« AnteriorContinuar »
and a place of meeting togather before any Generall Courte to aduise and consult of all such things as may concerne the good of the publike, as also to examine their owne Elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the gretest parte of them find any election to be illegall they may seclud such for present from their meeting, and returne the same and their resons to the Courte ; and if yt proue true, the Courte may fyne the party or partyes so intruding and the Towne, if they see cause, and giue out a warrant to goe to a newe election in a legall way, either in parte or in whole. Also the said deputyes shall haue power to fyne any that shall be disorderly at their meetings, or for not coming in due tyme or place according to appoyntment; and they may returne the said fynes into the Courte if yt be refused to be paid, and the tresurer to take notice of yt, and to estreete or levy the same as he doth other fynes.
10. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that euery Generall Courte, except such as through neglecte of the Gouernor and the greatest parte of Magestrats the Freemen themselves doe call, shall consist of the Gouernor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, and 4 other Magestrats at lest, with the mayor parte of the deputyes of the seuerall Townes legally chosen ; and in case the Freemen or mayor parte of them through neglect or refusall of the Gouernor and mayor parte of the magestrats, shall call a Courte, yt shall consist of the mayor parte of Freemen that are present or their deputyes, with a moderator chosen by them. In which said Generall Courts shall consist the supreme power of the commonwelth, and they only shall haue power to make laws or repeale them, to graunt leuyes, to admitt of Freemen, dispose of lands vndisposed of, to seuerall Townes or persons, and also shall haue power to call ether Courte or Magestrate or any other person whatsoeuer into question for any misdemeanour, and may for just causes displace or deale otherwise according to the nature of the
offence; and also may deale in any other matter that concerns the good of this common welth, excepte election of Magestrats, which shall be done by the whole boddy of Freemen.
In which Courte the Gouernour or Moderator shall haue power to order the Courte to giue liberty of speech, and silence vnceasonable and disorderly speakeings, to put all things to voate, and in case the vote be equall to haue the casting voice. But non of these Courts shall be adiorned or dissolued without the consent of the maior parte of the Court.
II. It is ordered, sentenced and decreed, that when any Generall Courte vppon the occations of the commonwelth haue agreed vppon any summe or sommes of mony to be leuyed vppon the seuerall Townes within this Jurisdiction, that a Committee be chosen to sett out and appoynt with shall be the proportion of euery Towne to pay of the said leuy, provided the Committees be made vp of an equall number out of each Towne.
14th January, 1638, the 11 Orders abouesaid are voted.
NEW ENGLAND CONFEDERA
NEED of protection against the Dutch and Indians led to the formation of this league. The first suggestion came from Connecticut as early as 1637 but the scheme did not assume definite shape until 1643. The articles of confederation were signed by commissioners from Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut and New Haven, May 19, 1643, while Plymouth gave her assent later, after submitting the articles to the approval of the people. The league under the official designation of “The United Colonies of New England ” embraced the four colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Haven, with a population of 24,000 in 39 towns. (Frothingham.) Rhode Island was refused admission.
“A great principle was at the bottom of the confederation ; but, noble as were the aims of those who handled it, they had not yet attained to sufficient breadth of view to apply it even to the whole of New England." (Frothingham.)
The incorporation of New Haven with Connecticut by the royal charter of 1662 destroyed the balance of power in the confederation and “ of the brave confederacy of the Four Colonies only the
shadow of a great name was left.” (Palfrey.) The last meeting was held at Hartford Sept. 5, 1684. It has been suggested at the idea of this union was derived from the confederacy of the Low Countries.
According to the Tory historian Chalmers, this confederation “offers the first example of collition in colonial story and showed to party leaders in after times the advantages of concert.”
Two copies of the acts of the commissioners of the United Colonies are extant, the Connecticut copy, quite complete, now at Hartford, and the Plymouth, slightly incomplete, now at Massachusetts State House. These proceedings have been printed from the Plymouth copy with additions from the Connecticut copy, constituting vols. 9 and 10 of Records of the Plymouth Colony, and the Plymouth copy is also printed in vol. 2 of Hazard's Historical Collections.
A list of the various commissioners may be found in Palfrey's Hist. of N. E., and a full list of meetings is given in Frothingham's Rise, 63, note.
Consult Palfrey's Hist. New England, I., 623 ; et seq. Bancroft's Hist. U. S., ist ed. I., 420; cen. ed. I., 340 ; last ed. I., 289; Hildreth's Hist. U. S., I, 285; Barry's Hist. Mass., ist period, 318; J. S. Adam's Historical Address, Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll. 3d series, vol. ix. Frothingham's Republic U. S., 39; Bryant and Gay's Hist. U. S., II., 49; Chalmers' Political Annals, 177.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
Betweene the plantations vnder the Gouernment of the
Massachusetts, the Plantacons vnder the Gouernment of New Plymouth, the Plantacons vnder the Gouern ment of Connectacutt, and the Gouernment of New Haven with the Plantacons in combinacon therewith
WHEREAS wee all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and ayme, namely, to advaunce the kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospell in puritie with peace. And whereas in our settleinge (by a wise Providence of God) we are further dispersed vpon the Sea Coasts and Riuers then was at first intended, so that we cannot according to our desire, with convenience communicate in one Gouernment and Jurisdiccon. And whereas we live encompassed with people of seuerall Nations and strang languages which heareafter may proue injurious to vs or our posteritie. And forasmuch as the Natives have formerly committed sondry insolences and outrages vpon seueral Plantacons of the English and have of late combined themselues against vs. And seing by reason of those sad Distraccons in England, which they have heard of, and by which they know we are hindred from that humble way of seekinge advise or reapeing those comfortable fruits of protection which at other tymes we might well expecte. Wee therefore doe conceiue it our bounden Dutye without delay to enter into a present consotiation amongst our selues for mutual help and strength in all our future concernements: That as in Nation and Religion, so in other Respects we bee and continue one according to the tenor and true meaninge of the ensuing Articles : Wherefore it is fully agreed and concluded by and betweene the parties or Jurisdiccons aboue named, and they joyntly and seuerally doe by these presents agreed and concluded that they all bee,