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Jesus Christ, and to injoye the liberties of the Gospell in puritie with peace; and wheras in our setling (by a wise providence of God) we are further disperced upon the sea coasts and rivers then was at first intended, so that we cannot, according to our desires, with conveniencie comunicate in one govermente and jurisdiction; and wheras we live encompassed with people of severall nations and strange languages, which hereafter may prove injurious to us and (or) our posteritie; and for as much as the natives have formerly committed sundrie insolencies and outrages upon severall plantations of the English, and have of late combined them selves against us; and seeing, by reason of those (sad) distractions in England (which they have heard of) and by which they know we are hindered from that humble way of seeking advice or reaping those comfurtable fruits of protection which at other times we might well expecte; we therfore doe conceive it our bounden duty, without delay, to enter into a presente consociation amongst our selves, for mutuall help and strength in all our future concernments. That as in nation and religion, so in other respects, we be and continue one, according to the tenor and true meaning of the insuing articles. (1) Wherfore it is fully agreed and concluded by and betweene the parties or jurisdictions above named, and they joyntly and severally doe by these presents agree and conclude, that they all be and henceforth be called by the name of The UNITED COLONIES OF New-ENGLAND.
2. The said United Collonies, for them selves and their posterities, doe joyntly and severally hereby enter into a firme and perpetuall league of frendship and amitie, for offence and defence, mutuall combination. The meeting of the four plantations resulted in mutual concession, and in the Articles of Confederation, the most important step in administration yet taken by the governments, and fruitful in good results. The Plymouth commissioners, being empowered only to treat, but not to determine, could not sign the Articles, as did the commissioners of the other plantations; but on returning to Plymouth the Articles were accepted and ratified. Winthrop, History, 11. *100; 4 Mass. Hist. Collections, vi. 173. On June 19 Winthrop wrote to New Haven, “wherein from Mr. Winslow he signifies the cheerefull concurrence of the Court att Plymouth in the said confederation.” New Haven Col. Rec., I. 96. Had not this confederation been formed, a partial union would have been arranged between Connecticut and the New Haven plantations. Conn. Col. Rec., I. 82.
advice and succore upon all just occasions, both for preserving and propagating the truth (and liberties) of the Gospell, and for their owne mutuall saftie and wellfare.
3. It is further agreed that the plantations which at presente are or hereafter shall be setled with[in] the limites of the Massachusets shall be for ever under the Massachusets, and shall have peculier jurisdiction amonge them selves in all cases, as an intire body. And that Plimoth, Conightecutt, and New-Haven shall each of them have like peculier jurisdition and govermente within their limites and in refference to the plantations which allready are setled, or shall hereafter be erected, or shall setle within their limites, respectively; provided that no other jurisdition shall hereafter be taken in, as a distincte head or member of this confederation, nor shall any other plantation or jurisdiction in presente being, and not allready in combination or under the jurisdiction of any of these confederates, be received by any of them; nor shall any tow of the confederates joyne in one jurisdiction, without consente of the rest, which consente to be interpreted as is expresed in the sixte article ensewing."
4. It is by these conffederates agreed, that the charge of all just warrs, whether offencive or defencive, upon what parte or member of this confederation soever they fall, shall, both in men, provissions, and all other disbursments, be borne by all the parts of this confederation, in differente proportions, according to their differente abillities, in maner following: namely, that the comissioners for each jurisdiction, from time to time, as ther shall be occasion, bring accounte and number of all their males in every plantation, or any way belonging too or under their severall jurisdictions, of what qualitie or condition soever they be, from. 16•years old to.60.[threescore) being inhabitants ther;2 and that according to the differente numbers which from time to time shall be found in each jurisdiction upon a true and just accounte, the service of men and all charges of the warr
1 It was originally intended that Sir Ferdinando Gorges' province of Maine should be a member of this Confederation. Why the plan was not carried out is related in Winthrop, History, 11. *85.
? This was done in August, 1645, by all the colonies except Massachusetts Bay, but the returns have not been preserved. Plymouth Col. Rec., IX. 49.
be borne by the pole; each jurisdiction or plantation being left to their owne just course and custome of rating them selves and people according to their differente estates, with due respects to their qualities and exemptions amongst them selves, though the confederates (confederation) take no notice of any shuch priviledg. And that according to their differente charge of each jurisdiction and plantation, the whole advantage of the warr, (if it please God to blesse their indeaours) whether it be in lands, goods, or persons, shall be proportionably devided amonge the said confederates.
5. It is further agreed, that if (any of] these jurisdictions, or any plantation under or in combynacion with them, be invaded by any enemie whomsoever, upon notice and requeste of any •3• (258) magistrates of that jurisdiction of (so) invaded, the rest of the confederates, without any further meeting or expostulation, shall forthwith send ayd to the confederate in danger, but in differente proportion; namely, the Massachusets an hundred men sufficently armed and provided for shuch a service and journey, and each of the rest forty five so armed and provided, or any lesser number, if less be required according to this proportion. But if shuch confederate in danger may be supplyed by their nexte confederates, not exceeding the number hereby agreed, they may crave help ther, and seeke no further for the presente; the charge to be borne as in this article is exprest, and at the returne to be victuled and suplyed with powder and shote for their jurney (if ther be need) by that jurisdiction which imployed or sent for them. But none of the jurisdictions to exceede these numbers till, by a meeting of the commissioners for this confederation, a greater aide appear nessessarie. And this proportion to continue till upon knowlege of greater numbers in each jurisdiction, which shall be brought to the nexte meeting, and some other proportion be ordered. But in (any) shuch case of sending men for presente aide, whether before or after shuch order or alteration, it is agreed that at the meeting of the comissioners for this confederation, that the cause of shuch warr or invasion be duly considered; and if it appeare that the falte lay in the parties so invaded, that then that jurisdiction or plantation make just satisfaction both to the invaders whom they have injured, and beare all the charges of the warr them selves, without
requiring any allowance from the rest of the confederates towards the same. And further, that if any jurisdiction see any danger of any invasion approaching, and ther be time for a meeting, that in shuch a case • 3. magistrates of that jurisdiction may summone a meeting, at shuch conveniente place as them selves shall thinke meete, to consider and provid against the threatened danger, provided when they are mett, they may remove to what place they please; only, whilst any of these foure confederates have but •3• magistrates in their jurisdiction, their requeste, or summons, from any :2. of them shall be accounted of equall force with the 3. mentioned in both the clauses of this article, till ther be an increase of majestrates ther.
6. It is also agreed that, for the managing and concluding of all affairs propper, and concerning the whole confederation, two comissioners shall be chosen by and out of each of these • 4• jurisdictions; namly,•2• for the Massachusets, •2• for Plimoth, 2. for Conightecutt, and 2. for New-Haven, being all in church fellowship with us, which shall bring full power from their severall Generall Courts respectively to hear, examene, waigh, and detirmine all affairs of sour]' warr, or peace, leagues, aids, charges, and numbers of men for warr, divissions of spoyles, and whatsoever is gotten by conquest; receiving of more confederates, or plantations into combination with any of the confederates, and all things of like nature, which are the proper concomitants or consequences of shuch a confederation, for amitie, offence, and defence; not intermedling with the govermente of any of the jurisdictions, which by the •3• article is preserved entirely to them selves. But if these. 8. comissioners when they meete shall not all agree, yet it [is] concluded that any.6. of the .8. agreeing shall have power to setle and determine the bussines in question. But if.6. doe not agree, that then shuch propositions, with their reasons, so farr as they have been debated, be sente, and referred to the .4. Generall Courts, viz. the Massachusets, Plimoth, Conightecutt, and New-haven; and if at all the said Generall Courts the bussines so referred be concluded, then to be prosecuted by the confederates, and all their members. It was [is] further agreed that these ·8. comisioners shal meete once every
1 This word is not in the New Haven copy of the Articles.
year, besides extraordinarie meetings, (according to the fifte article,) to consider, treate, and conclude of all affaires belonging to this confederation, which meeting shall ever be the first Thursday in September. And that the next meeting after the date of these presents, which shall be accounted the second meeting, shall be at Boston in the Massachusets, the •3• at Hartford, the .4. at New-Haven, the .5. at Plimoth, (the sixt and seauenth at Bostone And then Hartford New Hauen and Plymouth) and so in course successively, if in the meane time some midle place be not found out and agreed on, which
be comodious for all the jurisdictions.
7. It is further agreed, that at each meeting of these · 8. comissioners, whether ordinarie, or extraordinary, they all (or any).6. of them agreeing as before, may chuse a (their) presidente out of them selves, whose office and work shall be to take care and directe for order, and a comly carrying on of all proceedings in the present meeting; but he shall be invested with no shuch power or, respecte, as by which he shall hinder the propounding or progrese of any bussines, or any way cast the scailes otherwise then in the precedente article is agreed. (259)
8. It is also agreed, that the comissioners for this confederation hereafter at their meetings, whether ordinarie or extraordinary, as they may have comission or opportunitie, doe indeaover to frame and establish agreements and orders in generall cases of a civill nature, wherin all the plantations are interessed, for the preserving of peace amongst them selves, and preventing as much as may be all occasions of warr or difference with others; as aboute the free and speedy passage of justice, in every jurisdiction, to all the confederates equally as to their owne; not receiving those that remove from one plantation to another without due certificate; how all the jurisdictions may carry [it] towards the Indeans, that they neither growe insolente, nor be injured without due satisfaction, least warr breake in upon the confederates through such miscarriages. It is also agreed, that if any servante rune away from his maister into an[any) other of these confederated jurisdictions, that in shuch case, upon the certificate of one magistrate in the jurisdiction out of which the said servante fedd, or upon other due proofe, the said servante shall be delivered, either to his maister, or any other that pursues and brings such certificate or