by Edward Elias Atwater
CONTROVERSY WITH CONNECTICUT
AT the session of the General Court of Connecticut at which the charter was received, Capt. John Youngs of Southold appeared, and presented the following certificate, signed by thirty-two persons:-
Southold, Oct 4, 1662. "Having notice from Mr. Wyllys of Connecticut Jurisdiction, Long Island comes within the patent, and also that the Court is to be held at Hartford, and thither we are desired by Mr. Wyllys to send our deputies, from these towns of Long Island; we therefore of Southold, whose names are underwritten, do desire and have appointed Capt. John Youngs to be our deputy, and do hereby give him full power to speak and, act in our behalf as occasion shall serve."
Upon this certificate Capt. Youngs was admitted to sit as the deputy of Southold, and the following minute was entered on the record:-
"This Court being informed by Capt. John Youngs and some other gentlemen of quality, that the inhabitants of Southold, the major part of them, have sent up and empowered him to act as their deputy, and he as their agent tending to submit their persons and estates unto this government according to our Charter; this Court doth own arid accept them, and shall be ready to afford
them protection as occasion shall require, and do advise the said inhabitants to repair to South and East Hampton, to the authority there settled by this Court, in case of any necessary occasion, to require the assistance of authority. And this Court doth hereby accept and declare Capt John Youngs to be a freeman of this corporation, and do grant him commission to act in the plantation of Southold as need requires, according to his commission. And this Court doth order the inhabitants of Southold to meet together, to choose a constable for that town; and Capt. John Youngs is authorized to administer oath to the said constable, for the due execution of his office. And we do advise and order Capt. Youngs to see that the minister be duly paid his meet and competent maintenance."
When the magistrates of Connecticut agreed, before the departure of Winthrop for Europe, that if it should be found that their boundary included New Haven, their brethren of that colony should be at liberty to unite with them or not at their option, they had no thought of such a temptation as bese.t them when Southold applied to be received under their jurisdiction. They were tempted to divide and conquer when they ought in fairness and good faith, by postponing action on the proposal of the Southold people, to have shown courtesy to a sister colony with which they were confederate. The signers of the application were probably, as Capt. Youngs alleged, a major part of the freemen of Southold; but they were under oath of allegiance to New Haven, and in revolting to Connecticut were acting as individuals and not in a court of the plantation. Connecticut, after acknowledging New Haven as a sister colony and becoming confederate with it, could not justly receive one of its plantations, even if a general court of the plantation had voted to
change its allegiance. If possible, it was a still greater outrage to do it in the absence of municipal action.
Having thus robbed New Haven of Southold, the same General Court proceeded to take under the government and protection of Connecticut a few disaffected persons in Guilford, without even pretending that they were a majority of the inhabitants or of the freemen. The record reads, -
"Several inhabitants of Guilford tendering themselves, their persons and estates, under the government and protection of this colony, this Court doth declare that they do accept and own them as members of this colony, and shall be ready to afford what protection is necessary. And this Court doth advise the said persons to carry peaceably and religiously in their places toward the rest of the inhabitants that yet have not submitted in like manner. And also to pay their just dues unto the minister of their town; and also all public charges due to this day,"
In like manner Stamford and Greenwich were received. "This Court doth hereby declare their acceptance of the plantations of Stamford and Greenwich under this government upon the same terms and provisions as are directed and declared to the inhabitants of Guilford; and that each of those plantations have a constable chosen and sworn." As no disaffected inhabitants of New Haven, Milford, or Branford appeared, no action was attempted for comprehending those plantations further than to appoint Mr. Matthew Allyn, Mr. Wyllys, Mr. Stone, and Mr. Hooker a committee "to go down to New Haven to treat with the gentlemen and others of our loving friends there, according to such instructions as shall be directed to the said committee by this Court."
About a week later a court of magistrates was held at New Haven, at which the governor, the deputy-governor, Mr. Jones, Mr. Fenn, Mr. Treat, and Mr. Crane were present. The committee from Connecticut, arriving in New Haven while the magistrates were in session, presented a copy of the charter, and with it the written declaration which may be found below, to the intent that Connecticut desired "a happy and comfortable union."
In the record of their proceedings the magistrates make no express mention of the committee or of their documents; but "it was agreed and ordered that the twenty-ninth day of this month be kept a day of extraordinary seeking of God by fasting and prayer for his guidance of the colony in this weighty business about joining with Connecticut colony, and for the afflicted state of the church and people of God in our native country, and in other parts of the world." But though no mention is made in the record of the court of magistrates, of the documents received from Connecticut, it subsequently appears that the magistrates and elders returned a written reply.
At a meeting of the freemen of New Haven colony, held at New Haven, Nov. 4, 1662, the governor informed them they were not ignorant of the occasion of this meeting, they knowing that some gentlemen of Connecticut had been here, and had left a copy of their patent, and another writing under their hands, both of which were now read, and also the answer of our committee to their writing, which writing and answer are as followeth:-
"To our Much Honored and Reverend Friends of New Haven, Milford, &c., to be communicated to all whom it may concern:- We declare that through the good providence of the Most High, a large and ample patent and therein desirable privileges and immunities from his Majesty, being come to our hands (a copy whereof we have left with you to be considered), and yourselves upon the sea-coast being included and interested therein, the king having united us in one body politic, we according to the commission wherewith we are intrusted by the General Assembly of Connecticut do declare in their name that it is both their and our earnest desire that there may be a happy and comfortable union between yourselves and us, according to the tenor of the charter, that inconveniences and dangers may be prevented, and peace and truth strengthened and established, through our suitable subjection to the terms of the patent, and the good blessing of God upon us therein. We do desire a seasonable return hereunto.
"matthew allyn, samuel wyllys, samuel stone, samuel hooker, joseph fitch."
"To our Much Honored and Reverend Friends, the Commissioners from the General Court of Connecticut, to be communicated, &c. "much honored and reverend, - We have received and perused your writing, and heard the copy read of his Majesty's letters patent to Connecticut colony, wherein though we do not find the colony of New Haven expressly included, yet to show our desire that matters may be issued in the conserving of peace and amity with righteousness between them and us, we shall communicate your writing and the copy of the patent to our freemen, and afterwards with convenient speed return their answer. Only we desire that the issuing of matters may be respited until we may receive fuller information from the Honored Mr. Winthrop or satisfaction otherwise, and that in the mean time this colony may remain distinct, entire, and uninterrupted, as heretofore, which we
hope you will see cause lovingly to consent unto, and signify the same to us with convenient speed.
"william leete, matthew gilbert, benjamin fenn, jasper crane, robert treat, wm. jones, john davenport, nicholas street, abrah. pierson, roger newton.
"Then the governor told them that they had heard the writings and patent, and there were two things in their writing to be answered to: first, that they declare us to be, by the king, made one body politic with them, and interested in their patent; second, they desire a happy and comfortable union for peace and truth's sake, &c.: now to these two you must give answer; and then dismissed the assembly to consider of it for the space of one hour and a half, and then to meet again at the beat of the drum.
"Then, the company being come together in the afternoon, the governor told them that they knew what was left with them, for they had heard the patent and the writings read; therefore he desired to know their minds, for he hoped they might have some help from among ourselves, mentioning Mr. Davenport. "Then the advice of the commissioners about this patent was read, and considered how contrary to that righteousness, amity, and peace, our neighbors of Connecticut had carried toward us. Then they considered of a committee to draw up an answer into form, and to
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annex some weighty arguments thereunto, to send to the general assembly of Connecticut, and considered also about making address to his Majesty if our answer prevail not. The committee appointed was the magistrates and elders of this colony in general, with Brother Law of Stamford, and these to conclude according to the major part of them in session. It was left with this committee to send this answer, &c., to what person they see most convenient, to be communicated to their general assembly.
"The freemen expressed themselves desirous that the magistrates would go on in their work, and they looked upon themselves bound to stand by them according to our laws here established."
"The answer of the freemen drawn up into form by the committee, and sent to Connecticut General Assembly, is as followeth: viz., -
"honored gentlemen, - We have heard both the patent and the writing read,' which those gentlemen (who said they were sent from your General Assembly) left with our committee, and have considered the contents according to our capacities. By the one we take notice of their declared sense of the patent and also of your desire of our uniting with yourselves upon that account. By the other we understand that his Majesty hath been graciously pleased (at your earnest petition) to grant liberty to the colony of Connecticut to acquire, have, possess, and purchase, &c., whatever lands, &c., you have gained or shall gain by lawful means within the precincts or lines therein mentioned, and also of his abundant grace to allow and establish you to be one body politic, for managing, all your public affairs and government in a religious and peaceable manner, to the intents and purposes by his Majesty and the adventurers therein professed, over all persons, matters, and things, so gained by purchase or conquest, at your own proper costs and charges, according as yourselves informed you had
already done. Now, whatever is so yours, we have neither purpose nor desire to oppose, hurt, or hinder in the least; but what ourselves (by like lawful means) have attained, as to inheritances or jurisdiction as a distinct colony, upon our most solemn and religious covenants, so well known to his Majesty and to all, we must say that we do not find in the patent any command given to you nor prohibition [permission?] to us to dissolve covenants or alter the orderly settlements of New England, nor any sufficient reason why we may not so remain to be as formerly. Also, your beginning to procure and proceeding to improve the patent without us doth confirm this belief; but rather it seems that away is left open to us to petition for the like favor, and to enter our appeal from your declared sense of the patent and signify our grievances. Yet if it shall appeal1 (after a due and full information of our state) to have been his Majesty's pleasure so to unite us as you understand the patent, we must submit according to God; but for the present we cannot answer otherwise than our committee hath done, and likewise to make the same request unto you, that we may remain distinct as formerly, and may be succored by you as confederates, at least that none occasion b'e given by yourselves for any to disturb us in our ancient settlements until that either by the Honored Mr. Winthrop, by our other confederates, or from his Majesty, we may be resolved herein. All which means are in our thoughts to use, except you prevent, for the gaining of a right understanding, and to bring a peaceable issue or reconcilement of this matter; and we wish you had better considered than'to act so. suddenly to seclude us from patent privilege at first if we are included as you say, and to have so proceeded since, as may seem to give advantage unto disaffected persons to slight or disregard oaths and covenants, and thereby to rend and make division, manage contention and troubles in the townships and societies of this colony, and that about religious worship, as the enclosed complaint may declare, which seems to us a great scandal to religion before the natives, and prejudicial to his Majesty's pious intention, as also to hold forth a series of means very opposite to the end pretended, and very much obscured from the beauty of such a religious and peaceable walking amongst English brethren, as may either invite the natives to the Christian faith, or unite our
spirits in this juncture, and this occasion given before any conviction tendered or publication of the patent amongst us, or so much as a treaty with us in a Christian, neighborly way; no pretence for our dissolution of government till then could rationally be imagined. Such carriage may seem to be against the advice and mind of his Majesty in the patent, as also of your honored governor, and to cast reflection upon him, when we compare these things with his letters to some here; for the avoiding whereof we earnestly request that the whole of what he hath written to yourselves, so far as it may respect us in this business, may be fully communicated to our view in a true copy or transcript of the same. We must profess ourselves grieved hereat, and must desire and expect your effectual endeavors to repair these breaches and restore us to our former condition as confederates, until that by all or some of these ways intimated we may attain a clear resolution in this matter. Unto what we have herein propounded we shall add that we do not in the least intend any dislike to his Majesty's act, but to show our sense of your actings first and last, so much to our detriment, and to manifest the consequent effects to God's dishonor, as also to give you to know how we understand the patent, hoping that you will both candidly construe and friendly comply with our desires herein, and so remove the cause of our distraction and sad affliction that you have brought upon this poor colony: then shall we forbear to give you further trouble, and shall pray to the God of spirits to grant us all humility, and to guide us with his heavenly wisdom to a happy issue of this affair in love and peace; resting, gentlemen, your very loving friends and neighbors, the freemen of the Colony of New Haven.
james bishop, Secretary, "In the name and by order and consent of the Committee and freemen of New Haven Colony.
"Postscript.-We have also thought fit to send our reasons enclosed, which are the ground of this answer we return, and desire the whofe may be read and communicated to the General Assembly, entreating an answer with all convenient speed, or from the committee if so empowered."
Four days previous to this Court of the Jurisdiction, there had been a general plantation court at New Haven, when, after Deputy-Gov. Gilbert had read the charter, the written declaration of the committee from Connecticut, and the reply of the magistrates and elders, "Mr. John Davenport, pastor of the church of Christ at New Haven, declared unto the town that he wrote to Mr. Winthrop, before he went to England, not to have any hand in such ah unrighteous act as to involve us in their patent. To which he wrote to him in two letters, one from Mattabesick and another from the Manhatoes at his going away, part of which was read, wherein he expressed his contrary purpose and the expressions of some other of their magistrates to the same purpose. And also Mr. Davenport presented a letter, which he received the last night from Mr. Richard Law of Stamford, and read it to the town, wherein was intimated their sad state by reason of the turbulent carriages of some of their inhabitants which Connecticut colony had admitted and so dismembered us, and some would say they were rebels against the king and the jurisdiction of Connecticut. Also he further informed the town of the treaty they had with those gentlemen of Connecticut aforesaid, and how they had showed them the wrong they had done us, in dismembering of us at Stamford, Guilford, and Southold, and all this before they had consulted with us, and showed them their evil therein, but received no satisfaction from them about it.
"Mr. Davenport also propounded sundry reasons to be considered, both why we were not included in Connecticut patent, and also why we may not voluntarily
join with them, with some directions what answer to return, that so they may see their evil in what they have done, and restore us to our former state, that so we and they may live together in unity and amity for the future.
"The Deputy-Governor declared that the things spoken by Mr. Davenport were of great weight, and he desired all present would seriously consider of them.
"Mr. Street, teacher of the church of Christ at New Haven, declared that he looked upon the reasons propounded by Mr. Davenport to be unanswerable, and that both church and town had cause to bless God for the wisdom held forth in them, and wished them to keep the ends and rules of Christ in their eye, and then God would stand by them; and did second the directions given, with one Scripture out of Isa. xiv. 32, and from thence did advise that our answers should be of faith and influenced with faith, and not of fear.
"The matter was largely debated, and sundry expressed themselves as disliking the proceedings of Connecticut in this business, as Lieut. Nash, Mr. Tuttle, Mr. Powell, &c., and desired some answer might be given that way, with a desire of restoring us to our former state again, and then by general vote declared their disapproving of the manner of Connecticut colony's proceeding in this business."
There being no meeting of the General Court of Connecticut till the following spring, and their committee returning no written reply to the communication from New Haven, though, in a personal interview as is intimated in New Haven's Case Stated, they signified their persistence in their "own will and way," New Haven through its committee forwarded an
appeal to his Majesty, but advised their friends in London who served them in the business, to communicate their papers first to Winthrop, that if possible the difference between the colonies might be settled without further recourse. Accordingly the papers were shown to Winthrop, and he stopped the proceeding of the appeal to the king by engaging that Connecticut should cease its injurious treatment of New Haven. In fulfilment of that engagement he wrote a letter dated March 3, 1662/3, to Major Mason, Deputy-Governor of Connecticut and, in the absence of Winthrop, its acting governor, to be communicated to the other magistrates, which is as follows:.-
"gentlemen, - I am informed by some gentlemen who are authorized to seek remedy here, that since you had the late patent, there hath been injury done to the government of New Haven, and in particular at Guilford and Stamford in admitting several of the inhabitants there unto freedom with you, and appointing officers, which hath caused division in said towns, which may prove ot dangerous consequence if not timely prevented, though I do hope the rise of it is from misunderstanding, and not in design of prejudice to that colony, for whom I gave assurance to their friends that their rights and interests should not be disquieted or prejudiced by the patent. But if both governments would with unanimous agreement unite in one, their friends judged it would be for advantage to both; and further I must let you. know that testimony here doth affirm that I gave assurance before authority here, that it was not intended to meddle with any town or plantation that was settled under any other government. Had it been any otherwise intended or declared, it had been injurious, in taking out the patent, not to have inserted a proportionable number of their names in it. Now upon the whole, having had serious conference with their friends authorized by them, and with others who are friends to both, to prevent a tedious and chargeable trial and uncertain event here, I promised them to give you speedily this
representation, how far you are engaged, if any injury hath been done by admitting of freemen, or appointing officers, or any other unjust intermeddling with New Haven Colony in one kind or other without the approbation of the government, that it be forthwith recalled, and that for future there will be no imposing in any kind upon them, nor admitting of any members without mutual consent; but that all things be acted as loving, neighboring colonies, as before such patent granted. And unto this I judge you are obliged, I having engaged to their agents here that this will be by you performed, and they have thereupon forborne to give you or me any trouble. But they 'do not doubt but upon future consideration there may be such a right understanding between both governments that an Union and friendly joining may be established to the satisfaction of all; which at my arrival I shall also endeavor (God willing) to promote. Not having more at present in. this case, I rest
"Your humble servant,
"For Major John Mason, Deputy-Governor of Connecticut Colony, and the rest of the Court there at Hartford, dd."
This letter, or a copy of it in Wihthrop's handwriting, was by him delivered to the agents of the New Haven Colony, and by them sent to Gov. Leete. A year after the date thereof, the Connecticut committee allege that it had never been seen by Major Mason or themselves, and intimate that it was sent to Guilford to be forwarded to Hartford. Gov. Leete evidently had regarded it as a copy sent to him to inform him how the negotiation stood between the agents who acted for the two colonies in London. Winthrop's letter was so satisfactory to the agents of New Haven (as is evident from the letter itself) that they did not proceed with the intended appeal to the king. When received by Leete, it was equally satisfactory to the magistrates
and elders who were in charge of New Haven's case. The letter, being dated March 3, reached New Haven not many weeks before Winthrop's arrival in June.
At a general assembly, held at Hartford in March, 166|, the Court "voted and desired the deputy-governor, Mr. Matthew Allyn, Capt. John Talcott, and Lieut. John Allyn, and for a reserve to the major, Mr. Wyllys, as a committee to go down to New Haven to treat with our honored and loving friends about their union and incorporation with this colony of Con necticut. And in case the committee cannot effect a union according to instructions given them by the Court, that then they endeavor to settle a peace in the plantations until such time as they and we may be in a further capacity of issuing this difference, and to act in reference hereunto as they judge most meet." Another order was "that in case the committee do not issue an agreement with New Haven gentlemen according to their instructions, before their return, that then all propositions and instructions from the Court, respecting union with that people, are void and of none effect."
Three of this committee were in New Haven a few days afterward, where they made the following communication:-
"Some Proposals to the Gentlemen of New Haven, &c., in reference to their Firm Settlement and Incorporation with us of Connecticut:-
"1. We shall in no wise infringe or disturb them in their order of church government, provided we remain free from any impositions from the supreme powers of England.
"2. That those who have been of the magistracy in New
Haven Colony shall be invested with full power to govern the people within those limits until our General Assembly in May next.
"3. That there shall yearly be nominated to election a proportionable number of assistants in the plantations of New Haven, Milford, Branford, and Guilford, as shall be for the rest of the plantations in our colony.
"4. That those who have been freemen of New Haven colony shall be forthwith admitted freemen of our corporation, unless any person be justly excepted against unto us.
"5. That New Haven, Milford, Branford, Guilford, shall be a distinct county wherein there shall be chosen yearly such civil officers as may carry on all causes of judicature amongst themselves which extend not to life, limb, or banishment.
"6. That there shall be, once a year at the least, a court ot assistants at New Haven to prevent unnecessary trouble and expense to those that do appeal from the sentence of the former court, and to hear and determine all matters that respect life, limb, and banishment.
"9. That, in case these our proposals be not accepted before our departure, then they are to be void and of no effect.-
The answer of New Haven to these proposals, in the handwriting of William Jones, is as follows:-
"Whereas we discern by the order of the General Court of Connecticut, dated March the 11th, 1662/3, that the gentlemen their committee were limited to conclude at this present meeting with
us, otherwise their power ceases; our answer in general is that we are not in a capacity so to do:-
"1. First, because we are under an appeal to the king whereunto we do adhere, and therefore cannot act contrarily without dishonor to his Majesty, and prejudice to our own right until his royal determination be known in the question depending between us.
"2. Because we cannot in conscience conclude to dissolve our distinct colony by uniting with Connecticut without the express consent of the other colonies declared from their general courts respectively.
"3. Because we are limited by our freemen not to conclude any thing for altering our distinct colony state and government without their consent.
"Yet shall we, in order to an issue betwixt us with love and peace, which we desire them by all loving carriages to promove in the interim of our deliberation, consider of their propositions and communicate them to our freemen, as we may have a convenient opportunity.
"But whereas we observe in their propositions that Stamford is left out, as if it were no member of us, we must and do profess ourselves unsatisfied with that omission, because we apprehend ourselves bound to seek and provide for their liberties and comforts as our own.
62/63 On the 6th of May a general court for the jurisdiction was held at New Haven, when "the governor informed the Court of the state of things in reference to Connecticut, and how the committee had acted; and the proposals of the gentlemen of Connecticut were read with the answer of our committee.
"It was propounded whether we should make any alteration of the usual time of our election, we standing
in the state we do and waiting for an answer to our appeal. After debate, it was concluded as best to go on with our election as formerly, and make no alteration, but stand in the same state we were when we made an appeal, and, if any thing should come from Connecticut by way of prohibition, then to have a protest ready to witness against them, we being under an appeal to his Majesty.
"It was also propounded, whether we should not send up a remonstrance of our grievances by their unsuitable carriages towards us in the state wherein we are, it being a question whether the general assembly of Connecticut is rightly informed of our state; a draft whereof (being prepared) was read and well approved for the substance of it and, after debate upon it, was by vote concluded to be sent, only with alteration of some passages therein, which was done and sent to Major John Mason, that by him it might be communicated to their general assembly."(*)
In accordance with the resolution recited above, the annual election was held on the 20th of May, when the officers chosen "all took oath for the year ensuing, or until our foundation settlements be made null." On the same day a general court for the jurisdiction was held, at which the governor told the court that they knew how we stood in reference to Connecticut Colony, and that there was a committee appointed for the last year: therefore propounded, whether they would empower the same again; which being voted, it was concluded both for the same persons and the same power as the last year."
(* The remonstrance may be found in Appendix No. VI)
Gov. Winthrop arrived not long afterward from Europe. The New Haven people were earnestly desiring his arrival, hoping that he would, in accordance with the spirit of the letter he had written to Major Mason and the other magistrates of Connecticut, "come with an olive-branch." The earliest intimation of his being in Hartford is in a letter to him from Davenport, who writes:-
"To the Right Worshipful John Winthrop, Esquire, Governor of Connecticut, these present at Hartford. "honored sir,- These are to congratulate your safe arrival and return to your family, where you have been ardently desired and long expected. Blessed be our good God, in Jesus Christ, who hath, at last, mercifully brought you off from court-snares and London- tumults and European troubles, and from all perils at sea, and hath preserved your precious life and health, and hath carried yourself, with your two sons, as upon eagles' wings, above the reach of all hurtful dangers, unto your habitation, and hath kept your dear wife and all your children alive, and made them joyful by your safe anid comfortable return unto them. Together with them, I also, and my wife and son and daughter, rejoice herein, as in a gracious answer of many prayers, and in persuasion that you are come with an olive-branch in your mouth; according to the encouragement and assurance which I have received in some letters to myself from Captain Scott and from Mr. Halstead; and from one sent to Mr. Leete, which is either the protograph or a copy of your letter to Major Mason, which seems to be written by yourself, but the seal was broken open before it came hither. Whether he hath that letter from Major Thompson, which you mention, or not, I know not. But I hear he hath one from Mr. Whitfield, the contents whereof I have not heard. Sir, give me leave to take notice of one passage in yours that there is nothing but misunderstanding that could occasion such apprehensions of any injury done to New Haven or their concernments; and those friends above mentioned were fully satisfied thereof, and wondered
much that it was not better understood by yours. It was written in the line, them; that being blotted out, it is interlined, yours; which makes the sense of the whole very dark to me. For if, by yours, be meant our committee of magistrates, elders, and deputies, intrusted by the freemen of this colony to treat with our friends of Connecticut, I shall wonder at their wondering. For: 1. That manifest injury is done to this colony, is proved by instances in the writings sent to Connecticut and to England. 2. Nor did we misunderstand the patent, but saw and pleaded that New Haven Colony is not mentioned therein, and that it was not the King's purpose, nor yours, to destroy the distinction of colonies, nor our colony-state; and, in that confidence, desired that all things might stand, in statu quo prius, till your return; which, when we could not obtain, we were compelled to appeal to the King; yet, out of tender respect to your peace and honor, advised, as you know, our friends to consult with you before they prosecuted our appeal or delivered my letter to my lord chamberlain. Our friends at Connecticut regarded not our arguments, which yet, I know, are pleadable and would bear due weight in the Chancery and at the Council Table, and one of them yourself is pleased to establish in your letter to Major Mason. 3. Nor is it to be wondered at, if we had misunderstood the things which we wanted means to understand from yourself; who neither in your letter to me from London, dated May 13, 1662, which I received by Mr. Ling, nor in your next, dated March the 7th this year, signified to me any other thing than that New Haven is still a distinct colony, notwithstanding the Connecticut patent. I do the more insist on this, because I am told that Mr. Stone, in a letter which he sent unto one in Fanfield, saith that he had received a letter from Mr. Winthrop, who wondereth that New Haven do question their being under Connecticut, or to that purpose; which is understood as concluding the dissolution of this colony, which, I perceive by what yourself and others have written, is a misunderstanding of your meaning, so that the misunderstanding is to be wondered at in them, not in us. As for what Mr. Leete wrote to yourself, it was his private doing, without the consent or knowledge of any of us in this colony; it was not done by him according to his public trust as governor, but contrary to it. If they had treated with us,
or should yet, as with a distinct colony, we should readily agree with them in any rational and equal terms, for the settling of neighborly peace and brotherly amity between them and us, mutually, who have already, as you see, patiently suffered wrong, for "peace's sake, in hope of a just redress, at your return into these parts. I would not have mentioned these matters in this letter, (which I intended only for a supply of my want of bodily fitness for a journey to Hartford, to give you a personal visit, in testimony of my joy for your safe arrival and return), but that the expression 'forenoted compelled me to speak something to it. I long to see your face, and am in hope that shortly, after your first hurries are over, we shall enjoy your much-desired presence with us in your chamber at my house, which shall be as your own while it is mine. Then we may have opportunity, by the will of God, to confer placidly together, and to give and receive mutual satisfaction, through a right understanding of what is done in our concernments. Myself, my wife, my son and daughter, do jointly and severally present our humble service to your honored self and Mrs. Winthrop, with our respectful and affectionate salutations to your two sons and to all your daughters, praying that blessings from heaven may be multiplied upon you and them, through Jesus Christ, in whom I rest, Honored Sir,
"Yours, obliged to honor and serve you in the Lord,
Gov. Leete's letter to Winthrop congratulating him on his safe return and expressing confidence that he would be a medium to bring the strife between the colonies to a comfortable issue, has been given in the preceding chapter. That the New Haven people were disappointed in their hope that through Winthrop's influence Connecticut would reverse its action, will appear in the sequel; but Winthrop's reasons for disappointing them are not on record. A cloud of mystery envelops the matter, and we can only exhibit the facts.
That Leete and some others of the New Haven committee began very soon to doubt whether things would come to a comfortable issue by means of Winthrop, appears in a letter which Leete wrote to Winthrop on the 20th of July:-
"For the Right Worshipful John Winthrop, Esquire, Governor of Connecticut Colony, at Hartford, These:- "much honored sir, - In my last I informed you of your very acceptable letter sent us by Major Thompson and Mr. Scott jointly attesting it; the purport whereof suited well with mine to you in England, to make your patent a covert, but no control to our jurisdiction, until we accorded with mutual satisfaction to become one, which I have been and still am a friend to promove in a righteous and amicable way. But truly, I think, a just expedient hath not hitherto been seasonably attended to accomplish the same; but rather that which hath irritated, and so conduced to the contrary; which to behold hath been a grief to some. [It hath been a grief] to see the strings of the instrument so stretched as to make it untunable to play in consort, the chief music which I delight to hear, especially in jarring times; and therefore hoped and longed to see it taken into the hand of a more knowing artist, and one apt and inclined to make uniting and composing melody, as (in my understanding) was sweetly begun to be sounded in the language of your letter. But as yet we find not such harmonious effects to ensue in a practical way as were to be wished for. Wherefore I am desired by our committee, or some of them, to write unto yourself, earnestly entreating that you would please to send us a plain, positive, and particular answer in writing to this question, viz., whether the contents of that your letter aforesaid shall be performed to us or no, according to the genuine sense thereof. Good sir, be pleased that either your own or your committee's answer may be sent us by Mr. Pierson, who intends to visit and wait upon you for the same, as I also should have done, had not something more than ordinary interrupted, together with some hopes we might enjoy your presence here, before your going into the Bay, as was intimated to us. So with many thanks and chiefest respects presented from myself and wife unto you all, acknowledging our great engagements for your love and sympathy in your last expressed, I take leave, and remain
"Your cordial friend and servant,
"sir, - Hearing that you sought for your own copy but could not find it when Mr. Jones and Mr. John Davenport were with you, I have here inclosed sent a true copy of your letter as it came to my hands."
From the letter and its postscript we may infer that two of the committee had conferred with Winthrop in a personal interview, and that upon their report Leete doubted whether Winthrop would abide by the agreement he had made in London with Major Thompson and Mr. Scott acting in behalf of New Haven.
On the 19th of August, there was a session of the General Assembly of Connecticut at Hartford, but there is nothing in the record to show that the governor was present. Action was taken concerning New Haven as follows: viz., "This court doth nominate and appoint the deputy-governor, Mr. Wyllys, Mr. Daniel Clark, and John Allyn, or any three or two of them, to be a committee to treat with our honored friends of New Haven, Milford, Branford, and Guilford, about settling their union and incorporation with this colony of Connecticut; and they are empowered to act according to the instructions given to the committee sent to New Haven in March last; and, in case they cannot effect a union, they are hereby authorized publicly to declare unto them that this Assembly cannot well resent(*) their proceeding in civil government as a dis-
(* Resent, to feel back in return; to think over)
tinct jurisdiction, being included within the charter granted to Connecticut corporation; and likewise they are publicly to declare that this Assembly doth desire and cannot but expect that the inhabitants of New Haven, Milford, Branford, Guilford, and Stamford, do yield subjection to the government here established according to the tenor of our charter, which is publicly to be read in New Haven." On the 26th of the same month, three of this committee, Messrs. Wyllys, Clark, and Allyn, were in New Haven, where they renewed the proposals made by Connecticut in March. The New.Haven committee responded by sending the following communication in the handwriting of William Jones:-
"NEW HAVEN COMMITTEE'S PROPOSALS, AUG. 26, 1663.
"To the Honored Committee from the General Assembly of Conticut, Mr. Wyllys, Mr. Clark, and Mr. Allyn. "gentlemen, - In order to a friendly treaty and amicable composure of matters in difference between us, we earnestly desire you would restore us to our entire colony state by disclaiming that party at Guilford and Stamford; and so doing, we offer the following queries to your consideration, as matter for such treaty: viz., -
"1. Whether the fundamental laws for government, especially that touching the qualifications of freemen, shall be the same with Boston or ours, (i.e.) members of some one or other of our churches.
"2. Whether our church order and privileges shall not be infringed or disturbed, and that both the choice and calling in of ministers in each.plantation be established a church right forever.
"3. Whether all our present freemen shall be forthwith admitted and empowered to act as your own freemen to all intents and purposes.
"4. Whether any of our former adjudications in our distinct colony state shall be liable to appeals or be called in question.
"5. Whether we shall be immediately established a distinct county, and to have so many magistrates as necessary, four at least, with a president chosen yearly by our own county court, together with other inferior officers to be nominated by ourselves.
"6. Whether any appeals shall be at any time allowed from our county court in ordinary cases, unless to our own court of assistants, and that upon weighty grounds and with good caution, to prevent trouble and charge to the county.
"7. Whether there shall not be a court of assistants at New Haven yearly, or oftener if need require, to try capital causes and hear such appeals, consisting of our own and such other magistrates as we shall desire by order from our president.
"8. Whether all our present magistrates and officers shall remain in full power to govern the people as formerly, until new be orderly chosen at the next election court after this agreement.
"9. Whether all rates and public charges granted or levied or due in each colony before this agreement, be paid and discharged by the inhabitants proportionably in a distinct way, and not otherwise.
"10. Whether at the next election there shall be a committee chosen and appointed of your and our ablest ministers and other freemen, to consult and prepare a body of laws out of your and our laws most consonant to Scripture.
"11. Whether until such a body of laws be framed and agreed upon anew mutually, all matters in our towns and courts shall be issued and done according to our own laws as formerly.
"12. Whether all our plantations according to their anciently reputed and received bounds shall not so remain unalterably, but receive confirmation by authority of the patent.
"That such treaty shall not be binding to us without consent of our confederates and general court of freemen.
"Whether the freemen in each of our towns may not make orders for the town affairs.
"These imperfect queries we at present offer to your consideration, reserving liberty to propound what further we shall see needful, allowed by the patent.
The next day the Connecticut committee, in reply to these queries, sent the following communication:-
"OUR PROPOSALS IN ANSWER TO THE QUERIES PRESENTED FROM NEW, HAVEN COMMITTEE, AUG. 27, '63.
"In answer to the queries propounded to our consideration by the honored committee of New Haven, we present:-
"In reference to the proceedings of the Assembly at Connecticut, October last, in entertaining several that presented themselves from Guilford and Stamford, desiring to submit to our government, which (though according to our charter we apprehend we had power to admit them or any other within our precincts, yet) consideratis considerandis pro modo et ordine, we shall grant that prudent considerations might have directed us in the first place to have had some treaty with our honored friends of these plantations for an orderly settling of themselves with us into a body politic according to our charter, and therefore we are ready to retract those commissions that have been given to any persons that have been settled in public employ either at Guilford or Stamford. And it is our earnest desire that no former conceived injuries on your part or on ours may obstruct our proceeding with you to an amicable settlement of union as one corporation, and with clemency and candidness each part may accept such proposals as are presented to prudent and serious consideration. And we do hereby declare the propensity and readiness of our spirits fully and finally to obliterate the memorial of all former occasions administered to us, as, matter of grievance or offence respecting any of you.
"1. For the first query, we answer that the pattern or foundation from which we cannot vary is our charter, nor dare we admit of any fundamental varying from the tenor thereof, but what laws may be concurring therewith and conducible to the public weal of church and state we are ready to grant the establishment thereof; and particularly for qualification of freemen we are ready to grant that they shall be men of a religious carriage, visibly so, having and possessing some competency of estate, and shall bring a certificate affirmative that they are thus qualified from the deacons of the church and two of the selectmen of the town where they live,
and, if there be no deacons, then some other known and approved persons with the selectmen as before.
"2. That the church order and privileges within these plantations, New Haven, Milford, Branford, Guilford, and Stamford, shall not be infringed or disturbed by us, or any from us, and that the choice and call of the church-officers in each plantation shall remain a church-right forever.
"3. That upon our and your union all the present freemen within these plantations shall be forthwith invested with full power to be and act as freemen of Connecticut corporation in all concerns.
"4. That all former transactions in courts and administrations as a distinct jurisdiction shall be totally freed from future callings into question in the Court at Connecticut or elsewhere within our precincts, unless any thing controversial be at present dependent in the Court here.
"5. That the plantations forementioned be immediately upon our union established a distinct county, and to have so many officers as may be sufficient to carry on matters of civil judicature as a county, and shall have power to try and issue all cases according to the tenor of our charter, provided that such cases as respect life, limb, banishment, or total confiscation, shall be issued by a court of assistants, which shall be once a year, or oftener if any thing extraordinary fall out within any of these plantations necessitating the same, which court of assistants shall consist of such as are chosen and ordained yearly for these plantations, whereof one shall be the president of the county or moderator of the courts kept in this county, and chosen to that place by the civil officers that attend the county courts; unto which officers for the constituting of the court of assistants shall be added three assistants out of the corporation such as shall be yearly appointed thereunto by the General Assembly held in May, and such as are grieved at the sentence of the county court shall have liberty upon good caution to appeal to the court of assistants; and that all cases tried by this court or the county court dependent twixt party and party respecting damage to the sum of forty shillings or upwards, and likewise capital crimes and offences, shall be tried by a jury either of six or twelve freemen, according as the nature of the case require, but
in capital cases by a jury of twelve at all times. And further that all civil officers except assistants or commissioners shall be yearly chosen by themselves for and within the precincts of the plantations aforesaid.
"6. That the Worshipful Mr. Leete, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Jones, Mr. Fenn, Mr. Treat, and Mr. Crane, be and remain in magistratical power within this county, and any three or more of them, as they see cause, to have power to keep a county court, they choosing out from amongst themselves a moderator fro tempore, in the president's absence, whom we hereby nominate to be Worshipful Mr. Leete for the county, and this to stand in force until an orderly election of officers at general election in May next, at which time the freemen of these plantations shall nominate their proportion of assistants with other plantations in this corporation to be put to election; and such as shall be yearly chosen by the freemen to that place, together with such as the General Assembly shall commissionate within these plantations, shall for future carry on civil judicature within the county, and they being chosen and sworn to choose out of themselves a president for that year.
"7. That until the election in May next, all matters of civil judicature within this county shall be issued and determined according to the laws that have been formerly established by New Haven Assembly or such as are in force in the corporation as the officers of this county see cause to attend, being no way repugnant to the tenor of our charter.
"8. That the neighboring plantations either on the Island or main shall have liberty to appeal from the sentence of their courts unto the court of assistants held at New Haven as before declared.
"9. We mutually approve of a committee of the ablest persons that may 'be had amongst yourselves and us, to compact a body of laws out of ours and yours, that may be most suitable to further the establishment of peace and righteousness and the upholding of well-ordered government in Church and State.
"10. That the ancient real and established bounds between plantation and plantation shall forever be and remain unalterable.
"11. That the freemen of these plantations shall have power to choose all public county officers except assistants, to wit, commis-
sioners, deputies, and constables. As for selectmen who are to order the civil, prudential affairs of the respective towns, they to be yearly chosen by a major vote of the approved inhabitants, with other necessary town officers in your respective places in this county.
"12. That all public charges and levies, due for time past and until this instant, shall be defrayed by the respective towns in this county as formerly, and for those several persons within this county that have subjected to Connecticut government, that they shall also, be rated after the sum of a penny per pound for their ratable estates, with the rest of the inhabitants in their respective towns as before expressed.
"Unto these proposals we whose names are subscribed desire a return from the honored committee, whether you are willing to accept of them, to the settlement of your union with our corporation.
The negotiation between the colonies was at this time in a deadlock; New Haven refusing to submit, or even negotiate, unless Connecticut would " first restore us to our right state again," and Connecticut offering nothing more than "to retract those commissions that have been given to any persons that have been settled in public employ either at Guilford or Stamford." New Haven insisted that Connecticut should not only retract these commissions, but, by two other retractions, disclaim those who had revolted from New Haven to Connecticut, and admit that New Haven was a distinct colony. In September, the controversy was brought before the commissioners of the United Colonies on the following complaint:-
"The Complaint of the Commissioners of New Haven, in behalf of that Colony, humbly presented to the rest of the Honored Commissioners, for their Advice, Aid, and Succor, as followeth:-
"Viz., that sundry of the inhabitants of several of our towns have been taken under the government of Connecticut, and by them encouraged to disown our authority. They refuse to observe their oaths of fidelity, to attend our courts or meetings called by our authority, or to perform other duties with the rest of our people, and so our settled order and peace is much prejudiced.
2. "That constables or officers are, by Connecticut's authority, appointed and set up amongst us, who are very troublesome to us. These things and the sad consequences thereof are so aggrieving to the generality of our people, and like to bring forth such uncomfortable effects, that we cannot but present the matter to your serious consideration, to take some effectual course that such actings may be recalled and forborne, and the articles of confederation duly observed towards us, a distinct colony, your observant confederates.
"In the name of the Colony of New Haven.
An Answer to New Haven Gentlemen. "The commissioners for Connecticut do conceive that there is no such cause of complaint at present from New Haven as hath been mentioned in their paper, there having been divers friendly treaties about the matters in difference, and very amicable propositions and tenders formerly, and now again very lately, propounded by a committee from the court of Connecticut, who had of late a friendly conference upon it with the committee of New Haven, and a copy of those propositions was presented now by Mr. Wyllys, one of the magistrates and one of the said committee of Connecticut, and the said amicable propositions were now read to all the commissioners, and not disliked by them; and we hope they are yet in a fair way of further treaty toward a friendly compliance, and are assured that the court at Connecticut did never
intend to do, nor will do, any injury or wrong to them, but will be ready to attend all just and friendly ways of love and correspondence; and, whatever hath been now suggested by way of complaint, we doubt not but they will return a fair and satisfactory answer to them when they have notice thereof.
"JOHN WlNTHROP. john talcott.
New Haven's Reply.
"The commissioners of New Haven Colony cannot approve of the answer or apology of Connecticut commissioners, in. saying that they conceive there is no ground for our complaint, the case being as related, and can prove nothing being done to reverse or satisfy upon that account, or promised but conditionally and in treaty only, wherein we have and do desire to carry as amicably towards them as they towards us; but how it should be said that the court of Connecticut neither intended nor woufd do us any wrong, while such injuries as are complained of are not righted, nor yet absolutely promised so to be, we see not, and therefore cannot but desire the sense of the commissioners upon the acting complained of, while it is not known how far those propositions mentioned will be satisfactory to our people, nor what issue will be attained for settlement of affairs according to confederation (in case), which we still cleave unto.
"william leete. benjamin tenn."
"The Answer of the Massachusetts and Plymouth to the Complaint of New Haven is as followeth:-
"The commissioners of the Massachusetts and Plymouth, having considered the complaint exhibited by New Haven against Connecticut for infringing their power of jurisdiction, as in the said complaint is more particularly expressed, together with the answer returned thereto by Connecticut commissioners, with some other debates and conferences that have passed between them, do judge meet to declare, that the said colony of New Haven being owned in the Articles of Confederation as distinct from Connecticut, and
having been so owned by the colonies jointly in this present meeting in all their actings, may not by any act of violence have their liberty of jurisdiction infringed by any other of the United Colonies, without breach of the Articles of Confederation, and that where any act of power hath been exerted against their authority, that the same ought to be recalled, and their power reserved to them entire, until such time as in an orderly way it shall be otherwise disposed; and for particular grievances mentioned in their complaint, that they be referred to the next meeting of the commissioners at Hartford, where Connecticut, having timely notice, may give their answer thereto, unless in the mean time there be an amicable uniting for the establishment of their peace, the which we are persuaded will be very acceptable to the neighboring colonies.
"simon bradstreet, President. thomas danforth. thomas prince. josiah winslow."
By this time Winthrop, as appears from his signature to one of the above documents, had shown that he accorded with the other leading men of Connecticut in their policy toward New Haven. He doubtless feared that if Connecticut, following the advice which he sent from London, should fully and unconditionally retract what she had done, and acknowledge New Haven as a distinct colony, the party of which Davenport and Gilbert were leaders would be able to prevent the success of any negotiations for union under one government. For the sake of the common good he repudiated the engagement he had made, and joined in the effort to force New Haven into submission. He shows, however, the reluctance of a noble mind to do so mean an act, keeping himself in the background, avoiding appointment on the committees successively sent to
New Haven, and absenting himself from the court when on the 8th of October the following action was taken in regard to New Haven:-
"This court doth declare that they can do no less for their own indemnity than to manifest our dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the plantations, of New Haven, Milford, Branford, &c., in their distinct standing from us in point of government; it being directly opposite to the tenor of the charter lately granted to our colony of Connecticut, in which charter these plantations are included. We also do expect their submission to our government, according to our charter and his Majesty's pleasure therein expressed; it being a stated conclusion of the Commissioners that jurisdiction right always goeth with patent. And whereas, the aforesaid people of New Haven, &c., pretend they have power of government distinct from us, and have made several complaints of wrongs received from us, we do hereby declare that our Council will be ready to attend them, or a committee of theirs, and if they can rationally make it appear that they have such power, and that we have wronged them according to their complaints, we shall be ready to attend them with'due satisfaction. (The Governor absent when this vote passed.) The Court appoints Mr. Wyllys and the Secretary to draw up a letter to the New Haven gentlemen, and inclose this act of the court in it."
This action of the General Assembly was probably taken after the receipt of, and with reference to, the contents of the following communication from the New Haven committee:-
"honored gentlemen,- Seeing that it hath pleased the Almighty who is our defence, at this session of the Commissioners, not to suffer any mine to spring for subverting that ancient wall of New England's safety, which Himself hath erected upon the foundation of our so solemn and religious, confederation, but further unanimously to establish the same, we thought it might not be unacceptable on our part to present you with our request at this season of your General Assembly's meeting, that you would
observe to do according to their conclusions, reminding to recall all and every of your former acts of a contrary tendency and please to signify the same to us before our General Court held the 22d inst., who will then expect it before they return answer to your committee's proposals. Your cordial and ready attendance unto this our request, we conceive, will be no obstruction to an amicable treaty for compliance, but rather the contrary if the Lord shall please to own and succeed such endeavors as means for the better flourishing of religion, and righteousness with peace, in this wilderness. And we cannot apprehend that you need to fear any damage to your patent hereby from his Majesty's taking offence at so honest a carriage, there being no express interdiction of New Haven colony inserted therein, nor any intendment of your agent to have it so injuriously carried against us. And now also have you the encouragement of all your confederates to apologize upon that account, in case any turbulent spirits should suggest a complaint, whom the righteous God can countermand and disappoint, to whose wisdom and grace we recommend you and all your weighty concernments; resting, gentlemen, your very loving and expectant confederates.
"the committee for new haven colony.
At the General Court for the jurisdiction of New Haven, held Oct. 22, there were read to the freemen the above communication from the New Haven committee to the General Assembly at Hartford, the late decision of the Commissioners maintaining the colony State of New Haven, and the letter of Winthrop to Major Mason and "the rest of the Court there at Hartford." "The deputies also signified the mind of the freemerf, as not at all satisfied with Connecticut committee's proposals, but thought there should be no more treaty with them unless they first restore us to our right state again."
"The matter was largely debated, and the Court considering how they of Connecticut do cast off our motion in the forementioned letter and give us no answer, but that contrary thereunto is reported, as that they have further encouraged those at Guilford and Stamford; therefore this court did now order that no treaty be made by this colony with Connecticut before such acts of power exerted by them upon any of our towns be revoked and recalled, according to Honored Mr. Winthrop's letter engaging the same, the Commissioners' advice, and our frequent desires."
At the same court, "after large debate thereupon, it was concluded as best for us, and most feasible as the case now stands with us, that we seek a letter of exemption from his Majesty, and leave the matter concerning a patent in our instructions to our agents in England as they shall judge best." - For the management of this affair, a committee was appointed, and for its expenses a rate of three hundred pounds was levied. And as there were many falling off to Connecticut, it was "ordered that the magistrates do give forth their warrants according to law, to attach and make seizure of such personal estate in proportion, for the payment of their rates, who, upon legal demand made, have or shall refuse the same, and that the orders provided in case of distresses be carefully attended; provided that for the preservation of the public peace, in case of resistance and forcible rescue, violence be not used to occasion the shedding of blood saving in their own defence, but that such officer or officers, so by force of arms resisted in discharge of their duty, make report of such resistance and rescue with sufficient proof to
the magistrate or magistrates or other officer of the plantation where it happens, in due season to be presented to the General Court."
New Haven, having taken much encouragement from the decision of the Commissioners in her favor, was further strengthened by the reception of two communications from his Majesty's government, acknowledging her as a distinct colony. One was only indirectly addressed by the home government to New Haven, but the other was especially precious as being under his Majesty's "own princely hand, and sign manual in red wax annexed," and addressed expressly to the governor and assistants of New Haven colony as well as to its confederates. A court of magistrates held in December improved the opportunity to issue the following most loyal proclamation, viz.:-
"Whereas the King's Majesty, by his letter under his own princely hand, and sign manual in red wax annexed, bearing date the 21st of June, 1663, from his royal court at Whitehall, directed to his trusty and well-beloved subjects, the governors and assistants of the Massachusetts, Plymouth, New Haven, and Connecticut colonies in New England; and the Lords of his Majesty's most honorable Privy Council, in their letter from his Majesty's court aforesaid, bearing date the 24th of June in the year aforesaid, superscribed, 'For his Majesty's special service, To our very loving friend, John Endicott, Esquire, Governor of his Majesty's plantations in New England, and to the Governor and Council of the colony of the Massachusetts with the rest of the governors of the English plantations in New England respectively,' and by order of the General Court at Boston entered upon record in that court, particularly directed to the governor of the said colony of New Haven, in which letters his Majesty hath commanded this colony many matters of weight, very much respecting his Majesty's service and the good of this country in general, expecting upon
his displeasure the strict observance thereof, which this court (most of the towns of this colony being situate by the seaside and so fitly accommodated to fulfil his Majesty's commands) are resolved to their utmost to obey and fulfil; but in their consultation there- 'about they find, through the disloyal and seditious principles and practices of some men of inconsiderable interests, some of his Majesty's good subjects in this colony have been seduced to rend themselves from this colony, by which division his Majesty's affairs in these parts (in case some speedy course be not taken for the prevention thereof) is like to suffer, the peace of this country to be endangered, and the heathen amongst us scandalized; the which if we should connive at, especially at this time, his Majesty having so particularly directed his royal commands to this colony as aforesaid, we might justly incur his displeasure against us: this Court doth therefore in his Majesty's name require all the members and inhabitants of this colony heartily to close with the endeavors of the Governor and assistants thereof, for the fulfilling his Majesty's commands in the said letters expressed, and in order thereunto to return to their due obedience and paying their arrears of rates for defraying the necessary charges of the colony, and other dues, within six days after the publication hereof, unto such person or persons as are or shall be appointed to collect the same in attendance to the laws and orders of this colony. All which being done, this court shall forever pass by all former disobedience to the government; but if any shall presume to stand out against his Majesty's pleasure so declared as aforesaid concerning this colony, at your peril be it: this court shall not fail to call the said persons to a strict account, and proceed against them (as disloyal to his Majesty and disturbers of the peace of this colony) according to law." -
This Declaration, as it is called in the records, was published in the several plantations. At Stamford it "was violently plucked down" by the Connecticut constable, and "with reproachful speeches rejected, though sent in his Majesty's name, and by the authority of our court of magistrates." When published at Guilford,
Bray Rossiter and others who had submitted to Connecticut, went to Hartford, claiming protection. "At a meeting of the Council the 28th of December, Mr. Bray Rossiter, John Bishop, Isaac Crittenden, and John Rossiter presented a declaration dated at New Haven, Dec. 18, 1663, signed by James Bishop, Secretary, which declaration was ordered by the court of magistrates at New Haven aforesaid to be published, &c., as the said declaration declarftth; the said Mr. Rossiter also complaining of some threatening expressions that have been by some vented against divers that have submitted to the government of Connecticut.
"This Council having considered the premises, and fearing the peace of the colony will be interrupted by these motions unless some speedy course be taken to prevent it, do nominate and appoint Mr. Wyllys, John Allyn, and Mr. Wait Winthrop, to go to Guilford to treat with Mr. Leete and any other whom Mr. Leete shall desire to join with himself, about the indemnity of the persons and estates of those that have actually joined to our government, according to these following instructions:-
"1. If the said Mr. Leete will give security by his word for the indemnity of the aforesaid persons and estates, then you are to propound some propositions for our uniting, according to private instructions.
"2. If they will attend any such propositions, if you cannot come to a conclusion and issue, you are to appoint a meeting at Middletown for a further treaty, where this Council will send a committee fully empowered to conclude all matters between us and New Haven and the rest.
"3. If none of these propositions will be attended by them, then you are in his Majesty's name, and by order from the Council of
this colony, to require them to forbear putting in execution their aforesaid declaration against any of those that have joined to our government, and also to administer the oath of a constable to John Meigs, and to require him to use his utmost endeavor to maintain the peace of this colony amongst those at Guilford that have joined to the government of this colony."
To his certificate of the appointment of this committee, the Secretary adds, "Mr. James Richards is desired to attend the service also."
The visit of this committee to Guilford is thus related in "New Haven's Case Stated:" -
"On the 30th of December, 1663, two of your magistrates, with sundry young men and your marshal, came speedily to Guilford, accompanying Rossiter and his son, and countenancing them and their party against the authority of this General Court, though you know how obnoxious they were formerly to this jurisdiction, for contempt of authority and seditious practices, and that they have been the ringleaders of this rent; and that Bray Rossiter, the father, hath been long and still is a man of a turbulent, restless, fractious spirit, and whose designs you have cause to suspect to be to cause a war between these two colonies, or to ruin New Haven Colony: yet him you accompanied in opposition to this colony, without sending or writing before to our governor to be informed concerning the truth in this matter. Sundry horses, as we are informed, accompanied them to Guilford, whither they came at unseasonable hour, about ten o'clock in the night, these short days, when you might rationally think that all the people were gone to bed, and by shooting of sundry guns, some of yours, or of their party in Guilford, alarmed the town; which, when the governor took notice of, and of the unsatisfying answer given to such as inquired the reason of that disturbance, he suspected, and that not without cause, that hostile attempts were intended by their company; whereupon he sent a letter to New Haven to inform the magistrates there concerning matters at Guilford, that many were affrighted, and he desired that the magistrates of New Haven would
presently come to their succor, and as many of the troopers as could be got,(*) alleging for a reason, his apprehension of their desperate resolutions. The governor's messenger also excited to haste, as apprehending danger and reporting to them that Branford went up in arms hastening to their relief at Guilford, which the governot required with speed. Hereupon New Haven was also alarmed that night by beating the drum to warn the town militia to be ready. This fear was not causeless, for what else could be gathered from the preparations of pistols, bullets, swords, &c., which they brought with them, and the threatening speeches given out by some of them, as is attested by the depositions of some and subscriptions of others, which we have by us to show when need requires; and your two magistrates themselves, who ought to have kept the king's peace among their own party, and in their own speeches, threatened our governqr that if any thing was done against those men, viz., Rossiter and his party, Connecticut would take it as done against themselves, for they were bound to protect them."
Although it was so late in the evening when the "honored gentlemen" from Hartford arrived in Guilford, the following correspondence passed between them and Gov. Leete:-
"guilford, Dec. 30, 1663.
"worthy sir, - After the presentation of our service to yourself, you may please to understand that we underwritten, being a committee authorized by the Council of the Colony of Connecticut, do desire that yourself would be pleased to give us a meeting tomorrow about nine of the clock, to treat of such things as present concernments do require.
"Sir, we desire your answer by the bearer.
"Yours, samuel wyllys. john allyn. james richards. wait winthrop.
"These for Wm. Leete, Esquire, at his house in Guilford?
(* At a general court for New Haven, Dec. 31, 1663, "Mr. Jones acquainted the town with the business of Guilford the last night, and how they had sent away six troopers to see what the matter is, but ordered them not to provoke, neither by word nor action, but to keep the peace.")
"guilford, Dec. 30, 1663.
The record of a general court, occasioned by the visit of the Connecticut gentlemen to Guilford, which was held at New Haven, Jan. 7, 1664, indicates that though Leete refused to give them audience, they had at least some informal conference with him in regard to the Declaration lately published by New Haven. The record is as follows: viz., -
"The publishing of the former Declaration at Guilford occasioned Mr. Rossiter and his son to go up to Connecticut, and there obtain two of their magistrates, marshal, and sundry others to come down to Guilford on the 30th of December last; who coming into the town at an unseasonable time of night, their party, by shooting off sundry guns, caused the town to be alarmed unto great disturbance, and some of them giving out threatening speeches, which caused the governor to send away speedily to Stanford and New Haven for help, which caused both those towns to be alarmed also to great disturbance, the same night, which caused sending of men both from New Haven and Branford. Now, for the gaining of a right understanding of the business, and to consider what to do upon this and the like accounts, occasioned the calling of this court, though the weather proved very unseasonable.
"But the Court being met together (so many of them as could possibly stay), the governor related the whole business to the best of his remembrance; and among other things he informed the
Court that those gentlemen of Connecticut, that came down with Mr. Rossiter and his son, did earnestly desire that there might be at least a suspension of the execution of that Declaration till there might be another conference betwixt them and us, wherein they hoped matters might come to a more comfortable issue; and they very earnestly pressed for such a thing, urging how dangerous the contrary might be", for they said that what we did to those men whom they had admitted, they must take it as done to Connecticut colony. Therefore he now desired to know the mind of the Court, whether they would yield to them so far or no; but the Court, considering how fruitless all former treaties had been, and that they had formerly ordered that there should be no more treaty with them unless they first restore us those members which they had so unrighteously taken from us, therefore did now again confirm the same, and in the issue came to this conclusion: to desire Mr. Davenport and Mr. Street to draw up in writing all our grievances, and then, with the approbation of as many of the committee as could come together, to send it to Connecticut unto their General Assembly, which accordingJy was done in March next, which writing you have recorded after the conclusions of this Court with arguments annexed and sundry testimonies both from Guilford and Stamford.
"Then it was also propounded, whether this Court would confirm the former Declaration sent forth by the magistrates, which was by vote concluded."
The writing which Mr. Davenport and Mr. Street were requested to draw up, was entitled "New Haven's Case Stated." Under this title it may be found in Appendix No. VII., and with it a draught of an answer in the handwriting of the secretary of Connecticut. There is no evidence that any answer was ever forwarded to New Haven. In the opinion of Hollister, "good judgment was shown in abstaining from an attempt to answer it." Hollister says, "In all our New England colonial papers, I have not found a more
touching and eloquent narrative, nor have I ever seen a more convincing argument." Before this plea of New Haven reached Hartford, the Council of Connecticut had appointed another committee to go to Guilford and New Haven. From a note inserted in their instructions it appears that Gov. Winthrop was to precede them, and make in person such preparation as he could, for their success. These are their instructions: viz., -
"It is agreed by the Council, that if our honored friends of New Haven, Guilford, Branford, Milford, and Stamford, will treat with us for an accommodation, then we will grant and confirm to them all such privileges as they shall desire, which are not repugnant to the tenor of our charter.
"(This following particular is not to be put in execution before we hear what our honored governor and the rest effect there.)
"But if they will not treat with us and agree for their settlement, then they are hereby ordered to read the charter at a public meeting (if they can attain it), and to declare that we expect their submission to his Majesty's order therein contained; and also, to commission those now in place to govern the people there according to law until further order be taken, and to draw up a declaration which shall be publicly made known to the people, whereby they may be informed what rational and Christian-like propositions have been made to the gentlemen there, in several treaties for the settlement of their and our union."
The correspondence between the committees of the two colonies which has been preserved is as follows: viz., -
"24th 12 m., 1663 24th February, 1663/4.
"gentlemen, - In order to treaty we propound as a necessary expedient that you redintegrate our colony by restoring our members at Stamford and Guilford, that the confederation may be repaired and preserved; then we have power from our general court to treat with you and to settle agreement, according to God,
between your colony and ours, for future peace between us, for ourselves and our posterity mutually, which we shall readily attend upon our receipt of your positive consent to the premises testified by your joint subscription thereunto, being made an. authentical act.
"william leete, matthew gilbert, william jones, benjamin fenn. jasper crane, robert treat."
"gentlemen, - In answer to your proposals, and as an expedient for the promoting of peace, we propound as followeth:-
"1. In reference to your dissatisfactions respecting divers persons of Guilford and Stamford, and to prevent divisions in those plantations, it is agreed that they be ordered to submit to the same authority with their neighbors in those places.
"2. It is agreed that all the elected officers in New Haven, Guilford, Milford, Branford, be hereby authorized to administer justice to the people in those plantations according to law, and the people to choose new officers at New Haven at their usual time for that purpose for the management of theif affairs within those plantations, with due caution that our patent be no way violated thereby.
"3. That all motions or occasions tending to obstruct further union be carefully shunned, and that all past grievances be buried, upon a penalty on any that shall revive them.
"4. And that it be referred to the prudent consideration of those in place of authority, both in Church and Commonwealth, to think of accommodations most conducible to the settlement of religion and righteousness upon the firmest basis of peace, truth, and unity, for the benefit of posterity; and that some suitable persons do meet to that purpose, when either the much-honored Mr. Winthrop or Mr. Leete shall judge it a fit season, that so brotherly amity may be propagated to future ages.
"samuel wyllys, henry wolcott, john allyn, james richards.
"gentlemen, - As to your first article in your paper sent us, we query whether it be an authentic act as done by you, or not, till it be confirmed by your General Assembly; which, if it be, we desire that you do signify so much under your hands, as also that they are positively restored to this jurisdiction by virtue thereof.
"gentlemen, - In answer to yours we return that we are ready to make authentic what we have proposed to you, if you please to treat with us as they are propounded.
"john allyn, " In the name of the Committee.
"We expect your answer, whether you please thus to treat with us or not."
A little yielding on either side in this crisis might have led on to negotiation. If Connecticut had ordered those who revolted to her from New Haven "to submit to the same authority with their neighbors," the New Haven committee were bound by promise to negotiate, but not bound thereby to give up her existence as a distinct colony. Some of her people would, perhaps, have been willing to do so; but there were others who would never have consented to any arrangement which would annul the fundamental law of New Haven concerning suffrage. Davenport, the champion of this party, writes a few days after the above-written correspondence: "The premises being duly weighed, it will be your wisdom and way to desist wholly and forever from endeavoring to draw us into a union under your patent." But New Haven, however divided on the question of uniting with Connecticut, was unanimous
in refusing to treat till she was redintegrated and acknowledged as a distinct colony. If Connecticut had fully believed that by retracting she could set in motion measures which would result in the absorption of New Haven, she might have sacrificed to the pride of her sister colony the required punctilio. But fearing that that party whose desire was, "that we may for the future live in love and peace together as distinct neighbor colonies, as we did above twenty years together before you received and misunderstood and so abused your patent," might become masters of the situation, she would not otherwise than conditionally retract what she had done.
NEW HAVEN SUBMITS
"THE negotiation between the two colonies was thus in dead-lock, when, at the close of a long summer day, as the sabbath stillness in Boston was beginning, two ships of war - the Guinea, carrying thirty-six guns, and the Elias, carrying thirty - came to anchor off Long Wharf. They were the first vessels of the royal navy that had ever been seen in that harbor. Officers went on board, and brought back intelligence to the town, that the ships had sailed ten weeks before from England, in company with two others, - the Martin, of sixteen guns, and the William and Nicholas, of ten, - from which they had parted a week or two before in bad weather; and that the fleet conveyed three or four hundred troops, and four persons charged with public business. These were Col. Richard Nicolls, Sir Robert Carr, Col. George Cartwright, and Mr. Samuel Maverick."(*) The other vessels had anchored at Portsmouth three days earlier.
The arrival of these royal commissioners brought to a speedy issue the controversy between Connecticut and New Haven. They were instructed to require the colonies to assist in reducing under English authority
all the territory occupied by the Dutch, the king claiming it as of right belonging to the English and bestowing it on his brother the Duke of York. As the territory thus granted was to be bounded on the east by the Connecticut River, New Haven experienced a sudden change of heart toward Connecticut, preferring to submit to her jurisdiction rather than be subjected to the rule of a man who was a royalist, a Romanist, and a Stuart.
Connecticut was also alarmed, or else feigned to be, at the arrival of the commissioners. As soon as possible she sent a delegation to New Haven to persuade her loving friends there to come under the Winthrop charter in order to avoid a common danger. These delegates, one of whom had recently been in Boston, alleged, moreover, that the leading men of Massachusetts earnestly desired that Connecticut and New Haven should come to an agreement, as it had been ascertained that the commissioners had instructions to take advantage of disputes between colonies as well as of every other expedient for reducing all New England under the immediate government of the king.
In less than three weeks after the arrival of the commissioners, Gov. Leete assembled his Court at New Haven.
"The governor acquainted them with the occasion of this Court, that there had Mr. Whiting and Lieut. Bull of Hartford been lately with most of the magistrates, and brought a letter from Mr. Wyllys to Mr. Jones; and they signified that Mr. Whiting being lately in the Bay, and having speech with many friends there, he was hastened away by them to communicate matters above at Connecti-
cut, and also to us, showing themselves very sensible of danger of detriment to the country by reason of any differences between the colonies, now the king's commissioners were come over; and they looked upon this difference of ours with Connecticut to be the greatest, and therefore they declared that they were sent to this purpose, and declared this to be the advice of the best part in the Bay, though they had no letter, that this difference be made up betwixt us, being very sensible of danger to all by this means, and therefore they judge this the best way for all our safety, to stand for the liberties of our patents, and so Connecticut and they would have us to join with them upon that account, for they conceive a great advantage given to the commissioners by our standing off. Now we told them, for our parts, we could do nothing in it ourselves, but after much debate and urging we signified to them thus much: that if Connecticut would come and assert their claim to us in the king's authority, and would secure what at any time they had propounded to us, and would engage to stand to uphold the liberties of their patent, we would call the General Court together that they may consider of it, and be ready to give them an answer, and said for our parts, we did not know but we might bow before it, if they assert it and make it good. They urged to have something from us as grounds of certainty that we would so do, but we told them that we would not do so. Now the Court was desired to consider, of it, what answer should be given if they should so come. Much debate there was upon it, and something pleaded upon the danger of standing as now we are, if the king's commissioners come amongst us; much also was said by some against, and declared that they see no reason of such a motion, making that a question ttf be answered before we knew it would be put to us; also that there had not been a full summons to all the plantations for this General Court; also it was questioned whether the General Court, if it were full, had any power to deliver up the colony state without the consent of the whole body of freemen at least. But notwithstanding all that was said, it came to a vote as followeth: that if Connecticut do come down and assert their right to us by virtue of their charter, and require us in his Majesty's name to submit to their government, that then it be declared to them that we do submit, referring all arguments between us to the final issue of the commissioners of our confederates.
"The vote passed in the affirmative; but after the vote Was passed there appeared some dissatisfaction, and there was further advice and consideration taken in the case, and much was said that it was necessary the freemen should be acquainted with it, and in the issue came to another vote, which was this: That if they of Connecticut come and make a claim upon us - in his Majesty's name and by virtue of their charter, then we shall submit to them until the commissioners of the colonies do meet; and so the governor, the deputy-governor, and magistrates, or so many of them as can be got together, were appointed to give the answer to Connecticut men if they come."
At the annual meeting of the Commissioners of the United Colonies in September, Connecticut protested against the admission of Messrs. Leete and Jones as Commissioners for New Haven colony, "because it doth not appear that they are a colony, or have any power of government distinct from us, confirmed by regal authority." The dispute being thus brought before them, the representatives of Massachusetts and Plymouth declared "that as the "occasion thereof was acted without their cognizance, and the grounds not being fully known to them, they could, as to the right of the cause, add nothing to what was passed by the commissioners at their meeting in 1663: yet, considering how much the honor of God as well as the weal of all the colonies, as themselves therein interested, are concerned in the issue, they heartily and affectionately commended such a compliance between them, that the sad consequences which would inevitably follow upon their further contentions might be prevented."
"At a general court of the freemen of the jurisdiction held at New Haven, Sept. 14, 1664, the governor acquainted them with
the occasion of calling thein together; at this time, and that was something they had met withal lately at the meeting of the commissioners at Hartford, as in the writings may appear, which writings that concerned us were all now read, with a letter also subscribed by Mr. Samuel Wyllys and Mr. John Allyn, directed to James Bishop, to be communicated to this Assembly. The governor further said that it was a season to advise and consider together in what state it is best for us to appear when the commissioners from England come to visit us, whether in the state we now are, or under a regal stamp (as they call it), in joining with Connecticut. There was much debate, and divers spake that to stand as God hath kept us hitherto is our best way; but some desired to understand the vote of the last General Court, so the secretary went home to fetch it, and in the mean space, while he was gone, the assembly was broken up, and no more done at this time."
The General Assembly of Connecticut met in October, and passed the following order:-
"This Court desires and appoints Mr. Shearman and the secretary to go to New Haven, &c., and by order from this Court, in his Majesty's name, to require, all the inhabitants of New Haven, Milford, Branford, Guilford, and Stamford to submit to the government here established by his Majesty's gracious grant to this colony, and to take their answer. And they are hereby authorized to declare all the present freemen of New Haven, Milford, Branford, Guilford, and Stamford, that are qualified accorfling to law,' to be freemen of this corporation, so many of them as shall accept of the same and take the freemen's oath. And they are hereby authorized to make as many freemen as they shall by sufficient testimony find qualified according to order of court, in that respect, and to administer the oath of freedom to them.
"They are also to declare that this Court doth invest William Leete, Esquire, William Jones, Esquire, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Fenn, Mr. Crane, Mr. Treat, and Mr. Law, with magistratical power, to assist in the government of those plantations and the people thereof, according to the laws of this corporation, or so many of their own
laws and orders as are not contradictory to the tenor of our charter, until May next; and if any of these above-named refuse to accept to govern the people as aforesaid, then Mr. Shearman and the secretary are hereby authorized to appoint some other fit persons in their room, and to administer an oath to them for the faithful execution of the trust committed to them."
For some reason Mr. Richards was desired to go in place of Mr. Shearman to Stamford, where, Mr. Law having been won over, they found no great difficulty in persuading the town to submit. The committee originally appointed visited Milford on the 17th of November, where they issued a call for a meeting of all householders, as follows:-
"These are in his Majesty's name to will and require you forth-with to warn all the inhabitants at your town of Milford, being householders, to meet at the meeting-house this day about one of the clock, to attend such occasions with Mr. Shearman and myself, as are given us in charge by the General Court of Connecticut; whereof fail not.
john allyn, Secretary"
"To Joseph Waters, to execute:" The people of Milford, assembling in response to this call, voted to submit to Connecticut. "No one person voted against it." On the 19th of the same month, Mr. Shearman and Secretary Allyn were present at a town-meeting in New Haven, where Mr. Jones, who at the election in May had been chosen deputy-governor, and was therefore moderator of the plantation court, "acquainted the town that the occasion of the meeting was that there were some gentlemen from Connecticut that had something to acquaint the town withal, and he thought the
business in general was to require our submission to Connecticut, with some other propositions. He further minded the town of the peace and unity that God had hitherto continued amongst us, and the many blessings both on the right hand and left that we enjoyed under this government; and also told the town that we are a people in combination with others, and therefore could not give a full answer without first acquainting the other plantations, and then that we ourselves were not a full meeting of the town, divers of the farms having not warning. But, the gentlemen being come in, Mr. Jones desired to see their commission. They declared that they should show it to persons deputed, but after, read it, and then declared what they had to say to the town. The persons were Mr. John Allyn and Mr. Samuel Shearman. These gentlemen urged to have the matter put to vote, but they were told that the town-meeting was not full. But Mr. Allyn said that if Mr. Shearman did consent, which he thought he would, he should take the boldness to put it to vote himself; but his speech was disliked, and after, witnessed against, and they were desired to withdraw awhile, and the town would consider to give them an answer; and so they did, and the town considering of it came to this conclusion as their present answer by a general vote, only one dissenting, which answer follows their declaration. The gentlemen aforesaid being called in again, the answer was read to them. They desired a copy of it; which was granted, they leaving a copy of what they had declared, which they promisedj and is here inserted as followeth." The declaration of the Connecticut committee was
in accordance with their instructions. The answer of the New Haven town- meeting, though not preserved, was doubtless substantially what the moderator had already stated; viz., that submission to such a demand must come from the colony of New Haven, and not from its several plantations.
The committee visited also Branford and Guilford, where the answers they received to their requirement of submissipn were in accordance with that of New Haven.
Submission to Connecticut was now the manifest destiny of New Haven, and the only remaining question respected the mode. The royal commissioners had obliterated the Dutch power in America, and New Haven was included in the territory given to the Duke of York. A "distinct colony state" being out of the question, the best practicable condition was to become a part of Connecticut. The course of events had at last brought all but a very few to this conclusion. However strongly they were attached to the peculiarities of their colony, including, as most important of all, its limitation of suffrage, and however deeply offended with the insult their colony had received from Connecticut, they saw that submission was a necessity. If there were a few who still desired "to stand as God hath kept us hitherto," they were, since the reduction of New Netherlands, so few that nothing could be accomplished. All that the leading men now hoped- for was that the colony might die decently. Not consenting that the plantations should separately transfer allegiance, they required that the General Court of the jurisdiction should assemble and vote its submission.
If any thing was wanting to bring the last man to despair of maintaining a distinct colony state, it was a formal determination by the royal commissioners of the boundary between Connecticut and New York. If New Haven was in Connecticut, the distinct colony of New Haven was at an end; but the other alternative was worse.
Winthrop with several associates had been appointed by the General Assembly of Connecticut, at their session in October, to go to New York, "to congratulate his Majesty's Honorable Commissioners." They were empowered, "if an opportunity offer itself that they can issue the bounds between the Duke's patent and ours, so as in their judgment may be to the satisfaction of the Court, to attend the same." Winthrop had been present with the Commissioners, and rendered them important aid, in negotiating the surrender of New Amsterdam in the preceding August; but still further to prepare the way for an issue that would be to the satisfaction of the Court, an order had been passed "that Col. Nicolls and the rest of the Commissioners be presented with four hundred bushels of corn as a present from this colony."
The decision of the Commissioners was rendered on the thirtieth day of November. After assigning Long Island, which Connecticut claimed as one of the "adjacent islands," mentioned in her charter, to his Royal Highness the Duke of York, they proceeded to declare "that the creek or river called Momoronock, which is reputed to be about twelve miles to the east of West Chester, and a line drawn from the east point or side, where the fresh water falls into the salt at high-water
mark, north-north-west, to the line of the Massachusetts, be the western bounds of the said colony of Connecticut; and all plantations lying westward of that creek and line so drawn to be under his Royal Highness's government, and all plantations lying eastward of that creek and line to be under the government of Connecticut."
Thirteen days after this authoritative determination of the western boundary of Connecticut, the Jurisdiction of New Haven held its last general court. "The freemen of New Haven, Guilford, Branford, and part of Milford, and as many of the inhabitants as were pleased to come," assembled to put an end to their distinct colony state, by submission to Connecticut.
"The governor acquainted them with the occasion of calling them together; and that is, some of Connecticut gentlemen having made demand of our submission to their government, in his Majesty's name, the answers of these three towns were with promise of further answer when they should consider of the matter together; and therefore to set their thoughts a- work about it, something was propounded to them and left with them to consider of till the morning.
"In the morning, the assembly being come together, the governor propounded to know what was the issue of their thoughts in the business left with them. After some debate, the answer was drawn up in writing, and read, and after serious consideration put to vote, and so was concluded with universal consent, not any one opposing.
"The vote of the freemen and other inhabitants of the colony met together at New Haven, the 13th of December, '64, in answer to what Mr. John Allyn and Mr. Samuel Shearman declared in our several towns in November last as followeth:-
"1. First that by this act or vote we be not understood to justify Connecticut's former actings, nor any thing disorderly done by our own people upon such accounts.
"2. That by it we be not apprehended to have any hand in breaking or dissolving the confederation.
"Yet in testimony of our loyalty to the king's Majesty, when an authentic copy of the determination of his Commissioners is published to be recorded with us, if thereby it shall appear to our committee that we are by his Majesty's authority now put under Connecticut patent, we shall submit, as from a necessity brought upon us by their means of Connecticut aforesaid, but with a salvo jure of our former right and claim, as a people who have not yet been heard in point of plea."
A committee having been appointed for consummating matters with Connecticut, and the following letter having been read and approved, it was sent to the authorities of Connecticut with the aforesaid vote.
"honored gentlemen,- We having been silent hitherto as to the making of any grievance known unto the king's commissioners, notwithstanding what may be with us of such nature from the several transactions that have been amongst us, are desirous so to continue the managing of these affairs in ways consistent with the ancient confederation of the United Colonies, choosing rather to suffer than to begin any motion hazardful to New England settlements. In pursuance whereof (according to our promise to your gentlemen sent lately to demand our submission, though in a divided if not dividing way, within our towns severally seeking to bring us under the government by yourselves already settled, wherein we have had no hand to settle the same, and before you had cleared to our conviction the certain limits of your charter, which may justly increase the scruple of too much haste in that and former actings upon us), the generality of our undivided people have orderly met this 13th of December, 1664, and by the vote enclosed have prepared for this answer, to be given, of our submission, which being done by us, then for the accommodating of matters betwixt us in amicable wise, by a committee empowered to issue with you on their behalf and in the behalf of all concerned, according to instructions given to the said committee. We never did nor ever do intend to damnify your moral rights or
just privilege, consistent with our like honest enjoyment, and we would hope that you have no further scope towards us, not to violate our covenant interest, but to accommodate us with that we shall desire and the patent bear, as hath been often said you would do. And surely you have the more reason to be full with us herein, seeing that your success for patent bounds with those gentlemen now obtained, seems to be debtor to our silence before them, whenas you thus by single application and audience issued that matter. You thus performing to satisfaction, we may still rest silent, and according to profession by a studious and cordial endeavor with us to advance the interest of Christ in this wilderness and by the Lord's blessing thereupon, love and union between us may be greatly confirmed and all our comforts enlarged; which is the earnest prayer of, gentlemen, your loving friends and neighbors,
"The Committee appointed by the freemen and inhabitants of New Haven colony now assembled.
"W james bishop, Secretary.
The submission of New Haven was an unqualified triumph for Connecticut. There had been a time when she would have modified the qualifications for suffrage, and made them as nearly conformable to those in New Haven as the home government would allow. The qualifications she had proposed to New Haven in the preceding year are almost exactly what Massachusetts adopted when the royal commissioners demanded, in the king's name, that church- membership should not be insisted on. At that time, she seemed willing to permit New Haven to have a court in which magistrafes might, without a jury, try and determine causes. She even seemed willing to exempt the churches of New Haven County from that Erastian control, which, in the session of the General Assembly when Mr.
Shearman and Secretary Allyn were appointed to demand the submission of New Haven, commended "to the ministers and churches in this colony to consider whether, it be not their duty to entertain all such persons who are of an honest and godly conversation, having a competency of knowledge in the principles of religion, and shall desire to join with them in church fellowship by an explicit covenant; and that they have their children baptized; and that all the children of the church be accepted and accounted real members of the church, and that the church exercise a due Christian care and watch over them,- and that when they are grown up, being examined by the officers in the presence of the church, it appears in the judgment of charity they are duly qualified to participate in that great ordinance of the Lord's Supper, by their being able to examine themselves and discern the Lord's body, such persons be admitted to full communion. The Court desires that the several officers of the respective churches would be pleased to consider whether it be not the duty of the Court to order the churches to practise according to the premises, if they do not practise without such an order."
But New Haven, instead of securing these concessions by capitulating when they were offered, had obstinately refused, and had now submitted without any definite assurance of peculiar privileges. Plainly, they were expecting that their loving friends would accommodate them with every thing they might "desire and the patent bear." Their letter of submission mentions with other matters, a committee they had appointed to communicate their desires, and alleges that the silence
of New Haven when Connecticut prosecuted her claim before the royal commissioners was a reason why Connecticut should be magnanimous in her concessions. How bitter must have been the disappointment at New Haven, when Connecticut, in response to the letter of submission, alluded to every topic it contained except the appointment of the committee "for the accommodating of matters betwixt us in amicable wise." New Haven had unconditionally surrendered.
The response of Connecticut to the letter of submission was as follows:-
"hartford, Dec. 21, 1664.
"honored gentlemen, - We have received yours, dated the 14th of this instant, signed by James Bishop, &c., wherein you are pleased to mention your silence hitherto, as to the making any grievance known to his Majesty's commissioners, notwithstanding what may be with you, &c. We can say the same, though we had fair opportunities to present any thing of that nature. As for your desire to manage affairs consistent with the Confederation, the present motion will (we hope) upon a candid review not appear any way dissonant therefrom, for besides the provision made in one of the Articles of Confederation for two colonies uniting in one, there was special provision, as you well know, made at the last session of the commissioners, to that purpose, conjoined with pathetical advice and counsel to an amicable union. Our too much forwardness with New Haven, &c., is not so clear, seeing those plantations you inhabit are much about the centre of our patent, which our charter limits, as also the enclosed determination of his Majesty's honorable commissioners, will to your conviction be apparent. That our success for patent bounds with the king's commissioners is debtor to your silence, seems to us strange, when your non-compliance "was so abundantly known to those gentlemen; yea, the news of your motions when Mr. John Allyn was last with you, was at New York before our governor's departure thence, notwithstanding your silence, and yet so good an issue obtained. We desire such reflections may be buried in perpetual silence, which
only yourselves necessitating thereunto shall revive them, being willing to pursue truth and peace as much as may be with all men, especially with our dear brethren in the fellowship of (he gospel, and fellow-members of the same civil corporation, accommodated with so many choice privileges, which we are willing, after all is prepared to your hands, to confer upon you equal with ourselves; which we wish may at last produce the long- desired effect of your free and cordial closure with us, not attributing any necessity imposed by us further than the situation of those plantations in the heart of our colony, and therein the peace of posterity in these parts of the country is necessarily included, and that after so long liberty to present your plea where you have seen meet. Gentlemen, we desire a full answer as speedily as may, be, whether those lately empowered, accept to govern according to their commission; if not, other meet persons to govern, may by us be empowered in their room. Thus desiring the Lord to unite our hearts and spirits in ways well pleasing in his sight, "Which is the prayer of your very loving friends," the council of the colony of connecticut. "Signed by their order by me, john allyn, Secretary." New Haven made but one more effort to obtain concessions. The effort was neither vigorous nor effectual. The following letter ended its resistance to the will of Connecticut. "new haven, Jan. 5, 1665. "honored gentlemen, - Whereas, by yours, dated Dec. 21, 1664, you please to say that you did the same as we in not making any grievance known, to the commissioners, &c.; unto that may be returned that you had not the same cause so to do, from any pretence of injury by our intermeddling with your colony or covenant interest: unto which we refer that passage. For our expressing desires to manage all our matters in consistency with the Confederation, we hope you will not blame us; how dissonant or consonant your actings with us have been, we leave to the confederates to judge, as their records may show. That article which allows two colonies to join, doth also with others assert the justness of
each colony's distinct right until joined to mutual satisfaction, and the provision made in such case the last session we gainsay not, when the union is so completed, and a new settlement of the confederation by the respective general courts accomplished. Their pathetical advice and counsel for an amicable union we wish may be so attended; in order whereunto we gave you notice of a committee prepared to treat with you for such an accommodation, unto which you give us no answer, but instead thereof, send forth your edict from authority upon us before our conviction for submission was declared to you. The argument from our intermixt situation is the same now as it was before our confederating and ever since, and affords no more ground now to disannul the covenant Jhan before. We might marvel at your strange why we should think your success should be debtor to our silence, and that because the news of our non- compliance was with the commissioners; as if the mere news of such a thing contained the strength of all we had to say or plead. Gentlemen, We entreat you to consider that there is more in it than so, yea, that still we have to allege things of weight, and know where and how, if we chose not rather to abate and suffer, than by striving, to hazard the hurting yourselves or the common cause. We scope not at reflections, but conviction and conscience-satisfaction, that so brethren in the fellowship of the gospel might come to a cordial and regular closure, and so walk together in love and peace to advance Christ's interest among them, which is all our design; but how those high and holy ends are like so to be promoved between us without a treaty for accommodation, we have cause to doubt, yet that we may not fail in the least to perform whatever we have said, we now signify, that having seen the copy of his Majesty's commissioners' determination (deciding the bounds betwixt his highness the Duke of York, and Connecticut's charter), we do declare submission thereunto according to the true intent ef our vote, unto which we refer you. As to that part of yours concerning our magistrates' and officers' acceptance, their answer is, that they having been chosen by the people here to such trust, and sworn thereunto for the year ensuing, and until new be orderly chosen, and being again desired to continue that trust, they shall go on in due observance thereof, according to the declaration left with us by Mr. John Allyn and Mr. Samuel
Shearman, bearing date Nov. 19, 1664, in hope to find that in a loving treaty for accommodating matters to the ends professed by you, unto which our committee stands ready to attend, upon notice from you, truth and peace maybe maintained. So shall we not give you further trouble, but remain, gentlemen, your very loving friends and neighbors,
"The committee appointed by the freemen and inhabitants of New Haven Colony, signed their order, me,
This reiterated appeal for a "loving treaty" brought forth no response, and the people of the late colony of New Haven found that they were not to be allowed to retain any of the peculiarities they had so highly prized under the old jurisdiction. Deputies from the plantation of New Haven appeared and sat in the General Assembly of Connecticut in the following April. An act of indemnity was at that time passed as follows: " This Court doth hereby declare that all former actings that have passed by the former power at New Haven, so far as they have concerned this colony (whilst they stood as a distinct colony), though they in their own nature have seemed uncomfortable to us, yet they are hereby buried in perpetual oblivion, never to be called to account." At the election in May four gentlemen who had been magistrates under the New Haven jurisdiction were appointed magistrates of Connecticut.
A very large majority of the people formerly under the jurisdiction of New Haven soon became satisfied with their new relation. Branford, however, was an exception. In the words of Trumbull, "Mr. Pierson and almost his whole church and congregation were so displeased that they soon removed into Newark in
New Jersey. They carried off the records of the church and town, and, after the latter had been settled about five and twenty years, left it almost without inhabitants. For more than twenty years from that time there was not a church formed in the town. People from various parts of the colony gradually moved into it, and purchased the lands of the first planters, so that in about twenty years it became resettled. In 1685 it was re-invested with town privileges."
Most of all, Davenport, who, on the other side of the sea, had devised the peculiar constitution of New Haven, who had seen the establishment of successive plantations according to the pattern he had set, and the combination of them under a colonial government, was distressed at the ruin of his plans arid his hopes. In April, 1666, Winthrop wrote requesting him to preach the election sermon in May, and suggesting that he would have been asked to preach the preceding year, but that the union was not then complete. Davenport, who had just entered his seventieth year, and was suffering with malaria, writes of his "unfitness for such a journey," mentions the intention of his colleague to visit Boston as a reason why he himself must remain at home, and adds, "I have sundry other weighty reasons whereby I am strongly and necessarily hindered from that service, which may more conveniently be given by word of mouth to your honored self, than expressed by writing." Retaining the letter in his hand two days, he writes in a postscript: "The reason which it pleased you to give why I was not formerly desired to preach at the election, holdeth as strong against my being invited thereunto now. For
we are not yet fully joined, by the Court's refusal of our freemen to vote in the last election, when they came thither to that end, in obedience to their absolute summons, and about twenty of ours were sent home as repudiated after they had suffered the difficulties and hazards of an uncomfortable and unsafe journey in that wet season."(*) Writing his reply the same day he received Winthrop's invitation, he ruled his spirit; but, after two days of musing, he gives vent to his disappointment in the complaint that the freemen of New Haven were not, as such, received and treated under the expected treaty of accommodation, as freemen of Connecticut, A year later he writes to Winthrop with something of his former cordiality and abandon, as if time had softened his resentment. But he never recovered from the disappointment which fell upon him like a blow at the extinction of the little sovereignty whose foundations he had laid. New Haven, as Palfrey rightly says, "ceased to be attractive to him. It was rather the monument of a great defeat and sorrow." He speaks in a letter to a friend in Massachusetts of "Christ's interest in New Haven Colony as miserably lost." In this state of mind he received an invitation to the pastorate of the First Church in Boston, there to champion the cause of orthodoxy against the half-way covenant. Contrary to the wishes of his church and congregation, he determined to accept the invitation. Mr. John Hull of Boston
(* These freemen of New Haven Colony doubtless presented themselves as voters in response to a public summons directed to freemen of Connecticut. As they had not taken the oath of allegiance to that colony, they were repudiated.)
writes in his diary, under date of May 2, 1668: "At three or four in the afternoon came Mr. John Davenport to town, with his wife, son, and son's family, and were met by many of the town. A great shower of extraordinary drops of rain fell as they entered the town; but Mr. Davenport and his wife were sheltered in a coach of Mr. Searl, who went to meet them." Mr. Davenport's ministry in Boston was of short duration. He died in less than two years after the date given above. His removal from New Haven doubtless helped to obliterate the bitter feelings produced by the controversy between Connecticut and New Haven. The union of the two colonies was in itself so desirable, that resentment against what was wrong in the ' means of accomplishing it yielded to, the stronger feeling of satisfaction with the result. After two centuries, New Haven scarcely remembers that she was once a distinct colony.
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