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the arbitrary rule of its ducal proprietor, who allowed no Assembly till 1683, were not so favorably situated. Pennsylvania was subjected to claims asserted nowhere else, as well as deprived of rights denied nowhere else, by two peculiarities in the charter to William Penn; one, the assertion of the power of Parliament to tax the colony, the other, the omission of the title of the colonists to the rights of Englishmen. The record that four of the proprietary governments were changed to royal governments, Carolinas, New York, and New Jersey, and all at the desire of the colonists, bears witness against the institutions of which proprietors were the chiefs. The royal provinces, however, were organized on the same terms as the proprietary colonies, except that, the king being at the head of affairs, the institutions of the provinces were more uniform. The number of provinces was seven: the four just mentioned, with the older Virginia and New Hampshire and the younger Georgia.
In some of the colonies, especially those in the north, the towns were at the centre of their organization. These were the primary bodies in which the colonists
stitutions." Of the system thus concocted, the primary element was property, the scale of colonial dignities being graduated according to the possessions of the colonist. Seigniories for the proprietors, baronies for landgraves and caciques, colonies for lords of manors, or freeholders, were the divisions of the soil. Authority was parcelled out amongst palatine and other courts for the proprietors, a grand council for them and their nobility, and a Parliament for the proprietors, the nobility, and the lords of manors. As for those not wealthy enough for either of these classes, they were hereditary tenants, or else slaves. The church of the colony was to be the church of England, with a certain amount of toleration for other creeds. This extraordinary mass of titles and of powers held together for just twenty-three years, (1669–1693,) but without ever getting into actual operation. It was relinquished by the proprietors at the universal desire of the colonists, who naturally preferred the simpler and the freer institutions originally reared under the charter.
were grouped and trained as freemen. Their workings, where they existed, are written on every page of the colonial and the national annals. Where they did not exist, their places were but poorly supplied by plantations or vestries. An instinct, as it may be called, after the establishment of towns, led the early legislators of Virginia into curious expedients. At one time, the resources of the colony were to be brought to bear on making Jamestown a city worthy of the name, (1662;) at another, each county was directed to lay out a town of its own, (1680.) At length a new capital was founded at Williamsburg, (1698.)
Next to the town or its substitute, under every form of government as ultimately established, there was one and the same body. This was the assembly, the same cherished institution to the colony that Parliament was to the mother land. At first, in some places, composed of all the freemen, then placed upon a representative basis, and then divided into two houses, one of councillors or assistants, the other of representatives or burgesses, the assembly exercised all the functions of a legislature, subject, of course, to the law and the sovereign of England. The House of Representatives, or of Burgesses, as the case might be in the different colonies, constituted the popular branch, so entirely in some instances as to go by the name of the assembly, leaving the councillors or assistants to appear, what they generally were, the officers of the crown. But the assembly was by no means popular, according to modern notions. A large amount of property, real or personal, was usually essential as a qualification of membership, the very voters being under some conditions of the same nature. The sessions were often few and far between; in some colonies, and at some periods, not more frequent than once in three years, or even more than three. An assembly, moreover, would sometimes hold over beyond
its lawful term, becoming as much of a burden to the colony as it was intended to be an assistance. But when once convened, at the proper season and in the proper spirit, the assembly was a tower of strength to its people.
That which was most variable, not to say most ineffective, in the colonies, was the very thing that should have been most stable and most powerful. The church of Christ was rent with factions. The blessings that might have issued from a common church, had it been pure and true, have no place in our history. The church of England was established in Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia. The Quakers and the Presbyterians prevailed in the central colonies; in the northern, the Puritans carried all before them. Such divisions would not merely prevent unity; they would break up liberty.
Amongst the harshest provisions of the Massation in chusetts system was that excluding all but church chusetts. members from the rights of freemen. Against this, Child. chiefly, was directed the petition of Dr. Robert Child, and six others, some of them of the highest station, church membership excepted, in the colony, (1646.) Child was a young man, recently arrived in the country with the purpose of making some scientific inquiry into its mineral resources. At the time of his petition, he was on the point of returning to England, but with the idea, apparently, of coming back to Massachusetts, could he be received on equal terms with the freemen of the colony. Be this as it may, he and his fellow-petitioners asked for admission to the privileges of Massachusetts, instead of which they found themselves charged with "contemptuous and seditious expressions," for which they were arraigned and heavily fined. Thus treated, they set about preparing a memorial, which Child was to convey to Parliament, and in support of which, another document, praying "for liberty
of conscience, and for a general governor" from England, was hastily got up amongst several of the non-freemen of Boston and its neighborhood. Only a few signatures to this paper were obtained, probably on account of the risk which the signers ran; one of the most active of their number being put in irons, on the discovery of the affair by the magistrates. Child himself, and some of his fellowmemorialists, were also seized; their papers were examined, and their persons detained in custody until after the ship in which they intended to take passage for England had departed. A copy of their memorial reached London, but was never acted upon.
"I have done too much of that work already," Baptists. John Winthrop, the governor for many years, is reported to have said in his last hours, when urged to sign an order of banishment against a believer in a different church than his own, (1649.) But he left others to carry out the austerities from which the approach of death might well recall a human spirit. Within two years, John Clarke, a minister amongst the Baptist exiles of Rhode Island, was arrested while preaching in a house at Lynn, (1651.) "They more uncivilly disturbed us," said he, "than the pursuivants of the old English bishops were wont to do.” Imprisoned with some of his fellow-Baptists in Boston, Clarke did not give way, but demanded the opportunity of proving, prisoner as he was, "that no servant of Jesus. Christ hath any authority to restrain any fellow-servant in his worship, where no injury is offered to others." The answer of the magistrates was, " Fined twenty pounds, or to be well whipped." One of his comrades escaped with a smaller fine, but another was whipped, while two persons who showed compassion upon him were themselves arrested and fined. Clarke, after paying his fine, would have sailed to England. But not allowed even to do this, he made his
way to New Amsterdam, where he met with humaner treatment, and found the means of crossing the sea. Arrived in England, he published his "Ill News from New England," "wherein is declared, that while old England is becoming new,* New England is becoming old." "The authority there established," he says, "cannot permit men, though of never so civil, sober, and peaceable a spirit and life, freely to enjoy their understandings and consciences, nor yet to live or come among them, unless they can do as they do, and say as they say, or else say nothing; and so may a man live at Rome also," (1652.)
Clarke's case appears to have excited attention, notwithstanding the late indifference in relation to Child and his fellow-petitioners. Such as were opposed to the Puritans did not stand alone in condemning their intolerance. One of their own number, an early and a distinguished member of the Massachusetts Company, wrote to the elders, Wilson and Cotton, in terms of sorrowful remonstrance. “It doth not a little grieve my spirit to hear what sad things are reported daily of your tyranny and persecution in New England, as that you fine, whip, and imprison men for their consciences.
These rigid ways have laid you low in the hearts of the saints." Thus wrote Sir Richard Saltonstall, a Puritan, but not a persecutor, a lover of other men's liberty, as well as of his own.
His letter was unheeded. Within a very brief of Har period, the first president of Harvard College, vard Col- Henry Dunster, a clergyman, a scholar, and a true man, was tried, convicted, and obliged to resign his office, on the charge of being a Baptist, (1654.) "The whole transaction of this business," wrote he. "ja
In the time of the commonwealth.