gentlemen, - The professed grounds and ends of your and our coming into these parts are not unknown, being plainly expressed in the prologue to that solemn confederation entered into by the four colonies of New England, printed and published to the world, namely: to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in purity with peace, for which we left our dear native country and were willing to undergo the difficulties we have since met with in this wilderness, yet fresh in our remembrance; being the only ends we still pursue, having hitherto found by experience so much of the presence of God with us, and of his goodness and compassion towards us in so doing for these many years. Yet, considering how unanswerable our returns have been to God, how unfruitful, unthankful, and unholy under so much means of grace and such liberties, we cannot but lament the same, judge ourselves and justify God, should he now at last (after so long patience towards us) bring desolating judgments upon us, arid make us drink of the dregs of that cup of indignation he hath put into the hands of his people in other parts of the world, or suffer such contentions (in just displeasure) to arise among us as may hasten our calamity and increase our woe, which we pray the lord in mercy to prevent. And, whereas, in the
pursuance of said ends,- and upon other religious and civil considerations, as the security of the interest of each colony within its self in ways of righteousness and peace, and all and every of the said colonies from the Indians and other enemies, they did judge it to be their bounden duty for mutual strength and helpfulness for the future in all their said concernments, to enter into a consociation among themselves, thereupon fully agreed and concluded by and between the parties or jurisdictions in divers and sundry articles, and at last ratified as a perpetual confederation by their several subscriptions, whereunto we conceive ourselves bound to adhere, until with satisfaction to our judgments and consciences we see our duty, with like unanimous consent of the confederates, orderly to recede, leaving the issue unto the most wise and righteous God.
As for the Patent upon your petition granted to you by his Majesty, as Connecticut Colony, so far, and in that sense, we object not against it, much less against his Majesty's act in so doing, the same being a real encouragement to other of his subjects to obtain the like favour upon their humble petition to his Royal Highness in the protection of their persons and purchased rights and interests, is also a ground of hope to us. But, if the line of your Patent doth circumscribe this Colony by your contrivement, without our cognizance or consent, or regard to the said confederation on your parts, we have and must still testify against it, as not consistent (in our judgment) with brotherly love, righteousness and peace. And that this Colony (for so long time a confederate jurisdiction, distinct from yours and the other colonies) is taken in under the administration of the said Patent in your hands, and so its form being dissolved, and distinction ceasing, there being no one line or letter in the Patent expressing his Majesty's pleasure that way, although it is your sense of it, yet we cannot so apprehend, of which we having already given our grounds at large in writing, we shall not need to say much more, nor have we* met with
any argumentative or rational convictions from you, nor do we yet see cause to be of another mind. As for your proceedings upon pretence of the Patent towards us, or rather against us, in taking sundry inhabitants of this Colony under your protection and government, who (as you say) offered themselves, from which a good conscience and the obligation under which most of them stood to this Colony should have restrained them, without the consent of the body of this Colony first had, and in concurrence with them, upon mature deliberation and conviction of duty yet wanting, we cannot but again testify against as disorderly in them, and which admission on your parts we conceive your Christian prudence might have easily suspended, for prevention of that great offence to the consciences of your confederate brethren1 and those sad consequences which have followed, disturbing the peace of our towns, destroying our comforts, and hazard of our lives and liberties by then- frequent threats and unsufferable provocations, hath been and is with us a matter of complaint both to God and man; especially when we consider that thus you admitted them, and put power into their hands, before you had made any overture to us or had any treaty with us about so weighty a business, as if you were in haste to make us miserable, as indeed in these things we are at. this day.
And seeing upon the answer returned to your propositions made by you afterwards .of joining with you in your governments, finding ourselves so already dismembered, and the weighty grounds and reasons we then presented to you, we could not prevail so far with you as to procure a respite of your further proceedings until Mr. Winthrop's return from England, or the grant of any time that way, which was thought but reasonable by some of yourselves, and the like seldom denied in war to very enemies, we saw it then high time and necessary (fearing these beginnings) to appeal unto his Majesty, and so we did, concluding according to the law of appeals in all cases and among all nations, that the same (upon your allegiance to 564
his Majesty) would have obliged you to forbear all further process in this business, for our own parts resolving (notwithstanding all that we had formerly suffered) to sit down patient under the same, waiting upon God for the issue of our said appeal.
But seeing that notwithstanding all that we had presented to you by word and writing, notwithstanding our appeal to his Majesty, notwithstanding all that we have suffered (by means of that power you had set up, viz., a constable at Stamford), of which informations have been given you, yet you have gone further to place a constable at Guilford, in like manner, over a party there, to the further disturbance of our peace and quiet, a narrative whereof, and of the provocations and wrongs we have met with at Stamford, we have received, attested to us by divers witnesses, honest men, we cannot but on behalf of our appeal to his Majesty, whose honor is highly concerned therein, and of our just rights, but (as men exceedingly afflicted and grieved) testify in the sight of God, angels, and men, against these things; our end therein being not to provoke or further any offence, but rather, as a discharge of duty on our parts as brethren and Christian confederates, to call upon you to take some effectual course to ease and right us in a due redress of the grievances you have caused by these proceedings, such, and that after you had complimented us with large offers of patent privileges, with desire of a treaty with us for union of our colonies. And you know as your good words were kindly accepted, so your motion was fairly answered by our committee, that in regard we were under an appeal to his Majesty, that being limited by our freemen not to conclude any thing for ajtering our distinct colony state and government without their consent and without the approbation of the other confederate colonies, they were not in present capacity so to treat; but did little suspect such a design on foot against us, the effect whereof, quickly appeared at Guilford before mentioned. But we shall say no more at this time, only to tell you, whatever we
suffer by your means, we pray the Lord would help us to choose it rather than to sin against our consciences, hoping the righteous God will in due time look upon our affliction, and incline his Majesty's heart to favor our righteous cause.
Subscribed in the name and by order of the General Court of New Haven Colony. V1 james bishop, 'Secretary.
new haven, May 6, 1663,