship, arid broken her tiller, the Turk took in his own ensign, and fell off from him, but in such haste as he left about fifty of his men aboard him. Then the master and some of his men came up, and fought with those fifty, hand to hand, and slew so many of them as the rest leaped overboard. The master had many wounds on his head and body, and divers pf his men were wounded, yet but one slain. So with much difficulty he got to the island (being in view thereof), where he was very courteously entertained, and supplied with whatever he wanted."
Besides merchants engaged in coasting and foreign trade, there were shopkeepers in New Haven who kept for sale an assortment of such goods as were required by the people of the town and of the other plantations. One of these was a widow named Stolyon, living in the Herefordshire quarter, in a house which Richard Platt of Milford built and still continued to own. A disagreement between her and Capt. Turner, concerning a bargain in which he was to buy cloth of her, and she to buy
cows of him, served to put on record specifications in a charge of extortion, from which one may glean some knowledge of prices, and of the methods in which trade was carried on:-
"1. The captain complained that she sold some cloth to William Bradley, at 20 shillings per yard, that cost her about 12 shillings, for which she received wheat at 3 shillings 6 pence per bushel, and sold it presently to the baker at 5 shillings per bushel, who received it of William Bradley, only she forbearing her money six months. 2. That the doth which Lieutenant Seeley bought of her for 20 shillings per yard last year, she hath sold this year for seven bushels of wheat a yard, to be delivered in her chamber, which she confest. 3. That she would not take wampum for commodities at six a peniny, though it were the same she had paid to others at six, but she would have seven a penny. Thomas Robinson testified that his wife gave her 8 pence in wampum at seven a penny, though she had but newly received the same wampum of Mrs. Stolyon at six. 4. That she sold primers at 9 pence apiece which cost but 4 pence here in New England. 5. That she would not take beaver which was merchantable with others, at 8 shillings a pound, but she said she would have it at 7 shillings, and well dried in the sun or in an oven. Lieutenant Seeley, the marshal, and Isaac Mould testified it. John Dillingham by that means lost 5 shillings in a skin (that cost him 20 shillings of Mr. Evance, and sold to her), viz., 2 shillings 6 pence in the weight and 2 shillings 6 pence in the price. 6. She sold a piece of cloth to the two Mecars at 23 shillings 4 pence per yard in wampum: the cloth cost her about 12 shillings per yard, and sold when wampum was in great request. 7. That she sold a yard of the same cloth to a man of Connecticut at 22 shillings per yard, to be delivered in Indian corn at 2 shillings per bushel at home. 8. She sold English mohair at 6 shillings per yard, which Mr. Goodyear and Mr. Atwater affirmed might be bought in England for 3 shillings 2 pence per yard at the utmost. 9. She sold thread after the rate of 12 shillings per pound, which cost not above 2 shillings 2 pence in Old England. 10. That she sold needles at one a penny which might be bought in Old England at 12 pence or 18 pence per hundred, as Mr. Francis Newman affirmeth."
These specifications will give the reader some idea not only of prices, but of that scarcity of money which the records everywhere make apparent. Dr. Bacon has taken notice of the fact that when Gov. Eaton died, "the richest man in New Haven, with something like seven hundred dollars' worth of plate in his house, had only about ten dollars in money." The inventories of the time seldom mentioned gold or silver coin. Rates were collected in wheat, rye, pease, or maize, at a price fixed by the court. These grains and beaver-skins, being always marketable, were much used in trade. Wampum, or Indian money, consisted, says Trumbull, of "small beads, most curiously wrought out of shells, and perforated in the centre, so that they might be strung on belts, in chains and bracelets. These were of several sorts. The Indians in Connecticut, and in New England in general, made black, blue, and white wampum. Six of the white beads passed for a penny, and three of the black or blue for the same." In December, 1645, "it we ordered that wampum shall go for current pay in this plantation in any payment under twenty shillings, if half be black and half be white; and, in case any question shall arise about the badness of any wampum, Mr. Goodyear shall judge if they repair to him." The scarcity of money naturally occasioned much use of credit; the probate-records showing lists of small debts, some of them less than a shilling, due to and by the estate inventoried. The town-records also bear witness to the same fact, allowing us to see that when A owed B, and B owed C, arrangements were made for A to deliver to C some
commodity which he required, and thus to cancel both debts.
Although the leading planters of Quinnipiac relied on commerce as the chief meanns of prosperity to themselves and to their town, they all engaged from the first to some extent in husbandry. As the years advanced, and they found themselves disappointed in their town as a seat of commerce, and unable to remove to a place more opportune to their pursuits, they set a relatively greater, if not an absolutely greater value on husbandry. For the first year or two, tillage was confined to the home-lots; then it was extended to the fields in the first division of upland. Afterward farmsteads were established in the second division; some occupied by the owners themselves, and some by tenants, or by bailiffs as agents for the proprietors. At East Farms, a neighborhood on the west side of the Quinnipiac, were the allotments of David Atwater, Nathanael Turner, William Potter, Richard Mansfield, Francis Brewster, and Gov. Eaton. The governor had another farm at Stoney River, in East Haven, consisting of fifty acres of meadow, "with upland answering that proportion." Mr. Brewster must also have bad land of the second division elsewhere than at East Farms, as that farm contained only one hundred and fifty-four acres of upland, and thirty-three of meadow. This land of Mr. Brewster soon passed into the possession of William Bradley; and Gov. Eaton's farm, "by the brick-kilns," was, by his children, transferred to their half-brother, Thomas Yale. The four families of Atwater, Turner,
Potter, and Mansfield have never entirely disappeared from that neighborhood. Mr. Davenport's farm was on the opposite side of the Quinnipiac. A portion of it remained in his family for six generations.(*) Mr. Gregson had a farm in East Haven, near "Morris Cove, or, as it was then called, Solitary Cove. Dodd says, in his East Haven Register, that Gregson placed his family there before embarking for England in "the great ship;" but there is no sufficient evidence that the family vacated their stately house in the town, or that Gregson ever intended to give to the cultivation of the farm his personal attention. Mr. Goodyear's farm was north of the town, and in the neighborhood of Pine Rock.
The planters brought with them, or procured from Massachusetts, plants and seeds which soon yielded the vegetables and fruits they had been accustomed to enjoy in England. On the first day of July, 1640, a nauglrty boy was, by order of the court, "whipped for running from his master, and stealing fruit out of Goodman Ward's lot or garden." Goodman Ward must have given early attention to the planting of his currant-bushes, to have fruit in the third summer of the plantation's history. The English grains, especially wheat, rye, and pease, were sown, and seem to have rewarded the labor of the husbandman more bountifully than in our time, producing a supply for the home
(* A diagram of Mr. Davenport's farm, as surveyed by Mark Pearce in 1646, may be seen in the Town Records, Vol. III. p. 296. "The general total of "the lands belonging to this farm is seven hundred eighty-three acres and two rods." The diagram and survey were recorded by Rev. John Davenport of Stamford, grandson of Rev. John Davenport of New Haven.)
market, and some surplus for export. From the aborigines, the English learned to plant Indian corn, and to stimulate its growth with fish. Cattle - such as swine, goats, oxen, and horses - were suffered to pasture on unenclosed lands, and increased in number from year to year. Cows - when the public cow-pasture did not furnish sufficient grass - were driven abroad under the care of herdsmen, whose active aid they sometimes' needed in leaving the soft, treacherous swamps where the feed was most luxuriant.
In the other plantations of the jurisdiction, husbandry occupied the time and attention of a much larger part of thejeople than at New Haven. At Milford, a few planters were engaged in commerce; and some who were artisans worked at their trades, but the population was not sufficiently numerous to support many kinds of handicraft. Guilford was even more closely limited to tillage as an occupation. In consequence of the decision of Thomas Nash to settle at New Haven, serious inconvenience was experienced for want of a smith, till, in 1652, Thomas Smith came from Fairfield, on the invitation of the planters, who gave him a considerable tract of land, "on condition of serving the town in the trade of a smith, upon just and moderate terms, for the space of five year's."
The annals of husbandry are not eventful, and the records afford but little information upon that subject which would interest the general reader. There were pounds and pound-keepers, defective fences, unruly cattle, fines, and awards for damages. We read in the town-records of New Haven: "It is ordered; that, for what blackbirds John Brocket or others kill, he or
they applying themselves thereto shall receive from the treasurer after the rate of ten shillings a thousand." At first a considerable bounty was offered for heads of foxes and wolves; but in 1645, "the court, being informed that no man attends this service as his employment and business, but improves opportunity as he finds it occasionally, ordered that the treasurer, henceforward pay only two pounds of powder and four pounds of bullets os, shot, or the value thereof, for every wolf's head, and ofie shilling for every old fox's head, and sixpence for every young one, to such of this plantation as within New Haven limits kill and so bring them."
The great variety of useful arts practised in New Haven obviated, in some degree, the inconvenience which the smaller plantations in the neighborhood must otherwise have experienced. Few instances occur in the history of colonization, where within ten years from the commencement there was such fullness of equipment for producing at home the requirements of civilized life, as at New Haven. The records do not enable us to make a complete list of its artisans, or ot the crafts at which they wrought, and the writer has never made a systematic attempt to collect the names of such trades as are incidentally mentioned; but these are some which he has remembered, or with but little search has collected: viz., sawyers, carpenters, ship-carpenters, joiners, thatchers, chimney- sweepers, brick-makers, bricklayers, plasterers, tanners, shoemakers, saddlers, weavers, tailors, hatters, blacksmiths, gunsmiths, cutlers, nailers, millers, bakers, coopers, and potters. Of these handicrafts some are so nearly related that a work-
man easily passed from one to another. Accordingly we find the same person appearing as a carpenter, a ship-carpenter, and a joiner; and his neighbor described at one time as a shoemaker, and at another as a tanner. So that, with more than the usual variety of a new-settlement, there wis something of the versatility commonly developed by emigration.
We have already had occasion to speak of the now obsolete handicraft by which logs were sawn into the boards and planks necessary for the buildings and palings of the planters. It may seem to us a slow process; but, as sawmills had not at that time been introduced into the mother- country, it did not seem so to them. "The first recorded attempt to establish a sawmill in Great Britain was made near London, in 1663, by a Dutchman, in whose native country they had long been in use; but the enterprise was abandoned on account of the opposition of hand-sawyers."(*) A tree having been felled and cross-cut, one of the logs was rolled upon a frame over a pit. Then, the master-workman or "top-man" standing above to guide the work, and the "pit-man" or assistant standing beneath, they pulled the saw up and down, briskly if at work by the piece, patiently if by the day. The maximum price of sawing by the hundred, as determined by the General Court in 1640, being four and sixpence for boards, five shillings for planks, and five and sixpence for slit work, and the wages of the two men who wrought at a saw-pit amounting, according to the same tariff, to four and sixpence for a day's work, we may conclude that at least one hundred feet of lumber was produced per day by each pair of workmen.
(* Appleton's New American Cyclopaedia, art. "Saw.")
The trade of carpentery had many followers in a place where dwellings were to be erected within a short period for more than a hundred families. William Andrews appears to have stood at the head of this guild. He contracted in 1639 to build the meeting-house, but let out some parts of the work to Thomas Munson and Jarvis Boykin, who, with the consent of Andrews, transferred some part of their contract to Thomas Saul and William Gibbons. The two carpenters last named did not fulfil their engagement "to make the roof of the tower and turret tight, to keep out wet," and were probably absent, at least temporarily, when the defect was discovered; for a question arose between Andrews and the two who had contracted with him, which party should make the work good. "Because there was a defect of testimony on all sides, the Court advised them to consult together, and do it amongst them, so as the meeting-house may be kept dry without delay." The name of Thomas Saul does not appear after thjs transaction, but William Gibbons was some years later a resident of fhe town. The meeting-house needing further repairs a few years afterward, a large committee of carpenters was appointed to "consider whether then house may stay safely another year without repairs; if not, then how it may be best done for-most safety to the town, and least charge; also, whether the tower and turret may safely stand, and will not in a short time decay the house; and, if taken down, then what will be the charge of that, and to make the roof tight and comely again." The committee consisted of William Andrews, Thomas Munson, Jarvis Boykin, John Bassett, Robert
Bassett, George Larrymore, Jonathan Marsh, and Thomas Morris. These were, doubtless, master-workmen, having under them journeymen and apprentices. The last named wrought as a ship-carpenter, but his appointment on this committee indicates that he did' not confine himself to ship-building.
Some of the ship-carpenters in the plantation, besides Morris, were James Russell, William Russell, George Ward, Lawrence Ward, and Daniel Paul. The building of a ship of large size brought in workmen from other colonies. It is impossible to determine conclusively whether the New Haven artisans were responsible for the fatal crankness which Winthrop attributes to the vessel in which so many of their townsmen lost their lives in 1646. Rev. James Piefpont, in his letter to Mather, testifies that she was built in Rhode Island, and nothing appears to invalidate his testimony. The only occasion for doubt is found in the improbability that the feoffees would purchase rather than build; but perhaps the business required a ship sooner than one could be produced in a port where nothing larger than a shallop or a pinnace had ever been launched. If Pierpont was correct in his apprehension that she came from Rhode Island, the first large ship was built at New Haven immediately after the Rhode Island vessel sailed, and by the same "ship-fellowship" to which that vessel belonged. In August, 1646, one of the feoffees desired the justice of the court about some nails that a workman had stolen from the ship. In October "it was propounded that help might be afforded to launch the ship, for Goodman Paul informed the governor that "the keel would rot if it were not launched before winter.
Brother Leeke had liberty to draw wine for them that work at the ship." In the following January there was a lawsuit in which. the plaintiff, accounting for the fact that Sergt. Jeffrey did not go as master of a shallop on "a voyage to Guilford, Saybrook, and back to New Haven," affirmed that "Mr. Crane, Mr. Wakeman, and Mr. Atwjater, intrusted as feoffees for the building of a ship at New Haven, desired Sergeant Jeffrey might be spared to go to the Massachusetts about rigging and other occasions concerning the said ship."
In 1648 another vessel was built at New Haven, and the interest felt in- it was so general that one can hardly believe it was the adventure of an individual; though there is no definite information that it belonged to the ship-fellowship whose feoffees had purchased a vessel in Rhode Island, and in 1646 were building one at New Haven.
The production of leather and the manufacture of shoes increased so Tapidly, that, within nine years after the commencement of the plantation at New Haven, shoes were made for exportation. At first the tanners spoiled many hides through ignorance, as they alleged, of the tan of the country; but, even after they had professedly acquired skill, in the use of the native bark, poor leather was sometimes produced. There was a lawsuit in 1647, in which John Meigs, a shoemaker, sued Henry Gregory of the same trade for damage suffered from the unworkmanlike manner in which thirteen dozen pairs of shoes had been made. It appears that Meigs furnished the leather and the thread, and carried them to Gregory "ready cut out," agreeing
to pay him one shilling per pair for making them. Abundant testimony was borne by persons who had bought some of the shoes, that they were worthless, coming to pieces in a few days. But some testifying that the leather tore, and others that the seams ripped, the Court referred the matter to a committee of shoemakers and tanners, who reported as follows:- "We apprehend tbis: that the leather is very bad, not tanned, nor fit to be sold for serviceable leather; but it wrongs the country, nor can a man make good work of a great deal of it. And we find the workmanship bad also: First, there is not sufficient stuff put in the thread, and instead of hemp it is flax, and the stitches are too long, and the threads not drawn home, and there wants wax on the thread, and the awl is too big for the thread. We ordinarily put in seven threads, and here is but five; so that, according to our best light, we lay the cause both upon the workmanship and the badness of the leather.
"Goodman Gregory, upon this testimony, seemed to be convinced that he had not done his part, but then laid the fault on Goodman Meigs, that he was the more slight in it through his encouragement, who said to him, 'Flap them up: they are to go far enough.' In this statement he was confirmed by two witnesses, who had heard Meigs say to him,'Flap them up together: they are to go far enough.'"
Goodman Meigs being called to propound his damage, instanced five particulars: 1st, damage to his name; 2d, damage to Mr. Evance, to whom he had engaged himself to supply him with these goods for exportation to the value of thirty pounds sterling; 3d, damage in having his wares turned back upon his hands, Mr. Evance having refused to accept them; 4th, 'hinderance in his trade, people having on account of these shoes shunned to buy any wares of him; 5th, money paid several men for satisfaction.
"The plaintiff and defendant professing, upon the Court's demand, that they had no more to say, and the Court considering the case as it had been presented, debated, and proved, found them both faulty. Goodman Gregory had transgressed rules of righteousness, both in reference to the 'country and to Goodman Meigs, though his fault to Goodman Meigs is the more excusable because of that encouragement Goodman Meigs gave him to be slight in his workmanship; though he should not have taken any encouragement to do evil, and should have complained to some magistrate, and not have wrougkt such leather in such a manner into shoes, by which the country, or whosoever wears them, must be deceived. But the greater fault and guilt lies upon John Meigs for putting such untanned, horny, unserviceable leather into shoes, and for encouraging Goodman Gregory to slight workmanship upon a motive that the shoes were to go far enough, as if rules of righteousness reached not other places and countries.
"The Court proceeded to sentence, and ordered Goodman Meigs to pay ten pounds as a fine to the jurisdiction, with satisfaction to every particular person, as damage shall be required and proved. And further, the Court ordered that none of the faulty shoes be carried out of the jurisdiction to deceive men, the shoes deserving rather to be burnt than sold, if there had been a law to that purpose; yet in the jurisdiction they may be sold, but then only as deceitful ware, and the buyer may know them to be such. They ordered also Goodman Gregory, for his slight, faulty workmanship and fellowship in the deceit, to pay five pounds as a fine to the jurisdiction, and to pay the charges of the court, and that he require nothing of Goodman Meigs for his loss of time in this work, whether it were more or less; and the court thought themselves called speedily and seriously to consider how these deceits may be for time to come prevented or duly punished." If the contemporary records of the jurisdiction were extant, we should probably find some legislation prompted by this case. Allusion to such legislation is made on the town-records a little later, when sealers of leather were appointed, and sworn "to discharge the
trust committed to them in sealing leather according toAe Jurisdiction General Court's order." It was at the same time ordered that calf-skins, deer-skins, and goat-skins which are fully tanned should be sealed, and shoemakers were allowed to use them for upper leather; but, as such shoes were inferior to those made of neat's leather, "the court ordered that every shoemaker in this town, mark all those shoes he makes of neat's leather, before he sell them, with a N, - upon the lap withinside, below the place where they be tied." "It was propounded to the shoemakers, that, seeing hides are now near as cheap as ordinarily they are in England, shoes might be sold more reasonable than they have been; and the shoemakers promised they would consider of it."
We have already seen that biscuit was shipped to Virginia and the West Indies. But, according to English usage, bread was made in the shop of the baker for families in the town. It was of three grades: the white loaf, the wheaten loaf, and the household loaf. "Every person within this jurisdiction, who shall bake bread for sale, shall have a distinct mark for his bread, and' keep the true assizes hereafter expressed and appointed." Then follows the assize fixing the weight of a penny white loaf, a penny wheaten loaf, and a penny household loaf respectively, when the bushel of wheat is at three shillings, and diminishing the weight of the loaf as the price of wheat increases. When a bushel of wheat cost three shillings, which seems to have been regarded as a minimum price, the weight of the penny white loaf was to be
eleven and a quarter ounces; the weight of the penny wheaten loaf, seventeen and a quarter ounces; and the weight of the penny household loaf, twenty-three ounces. When wheat was at six shillings and sixpence per bushel, which is the highest price named in the tariff, the penny white loaf must weigh six ounces, the penny wheat loaf nine and a half ounces, and the penny household loaf twelve and a quarter ounces.
The inspector, having been sworn to the faithful discharge of his office, "is hereby authorized to enter into any house, either with the constable or marshal, or without, where he understands that any bread is baked for sale, and to weigh such bread as often as he, seeth cause; and, after one notice or warning, to seize all such bread as he 'findeth defective in weight, or not marked according to this order. And all such forfeitures shall be divided, one third to the officer for his care and pains, and the rest to the poor of the place."
Iron-works were projected as early as 1665. John Winthrop, jun., interested in mining, and Stephen Goodyear, interested in every enterprise which promised to be advantageous to New Haven, united insetting up a bloomery and forge, at the outlet of Saltonstall Lake. The people of New Haven favored the undertaking by contributing labor in building a dam, and by conceding the privilege of cutting on the common land all the wood needed for making charcoal. They hoped that the works would bring trade and that Winthrop would fix his residence in New Haven. The ore was transported from North Haven, partly by boats down the Quinnipiac and up Farm River, and partly by carts. After
two or three years, Goodyear having died, and Winthrop having ceased to think of New Haven as a place of residence, the works were leased to Capt. Clark and Mr. Payne of Boston. Iron continued to be made for some years, but the institution did not fulfil the hopes of its projectors, or of the public.
RELIGION AND MORALS
Two classes of writers differing widely in their feelings towards the Puritan emigrants who came to New England resemble each other in manifesting a singular ignorance. The planters of New England never were advocates of religious liberty; and there is equal sciolism in eulogizing them as such, and in criticising them for inconsistency with their professions when they expelled from their territory those who publicly dissented from their religious opinions and from their forms of worship. If the Puritans had been in power in England, they would have suppressed the ritualism of Laud as heartily as Laud punished non-conformity. Over powered in England, they came to America to find freedom to worship according to their own consciences, and not to establish religious liberty for all men of every creed. The restrictions which had been placed upon them, and the sufferings to which they had been subjected in their native land, instead of leading them to be tolerant of other forms of Christianity, served rather to render them more earnest to secure to themselves, and to those who should be like-minded, the territory to which they had emigrated, and upon which they were to expend their labors and their estates.
They saw no other way of securing the end for which they had exiled themselves, than that of exclusiveness and intolerance.
In accordance with such convictions and feelings, the planters of the New Haven Colony not only established, in the several plantations, churches such as they approved, but took care that no other than "approved churches" should be gathered, and that, if they should find it impossible to prevent the formation of other churches, the members of them should have no political power. It was ordered:-
"That all the people of God within this jurisdiction, who are not in a church way, being orthodox in judgment, and not scandalous in-life, shall have full liberty to gather themselves into a church estate, provided they do it in a Christian way, with due observation - of the rules of Christ, revealed in his Word; provided also, that this Court doth not, nor hereafter will, approve of any such company of persons, as shall join in any pretended way of church-fellowship, unless they shall first, in due season, acquaint both the magistrates and the elders of the churches within this colony, where and when they intend to join, and have their approbation therein." Nor shall any person, being a member of any church which shall be gathered without such notice given and approbation had, or who is not a member of some church in New England approved by the magistrates and churches of this colony, be admitted to the freedom of this jurisdiction."
It is not sufficient to say, that, according to the theory and practice of the New Haven Colony, the approved churches were established by law; but, since the seven men who were chosen to be the foundation work covenanted together as a church before they organized themselves as a civil court, it would be more accurate to say that the civil authority was instituted
by the church, than that the church was established by the state. This method of organization was undoubtedly designed to secure " the purity and peace of the ordinances to themselves and their posterity;" that is, to exclude, as far as they could, all other forms of Christianity. Such Was their design, whatever may be the verdict of the present age respecting the breadth of their scope, or the equilibrium of their justice. It is easy to see that such a foundation could not, and ought not to, endure through all the changes of opinion introduced by their posterity and by later emigrants. It is not easy to show that it was either unrighteous or impolitic as a temporary arrangement designed to secure to exiles from their native land the peaceable enjoyment of that "purity of the ordinances" for which they had left their homes, and in regard to which they were all of one mind.
The "approved churches" were of the Congregational order, in distinction from dependency on the one hand and from diocesan or presbyterial combination on the other. Some of the planters were High Church Separatists, regarding it as wrong to be in fellowship with the Church of England. Those who were more liberal had lost all desire for Episcopacy, if for no other reason because it was for them impracticable. To organize congregations, and place them under the government of the English hierarchy, would have been a surrender of themselves to the yoke they had slipped from. However they differed one from another in their theories of the church, the people of New England had, before the settlement of New Haven, with one accord, practically renounced Episcopacy. The planters of
Salem seem to have had no plan for their ecclesiastical organization till the time for action was close at hand. The adoption of Congregationalism was a surprise, at least to some of them. A few expressed their dissent by worshipping apart from the majority, and according to the forms prescribed by act of Parliament. After the violent suppression of this schism, there was no attempt among the Puritans of New England to organize congregations in connection with the Church of England. Some of them, when they returned to the mother country, showed by their adhesion to the national church that they had not been Congregationalists through conviction that Episcopacy was unlawful. Others, on their return home, conscientiously dissented from the established religion, and cast in their lot with the Separatists, however feeble and despised. Presbyterianism was but little known to most of the planters of New Haven; and what Davenport had learned of it by his experience in Holland had led him to dislike a classis almost as much as a bishop.
Adopting Congregationalism, the people of the New Haven Colony, like their brethren throughout New England, intended by it something as different from Independency as from Presbyterianism or Episcopacy. Their views and feelings may perhaps be illustrated by a quotation from one of themselves better than in any other way. John Wakeman, who resided at New Haven, on a lot at the corner of Chapel and York Streets vacated by the removal to Milford of the widow Baldwin to whom it was originally allotted, was for some years the treasurer of the jurisdiction, the representative of the plantation in the Colonial Court, and a deacon of the
church. Drawing near to the end of life, he felt himself called to profess his belief, not only in the facts which underlie Christianity, but in that theory of the Christian church which prevailed in New England. In his last will and testament he writes, -
"I, John Wakeman of New Haven, being weak in body, but of sound understanding and memory, in expectation of my great change, do make this my last will and testament. First, I commend my soul into the hands of my Lord Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, trusting to'be saved by his merits and intercession, and my body to be buried at the discretion of my executors and friends, in hope of a joyful resurrection; testifying my thankfulness to God for the free manifestation of his grace to me in Christ, and for the liberty and fellowship vouchsafed me with his people in his ordinances in a Congregational way, which I take to be the way of Christ, orderly walked in according to his rules; but I do testify against absolute independency of churches, and perfection of any in light or actings, and against compulsion of conscience to concur with the church without inward satisfaction to conscience, and persecuting such as dissent upo" this ground, which I take to be an abuse of the power given for edification by Christ, who is (the) only lord of the conscience."
This profession of Mr. Wakeman agrees, for substance, with the doctrine concerning Congregationalism taught by the elders of the churches, and received by the people. Even that part of it which relates to freedom of conscience, and the abuse of power in persecuting, fairly represents the public sentiment of the colony, so far. as erroneous thinking, apart from the promulgation of error, is concerned; for, while banishing or otherwise maltreating those who dissented from the majority, the law-makers were careful to declare that the offenders were not punished for wrong think-
ing, but for "broaching, publishing, and maintaining" their erroneous sentiments. The law against heresy reads,-
"Although no creature be lord or have power over the faith and consciences of men, nor may constrain them to believe or profess against their consciences, yet to restrain or provide against such as may bring in dangerous errors or heresies, tending to corrupt and destroy the souls of men, it is ordered, That if any Christian within this jurisdiction shall go about to subvert or destroy the Christian faith or religion by broaching, publishing, or maintaining any dangerous error or heresy, or shall endeavor to draw or seduce others thereunto, every such person so offending, and continuing obstinate therein, after due means of conviction, shall be fined, banished, or otherwise severely punished, as the court of magistrates duly considering the offence, with the aggravating circumstances and danger like to ensue, shall judge meet."
Winthrop's journal affords a telling illustration of the maintenance of this distinction in the neighboring colony of Massachusetts; Recording the punishment of a Baptist, who was too poor to be fined, he says, "He was ordered to be whipped, not for his opinion, but for reproaching the Lord's ordinance, and for his bold and evil, behavior, both at home and in the court." That the distinction was not merely theoretical, is evident from the fact that many Baptists were unmolested, among them the first two presidents of Harvard College.: Dunster, the first president, was an avowed anti-pedobaptist; yet he held the office for fourteen years, and might have held it longer had he not, in a moment of excitement, burst the bonds of his usual discretion, and inveighed openly, in the church at Cambridge, against infant baptism. For
this offence he was obliged to resign, but suffered no further molestation. His successor, while approving of infant baptism, held' that immersion was the. only mode; and his peculiarity in this respect was known before his election. "Mr. Mather and Mr. Norton were desired by the overseers of the college to tender unto Rev. Mr. Charles Chauncey the place of president, with the stipend of one hundred pounds per annum, to be paid out of the country treasury; and withal to signify to him that it is expected and desired that he forbear to disseminate or publish any tenets concerning immersion in baptism, and celebration of the Lord's Supper at evening, or to expose the received doctrine therein."(*) Mr. Chauncey agreed to this stipulation, and was never disturbed.
There were Baptists at New Haven, but no action was taken against them by the civil authority. Perhaps their immunity is sufficiently accounted for when we learn that the wife of Gov. Eaton was one of them. "The first discovery of her peremptory engagement was by her departing from the assembly after the morning sermon when the Lord's Supper was administered, and the same afternoon, after sermon, when baptism was administered, judging herself not capable of the former, because she conceited herself to be not baptized, nor durst she be present at the latter, imagining that psedo-baptism is unlawful." Mr. Davenport, finding that others of his flock were also astray, undertook to prove in a sermon on the next Lord's Day that "baptism is come in place of circumcision, and is to be administered unto infants;" which he himself says was done
(* Mass. Hist Coll., X., p. 175. Pierce's History of Harvard College.)
"with a blessing from God for the recovery of some from this error, and for the establishment of others in truth. Only Mrs. Eaton [received] no benefit by all, but continued as before." It is, however, more probable that the immunity was due to the discretion of the dissenters, who did not attempt, so far as appears, to make proselytes. That there was some jocose talk about banishment, as if such a penalty might follow the dissemination of their opinions, appears in the trial of Mrs. Brewster for sundry vituperative speeches concerning the church, its pastor, and the magistrates. A maid testified that " she heard Mrs. Brewster, speaking aloud to Mrs. Eaton concerning banishment, say, they could not banish her but by a general court, and, if it come to that, she wished Mrs. Eaton to come to her and acquaint her with her judgment and grounds about baptizing, and she would by them seduce some other women, and then she, the said Mrs. Brewster, would complain to the court of Mrs. Eaton, and the other women should complain of her, as being thus seduced, and so they would be banished together, and she spoke of going to Rhode Island. Mrs. Brewster confesseth the charge, but saith she spoke in jest and laughing.(*)
(* The action of the church in reference to Mrs. Eaton may be seen in the Appendix to Bacon's Historical Discourses. The pastor, finding that she had received no benefit from his sermon, put himself "to a further task for her good," writing a treatise which was read to her in private. This effort, however, was as fruitless as the former. What course the church might have taken with her for what they regarded as the error of her judgment, or for turning her back on its ordinances, does not appear; for, at this stage of the proceedings, "divers rumors were spread up and down the town of her scandalous walking in her family." "Upon inquiry, it appeared the reports were true, and more evils were discovered than we had heard of. We now began to see that God took us off from treating with her any further about the error of her judgment till we might help forward by the will of God her repentance for those evils in life, believing that else these evils would by the just judgment of God hinder from receiving light." Seventeen specifications of "scandalous walking" were presented to the church; the first charging her with striking her mother-in-law, the second with an assault upon her step- daughter, and all showing a violent, ungoverned temper. After waiting nine months for satisfaction, "with much grief of heart and many tears the church proceeded to censure," cutting her off from its communion. The conduct of Mrs. Eaton was so strange as to suggest the conjecture that she was either insane, or in that state of nervous excitement which borders on insanity, and that medical treatment would have been more appropriate than church discipline.)
While the few Baptists in the colony were quiet in their dissent, the Quakers were more troublesome. The first to appear was Humphrey Norton, who, haying been banished from Plymouth, came to Southold, whence, within six months after his banishment from Plymouth, he was sent as a prisoner to New Haven. This was in 1658. It is an illustration of the prevalent neglect to distinguish between the jurisdiction court and the court of the principal plantation, that he was indicted before the plantation court of New Haven. Mr.NLeete of Guilford and Mr. Fenn of Milford were, indeed, called in to assist; and the proceedings were afterward read to, and approved by, the court of the jurisdiction. The charges against Norton were:-
"1. That he hath grievously and in manifold wise traduced, slandered, and reproached Mr. Youngs, pastor of the church at Southold, in his good name, and the honor due to him for his work's sake, together with his ministry, and all our ministers and ordinances.
"2. That he hath endeavored to seduce the people from their
due attendance upon the ministry and the sound doctrines of our religion settled in this colony.
"3. That he hath endeavored to spread sundry heretical opinions, and that under expressions which hold forth some degree of blasphemy, and to corrupt the minds of people therein.
"4. That he hath endeavored to vilify or nullify the just authority of the magistracy and government here settled.
"5. That in all these miscarriages he hath endeavored to disturb the peace of this jurisdiction."
The sentence was, in the excess of punishment which it ordered, worthy of the High Commission, or of the Star-Chamber. It discovers in the court a hatred of the prisoner's opinions, which is but thinly covered by the specification of overt crimes. Norton was fined, whipped, branded, and banished.
At the session of the colonial court next following, the proceedings against Norton having been approved, laws were enacted against "a cursed sect lately risen up in the world, which are commonly called Quakers," imposing fines on any who should bring them into the colony, or harbor them; requiring Quakers coming in about "their civil, lawful occasions," upon their first arrival, to appear before the authority of the place, and from them have license to pass about and issue their lawful occasions; and providing penalties if they attempt to seduce others, if they revile or reproach, or any other way make disturbance or offend. If a Quaker having fallen under these penalties, and having been sent out of the jurisdiction, should presume to return, penalties increasing in severity are provided for the second, the third, and the fourth offence. Penalties are also provided for bringing into the jurisdiction Quaker books, and for circulating or concealing them.
The cruelty of laws whose penalties culminated in "tongues bored through with a hot iron" must be revolting, even to those who justify the fathers of the New Haven Colony in intrusting with political power only such as were of the "religion settled in this colony." But such penalties were not peculiar to New Haven or to New England. In England, two years earlier, a Quaker by the name of James Naylor had been bored through the tongue, and otherwise tormented. So that, however true it may be that "emigration tends to barbarism," the severest punishment with which Quakers were threatened by the people of New Haven was not invented on this side of the Atlantic.
Either these laws were very effective in deterring persons of the troublesome and hated sect from remaining within the jurisdiction, or there was little occasion for the terror which led to their enactment. Only three instances are found, subsequent to the enactment of the laws against Quakers, in which action is taken against persons thus denominated. The first occurred a few days after the laws were enacted, and resulted in a fine imposed upon an inhabitant of Greenwich for the miscarriages of himself and his wife in the use of the tongue against elders and magistrates. In the second, a seaman was sent on board his vessel lying in the harbor of New Haven; and the master was required to keep him on board till he should carry him out of the jurisdiction. The third concerned a Quaker brought over from Southold: it was ordered that the offender "be whipped, and that he be bound in a bond of fifty pounds for his good behavior for the
time to come, to carry it in a comely and inoffensive manner."
Besides Baptists and Quakers, there were no sectaries in the colony of New Haven till after its absorption into Connecticut. Thirteen years after the union, the Lords of the Privy Council, through their commissioners for trade and foreign plantations, sent out a schedule of questions concerning the condition of Connecticut. The twenty-sixth inquiry was as follows: viz., "What persuasion in religious matters is most prevalent? and among the varieties, which you are to express, what proportion in number and quality of people [does] one hold to the other?" To this question Gov. Leete replied one year later, "Our people in this colony are, some of them, strict Congregational men, others more large Congregational men, and some moderate Presbyterians. The Congregational men of both sorts are the greatest part of the people in the colony. There are four or five Seventh- day men, and about so many more Quakers." The "moderate Presbyterians" to whom the governor alludes were a party in the church at Hartford, including Mr. Stone, the pastor, who maintained that Congregationalism was "a speaking aristocracy in the face of a silent democracy." He, and those who agreed with him in thus magnifying the authority of the elders, were naturally called Presbyterians by those who magnified the rights of the brotherhood;(*) but there was no outward separation of them from "Congregational men," either "strict" or "large;" and they did not call themselves
(* Gov. Leete was a member of the church in Guilford, which from its beginning would never have a ruling elder.)
Presbyterians, but claimed that theirs was genuine Congregationalism. The condition of the united colony fourteen years after the union being such as Gov. Leete represents, we may conclude that in the colony of New Haven, previous to the union, there was to all intents and purposes entire ecclesiastical uniformity.
As another inquiry of the commissioners related to religion, we may as well record the reply of Gov. Leete. Though covering the whole territory of Connecticut, it throws light on the religious condition of that portion of it which a few years before had been the jurisdiction of New Haven. The twenty-seventh inquiry was: "What course is taken for the instructing of the people in the Christian religion? How many churches and ministers are there within your government, and how many are yet wanting for the accommodation of your corporation?" The reply was, "Great care is taken for the instruction of the people in the Christian religion, by ministers catechising of them, and preaching to them twice every sabbath day, and sometimes lecture days; and so by masters of families instructing or catechising their children and servants, being so required to do by law: (2) In our corporation are twenty-six towns, and there are one and twenty churches in them. (3) There is, in every town in our colony, a settled minister, except it be in two towns new begun; and they are seeking out for ministers to settle amongst them."
It was held in those days, that there should be in every church, if possible, a pastor, a teacher, a ruling elder, and one or more deacons. In the church at New Haven Mr. Davenport was chosen pastor, and Robert
Newman and Matthew Gilbert deacons, soon after the organization. In 1644 Rev. William Hooke was ordained teacher; and about the same time Robert Newman, one of the deacons, was ordained ruling elder.(*) "Thus," says Dr. Bacon, "the church became completely supplied with the officers which every church in that day was supposed to need. It had within itself a complete presbytery, - a full body of ordained elders, competent to maintain a regular succession, without any dependence on the supposed ordaining power of ministers out of the church, and without any necessity of resorting to the extraordinary measure of ordination by persons specially delegated for that purpose. The three elders - one of whom was to give attention chiefly to the administration of the order and government of the church, while the others were to labor in word and doctrine - were all equally and in the same sense 'elders,' or 'overseers,' of the flock of God. The one was a mere elder; but the others were elders called to the work of preaching. The distinction between pastor and teacher was theoretical, rather than of any practical importance. Both were in the highest sense ministers of the gospel; as colleagues they preached by turns on the Lord's Day, and on all other public occasions; they had an equal share in the administration
(* Robert Newman returned to England, and no one was appointed to succeed him as ruling elder. Mr. Hooke also returned to the mother country, and was succeeded by Rev. Nicholas Street. Mr. Street was born in Taunton, England, was educated at Oxford University, and had been teacher of the church in Taunton in the colony of Plymouth. He was installed at New Haven, according to the church record, Nov. 26, or, as Davenport writes in a letter to John Winthrop, jun. (Mass. Hist ColL XXXVII., 507), Nov. 23, 1659.)
of discipline; and if Mr. Davenport was more venerated than Mr. Hooke, and had more influence in the church and in the community generally, it was more because of the acknowledged personal superiority of the former in respect to age and gifts and learning, than because of any official disparity. The Cambridge platform, which was framed in 1648, and with which Mr. Davenport, in his writings on church government, fully agrees, says, in defining the difference between pastors and teachers, 'The pastor's special work is to attend to exhortation, and therein to administer a word of wisdom; the teacher is to attend to doctrine, and therein to administer a word of knowledge; and either of them to administer the seals of that covenant, unto the dispensation of which they are alike called; as also to execute the censures, being but a kind of application of the Word: the preaching of which, together with the application thereof, they are alike charged withal.' The pastor and teacher gave themselves wholly to their ministry and their studies, and accordingly received a support from the people: they might properly be called clergymen, The ruling elder was not necessarily educated for the ministry: he might without impropriety pursue some secular calling; and, though he fed the flock occasionally with 'a word of admonition,' the ministry was not his profession. Inasmuch as he did not live by the ministry, he was a layman."
But there was perhaps no other church in the colony provided with a presbytery complete according to the Cambridge platform, than that of New Haven. The church at Guilford had for its pastor Rev. Henry Whitfield, under whose guidance most of the people had
crossed the ocean; and for its teacher Rev. John Higginson, a son-in-law of its pastor. But, to borrow the the language of one of its later pastors, "they never had, and upon principle never would admit, a ruling elder. Although in all other things Mr. Whitfield and Mr. Davenport and their churches exactly agreed, yet in this they were quite different. I have made diligent inquiry into the subject, many years ago, with old people who were personally Acquainted with the first members of the church. They all invariably agree, that as Mr. Whitfield was never ordained in any sense at Guilford, but officiated as their pastor by virtue of his ordination in England, so neither he nor the church would allow of a ruling elder; and the ancient tradition in the church here was, that New Haven, and afterward other churches in the colony, conformed their judgment and practice to Mr. Whitfield's and his church's judgment."(*)
After the return of Mr. Whitfield to England, Mr. Higginson was both pastor and teacher, until 1659, when he removed to Salem. At Milford Mr. Prudden was the only preaching elder, Rev. John Sherman, a resident of the town, having declined the office of teacher to which the church had elected him; but Zachariah Whitman, as ruling elder, was associated with Mr. Prudden in the care of the church. Mr. Prudden, dying in 1656, was succeeded, after an interim of four years, by Rev. Roger Newton, who, like his predecessor, was the only preaching elder. No records of the church at South old of an earlier date than 1745 being extant, we cannot ascertain whether it had a ruling elder; but there is no
(* Letter of Rev. Thomas Ruggles, author of a History of Guilford, to Rev. Dr. Stiles; printed in Mass. Hist. Coll., X. 91.)
reason to doubt that Mr. Youngs was its only preaching officer. At Stamford Rev. John Bishop was both pastor and teacher; as was Rev. Abraham Pierson at Branford, when, with the approbation of the Jurisdiction Court, a settlement had been made, and a church had been gathered, in that place.
The preaching elders were maintained from the treasury of the church, and not of the town, the treasury being supplied by contribution's made every Lord's Day; but these contributions were, if not from the beginning, certainly very soon after the beginning, made in accordance with a pledge which every inhabitant was required to give, that he would contribute a certain amount yearly for the maintenance of the ministry. The law respecting such pledges reads as follows:-
"It is ordered, that when and so oft as there shall be cause, either through the perverseness or negligence of men, the particular court in each plantation, or, where no court is held, the deputies last chosen for the General Court, with the constable, or other officer for preserving peace, and so forth, shall call all the inhabitants, whether planters or sojourners, before them, and desire every one particularly to set down what proportion he is willing and able to allow yearly, while God continues his estate, toward the maintenance of the ministry there. But if any one or more, to the discouragement or hinderance of this work, refuse or delay, or set down an unmeet proportion; in any and every such case, the particular court, or deputies and constable as aforesaid, shall rate and assess every such person, according to his visible estate there, with due moderation and in equal proportion with his neighbors. But if after that he deny or delay, or tender unsuitable payment, it shall be recovered as other just debts. And it is further ordered, That if any man remove from the plantation where he lived, and leave or suffer his land there, or any part of it, to lie unimproved, neither selling it, nor freely surrendering it to the plantation, he shall pay
one third part of what he paid before for his movable estate and lands also. And in each plantation where ministers' maintenance is allowed in a free way without rating, he shall pay one third part of what other men of the lowest rank enjoying such accommodations, do pay; but if any removing, settle near the said plantation, and continue still to improve his land, or such part of it as seems good to himself, he shall pay two-thirds of what he paid before when he lived in the plantation, both for movable estate and land, or two-thirds-part of what others of like accommodation pay."
There is, perhaps, an intimation in the law, that the amount which each inhabitant should pay for the maintenance of the elders was determined, in some of the plantations, by assessors and not by himself. Practically, there could not be much difference in the two methods, since, if the "free way without rating" was practised, the order of the court obliged non- resident proprietors and unwilling residents to pay according to their taxable estates.
The general synod at Cambridge, which in 1648 prepared, agreed to, and published the system of ecclesiastical polity known as the Cambridge platform, included representatives of the churches in the colony of New Haven; and this platform fairly represents the Congregationalism of these churches from their organization to the formation of the Saybrook platform in the early part of the eighteenth century. The same synod took action on the confession of faith published by the Westminster Assembly of divines, as follows:-
"This synod, having perused and considered, with much gladness of heart and thankfulness to God, the confession of faith published of late by the reverend assembly in England, do judge it to be very holy, orthodox, and judicious in all matters of faith;
and do therefore freely and fully consent thereunto, for the substance thereof. Only in those things which have respect to church government and discipline, we refer ourselves to the platform of church discipline agreed upon by this present assembly."
The Presbyterian party being at that time in the ascendant in England, the synod adopted the Westminster Confession, instead of framing one for themselves, for the sake of vindicating in the mother country the orthodoxy of New England Congregationalists. They say in their preface:-
"We, who are, by nature Englishmen, do desire to hold forth the same doctrine of religion, especially in fundamentals, which we see and know to be held by the churches of England." "By this our professed consent and free concurrence with them in all the doctrinals of religion, we hope it may appear to the world, that, as we are a remnant of the people of the same nation with them, so we are professors of the same common faith, and fellow-heirs of the same common salvation."
If the Church of England had been at that time Episcopal, the Cambridge Synod would with equal willingness have adopted the doctrinal part of the Thirty-Nine Articles. These articles they heartily received, according to the interpretation generally given to them in the reign of Elizabeth, in the first part of the reign of James I., and by the Calvinistic party in the Church of England subsequently. The pastors and teachers of the churches in the New Haven colony retained the Calvinistic theology in which they had been indoctrinated in the universities, and believed, as did their teachers, that it was consistent with and embodied in the Thirty- Nine Articles. After the restoration of the Thirty-Nine Articles in the national church of England,
the churches of Connecticut publicly agreed with the dissenters in the mother country, in adopting them as a standard of orthodoxy. The Heads of Agreement which accompany the Saybrook platform say, "As to what appertains to soundness of judgment in matters of faith, we esteem it sufficient that a church acknowledge the Scriptures to be the word of God, the perfect and only rule of faith and practice, and own either the doctrinal part of those commonly called the articles of the Church of England, or the confession, or catechisms, shorter or longer, compiled by the assembly at Westminster, or the confession agreed on at the Savoy, to be agreeable to the said rule." This declaration, though made after the first generation had passed away, would have been uttered by the fathers as willingly as by their children, if justified by an appropriate occasion.
In each plantation there was a building in which the church assembled for worship. It was built and owned by the proprietors of the plantation, and was used for meetings of the General Court as well as of the church. Having this double design, it was not called a church or a church-house, as an edifice used only for church services would naturally be denominated, but a meetinghouse. This twofold use of the edifice did not offend the religious sentiment of the people; for the court was composed of church-members who came together in a religious spirit to serve God in the business of the court as truly as they served him in the ordinances of the church. It was not a temporary expedient such as a people believing in a more thorough separation of
Church and State might adopt in a new plantation till they were able to provide more appropriately for each; but it was in its design a permanent arrangement befitting a theocratic constitution of society. The meeting- houses in the several plantations differed
[image caption: A MEETING-HOUSE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY]
in size, but were similar in external appearance and internal arrangement. The meeting-house at Guilford was, however, of stone, as were a few of the principal dwellings in that plantation. That at Milford was of wood, was forty feet square, and had a roof in shape
like a truncated pyramid, surmounted by a "tower." That at New Haven was of wood, was fifty feet square, and had a roof like that of the Milford house, and a "tower and turret." There were also "banisters and rails on the meeting-house top," which probably en closed that higher and flatter portion of the roof from which the tower ascended. It was built in accordance with an order of the General Court, passed Nov. 2-5, 1639. The estimated cost was £500; and, as the last instalment of the tax levied to raise that sum was made payable in the following May, one may infer that the expectation was that it would be finished within a year. It stood in the market-place, certainly near its centre, and presumably exactly upon it.(*) The frame being insufficient to support the weight of the tower and turret, it became necessary to shore up the posts. In time it was found that the shores were impaired by decay, and fears were expressed that the house would fall. In January, 1660, there was a discussion at a general court concerning the meeting-house. Some were in favor of taking down both the tower and the turret. Some were for removing the turret, and allowing the tower to remain. Some thought that both tower and turret might be retained, if the shores
(* See in Mass. Hist Coll. XL., p. 474, a curious essay on the laying out of towns. The author is unknown, and it is without address or date. It seems to have been written before the settlement of New Haven, but lays down the same principles as ruled in laying out New Haven. The meeting- house is to be "the centre of the whole circumference." The houses are to be orderly placed about it. Then there is to be a first division of lands extending from the centre one-half the distance to the outside boundary, to be improved in the earlier years of the settlement, before the second division comes into use.)
were renewed, and the frame were strengthened with braces within the house. In conclusion, it was "determined, that, besides the renewing of the shores, both turret and tower shall be taken down." Probably the order to take down the tower and turret was not executed, for a committee on the meeting-house reported, Aug. 11, 1662, that "they thought it good that the upper turret be taken down. The thing being debated, it was put to vote, and concluded to be done, and left to the townsmen to see to get it done."
The internal arrangement of a meeting-house is shown in the accompanying plan. Behind the pulpit was the seat of the teaching elders; immediately in front of it was the seat of the ruling elder; and before the seat of the ruling elder was the seat of the deacons, having a shelf in front of it, which ordinarily hung suspended from hinges, so as to present its broad surface to the congregation, but, when needed for a communion-table, was elevated to a horizontal position. The report of the committee for seating people in the meeting-house at New Haven, in 1656, shows that the deacons were expected to sit one at each end of their official seat, and that each of them had his own place, - four men being appointed to sit before Deacon Gilbert's seat, and three women before Deacon Miles's seat. In every such meeting-house the sexes were seated apart, the men on one side, and the women on the other side, of the middle "alley." The soldiers' seats were, however, an exception to the rule, one-half of them being on the women's side of the house. In the meeting-house at New Haven the "forms" between the "alleys" were long enough to accommodate seven per-
sons, but only two or three were assigned to those near the pulpit, the space allowed to each person having some proportion to his dignity. At "the upper end" were five cross-seats and "one little seat." The seating of 1656 assigns two men to "the bench before the little seat," and, on the opposite side of the house, two women to "the seat before the little seat." In like manner persons were assigned to sit in front of every
front seat in the house. The first seating which is recorded placed only proprietors and their wives. The second was more liberal, including apparently all heads of families, but, with the exception of "Mr. Goodyear's daughters,"(*) no unmarried women. This more liberal policy in the assignment of seats rendered it necessary to place benches in the "alleys," before every front seat. In the meeting-house at New Haven there were two pillars, one on that part where the men were seated, and one on the women's side. Apparently they were designed to aid in supporting the weight of the tower and turret. On the accompanying ground-plan they are represented as placed in the side "alleys," half way from front to rear.
In January, 1647, "it was ordered that the particular ctfurt with the two deacons, taking in the advice of the ruling elder, should place people in the meeting-house, and it was also ordered that the governor may be spared therein." At a general court held the tenth of March, this committee having meanwhile performed their duty, "the names of people, as they were seated in the meeting-house, were read in court, and it was ordered they should be recorded." In 1656, nine years later, another record was made, and in 1662 a third record of the names of people as they were seated in the meeting-
(* The governor may have been spared, because, his wife being now excommunicate, no seat could be assigned to her by name. It will be seen, however, that there was plenty of room for her in the seat with "old Mrs. Eaton." Nine years later, the governor's mother being now dead, the seat was assigned to his wife under the adroit circumlocution, "The first as it was," but the committee's faculty of circumlocution failed when they came to the bench in front of that seat, and they wrote, "Before Mrs. Baton's seat.")
house. As a comparison of these records may assist the reader to note the increase of the congregation and the change in its personnel, we have transcribed them to be printed in Appendix IV. At the town meeting at which the second list of names was read, "it was agreed that (because there want seats for some, and that the alleys are so filled with blocks, stools, and chairs, that it hinders a free passage) low benches shall be made at the end of the seats on both sides of the alleys, for young persons to sit on." But these additional seats did not suffice, for about twelve months later the townsmen, or, as we now term them, the selectmen, were "desired to speak with some workmen to see if another little gallery may not for a small charge be made adjoining that [which] is already." This mention of the gallery prompts us to suggest, that, as with few exceptions the persons who had seats assigned to them by name were heads of families, young men and young women sat in the gallery, as was the general custom in New England in later generations. That the interior of the building was cared for and kept free from dust, is evident from the minute, "It is ordered that sister Preston shall sweep and dress the meeting-house every week, and have one shilling a week for her pains."
The people of each plantation gathered together on the morning of every Lord's day to a sanctuary not unlike that which has been described. The first drum was beaten about eight o'clock in the tower of the meeting- house and through the streets of the town. When the second drum beat, families came forth from their dwellings, and walked in orderly procession to the
house of God, children following their parents to the door, though not allowed to sit with them in the assembly. The ministers in the pulpit wore gowns and bands as they had done in England, their Puritan scruples reaching not to all the badges of official distinction which they had been accustomed to see and to use, but only to the surplice.
There is, perhaps, no way in which one can more accurately conceive of - the ritual of worship in these churches than by reading what has been written by a contemporary, concerning worship in New England and especially in Boston. Lechford says:-
"The public worship is in as fair a meeting-house as they can provide, wherein, in most places they have been at great charges. Every Sabbath or Lord's day they come together at Boston by ringing of a bell, about nine of the clock or before. The pastor begins with solemn prayer, continuing about a quarter of an hour. The teacher(*) then readeth and expoundeth a chapter. Then a psalm is: sung; whichever, one of the ruling elders dictates. After that, the pastor preacheth a sermon, and sometimes ex tempore exhorts. Then the teacher concludes with prayer and a blessing.
"Once a month is a sacrament of the Lord's Supper, whereof notice is given usually a fortnight before, and then all others departing save the church, which is a great deal less in number than those that go away, they receive the sacrament, the ministers and ruling elders sitting at the table, the rest in their seats or upon forms. All cannot see the minister consecrating unless they stand up and make a narrow shift. The one of the teaching elders prays before, and blesseth and consecrates the bread and wine, according to the words of institution- the other prays after the receiving of all the members; and next communion they change turns; he that
(* Lechford was a lawyer, who, being disbarred for talking with a juryman out of court, returned to England.)
began at that ends at this; and the ministers deliver the bread in a charger to some of the chief, and peradventure give to a few the bread into their hands, and they deliver the charger from one to another, till all have eaten; in like manner the cup, till all have drunk, goes from one to another. Then a psalm is sung, and with a short blessing the congregation is dismissed. Any one, though not of the church, may, in Boston, come in and see the sacrament administered if he will; but none of any church in the country may receive the sacrament there without leave of the congregation, for which purpose he comes to one of the ruling elders, who propounds his name to the congregation before they go to the sacrament.
"About two in the afternoon they repair to the meeting-house again; and then the pastor begins as before noon, and, a psalm being sung, the teacher makes a sermon. He was wont, when I came first, to read and expound a chapter also before his sermon in the afternoon. After and before his sermon he prayeth.
"After that ensues baptism, if there be any; which is done by either pastor or teacher, in the deacon's seat, the most eminent place in the church, next under the elders' seat. The pastor most commonly makes a speech or exhortation to the church and parents concerning baptism, and then prayeth before and after. It is done by washing or sprinkling. One of the parents being of the church, the child may be baptized, and the baptism is into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. No sureties are required.
Which ended, follows the contribution, one of the deacons saying, 'Brethren of the congregation, now there is time left for contribution, wherefore, as God hath prospered you, so freely offer.' Upon some extraordinary occasions, as building or repairing of churches or meeting- houses, or other necessities, the ministers press a liberal contribution, with effectual exhortations out of Scripture. The magistrates and chief gentlemen first, and then the elders and all the congregation of men, and most of them that are not of'the church, all single persons, widows and women in absence of their husbands,(*) come up one after another one way,
(* Mrs. Brewster, in the absence of her husband, who had sailed for England in Lamberton's ship, went forward with her gift "because her husband had commanded her," but was charged with saying, "It was as going to mass or going up to the high altar." She denied "that ever she spake of mass or high altar in reference to the contributions," but adroitly quoted the text, "when thou bringest thy gift to the altar," alleging that she first heard it applied to the contributions by her irreproachable seat- mate, Mrs. Lamberton.)
and bring their offerings to the deacon at his seat, and put it into a box of wood for the purpose, if it be money or papers; if it be any other chattel, they set it or lay it down before the deacons, and so pass another way to their seats again."
The sermons were much longer than would be endured at the present day; but were not regarded by the hearers as too long, such was the interest which the people felt in the exposition of the Scriptures, and so little else was there to occupy their intellectual and spiritual faculties. Long sermons, however, were not a peculiarity of New England. The churches in the mother-country were commonly supplied with hourglasses, one hour being the ordinary measure of a sermon; but when an able preacher turned the glass to signify that he wished to speak longer, the congregation would give visible, if not audible, expression of their approval.
After the contribution, candidates were "propounded" for admission to the church, or, having been previously announced as candidates, were, on their assenting to the covenant of the church, formally received into its communion. If there were any matters of offence requiring censure, they were-then attended to, "sometimes till it be very late," "If they have time after this, is sung a psalm, and then the pastor concludeth with a prayer and a blessing."
In the church at New Haven it was, the custom for
the assembly to rise and stand while the preacher read the passage of Scripture which he had selected as a text for his sermon. But Hutchinson says that this was a peculiarity of that church, and quotes a letter from Hooker to Shepard, referring to the Sunday when the practice commenced in the afternoon, Mr. Davenport having preached a sermon in the morning advocating such an expression of reverence for the word of God.
Stated religious services in addition to those of the Lord's Day were held on other days of the week, the arrangement of them differing probably in the several plantations. In New Haven the church had a meeting by themselves on Tuesday, or "third day," as their scruples required them, at least for a time, to term the third day of the week. On Thursday, or "fifth day," there was a public lecture open to all.(*) Allusion is also made in the records to neighborhood-meetings, not only during the year preceding the formation of a church and a government, but so late as May, 1661.
"A plantation whose design is religion" ought to be distinguished for morality. Such being the design of all the plantations combined in the colony of New Haven, we naturally expect to find it standing higher than midway in a list of Christian communities arranged according to their respective degrees of ethical purity. All the proprietors were, or desired to become, church-
(* I am not sure that either the church-meeting or the lecture-service was held every week. The lecture probably occurred regularly, whatever the interval; the church-meeting may have been appointed by the elders whenever there was occasion. I think, however, that church-meetings were always on third day, and lectures always on fifth day.)
members, and all had evinced the sincerity of their re ligious professions by coming into the wilderness for the sake of their religion. Such men were personally moral, and, so far as they could control their children, their servants, and the strangers who sojourned among them, they preserved their community free from vice. It is true that the records supply evidence that the moral law was sometimes transgressed. Indeed, if one should judge solely from the number of cases brought to trial, he might come to the conclusion that there was a low state of morals in the colony. But a community governed by Puritans differed from other communities, both in the comprehensiveness of the moral code enforced by the civil law, and in the strictness with which laws enacted in the interest of morality were enforced. Probably mere cases were brought before the court, in proportion to the number of crimes committed, than in any community of the present day. In our time the civil law aims to protect society from the destructive power of immorality, and this is the limit of its endeavor in behalf of morality. If there be any laws on the statute-book designed to protect an individual from himself, or to enforce the duties which man owes to God, such laws are ancient, and, for want of enforcement, are practically obsolete.
The whole duty of a man comprises his duties to himself, his duties to his fellow-beings, and his duties to God. Puritan law enforced the obligations of the first and third, as well as of the second division. Drunkenness and unchastity were trespasses which the offender committed against himself, - trespasses from which the innocent were to be deterred by penalties
threatened, and, whenever there was transgression, by penalties inflicted. Blasphemy was an outrage upon the being spoken against, and wilful absence from public worship was to rob God of the outward honor rightfully belonging to him: there were therefore laws to protect the rights of God by punishing such impiety.
The field in which ethical purity was enforced by law, being considerably wider than in modern times, the moral sentiment of society being high- toned, and magistrates being conscientiously diligent in maintaining law, there were more criminal prosecutions than would occur under modern laws and modern administration in a community equally virtuous and of equal population. Allowing for the breadth of the Puritan code of morals, and the conscientiousness with which law was enforced, one must conclude that the people of the New Haven colony were more moral than the people inhabiting the same territory have been during any equal period in modern times. Antecedent to the union with Connecticut, there was no trial of an English person for murder. There is incidental evidence that there was one trial for adultery, though the record of it is lost. There were executions for crimes of unnatural lust, but the imperfection of the records renders it impossible to determine how many. Trials for fornication, drunkenness, and theft were not as numerous in proportion to the population as on the same territory in our own time.
Generally, offenders were either servants or artisans temporarily resident. But in a comparatively few cases the children of proprietors so far deviated from the strictly moral life required by Puritan law, as to be sum-
moned before the magistrates. When this happened, it usually appeared that they had been misled by servants, bond or hired. One such case illustrates the firm ness and impartiality with which law was administered. The daughter of a magistrate was, by order of the court of magistrates, whipped for "consenting to go in the night to the farms with Will. Harding to a venison feast; for stealing things from her parents; and yielding to filthy dalliance with the said Harding." Neither her father who was a member of the court, nor her father's "cousin" who presided, however they may have shrunk and faltered, refused to administer the same measure as they would have administered to the humblest appren tice.
Passing out of the zone in which morality was protected by civil law, into the region where conscience and public sentiment ruled, we find the colonists superior rather than inferior to their descendants and successors. In the sobriety which governs animal appetites; in the observance of the rules of righteousness between man and man; in the carefulness with which honor was given to those to whom honor was due, and especially to the Supreme Ruler, - they excelled.
Having said so much in commendation, we must in truthfulness testify, that, like the saints whose sins are recorded on the pages of Holy Writ, they were human and therefore imperfect. Even among church-members there were cases of gross immorality. In a single church there was one case of lying, one of fraud, one of drunkenness, and one of unnatural lust. These exceptional outbreaks of wickedness are conspicuous by reason of the general sobriety, righteousness, and godliness of the community in which they occurred.
If there was any sin to which Puritans were especially liable, it was avarice. Watchful against carnality and ungodliness, they were less suspicious of that lust of acquiring, which under the guise of such virtues as industry, frugality, and domestic affection, sometimes held them in a bondage of which they were little aware. Hence there were frequent appeals to the court for justice between man and man in regard to contracts, and in one instance a complaint from the deacons of the church in "the principal plantation that the wampum that is put into the church- treasury is generally so bad that the elders to whom they pay it cannot pay it away." The court, appointing a committee to inquire further concerning the matter, found that "the contributions for the church- treasury are by degrees so much abated that they afford not any considerable maintenance to the teaching officers, and that much of the wampum brought in is such, and so faulty, that the officers can hardly, or not at all, pass it away in any of their occasions." Those who abated their contributions too much, or cast into the treasury of the church worthless money, were certainly wrong; but perhaps those who in our day are accustomed to receive and count the contributions of churches, could testify that such manifestations of avarice are not peculiar to ancient times.
The outward honor shown to those who were worthy of honor was in the seventeenth century rendered as being of moral obligation. Good morals included good manners, and good manners were so far forth good morals. The Puritan gave to the fifth commandment so broad a scope that it required outward expressions of reverence for all superiors in age or station. It would
be impossible now to re-establish the manners of the seventeenth century, or to convince any considerable part of society that the young owe to their superiors in age any such degree of deference as was then acknowledged to be due. But even to one who believes that outward signs of reverence were then excessive, there may perhaps be more of fitness and beauty in the manners of the olden time, notwithstanding such excess, than in the opposite extreme sometimes exhibited in modern society. Certainly, as reverence for superiors was then universally held to be of moral obligation, the people of New Haven colony are to be credited for the general rendition of honor to whom honor is due.
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