SCARCELY any thing could be more gloomy and distressful, than the state of public affairs, in New-England, at the beginning of this year. But in the midst of darkness light arose. While the people had prayed in vain to an earthly monarch, their petitions had been more successfully presented to a higher throne. Provi-dence wrought gloriously for their and the nation's deliverance. On the 5th of November, 1688, the prince of Orange landed at Torbay, in England. He immediately published a declaration of his design, in visiting the kingdom. A copy of this was received at Boston, by one Mr. Winslow, a gentleman from Virginia, in April, 1689. Governor Andross and his council were so alarmed with the, news, that they ordered Mr. Winslow to be arrested and committed to gaol for bringing a false and traitorous libel into the country. They also issued a proclamation commanding all the officers and people to be in readiness to prevent the landing of any forces, which the prince of Orange might send into that part of America. But the people, who sighed under their burthens, se-cretly wished and prayed for success to his glorious undertaking. The leaders in the country determined quietly to wait the event; but the great body of the inhabitants had less patience. Stung with past injuries, and encouraged at the first intimations of relief, the fire of liberty rekindled, and the flame, which, for a long time, had been smothered in their bosoms, burst forth with irresistible violence.

On the 18th of April, the inhabitants of Boston and the adja-cent towns rose in arms, made themselves masters of the castle,




seized Sir Edmund Andross and his council, and persuaded the old governor and council, at Boston, to resume the government.

On the 9th of May, 1689, governor Robert Treat, deputy gov-ernor James Bishop, and the former magistrates, at the desire of the freemen, resumed the government of Connecticut. Major general John Winthrop was, at the same time chosen into the magistracy, to complete the number appointed by charter. The freemen voted, that, for the present safety of that part of New-England called Connecticut, the necessity of its circumstances so requiring, "they would re-establish government, as it was before, and at the time, when Sir Edmund Andross took it, and so have it proceed, as it did before that time, according to charter; engaging themselves to submit to it accordingly, until there should be a legal establishment among them."

The assembly having formed, came to the following resolution: "That whereas this court hath been interrupted, in the manage-ment of the government in this colony of Connecticut, for nineteen months past, it is now enacted, ordered, and declared, that all the laws of this colony, made according to charter, and courts consti-tuted for the administration of government, as they were before the late interruption, shall be of full force and virtue, for the future, and until this court shall see cause to make further and other alter-ations, according to charter." The assembly then confirmed all military officers in their respective posts, and proceeded to appoint their civil officers, as had been customary at the May session.

It was expected, that it might soon be necessary to transact mat-ters of the highest importance, respecting the most essential rights of the colony. The deputies therefore resolved, that if occasion should require any thing to be acted, respecting the charter, the governor should call the assembly, and not leave the affair with the council.

Upon the 26th of May, a ship arrived at Boston with advice that William and Mary were proclaimed king and queen of England. The joyful news soon reached Connecticut. A special assembly was called, which convened on the 13th of June. On the same day, William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, were pro-claimed with great ceremony and joy. Never was there greater or more general joy in New-England, than upon the accession of William and Mary to the throne of Great-Britain. The bands of oppression were now loosed, the fears of the people dissipated, and joy brightened in every countenance.

The legislature addressed his majesty, in the most loyal and du-tiful manner. They represented, that the Lord, who sitteth king upon the floods, had separated his enemies from him, as he di-vided the waters of Jordan before his chosen people; and that, by the great actions which he had performed, in rescuing the nation from popery and despotism, God had begun to magnify him, as he




did Joshua, in the sight of all Israel. In strong terms, they de-clared, that it was because the Lord loved his people, that he had exalted him to be king over them, to execute justice and judgment. They most humbly presented their grateful acknowledgments to him, for his zeal for the welfare of the nation, and for the protestant interest. At the same time, they represented to his majesty the charter privileges, which they had obtained, and the manner in which Sir Edmund Andross had suppressed their government by charter: That they had never surrendered it, and that there had been no enrolment of any surrender of it, or act, in law, against it: And that, to avoid the inconveniences of having no government, and for their defence against their enemies, they had, at the desire of the freemen, resumed the government according to their an-cient form. They humbly prayed for his majesty's directions, and his gracious confirmation of their charter rights.1 The court or-dered, that Mr. Whiting should present their address to his maj-esty.

Meanwhile a revolution had been made at New-York. One captain Jacob Leisler had assumed the government of that prov-ince, and kept the fort and city in behalf of king William. He had written to Connecticut and solicited assistance in defending the province. The assembly appointed major Gould and captain James Fitch to proceed to New-York, and confer with Leisler and his council relative to the defence of the frontiers. The commit-tee, with captain Leisler, were authorized to determine the num-ber of men to be employed and the measures to be adopted for that purpose. In consequence of their determination, the gov-ernor and council dispatched captain Bull, with a company, to Al-bany, for the defence of that part of the country, and to assist in a treaty with the Five Nations, with a view to secure their friendship and attachment, as far as possible, to the English colonies. Con-necticut also sent a detachment of men to assist captain Leisler in the defence of the fort and city of New-York.

While the French and Indians were threatening the northern frontiers, the eastern Indians were carrying on their depredations in the eastern parts of New-England. In September, a special as-sembly was called on that account. Commissioners were ap-pointed to consult with the commissioners of the other colonies, relative to the war in those parts. As it was imagined the Indians there had been injured, by governor Andross and his officers, the commissioners were instructed to enquire into the grounds of the war with them; and if it should appear that they had been injured, to use their utmost influence, that justice might He done them, and the country quieted in that way. But if they found the war to be just and necessary, they were authorized to engage the colony's full proportion of men, unless it should amount to more than two

1Appendix No. XXIII.




hundred. Two companies were afterwards appointed to that ser-vice, under the command of captains George Denison and Ebene-zer Johnson.

At the session in October, it was resolved, that by reason of the great expense of the colony, in defending his majesty's subjects, in other parts, it was necessary to withdraw the aid which they had sent to New-York.

At this general court, the law respecting the choice of the gov-ernors and magistrates was enacted nearly in the words in which it now stands; but it instituted a mode of nomination different from the present. This was to be made on the third Tuesday in March annually, and the votes were to be carried to Hartford by the constables of the county towns, and on the last Tuesday in the month were, by them, to be sorted and counted in the council chamber. The nomination was then transmitted to the several towns.

While the revolution delivered the nation from vassalage and popery, it involved it in an immediate war with France, and the colonies in a French and Indian war. A large number of troops and a considerable fleet were sent from France, in 1689, with a spe-cial view to the reduction of New-York. The enterprise was frustrated by the distressed condition to which the incursions of the Mohawks had reduced Canada.

Count Frontenac, to raise the depressed spirits of the Cana-dians, sent out several parties of French and Indians against the settlements in New-York and New-England. A detachment of be-tween two and three hundred FrencK and Indians, under the com-mand of D'Aillebout, De Mantel, and Le Moyn, were dispatched from Montreal against the frontiers of New-York. They were furnished with every thing necessary for a winter's campaign. Af-ter a march of two and twenty days, in the dead of winter, they reached Schenectady, on Saturday, the 8th of February, 1690. They had been reduced to such straits that they had thoughts of surrendering themselves prisoners of war. But their scouts, who had been a day or two in the village, entirely unsuspected, re-turned with such accounts of the security of the inhabitants, as determined them to make an attack upon them. They found the gates open and unguarded. They entered them about eleven o'clock, and that they might invest every house, at the same time, they divided into small parties of six or seven men. The inhabi-tants were in a profound sleep, and unalarmed until the enemy had broken open their doors, and they were on the verge of destruc-tion. Never were a poor people more dreadfully surprised. Be-fore they had time to rise from their beds, the enemy began the perpetration of the most inhuman barbarities. No tongue, says colonel Schuyler, in his letter to the colonies, can express the cru-elties which were committed. The inhabitants were instantly




slain, and the whole village was in flames. Pregnant women were ripped open, and their infants cast into the flames or dashed against the posts of the doors. Sixty persons perished in the mas-sacre, and twenty were captivated. The rest of the inhabitants es-caped in their shirts, in a most stormy and severe night, and through a deep snow, which fell at the same time. Twenty five of the fugitives lost their limbs, in the flight, through the sharpness of the frost. Captain Bull's lieutenant, one of his sergeants, and three other men were killed, and five captivated. The enemy killed all the cattle and horses, which they could find, except about fifty of the best horses, which they carried off, loaded with the plunder of the village.

When the news of this destruction reached Albany, the next morning, an universal fear and consternation seized the inhabi-tants. The country became panick struck, and many entertained thoughts of destroying the town and abandoning that part of the country to the enemy. Indeed, the whole province of New-York was in deplorable circumstances. Leisler, who had assumed the government, was a weak, imprudent man, and there was a violent opposition both to him and his measures, especially at Albany. Government was nearly dissolved. The people would not suffer the officers, posted at Albany and Schenectady, to keep a regular watch, or to maintain any kind of military order. Captain Bull had remonstrated against their conduct, and threatened to with-draw his troops, unless they would submit to order. The bad weather only had prevented him from withdrawing the detach-ment from Schenectady. The people had been warned of their danger, and that an expedition had been undertaken by the enemy against that part of the country; but they imagined, that it was impracticable for any men to march hundreds of miles, with their arms and provisions, through the snow, in the depth of winter. This infatuation and disorder was the occasion of their destruc-tion.1

A second party of the enemy, which count Frontenac had de-tached from the three rivers, under the command of the sieur Har-tel, an officer of distinguished character in Canada, on the 18th of March, fell upon Salmon Falls. This was a plantation on the river which divides New-Hampshire from the province of Maine. This party consisted of about fifty men, nearly half Indians. They com-menced the attack at break of day, in three different places. Though the people were surprised, yet they flew to their arms, and defended themselves with a bravery which even their enemies applauded. But they were finally overpowered by numbers, and the whole settlement was pillaged and burned. Six and thirty men were killed, and fifty-four, principally women and children, carried into captivity.

1Colonel Schuyler's and captain Bull's letters on file.




These depredations filled the country with fear and alarm. The most pressing letters were sent to Connecticut for immediate assistance. A special assembly was called on the nth of April. Letters were laid before the assembly from Massachusetts, solicit-ing that soldiers might be sent from Connecticut, to guard the up-per towns upon Connecticut river; and that there might be a gen-eral meeting of commissioners from the several colonies, at Rhode-Island, to consult the common defence. There were also letters from captain Leisler, at New-York, and from colonel Schuyler, and other principal gentlemen at Albany, urging, that captain Bull and the soldiers there might be continued, and that reinforcements might be forwarded for the defence of that place and the adjacent country. It was also urged, that Connecticut would unite with the other colonies, in raising an army for the re-duction of Canada.

The assembly determined, that there was a necessity of their ut-most exertions to prevent the settlement of the French, at Albany. It was resolved, that two companies, of a hundred men each, should be raised and sent forward for that purpose. The colony also gave assistance to the frontier towns of Massachusetts upon the river.

For the defence of Connecticut, it was ordered, that a constant watch should be kept in the several towns, and that all the males in the colony, except the aged and infirm, should keep watch in their turns. If the aged and infirm were more than fifty pounds in the list, they were obliged to procure a man, in their turns, to watch and guard in their stead.

Though the colony had received no instructions from king William, confirming their charter, or directing the mode of gov-ernment, yet at the general election, May 8th, the freemen pro-ceeded, as had been usual, to the choice of their officers. Robert Treat, Esq. was re-chosen governor, and James Bishop, Esq. deputy-governor, Samuel Wyllys, Nathan Gould, William Jones, John Alien, Andrew Leet, James Fitch, Samuel Mason, Samuel Talcott, John Burr, William Pitkin, Nathaniel Stanley, and Daniel Witherell, Esquires, were chosen magistrates.

At this session of the assembly, that part of Weathersfield which lay on the east side of Connecticut river, was made a distinct town, by the name of Glastenbury.

The proposed meeting of commissioners, was holden at New-York, instead of Rhode-Island, on the 1st of May, 1690. The com-missioners from Connecticut, were Nathan Gould and William Pitkin, Esquires. It appears, that, at this meeting, the commis-sioners conceived the plan of an expedition against Canada. They ordered, that eight hundred and fifty men should be raised for that purpose. The quotas of the several colonies were fixed, and gen-eral rules adopted for the management of the army. A small ves-




sel was sent express to England, the beginning of April, carrying a representation of the exposed state of the colonies, and of the necessity of the reduction of Canada. A prayer was also sent to his majesty, for a supply of arms, ammunition, and a number of frigates, to attack the enemy by water, while the colonial troops made an invasion by land. But the affairs of the nation were such, at that time, that no assistance could be given to the colonies. New-York and the New-England colonies, however, determined to prosecute their original plan of attacking Canada. It was pro-posed, with about eight or nine hundred Englishmen, and five or six hundred Indians, to make an attack upon Montreal;1 while a fleet and army, of eighteen hundred or two thousand men, were to proceed up the St. Lawrence, and, at the same time, make an at-tack upon Quebec. It was hoped, by this means, so to distract and divide the enemy, that the whole country might be reduced to his majesty's government. It was expected, that a powerful assist-ance would be given by the five nations, who had, but a few years before, so exceedingly harassed and distressed the whole French colony. Jacob Milborn, son in law to Leisler, was commissary, and it was expected, that New-York would furnish provisions, and make preparations for the army to pass the waters to Montreal.

John Winthrop, Esq. was appointed major-general and com-mander in chief of the land army. He arrived, with the troops under his command, near the falls at the head of Wood creek, early in the month of August. About the same time, the fleet sailed from Nantasket for Quebec. It consisted of between thirty and forty vessels, great and small. The largest carried forty-four guns, and two hundred men. Sir William Phipps, governor of Massachusetts, had the chief command. The fleet had a long pas-sage, and did not arrive before Quebec until the 5th of October.

When the land army arrived at the place appointed for the rendezvous of the Indians from the five nations, instead of finding that powerful body, which they expected, and which the Indians had promised, there were no more than seventy warriors from the Mohawks and Oneidas. A messenger was sent to the other na-tions, to know what they designed; whether they would join the army and go forward, or not. The messenger returned, and re-ported that they wished for some delay; and they never came on to join the army. When the general had advanced about a hun-dred miles, he found that there were not canoes provided sufficient to transport one half of the English soldiers across the lake. Upon representing to the Indians, that the army could not pass into Canada, without a much greater number of canoes, they replied, that it was then too late in the season to make canoes, as the bark would riot peel. In short, they artfully evaded every proposal

1Determination of the commissioners at New-York, and colonel Schuyler's let-ter, on file.




which the council of war made for the service; and, finally, told the general and his officers, that they looked too high, and ad-vised them only to attack Chambly, and the out settlements, on this side of the St. Lawrence.1 There was another insuperable difficulty arose. Milborn, commissary of the army, had not made a sufficient provision for the carrying on and supplying of pro-visions for the army, so that it was necessitated to retreat to Al-bany for subsistence. This was determined by a council of war. At the same time, about a hundred and forty of the sprightliest young men, English and Indians, were dispatched into Canada, to make all the diversion possible in favour of the fleet. However, the retreat of the army, and the late arrival of the armament before Quebec, defeated the expedition.

Count Frontenac, who had advanced with all his force to Mon-treal, to defend the country against the army advancing towards the lake, no sooner received intelligence, by his scouts, that it was retreating, than he returned, with all possible dispatch, to Quebec. Though but two or three days before Sir William Phipps arrived before the town, there were not more than two hundred French-men in the city, and, according to their own historians, it would have surrendered upon the first summons, yet, afterwards, the count was able to employ his whole force in its defence.

On the 8th of October, the troops landed and advanced towards the town. The ships, the next day, were drawn up before it, and cannonaded it with all their force; but they were not able to do any great injury to the town, while they were considerably damaged by the enemy's fire from their batteries. On the 11th, the troops were re-embarked. Though they had advanced and maintained their ground with spirit, yet they received such accounts of the strength of the enemy, as very much discouraged them. Soon after, tempestuous weather came on, the ships were driven from their anchors, and the whole fleet scattered. Thus, for want of a sufficient preparation for the advancing of the land army, and in consequence of the too late sailing of the fleet, an otherwise well concerted plan was defeated.

Though general Winthrop had acted in perfect conformity to the agreement of the commissioners, at New-York, and to the in-structions which had been given him, and though he had retreated and taken all his measures by the advice of his officers, in repeated councils of war, yet Leisler, Milborn, and their party, were filled with the utmost rage and madness at the retreat. It was ordained by the commissioners, that, in all matters of great importance, the general should be governed by a council of war, consisting of him-self and his officers; and Leisler was the first signer to the instruc-tions and orders given. It was impossible to pass the lake without

1Proposals made to the Indians and their answers, with colonel Schuyler's, and the recorder of Albany's letter, on file.




boats and canoes. It would have been madness to have crossed it, if there had been canoes, when they had found, that, by all the means and exertions in their power, they could not procure pro-visions for the army on this side of the lake. Leisler, however, took the advantage of the general, after the army had crossed Hudson's river, and lay encamped on this side of it, to arrest and confine him, that he might try him by a court martial of his own appointment. He was some days under the arrest. But when he was brought upon trial, the Mohawks, who were in the camp, crossed the river and brought him off, with great triumph, and to the universal joy of the army. Leisler, Milborn, and their party, were so enraged with some of the principal gentlemen in Albany, who were of the general's council, that they were obliged to flee to Connecticut for safety. Mr. Livingston and others resided some time at Hartford. Leisler confined the commissary of the Connecticut troops, so that the army suffered for want of his as-sistance.

This was viewed, by Connecticut, as an entirely lawless proceed-ing; not only highly injurious to general Winthrop and the colony, but to all New-England. The governor and council re-monstrated against his conduct, and demanded the release of gen-eral Winthrop and their commissary. They certified him, that it belonged not to him to judge of the general's conduct, but to the colonies in general; that it was inconsistent with the very instruc-tions which he had subscribed with his own hand; and that, if he proceeded in his unprecedented and violent measures, they would leave him and New-York to themselves, without any further aid from Connecticut, let the consequences be what they might.1 They observed, that he needed friends and assistance, but was pur-suing measures not only to make the powerful friends of general Winthrop, but all New-England, his enemies; and, that the char-acter of the general was too good, and too well known, to be drawn into question or disrepute by his conduct towards him.

At the general court, in October, a narrative of the conduct of the general was exhibited, attested by the officers of the army, and by numbers of the principal gentlemen of Albany. Attested an-swers of the Indians to the several councils of war, with such other evidence as the assembly judged proper to examine, were heard. Upon a full examination of the affair, the assembly resolved: "That the general's conduct, in the expedition, had been with good fidelity to his majesty's interest, and that his confinement, at Albany, on the account thereof, deserved a timely vindication, as being very injurious and dishonorable to himself, and the colonies of New-England, at whose instance he undertook that difficult service." The court appointed two of the magistrates in their name, "To thank the general for his good service to their maj-

1Appendix No. XXIV.




esties, and to this colony, and assure him, that, on all seasonable occasions, they would be ready to manifest their good sentiments of his fidelity, valor, and prudence."1 The assembly made him a grant of forty pounds, as a present, which they desired him to ac-cept, as a further testimonial of their entire approbation of his ser-vices.

Besides the troops employed in the expedition against Canada, Connecticut maintained a company upon the river, for the defence of the towns in the county of Hampshire. Upon an alarm in the winter, the governor and council dispatched a company to Deer-field, for the protection of that and the neighboring towns.

At the election, May, 1691, all the former officers were re-elected.

On the account of the death of the deputy-governor, James Bishop, Esq.2 a special assembly was convened, on the 9th of July, 1691; when William Jones, Esquire, was chosen deputy-governor, and captain Caleb Stanley, magistrate.

The Rev. Increase Mather, of Boston, was a most faithful friend to the liberties of his country; and though he was agent for the Massachusetts, yet he was indefatigable in his labors, and, as opportunity presented, performed essential services for the other colonies. At the accession of William and Mary he had prevented the bill for establishing the former governors of New-England. He had united all his influence with Mr. Whiting for the benefit of Connecticut. One Mr. James Porter, who was in London, had been very serviceable to the colony. The assembly, therefore, or-dered, that a letter of thanks should be addressed to those gentle-men, for the good services which they had rendered the colony. They were, also, desired to use their influence to obtain, from his majesty, a letter approving of their administration of government, according to charter, as legal; and expressing his determination to protect them in the enjoyment of their civil and religious privi-leges.

The violation of the charters, in England, had been declared illegal and arbitrary. The charter of the city of London, and those of other corporations, in Great Britain, had been restored. The case of Connecticut, respecting their charter, had been stated, and the opinions of gentlemen, learned in the law, had been given rela-

1Records of the colony.

2James Bishop, Esq. died June 22d, 1691. He appears to have been a gentle-man of good ability and distinguished morals. The time of his coming over to America is uncertain. His first appearance upon the public records, was about the year 1648. In 1661, he was chosen secretary of the colony of New-Haven; in which office he continued until the union of the colonies of Connecticut and New-Haven. In May, 1668, he was chosen one of the magistrates of Connecticut, in which office he continued until May 10th, 1683, when he was elected deputy-gov-ernor. To this office he was annually re-elected until his death. His family has continued respectable to the present time. Samuel Bishop, Esq. chief judge of the court of common pleas, for the county of New-Haven, and mayor of the city, is one of his descendants.




tive to the legality of the government assumed by the colony. They are thus expressed.

"Query, Whether the charter belonging to Connecticut, in New-England, is by means of their involuntary submission to Sir Edmund Andross's government, void in law, so as that the king may send a governor to them, contrary to their charter privileges, when there has been no judgment entered against their charter, nor any surrender thereof upon record?"

"I am of opinion, that such submission, as is put, in this case, doth not invalidate the charter, or any of the powers therein, which were granted under the great seal; and that the charter not being surrendered under the common seal, and that surrender duly en-rolled of record, nor any judgment of record entered against it, the same remains good and valid in law; and the said corporation may lawfully execute the powers and privileges thereby granted, notwithstanding such submission, and appointment of a governor as aforesaid.

"edward ward.

"2d August, 1690.

"I am of the same opinion.

J. somers.

"I am of the same opinion; and as this matter is stated there is no ground of doubt.

"geo. treby."

The people at the eastward, in New-Hampshire and the prov-ince of Maine, had been extremely distressed by the war, and a very great proportion of them driven from their settlements. It had also been found exceedingly difficult to persuade men to keep garrison for the defence of that part of the country. The general court of Connecticut, therefore, appointed a contribution, through the colony, for the encouragement of the soldiers, who should keep garrison there, and for the relief of poor families, which had kept their stations, or been driven from them by the ravages of the ene-my. The clergy were directed to exhort the people to liberal con-tributions for these charitable purposes.1

At the election, May, 1692, William Jones, Esq. was chosen deputy governor by the freemen. Mr. Cabel Stanley and Mr. Moses Mansfield were chosen magistrates. Governor Winthrop and the other magistrates were the same they had been the year be-fore.

The French, the last year, while the troops were employed in the expedition against Canada, made a descent upon Block-Island, plundered the houses, and captivated most of the inhabitants. This greatly alarmed the people of New-London, Stonington, and Saybrook. Detachments of the militia were sent to the seaport towns for their defence. The assembly therefore, about this time

1The number of persons, this year, ratable in the colony, was 3,109, and the grand list 183,159.




ordered, that New-London should be fortified; and that the forti-fications at Saybrook should be repaired.

The country had been alarmed with reports, that a large body of French and Indians were about to cross the lakes and come down upon the frontiers. Consequently it was ordered, that scouts, from the several counties should range the country, and make discovery of the enemy as they made their approach. Offi-cers were also appointed to command such parts of the militia as it might be necessary to detach, in case of an invasion.

Upon the 29th of February, 1675, Joshua, sachem of the Mo-heagans, son of Uncas, by his last will, gave unto captain John Mason, James Fitch, and others, to the number of fourteen, com-monly called Joshua's legatees, the tract containing the town of Windham. It was, the next year, surveyed and laid out into dis-tinct lots. In May, 1692, it was vested with town privileges. By Joshua's will, the lands in the town of Mansfield, no less than those in Windham, were given. The settlements, at both places, com-menced about 1686, nearly at the same time. Canterbury origi-nally belonged to the town of Windham,1 though it was some years after made a distinct town. The township of Windham comprises a fine tract of land, nearly ten miles square. Its situation is pleasant, and it is now one of the principal towns in the state.2

Count Frontenac, finding that he could not, with all his arts, accomplish a peace with the five nations, determined on the de-struction of the Mohawks, who, of all the Indians, had been by far the most destructive to the settlements in Canada. He collected an army of six or seven hundred French and Indians, and, hav-ing supplied them with every thing necessary for a winter cam-paign, sent them against the Mohawk castles. They began their march from Montreal on the 15th of January, 1693. After suffer-ing incredible hardships, they fell in with the first Mohawk castle, about the 6th of February. The Mohawks were entirely secure, not having the least intimation of their approach. The enemy took four or five men at this castle, and proceeded to the second. At this they were equally successful. A great part of the inhabi-tants were at Shenectady, and the rest were perfectly secure. When they advanced to the third castle, they found about forty warriors, collected at a war dance, as they designed the next day to go upon an enterprise against their enemies. A conflict ensued, in which the French, after losing about thirty men, were victori-

1This palpable error is corrected by a statement of the author himself at page 405, where he correctly states that the town of Canterbury was originally a part of Plainfield. - J. T.

2Mr. John Cates, one of the first planters, a gentleman from England, who died July 16th, 1697, by his last will, gave a generous legacy, in plate, to the church. He also gave two hundred acres of land for the use of a school, and two hundred more for the use of the poor of the town forever. Windham was made a county town in May, 1726. The grand list, in 1768, was about 30,000, and the number of inhabitants 3,500.




ous, and the third castle was taken. The French, in this descent, captivated nearly three hundred of the allied Indians, principally women and children. The brave colonel Schuyler, of Albany, at the head of a party of volunteers, of about two hundred English and Dutch, pursued them. On the 15th of February, he was joined with about three hundred Indians, and, with this force, he fell in with the enemy, whom he found in a fortified camp. They made three successive sallies upon the colonel, and were as often repulsed. He kept his ground, waiting for provisions and a rein-forcement from Albany. Meanwhile, the enemy, taking advan-tage of a severe snow storm, on the night of the 18th, marched off for Canada. The next day, captain Sims, with eighty regular troops, arrived with provisions for the army, and the day following the colonel resumed the pursuit. The French, however, luckily finding a cake of ice across the north branch of Hudson's river, made their escape. Nevertheless, they were so pressed, that they suffered most of their captives to escape. They all, except nine or ten, returned. Colonel Schuyler lost eight of his party, four Christians, and four Indians. He had fourteen wounded. Ac-cording to the report of the captives, the enemy lost forty men, three of whom were French officers, and two were Indian leaders; and they had thirty wounded. The Indians found about thirty corpses of the enemy, whom they scalped, and afterwards roasted and ate them, as they were exceedingly pinched for want of pro-visions.1

While these affairs were transacting, dispatches were sent to Connecticut, acquainting governor Treat, that the French had in-vaded his majesty's territories, and taken the fortresses of his allies. A demand was made of two hundred men, complete in their arms, to march forthwith to Albany.

A special assembly was called on the 21st of February, 1693, and it was ordered, that one hundred and fifty men should be sent immediately to Albany, or any other place where the governor should judge to be most for his majesty's interest. Fifty of the troops marched for Albany the next day.

Scarcely had the assembly dispersed, before another express ar-rived, from Sir William Phipps, requiring a corps of a hundred English men, and fifty Indians, to assist in the defence of the east-ern settlements, in the province of Maine and Massachusetts. On the 6th of March, another special assembly was convened, and the legislature granted a captain's company of sixty English men, and about forty Indians, under the command of captain William Whit-ing.

Major-general Fitz John Winthrop was chosen magistrate at the election, May nth, which was the only alteration made among the magistrates this year.

1Governor Fletcher's letter, on file.




The general court ordered a letter to be addressed to the gov-ernor of Massachusetts, once more desiring him and that colony amicably to join with Connecticut in running the partition line be-tween the two colonies. William Pitkin, Esq. Mr. Samuel Ches-ter, and captain William Whiting, were appointed a committee to run the line. They had instructions to begin, according to the ex-press words of the patent of Massachusetts, three miles south of every part of Charles river, and thence to run to the westernmost bounds of Symsbury.

Colonel Benjamin Fletcher, governor of New-York, who had arrived at the seat of his government, August 29th, 1692, had re-ceived a commission entirely inconsistent with the charter rights and safety of the colonies. He was vested with plenary powers of commanding the whole militia of Connecticut and the neighbor-ing provinces. He insisted on the command of the militia of Con-necticut. As this was expressly given to the colony, by charter, the legislature would not submit to his requisition. They, how-ever, judged it expedient to refer it to the freemen, whether they would address a petition to his majesty, praying for the continu-ance of the militia in the power of the colony, according to their charter, and for the continuance and preservation of all their char-tered rights and privileges. There were 2,180 persons, or suf-frages for addressing his majesty, and the freemen declared, that they would bear their proportionable charge with the rest of the colony, in prosecuting the affair to a final issue.

At a special assembly, September 1st, 1693, the court appointed a petition to be drafted, to be presented to his majesty, king Will-iam, on the subject. Major-general Fitz John Winthrop was ap-pointed agent to present the petition, and employ his best en-deavours for the confirmation of all the chartered privileges of the colony. He was desired, as soon as possible, to take his passage to England, and, upon his arrival there, to lay the business, as ex-peditiously as might be, before his majesty, and prosecute the af fair to an issue, with all convenient dispatch.

He was instructed to make a full representation of the great hardships, expense, and dangers of the inhabitants, in planting and defending the colony; and that these had been borne wholly by themselves, without any assistance from the parent country: That it would endanger and ruin the colony, if the militia should be taken from it, and commanded by strangers at the distance of New-York and Boston: That it would wholly incapacitate them to defend themselves, their wives, and children: That before they could obtain instructions, from such a distance, upon any sudden emergency, the colony might be depopulated and ruined: That a stranger, at a distance, might not agree with the governor and council in employing the militia for the defence of the property, lives, and liberties of the subjects; and that the life and support of




the laws, and the very existence of their civil constitution de-pended on the militia. He was also instructed further to represent the state of the militia of Connecticut, with respect to its differ-ence from that of the militia of England: That, from the scat-tered state and small number of the inhabitants, it had been neces-sary, that all males, from sixteen years of age, should belong to the militia, and be made soldiers, so that if the militia were taken from the colony, there would be none left but magistrates, ministers, physicians, aged and infirm people, to defend their extensive sea coasts and frontiers; and that giving the command of the militia to the governor of another colony, was, in effect, to put their per-sons, interests, and liberties entirely into his power. The agent was, also, directed to represent the entire satisfaction of the colony with the present government, and the great advantages resulting from it: That giving the command of the militia to the governor of another province, would exceedingly endanger, if not entirely destroy, that general contentment, and all the advantages thence arising to his majesty and his subjects: That out of three thousand freemen in the colony, two thousand and two hundred actually met, and gave their suffrages for the present address; and that the greatest part of the other eight hundred were for it, but were, by their particular occasions, prevented from attending at the respective meetings, when the suffrages were taken: That the inhabitants were universally for the revolution; and that, in the whole colony, there were not more than four or five malcontents. The agent was charged to assure his majesty, that the militia should be improved with the utmost prudence and faithfulness, for his majesty's service, in the defence of the frontiers of Massa-chusetts and New-York; and to lay before him what the colony had already done; especially for the province of New-York, in their late distressed condition: That for its defence, and the se-curing of the five nations, in his majesty's interest, they had ex-pended more than three thousand pounds, and lost a number of their men. Further, general Winthrop was directed, so far as might be judged expedient, to plead the rights granted in the charter, especially that of commanding the militia, and the com-mon usage, ever since the grant of the charter, for a long course of years.

Sir William Phipps, governor of Massachusetts, had, on his ap-pointment to that office, received a commission of the same tenor of governor Fletcher's. As the colony had not fully complied with his requisitions, it was expected that the agent would be interro-gated upon that head. He was instructed, in that case, to reply, that Sir William never came into the colony, nor acted upon his commission, any further, than to give a copy of it, and to inquire who were the officers of the militia: That the governor and com-pany had a prior commission, by charter, and that they could by




no means give it up, until the affair had been laid before his majesty.

The colony wished to serve his majesty's interest, and, as far as possible, consistently with their chartered rights, to maintain a good understanding with governor Fletcher. William Pitkin, Esq. was, therefore, sent to New-York, to treat and make terms with him respecting the militia, until his majesty's pleasure should be further known. But no terms could be made with him short of an explicit submission of the militia to his command.

On the 26th of October, he came to Hartford, while the assem-bly were sitting, and, in his majesty's name, demanded their sub-mission of the militia to his command, as they would answer it to his majesty; and that they would give him a speedy answer in one word, Yes, or No. He subscribed himself his majesty's lieutenant, and commander in chief of the militia, and of all the forces by sea or land, and of all the forts and places of strength in the colony of Connecticut.1 He ordered the militia of Hartford under arms, that he might beat up for volunteers. It was judged expedient to call the trainbands in Hartford together; but the assembly in-sisted, that the command of the militia was expressly vested, by charter, in the governor and company; and that they could, by no means, consistently with their just rights and the common safety, resign it into any other hands. They insinuated, that his demands were an invasion of their essential privileges, and subversive of their constitution.

Upon this, colonel Bayard, by his excellency's command, sent a letter into the assembly, declaring, that his excellency had no design upon the civil rights of the colony; but would leave them, in all respects, as he found them. In the name of his excellency, he tendered a commission to governor Treat, empowering him to command the militia of the colony. He declared, that his excel-lency insisted, that they should acknowledge it an essential right, inherent in his majesty, to command the militia; and that he was determined not to set his foot out of the colony until he had seen his majesty's commission obeyed: That he would issue his proc-lamation, showing the means he had taken to give ease and satis-faction to his majesty's subjects of Connecticut, and that he would distinguish the disloyal from the rest.2

The assembly, nevertheless, would not give up the command of the militia; nor would governor Treat receive a commission from colonel Fletcher.

The trainbands of Hartford assembled, and, as the tradition is, while captain Wadsworth, the senior officer, was walking in front of the companies, and exercising the soldiers, colonel Fletcher ordered his commission and instructions to be read. Captain Wadsworth instantly commanded, "Beat the drums;" and there

1Governor Fletcher's letter, on file.

2Colonel Bayard's letter on file.




was such a roaring of them that nothing else could be heard. Colonel Fletcher commanded silence. But no sooner had Bayard made an attempt to read again, than Wadsworth commands, "Drum, drum, I say." The drummers understood their business, and instantly beat up with all the art and life of which they were masters. "Silence, silence," says the colonel. No sooner was there a pause, than Wadsworth speaks with great earnestness; "Drum, drum, I say;" and turning to his excellency, said, "If I am interrupted again I will make the sun shine through you in a moment." He spoke with such energy in his voice and mean-ing in his countenance, that no further attempts were made to read or enlist men. Such numbers of people collected together, and their spirits appeared so high, that the governor and his suit judged it expedient, soon to leave the town and return to New-York.

The assembly granted 500 pounds, to support major general Winthrop in his agency at the court of Great-Britain.

On the 7th of February, 1694, a special assembly was called, in consequence of a letter from king William relative to the for-tifying of Albany. In compliance with his majesty's requisition, the assembly granted 600 pounds, to be paid into the hands of colonel Fletcher, for the defence of Albany. A rate of one penny on the pound was levied to raise the money.1

For the defence of the plantations in New-York, and the towns upon the river, in the county of Hampshire, the assembly ordered, that the commissioned officers, who were the nearest to the places, which should, at any time, be attacked, should dispatch immediate succours to them. Provision was also made that the several de-tachments of the militia should be furnished with all articles neces-sary for their marching, in any emergency, upon the shortest notice.

Major general Winthrop made a safe arrival in England, and presented the petition, with which he had been entrusted, to his majesty. A statement of the case of Connecticut was drawn and laid before the king. In this, besides the facts stated in the in-structions of Mr. Winthrop, it was alleged, that in the charter, granted by king Charles, the command of the militia was, in the most express and ample manner, given to the colony; and that the governor had always commanded it for the common safety: That in the charter there was a clause for the most beneficial construc-tion of it for the corporation; and another of non obstante to all statutes repugnant to said grant. It was stated, that whoever commanded the persons in a colony would also command their purse, and be the governor of the colony: That there was such a connection between the civil authority and the command of the

1The ratable polls in the colony were, at this time, about 2,347, and the grand list 137,646.




militia, that one could not subsist without the other: That it was designed to govern the colonies, in America, as nearly as might be, in conformity to the laws of England. And that the king and his lieutenants could not draw out all the militia of a county; but a certain part only, in proportion to its numbers and wealth. It was therefore pleaded, that governor Fletcher's commission ought to be construed with the same restriction: That were not the command of the king and his lieutenants restricted, by acts of parliament, the subjects could not be free; and that, for the same reason, governor Fletcher's command ought to be restrained, by the laws of Connecticut, so far as they were not repugnant to the laws of England. It was further stated, that it was impossible for governor Fletcher so well to judge of the dispositions and abilities of each town and division in Connecticut, or be so much master of the affections of the people, in time of need, as those who dwelt among them and had been chosen to command them; and therefore he could not be so well qualified for the local and ordinary command of the militia; nor serve the interests of his majesty, or the colony, in that respect, so satisfactorily and effect-ually as its own officers.1

His majesty's attorney and solicitor general, gave their opinion in favor of Connecticut's commanding the militia; and on the I9th of April, 1694, his majesty in council determined according to the report which they had made.2 The quota of Connecticut, during the war, was fixed at one hundred and twenty men, to be at the command of governor Fletcher, and the rest of the militia to be commanded, as had been usual, by the governor of Con-necticut.

Upon the solicitations of governor Fletcher and Sir William Phipps, agents and a number of troops were sent to attend a treaty with the Five Nations. The expense of it to the colony was about 400 pounds.

A committee was appointed again, in the May session, to run the partition line between Connecticut and Massachusetts. Mas-sachusetts was invited to join with them, but as the court refused, the committee of Connecticut, by the direction of the assembly, ran the line without them. In October, 1695, the general assem-bly renewed their application to the general court of Massachu-setts, intreating them to unite amicably in running the boundary line, or to agree to it, as it had been run by Connecticut. They acquainted them how it ran, what encroachments they had made upon the colony, and how they injured it, by declining a mutual and friendly settlement of the line. However they insisted upon the old line, run by Woodward and Saffery, and would take no measures to accommodate the difference.

At the court of election, May, 1696, Eleazar Kimberly was

1Statement on file.

2Appendix No. XXIV.




chosen secretary. Upon the requisition of governor Fletcher, a company of sixty men were ordered to Albany, under the com-mand of captain William Whiting. Forty dragoons were also forwarded to the county of Hampshire, for the security of the inhabitants in that part of Massachusetts.

About this time, the town of Danbury was incorporated. The whole number of families was twenty four.

At the general court, May 13, 1697, colonel Hutchinson and captain Byfield were sent from Boston, to solicit the raising of such a number of troops as should enable Massachusetts to at-tack the eastern enemy, at their head quarters. The legislature judged themselves unable to furnish such a number, as would be necessary for that purpose, in addition to the troops they must raise for the defence of their own frontiers, of New-York, and the county of Hampshire. The court agreed to furnish a party of about sixty Englishmen and forty Indians, to range the woods, near the walk of the enemy, and to defend the frontiers of the county of Hampshire.

At a general assembly, January 22d, 1698, an alteration was made in the constitution of the county court. It was enacted, that it should consist of one chief judge and four justices of the quorum, in each county, appointed by the assembly.

Major-general Fitz John Winthrop, having returned from his successful agency at the court of Great-Britain, was received with great joy, by the legislature and the people in general. The as-sembly presented him with their thanks for the good services he had rendered to the government; and as a further testimonial of the high sense which they entertained of his merit, fidelity, and labours for the public, they voted him a gratuity of three hundred pounds.

On the 18th of June, 1697, Richard, earl of Bellomont, received his commission to be governor of New-York and Massachusetts; and was, at this time, every day expected at New-York. The general court of Connecticut were desirous of honouring his maj-esty, by an exhibition of all proper respect and complaisance to his governor; and, at the same time, they wished to conciliate the good graces of so important a character. They, therefore, appointed general Winthrop, major Jonathan Sillick, and the Rev. Gurdon Saltonstall, upon the first notice of his arrival at New-York, to wait upon him, and, in the name of the general assembly of Connecticut, to congratulate his excellency upon his safe arrival at the seat of government. The earl arrived at New-York the 2d of April, 1698. The committee appointed to wait on him, were gentlemen of a good appearance and elegant man-ners ; and they presented their congratulations with such dignity and address, as not only did honour to themselves and the colony, but highly pleased his excellency. Mr. Saltonstall was particu-




larly noticed by the earl, as appearing the most like a nobleman of any person he had ever seen before in America.

Notwithstanding the determination of lieutenant-governor Cranfield, and his majesty's commissioners, and the report to his majesty concerning the right of Connecticut to the Narraganset country, the controversy between Connecticut and Rhode-Island still continued. It was not the king's pleasure to confirm the judgment and report of his commissioners. The Rhode-Island-ers, though they had violated every article of the agreement be-tween Mr. Winthrop and Mr. Clark, yet were ready to plead it against Connecticut, whenever it would suit their turn. A letter from the lords of trade and plantations was laid before the as-sembly, advising Connecticut to a settlement of boundaries with that colony. Upon this recommendation, the general court ap-pointed major James Fitch, captain Daniel Witherell, and the Rev. James Noyes, commissioners to treat with Rhode-Island, and, by all means in their power, to attempt an amicable settle-ment.

The peace of Riswick, September 11th, 1697, once more deliv-ered Great-Britain and her colonies from the calamities of war. The Americans rejoiced at the return of peace. Connecticut had been happy in the preservation of her frontiers, in the loss of few men, and in the effectual aid which she had given to her sister colonies. Nevertheless, the war had been very expensive, and exceedingly vexatious. The whole amount of taxes, during the war, was about twenty pence on the pound. By the close of the year 1695, the colony had expended 7,000l. in the defence of Al-bany, and the frontiers of the county of Hampshire, in Massachu-setts; exclusive of the expedition against Canada, under major-general Winthrop. This cost the colony more than 3,000l. The expense of the troops sent to the eastward, to the defence of that part of New-England, is also excluded. It is probable that the remaining years of the war cost about 2,000l. The whole expense of the war probably considerably exceeded 12,000l.1

The expense of Mr. Winthrop's agency, and the trouble re-specting the militia, were very considerable.

Governor Fletcher made the colony much unnecessary trouble and expense. Upon almost every rumour of danger, he would send on his expresses to Connecticut; and the governor and coun-cil, and sometimes the assembly, were obliged to meet, and dis-patch troops to one place and another. Often, by the time they had marched, orders would come to recall them. By the time they were returned, some new and groundless alarm would be made, and pressing orders sent on for them forthwith to march again. In this manner, he almost wore out the governor and

1The accounts, to the close of the year '95, are particularly stated. After that time, they do not appear to be ascertained.




Council with meetings, and beyond measure harassed the militia, and occasioned great trouble, and expense of time and money, both to the soldiers and officers. The whole colony was so troubled with his vexatious management, that the governor wrote to Mr. Winthrop, while he was in England, desiring him to repre-sent his conduct to his majesty, and pray for relief.

But the clouds were now dissipated. The successful agency of general Winthrop, his safe return to the arms of his country, the blessings of peace, and the appointment and arrival of the earl of Bellomont to the government of the neighbouring provinces, united their influence to diffuse universal joy. The legislature appointed a day of public thanksgiving, and the people, with glad hearts and voices, celebrated the beneficence and glories of their common benefactor.