THE settlement of New-England, purely for the purposes of Religion, and the propagation of civil and religious liberty, is an event which has no parallel in the history of modern ages. The piety, self-denial, sufferings, patience, perseverance and magna-nimity of the first settlers of the country are without a rival. The happy and extensive consequences of the settlements which they made, and of the sentiments which they were careful to propagate, to their posterity, to the church and to the world, admit of no de-scription. They are still increasing, spreading wider and wider, and appear more and more important.

The planters of Connecticut were among the illustrious charac-ters, who first settled New-England, and twice made settlements, first in Massachusetts, and then in Connecticut on bare creation. In an age when the light of freedom was but just dawning, they, by voluntary compact, formed one of the most free and happy constitutions of government which mankind have ever adopted. Connecticut has ever been distinguished by the free spirit of its government, the mildness of its laws, and the general diffusion of knowledge, among all classes of its inhabitants. They have been no less distinguished by their industry, economy, purity of man-ners, population and spirit of enterprise. For more than a century and half, they have had no rival, as to the steadiness of their gov-ernment, their internal peace and harmony, their love and high enjoyment of domestic, civil and religious order and happiness. They have ever stood among the most illuminated, first and bold-est defenders of the civil and religious rights of mankind.

The history of such a people must be curious, entertaining and important. It will exhibit the fairest models of civil government, of religious order, purity and human happiness. It is the design of the present work to lay this history before the public.

As the planters of Connecticut were among the first settlers of New-England, and interested in the first patents and settle-




ments, sketches of the discovery of the country, of the patents by which it was conveyed and divided to the different colonies, and of the first settlements, will be necessary to illustrate the his-tory of Connecticut and be a natural preliminary to this work,

christopher columbus, a Genoese, on October 12, 1492, dis-covered the western isles, and first communicated to Europe the intelligence of a new world: but the Cabots had the honor of discovering the great continent of North-America.

john cabot, a Venetian, born in England, in 1494 discovered Newfoundland and the island of St. Johns. In consequence of this discovery, king Henry the seventh of England, in whose ser-vice he was employed, conferred on him the honor of knighthood; and gave him and his sons a commission to make further discov-eries in the new world. John Cabot died soon after he received this commission. His son Sebastian, in 1497, sailed with the fleet, which had been preparing for his father, and directing his course by his journals, proceeded to the 67th degree of north latitude, and, returning to the southward, fell in with the continent in the 56th degree of north latitude; and thence explored the coast as far south as the Floridas. From these discoveries originated the claims of England to these parts of the northern continent.

In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold discovered some part of New-England. He first touched on its eastern coast, in about 43 de-grees of north latitude; and, sailing to the southward, landed on the Elizabeth Islands. He made some discoveries of the adja-cent parts, and gave the name to Cape Cod and Marthas Vineyard.

Captain Henry Hudson,1 commissioned by king James I. in 1608, sailed, in the employment of several London merchants, to North-America. He came upon the coast in about 40 degrees of north latitude, and made a discovery of Long-Island and Hud-son's river. He proceeded up the river as far as the latitude of 43, and called it by his own name.

About two years after he made a second voyage to the river, in the service of a number of Dutch merchants; and, some time after, made sale of his right to the Dutch. The right to the coun-try, however, was antecedently in king James, by virtue of the discovery which Hudson had made under his commission. The English protested against the sale; but the Dutch, in 1614, under the Amsterdam West-India company, built a fort nearly on the same ground where the city of Albany now is, which they called fort Aurania. Sir Thomas Dale, governor of Virginia, directly after dispatched captain Argall to dispossess the Dutch, and they

1The Hudson river was discovered a year later, viz., September 4, 1609, at a time when Hudson's expedition in the yacht "Half Moon," was under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company. The discoveries made at this time formed the basis for a claim by the Dutch to the whole territory from the Delaware river to Cape Cod, which points were the limits of Hudson's cruise on our coast at this time. See Purchas's Pilgrim, also De Laet.-J. T.




submitted to the king of England, and under him to the governor of Virginia.1

The same year captain John Smith, who some years before had been governor of Virginia, made a voyage to this part of the con-tinent. He ranged the coast from Penobscot to Cape Cod; made a discovery of the river Pascataqua, and the Massachusetts islands. On his return to England, he published a description of the coun-try, with a map of the sea coast, and gave it the name of New-England.

In 1620, a number of pious people, part of Mr. John Robinson's church and congregation, who, by the violence of persecution, had been driven from their pleasant seats and enjoyments in England, arrived on the coast; and, after braving every danger, and enduring almost every hardship and distress of which human nature is capable, effected a permanent settlement in this part of North-America. They gave it the name of New-Plymouth. By voluntary compact they formed themselves into a small com-monwealth, and had a succession of governors. They settled all that part of Massachusetts included in the county of Plymouth. By making permanent settlements, to which others might resort, on their first arrival in New-England, or afterwards in times of distress; by making treaties with the Indians, by which the peace of the country was preserved; by their knowledge of it, and the experience which they had gained, they were of peculiar ad-vantage to those who came over and made settlements after them. They were a pious, industrious people, and exhibited towards each other the most striking examples of fraternal affection, They continued a distinct colony for about seventy years, until their incorporation, by the charter of William and Mary, in 1691, with the colony of Massachusetts and the province of Maine.

November 3d, 1620, just before the arrival of Mr. Robinson's people in New-England, king James the first, by letters patent, under the great seal of England, incorporated the duke of Lenox, the marquises of Buckingham and Hamilton, the earls of Arundel and Warwick, and others, to the number of forty noblemen, knights and gentlemen, by the name "of the council established at Plymouth in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling and governing of New-England in America"-"and granted unto them, and their successors and assigns, all that part of America, lying and being in breadth from forty degrees of north latitude, from the equinoctial line, to the forty eighth degree of said north-erly latitude inclusively, and in length of, and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the main lands from sea to sea." The patent ordained that this tract of country should be called New-England in America, and by that name have continuance for ever.

1Smith's history of New-York, p. 2.

4 HISTORY OF CONNECTICUT. [1628 This grant is the broad basis on which stand all the other grants made to the colonies in New-England. This prepared the way for future grants and the immediate settlement of New-England, On the I9th of March, 1628, the Plymouth company granted unto Sir Henry Roswell, Sir John Young, knights, Thomas Southcoat, John Humphry, John Endicott and Simon Whitcomb, their heirs and assigns forever, all that part of New-England in America, which lies and extends between Merrimack river and Charles river, in the bottom of Massachusetts bay, and three miles to the north and south of every part of Charles river, and three miles south of the southernmost part of said bay, and three miles to the northward of every part of Merrimack river, and " all lands and hereditaments whatsoever lying within the limits 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 Atlantic sea and ocean on the east part, to the south sea on the west part."

On the 4th of March, 1629, king Charles the first confirmed this patent under the great seal of England. This was the patent of Massachusetts bay, under which the settlement of that colony immediately commenced. At this time, liberty of conscience could not be enjoyed in the parent country. No indulgence was granted even to the most pious, loyal, and conscientious people, who would not strictly conform to the habits, ceremonies, and worship of the church of England. All non-conformists were exposed to fines, impris­onments, the ruin of their families, fortunes, and every thing which ought to be dear to men. The most learned, pious, ortho­dox, and inoffensive people, who did not conform to the church of England, were treated, by the king and his bishops, with far greater severity, than drunkards, sabbath breakers, or even the most notorious debauchees. They were condemned, in the spirit­ual courts, without juries; without having the witnesses against them bfotig-ht into court, to depose face to face; and, sometimes, withbut knowing the crime alleged against them, or who were the witnesses by whom it was to be proved. Many of the pious people in England, were so harassed and persecuted for their non-con­formity, that they determined, if possible, rather to make settle­ments in a dreary wilderness, at the distance of three thousand miles from their native country, than endure the persecution and sufferings, to which they were constantly exposed from the hands of those who ought to have cherished and defended them. This cruel treatment of our venerable ancestors, was the cause of the settlement of the New-England colonies and churches. It will ever be the distinguishing glory of these colonies, that they were not originally formed for the advantages of trade and worldly emolument, but for the noble purposes of religion, the enjoyment

1630] 5

of liberty of conscience In the worship and ordinances of God. The pious fathers of these colonies wished to enjoy the uncor-rupted gospel, administered in all its ordinances in purity and power, and to transmit the invaluable blessings of civil and relig­ious liberty to their remotest posterity. With these views they left their native country, their pleasant seats and enjoyments in Europe, and made settlements in the wilds of America. The same year in which the patent of Massachusetts received the royal confirmation, Mr. John Endicott was sent over, with about three hundred people, by the patentees, to prepare the way for the settlement of a permanent colony in that part of New-Eng­land. They arrived at Naumkeak on June 24th, and began a set­tlement, which they named Salem. This was the first town in Massachusetts, and the second in New-England. About a hundred of the planters who came over with Mr. Endi­cott, removed very soon to Mishawam, and began a plantation at that place. Here they erected a very spacious house, and made other preparations for the accommodation of those who were ex­pected from England the next year. They called their settlement Charlestown. At a meeting of the company for the planting of the Massa­chusetts, in England, August 29th, it was voted, that the patent and government of the plantation be transferred to New-Eng­land.1

The next year, therefore, seventeen ships were prepared, with all necessaries for the settlement of a colony. Eleven or twelve of these ships made a safe arrival in New-England by the middle of July, and they all arrived before the close of the year.2 In these came over governor Winthrop, and the magistrates of the colony, who had been previously chosen in England. With them also came a number of ministers, to illuminate the infant churches, and preach in the wilderness the glad tidings of salvation. On the loth or I2th of July, governor Winthrop arrived at Charlestown, with about fifteen hundred people. They encamped in cottages, booths, and tents, upon Charlestown hill. Their place of public worship was under a large spreading tree. Here Messrs. Wilson and Phillips preached their first sermons to these pious pilgrims.3 In the ships which arrived this year, there came over about seventeen hundred people. In this and the last year, there came into New-England two thousand planters. These settled about nine or ten towns or villages. A considerable number set­tled at Boston and Charlestown. Many of the principal charac­ters fixed their abode in these towns. Governor Winthrop lived in the great house, which had been erected the preceding year at Charlestown. Mr. Isaac Johnston, who married the lady Ara­bella, sister of the earl of Lincoln, and who had the best estate

1 Prince's Chron. p. 192. 2 Ibid, part ii. p. 10. 3 Ibid. p. 240




of any of the company, fixed his residence at Boston. He was the great promoter of the settlement of the capital of the Massachu-setts.1 Sir Richard Saltonstall, who was another of the magis-trates, with his company, settled at Watertown. They made choice of Mr. Phillips for their pastor. Mr. Pyncheon, and an-other company, began a settlement at Roxbury, and the famous Mr. John Elliot and Mr. Weld, who came into New-England the next year, were elected their ministers. Other companies settled Medford and Weymouth. Boston and Charlestown, the first year, considered themselves as one company, and chose Mr. Wilson for their pastor.

In one of the first ships which arrived this year, came over the Rev. Mr. John Warham, Mr. John Maverick, Mr. Rossiter, Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Henry Wolcott, and others of Mr. Warham's church and congregation, who first settled the town of Windsor, in Con-necticut. Mr. Rossiter and Mr. Ludlow were magistrates. Mr. Wolcott had a fine estate, and was a man of superior abilities. This was an honourable company. Mr. Warham had been a fa-mous minister in Exeter, the capital of the county of Devonshire. The people who came with him, were from the three counties of Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and Somersetshire.

Some time before the 2Oth of March, just as they were about to embark for New-England, upon a day of solemn fasting and prayer, they were formed into a congregational church, in the new hospital at Plymouth, in England. They then made choice of Mr. Warham and Mr. Maverick to be their pastor and teacher, and they were ordained, or re-installed to the care of this par-ticular church. The famous Mr. White, of Dorchester, preached and assisted on this occasion.2

They sailed from Plymouth, in England, on the 20th of March, in the ship Mary and John, of 400 tons, and arrived at Nantasket on the Lord's day, May 3Oth. The next day, captain Squeb, mas-ter of the ship, put them and their goods on shore, at Nantasket point, and, in this situation, left them to shift for themselves.3 But, by the assistance of some of the old planters, they obtained a boat, and proceeded up Charles river, to the place since called Watertown. Here they landed their goods, and erected a shelter to cover them; but as they had many cattle, and found a neck of land at Mattapan, affording good accommodations for them, they soon removed and began a settlement there. They named their town Dorchester.

Sir Richard Saltonstall's people, who settled at Watertown, were the first settlers of Weathersfield, in Connecticut. Mr. Phil-lips, who was elected their pastor, at Watertown, had been min-

1Prince's Chron. part ii. sect. 2, p. 2.

2Ibid. p. 200.

3Ibid; p. 207. Captain Squeb was, afterwards, obliged to pay damages for this conduct.