" all that part of New England in America, which lies and extends itself from a river there called Narragan-set River, the space of forty leagues upon a straight line near the sea-shore toward the south-west, west and by south, or west, as the coast lieth towards Virginia, accounting three English miles to the league; and also all and singular the lands and hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being within the lands aforesaid, north and south in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude, of and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the main lands there, from the Western Ocean to the South Sea."
The first planters of Hartford, Windsor, and Weth-ersfield settled themselves in the territory thus conveyed by the Earl of Warwick, without asking leave of the patentees. Some years afterward, a fort having been meanwhile built at Saybrook by the patentees, the colonial government purchased of Mr. Fenwick, the representative of the patentees, the fort and the lands upon the river. In the articles of agreement Mr. Fenwick also promises that " all the lands from Narragan-set River to the fort of Saybrook, mentioned in a patent granted by the Earl of Warwick to certain nobles and gentlemen, shall fall under the jurisdiction of Connecticut if it come into his power," but makes no mention of, or allusion to, the territory occupied by the New Haven colony.
So far as appears, no claim was made by Connecticut to the territory of New Haven till 1660. In that year the town of New Haven, wishing to " set out the bounds with lasting marks," between them and Connecticut, appointed Mr. Yale, William Andrews, John Cooper,
John Brocket, and Nathaniel Merriman, a committee to do it with the help of Montowese, the late proprietor. Connecticut took offence at the proceedings of this committee, and sent to New Haven the following letter: -
" Honored Gentlemen, - This Court' having received information, not only by what appears in one of your laws respecting the purchase of land from the Indians, wherein there is a seeming challenge of very large' interests of lands, and likewise by what intelligence we have had of your stretching your bounds up toward us, by marking trees on this side Pilgrims' Harbor,1 which things, as ye intrench upon our interest, so they are not satisfying or contentful, nor do we apprehend it a course furthering or strengthening that friendly correspondency that we desire and ought to be perpetuated betwixt neighbors and confederates; especially in that we conceive you cannot be ignorant of our real and true right to those parts of the country where you are seated, both by conquest, purchase, and possession; and though hitherto, we have been silent and altogether forborne to make any absolute challenge to our own, as before, yet now we see a necessity at least to revive the memorial of our right and interest, and therefore do desire that there may be a cessation of further proceedings in this nature, until upon mature consideration there may be a determinate settlement and mutual concurrence twixt yourselves and this colony in reference to the dividing bounds twixt the two colonies. It is further desired and requested by us that if there be any thing extant on record with you that may further the deciding this matter, it may be produced, and that there may be a time and place appointed, when some deputed for that end, furnished with full power, may meet, that so a loving issue may be effected to prevent further troubles. And in case there be no record of grant or allowance from this
1 Pilgrims' Harbor, it appears, was so called before this letter was written. It was probably a hut where travellers between Hartford and New Haven found shelter. If the regicides ever made use of it, it was after this letter was written. It was not, as President Stiles suggests, called Pilgrims' Harbor because the regicides lodged in it
colony, respecting.the surrender not only of lands possessed by you and improved, but also such lands as it seems to us that you, under some pretended or assumed right, have induced by your bounds within your liberties, that you would be pleased to consider on some speedy course, whereby a compliance and condescendency to what is necessary and convenient for your future comfort may be obtained from us, the true proprietors of these parts of country. We desire your return to our General Court in reference to our propositions, with what convenient speed may be, that so what is desired by us in point of mutual and neighborly correspondence, according to the rules of justice and righteousness, may be still maintained and continued."
Action was taken on this letter at a general court held at New Haven for the jurisdiction, May 29, 1661. It was " ordered that a committee be chosen by this Court for the treating with and issuing of any seeming difference betwixt Connecticut Colony and this, in reference to the dividing bounds betwixt them, and of some seeming right to this jurisdiction, which they pretend in a letter sent to this General Court."
This order was passed thirteen days after the General Court of Connecticut had desired and authorized Gov. Winthrop to act as the agent of the colony in presenting their address to' the king, and in procuring a patent. Though the extant copy of the letter in which Connecticut for the first time lays claim to the territory of New Haven bears no date, it was written about *the time when they were considering-the expediency of applying for the charter which they soon after obtained. They hati no copy of the conveyance from the Earl of Warwick; and if they had possessed a copy, or even the original, Mr. Fenwick had conveyed to them only what his agreement specified. It is evident that about
( this time they conceived the design of procuring a royal charter which should secure to them the whole territory conveyed to Lord Say and,Seal and others, by the Earl of Warwick, even if it should include the territory of New Haven. They justified themselves in doing so on the ground, that, having paid a large sum to Mr. Fen-wick, they ought to have received for it all the territory covered by the patent which he and his associates possessed. They felt and represented to the aged Lord Say and Seal that Mr. Fenwick had dealt hardly with them, and that they ought to receive whatever was reserved by him as the representative of the patentees. While they were all agreed that it was right for Connecticut to acquire, if possible, a legal title as extensive as the patent from the Earl of Warwick, the New Haven people having paid nothing to the patentees, they, were not of one mind as to the disposition to be made of New Haven; some holding that New Haven should be at liberty to join with them or not, while others maintained that the welfare of all parties justified the compulsion of. New Haven into union with Connecticut. Gov. Winthrop was himself of the first-mentioned party; for when Davenport, hearing what was going on at Hartford, wrote to his friend, warning him " not to have his hand in so unrighteous an act as so far to extend the line of their patent, that the colony of New Haven should be involved within it," Winthrop replied,1 " that the magistrates had agreed and
1 The extract is from Davenport's report of Winthrop's letters in " New Haven's Case Stated." Winthrop wrote twice " from two several places:" first from Middletown, and again from New Amsterdam " at his going away." This looks as if he did not pass through New Haven in
expressed in the presence of some ministers, that, if their line should reach us (which they knew not, the copy being in England), yet New Haven Colony should be at full liberty to join with them or not."
Embarking at New Amsterdam some time in August, Winthrop went to England, both to transact business of his own and to execute the commission with which he was intrusted by Connecticut. He was most favorably received by Lord Say and Seal, to whom he carried a letter from the General Court of Connecticut. His lordship writes to him, Dec. 14, 1661: -
" For my very loving friend, Mr. "John Winthrop, living in Cole-man Street, at one Mrs. Whiting's house, near the church.
"MR. winthrop, - I received your letter by Mr. Richards, and I would have been glad to have had an opportunity of being at London myself to have done you and my good friends in New England the best service I could; but my weakness hath been such, and my old disease of the gout falling upon me, I did desire leave not to come up this winter, but I have writ to the Earl of Manchester, lord chamberlain of His Majesty's household, to give you the best assistance he may; and indeed, he is a noble and worthy lord, and one that loves those that are godly. And he and I did join together, that our godly friends of New England might enjoy their just rights and liberties; and this, Col. Crowne, who, I hear, is still in London, can fully inform you. Concerning that of Connecticut, I am not able to remember all the particulars ; but I have written to my lord chamberlain, that when you shall attend him (which I think will be best for you to do, and therefore I have enclosed a letter to him in yours), that you may deliver it, and I
going from Hartford to his place of embarkation. A passage in a shallop down the river was more convenient for one who was on the way to Europe than a horseback-ride through the country. From a letter of Willet to Winthrop printed in Mass. Hist Coll., xli., p. 396, it appears that Winthrop went to England by way of Holland.
have desired him to acquaint you where you may speak with Mr. Jesup, who, when we had the patent, was our clerk, and he, I believe, is able to inform you best about it, and I have desired my lord to wish him so to do. I do think he is now in London. My love remembered unto you, I shall remain,
" Your very loving friend,
"W. say and seal."
Lord Say and Seal, and the other Puritan lords and gentlemen to whom the Earl of Warwick conveyed his title to Connecticut, had secured the territory for the purpose of establishing a Puritan colony, and with the expectation that some of themselves would personally engage in the enterprise. Twenty-five years before, Winthrop himself had been constituted their agent, with instructions " to provide able men to the number of fifty at the least, for making of fortifications and building of houses at the river Connecticut and the harbor adjoining, first for their own present accommodations, and then such houses as may receive men of quality, which latter houses we would have to be builded, within the fort." Not one, however, of the lords and gentlemen named by Warwick in his conveyance, came to Connecticut. Of the "men of quality "-who in 1635 signed the agreement with Winthrop, the only one that came over was George Fenwick; and he was not one of the original patentees, but had become a partner in the company subsequent to the conveyance from the Earl of Warwick in 1631. He seems from the day of his arrival to have full power to dispose of every thing belonging to the company; and in his conveyance of the fort and the lands on the river to the colony of Connecticut he makes no mention of any other con-
veyor than himself. His whole conduct is that of a principal rather than of an agent. He had doubtless acquired from the other partners all their rights. At what date he had become sole proprietor, we cannot determine. Perhaps it was before he came over in 1639; for most of the patentees were then and had been for some time so earnestly and deeply engaged in saving their native land from the encroachments of tyranny, that they must have relinquished the idea of emigration. Notably, two of them, Viscount Say and Seal and John Hampden, had committed themselves to resist the requirement of ship-money; and Hampden was prosecuted rather than Say and Seal, only because his case had a prior standing on the docket. At all events, Fenwick talks and acts, in 1644 and 1645, as if he were sole proprietor. In 1644 he makes the conveyance before mentioned, to the colony of Connecticut in his own name; and in 1645 he makes a free gift to the plantation of Guilford of land, which, in his sale to the colony of Connecticut, he had reserved for his plantation of Saybrook. His letter of gift is so illustrative of his character and of the condition of Guilford as to deserve transcription in full. It is as follows: -
" mr. leete, - I have been moved by Mr. Whitfield to enlarge the bounds of your plantation, which otherwise, he told me, could not comfortably subsist, unto Hammonassett River; to gratify so good a friend, and to supply your wants, I have yielded to his request, which, according to his request, by this bearer I signify to you for your own and the plantation's better satisfaction, hoping it will" be a means fully to settle such who, for want of fit accommodation, begun to be wavering amongst you; and I would commend to your consideration one particular, which, I conceive, might tend to common advantage, and that is, when you are all suited to
your present content, you will bind yourselves more strictly for continuing together; for however in former times (while chapmen and» money were plentiful) some have gained by removes, yet in these latter times it doth not only weaken and discourage the plantation deserted, but also wastes and consumes the estates of those that remove. Rolling stones gather no moss in these times, and our conditions now are not to expect great things. Small things, nay, moderate things, should content us. A warm fireside, and a peaceable habitation, with the chief of God's mercies, the gospel of f peace, is, no ordinary mercy, though other things were mean. I intended only one word, but the desire of the common good and settlement hath drawn me a little further.
" For the consideration Mr. Whitfield told me you were willing to give me for my purchase, I leave it wholly to yourselves. I look not to my own profit, but to your comfort. Only one Jhing I must entreat you to take notice of, that when I understood that that land might be useful for your plantation, I did desire to express my love to Mr. Whitfield and his children, and therefore offered him to suit his own occasions, which he, more intending your common advantage than his own particular, hath hitherto neglected; yet my desire now is that you would suit him to his content; and that he would accept of what shall be allotted him as a testimony of my love intended to him, before I give up my interest to your plantation, and that therefore he may hold it free from charge as I have signified to himself. I will not now«trouble you further, but with my love to yourself and plantation,' rest
" Your loving friend and neighbor,
"savbrook, Oct 22,1645." george fenwick.
. Lord Say and Seal, though he had long since relinquished the expectation of removing to America, retained the friendly feeling he had ever cherished toward the planters of New England, and was in a position, when Connecticut sought a royal ch'arter, where his influence was very powerful. Although he had opposed the tyranny of Charles the First, he was a royalist in
principle, and disapproved of the extreme measures to which the popular party were carried by the current of events. During the commonwealth he lived in retirement, and was among the first to move, when opportunity offered, for the restoration of the ancient constitution. As a reward for his services, Charles the Second had made him lord privy seal.
The Earl of Manchester, whom Say and Seal mentions in his letter to Winthrop, was also a Puritan. He like-wise, and for similar reasons,, was high in office, and high in favor with the king. Forced to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of one of the grand divisions of the parliamentary army, by the intrigues of men who wished to eliminate both royalty and aristocracy from the constitution, he, too, had lived for years in retirement, waiting for an opportunity to assist in restoring the ancient form of government. He was now lord chamberlain, and more active in public affairs than his aged friend, Say and Seal.
Winthrop himself was singularly well qualified for the negotiation in which he had engaged. A university scholar, he had made the tour of the Continent as far as to Constantinople before he emigrated to New England. Gifted by nature, and polished with the best European culture, he was qualified to converse on those subjects which w.ere everywhere discussed in society, and by His experience in America was able to discourse of a country full of marvels to Englishmen, whether they had travelled on the Continent or journeyed only within their native land.
Every thing seemed to favor his undertaking. Though the colony nad no copy of the old patent, one
was found among the papers of Gov. Hopkins, and was by his executor delivered to Winthrop. The lord chamberlain, moved by the lord privy seal, as well as by his own love to " those that are godly," lent to the Puritan colony his influence with' the king. Mather relates that Winthrop had a ring which his grandfather received from King Charles the First, and that the acceptance by his Majesty of this souvenir of his father effectually pledged him to favor the suppliant who offered it.
The new charter was in every respect as Winthrop would desire it to be. The boundaries of the territory it confirmed to Connecticut were the same as in the patent of 1631. "With regard to powers of government, the charter was" (says Bancroft) " still more extraordinary. It conferred on the colonists unqualified power to govern themselves. They were allowed to elect all their own officers, to enact their own laws, to adminisfer justice without appeals to England, to inflict punishments, to confer pardons, and, in a word, to exercise every power, deliberative and active. The king, far from reserving a negative on the acts of the colony, did not even require that the laws should be transmitted for his inspection; and no provision was made for the interference of the English government, in any event whatever. Connecticut was independent except in name."
Clearly the terms of the charter were dictated by Winthrop. Both the boundaries and the powers of government were such as he asked for. He was .resolved, when he left Hartford, to ask for all the territory included by the old patent, even if the line should reach so as to include a sister colony.
What, then, was his expectation in regard to the Jurisdiction of New Haven ? Plainly it was, if we may trust his own testimony, that New Haven should be at liberty to join with them or not. Though he had no intention of absorbing New Haven by compulsion, he believed that it would be for the advantage of all to be united in one jurisdiction by mutual agreement. There were in the colony of New Haven some who were of the same opinion. Gov. Leete, " both by speech and letter," urged Winthrop to include New Haven within the territory he should ask for Connecticut. Leete may have been more solicitous for comprehension at that time than two or three years later ; for Winthrop embarked when New Haven was more apprehensive of the royal displeasure than at any other time. Connecticut, in reply to New Haven's Case Stated, says, " By your then chief in government, our governor was solicited to include New Haven within our patent, both by speech and letter; and friends in England were improved by some of you to persuade to and promote the same, and, according to your desires, attended the best expedient to express sincerity of love, your case and condition at that time duly considered" The obvious interpretation of this language is that Leete desired, in the danger which threatened New Haven, that she might be allowed to take shelter under the rbyal charter which Connecticut hoped to obtain. Two letters from Leete to Winthrop, found among" the Winthrop papers enclosed in a slip of pap%r which was indorsed "Mr. Leete's letter about procuring patent," still more clearly prove that Leete desired the comprehension of New Haven, and that he
desired it in order to secure her safety from danger impending on account of the regicides. The first of the letters is doubtless that which Connecticut refers to_ in her answer to New Haven's Case Stated.1 A few words in this letter are italicised for the convenience of the reader. Under date of Aug. 6, 1661, he writes, -
" To the Right Worshipful John Winthrop, Esq.
" honored sir, i waited with expectation to have seen you at Guilford, or met you at New Haven, to have presented you with something I had prepared, petition-wise, for the king; that, if you had pleased, we might have had your furtherance about it; but not meeting you, I went toward New London, thinking to find you there; but when I came at Saybrook I heard of your being gone near a week before, and so I was wholly disappointed: since which time I have sent it to the Council at Boston, as also a letter of our General Court, signifying our accord to own their address, and to acknowledge ourselves in like relation and with like affection to his Majesty.2 All which I suppose we should have done by you, could fce have seen you and yours,3 and had your consent; for we are desirous ever to maintain the stamp of the United Colonies ; but seeing we were -disappointed, we were necessitated to apply ourselves to, the Bay, and are now thither sending this enclosed letter and petition; yet, lest any miscarrying or interrupt tion there should fall out as from them, and for fuller testimony of us and our loyalty to his Majesty, I have sent , . . (nonnulla desunt) . . . and hope it shall not meet with a check from his
1 Since writing the above I have noticed that Leete in a letter to Wjn-throp, which may be found on p. 484, alludes to a letter of similar import with that here given, which he wrote when Winthrop was in England. According to Leete, the purport of the letter to England was " to make your patent a covert, but no control to our jurisdiction, until we accorded with mutual satisfaction to become one." 2 This letter may be found on p. 438. 3 Fitz John and Waitstill, sons of Winthrop, accompanied their father to Europe.
Majesty. If it should, it would grieve me, but if it find favor, and herein his Majesty's clemency shall further shine as toward such despised ones, it will bring forth (I believe) great cheering and cordialness, with growth of loyalty ; which I shall seek to further as I shall be in capacity. Good sir, mind us, and with first opportunities please to deal upon our account. I have written to the Bay, that some apt personage may be procured to be the common agent for New England, to wait upon all turns when any thing pro or con should be on hand about New England affairs, which I am informed they think needful also. / wish that you and -we could procure one patent to reach beyond Delaware, where we have expended a thousand pounds to p'rocure Indian title, view, and begin to possess. _ If war should arise between Holland and England, it might suit the king's interest ; a little assistance might so reduce all to England. But our chief aim is to purchase our own peace, which I desire we all pursue, as I hope you will, and for which we pray, as for your health, success, and welfare. With chiefest respects to yourself, Mr. Fitz, and Mr. Wait, wishing your safe and speedy return to your good family, and us that long for it, resting
" Yours cordially to love and honor you,
"william leete. " guilford, Aug. 6 (61).
" Pray, Sir, give us a word of intelligence how matters go, timely, as may concern us.
" If any thing be needful as to form or emendation in writing, good Sir, let it be done, and we shall recompense it."
The other letter, enclosed with this by Winthrop for preservation, was written after Winthrop's return from Europe. It bears date June 25, 1663, and is as follows: "For the honored "John Winthrop, Esquire, Governor of Con? ». necticut Colony, these dd. , " much honored and dear sir, - By this first opportunity, with or indeed somewhat before my meet capacity to write, by rea-
son of extraordinary pain in the one side of my face and teeth, I have adventured to perform that duty to congratulate your so safe return, which hath so long been sought, waited, and hoped for, as the medium to bring a comfortable issue to our perturbing exercises, always giving out my confident apprehensions of your acting in the Patent business so as to promote peace and love to mutual satisfaction, without any intendment to infringe our liberty or privileges in the least thereby, when you came to manifest your ingenuous sense of things; and therefore all my laboring with our neighbors of Connecticut hath been for a respite of all things till your return, and that no preparations might be given in that interim, to hinder a loving accord and compliance between us, "which truly I am and ever have been a friend to encourage, according as I have said, or at any time written to yourself"or Mr. Stone. But I fear some physicians of our time may be too highly conceited of curing diseases by violent fomentations, which I ever judged not to be your method, but rather by gradual ripening and softening supplements, which I am yet more confirmed to believe since I see your letter unto Major Mason, a copy whereof Major Thompson and Mr. Scott sent enclosed (as they say) in one from them, all which letters have been opened and tossed up and down about the Country in reports, before they came to my view, which is even now done, and so if any inconvenience be thereby occasioned, I hope you will not impute it unto me. But truly I hear of great irritations of spirits amongst our people, by reports of opposite speeches or writings, that are said to come from yourself; but I hope all will come to a fair reconcilement in due time, and which I still wait and long for. Thus hoping you will pardon the want ,of more ample expressions or other attendance upon you in time of my long continuing illness, with all humble and best respects presented to yourself, good. Mrs. Winthrop, Mr. Fitz John, Mr. Wait, and all yours, I take leave, resting
" Your assured loving friend to serve,
"william leete. " guilpord, June 25, (63)."
These overtures by Mr. Leete toward an union with Connecticut were very obnoxious to those who, regard-
\ ing the limitation of suffrage to church-members as of paramount importance, were less alarmed than Mr. Leete for the safety of themselves and of the colony. Mr. Davenport writes to Winthrop, June 22, 1663 : "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." Probably this movement of Leete for union with Connecticut was what the letters of Hooke to Davenport and of Newman to Gilbert, cited in the preceding chapter, refer to. It does not appear that any public attack was made upon him; but the little apologetic speech with which he opened the court of election in the spring of 1662 indicates that those who thought that his proposal to Winthrop to include New Haven was not done by him according to his public trust as governor, but contrary to it, had in a private way made it warm for him. "The governor declared that through the goodness* of God they had been carried through another year, though with much infirmity and weakness, and himself more than ordinary, yet not so but through reflection God had brought him to the sight of it, but yet was free to be responsible for any public transaction, and should be ready to give answer to any brother or brethren coming to him in an orderly way, desiring to find pardon and acceptance with God, and acknowledging their patience and love in passing by any thing that hath been done amiss. None objecting, they proceeded to vote."
The charter bore the date, April 23, 1662. It was first made public in this country at the meeting of the
commissioners for the United Colonies at Boston in September. A letter from the General Court of Connecticut to the commissioners, dated Aug. 30, makes no reference to the charter, but proposes a special meeting of the commissioners " in case any matters needful to be considered should, at the return of our worthy governor and the agents for the Massachusetts, be presented." A letter sent by the commissioners during their session, to the governor of Rhode Island says, "We have read and perused a charter of incorporation under the broad seal of England, sent over the last ship, granted to some gentlemen of Connecticut." For some time1 after the charter had come into his possession, Winthrop expected to return home that summer, and be himself the bearer of the document; but, changing his plans,"and deciding to spend a second winter abroad, he had sent it by another hand. The arrival of the charter, therefore, preceded the return of the envoy by whom it was procured. It was read at the meeting of the commissioners, who " took notice of his majesty's favor as being very acceptable to them, and advised that wherein others may be concerned, the said gentlemen with such others do attend such ways as may conduce to righteousness, peace, and amity, and that the favor showed to the said colony, or any other, may be jointly improved for the benefit of all concerned in the said charter.'-' In the margin of that copy of the records of the commissioners printed in Hazard's State Papers *is the following note : " We cannot as yet say that the procurement of this patent will be acceptable to us or our colony. -William Leete, Benjamin Fenn."
At the General Assembly or Court of Election held at Hartford, Ott. 9, 1662, -
" the patent or charter was this day publicly read in audience of the freemen, and declared to belong to them and their successors; and the freemen made choice of Mr. Wyllys, Capt. John Talcott, and Lieut. John Allyn, to take the charter into their custody in behalf of the freemen, Who are to have an oath administered to them by the General Assembly for the due discharge of the trust committed to them."