THE affairs both of Old and New-England, wore so gloomy an aspect, at this time, that the pious people, in the colonies, judged extraordinary fasting and prayer to be their indispensable duty. The flames of civil discord were kindled in England, and the tumultuous and hostile state of the natives in the united col-onies, threatened them with a bloody and merciless Indian war. The general court of Connecticut therefore ordained a monthly fast, through the colony, to begin on Wednesday, the 6th of Jan-uary. New-Haven had before appointed a fast, at the same time, in all the plantations in that jurisdiction. Indeed, this was prac-tised, throughout the united colonies, during the civil wars in England. The colonists sympathized with their brethren, in their native country, and conformed to them in their days of humilia-tion and prayer.

The freemen of Connecticut and New-Haven, exhibited a re-markable example of steadiness in the election of civil officers. Nearly the same persons were chosen annually into places of prin-cipal trust as long as they lived. This year Edward Hopkins, Esq. was chosen governor, and John Haynes, Esquire, deputy-gov-ernor. The other magistrates were the same as they had been the last year, except Mr. William Swain, who was chosen into the magistracy. Mr. Haynes and Mr. Hopkins were generally elected, alternately governor and deputy-governor, during their respec-tive lives. The reason of this annual change of them, from gov-ernor to deputy-governor, was because the constitution prohibited the choice of any man governor, more than once in two years.

At New-Haven, governor Eaton was annually elected to the office of governor, during his life; and Mr. Stephen Goodyear was generally chosen deputy-governor.

The Indians were no more peaceable this year, than they were the last. Those in the western part of Connecticut, still conducted themselves in a hostile manner. In the spring, they murdered a man belonging to Massachusetts, between Fairfield and Stamford. About six or eight weeks after the murder was discovered, the Indians promised to deliver the murderer, at Uncoway, if Mr. Ludlow would appoint men to receive him. Mr. Ludlow sent ten men for that purpose; but as soon as the Indians came within




sight of the town, they, by general consent, unbound the prisoner and suffered him to escape. The English were so exasperated at this insult, that they immediately seized on eight or ten of the Ind-ians, and committed them to prison. There was among them not less than one or two sachems. Upon this, the Indians arose in great numbers about the town, and exceedingly alarmed the peo-ple, both at Fairfield and Stamford. Mr. Ludlow wrote to New-Haven for advice. The court desired him to keep the Indians in durance, and assured him of immediate assistance, should it be necessary and desired. A party of twenty men were draughted forthwith, and prepared to march to Stamford upon the shortest notice. The Indians were held in custody, until four sachems, in those parts, appeared and interceded for them, promising, that if the English would release them, they would, within a month, de-liver the murderer to justice.

Not more than a month after their release, an Indian went boldly into the town of Stamford, and made a murderous assault upon a woman, in her house. Finding no man at home, he took up a lathing hammer, and approached her as though he were about to put it into her hand; but, as she was stooping down to take her child from the cradle, he struck her upon the head. She fell instantly with the blow; he then struck her twice, with the sharp part of the hammer, which penetrated her skull. Supposing her to be dead, he plundered the house, and made his escape. Soon after, the woman so far recovered, as to describe the Indian, and his manner of dress. Her wounds, which at first appeared to be mortal, were finally healed; but her brain was so affected, that she lost her reason.

At the same time, the Indians rose in those parts, with the most tumultuous and hostile appearances. They refused to come to the English, or to have any treaty with them. They appeared, in a very alarming manner, about several of the plantations, firing their pieces, and exceedingly terrifying the inhabitants. They de-serted their wigwams, and neglected to weed their corn. The English had intelligence that the Indians designed to cut them off. Most of the English judged it unsafe to travel by land, and some of the plantations were obliged to keep a strong guard and watch, night and day. And as they had not numbers sufficient to defend themselves, they made application to Hartford and New-Haven for assistance. They both sent aid to the weaker parts of their respective colonies. New-Haven sent help to Fair-field and Stamford, as they were much nearer to them, than to Connecticut.

After a great deal of alarm and trouble, the Indian, who had attempted the murder of the woman, was delivered up, and con-demned to death. He was executed at New-Haven. The execu-tioner cut off his head with a falchion: but it was cruelly done.




He gave the Indian eight blows, before he effected the execution. The Indian sat erect and motionless, until his head was severed from his body.1

Both the colonies of Connecticut and New-Haven, were put to great expense, this year, in defending themselves, and they were obliged to bear the whole charge, as the measures adopted for their defence, were taken by the order of their respective legislatures, and not by the direction of the commissioners.

The unhappy divisions which continued at Weathersfield, occa-sioned another settlement under the jurisdiction of New-Haven. As Mr. Eaton, to whom Totoket had been granted, in 1640, had not performed the conditions of the grant, New-Haven, for the accommodation of a number of people at Weathersfield, made a sale of it to Mr. William Swain, and others of that town. They sold it at the price which it cost them, stipulating with Mr. Swain and his company, that they should unite with that colony, in all the fundamental articles of government. The settlement of the town immediately commenced. At the same time, Mr. Abraham Pierson, with a part of his church and congregation, from South-ampton, on Long-Island, removed and united with the people of Weathersfield, in the settlement of the town. A regular church was soon formed, and Mr. Pierson was chosen pastor. The town was named Branford. Mr. Swain was the principal planter, and, a few years after, was chosen one of the magistrates of the colony of New-Haven, as he had previously been of the colony of Con-necticut.

The meeting of the commissioners, September 5th, was at Hart-ford. Mr. Simon Bradstreet and Mr. William Hawthorne were commissioners from the Massachusetts; Mr. Edward Winslow and Mr. William Brown, from Plymouth; Governor Hopkins and Mr. George Fenwick, for Connecticut; and Governor Eaton and Mr. Thomas Gregson, from New-Haven.

No sooner was the meeting opened, than a proposal was made by the commissioners from Massachusetts, directed by their gen-eral court, that the commissioners from that colony should always have preference to the commissioners of the other colonies, and be allowed to subscribe first, in the same order in which the ar-ticles of confederation had been signed.

Upon consideration of the proposal, the commissioners were unanimously of the opinion, that no such thing had either been proposed, granted, or practised, by the commissioners of the other jurisdictions, in any of their former meetings, though the articles had been subscribed in the presence of the general court of the Massachusetts. They resolved, that the commission was free, and might not receive any thing, but what was expressed by the articles of confederation, as imposed by any general court.

1Records of the colonies, and Winthrop's Journal, p. 352





Nevertheless, they determined, that, on account of their respect to the Massachusetts, they willingly granted, that their commis-sioners in that, and in all future meetings, should subscribe first, after the president, and the commissioners of the other colonies in such order as they were named in the articles; viz. Plymouth, Connecticut, and New-Haven.

The Indians were, this year, almost every where troublesome, and, in some places, in a high state of hostility. In Virginia they generally rose, and made a most horrible massacre of the Eng-lish,1 and it was imagined, that there was a general combination among the southern and New England Indians, to destroy all the colonies. The Narraganset Indians, regardless of all their covenants with the English and with Uncas, continued in acts of constant hostility against the latter, and so oppressed the sachems and Indians under the protection of the Massachusetts, that they were obliged to dispatch a party of men for their defence and as-sistance, in fortifying against these oppressors.

The commissioners immediately sent Thomas Stanton, their interpreter, and Nathaniel Willet, into the Narraganset and Mo-heagan countries, with particular instructions to their respective sachems. They were instructed to acquaint the sachems, that the commissioners were then met at Hartford; and that, if they would appear and lay their respective grievances before them, they would judge impartially between them: that the commis-sioners had heard the report which they had spread abroad con-cerning Uncas, that he had taken a ransom, in part, for Mianto-nimoh, and afterwards had put him to death; and that he refused to return the ransom. They were directed to assure them, that Uncas Utterly denied the charge: that nevertheless, if they would go themselves, or send some of their principal men to Hartford, the commissioners would impartially hear this, and all other dif-ferences subsisting between them and the Moheagans, and assist them in the settlement of an amicable correspondence between the two nations; and that the parties should have a safe passage to and from Hartford, without any injury from the English. Ac-cording to their instructions, they demanded of both parties, that they should commit no acts of hostility against each other in their travels to Hartford, nor on their return to their respective coun-tries; and that all hostilities against each other's plantations should cease, during the hearing and treaty proposed. If either of the parties should refuse to go or send to Hartford, the treaty made in 1638 was to be urged against them, and their engage-ments not to go to war with each other, until they had acquainted the English with their grievances, and taken their advice. Di-

1In two days they massacred about 300 Virginians. Many of them were killed so suddenly and unexpectedly, that they knew neither the hand nor weapon by which they fell.




rections were given, that it should be demanded of the party re-fusing, what their designs were? Whether they were for peace or war? Whether they designed to perform their treaties made with the English of Massachusetts and Connecticut? Or whether they considered them as all broken and void? The interpreter was charged fully to state all these articles to the Indians, and, having taken their answers in writing, to read them to the sa-chems, that they might understand and acknowledge them to be the very answers which they had given.

In consequence of this message, the Narraganset Indians sent one of their sachems, with other chief men, to prove their charge against Uncas, and to treat with the English. They, also, bound themselves to confirm what their deputies should do in their name. Uncas, also, made his appearance, and the commissioners went into a full hearing of all differences between the parties. Upon hearing the case, the commissioners found, that there never had been any agreement between the Narragansets and Uncas, for the redemption of Miantonimoh, nor any thing paid, in whole or in part, for his ransom. Notwithstanding, they declared, that if the Narragansets should hereafter be able to prove what they had alleged against Uncas, that they would order him to make full satisfaction. They also resolved, that neither the Narra-gansets nor Nehanticks should make any war or assault upon Uncas, or any of his men, until they should make proof of the pretended ransom, and that Uncas had refused to make them sat-isfaction.

The Narraganset sachem and his counsellors, upon consulta-tion together, stipulated, in behalf of the Narraganset and Nehan-tick Indians, that no hostility should be committed against Uncas, or any of his Indians, until after the next year's time of planting corn. They also covenanted, that, before they began war, they would give thirty days' notice, either to the governor of Massa-chusetts or Connecticut. Thus, for the present, by the vigorous and prudent exertions of the colonies and their commissioners, an Indian war was prevented.

Yoncho, Wiantanse, Moughmatow, and Weenaganinim, sa-chems of Monhauset and its vicinity, on Long-Island, with their companies, appeared before the commissioners, and represented, that they, and the Long-Island Indians, had been tributaries to the English ever since the Pequot war, and that they had never injured the English nor the Dutch, but had been friendly to both. They, therefore, desired a certificate of their relation to the Eng-lish, and to be taken under the protection of the united colonies. Upon this representation, the commissioners gave them a cer-tificate, and declared, that it was their desire, while they continued peaceable, and did not intermeddle with the quarrels of other Ind-ians, they and their companies might enjoy ample peace, without




any disturbance from the English, or any in connection or friend-ship with them.

In this meeting, the commissioners of Massachusetts laid claim to part of the Pequot country, on the footing of joint conquest. They desired, that a division of the country might be made, or some way prescribed, by which the affair might be compromised.

Mr. Fenwick, in behalf of himself, and the noblemen and gentle-men in England, particularly interested in the lands in question, pleaded, that nothing in their absence might be determined against their title. He insisted, that Pequot harbour, and the lands in the adjacent country, were of great consequence to the gentle-men interested in the Connecticut patent. He said they had a special respect to them, in their consultations, relative to a plan-tation in these parts.

The commissioners judged, that a convenient time ought to be given to those noble personages to plead their right, and that all patents, of equal authority, ought to have the same construction, both with reference to propriety and jurisdiction.

The commissioners of Massachusetts also made claim to War-anoke, now Westfield, as lying within the limits of their patent. Mr. Fenwick, at the same time, claimed it as covered by the patent of Connecticut. However, as it appeared to the commissioners, that Mr. Fenwick had promised, before this meeting, either to clear his title to Waranoke, or submit to the government of Massa-chusetts, they determined, that Waranoke, with Mr. Hopkins's trading house, and the other houses and lands in that plantation, should be under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, until it should be made evident to which colony they belonged; but that the pro-priety of the land should belong to the purchasers, provided it should not exceed two thousand acres.

The reverend Mr. Shepard wrote to the commissioners, repre-senting the necessity of further assistance for the support of schol-ars at Cambridge, whose parents were needy, and desired them to encourage a general contribution through the colonies. The commissioners approved the motion; and, for the encouragement of literature, recommended it to the general courts in the respec-tive colonies, to take it into their consideration, and to give it general encouragement. The general courts adopted the recom-mendation, and contributions of grain and provisions were annu-ally made, through the united colonies, for the charitable end pro-posed.

At this meeting a plan was concerted by the commissioners, for a general trade with the Indians, by a joint stock. It was proposed to begin the trade with a stock of five or six thousand pounds, and to increase it to twenty thousand or more. It was designed, that each general court should approve and establish the trade, with peculiar privileges, for the term of twenty years: but it was




never adopted. It seems it did not comport with the views of the general court of Massachusetts; and this, notwithstanding the confederation, rendered all the determinations of the commission-ers void, which were not agreeable to their views and interests.

As the Indians were numerous, and began to learn the use of fire arms, all trading with them, in any of the united colonies, in guns, ammunition, swords, or any warlike instruments, directly or indirectly, was prohibited, upon the penalty of a fine of twenty times the value of the articles thus unlawfully sold. It was also recommended to the several courts, to prohibit all vending of arms and ammunition to the French or Dutch, because they immedi-ately disposed of them to the Indians. Every smith was forbidden to mend a gun or any warlike instrument for an Indian, upon a severe penalty.1

South-Hampton, on Long-Island, was, by the advice of the commissioners, taken under the jurisdiction of Connecticut. This town was settled in 1640. The inhabitants of Lynn, in Massachu-setts, became so straitened at home, that, about the year 1639, they contracted with the agent of Lord Sterling, for a tract of land on the west end of Long-Island. They also made a treaty with the Indians, and began a settlement, but the Dutch gave them so much trouble, that they were obliged to desert it, and remove further eastward. They collected nearly a hundred families and made a permanent settlement at South-Hampton. By the advice of the general court of Massachusetts, they entered into a com-bination among themselves, to maintain civil government. A number of them regularly formed themselves into church state, before they removed to the Island, and called Mr. Abraham Pier-son to be their pastor. He had been a minister in Yorkshire, in England. Upon his arrival in New-England, he became a mem-ber of the church at Boston, whence he was called to the work of the ministry at South-Hampton.2 This year he removed with part of his church to Branford. It seems that they were not pleased that the town had put itself under the jurisdiction of Con-necticut.

This year a committee, consisting of the governor, deputy-gov-ernor, and several other gentlemen, were appointed by the gen-eral court of Connecticut, to treat with George Fenwick, Esquire, relative to the purchase of Saybrook fort, and of all guns, build-ings and lands in the colony, which he, and the lords and gentle-men interested in the patent of Connecticut, might claim. The next December they came to an agreement with Mr. Fenwick, to the following effect:

"Articles of agreement made and concluded betwixt George Fenwick, Esquire, of Saybrook fort, on the one part, and Edward Hopkins, John Haynes, John Mason, John Steele, and James

1Records of the united colonies.

2Magnalia, b. iii. p. 95.




Boosy, for, and on the behalf of the jurisdiction of Connecticut river, on the other part, the 5th of December, 1644.

"The said George Fenwick, Esq. doth make over to the use and behoof of the jurisdiction of Connecticut river, to be enjoyed by them forever, the fort at Saybrook, with the appurtenances: all the land upon the river Connecticut; and such lands as are yet undisposed of, shall be ordered and given out by a committee of five, whereof George Fenwick, Esq. is always to be one. The said George Fenwick doth also promise, that all the lands from Narra-ganset river, to the fort of Saybrook, mentioned in a patent granted by the earl of Warwick, to certain nobles, and gentlemen, shall fall in under the jurisdiction of Connecticut, if it come into his power."1

On the part of Connecticut it was stipulated, "That the said George Fenwick, Esq. should enjoy all the housing,2 belonging to the fort for the space of ten years. And that a certain duty on corn, biscuit, beaver and cattle, which should be exported from the river's mouth, should be paid to him during the said term."

Upon the 4th of February, 1645, the general court of Connecti-cut confirmed this agreement with Mr. Fenwick, and passed an act imposing a duty of two pence per bushel upon all grain, six pence upon every hundred weight of biscuit, and a small duty upon all beaver exported from the mouth of the river, during the

1About this time died George Wyllys, Esq. the venerable ancestor of the Wyl-lyses in Connecticut. He was possessed of a fair estate, at Knapton, in the county of Warwick, worth 500 a year. In 1636, he sent over William Gibbons, the steward of his house, with twenty men, to prepare him a seat at Hartford. They purchased, and took possession of a fine tract of land, erected buildings, and planted a garden upon that pleasant plat, which has ever since been the principal seat of the family. In 1638 he came over with his household; and, at the election in 1639, was chosen into the magistracy, in which he continued about five years, until his death. In 1641, he was chosen deputy-governor, and in 1642, gov-ernor of the colony. It appears from the manuscripts of the family, that both he and Mrs. Wyllys were eminently pious, living with all the exactness of the Puritans of that day. From love to undefiled religion, and purity in divine ordinances and worship, they exchanged their pleasant seat and easy cir-cumstances in England, for the dangers and hardships of a wilderness in America. He left one son, Samuel, about twelve years of age. He was edu-cated at Cambridge, where he was graduated 1653; and the next year was chosen one of the magistrates for Connecticut, at about twenty-two years of age. It appears by his manuscripts, that he became deeply impressed with the truths and importance of religion, at college, under the ministry of Mr. Shepard; and the spirit of his pious parents descended upon him. He married a daughter of gov-ernor Haynes, who appeared equally to have imbibed the spirit of her Saviour. In his manuscripts, he describes the excellent examples which their parents had ex-hibited, and the pious pains they employed in their education; teaching them, from childhood, to pray always in secret, private and public; to venerate the sab-bath, and the divine word; and to attend all Christian institutions and duties.

After bearing testimony to the great advantages of such an education, and to the comfort which they had experienced in the duties, in which they had been edu-cated, he warmly recommends them to his children, and their posterity.

The family is ancient, and may be traced back to the reign of Edward the IV. more than three centuries. It has well supported its dignity to the present time. Some of the family have been magistrates or secretaries of the colony for more than a century and a half. May the descendants ever inherit its virtues and honors!

2An old word, meaning the quantity of inhabited buildings.




term of ten years, from the first day of March ensuing. It was also enacted, that an entry should be made of all grain laden on board any vessel, of the number of bushels, and of the weight of biscuit, and that a note of the same be delivered to Mr. Fenwick, upon the penalty of forfeiting the one half of all such grain and biscuit as should be put on board and not thus certified. The col-ony, on the whole, paid Mr. Fenwick 1,600 pounds sterling, merely for the jurisdiction right, or for the old patent of Connecticut.1 The general court, July 19th, ordered that a tax of two hundred pounds should be levied on the plantations in the colony, to de-fray the charge of advancing the fortifications at Saybrook fort. A committee was appointed, at the same time, to bargain with Mr. Griffin for that purpose, and to make provision for the im-mediate completion of the fortifications in view. A letter was also dispatched, from the court, to Mr. Fenwick, desiring him, if his circumstances would permit, to make a voyage to England, to obtain an enlargement of the patent, and to promote other in-terests of the colony.

Notwithstanding the unwearied pains the commissioners of the colonies, and the colonies themselves, had taken to prevent hos-tilities among the Indians, and to preserve the peace of the coun-try, the perfidious Narragansets were continually waging war. Pessacus and the Narraganset Indians, in violation of all their treaties, had repeatedly invaded the Moheagan country and as-saulted Uncas in his fort. They had killed and taken numbers of his men, and so pressed him, that both Connecticut and New-Haven were obliged to dispatch parties of men to his assistance, to prevent the enemy from completely conquering him and his country.

Governor Winthrop therefore called a special meeting of the commissioners, at Boston, on the 28th of June, 1645. Governor Winthrop and Mr. Herbert Pelham, were commissioners for Mas-sachusetts, Mr. Thomas Prince and Mr. John Brown for Plymouth, Edward Hopkins and George Fenwick, Esquires, for Connecticut, governor Eaton and Mr. Stephen Goodyear for New-Haven.

Immediately on the meeting of the commissioners, they dis-patched messengers into the Narraganset and Moheagan coun-tries. They were charged to acquaint the sachems and Indians of the respective tribes, that if they would go to Boston, the com-missioners would impartially hear and determine all their differ-ences; and that, however the treaty might end, they should be allowed to go and return in safety. The sachems, at first, seemed to give some fair speeches; but finally determined, that they would

1No jurisdiction right or patent appears to have been obtained from Fenwick, although the agreement with him stipulates that he should obtain this right "if it come into his power." His failure to do this was evidently the basis for the claim against his heirs. See note, p. 196.-J. T.




neither go nor send to Boston. The Narragansets insulted and abused the messengers, and uttered haughty and threatening speeches against the English. One of the sachems declared, that he would kill their cattle and pile them in heaps; and that an Englishman should no sooner step out at his doors than the Ind-ians would kill him. He declared that, whoever began the war, he would continue it; and that nothing should satisfy him but the head of Uncas. On the whole, the messengers were obliged to return without effecting any good purpose. By them Mr. Will-iams wrote to the commissioners, assuring them that an Indian war would soon break out; and that, as a preparative, the Nar-ragansets had concluded a neutrality with Providence and the towns upon Aquidney island.

These reports roused the English spirit. The commissioners, considering that the Narragansets had violated all their treaties, killed a number of the Moheagans, taken others captive, destroyed their corn, and, with great armies, besieged Uncas in his fort; and besides, that they had highly insulted the united colonies and abused their messengers, determined that an immediate war with them was both justifiable and necessary.

However, as they wished to act with prudence as well as spirit, and to give general satisfaction in an affair of such moment, they desired the advice of the magistrates, elders, and a number of the principal military officers in the Massachusetts. These assembled, and were unanimously of the opinion, that their engagements obliged them to defend Uncas and the Moheagans: that the de-fence which they were obliged to give, according to the common acceptation of such engagements, extended not barely to the de-fence of Uncas and his men in their fort, but to his estate and liberties; and that the aid to be given must be immediate, or he would be totally ruined.

It was therefore determined, that a war with the Indians was just, that the case should be stated in short, and war, with the reasons of it, be proclaimed. A day of fasting and prayer was appointed on the fourth of September. It was resolved, That three hundred men should be forthwith raised, and sent against the enemy. Massachusetts were to furnish 190, Plymouth and Connecticut 40 each, and New-Haven 30. As the troops from Connecticut and New-Haven, who had assisted in defending Uncas, the former part of the summer, were about to return to their respective colonies, forty men were impressed in the Massa-chusetts, and marched in three days, completely armed and vict-ualled. These were commanded by Humphry Atherton. Or-ders were dispatched to the troops to be raised in Connecticut and New-Haven to join them at Moheagan. A commission was forwarded to captain Mason to take the command of all the troops, until the whole army should form a junction. The chief com-




mand of the army was given to major Edward Gibbons, of Massa-chusetts. He was instructed not only to defend Uncas, but to invade and distress the Narragansets and Nehanticks, with their confederates. He had instructions to offer them peace. If they would receive it upon honorable terms, he, with his officers, had power to make a treaty with them. If the enemy should flee from the army, and would neither fight nor make peace, the command-er had orders to build forts in the Nehantick and Narraganset country; to which he might gather the enemy's corn and goods, as far as it should be in his power.

The Narragansets had sent a present to governor Winthrop, of Boston, desiring that they might have peace with the English, but wage war with Uncas, and avenge the death of Miantonimoh. The governor refused to receive the present upon such terms: but the messengers, by whom it was carried, urging that they might leave it until they could consult their sachems, he suffered it to be left with him. The commissioners ordered, that it should be immediately returned. Captain Hurding, Mr. Wilbore, and Benedict Arnold, were sent into the Narraganset country, to re-turn the present, and to assure Pessacus, Canonicus, Janimo, and the other sachems of the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians, that they would neither receive their presents, nor give them peace, until they should make satisfaction for past injuries, and give security for their peaceable conduct for the future. They were to certify the Indians, that the English were ready for war; and that if war was their choice, they would direct their affairs for that purpose. At the same time, they had orders to assure them, that if they would make satisfaction for the damages which they had done, and give security for their peaceable conduct, in time to come, they should know, that the English were as desirous of the peace, and as tender of the blood of the Narragansets, as they had ever been.

The messengers prosecuted their journey with great dispatch, and brought back word, that Pessacus, chief sachem of the Nar-ragansets, and others, were coming to Boston forthwith, vested with full powers to treat with the commissioners. The messen-gers, though sent on purpose to carry back the present, and to assure the Indians that the English would not receive it, returned with it to Boston. They also wrote to captain Mason, acquainting him that there were hopes of peace with the Indians.

The commissioners, therefore, while they acknowledged the pains and expedition with which they had accomplished their journey, censured them, for not attending to their instructions. Especially, they judged them worthy of censure, for bringing back the present, and for writing to captain Mason. The latter, they imagined, could have no other effect than to retard his opera-tions.




The Indians, finding that an army was coming into the heart of their country, made haste to meet the commissioners, and ward off the impending blow A few days after the return of their mes-sengers, Pessacus, Meeksamo, the eldest son of Canonicus, and Wytowash, three principal sachems of the Narragansets, and Awashequen, deputy of the Nehanticks, with a large tram, arrived at Boston.

They, at first, denied and excused many particulars which the commissioners charged upon them. They insisted on the old story of the ransom, and proposed to make a truce with Uncas, until the next planting time, or for a year. The commissioners assured them, that matters were now come to a crisis, and that they would accept of no such terms. They charged the Indian sachems with their perfidious breach of treaties, with the injuries they had clone to Uncas, with their insults of the English, and with the great trouble and expense to which they had put them, to defend Uncas, and maintain the peace of the country. The Ind-ians, finally, though with great reluctance, acknowledged their breach of treaties. One of the sachems presented the commis-sioners with a stick, signifying, by that token, that he submitted the terras of war and peace into their hands, and wished to know what they required of the Indians.

The commissioners represented to them, that the charge and trouble which they had brought on the colonies was very great, besides all the loss and damages which Uncas had sustained. They charged all these, upon their infraction of the treaties which they had made with the colonies, and with Uncas. They assured the Indians, that though two thousand fathom of white wampum would, by no means, be equal to the expense to which they had put the colonies, entirely by their violation of their treaties; yet, to show their moderation, they would accept of that sum for all past damages. It was required, that they should restore to Uncas all the captives and canoes which they had taken from him; that they should submit all matters of controversy, between them and Uncas, to the commissioners, at their next meeting; and that they should maintain perpetual peace with the English, and all their subjects and allies. Finally, hostages were demanded, as a secu-rity for time performance of the treaty.1 These, indeed, were hard terms. The Indians made many exceptions to them; but as they knew the English were gone into their country, and were fearful that hostilities would be commenced, even while the treaty was pending, they submitted to them. Some abatement was made, as to the times of payment at first proposed, and it was agreed that Uncas should restore to the Narragansets all captives and canoes which he had taken from them. This gave the Narragansets and Nehanticks some ease; but it was with great reluctance, that they

1Records of the united colonies





finally signed the articles. Nothing but the necessity of the case, could have been a sufficient inducement.

On the 30th of August, the articles were signed, and the Indians left several of their number, as hostages, until the children, who had been agreed upon for a permanent security, should be deliv-ered.

The troops which had been raised were disbanded, and the day appointed for a general fast was celebrated as a day of general thanksgiving.

New-Haven, this year, appointed Mr. Gregson their agent to the parliament in England, to procure a patent for the colony. The court at New-Haven, voted, that it was a proper time to join with Connecticut, in procuring a patent from parliament, for these parts.1 It appears, that both Connecticut and New-Haven, at this time, had it in contemplation to obtain charters from parliament, for their respective jurisdictions; but Mr. Fenwick, who had been desired to undertake a voyage, for this purpose, in behalf of Con-necticut, did not accept the appointment, and Mr. Gregson was lost at sea. In consequence of these circumstances, and the state of affairs in England afterwards, the business rested until after the restoration.

This year Tunxis was named Farmington. At this time, there were in the colony of Connecticut eight taxable towns; Hartford, Windsor, Weathersfield, Stratford, Fairfield, Saybrook, South-Hampton and Farmington. In the colony of New-Haven were six; New-Haven, Milford, Guilford, Southhold, Stamford and Branford.

In 1646 there was an alteration in the act respecting juries. In 1644, an act passed authorizing the court of magistrates to in-crease or mitigate the damages given by verdict of the jury. It was now enacted, that whatever alterations should be made of this kind, at any time, should be made in open court, in the presence both of the plaintiff and defendant, or upon affidavit made, that they had been summoned to appear.

At this court the town of Fairfield made objections to that part of the act passed in 1644, which admitted of a jury of six. They insisted on twelve jurymen in all cases triable by a jury; but con-sented, that eight out of twelve should bring in a verdict. It does not appear, that a jury of six was ever empanelled, after this time. The laws were soon after revised, and ordained a jury of twelve in all cases which required a jury.

The commissioners of the united colonies met, this year, at New-Haven. The Dutch continuing their injurious conduct against the English, complaints were made to the commissioners, of the recent and repeated insults and damages which they had received from them. Instead of making them the least satisfac-

1 Records of New-Haven.




tion for past injuries, they proceeded to new instances of insolence and abuse. Kieft wrote a most imperious letter to governor Eaton, charging him, and the people at New-Haven, with an unsatiable desire of possessing that which belonged to the Dutch nation. He affirmed, that contrary to ancient leagues, between the kings of England and the States General, contrary to the law of nations, and his protestations, they had, indirectly, entered upon the limits of New-Netherlands. He therefore protested against them, as breakers of the peace and disturbers of the public tranquillity. Indeed he proceeded so far as to threaten, that if the English, at New-Haven, did not restore the places which they had usurped, and repair the losses which the Dutch had sustained, that they would, by such means as God should afford, recover them. He affirmed, that the Dutch would not view it as inconsistent with the public peace, but should impute all the evils, which might en-sue, to the English.1

Governor Eaton replied to this letter, that the colony under his government had never entered upon any land, to which the Dutch had any known title: That, notwithstanding all the injuries re-ceived from the Dutch, and the very unsatisfying answers which their governor had given, from time to time, the colony, in his apprehensions, had done nothing inconsistent with the law of God, the law of nations, nor with the ancient leagues subsisting between England and Holland. He therefore assured him, that the colony would cheerfully submit all differences, between them and the Dutch, to an impartial hearing and adjudication, either in Europe or America.

The Dutch, at Hartford, maintained a distinct and independent government. They resisted the laws of the colony, and counter-acted the natural rights of men. They inveigled an Indian woman who, having been liable to public punishment, fled from her mas-ter. It was supposed, that the Dutch kept her for the purpose of wantonness. Though her master demanded her, as his property, and the magistrates, as a criminal, on whom the law ought to have its course, yet they would not restore her. The Dutch agent at Hartford, in the height of disorder, resisted the guard. He drew his rapier upon the soldiers, and broke it upon their arms. He then escaped to the fort, and there defended himself with im­punity.

The commissioners of Connecticut and New-Haven made com-plaint of these insults and misdemeanors to the commissioners of the united colonies, and laid open the whole conduct of the Dutch towards them. They represented, that in answer to their com-plaints of past injuries, they had, instead of satisfaction, received nothing but injury and abuse.

The commissioners, upon a deliberate view of the case, wrote

1Kieft's letter to governor Eaton, on the records of the united colonies.




to the Dutch governor, stating how they had written to him from time to time; and, in consideration of the great worth of peace, had attempted to compromise the differences which had so long subsisted between the Dutch and their confederates. They ob-served to the governor, that he had returned nothing but an igno-ramus, with an offensive addition, which they left to his review and better consideration. They stated the affair at Hartford, and observed, that had the Dutch agent been slain, in the haughty affront which he had given, his blood would have been upon his own head. They assured him, that his agent and the company at Hartford, had proceeded to an intolerable state of conduct: that they had forcibly taken away their cattle from authority, and made an assault upon a man, who had legally sought justice for damages which he had sustained: that they struck him, and, in a hostile manner, took his team and loading from him. The com-missioners noticed the letter of the Dutch governor to the colony of New-Haven, and manifested their approbation of the answer which governor Eaton had given. They expressed their hopes, that it would give satisfaction. They concluded by observing, that, to prevent all inconveniences which might arise from any part of the premises, they had sent an express, by whom they wished to receive such an answer as might satisfy them of his concurrence with them, to embrace and pursue righteousness and peace.

Several of the English who had traded with the Dutch, had not been able to recover their just debts, and governor Kieft would not afford them that assistance which was necessary for the ob-taining of justice. Mr. Whiting, of Connecticut, complained, that an action had been carried against him at Manhatoes, in his ab-sence, and when he had no agent to exhibit his evidence, or plead his cause. He also made complaint, that, upon demanding a just debt, long since due from the Dutch, the governor neglected to give him that assistance which was necessary for the recovery of his right.

The commissioners wrote also to governor Kieft on this sub-ject. They desired him to grant Mr. Whiting a review in the case specified, and proper assistance in the recovery of his debts from the Dutch. They assured him, that all the colonies would grant similar favours to the Dutch in all their courts.

By their express, the commissioners received two letters from the Dutch governor, in answer to what they had written, expressed in the same haughty and offensive strain, as his former letters. He denied that the woman, who had been detained by the Dutch at Hartford, was a servant, with many other facts which had been stated by the commissioners. Instead of submitting the affairs in dispute to a legal decision, either in Europe or America, he still threatened to avenge the injuries of which he complained, by




force of arms. With respect to other matters of special impor-tance, he passed them without the least notice. He compared the commissioners to eagles which soar aloft, and always despise the little fly; but he assured them, that the Dutch, by their arms, would manfully pursue their rights. He then finished his letters in this remarkable manner:-"We protest against all you com-missioners, met at the red mount,1 as against breakers of the com-mon league, and, also, infringers of the rights of the lords, the states, our superiors, in that you have dared, without our express and special consent, to hold your general meeting within the limits of New Netherlands."

The commissioners made a short reply, assuring the Dutch governor, that they could prove the facts which they had stated to him in their letters; and that the woman whom the Dutch had detained, was a servant, and an important part of her master's property: that she had fled from civil justice, and, by the confes-sion of Mr. David Provost, Dutch agent at Hartford, had been denied. They insisted, that the conduct of the Dutch at Hartford, was intolerable, and complained, that he had given no orders to redress the grievances which they had mentioned. They also complained, that he had made no reply to so many important ar-ticles, concerning which they had written to him. With respect to the protest, with which he had closed his letter, they observed, that, though it was offensive, yet it agreed with the general strain of his writing; and that he had no more reason to protest against their boldness in holding their session at New-Haven, than they had to protest against his boldness in the protest which he had sent them. After all the insult which the commissioners received from the Dutch governor, their replies were cool and without threatening.2

This year a horrid plot was concerted among the Indians, for the destruction of a number of the principal inhabitants of Hart-ford. Sequassen, a petty sachem upon the river, hired one of the Waranoke Indians to kill governor Hopkins and governor Haynes, with Mr. Whiting, one of the magistrates. Sequassen's hatred of Uncas was insatiable, and, probably, was directed against these gentlemen, on account of the just and faithful protection which they had afforded him. The plan was, that the Waranoke Indian should kill them, and charge the murder upon Uncas, and by that means engage the English against him to his ruin. After the massacre of these gentlemen, Sequassen and the murderer were to make their escape to the Mohawks. Watohibrough, the Indian hired to perpetrate the murder, after he had received sev-eral girdles of wampum, as part of his reward, considering how

1The Dutch called New-Haven the Red Mount, and the Red Hills, from the appearanceof the rocks west and north of the town.

2Records of the United Colonies.




Bushheag, the Indian who attempted to kill the woman at Stam-ford, had been apprehended and executed at New-Haven, con-ceived that it would be dangerous to murder English sachems. He also revolved in his mind, that if the English should not ap-prehend and kill him, he should always be afraid of them, and have no comfort in his life. He also recollected, that the English gave a reward to the Indians who discovered and brought in Bush­heag. He therefore determined, it would be better to discover the plot, than to be guilty of so bloody and dangerous an action. In this mind he came to Hartford, a few days after he had received the girdles, and made known the plot. Nearly at the same time the Waranoke Indians did much damage to the people at Wind-sor, burning up their tar and turpentine, and destroying their tools and instruments, to the value of a hundred pounds or more. The magistrates at Hartford issued a warrant, and apprehended the Indian whom they supposed to be guilty; but the Indians rose and made an assault upon the officers, and rescued the crim-inal from justice.

Upon complaint and evidence of these misdemeanors, the com-missioners sent messengers to Sequassen, demanding his appear-ance at New-Haven, and they ordered, that if he would not vol-untarily appear, all means, consistent with the preservation of his life, should be used to take him. Messengers were also sent to Waranoke, to the Indians who had done the mischief at Windsor, with orders to seize the delinquents, and bring them off, if they judged they could do it with safety. Sequassen had art enough to keep out of their hands, and those who had done the damage could not be found. The messengers were insulted at Waranoke. The Indians boasted of their arms, primed and cocked their pieces in their presence, and threatened that if a man should be carried away, the Indians would generally rise and fight.

The commissioners, on the whole, judged it not expedient, in the state in which the Indians then were, to proceed any further than to resolve, that if any Indian or Indians, of what plantation soever, should do any damage to the English colonies, or to any of their inhabitants, that, upon due proof of it, they would, in a peaceable manner, demand satisfaction. But if any sagamore, or plantation of Indians, should hide, convey away, entertain, or protect such offender or offenders, that then the English would demand satisfaction of such Indian sagamore or plantation, and do themselves justice, as they might, upon all such offenders. At the same time, they declared, that they would keep peace and amity with all other Indians. This resolution was to be made known to the Waranoke Indians in particular.

The Indians, at particular times, were very mischievous, and gave much trouble to all the plantations. Sometime after the set-tlement of Milford, the Indians there set all the adjacent country




on fire. It was supposed that their design was to burn the town: but the inhabitants were so fortunate as to stop the fires at the swamps and brooks which surround it on the west and north. By this means the town was preserved.

The Mohawks, though not hostile to the English, by coming down and murdering the Connecticut Indians, put the plantations in fear, and gave them not a little trouble. Some years after the settlement of Milford, they came into the town, and secreted them-selves in a swamp,1 about half a mile east of Stratford ferry, with a view to surprise the Indians at the fort. The English acciden-tally discovering them, gave notice of it to the Milford Indians. They at once set up the war whoop, and collected such numbers that they ventured to attack them. The Mohawks were overpow-ered, and several of them taken. One stout captive, the Milford Indians determined to kill, by famine and torture. They stripped him naked and tied him up in the salt meadows for the mosquitoes to eat and torment to death. An Englishman, one Hine, finding him in this piteous condition, loosed and fed him, and enabled him to make his escape. This very much conciliated the Mo-hawks towards the English, and especially towards the family of the Hines, whom, it is said, they ever afterwards particularly noticed, and treated with uncommon friendship.

The Narraganset and Nehantick Indians neglected to perform any part of the treaty which they had made the last year. They neither paid the wampum stipulated, nor met the commissioners, at New-Haven, to settle the differences between them and Uncas. They neither restored the captives nor canoes taken from him, nor made him any compensation for the damages which they had done him. They had attempted to deceive the English with re-spect to the hostages. Instead of the children of their sachems and chief men, whom they agreed to deliver, they made an at-tempt to impose upon them children of the lowest rank. Even to this time, they had not brought those whom they had promised. They were still intriguing with the Mohawks; and, by presents and various arts, attempting to engage them against the English colonies. The commissioners judged, that they had just occasion to avenge the injuries which they had received, and to seek a recompence by force of arms. However, that they might show their love of peace, and their forbearance towards these barba-rians, they dispatched another message to them. In this a full representation was made of these particulars. They were assured, that the commissioners were apprised of their intrigues, and that, in the eyes of all the colonies, they had rendered themselves a perfidious people.

The war between the Dutch and Indians continuing, a great and general battle was fought between them in that part of Horse-

1This is known by the name of Mohawk swamp to the present time.




neck commonly known by the name of Strickland's plain. The action was long and severe, both parties fighting with firmness and obstinacy. The Dutch, with much difficulty, kept the field, and the Indians withdrew. Great numbers were slain on both sides, and the graves of the dead, for a century or more, appeared like a number of small hills.1

New-Haven having been exceedingly disappointed in trade, and sustained great damages at Delaware, and the large estates which they brought into New-England rapidly declining, this year, made uncommon exertions, as far as possible, to retrieve their former losses. Combining their money and labors, they built a ship, at Rhode-Island, of 150 tons; and freighted her, for England, with the best part of their commercial estates. Mr. Gregson, captain Turner, Mr. Lamberton and five or six of their principal men embarked on board. They sailed from New-Haven in January, 1647. They were obliged to cut through the ice to get out of the harbour. The ship foundered at sea, and was never heard of after she sailed. The loss of this ship, with the former losses which the company had sustained, broke up all their ex­pectations with respect to trade, and as they conceived themselves disadvantageously situated for husbandry, they adopted the de-sign of leaving the country. They were invited to Jamaica, in the West-Indies. They had also an invitation to Ireland. It seems they entered into treaties for the city of Galloway, which they designed to have settled, as a small province for themselves.2 Nevertheless they were disappointed with respect to all these de-signs. Their posterity, who they feared would be reduced to beggary, made respectable farmers, and flourished, with respect to worldly circumstances, no less than their neighbours.

At the election, this year, at Hartford, nine magistrates were chosen. Mr. Cosmore and Mr. Howe were elected for the first time. The other magistrates were the same as in the preceding years.

At this session of the general court, an explanation or addition was made to the tenth fundamental article. By this article, as it stood, it was the opinion of some, that no particular court could be holden, unless the governor and four magistrates were present. It was therefore decreed,3 that the governor, or deputy governor, with two magistrates, should have power to keep a particular court, according to the laws established; and, that in case neither the governor, nor deputy governor should be present, or able to sit, if three magistrates should meet, and choose one of themselves moderator, they might keep a particular court, which to all in-tents and purposes, should be deemed as legal, as if the governor

1Manuscripts of the Rev. Stephen Monson.

2Magnalia, B. I. p. 25, 26.

3The enacting style, before the charter, was, It is ordered, sentenced, and de-creed. Sometimes one of the words only was used.




or deputy governor were present. All orders contrary to this were repealed.1

As tobacco, about this time, was coming into use, in the colony, a very curious law was made for its regulation, or suppression. It was ordered, that no person under twenty years of age, nor any other, who had not already accustomed himself to the use of it, should take any tobacco until he had obtained a certificate from under the hand of an approved physician, that it was useful for him, and until he had also obtained a license from the court. All others, who had addicted themselves to the use of it, were prohibited from taking it, in any company, or at their labors, or in travelling, unless ten miles, at least, from any company; and though not in company, not more than once a day, upon pain of a fine of sixpence for every such offence. One substantial wit-ness was to be a sufficient proof of the crime. The constables of the several towns were to make presentment to the particular courts, and it was ordered, that the fine should be paid without gainsaying.2

At a court in June, it was ordered, that the fort and guns at Say-brook, should be delivered to captain John Mason, and that he should give Mr. Fenwick a receipt for the premises. At the de-sire of the people there, captain Mason was appointed to the chief command of the fort; and was authorized to govern all the sol-diers and inhabitants of the town; to call them forth and put them in such array as might be necessary for the general defence of the country. Orders were given, that the fortifications should be repaired, and that the country rate of Saybrook should be appro-priated to that purpose.

This court granted to the soldiers of the respective train bands in the colony, the privilege of choosing their own officers, to be commissioned by the court.

The conduct of the Narraganset and Nehantick Indians was so treacherous and hostile that, in midsummer, an extraordinary meeting of the commissioners was called at Boston. The com-missioners were, Thomas Dudley and John Endicot, Esquires, from Massachusetts; Mr. William Bradford and Mr. John Brown, from Plymouth; governor Hopkins and captain John Mason, from Connecticut; governor Eaton and Mr. Goodyear, from New-Haven. Thomas Dudley was chosen president.

The Narraganset and Nehantick Indians, had not only neg-lected the performance of every part of their treaties with the Eng-lish, but were, by all their arts, plotting against them. By their wampum they were hiring all the Indian nations round about them to combine against the colonies. They had sent messengers and presents to the Mohawks, to engage them in the general con-

1Records of Connecticut, folio, vol. i. p. 162, 163.

2Records of Connecticut.




federacy. As this faithless conduct was the occasion of the meet-ing, the commissioners immediately dispatched messengers to Pessacus, Ninigrate, Webetomaug, and all their confederates, to declare to them their breach of covenant, and to demand their attendance at Boston. The messengers were instructed to assure them, that if they did not appear, they would send to them no more. Pessacus owned, that he had broken covenant, and said it was the constant grief of his spirit. He pretended he would gladly go to Boston, but he was unwell, and could not travel. This was a mere pretence, as there was no appearance of indispo­sition upon him. He excused himself for not keeping the treaty, because he was frighted into it by the sight of the English army, which was about to invade his country. He represented, that he was in fear, if he did not make it, the English would follow him home and kill him. He declared, however, that he would send his whole mind by Ninigrate, and that he would abide by what-ever he should transact in the affair.

On the 3d of August, Ninigrate, with two of Pessacus's men, and a number of the Nehantick Indians, arrived at Boston. When Ninigrate came before the commissioners, he pretended great ig-norance of the treaties between the English and the Indians. He declared, that he knew no cause why the Narragansets should pay so much wampum. He said they owed nothing to the English. The commissioners acquainted him, that it was on account of their breach of treaty, and the great charge which, by that means, they had brought on the colonies, that the Narragansets engaged to pay such a quantity. Well knowing his deceit, they charged him as being the very man, who had been the principal cause of all their trouble and expense, relative to the Indians. They declared to him, that he was the sachem who had threatened to pile their cattle in heaps, and to kill every Englishman who should step out at his doors. At so home a charge, which he could not deny, he was not a little chagrined. However, he excused the matter with as much art as possible. With respect to the wampum, he de-clared, that the Narragansets had not a sufficiency to pay the sum required. The commissioners knew that the Narragansets were a great nation, and that they could, at any time, upon short notice, pay a greater amount than they demanded. They considered the demand, not only as their just due, but as matter of policy, as far as was consistent with justice, to strip them of their wampum, to prevent their hiring the Mohawks, and other Indians, to join with them, in a general war against the colonies. They, therefore, insisted that the whole sum should be paid. They declared to him, that they were not satisfied with his answers. Ninigrate, after he had taken time to consult with his council, the other deputies, who were with him, answered, that he was determined to give the colonies full satisfaction. He desired ten days to send mes-




sengers to Narraganset, to collect the wampum due, and offered himself as hostage until their return. The messengers returned with no more than two hundred fathoms. Ninigrate imputed this to his absence. He desired liberty to return, promising, that if the whole sum should not be paid by the next spring, the com-missioners might take his head, and seize his country. The com-missioners agreed with him, that if within twenty days, he would deliver a thousand fathoms of wampum, and the remainder which was due by the next planting time, they would dismiss him. They also, for his encouragement, acquainted him, that although they might justly put the hostages to death, for their delays and breach of covenant, yet they would forthwith deliver them to him; and if they should find him punctual to his engagements, they would charge former defects to Pessacus. These terms he gladly ac-cepted.

The commissioners from Connecticut, the last year, made com-plaint, that Mr. Pyncheon and the inhabitants at Springfield, re-fused to pay the impost which had been imposed by Connecticut for the maintenance of the fort at Saybrook. The commissioners judged, that the fort was of great consequence to the towns on the river; but, as the affair of the impost had not been laid before the general court of Massachusetts, and as the commissioners of that colony had no instructions respecting it, a full hearing had been deferred to this meeting.

Meanwhile, the general court of the Massachusetts had taken up the affair, and passed a number of resolutions respecting the impost. These are a curiosity, exhibiting a lively picture of hu- man nature, and, in the course of conduct consequent upon them, will afford a general specimen of the manner in which the Massa- chusetts anciently treated her sister colonies. The resolutions were, at this meeting, laid before the commissioners, and were to the following effect.

1. That the jurisdiction at Hartford had not a legal power to force any inhabitant of another jurisdiction, to purchase any fort or lands out of their jurisdiction.

2. That it was injurious to require custom for the maintenance of a fort which is not useful to those of whom it was demanded.

3. That it was unequal for Connecticut to impose a custom upon their friends and confederates, who have no more benefit of the river, by the exporting or importing of goods, than strangers of another nation, who, though they lived in Hartford, paid none.

4. That the propounding and standing upon an imposition of custom, to be paid at the river's mouth, by such as were of our jurisdiction, hindered our confederation ten years, and there was never any paid to this day; and that now to impose it upon them, after their confederation, would put them upon new thoughts.

5. That it appeared to them very hard, that any of their juris-




diction should be forced to such a disadvantage, as would neces-sarily enslave their posterity, by imposing such rates and customs, as would either constrain them to depart from their habitations, or weaken their estates; especially as they were with the first who took possession of the river, and were at great charge of building, &c. which if they had foreseen, they would not have made a plan-tation at that place.

6. If Hartford jurisdiction shall make use of their power over any of ours, we have the same power to imitate them in the like kind, which they desired might be forborne on both sides. These resolutions were signed by the secretary of the colony.

Mr. Hopkins replied, in behalf of Connecticut, that the first article laboured under a great mistake: that the imposition was neither to buy lands nor the fort. He observed also, that it was not material to what purpose an impost was applied, if it were lawful in itself, and did not exceed the bounds of moderation. With respect to the second article, he said, that it impeached all states and nations of injustice, no less than Connecticut: that their practice, in all similar cases, warranted the impost. He urged, that, for twelve years, the fort at Saybrook had been of special service to Springfield; and that it was so still, and might be for a number of years to come. He therefore insisted, that it was strictly just, that the inhabitants of that town should pay the im-post. He said he was willing to risk the case, and have it decided on the principles of strict justice. The third article, he observed, was a mere presumption, and had no just foundation; besides, if it were founded, he argued, that the comparison was not equal. The whole of the fourth article, he said, was a mistake: that the confederation was completed in about five years from the first mentioning of it, and that it was not retarded by the means sug-gested, nor were they ever mentioned. With reference to the fifth article, he replied, that all taxes weakened estates, and if this were a ground of objection against the impost, then no tax or im-post could ever be laid. He insisted, that the impost was just and moderate, and, therefore, could not enslave the inhabitants of Springfield. The towns in Connecticut, he observed, were set-tled before Springfield, and that town had been at no expense in making settlements, more than the towns in Connecticut. He said, if Connecticut, at any time, should become exorbitant in its impositions upon any of the colonies, they would find a remedy in the confederation. With reference to the last article, he de-clared his willingness, in all similar cases, to submit to the like imposition.

The commissioners, upon a full hearing, determined, that it was of weighty consideration to all the plantations upon the river, that the mouth of it should be secured, and a safe passage for goods, up and down the river, be maintained, though at some




expense; and, that as Springfield enjoyed the benefit, the inhabi-tants should pay the impost of two pence per bushel for corn, and a penny on the pound for beaver, or twenty shillings upon every hogshead. Nevertheless, out of respect and tenderness to the Massachusetts, it was resolved, that Springfield, or the general court, might have the liberty of exhibiting further reasons against the impost, if any should occur.

At this meeting, Mr. John Winthrop, of Pequot, laid claim to the whole country of the western Nehanticks, including a consid-erable part of the town of Lyme. He represented, that he obtained the title to this large tract partly by purchase, and partly by deed of gift, before the Pequot war. He petitioned the commissioners to this effect: "Whereas I had the land at Nehantick by deed of gift and purchase from the sachem, before the Pequot war, I de-sire the commissioners would confirm it unto me, and clear it of all claims of English and Indians, according to the equity of the case." As he had no deed nor writing respecting the land, he produced the testimony of three Nehantick Indians. They testi-fied, that before the Pequot war, Sashions, their sachem, called all his men together, and told them, that he was determined to give his country to the governor's son, who lived at Pattaquasset,1 and that his men gave their consent: that afterwards he went to Mr. Winthrop, at Pattaquasset, and when he came back, said that he had granted all his country to the governor's son; and also, that he had received coats for it, which they saw him bring home. Three Englishmen also testified, that they had heard the Indians report the same concerning the grant of the Nehantick2 country to Mr. Winthrop. Thomas Stanton deposed, that he remembered Sashions, sachem of the Nehanticks, did give his country to Mr. John Winthrop, before the Pequot war, and that he was inter-preter in that business.

The commissioners of Connecticut pleaded against the claim of Mr. Winthrop, that his purchase bore no date; that the tract pretended to be purchased or given, was not circumscribed within any limits; and that it did not appear, that the Indian, who granted the lands, had any right in them: that the grant was verbal, and, at most, could be but a vague business. They also urged, that it did not appear, but that Mr. Winthrop purchased the lands for the noblemen and gentlemen, in whose service he was, at that time, employed; and that, as the lands had been conquered, at the hazard and expense of Connecticut, before Mr. Winthrop made known his claim, whatever it was, it was then dormant, and of no validity. They further insisted, that, as they were not prepared to give a full answer, no decision might be made,

1This is sometimes spelt Pamaquasset, and was, I suppose, the Indian name of Saybrook.

2Some spelt it Neanticut.




until Connecticut should be fully heard with respect to the premises.

The commissioners declined any decision of the controversy; but it does not appear that Mr. Winthrop ever after prosecuted his claim. As it seems Mr. Winthrop, about this time, had a de-sign of purchasing Long-Island, the commissioners took occa-sion to premonish him, that the Island was already under engage-ments for considerable sums of money, to a number of persons in Connecticut and New-Haven. They represented to him, that any title which might be derived from Mr. Cope, would be very precarious, as he had confessed a short time before his death.1

The commissioners, this year, brought in the number of polls in the several colonies, and made a settlement of their accounts. The whole expenditure of the confederates was 1043 pounds: 10: o. There was due to Connecticut, 155 pounds: 17:7, which the colony had expended in the general defence, more than its proportion. New-Haven had expended 7 pounds: 0:0 more than its proportion. This was exclusive of all the expense which these two colonies had borne in defending themselves against the Indians at Stamford and its vicinity, and in attempting to bring the murderers of the English to condign punishment. Massachu-setts and Plymouth paid the balance to Connecticut and New-Haven.

On the 27th of May, Peter Stuyvesant, who, the last year, had been appointed governor of New-Netherlands, arrived at Man-hadoes, and commenced his government of the Dutch settlements. The commissioners wrote him a long letter of congratulation. They complained also, that the Dutch sold arms and ammunition to the Indians, and even in the English plantations. They desired that an immediate stop might be put to so dangerous a trade. They made complaint also, that the Dutch had laid so severe aft impost upon all goods, as greatly discouraged trading with them, while all the harbors in the united colonies were open and free to them. As the Dutch also imposed heavy fines or forfeitures for misentries, or defect in commissions, the commissioners de-sired to be made particularly acquainted with their customs.

This winter, the fort and buildings at Saybrook unaccountably took fire, and, with some goods, were destroyed. Captain Mason, with his wife and child, narrowly escaped the conflagration. The damage was estimated at more than a thousand pounds.

1Records of the united colonies.