THOUGH the war with the Pequots was now happily termi-nated, yet the effects of it were severely felt by the inhabitants. The consequences were, scarcity and a debt, which, in the low state of the colony, it was exceedingly difficult to pay. Almost every article of food or clothing was purchased at the dearest rate: and the planters had not yet reaped any considerable advantage from their farms. Such a proportion of their labourers had been employed in the war, and the country was so uncultivated, that all the provision which had been raised, or imported, was in no meas-ure proportionate to the wants of the people. The winter was un-commonly severe, which increased the distress of the colony.1 The court at Connecticut foreseeing that the people would be in great want of bread, contracted with Mr. Pyncheon for five hun-dred bushels of Indian corn, which he was to purchase of the Ind-ians, and a greater quantity, if it could be obtained. The inhabi-tants were prohibited to bargain for it privately, and limited to certain prices, lest it should raise the price, while he was making the purchase. A committee was also appointed by the court, to send a vessel to Narraganset, to buy of the natives in that quarter.2 But notwithstanding every precaution which was taken, the scarc-ity became such, that corn rose to the extraordinary price of twelve shillings by the bushel.3 In this distressful situation a committee was sent to an Indian settlement called Pocomtock, since Deerfield, where they purchased such quantities, that the Indians came down to Windsor and Hartford, with fifty canoes at one time, laden with Indian corn.4 The good people considered this as a great deliverance. Those, who, in England, had fed on the finest of the wheat, in the beginning of affairs in Connect-icut, were thankful for such coarse fare as Indian bread, for them-selves and children.

In this low state of the colony, the court found it necessary to

1The snow lay from the 4th of November until the 23d of March. It was, at sometimes, three and four feet deep. Once in the winter it snowed for two hours together, flakes as big as English shillings. Winthrop's Journal, p. 154.

2Records of Connecticut.

3Mason's history. Twelve shillings sterling at that time, was doubtless equal to eighteen or twenty shillings lawful money.

4Mason's History.




order the towns immediately to furnish themselves with magazines of powder, lead and shot, and every man to be completely armed, and furnished with ammunition. The court were also obliged to impose a tax of 550 pounds, to be collected immediately, to defray the expenses of the war. This appears to have been the first pub-lic tax in Connecticut. Agawam, since named Springfield, though it sent no men to the war, yet bore its proportion of the expense.1 The first secretary and treasurer appears to have been Mr. Clem-ent Chaplin. He was authorised to issue his warrants for gather-ing the tax which had been imposed.

Captain John Mason was appointed major-general of the mi-litia of Connecticut. The reverend Mr. Hooker was desired to de-liver him the military staff. This he doubtless performed with that propriety and dignity which was peculiar to himself, and best adapted to the occasion. The general was directed to call out the militia of each town, ten times in a year, to instruct them in mili-tary discipline. He received out of the public treasury 40 pounds annually, for his services.

As it was of the highest importance to the colony to cultivate peace, and a good understanding with the Indians, laws were enacted to prevent all persons from offering them the least private insult or abuse.

While the planters of Connecticut were thus exerting them-selves in prosecuting and regulating the affairs of that colony, an-other was projected and settled at Quinnipiack,2 afterwards called New-Haven. On the 26th of July,3 1637, Mr. John Davenport, Mr. Samuel Eaton, Theophilus Eaton and Edward Hopkins, Esquires, Mr. Thomas Gregson, and many others of good char-acters and fortunes, arrived at Boston. Mr. Davenport had been a famous minister in the city of London, and was a distinguished character for piety, learning, and good conduct. Many of his congregation, on account of the esteem which they had for his person and ministry, followed him into New-England. Mr. Eaton and Mr. Hopkins had been merchants in London, possessed great estates, and were men of eminence for their abilities and integrity. The fame of Mr. Davenport, the reputation and good estates of the principal gentlemen of this company, made the people of the Massachusetts exceedingly desirous of their settlement in that commonwealth. Great pains were taken, not only by particular persons and towns, but by the general court, to fix them in the colony. Charlestown made them large offers; and Newbury pro-posed to give up the whole town to them. The general court of-

1The tax was laid on the towns in the proportions following: Agawam, 86 pounds : 16 : 0. Windsor, 158 pounds : 2 : 0. Hartford, 251 pounds : 2 : 0. And Weathersfield, 124 pounds : 0 : 0.

2This is sometimes spelt Quillipiack, and Qinnepioke.

3Should be June. Savage's Winthrop, 1 : 254.-J. T.




fered them any place which they should choose.1 But they were determined to plant a distinct colony. By the pursuit of the Pe-quots to the westward, the English became acquainted with that fine tract along the shore, from Saybrook to Fairfield, and with its several harbours. It was represented as fruitful, and happily sit-uated for navigation and commerce. The company therefore pro-jected a settlement in that part of the country.

In the fall of 1637, Mr. Eaton, and others, who were of the com-pany, made a journey to Connecticut, to explore the lands and harbours on the sea coast. They pitched upon Quinnipiack for the place of their settlement. They erected a poor hut, in which a few men subsisted through the winter.

On the 30th of March, 1638, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Prudden, Mr. Samuel Eaton, and Theophilus Eaton, Esquire, with the people of their company, sailed from Boston for Quinnipiack. In about a fortnight they arrived at their desired port. On the 18th of April, they kept their first sabbath in the place.2 The people as-sembled under a large spreading oak, and Mr. Davenport preached to them from Matthew vi. I. He insisted on the temp-tations of the wilderness, made such observations, and gave such directions and exhortations as were pertinent to the then present state of his hearers. He left this remark, That he enjoyed a good day.

One of the principal reasons which these colonists assigned for their removing from Massachusetts, was, that they should be more out of the way and trouble of a general governor of New-Eng-land, who, at this time, was an object of great fear in all the planta-tions. What foundation there was for the hope of exemption from the control of a general governor, by this removal, had one been sent, does not appear. It is probable, that the motive which had the greatest influence with the principal men, was the desire of being at the head of a new government, modelled, both in civil and religious matters, agreeably to their own apprehensions. It had been an observation of Mr. Davenport's, That whenever a reformation had been effected in the church, in any part of the world, it had rested where it had been left by the reformers. It could not be advanced another step. He was now embarked in a design of forming a civil and religious constitution, as near as possible to scripture precept and example. The principal gentle-men, who had followed him into America, had the same views. In laying the foundations of a new colony, there was a fair proba-bility, that they might accommodate all matters of church and commonwealth to their own feelings and sentiments. But in the

1Winthrop's Journal, p. 151.

2This is impossible, as the 18th of April, 1638, was Wednesday. Kingsley, in his historical discourse, p. 78, suggests that the 18th was mistakenly substituted for the I5th, which was Sunday.-J. T.




Massachusetts, the principal men were fixed in the chief seats of government, which they were likely to keep, and their civil and religious polity was already formed. Besides, the antinomian con-troversy and sentiments, which had taken such root at Boston, were exceedingly disagreeable to Mr. Davenport, and the princi-pal gentlemen of his company. He had taken a decided, though prudent part, against them. He, with his leading men, might judge, that the people who came with them would be much more out of danger of the corruption, and that they should be more entirely free from the trouble of those sentiments, in a new planta-tion, than in the Massachusetts. These might all unite their in-fluence with Mr. Davenport and others, to determine them to re-move and begin a new colony.

Soon after they arrived at Quinnipiack, in the close of a day of fasting and prayer, they entered into what they termed a planta-tion covenant. In this they solemnly bound themselves, "That, as in matters that concern the gathering and ordering of a church, so also in all public offices, which concern civil order, as choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing laws, dividing al-lotments of inheritance, and all things of like nature, they would, all of them, be ordered by the rules which the scripture held forth to them." This was adopted as a general agreement, until there should be time for the people to become more intimately ac-quainted with each other's religious views, sentiments, and moral conduct; which was supposed to be necessary to prepare the way for their covenanting together, as Christians, in church state.

The aspects of Providence on the country, about this time, were very gloomy, and especially unfavourable to new plantations. The spring, after, a long and severe winter, was unusually back-ward. Scarcely any thing grew, for several weeks. The planting season was so cold that the corn rotted in the ground, and the peo-ple were obliged to replant two or three times.1 This distressed man and beast, arid retarded all the affairs of the plantations. It rendered the gloom and horrors of the wilderness still more hor-rible. The colonists had terrible apprehensions of scarcity and famine. But at length the warm season came on, and vegetation exceeded all their expectations.

On the 1st of June, between the hours of three and four in the afternoon, there was a great and memorable earthquake through-out New-England. It came with a report like continued thunder, or the rattling of numerous coaches upon a paved street. The shock was so great that, in many places, the tops of the chimneys were thrown down, and the pewter fell from the shelves. It shook the waters and ships in the harbours, and all the adjacent islands. The duration of the sound and tremor was about four minutes. The earth, at turns, was unquiet for nearly twenty days. The

1Winthrop's Journal, p. 155. Ibid. See also Morton and Autchinson.b




weather was clear, the wind westerly, and the course of the earth-quake from west to east.

The planters at Quinnipiack determined to make an extensive settlement; and, if possible, to maintain perpetual peace and friendship with the Indians. They, therefore, paid an early atten-tion to the making of such purchases and amicable treaties, as might most effectually answer their designs.

On the 24th of November, 1638, Theophilus Eaton, Esq. Mr. Davenport, and other English planters, entered into an agreement with Momauguin, sachem of that part of the country, and his counsellors, respecting the lands. The articles of agreement are to this effect:

That Momauguin is the sole sachem of Quinnipiack, and had an absolute power to aliene and dispose of the same: That, in conse-quence of the protection which he had tasted, by the English, from the Pequots and Mohawks,1 he yielded up all his right, title, and interest to all the land, rivers, ponds, and trees, with all the liber-ties and appurtenances belonging to the same, unto Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, and others, their heirs and assigns, for ever. He covenanted, that neither he, nor his Indians, would ter-rify, nor disturb the English, nor injure them in any of their in-terests ; but that, in every respect, they would keep true faith with them.

The English covenanted to protect Momauguin and his Ind-ians, when unreasonably assaulted and terrified by other Indians; and that they should always have a sufficient quantity of land to plant on, upon the east side of the harbour,2 between that and Saybrook fort. They also covenanted, that by way of free and thankful retribution, they gave unto the said sachem, and his council and company, twelve coats of English cloth, twelve al-chymy spoons, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen of knives, twelve porringers, and four cases of French knives and scissors.3

This agreement was signed and legally executed, by Momau-guin and his council on the one part, and Theophilus Eaton and John Davenport on the other. Thomas Stanton, who was the in-terpreter, declared in the presence of God, that he had faithfully acquainted the Indians with the said articles, and returned their answers.

In December following, they made another purchase of a large tract, which lay principally north of the former. This was of Mon-towese, son of the great sachem at Mattabeseck. This tract was ten miles in length, north and south, and thirteen miles in breadth.

1The Indians of Quinnipiack, in this treaty, declared, that they still remem­bered the heavy taxes of the Pequots and Mohawks; and that, by reason of their fear of them, they could not stay in their own country, but had been obliged to flee. By these powerful enemies, they had been reduced to about forty men.

2This was in the present town of East-Haven.

3Records of New-Haven.




It extended eight miles east of the river Quinnipiack, and five miles west of it towards Hudson's river. It included all the lands within the ancient limits of the old towns of New-Haven, Bran-ford, and Wallingford, and almost the whole contained in the present limits of those towns, and of the towns of East-Haven, Woodbridge, Cheshire, Hamden, and North-Haven.1 These have since been made out of the three old towns.

The New-Haven adventurers were the most opulent company which came into New-England, and they designed to plant a capi-tal colony. They laid out their town plat in squares, designing it for a great and elegant city. In the centre was a large, beautiful square. This was encompassed with others, making nine in the whole.

The first principal settlers were Theophilus Eaton, Esq. Mr. Davenport, Mr. Samuel Eaton, Mr. Thomas Gregson, Mr. Robert Newman, Mr. Matthew Gilbert, Mr. Nathaniel Turner, Mr. Thomas Fugill, Mr. Francis Newman, Mr. Stephen Goodyear, and Mr. Joshua Atwater.

Mr. Eaton had been deputy-governor of the East India com-pany, and was three years himself in the East Indies. He served the company so well, that he received from them presents of great value. He had been on an embassy from the court of England to the king of Denmark. He was a London merchant, who had, for many years, traded to the East Indies, had obtained a great estate, and brought over a large sum of money into New-England.2 Others were merchants of fair estates, and they designed to have been a great trading city.

There appears no act of civil, military, or ecclesiastical author-ity, during the first year; nor is there any appearance, that this colony was ever straitened for bread, as the other colonies had been.

Mr. Prudden, and his company, who came with Mr. Davenport, continued the first summer at Quinnipiack, and were making preparations for the settlement of another township.

When Mr. Davenport removed to Quinnipiack, Mr. Hopkins came to Hartford, and soon after incorporated with the settlers of Connecticut.

The inhabitants of the three towns upon Connecticut river, finding themselves without the limits of the Massachusetts patent, conceived the plan of forming themselves, by voluntary compact, into a distinct commonwealth.

1For this last tract of ten miles north and south, and thirteen east and west, the English gave thirteen coats, and allowed the Indians ground to plant, and lib­erty to hunt within the lands. Records of New-Haven.

2The tradition is, that he brought to New-Haven a very great estate, in plate and money. The East India company made his wife a present of a bason and ewer, double gilt, curiously wrought with gold, weighing more than sixty pounds.




On the 14th of January, 1639,1 all the free planters convened at Hartford, and, on mature deliberation, adopted a constitution of government. They introduce their constitution, with a declara-tion to this effect, That for the establishment of order and govern-ment, they associated, and conjoined themselves to be one public state or commonwealth; and did, for themselves and successors, and such as should be, at any time, joined to them, confederate together, to maintain the liberty and purity of the gospel, which they professed, and the discipline of tke churches, according to its institution; and in all civil affairs, to be governed according to such laws, as should be made agreeably to the constitution, which they were then about to adopt.

The constitution, which then follows, ordains, That there shall be, annually, two general courts, or assemblies; one on the second Thursday in April, and the other on the second Thursday in Sep-tember: That the first, shall be the court of election, in which shall be annually chosen, at least, six magistrates, and all other public officers. It ordains, that a governor should be chosen, dis-tinct from the six magistrates, for one year, and until another should be chosen and sworn: and that the governor and magis-trates should be sworn to a faithful execution of the laws of the colony, and in cases in which there was no express law established, to be governed by the divine word. Agreeably to the constitu-tion, the choice of these officers was to be made by the whole body of the freemen, convened in general election. It provided, that all persons, who had been received as members of the several towns, by a majority of the inhabitants, and had taken the oath of fidel-ity to the commonwealth, should be admitted freemen of the col-ony. It required, that the governor and magistrates should be elected by ballot; the governor by the greatest number of votes, and the magistrates by a majority. However, it provided, that if it should so happen, at any time, that six should not have a major-ity, that in such case, those who had the greatest number of suf-frages, should stand as duly elected for that year. No person might be governor, unless he were a member of some regular church, and had previously been a magistrate in the colony. Nor could any man be elected to the office, more than once in two years. No one could be chosen into the magistracy who was not a freeman of the colony, and had been nominated, either by the freemen, or the general court. The assembly were authorised to nominate, in cases in which they judged it expedient. Neither the governor, nor magistrates, might execute any part of their office until they had been publicly sworn, in the face of the Gen-eral Assembly.

1This stands on the records of the colony, January I4th, 1638, which is owing to the manner of dating at that time. The first settlers of the colony, began their year on the 25th of March ; and until this time, they dated 1638 ; but it was most evidently 1639, as the December preceding, was 1638, and the April following, 1639




The constitution also ordained, that the several towns should send their respective deputies to the election: and that when it was finished, they should proceed to do any public service, as at any other courts: and, that the assembly, in September, should be for the enacting of laws, and other public services. It authorised the governor, either by himself or his secretary, to issue his war-rants for calling the assemblies, one month at least, before the time of their appointed meetings. Upon particular emergencies, he might convene them in seventeen days, or even upon shorter notice, stating the reasons in his warrant. Upon the reception of the governor's warrants, in April and September, the constables of the respective towns were obliged to warn all the freemen to elect and send their deputies.

The constitution ordained, that the three towns of Windsor, Hartford and Weathersfield, should each of them send four dep-uties to every general court; and, that the other towns, which should be added to the colony in future, should send such a num-ber as the court should determine, proportionate to the body of their freemen. The constitution declared the deputies to be vested with the whole power of the respective towns which they repre-sented. It authorised them to meet separately, and determine their own elections, to fine any person who should obtrude himself upon them, when he had not been duly chosen, and to fine any of their members for disorderly conduct, when they were assembled.

Further, the constitution provided, that in case the governor and the major part of the magistrates should, upon any urgent occasion, neglect or refuse to call an assembly, the freemen should petition them to summon one; and, if, upon the petition of a ma-jor part of the freemen in the colony, they still refused or neg-lected, then the constables of the several towns should, upon the petition of the major part of the freemen, convoke an assembly. It also ordained, that when this assembly was convened, it should have power of choosing a moderator; and when it was thus formed, should exercise all the powers of any other general as­sembly. Particularly it was authorised to call any court, magis-trate, or any other person before it, and to displace, or inflict penalties according to the nature of the offence.

All general assemblies, called by the governor, were to consist of the governor, four magistrates, and the major part of the depu-ties. When there was an equal vote, the governor had a casting voice. The constitution also provided, that no general court should be adjourned or dissolved, without the consent of a major part of the members: and that, whenever a tax was laid upon the inhabitants, the sum to be paid by each town should be deter-mined by a comittee, consisting of an equal number from each of the respective towns.

The form of oaths to be administered to the governor and mag-




istrates was also adopted in the general convention of the free planters. This, for substance, was the original constitution of Connecticut.1

With such wisdom did our venerable ancestors provide for the freedom and liberties of themselves and their posterity. Thus happily did they guard against every encroachment on the rights of the subject. This, probably, is one of the most free and happy constitutions of civil government which has ever been formed. The formation of it, at so early a period, when the light of liberty was wholly darkened in most parts of the earth, and the rights of men were so little understood in others, does great honor to their ability, integrity, and love to mankind. To posterity indeed, it exhibited a most benevolent regard. It has continued, with little alteration, to the present time. The happy consequences of it, which, for more than a century and half, the people of Connecti-cut have experienced, are without description.2

Agreeably to the constitution, the freemen convened at Hart-ford, on the second Thursday in April, and elected their officers for the year ensuing.

John Haynes, Esq. was chosen governor, and Roger Ludlow, George Wyllys, Edward Hopkins, Thomas Wells, John Webster and William Phelps, Esquires, were chosen magistrates. Mr. Ludlow, the first of the six magistrates, was deputy governor. Mr. Hopkins was chosen secretary, and Mr. Wells treasurer.

The deputies sent to this first general assembly, in Connect-icut, were Mr. John Steele, Mr. Spencer, Mr. John Pratt, Mr. Edward Stebbins, Mr. Gaylord, Mr. Henry Wolcott, Mr. Stough-ton, Mr. Eord, Mr. Thurston Rayner, Mr. James Boosy, Mr. George Hubbard, and Mr. Richard Crab.

The general assembly proceded as they had leisure, and as oc-casion required, to enact a system of laws. The laws at first were few, and time was taken to consider and digest them. The first statute in the Connecticut code is a kind of declaration, or bill of rights. It ordains, that no man's life shall be taken away; no man's honor or good name be stained, no man's person shall be arrested, restrained, banished, dismembered, nor any wise pun-ished: That no man shall be deprived of his wife or children; no man's goods or estate shall be taken away from him, nor any wise endamaged, under colour of law, or countenance of authority, un-less it should be by the virtue of some express law of the colony

1Appendix, No. III.

2For the influence of Thomas Hooker in establishing the fundamental prin-ciples of this constitution, see Walker's Thomas Hooker, pp. 122-128, also John-ston's Connecticut, p. 71, in both of which it is shown that Hooker, not only in his letter to Winthrop, but more particularly in a sermon preached at an adjourned ses-sion of the General Court of April, 1638, laid down the principles which govern this constitution. The notes of this sermon were discovered and deciphered by the late J. Hammond Trumbull, and first published in the Collections of the Conn. His-torical Society, p. 19.-J. T.




warranting the same, established by the general court, and suffi-ciently published; or in case of the defect of such law, in any par-ticular case, by some clear and plain rule of the word of God, in which the whole court shall concur.1 It was also ordained that all persons in the colony, whether inhabitants or not, should enjoy the same law and justice without partiality or delay. These gen-eral precepts bore the same aspect, and breathed the same spirit of liberty and safety, with respect to the subjects universally, which is exhibited in the constitution.

The planters of Quinnipiack continued more than a year with-out any civil or religious constitution, or compact, further than had been expressed in their plantation covenant.

Meanwhile, Mr. Henry Whitfield, William Leet, Esq. Samuel Desborough, Robert Kitchel, William Chittenden and others, who were part of Dr. Davenport's and Mr. Eaton's company, ar-rived to assist them in their new settlement. These were princi-pally from Kent and Surrey, in the vicinity of London. Mr. Whitfield's people, like Mr. Davenport's, followed him into New-England. There were now three ministers, with many of the members of their former churches and congregations, collected in this infant colony, and combined in the same general agreement.

On the 4th of June, all the free planters at Quinnipiack con-vened in a large barn of Mr. Newman's, and, in a very formal and solemn manner, proceeded to lay the foundations of their civil and religious polity.

Mr. Davenport introduced the business, by a sermon from the words of the royal preacher, "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars." His design was to show, that the church, the house of God, should be formed of seven pil-lars, or principal brethren, to whom all the other members of the church should be added. After a solemn invocation of the Divine Majesty, he proceeded to represent to the planters, that they were met to consult respecting the settlement of civil government ac-cording to the will of God, and for the nomination of persons, who, by universal consent, were, in all respects the best qualified for the foundation work of a church. He enlarged on the great importance of the transactions before them, and desired, that no man would give his voice, in any matter, until he fully understood it; and, that all would act, without respect to any man, but give their vote in the fear of God. He then proposed a number of questions in consequence of which the following resolutions were passed.

I. "That the scriptures hold forth a perfect rule for the direc-tion and government of all men in all duties which they are to perform to God and men, as well in families and commonwealth, as in matters of the church."

1Old code of Connecticut.




II. "That as in matters which concerned the gathering and or-dering of a church, so likewise in all public offices which concern civil order, as the choice of magistrates and officers, making and repealing laws, dividing allotments of inheritance, and all things of like nature, they would all be governed by those rules, which the scripture held forth to them."

III. "That all those who had desired to be received as free planters, had settled in the plantation, with a purpose, resolution and desire, that they might be admitted into church fellowship ac-cording to Christ."

IV. "That all the free planters held themselves bound to estab-lish such civil order as might best conduce to the securing of the purity and peace of the ordinance to themselves and their poster-ity according to God."

When these resolutions had been passed and the people had bound themselves to settle civil government according to the di-vine word, Mr. Davenport proceeded to represent unto them what men they must choose for civil rulers according to the divine word, and that they might most effectually secure to them and their posterity a just, free and peaceable government. Time was then given to discuss and deliberate upon what he had proposed. After full discussion and deliberation it was determined-

V. "That church members only should be free burgesses; and that they only should choose magistrates among themselves, to have power of transacting all the public civil affairs of the planta-tion: Of making and repealing laws, dividing inheritances, de-ciding of differences that may arise, and doing all things and businesses of like nature."

That civil officers might be chosen and government proceed according to these resolutions, it was necessary that a church should be formed. Without this there could be neither freemen nor magistrates. Mr. Davenport therefore proceeded to make proposals relative to the formation of it, in such a manner, that no blemish might be left on the "beginnings of church work." It was then resolved to this effect,

VI. "That twelve men should be chosen, that their fitness for the foundation work might be tried, and that it should be in the power of those twelve men, to choose seven to begin the church."

It was agreed that if seven men could not be found among the twelve qualified for the foundation work, that such other persons should be taken into the number, upon trial,1 as should be judged most suitable.2 The form of a solemn charge, or oath, was drawn up and agreed upon at this meeting to be given to all the freemen.

1Appendix No. IV.

2The twelve persons chosen for trial, out of whom the seven pillars of the house were chosen, were Theophilus Eaton, John Davenport, Robert Newman, Matthew Gilbert, Richard Malbon, Nathaniel Turner, Ezekiel Chevers, Thomas Fugill, John Punderson, William Andrews and Jeremiah Dixon.




Further, it was ordered, that all persons, who should be re-ceived as free planters of that corporation, should submit to the fundamental agreement above related, and in testimony of their submission should subscribe their names among the freemen.1 After a proper term of trial, Theophilus Eaton, Esq. Mr. John Davenport, Robert Newman, Matthew Gilbert, Thomas Fugill, John Punderson and Jeremiah Dixon, were chosen for the seven pillars of the church.

October 25th, 1639, the court, as it is termed, consisting of these seven persons only, convened, and after a solemn address to the Supreme Majesty, they proceeded to form the body of freemen and to elect their civil officers. The manner was indeed singular and curious.

In the first place, all former trust, for managing the public af-fairs of the plantation, was declared to cease, and be utterly abro-gated. Then all those who had been admitted to the church after the gathering of it, in the choice of the seven pillars, and all the members of other approved churches, who desired it, and offered themselves, were admitted members of the court. A solemn charge was then publicly given them, to the same effect as the freemen's charge, or oath, which they had previously adopted. The purport of this was nearly the same with the oath of fidelity, and with the freemen's administered at the present time. Mr. Davenport expounded several scriptures to them, describing the character of civil magistrates given in the sacred oracles. To this succeeded the election of officers. Theophilus Eaton, Esq. was chosen governor, Mr. Robert Newman, Mr. Matthew Gilbert, Mr. Nathaniel Turner, and Mr. Thomas Fugill, were chosen magis-trates. Mr. Fugill was also chosen secretary, and Robert Seely, marshal.

Mr. Davenport gave governor Eaton a charge in open court, from Deut. i. 16, 17. "And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge right-eously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment, but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it."

It was decreed, by the freemen, that there should be a general court annually, in the plantation, on the last week in October. This was ordained a court of election in which all the officers of the colony were to be chosen. This court determined, that the word of God should be the only rule for ordering the affairs of government in that commonwealth.

This was the original, fundamental constitution of the govern-

1Sixty-three subscribed on the 4th day of June, and there were added soon after about fifty other names.




ment of New-Haven. All government was originally in the church, and the members of the church elected the governor, magistrates, and all other officers. The magistrates, at first, were no more than assistants of the governor, they might not act in any sentence or determination of the court.1 No deputy gov-ernor was chosen, nor were any laws enacted except the general resolutions which have been noticed; but as the plantation en-larged, and new towns were settled, new orders were given; the general court received a new form, laws were enacted, and the civil polity of this jurisdiction gradually advanced, in its essential parts, to a near resemblance of the government of Connecticut.

While these affairs were transacted at Quinnipiack, plantations commenced at Wopowage and Menunkatuck. Wopowage was purchased February 12th, 1639,2 and Menunkatuck the Septem-ber following. Both were settled this year. The churches of Mr. Prudden and Mr. Whitfield were both formed upon the plan of Mr. Davenport's; each consisting of seven principal men, or pil-lars. They appear to have been gathered at the same time. The planters were in the original agreement made in Mr. Newman's barn, on the 4th of June. The principal men, or pillars in the town of Wopowage, were Mr. Peter Prudden, William Fowler, Edmund Tapp, Zechariah Whitman, Thomas Buckingham, Thomas Welch, and John Astwood. The principal planters of Menunkatuck, were Henry Whitfield, Robert Kitchel, William Leet, Samuel Desborough, William Chittenden, John Bishop, and John Caffinge. The lands in Milford and Guilford, as well as in New-Haven, were purchased by these principal men, in trust, for all the inhabitants of the respective towns. Every planter, after paying his proportionable part of the expenses, arising from laying out and settling the plantation, drew a lot or lots of land, in proportion to the money or estate which he had expended in the general purchase, and to the number of heads in his family. These principal men were judges in the respective towns, com-posing a court, to judge between man and man, divide inheri-tances and punish offences according to the written word, until a body of laws should be established.

Most of the principal settlers of Milford were from Weathers-field.3 They first purchased of the Indians all that tract which lies between New-Haven and Stratford river, and between the sound on the south, and a stream called two mile brook on the north, which is the boundary line between Milford and Derby. This tract comprised all the lands within the old town of Milford, and a small part of the town of Woodbridge. The planters made

1Records of the colony of New-Haven.

2On the records it was 1638, but according to the present mode of dating 1639. 3Mr. Prudden it seems preached at Weathersfield, the summer before the peo-ple removed to Milford.




other purchases which included a large tract on the west side of Stratford river, principally in the town of Huntington. In the first town meeting in Milford, the number of free planters, or of church members, was forty four.

The Indians were so numerous in this plantation, that the Eng-lish judged it necessary for their own safety, to compass the whole town plat, including nearly a mile square, with a fortification. It Was so closely inclosed with strong pallisadoes, as entirely to ex-clude the Indians, from that part of the town.

The purchasers of Guilford agreed with the Indians, that they should move off from the lands, which they had purchased. According to agreement they soon all removed from the plan-tation.

The number of the first free planters appears to have been about forty. They were all husbandmen. There was not a merchant, nor scarcely a mechanic among them. It was at great expense and trouble that they obtained even a blacksmith to settle in the plantation. As they were from Surry and Kent, they took much pains to find a tract of land resembling that from which they had removed. They therefore finally pitched upon Guilford, which, toward the sea, where they made the principal settlement, was low, moist, rich land, liberal indeed to the husbandman. Espe-cially the great plain south of the town. This had been already cleared and enriched by the natives. The vast quantities of shells and manure, which, in a course of ages, they had brought upon it from the sea, had contributed much to the natural richness of the soil. There were also nearly adjoining to this, several necks, or points of land, near the sea, clear, rich and fertile, prepared for immediate improvement. These, with the industry of the in-habitants, soon afforded them a comfortable subsistence.1

At the same time when these settlements commenced, two new ones were made under the jurisdiction of Connecticut.

Mr. Ludlow, who went with the troops in pursuit of the Pe-quots, to Sasco,2 the great swamp in Fairfield, was so pleased with that fine tract of country, that he soon projected the scheme of a settlement in that part of the colony. This year, he, with a number of others, began a plantation at Unquowa, which was the Indian name of the town. At first there were but about eight or ten families. These, probably, removed from Windsor, with Mr. Ludlow, who was the principal planter. Very soon after, another company came from Watertown and united with Mr. Ludlow and the people from Windsor. A third company removed into the plantation from Concord; so that the inhabitants soon became numerous, and formed themselves into a distinct town-

1Manuscripts of Mr. Ruggles.

2It has also been called Pequot swamp, on the account of the memorable bat-tle fought in this place with the Pequots.




ship, under the jurisdiction of Connecticut. The first adventurers purchased a large tract of land of the natives, and soon after Con-necticut obtained charter privileges, the general assembly gave them a patent. The township comprises the four parishes of Fair-field, Green's farms, Greenfield and Reading; and part of the parish of Stratfield. The lands in this tract are excellent, and at an early period the town became wealthy and respectable.

Settlements commenced the same year at Cupheag and Pugh-quonnuck, since named Stratford. That part which contains the town plat, and lies upon the river, was called Cupheag, and the western part, bordering on Fairfield, Pughquonnuck. It appears that settlements were made in both these places at the same time. Mr, Fairchild, who was a principal planter, and the first gentle-man in the town vested with civil authority, came directly from England. Mr. John and Mr. William Curtiss and Mr. Samuel Hawley were from Roxbury, and Mr. Joseph Judson and Mr. Timothy Wilcoxson from Concord, in Massachusetts. These were the first principal gentlemen in the town and church of Stratford. A few years after the settlement commenced, Mr. John Birdseye removed from Milford, and became a man of eminence both in the town and church. There were also several of the chief planters from Boston, and Mr. Samuel Wells, with his three sons, John, Thomas and Samuel, from Weathersfield. Mr. Adam Blackman, who had been episcopally ordained in England, and a preacher of some note, first at Leicester, and afterwards in Derbyshire, was their minister, and one of the first planters. It is said, that he was followed by a number of the faithful into this country, to whom he was so dear, that they said to him, in the language of Ruth, "Intreat us not to leave thee, for whither thou goest we will go; thy people shall be our people, and thy God our God." These, doubtless, collected about him in this infant settlement.

The whole township was purchased of the natives; but, at first, Cupheag and Pughquonnuck only, where the settlements began. The purchase was not completed until 1672. There was a reser-vation of good lands at Pughquonnuck, Golden hill, and another place, called Coram, for the improvement of the Indians.

The town is bounded upon the east by the Housatonick, or Stratford river; on the south by the Sound; by Fairfield on the west; and Newtown on the north. It comprises these four par-ishes, Stratford, Ripton, North-Stratford and New-Stratford, and a considerable part of Stratfield. The lands in this town, like those in Fairfield, are good, and its situation is exceedingly beau-tiful and agreeable.

While these plantations were forming in the south-western part of Connecticut, another commenced on the west side of the mouth of Connecticut river. A fort had been built here in 1635 and


history of connecticut.


1636 and preparations had been made for the reception of ge-tlemen of quality; but the war with the Pequots, the uncultivated state of the country, and the low condition of the colony, pre-vented the coming of any principal character from England, to take possession of a township, and make settlements in this tract Until this time, there had been only a garrison of about twenty men in the place. They had made some small improvement of the lands, and erected a few buildings in the vicinity of the fort; but there had been no settlement of a plantation with civil priv-ileges But about midsummer, Mr. George Fenwick, with his lady and family, arrived in a ship of 250 tons. Another ship came in company with him. They were both for Quinnipiack. Mr. Fen-wick and others, came over with a view to take possession of a large tract upon the river, in behalf of their lordships, the original patentees, and to plant a town at the mouth of the river. A settle-ment was soon made, and named Saybrook, in honour to their lordships, Say and Seal and Brook. Mr. Fenwick, Mr. Thomas Peters, who was the first minister in the plantation, captain Gardi-ner, Thomas Leffingwell, Thomas Tracy, and captain John Ma-son, were some of the principal planters. Indeed, the Hunting-tons, Baldwins, Reynolds's, Backus's, Bliss's, Watermans, Hydes, Posts, Smiths, and almost all the names afterwards to be found at Norwich, were among the first inhabitants of Saybrook. The government of the town was entirely independent of Connecticut. for nearly ten years, until after the purchase made of Mr, Fen-wick, in 1644. It was first taxed by the colony in the October session, 1645; and ft appears by the tax imposed, that the propor-tion of the towns of Hartford, Windsor, and Weathersfield, were to this, as six to one. The plantation did not increase to any considerable degree until about the year 1646, when Mr. James Fitch, a famous young gentleman, was ordained to the pastoral care of the church and congregation; and a considerable number of families from Hartford and Windsor removed and made set-tlements in the town. Its original boundaries extended eastward five miles beyond the river, and from its mouth northward six miles; including a considerable part of the town of Lyme. West-ward they extended to Hammonasset, the Indian name of the tract comprised in the limits of Killingworth, and north eight miles from the sea. Mr. Fenwick and captain1 Mason were mag-istrates, and had the principal government of the town.

Great difficulties had arisen the last year, between the English at Pyquaug, now Weathersfield, and Sowheag and his Indians. It was discovered, that some of the Indians at Pyquaug, under Sow-heag, had been aiding the Pequots in the destruction which they

1Though Captain Mason was appointed major-general of the militia of the colony, yet he was always called captain, or major, upon the records; in conformity to which I have uniformly given him those titles.




had made there the preceding year, and were instrumental of bringing them against the town. Sowheag entertained the mur-derers, and treated the people of Weathersfield with haughtiness and insult. The court at Connecticut, on hearing the differences, determined, that, as the English at Weathersfield, had been the aggressors, and gave the first provocation, the injuries which Sowheag had done should be forgiven, and that he should, on his good conduct for the future, be restored to their friendship. Mr. Stone and Mr. Goodwin were appointed a committee to compro-mise all differences with him. However, as Sowheag could not, by any arguments, or fair means, be persuaded to give up the murderers, but continued his outrages against the English, the court, this year, determined, that a hundred men should be sent down to Mattabeseck, to take the delinquents by force of arms. The court ordered, that their friends at Quinnipiack should be certified of this resolution, that they might adopt the measures necessary for the defence of the plantations. It was, also, deter-mined to have their advice and consent in an affair of such gen-eral concernment.

Governor Eaton and his council fully approved of the design of bringing the delinquents to condign punishment; but they dis-approved of the manner proposed by Connecticut. They feared that it would be introductive to a new Indian war. This they represented would greatly endanger the new settlements, and be many ways injurious and distressing. They wanted peace, all their men and money, to prosecute the design of planting the country. They represented that a new war would not only injure the plantations in these respects, but would prevent the coming over of new planters, whom they expected from England. They were, therefore, determinately against seeking redress by an armed force. Connecticut, through their influence, receded from the resolution which they had formed with respect to Sowheag and Mattabeseck.

Nevertheless, as the Pequots had violated their covenant, and planted at Pawcatuck, in the Pequot country, the court dispatched major Mason, with forty men, to drive them off, burn their wig-wams, and bring away their corn.1 Uncas, with a hundred men and twenty canoes, assisted in the enterprise. When they arrived at Pawcatuck bay, major Mason met with three of the Pequot Indians, and sent them to inform the others of the design of his coming, and what he should do, unless they would peaceably desert the place. They promised to give him an immediate an-swer, but never returned.

The major sailed up a small river, landed, and beset the wig-warns so suddenly, that the Indians were unable to carry off either their corn or treasures. Some of the old men had not time to make

1Records of Connecticut.




their escape. As it was now Indian harvest, he found a great plenty of corn.

While Uncas's Indians were plundering the wigwams, about sixty others came rushing down a hill towards them. The Mo-heagans stood perfectly still, and spake not a word, until they came within about thirty yards of them; then, shouting and yell-ing, in their terrible manner, they ran to meet them, and fell upon them, striking with bows, and cutting with knives and hatchets, in their mode of fighting. Indeed, it scarcely deserved the name of fighting. It, however, afforded something new and amusing to the English, as they were now spectators of an Indian battle. The major made a movement to cut off their retreat, which they perceived, and instantly fled. As it was not desired to kill, or irritate the Indians more than was absolutely necessary, the Eng-lish made no fire upon them. Seven Indians were taken. They behaved so outrageously, that it was designed to take off their heads; but one Otash, a Narraganset sachem, brother to Mian-tonimoh, pleaded that they might be spared, because they were his brother's men, who was a friend to the English. He offered to deliver the heads of so many murderers in lieu of them. The English, considering that no blood had been shed, and that the proposal tended both to mercy and peace, granted the request. The Indians were committed to the care of Uncas, until the con-ditions should be performed.

The light of the next morning no sooner appeared, than the English discovered three hundred Indians in arms, on the oppo-site side of the creek in which they lay.

Upon this, the soldiers immediately stood to their arms. The Indians were alarmed at the appearance of the English; some fled, and others secreted themselves behind rocks and trees, so that a man of them could not be seen. The English called to them, representing their desire of speaking with them. Numbers of them rose up, and major Mason acquainted them with the Pequots' breach of covenant with the English, as they were not to settle or plaint in any part of their country. The Indians re-plied, that the Pequots were good men, and that they would fight for them, and protect them. Major Mason told them it was not far to the head of the creek; that he would meet them there, and they might try what they could do at fighting. The Indians re-plied, they would not fight with Englishmen, for they were spirits; but they would fight with Uncas. The major assured them, that he should spend the day in burning wigwams, and carrying off the corn, and they might fight when they had an opportunity. The English beat up their drum, and fired their wigwams, but they dared not to engage them. The English loaded their bark with Indian corn, and the Indians the twenty canoes in which they passed to Paweatuck, and thirty more, which they took from the




Indians there, with kettles, trays, mats, and other Indian luggage, and returned in safety.1

During these transactions in Connecticut, the Dutch, at New-Netherlands, were increasing in numbers and strength. A new governor, William Kieft, a man of ability and enterprise, had ar-rived at their seat of government. Kieft had prohibited the Eng-lish trade at the fort of Good Hope, in Hartford, and protested against the settlement at Quinnipiack.2 These circumstances gave some alarm to the English in Connecticut. The court at Hartford appointed a committee to go down to the mouth of the river, to consult with Mr. Fenwick, relative to a general confed-eration of the colonies, for mutual offence and defence. The deputy-governor, Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Thomas Wells, and Mr. Hooker, went upon this business. They were, also, instructed to confer with Mr. Fenwick, relative to the patent. The court approved of the conduct of the committee, and, with respect to the article of confederation, declared its willingness to enter into a mutual agreement of offence and defence, and of all offices of love between the colonies. Mr. Fenwick was in favour of an union of the New-England colonies. With respect to the patent of the river, it was agreed, that the affair should rest, until the minds of the noblemen and gentlemen particularly interested, could be more fully known.

Governor Haynes and Mr. Wells were appointed to repair to Pughquonnuck, and administer the oath of fidelity to the inhabi-tants; to admit such of them as were qualified to the privileges of freemen; and to appoint officers for the town, both civil and military. They were, also, authorised to invite the freemen to send their deputies to the general courts at Hartford.3

At an adjourned General Assembly, October 10th, the court in-corporated the several towns in the colonies, vesting them with full powers to transact their own affairs. It was enacted, that they should have power to choose, from among themselves, three, five, or seven of their principal men, to be a court for each town. One of the three, five, or seven, was to be chosen moderator; The major part of them, always including him, constituted a quorum. A casting voice was allowed him, in cases in which there was an equal division. He, or any two of the court, were authorised to summon the parties to appear at the time and place appointed, and might grant execution against the party offending. They were authorised to determine all matters of trespass or debt, not exceeding forty shillings. An appeal might be made from

1Mason's History.

2Smith's Hist. N. York, p. 3.

3It was not unusual for the General Assembly to fine its members. Mr. Lud-low, the deputy-governor, was fined for absence, and for his conduct at Pughquon-nuck. It was, probably, on the account of the displeasure of the court towards him, that this committee were appointed.




this court, at any time before execution was given out. This court was appointed to sit once in two months.

It was ordained, that every town should keep a public ledger, in which every man's house and lands, with the boundaries and quantity, according to the nearest estimation, should be recorded. All lands also granted and measured to any man afterwards, and all bargains and mortgages of lands were to be put on record. Until this was done, they were to be of no validity. The towns were, also, empowered to dispose of their own lands. This was the origin of the privileges of particular towns in Connecticut.

Besides the court in each town, there was the court of magis-trates, termed the particular court. This held a session once in three months. To this lay all appeals from the other courts. In this were tried all criminal causes and actions of debt, exceeding forty shillings, and all titles of land. Indeed, this court possessed all the authority, and did all the business now possessed and done by the county and superior courts. For a considerable time, they were vested with such discretionary powers, as none of the courts at this day would venture to exercise.

Nepaupuck, a famous Pequot captain, who had frequently stained his hands in English blood, was condemned by the Gen-eral Court at Quinnipiack, for murder. It appeared, that in the year 1637, he killed John Finch, of Weathersfield, and captivated one of Mr. Swain's daughters. He had also assisted in killing the three men, who were going down Connecticut river in a shal-lop. His head was cut off, and set upon a pole in the market place.

It will, doubtless, hardly be granted, in this enlightened age, that the subjects of princes, killing men by their orders, in war, ought to be treated as murderers. Though the first planters of New-England and Connecticut were men of eminent piety and strict morals, yet, like other good men, they were subject to mis-conception and the influence of passion. Their beheading sa-chems, whom they took in war, killing the male captives, and enslaving the women and children of the Pequots, after it was finished, was treating them with a severity, which, on the benevo-lent principles of Christianity, it will be difficult ever to justify. The executing of all those as murderers, who were active in kill-ing any of the English people, and obliging all the Indian nations to bring in such persons, or their heads, was an act of severity unpractised, at this day, by civilized and Christian nations. The decapitation of their enemies, and the setting of their heads upon poles, Was a kind of barbarous triumph, too nearly symbolizing with the examples of uncivilized and pagan nations. The further we are removed from every resemblance of these, and the more deeply we imbibe those divine precepts, "Love your enemies: Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them,"-the greater will be our dignity and happiness.