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of a large sum to the London merchants, (1626.) The difficulties with the merchants had been the least of the trials of the Plymouth settlers. Half of the one hundred and two of the Mayflower died within a year from the landing. “In the time of most distress," says the historian of the settlement, Governor Bradford, "there were but six or seven sound persons." After disease came want; "all their victuals were spent, and they were only to rest on God's providence; at night not many times knowing where to have a bit of any thing the next day.” When a ship load of fresh immigrants arrived nearly two years after, "the best dish they," the earlier comers, “could present their friends with, was a lobster or a piece of fish, without bread or any thing else but a cup of fair spring water." Nevertheless the Pilgrims, as they were called, sustained and extended their settlements. A second patent from the council was obtained for the country near the mouth of the Kennebec, where a trading post was presently established, (1628.) The whole extent of settlements, both at Plymouth and on the Kennebec, was included in a third patent, two years afterwards, (1630.)
One who reads the history of these times without personal or national prepossessions will not find any thing of a very extraordinary character in the settlement of Plymouth. They who came thither, braving the perils of the unknown sea and the unknown shore, were but doing what had been done by their countrymen in Virginia, and by others in other settlements in America. Solemnity is certainly imparted to their enterprise by the reflection that they came to maintain the doctrines and laws which their consciences approved, but which the authorities of England proscribed. Yet the Huguenots of Carolina had done the same thing more than half a century before. The true distinction
of the Puritans of Plymouth is this, that they relied upon themselves, that they adopted their own institutions. and developed their own resources, of course in a feeble, but not the less in a manly manner. Before they landed, they "covenant and combine themselves together into a civil body politic, to enact such just and equal laws as shall be thought most convenient for the general good of the colony." The state thus founded was continued in entire independence of external authority, except in so far as its territory was held by grants from the Council for New England.
Political The political forms of Plymouth were singuforms. larly simple. Every settler admitted to the privileges of the colony, and not an apprentice or a servant, was a freeman, a member of the body by which all affairs were administered or directed. An assembly of a representative character was not held for nearly twenty years, (1639.) Out of the freemen a smaller body was taken to exercise the every-day functions of government. It was composed merely of the governor and his assistants, or council, of which he was simply the presiding officer with a double vote. The first governor was John Carver; the second was William Bradford, who retained the post, with a few interruptions, for thirty-six years. It marks the simplicity, not to say the distastefulness, of these offices, that there should have been a law subjecting a man not having served the preceding year, and yet refusing to be governor, to a fine of twenty pounds, equivalent to a much larger amount in our day. A military body was headed by Miles Standish, the hero of the settlement.
But the spirit beneath these forms is of more importance than the forms themselves. The ear
nest faith of the Puritans was at once the source from which
the colony sprang, and the strength by which it grew. it was also the principle of harsh and arbitrary measures. It transformed the exiles into persecutors, many of whose companions found themselves again exiles, escaping from the mother country only to be thrust out from the sandy coasts and chilly hovels of the colony.
Meantime New England was portioned out unAttempt der various names. The secretary of the council,
John Mason, called his grant Mariana, stretching · ernment. from Salem River to the head of the Merrimac, Chaos. (1621.) The lands between the Merrimac and the Kennebec were conveyed under the name of Maine, in a grant to Mason in company with Sir Ferdinando Gorges, (1622.) The first settlement, however, in that neighborhood was made by some fishermen on the shore near Monhegan Island, beyond the Kennebec, and therefore independently of Mason and Gorges, (1622.) The next year the sites of the later Portsmouth and Dover were occupied, each under a separate association, to which the two proprietors had partially transferred their claims, (1623.) Meanwhile the Council for New England had been attempting great things, commissioning Captain Francis West as "Admiral of New England," Captain Robert Gorges as "Governor General," and the Rev. William Morrell as "Overseer of Churches." The last named was a clergyman of the English church. "He had," says Governor Bradford, "I know not what power and authority of superintendency over other churches granted him, and sundry instructions for that end, but he never showed it or made any use of it.' "It should seem," says the stout Puritan," he saw it was in vain; he only spoke of it to some here at his going away." The governor general and the admiral cut no better figure. The council, as if disgusted by the fate of their general officers, surrendered
their domains to chaos. New grants, within as well as without the limits of those already made, were issued by the council, or by members of the council; the whole coast from Plymouth to the Penobscot being cut up with dividing and intersecting lines.
Order began to be evolved. The partnership between Mason and Ferdinando Gorges being dissolved, (1629,) each obtained a new grant for himSomer- self. Mason gave the name of New Hampshire to setshire. the tract between the Merrimac (afterwards between the Salem) and the Piscataqua Rivers. The district between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec was called New Somersetshire by Gorges, who donned the title of Governor General of New England. "There was a consultation had,” writes an Englishman at the time, “to send him thither with a thousand soldiers." The scheme of a general government was not yet abandoned, (1634.)
A company of Puritans in England had some Ann and time before acquired a fishing station of the PlymSalem. outh colony at Cape Ann, (1624.) Thither a few settlers were sent; Roger Conant being soon after invited to be the governor, (1625.) He was a man of great spirit, who had found it prudent to leave Plymouth in consequence of his too liberal Puritanism, and who now sustained the puny colony on the cape by his courage and his judgment. Perceiving a much better position at Naumkeag, he removed thither, (1626,) and there held the ground with a few dispirited adherents until, in accordance with his recommendation, nearly a hundred settlers arrived from England under the conduct of John Endicott, (1628.) Endicott took the direction of the colony as the agent of a new company, by which a grant of the tract between the Charles and the Merrimac Rivers had been procured from the Council for New England. The name
of Naumkeag was changed to Salem in the ensuing year, (1629.)
New associates having joined the enterprise,of Massa- John Winthrop, Isaac Johnson, and others of note chusetts from Boston, a royal charter was procured for "The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." A governor, deputy governor, and eighteen assistants or councillors, were appointed to hold monthly courts and to conduct the affairs of administration. The members at large were to be convened from time to time in general courts, by which officers were to be chosen and laws enacted, subject only to the condition of conforming to the laws of England. No mention of religion or of religious liberty was made, it being out of the question for the Puritans to obtain the formal recognition of their own faith. Thus going behind the grant of the Council for New England, the Massachusetts association obtained an independent position, in the same character that belonged to the council itself, as an English corporation. But four months after the date of the charter, it was decided, on the proposal of the governor, Matthew Cradock, "to transfer the government of the plantation to those that shall inhabit there," (July 28, 1629.) This at once changed the corporation from an English to a colonial one.
Reënforcements had been sent out to the colony
Boston. at Salem, (1629.) But the accessions to the list
were now so great as to suggest the increase of settlements. The appointment of John Winthrop as governor, under the transfer of the charter to the colony, was followed by "the great emigration," so called, of about one thousand, who, after tarrying at Salem and the neighboring Charlestown, voted "that Trimountain shall be called Boston," (September 7, 1630,) and there took up their position at the centre