CONNECTICUT had now conquered the Narraganset coun-try, and, in conjunction with the other confederates, terminated the war in this part of New-England. The legislature, therefore, addressed themselves to discharge the public debt; to settle the friendly Indians in a state of peace among themselves, and with the colonies; and to extend their settlements in the Narraganset country, as well as in other parts of their jurisdiction. To dis-charge the public debt, they levied a tax of eight pence on the pound, upon the whole list of the colony, in October annually, during the term of two years. They appointed a committee to hear all affairs, which the Moheagans, Pequots, and Narragansets, under Ninigrate, or Ninicraft, had to lay before them; and to do whatever they should judge expedient to promote peace among them, and to preserve their friendship and attachment to the Eng-lish. For their encouragement, the legislature granted liberty for them to hunt, in all the conquered lands, during their pleasure. They were also authorised to kill and destroy any of the enemy, who should return to their country, without submitting to the colony and accepting the terms which had been offered them.

At the election, in May, 1677, there was no alteration in the legislature, excepting the choice of Andrew Leet, Esq. into the magistracy, instead of captain John Mason, who died, the Sep-tember before, of the wounds he had received in taking the Narraganset fort. The same governor, deputy governor, and magistrates were re-elected for several years successively. A committee was appointed, by the assembly, to settle all affairs of government in the Narraganset country, and to report what places there were there adapted to the purpose of planting new towns.

As the Rhode-Islanders had deserted the country, in the war, and had done nothing in the defence of it, and as the Connecticut volunteers had driven the enemy entirely from that extensive tract, the legislature determined to plant and govern it, as part of this colony.

For various reasons they viewed the act of his majesty's com-missioners, determining that Rhode-Island and Narraganset should be a province for the king, as a mere nullity. Their com-mission gave them no power to make new colonies. It required that colonel Nichols should always be one of the council, that any of its acts might be valid; but he was not present at that de-termination. Further, colonel Nichols, with two or three of his council, afterwards reversed that judgment.

In the same point of light they viewed the agreement with Mr.




Clark, as it was after Mr. Winthrop had obtained the Connecticut charter, and sent it to the colony, at which time his agency was terminated. Further, that agreement was entirely alien from the business of his agency, and without any instructions or authority from the colony. The agreement with Mr. Clark was considered as a nullity, in another point of light, as the charter to Rhode-Island recognized and had reference to one article of the agree-ment only, and as Rhode-Island had never submitted to one of the other articles. In direct contravention of them, they had in-vaded the property of the settlers named in it, wantonly carried off the productions of their lands and fruits of their labors, driven off their cattle, forced the inhabitants from their possessions, burned their fences, and even pulled down their houses.1 They had claimed jurisdiction over them, after they had, in the year 1663, chosen to belong to Connecticut, and formally put them-selves under the government of that colony. They had not re-garded the agreement even with respect to the boundaries, but attempted to extend their limits beyond what was expressed in the charter. Besides, when his majesty had previously granted that tract to Connecticut, there remained, in law and reason, no further right in him to that country. He had nothing there fur-ther to grant. Therefore he could grant nothing there to Rhode-Island. Connecticut well knew that Pawcatuck never was called Narraganset river, and that the Narragansets never extended their claims so far westward; but that Pawcatuck, and the coun-try some miles to the east of it, belonged to the Pequots.2 For these reasons, the legislature considered their title and claim to this part of the colony as clear and just, as to any other part of it whatever.

Elisha Hutchinson, William Hudson, and others, their associ-ates, claiming a large tract in the Pequot and Narraganset coun-try,3 applied to the general assembly for their assistance and pro-tection, against Rhode-Island, in the re-settlement of their lands. The assembly determined to extend their protection and govern-ment to them.

At the session in October, the upper towns, upon Connecticut river, sent messengers to the assembly, acquainting them, that there were considerable bodies of Indians collected together in their vicinity; and that they made proposals of peace. The mes-sengers solicited the assembly to send major Treat, the deputy

1Prayer of the inhabitants to the general court of Connecticut, on file, repre-senting the outrages of the Rhode-Islanders.

2Case of Connecticut, with respect to Narraganset, stated, in which these arti-cles are largely insisted on.

3It appears, by the report of the committee, appointed to view and make re-port concerning the state of Narraganset, that the gentlemen mentioned above major Atherton, and their associates, owned a tract of more than 5,000 acres, only on what was called Boston neck, and that large tracts were owned by other pur-chasers. Indeed, the principal part of Narraganset was owned by them.




governor, with a detachment of forty men, to Northampton, to treat with them, or to defend those towns, as occasion might re-quire. The assembly complied with the request, and the deputy governor proceeded immediately to Northampton. He was in-structed, in the first place, to use his utmost endeavours for the re-demption of the captives, with money, goods, or by any other means in his power. The terms of peace, which he was authorized to propose, were life and liberty, upon the submission of the Ind-ians to the English, in the several places where they should be settled. He was directed to assure the Indians of protection and safety during the treaty. It does not appear, that many of the northern Indians accepted the terms proposed, or ever returned to their former places of abode. Little more appears to have been effected by the treaty, than the redemption of some of the captives.

The colonies, at this time, had many enemies, and the most in-jurious complaints and unfavorable representations were made of them in England. Edward Randolph, especially, whom the peo-ple of New-England represented as going about to destroy them, was indefatigable in his complaints against them, and in aggra-vating whatever he imagined might serve to their disadvantage. He came over to Boston, in 1676, and annually, in person or by writing, made complaints against them. He generally returned to England in the fall, and in the spring or summer, came over fraught with new mischief. He busied himself, among other af-fairs, in complaining of the colonies for their opposition to the acts of trade and navigation. Unhappily for Great-Britain and the colonies, they were suffering under an arbitrary prince, inimical to the civil and religious rights of his subjects. His ear was open to complaints against those, who did not cheerfully submit to his despotic impositions; and he readily promoted those who made them. The colonies knew how affairs were conducted in Eng-land, and were deeply apprehensive of the danger they were in, of a total deprivation of their liberties.

The commissioners of the united colonies, in these views, rec-ommended a general fast to the confederate colonies to humble themselves for their offences, and to pray for the divine favor, in the continuation of their just rights and privileges.

In consequence of this recommendation, the general assembly of Connecticut appointed the third Tuesday in November a public fast, in union with their confederates, to humble themselves, and pray for the purposes recommended.

The general assembly, at their session in May, 1679, to prevent the people of Rhode-Island, and other intruders, from taking up lands in Narraganset, enacted, that none of the conquered lands should be taken up, or laid out into farms, without special and express order from them.1

1Records of Connecticut.




The Rhode-Islanders, in the time of danger, deserted the coun-try and bore no part in the war. However, as soon as the inhabi-tants, who had settled under Connecticut, began to return to their former settlements, to build upon their lands, and cultivate their farms, under the government of this colony, the legislature of Rhode-Island began to usurp authority and practice their former vexations.

John Cranston, Esq. governor of Rhode-Island, held a court in Narraganset, in September, and made attempts to introduce the authority and officers of Rhode-Island, into that part of Con­necticut. The general assembly therefore, in October, protested against his usurpation, and declared his acts to be utterly void. They also prohibited all the inhabitants to receive any office from the legislature of Rhode-Island, or to yield obedience to its au-thority.1

The acts of trade and navigation were exceedingly grievous to the colonies. They viewed them as utterly inconsistent with their chartered rights. This made them extremely unwilling to submit to them. Massachusetts never would fully submit; but as it was matter of great and continual complaint against the col-onies, and as his majesty insisted on the respective governors tak-ing the oath, respecting trade and navigation, it was judged ex-pedient, that governor Leet should take it, in the presence of the. assembly. It was accordingly administered to him, at the session in May, 1680.

This assembly ordered, that a letter should be written to the general court of Massachusetts, desiring their concurrence in mutually settling the line between that colony and Connecticut. It was requested, that the court would appoint a committee fully authorised for that purpose, to join with one from Connecticut vested with similar powers. If the general court of the Massa-chusetts should refuse to comply with this proposal, then the gov-ernor and his council, with such as they should appoint to that service, were authorised to run the line without them.

The lords of trade and plantations having trasmitted a number of queries to the governor and company, the governor and coun-cil were desired to answer them. By their answers, it appears, that there were twenty-six towns in the colony:2 that the militia, including horse and foot, consisted, in 1679, of 2,507 men: that the annual exports were about 9,000l. that there were in the colony about twenty small merchants, trading to Boston, New-York, Newfoundland, and the West-Indies: and that its ship-ping consisted of four ships, three pinks, eight sloops, and other small vessels, amounting in the whole to twenty-seven, the ton-nage of which was only 1,050. The number of inhabitants is not

1Records of Connecticut.

2Rye and Bedford appear to have been included in this number.




mentioned, but, from the number of the militia, it must have been nearly 12,000. To one of the enquiries, the following answer is given: "If so be Hartford, New-London, New-Haven, and Fair-field, might be made free ports, for fifteen or twenty years, it would be a means to bring trade there, and much increase the navigation and wealth of this poor colony."1

About this time, Sir Edmund Andross, governor of New-York, asserted his right of jurisdiction over Fisher's Island, as included in the duke of York's patent.

Upon this claim, the legislature of the colony asserted, "that the said island was a part, and member of this colony of Connecti-cut, and under the government thereof; and that they have ever exercised, and shall, and will exercise government there, as occa-sion shall require; and do hereby declare, and protest against sir Edmund Andross, and all other persons, their claims, or exercise of any authority or government, on, or over the said island."

At the election, in 1683, major Robert Treat was chosen gov-ernor, and James Bishop deputy-governor. The former magis-trates were generally re-chosen; but by reason of several vacan-cies which had been made, captain Robert Chapman, captain James Fitch, Mr. Samuel Mason, and Mr. Joseph Whiting, were elected magistrates. The change of governors was occasioned by the death of governor Leet, who, after faithfully serving the col-onies, for many years, had now finished his course.2

As there had been long disputes relative to the Narraganset country, and as the king, in consequence of the act of his commis-sioners, in 1665, claimed it as his province, commissioners were appointed to hear and determine all titles and claims respecting

1Connecticut book of patents, letters, &c.

2The governor, William Leet, Esq. was bred a lawyer in England, and was, for a considerable time, clerk of a bishop's court. In this service he became acquainted with the conduct of the bishops towards the puritans, with the pleas, and serious conversation and conduct of the latter, when arraigned before them. He observed the great severity which the court exercised towards them, for going to hear good sermons in the neighbouring parishes, when they had none at home, and what light matters they made of wantonness, and other instances of gross sin, and how much better persons guilty of such crimes were treated, than the puritans. This brought him to a serious consideration of the affair, and to acquaint himself more thoroughly with the doctrines and discipline of the puritans. In consequence of this he became a puritan, left the bishop's court, and, in 1638, came into New-England, with Mr. Whitfield and his company. He was one of the seven pillars of his church. In 1643, he was chosen magistrate for the colony of New-Haven, and was annually re-elected, until May, 1658. He was then chosen deputy-governor of that colony, in which office he continued until he was elected governor in 1661. He continued chief magistrate of that colony, until the union in 1665. He was then chosen one of the magistrates of Connecticut. In 1669, he was elected deputy-governor, and was annually re-elected, until 1676, when he was chosen governor of Connecticut. During the term of forty years, he was magistrate, deputy-governor, or governor of one or other of the colonies. In both colonies he presided in times of the greatest difficulty, yet always conducted himself with such integrity and wisdom, as to meet the public approbation. After he was chosen governor of Connecticut, he removed to Hartford, where he died full of years and good works. He left a numerous offspring. One of his sons, Andrew Leet, Esq. was some years one of the magis-trates of the colony.




that tract. On the 7th of April, 1683, his majesty king Charles II. granted a commission to Edward Cranfield, Esq. lieutenant-governor of New-Hampshire, William Stoughton, Joseph Dud-ley, Edward Randolph, Samuel Shrimpton, John Fitz Winthrop, Edward Palms, Nathaniel Saltonstall, and John Pyncheon, jun. Esquires, or any three of them, of whom Edward Cranfield, or Edward Randolph was to be of the quorum, "to examine and enquire into the respective claims and titles, as well of his maj-esty, as of all persons and corporations whatsoever, to the imme-diate jurisdiction, government, or propriety of the soil of a cer-tain tract of land, within his majesty's dominion of New-England, called the king's province, or Narraganset country; and to call before them any person, or persons, and to search records, as they shall find requisite, and the proceedings therein, with the opinions upon the matters that shall be examined by them, to state, and with all convenient speed, report thereof to make to his majesty."

The commissioners convened on the 22d of August, 1683, at the house of Richard Smith, in the Narraganset country. They summoned all persons and corporations, in whatever place, who were concerned in the title or government of that country, to ap-pear before them, and to produce all charters, deeds, records, letters, and orders, from his majesty and council, or of any of his commissioners, to the respective colonies, governors, or govern-ments, which might give information on the subject. At the time and place appointed, the records represent, "that there was the greatest appearance of the most ancient English and Indians, then living, to testify the truth of their knowledge," respecting the matters then to be determined.

The commissioners, having fully heard every thing respecting the claims and title to that part of New-England, adjourned to Boston, and there made a report to his majesty, in an ample man-ner, declaring, that the government of it belonged to Connecticut. The report, so far as it respects this colony, and can reflect light on the subject, is as followeth:

"In humble obedience to your majesty's commands, we, your majesty's commissioners, have seriously considered the several claims before us. We find, that your majesty, by your letters patent, dated at Westminster, the three and twentieth of April, in the fourteenth year of your majesty's reign, granted to the governor and company of Connecticut, and their successors, all that part of your dominions in New-England, bounded on the east by Narraganset bay, where the said river falls into the sea, and on the north by the line of the Massachusetts plantation, and on the south by the sea."

"We have also had information, that, some time after your majesty's grant, and said patent was sent to your colony of Con-




necticut, the said country of the Narraganset was likewise, by patent, granted by your majesty to the governor and company of Rhode-Island plantation, and is, by charter, bounded by a river called Pawcatuck, which, by said charter, is for ever to be ac-counted and called the Narraganset river: And this latter grant of your majesty to Rhode-Island, seems to be founded upon ad-vice submitted to by John Winthrop, Esq. said to be agent for Connecticut colony, and Mr. John Clark, agent for Rhode-Island: to which Connecticut plead, that Mr. Winthrop's agency for them ceased, when he had obtained and sent the patent to them; and that no submission, or act of his, could invalidate, or deprive them of any of the benefits graciously granted by your majesty's charter: and that, notwithstanding the seeming boundaries, set by said articles, signed by Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Clark, it is in the same articles provided, that the proprietors and inhabitants of the Narraganset country should choose to which of the two governments to belong, and that they unanimously chose and subjected to the government of Connecticut."

"With humble submission, we cannot see any cause to judge, that the said Pawcatuck river anciently was, or ought to be, called or accounted the Narraganset river."

I. "Because it lies some miles within the Pequot country, a nation, till extirpated by the English, often, or always, at war with the Narragansets, and to which territories the Narragansets never pretended."

II. "Because Pawcatuck river falls into the sea many miles westward of any part of Narraganset bay, which is the river an-ciently called Narraganset river, both because it, on the eastward, washes and bounds the whole length of the Narraganset country; and for that Plymouth colony, which hath now been planted near three score years, have ever since bounded themselves according to the sense and meaning, or limitation of their patent, by the same bay, called Narraganset river, towards the south."

"Thus, after most strict and impartial inquiry and examina-tion, having stated, we most humbly lay before your majesty the several original claims and pretensions offered to us with respect to the propriety, both of jurisdiction and soil, in your majesty's province, or Narraganset country; and, in further obedience to your said commission, have seriously weighed and considered all evidences, pleas, proofs, and allegations, &c. and with most humble submission and reservation of your majesty's right, offer our opinions, that by virtue of your said letters patent, granted to Connecticut, jurisdiction in, and through the said province, or Narraganset country, of right belongs to the colony of Con-necticut; and that propriety of soil, as derived from Mr. Win-throp and major Atherton, is vested upon the heirs and assigns of said Mr. Winthrop, the heirs of Thomas Chiffinch, Esq. major




Atherton, Mr. Richard Smith, Mr. Simon Lynde, Mr. Elisha Hutchinson, Mr. John Saffin, Mr. Richard Wharton, and part-ners."

"Finally, we hold it our duty humbly to inform your majesty, that so long as the pretensions of the Rhode-Islanders to the government of the said province continue, it will much discourage the settlement and improvement thereof; it being very improb-able, that either the aforenamed claimers, or others of like repu-tation and condition, will remove their families, or expend their estates under so loose and weak a government."

"Your majesty's most loyal and obedient subjects.

"edward cranfield, "william stoughton, "samuel shrimpton, "john pyncheon, jun. "nathaniel saltonstall."

"Boston, Oct. 20th, 1683."

Connecticut had no sooner gained their point against the claims of his majesty and Rhode-Island, than they were obliged to an-swer to a new antagonist. Edward Randolph, Esq. on the 30th of June, 1683, had received a power of attorney from William and Ann, duke and duchess of Hamilton, and James, earl of Aran, son and heir of William and Ann, and grandson of James, mar-quis of Hamilton, to sue for and recover their right and interest in lands, islands, houses, and tenements, in New-England. He appeared before the commissioners at Boston, and, in the name of the said duke, duchess, and earl, claimed the lands which they supposed had been granted to their ancestor, in the deed of 1635.

This renewed claim of that tract of country, occasioned an-swers from the proprietors of the lands, and from Connecticut, with several opinions on the case.

It may be proper to communicate the substance of these to the public.

Mr. Saffin, in November, gave the following answer, in behalf of the proprietors.

"The ends aimed at and propounded in the king's charter to the great council of Plymouth, was the propagation of the gospel among the heathen, and the enlargement of his majesty's empire, by plantation; and whatsoever grants were made by said council, were founded upon those considerations; which being not pur-sued, rendereth all grants of land void. Qui sentit commodum, in-commodum sentire debet et onus.1 And it doth not appear, that his grace, (as other patentees,) did transport any person, or plant any colony, nor used any other means, either to instruct the na-tives, or purchase their right in the lands, or appointed any agent

1He who enjoys the benefit of a grant, ought to bear its disadvantage and burthen.




to take possession, in order to the improvement of the same. But it is probable, that the duke, understanding a former patent was granted, by the council of Devon, to the lords Say and Brook, &c. in and about the year 1631, and purchased and improved by the colony of Connecticut, might divert him from any procedure therein. The copy of said patent, as we have been informed, when exhibited by John Winthrop, Esq. before the king in coun-cil, the then lord chancellor, Hyde, declared, the lords Say and Brook's title to be good and unquestionable; and upon that in-terest, we presume, it was, that Connecticut made application to his majesty, and that their charter was granted; the lords Say and Brook, and partners, having expended nine thousand pounds in settlement of the lands claimed by his grace; and had made considerable improvements and fortifications upon the lands, in several places, divers years before the date of duke Hamilton's grant.

"Our present gracious sovereign, &c. hath, by his royal letters, manifested his approbation of the purchase, possession, and im-provement of his loyal subjects, the proprietors here. The said proprietors have been necessarily engaged in a bloody war with the Indians, in their late rebellion.

"We further humbly offer, that, in regard that the copy of the duke's deed, presented by Mr. Randolph, in behalf of his grace, seems to have no signification of any hand or seal affixed to it. nor mention made of any witnesses, said to be the original instru-ment, (yet affirmed to be a true copy thereof,) it may be presumed the said original deed was never completed according to law."

The governor and council of Connecticut answered, December I3th, 1683, in the manner following.

"As to the substance of the duke's claim, so far as it concerns us, it is preceded, some years, by a grant from the right honour-able, Robert, earl of Warwick, to the lord Say, and other persons of honour and credit, March 19th, 1631, whereas his grace's deed was made four years after, viz. on the 2oth of April, 1635.

"By virtue of his majesty's grant to lord Say, Brook, &c. they, and their assigns, our predecessors, did, at their own proper charge, about the year 1634, begin to enter upon the said lands, and so have continued ever since, in actual possession and im-provement thereof, without challenge or claim from duke Ham-ilton: which improvement hath been with great cost, hazard, and labour of his majesty's subjects; yet by the blessing of God, and his majesty's grace, hath, in a good measure, answered the ends of those grants or patents; as the propagating the Christian re-ligion, and the increase and enlargement of his majesty's empire: of all which, his grace, duke Hamilton, hath, in these parts, done nothing that we know of."

"His present majesty, understanding the condition of his sub-




jects in this colony, upon our humble address, April 23d, 1662, was graciously pleased to grant us a charter, for holding the lands therein granted firm, to us and our successors, for ever; and in his letters, dated April 23d, 1664, sent to us by his majesty's hon-ourable commissioners, he is pleased to call his grant a renewing of our charter, which must relate to that grant made by the earl of Warwick, in the year 1631; for we had no other, before his majesty's grant and confirmation aforesaid,

"Under these securities and encouragements, we laid out our estates, labors, &c. and suddenly after our first settling we were engaged in a bloody war, anno 37, with the Pequots, which was chargeable and expensive to us. Also, in the year 1675, a great people, who inhabited the Narraganset country, rose up against his majesty's subjects, who were planted in these parts, slew many of them, burnt their houses, and destroyed their cattle, whereby we were engaged in another bloody war, which was the cause of great expense of blood and treasure, (his grace duke Hamilton being no partaker with us in any of those expenses, or helper of us therein,) and by the assistance of Almighty God, and counte-nance of his majesty, in both these forementioned wars, we over-came our enemies, that rose up against us, without which all our grants would have been of little benefit to us.

"It is required by his majesty's good laws, as in the twenty-first of king James, 16th, that the duke, and all others, should have sued out his claims: The reason of which law, as it is very great, so it is pleadable on our account; for it being latent unto us, for near fifty years, would prove our ruin, if thereupon our property be altered. Had the duke's grace, or his predecessors timeously set his claim, in competition with lord Say's patent, that we had purchased, the people had known how to have applied themselves; but after half a century's settlement, as aforesaid, we hope his majesty will be pleased to secure the same to his good subjects here.

"We desire, that we may have a more fit opportunity to make a more full answer, and to present our proofs.

"Per order of the governor and council,

"signed per me,

"john allen, Secretary."

Some years after, several opinions, by gentlemen learned in the law, were given on the case, both as it respected the duke of Ham-ilton and the colony of Rhode-Island.

Sir Francis Pemberton, having largely stated the case between Connecticut and the duke of Hamilton, says, "Marquis Hamil-ton, nor his heirs, or any deriving from him, have ever had pos-session or laid out any thing upon the premises, nor made any claim, in said country, until the year 1683, which was about forty-eight years after said grant, the said heir by his attorney, claimed




the said lands, at Boston, in New-England, which is above seventy miles from the premises, and in another country."

"The heir of said marquis Hamilton, after threescore and two years, demands the said premises, or a quit rent. I am of the opinion, that the heir of M. H. after such purchases and so long quiet enjoyment of them, &c. ought not to recover any of the lands or grounds or quit-rents out of them.

"I am of the opinion, that these purchasers, by virtue of their purchases, and so long and uninterrupted possession under them, have an undoubted right and title to these grounds and lands, and the buildings and improvement of them, and ought not now, after so much money laid out upon them, and such enjoyment of them, to be disturbed in their possession of them.

"francis pemberton."

Mr. Trevor, having stated the case between Connecticut and Rhode-Island, gives his opinion to the lords of trade and planta-tions, in the words following. "I am humbly of opinion, that this grant to Rhode-Island is void in law, because the country of Narraganset bay was granted before to Connecticut, and that therefore the government of Narraganset bay doth, of right, be-long to Connecticut, and not to Rhode-Island: all which is humbly submitted to your honor's great wisdom.

"thomas trevor.

"October 28, 1696."

The aspects of Providence upon the colony, this year, were ex-ceedingly gloomy. Besides the dangers which threatened them, with respect to their civil and religious privileges, the people were visited with great sickness and mortality. The instances of death among the clergy were uncommonly numerous, and many churches were made to sit in widowhood. The fruits of the field were also diminished, and the inhabitants in various ways im-poverished and distressed.

The general assembly, in October, considered the divine dis-pensations so afflictive as to demand their deepest humiliation. A general fast was appointed, and the people called upon to repent and humble themselves.1

Colonel Dungan having lately arrived at New-York, the assem-bly, in November, appointed major Nathan Gould, captain John Alien, and Mr. William Pitkin, a committee, to congratulate him

1The proclamation is introduced in these words, "Whereas it is evident to all who observe the footsteps of Divine Providence, that the dispensations of God, towards his poor wilderness people, have been very solemn, awful, and speaking, for many years past; and particularly towards ourselves in this colony, this present year, by occasion of general sickness in most places, and more than ordinary mor-tality in some, as also excessive rains and floods in several plantations, shortening us in our enjoyments; and considering also the holy hand of God, in bereaving so many churches and congregations of a settled ministry, whereby they are left, and have been, some of them, a long time, as sheep without a shepherd, as if the Lord intended, for our sins, to quench the light of our Israel."




upon his arrival at his seat of government; and to agree with him upon a settlement of boundaries between the colonies. The committee were instructed not to exceed his demands of twenty miles east of Hudson's river: To examine his powers to treat, and if they were only conditional, to treat with him upon the same terms. They were directed to insist upon this, that there was no mistake with respect to the rise of the line at Memoronock. If they should be obliged to give up jurisdiction at any place, they were instructed to preserve property inviolably to the proprie-tors; and to insist on the former line, unless it should, in any place, approach nearer to Hudson's river than the distance of twenty miles. In fine, they were required to make his honor sensible, that the former line was legal and firm, and that the present settlement was solely for the purpose of promoting peace and a good correspondence between his majesty's colony of Con-necticut and the duke's territories, and their successive gov-ernors.

As the colony had been certified, by letters from his majesty, of a conspiracy against himself and the duke of York, the assem-bly addressed him on the subject. They declared, in the strong-est terms, their utmost abhorrence of all plots against his royal person and government: That they prayed for kings and all men, and especially for his majesty, and all in authority under him: That they feared God and honored the king. In such sup-pliant language as follows, they prayed for the continuance of their chartered rights.

"Most dread sovereign, we humbly pray the continuance of your grace and favor in the full enjoyment of those former privi-leges and liberties you have, out of your princely grace and bounty, bestowed upon us, in your royal charter, granted this corporation, that our poor beginnings may prosper, under your shadow, to the glory of God, and the enlargement of your maj-esty's dominions."1

The committee appointed to agree with colonel Dungan, with respect to the line of partition between Connecticut and New-York, came to an agreement respecting it, November 28th, 1683. It was agreed, "That the line should begin at Byram river, where it falleth into the sound, at a point called Lyon's point, to go as the said river runneth to the place where the common road, or wading place, over the said river is; and from the said road or wading place, to go north northwest into the country, as far as will be eight English miles from the foresaid Lyon's point; and that a line of twelve miles, being measured from the said Lyon's point, according to the line or general course of the sound east-ward, where the said twelve miles endeth, another line shall be

1The number of persons giving in their lists, October, 1683, was 2,735, and the grand list was £ 159,385.




run from the sound, eight miles into the country, north north-west, and also, that a fourth line be run, (that is to say,) from the northernmost end of the eight miles line, being the third men-tioned line, which fourth line, with the first mentioned line, shall be the bounds where they shall fall to run; and that from the east-ernmost end of the fourth mentioned line, (which is to be twelve miles in length,) a line parallel to Hudson's river, in every place twenty miles distant from Hudson's river, shall be the bounds there, between the said territories or province of New-York, and the said colony of Connecticut, so far as Connecticut colony doth extend northwards; that is to the south line of the Massachusetts colony: only it is provided, that in case the line from Byram brook's mouth, north north-west eight miles, and the line, that is then to run twelve miles to the end of the third forementioned line of eight miles, do diminish or take away land within twenty miles of Hudson's river, that then so much as is in land diminished of twenty miles of Hudson's river thereby, shall be added out of Connecticut bounds unto the line aforementioned, parallel to Hudson's river, and twenty miles distant from it; the addition to be made the whole length of the said parallel line, and in such breadth, as will make up quantity for quantity, what shall be diminished as aforesaid."

The assembly, in the session of May, 1684, approved of this agreement, and appointed major Nathan Gould, Mr. Jehu Burr, and Mr. Jonathan Selleck, to lay out the lines according to the stipulation. The lines accordingly were run, and on the 24th of February, 1685, were ratified by governor Dungan and governor Treat.

Great complaints had been made, in England, against the col-onies for harbouring pirates; and that no laws had been made against them. A letter had been written to the governor and company, by Lyonel Jenkins, Esq. complaining of this neglect, and demanding, in his majesty's name, that a law should forth-with be made against piracy. A special assembly was consequent-ly called on the 5th of July, and a law enacted against it, and a copy of it forwarded immediately to his majesty's secretary of state.

At the election, in 1685, Giles Hamlin was chosen into the mag-istracy, in the place of Mr. Topping, who seems now to have been dead.

The legislature, at this session, addressed a letter of condolence to his majesty, king James II. on account of the demise of his brother, king Charles II. and congratulating him on his peaceful accession to the throne of his ancestors. They presented him with the strongest assurances of their loyalty and attachment to his royal person and government. At the same time, sensible of their danger, under a prince of his character, they most humbly




besought him to continue to them their civil and religious privi-leges, and that he would preserve to them the peaceable enjoy-ment of their property.

Upon the petition of a number of the inhabitants of Farm-ington, presented to the assembly in 1673, a committee was appointed to view Mattatock, and report to the assembly, whether a plantation might not be made in that tract. In May, 1674, the committee reported, that Mattatock was a place suffi-cient to accommodate thirty families. Upon this report, a com-mittee was appointed to settle a plantation there. Some time after the settlement commenced. The number of sharers was about twenty-eight. May 13th, 1686, they appear to have been vested with town privileges, by the name of Waterbury.1

In the last years of the reign of king Charles the second, the rights of the nation were violated, and a great number of corpora-tions in England and Wales were obliged to resign their charters. Indeed, he, and his officers, seemed to sport with the liberty, prop-erty, and lives of his subjects. King James the second began his reign in the most flagrant violation of the laws of his three king-doms. His reign grew more intolerable, from year to year, until he became the general abhorrence of the nation. He proceeded in the same lawless and cruel manner with the colonies, vacating their charters, and governing them by the worst measures and the worst men,

In July, 1685, a quo warranto was issued against the governor and company of Connecticut, requiring their appearance before him, within eight days of St. Martin's, to show by what warrant they exercised certain powers and privileges.

The governor, having received intelligence of the measures adopted against the colony, on the 6th of July, 1686, called a spe-cial assembly, to consult what might be done for the preservation of the just rights of the colony.

The assembly, after most serious deliberation, addressed a let-ter, in the most suppliant terms, to his majesty, beseeching him to pardon their faults in government, and continue them a distinct colony, in the full enjoyment of their civil and religious privileges. Especially, they besought him to recall the writ of quo warranto,

1Several misfortunes attended the plantation, which very greatly impoverished it, and prevented its population. In February, 1691, the town was nearly ruined by an inundation. The rain fell in great abundance, and the frost came out of the ground very suddenly, which rendered it uncommonly soft. At the same time, the river rose to an unusual height, overflowed the meadows, and ran with such ra-pidity and violence, that it tore away a great part of them. Other parts were cov-ered with earth and stone, so as to be greatly damaged. Numbers of the inhabi-tants were so discouraged, that they left the town, and it did not recover its former state for some years.

In 1712, on the 15th of October, began a great sickness in the town, which continued until the I2th of September, 1713, and was so general, that there were scarcely a sufficient number well to attend the sick, and bury the dead. Between twenty and thirty persons died of the sickness. [Manuscripts of Mr. Southmayd.]




which they heard had been issued against them, though it had not yet arrived. They pleaded the charter which they received of his royal brother, and his commendation of them, for their loyalty, in his gracious letters, and his assurances of the continuance of their civil and religious rights. They made the strongest professions of loyalty, and of their constant supplications to the Supreme Ruler, that he would save and bless his majesty.

On the 21st of July, 1686, two writs of quo warranto were de-livered to governor Treat. They had been brought over by Ed-ward Randolph, that indefatigable enemy of the colonies. The time of appearance before his majesty, was past before the writs arrived.

Upon the reception of the writs, and a letter from Richard Nor-mansel, one of the sheriffs of London, the governor immediately convoked another special assembly, which met on the 28th of July. The assembly appointed Mr. Whiting to be their agent, to present their petition to the king. He was instructed to acquaint his majesty with the time of the colony's receiving the quo warrantos, and of the impossibility of its making its appearance before his majesty, at the time appointed: fully to represent the great injury which the colonists would sustain, by the suspending their charter rights; and especially by a division of the colony. If Connecticut could not be continued a distinct government, he was instructed to supplicate his majesty to continue to them the enjoyment of their property, their houses and lands, and especially their relig-ious privileges.

On the 28th of December, another writ of quo warranto was served on the governor and company, bearing date October 23d, requiring their appearance before his majesty within eight days of the purification of the blessed Virgin. Though the writs gave no proper time for the appearance of the colony, and, conse-quently, no time at all; yet they declared all its chartered rights vacated, upon its not appearing, at time and place. The design of the king and his corrupt court was to re-unite all the colonies to the crown. James the second was an obstinate, cruel tyrant, and a bigoted Roman catholic; destitute of all the principles of true honour, faith, justice, or humanity. He wantonly trampled on the constitution, laws, and liberties of the nation; and, with his ministers and officers, in an unrighteous and merciless manner, shed the blood of his subjects, and wreaked his vengeance on all who made the least opposition to his lawless proceedings. The most humble petitions, arguments from reason, charters, the most solemn compacts and royal promises, from justice, humanity, or any other consideration, which a subject could plead, had no weight or influence with him. Nearly fifty corporations in Eng-land had been deprived of their charters. The city of London, and the corporation of Bermudas, had stood trial with his majesty, and




their charters had been taken from them. The charter of Massa-chusetts had been vacated, and Rhode-Island had submitted to his majesty. A general government had been appointed over all New-England, except Connecticut. By the commission, institu-ting this general government, Connecticut was totally excluded from all jurisdiction in the Narraganset country, or king's prov-ince.1

The governor and company of Connecticut, however, in these discouraging circumstances, spared no pains, nor omitted any probable means for the preservation of their chartered rights.

A special assembly was called on the 26th of January, 1687, after the reception of the third writ of quo warranto, to deliberate on the measures to be adopted, in the then present circumstances of the colony. Little more, however, was done, than to desire the gov-ernor and council to transact all business, which they should judge necessary and expedient, further to be done for the preservation of their privileges.

The election in May proceeded regularly, but the assembly did nothing important. Fear and hesitation appear to have attended the legislature. They knew not what course to steer, with safety, either to themselves, or their constituents. They, with the colony in general, were in great fear and distress, lest, after all their ex-pense, hardships, and dangers, in settling and defending the coun-try, and all their self-denial and sufferings for the sake of enjoying the worship and ordinances of Christ, according to the gospel, they should not only be deprived of all their civil and religious lib-erties, but even of their houses and lands. There was no security for any thing under a prince like James the second. He had, in-deed, in his letters, promised them2 the preservation of all their liberties; yet, without any fault on their part, he was arbitrarily wresting them from their hands. It is difficult to conceive, and much more to express, the anxiety of our venerable ancestors in this terrible crisis of their affairs.

Mr. Whiting exerted himself in England, to procure all the in-fluence, and make all the opposition he possibly could, against a general governor of the colonies, and especially to prevent the sus-

1This general commission was granted by king James II. in the first year of his reign, Oct. 8th, 1685. Joseph Dudley, Esq. was appointed president of the com-missioners. On the 28th of May, 1686, the president issued a proclamation, dis-charging all the inhabitants of Rhode-Island, and the Narraganset country, from all obedience either to Connecticut or Rhode-Island; and prohibiting all govern-ment of either in the king's province. At the same time, the president required the entire submission of all the inhabitants to the commissioners, and the officers whom they should appoint. Proclamation on file.

2In his letter to governor Treat, June 26th, 1685, he says: "As we cannot doubt of the ready and dutiful assurances and expressions of loyalty and obedience, from our good subjects under your government, since our accession to the crown, so shall we, at all times, extend our royal care and protection to them, in the preserva-tion of their rights, and in the defence and security of their persons and estates; which we think fit that you signify unto the inhabitants of that our colony." Let-ter of king James II. on file.




pension of the government of Connecticut, according to charter; but he found his utmost exertions to be in vain. He wrote to the governor, January 15th, 1687, that if the governor and council would defend their charter at law, they must send over one or more. from among themselves. A special assembly was called upon the reception of the agent's letter, which convened on the 15th of June, to deliberate on the expediency of sending another agent. The prospects appeared so unfavourable, that it was determined not to send another. Mr. Whiting was thanked for his services, in favour of the colony, and desired to continue them.

Mr. Dudley, while president of the commissioners, had written to the governor and company, advising them to resign the charter into the hands of his majesty, and promising to use his influence in favour of the colony. Mr. Dudley's commission was super-seded by a commission to Sir Edmund Andross to be governor of New-England. He arrived at Boston, on the 19th of December, 1686. The next day his commission was published, and he took on him the administration of government. Soon after his arrival, he wrote to the governor and company, that he had a commission, from his majesty, to receive their charter, if they would resign it; and he pressed them, in obedience to the king, and as they would give him an opportunity to serve them, to resign it to his pleasure. At this session of the assembly, the governor received another let-ter from him, acquainting him, that he was assured, by the advice which he had received from England, that judgment was, by that time, entered upon the quo warranto against their charter, and that he soon expected to receive his majesty's commands respect-ing them. He urged them, as he represented it, that he might not be wanting in serving their welfare, to accept his majesty's favour, so graciously offered them, in a present compliance and surrender. Colonel Dungan also used his influence to persuade them to re-sign, and put themselves under his government.1 But the colony insisted on their charter rights, and on the promise of king James, as well as of his royal brother, to defend and secure them in the en-joyment of their privileges and estates; and would not surrender their charter to either. However, in their petition to the king, in which they prayed for the continuance of their chartered rights, they desired, if this could not be obtained, and it should be re-solved to put them under another government, that it might be under Sir Edmund's, as the Massachusetts had been their former correspondents and confederates, and as they were acquainted with their principles and manners. This was construed into a res-ignation, though nothing could be further from the design of the colony.

The assembly met, as usual, in October, and the government continued according to charter, until the last of the month. About

1Letters of Dudley, Andross, and Dungan, on file





this time, Sir Edmund, with his suit, and more than sixty regular troops, came to Hartford, when the assembly were sitting, de-manded the charter, and declared the government under it to be dissolved. The assembly were extremely reluctant and slow with respect to any resolve to surrender the charter, or with respect to any motion to bring it forth. The tradition is, that governor Treat strongly represented the great expense and hardships of the colo-nists, in planting the country; the blood and treasure which they had expended in defending it, both against the savages and for-eigners; to what hardships and dangers he himself had been ex-posed for that purpose; and that it was like giving up his life, now to surrender the patent and privileges, so dearly bought, and so long enjoyed. The important affair was debated and kept in sus-pence, until the evening, when the charter was brought and laid upon the table, where the assembly were sitting. By this time, great numbers of people were assembled, and men sufficiently bold to enterprise whatever might be necessary or expedient. The lights were instantly extinguished, and one captain Wadsworth, of Hartford, in the most silent and secret manner, carried off the charter, and secreted it in a large hollow tree, fronting the house of the Hon. Samuel Wyllys, then one of the magistrates of the colony. The people appeared all peaceable and orderly. The candles were officiously re-lighted; but the patent was gone, and no discovery could be made of it, or of the person who had con-veyed it away. Sir Edmund assumed the government, and the records of the colony were closed in the following words.

"At a general court at Hartford, October 31st, 1687, his excel-lency, Sir Edmund Andross, knight, and captain-general and gov-ernor of his majesty's territories and dominions in New-England, by order from his majesty, James the second, king of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, the 31st of October, 1687, took into his hands the government of the colony of Connecticut, it being, by his majesty, annexed to Massachusetts, and other colonies un-der his excellency's government."


Sir Edmund appointed officers civil and military, through the colony, according to his pleasure. He had a council, at first, con-sisting of about forty persons, and afterwards, of nearly fifty. Four of this number, governor Treat, John Fitz Winthrop, Wait Winthrop, and John Alien, Esquires, were of Connecticut.

Sir Edmund began his government with the most flattering pro-fessions of his regard to the public safety and happiness. He in-structed the judges to administer justice, as far as might be con-sistent with the new regulations, according to the former laws and customs. It is, however, well observed, by governor Hutchinson, that "Nero concealed his tyrannical disposition more years, than Sir Edmund and his creatures did months." He soon laid a re-




straint upon the liberty of the press; and then, one far more griev-ous upon marriage. This was prohibited, unless bonds were pre-viously given, with sureties, to the governor. These were to be forfeited, in case it should afterwards appear, that there was any lawful impediment to the marriage. Magistrates only were allowed to join people in the bands of wedlock. The governor not only de-prived the clergy of the perquisite from marriages, but soon sus-pended the laws for their support, and would not suffer any person to be obliged to pay any thing to his minister. Nay, he menaced the people, that, if they resisted his will, their meeting-houses should be taken from them, and that any person who should give two pence to a non-conformist minister, should be punished.

The fees of all officers, under this new administration, were exorbitant. The common fee for the probate of a will was fifty shillings. The widow and fatherless, how distant soever, were obliged to appear at Boston, to transact all business relative to the settlement of estates.1 This was a grievous oppression of the poor people; especially, of the fatherless and widow.

Sir Edmund, without an assembly, nay, without a majority of his council, taxed the people at pleasure. He and Randolph, with four or five others of his creatures, who were sufficiently wicked to join with him, in all his oppressive designs, managed the affairs of government, as they pleased. But these were but the beginnings of oppression and sorrow. They were soon greatly increased and more extensively spread.

In 1688, Sir Edmund was made governor of New-York, as well as of New-England, and the same kind of government was exer-cised in that department.2 As the charters were now either va-cated, surrendered, or the government under them suspended, it was declared, that the titles of the colonists to their lands were of no value. Sir Edmund declared, that Indian deeds were no better than "the scratch of a bear's paw." Not the fairest purchases and most ample conveyances from the natives, no dangers, disburse-ments nor labors, in cultivating a wilderness, and turning it into orchards, gardens, and pleasant fields, no grants by charter, nor by legislatures constituted by them, no declarations of preceding kings, nor of his then present majesty, promising them the quiet enjoyment of their houses and lands, nor fifty or sixty years undis-turbed possession, were pleas of any validity or consideration with Sir Edmund and his minions. The purchasers and cultivators, after fifty and sixty years improvement, were obliged to take out patents for their estates. For these, in some instances, a fee of fifty pounds was demanded. Writs of intrusion were issued against persons of principal character, who would not submit to such im-

1Hutchinson's Hist. Vol. I. p. 358.

2The same, p. 371. It is strange, that Mr. Smith, in his history of New-York. akes no notice of this, nor gives any account of Sir Edmund's administration.




positions, and their lands were patented to others. Governor Hutchinson observes, with respect to Massachusetts, that "men's titles were not all questioned at once. Had this been the case, ac-cording to the computation then made, all the personal estate in the colony would not have paid the charge of the new patents."1

The governor, and a small number of his council, in the most arbitrary manner, fined and imprisoned numbers of the inhabi-tants of Massachusetts, and denied them the benefit of the act of habeas corpus. All town meetings were prohibited except one in the month of May, for the election of town officers, to prevent the people from consulting measures for the redress of their griev-ances. No person indeed was suffered to go out of the country, without leave from the governor, lest complaints should be carried to England against his administration. At the same time, he so well knew the temper and views of his royal master, that he feared little from him, even though complaints should be carried over against him. Hence he and his dependants oppressed the people, and enriched themselves without restraint.

The most humble petitions were presented to his majesty, from corporations of various descriptions, beseeching him, that the gov-ernor's council might consist of none but men of considerable property in lands; that no act might be passed to bind the people, but by a majority of the council; and that he would quiet his good subjects in the enjoyment of all property in houses and lands.2 But, in the reign of James the second, petitions so reasonable and just could not be heard. The prince, at home, and his officers abroad, like greedy harpies, preyed upon the people without con-trol. Randolph was not ashamed to make his boast, in his letters, with respect to governor Andross and his council, "that they were as arbitrary as the great Turk." All New-England groaned under their oppression. The heaviest share of it, however, fell upon the inhabitants of Massachusetts and New-Plymouth. Con-necticut had been less obnoxious to government, than Massachu-setts, and as it was further removed from the seat of government, was less under the notice and influence of those oppressors.

Governor Treat was a father to the people, and felt for them, in their distressed circumstances. The other gentlemen, who were of the council, and had the principal management of affairs, in Connecticut, were men of principle, lovers of justice and of their fellow subjects. They took advantage of Sir Edmund's first in-structions, and as far as they possibly could, consistently with the new regulations, governed the colony according to the former laws and customs. The people were patient and peaceable,

1Hutchinson's Hist. vol. I. p. 359.

2Sir Edmund, with all his vigilance, could not prevent the carrying over of com-plaints against him. Mr. Increase Mather, got on board a ship, and sailed to Eng-land, for this very purpose, and delivered the complaints, which he carried over, into his majesty's hands.




though in great fear and despondency. They were no strangers to what was transacted in the neighbouring colonies, and expected soon fully to share with them, in all their miseries. It was gen-erally believed, that Andross was a papist; that he had employed the Indians to ravage the frontiers, and supplied them with ammu-nition; and that he was making preparations to deliver the coun-try into the hands of the French. All the motives to great actions, to industry, economy, enterprise, wealth, and population, were in a manner annihilated. A general inactivity and languishment per-vaded the whole public body. Liberty, property, and every thing, which ought to be dear to men, every day, grew more and more in-secure. The colonies were in a state of general despondency, with respect to the restoration of their privileges, and the truth of that divine maxim, "when the wicked beareth rule the people mourn," was, in a striking manner, every where exemplified.