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Some things handled, and pacified by the commissioner[s] this year.
Wheras, by a wise providence of God, tow of the jurisdictions in the westerne parts, viz. Conightecutt and New-haven, have beene latly exercised by sundrie insolencies and outrages from the Indeans; as, John Browne. It is hardly probable that in so important a matter, one that would be strongly urged by Massachusetts Bay, Browne acted without consulting and receiving the approval of his colleague, Edward Winslow. No records exist to show how the ministers of Plymouth Plantation were supported, or the manner in which the money was raised. The Plantation made grants of land to each minister, but presumably this was to him as a member of the community and not to the pastor. It was a personal allotment, not in the nature of a glebe. The description by Winthrop of his visit to Plymouth in 1632 includes a contribution at the termination
2 fou Lubong from
of the Lord's day service, of which the Deacon put the congregation in mind. P. 161, supra. An enforced contribution, by way of taxation, was offensive to some, as in the case of Nathaniel Briscoe of Watertown; but from that method to a belief that the ministry should be unpaid, a variety of opinions prevailed and practises existed. The Commissioners of the United Colonies in 1644 made the following entry to their minutes:
“Whereas the most considerable persons in these colonies came into these parts of America that they might enjoy Christ in his ordinances without disturbance, and whereas among many other precious mercies the ordinances have beene and are dispenced among us with much puritie and power. The Commissioners tooke it into their serious consideration how some due mayntenance according to God might be provided and setled both for the present and future for the encouragement of the ministers who labour therein and concluded to propound and commend it to eich generall Court, That those that are taught in the word in the severall plantations be called together, that euery man voluntaryly set downe what he is willing to allow to that end and use. And if any man refuse to pay a meete proportion, that then hee be rated by authoryty in some just and equall way. And if after this any man withhold or delay due payment, the ciuill power to be exercised as in other just debts.” Against the last sentence is noted in the margin: “Mr. Browne desired further consideration about the 2 last clauses of this conclusion." Plymouth Col. Rec., IX. 19. The question appears to have rested for some years. Hutchinson Papers, *285.
first; an Englishman, runing from his m[aste]r out of the Massachusets, was murdered in the woods, in or nere the limites of Conightecute jurisdiction;' and aboute .6. weeks after, upon discovery by an Indean, the Indean Sagamore[s] in these parts promised to deliver the murderer to the English, bound; and having accordingly brought him within the sight of Uncaway, by their joynte consente, as it is informed, he was ther unbound, and left to shifte for him selfe; wherupon . 10. Englishmen forthwith coming to the place, being sente by Mr. Ludlow, at the Indeans desire, to receive the murderer, who seeing him escaped, layed hold of.8. of the Indeans ther presente, amongst whom ther was a sagamore or . 2. and kept them in hold • 2. days, till • 4• sagamors ingaged themselves within one month to deliver the prisoner. And about a weeke after this agreemente, an Indean came presumtuously and with guile, in the day time, and murtherously assalted an English woman in her house at Stamford, and by :3. wounds, supposed mortall, left her for dead, after he had robbed the house. By which passages the English were provoaked, and called to a due consideration of their owne saftie; and the Indeans generally in those parts arose in an hostile manner, refused to come to the English to carry on treaties of peace, departed from their wigwames, left their corne unweeded, and shewed them selves tumultu
1 The murder was committed between Stamford and Uncoway (Fairfield). For nearly two years the magistrates of Stamford had experienced difficulties in their relations with the Indians near that settlement, and had appealed to the other English settlements for advice and assistance. The “insolencies and outrages” of the Indians became such that Stamford wished to declare war, could the coöperation of New Haven be obtained. Not long after the Indians began hostilities in a series of murders. New Haven Col. Rec., 1. 69, 79, 119, 134. Ludlow's letter stated that he had caused seven Indians to be apprehended, hoping thereby to secure a surrender of the murderers. The Indians began to come in large numbers round the town, and New Haven offered to send aid. Ib.
134 Uncoway (Un-quo-wa, as Hollister gives it) was a settlement begun by Roger Ludlow, and later became Fairfield. Schenck, History of Fairfield, 1. 2. :"or 9”
an easy error to make "ye" into 9. • The name of the woman was Phelps, that of her assailant, Busheag. The woman recovered and identified the Indian, who was condemned to die by decapitation. Winthrop, History, 11. *189; Huntington, History of Stamford, 106.
• As the Indian tribes in the neighborhood of the settlements on the Connecticut
ously about some of the English plantations, and shott of peeces within hearing of the towne; and some Indeans came to the English and tould them the Indeans would fall upon them. So that most of the English thought it unsafe to travell in those parts by land, and some of the plantations were put upon strong watches and ward, night and day, and could not attend their private occasions, and yet distrusted their owne strength for their defence. Wherupon Hartford and NewHaven were sent unto for aide, and saw cause both to send into the weaker parts of their owne jurisdiction thus in danger, and NewHaven, for conveniencie of situation, sente aide to Uncaway, though belonging to Conightecutt. Of all which passages they presently acquainted the comissioners in the Bay, and had the allowance and approbation from the Generall Courte ther, with directions neither to hasten a warr nor to bear shuch insolencies too longe. Which courses, though chargable to them selves, yet through Gods blessing they hope (the) fruite is, and will be, sweete and wholsome to all the collonies; the murderers are since delivered to justice, the publick peace preserved for the presente, and probabillitie it may be better secured for the future. 1
Thus this mischeefe was prevented, and the fear of a warr hereby diverted. But now an other broyle was begune by the Narigan
were obliged to pay an annual tribute to the English in corn, the care of the growing crops formed an assurance for the payment. The action of the natives in neglecting this duty was interpreted as a declaration that they did not intend to fulfil the conditions of tribute, under which alone they held and could enjoy the lands retained or assigned to them for cultivation. As corn constituted the great, if not the sole, circulating medium in the plantations, the currency in which workmen received their wages, the disturbance caused by a failure of the supply would be serious.
· Plymouth Col. Rec., IX. 26. Bradford omits to state that on the question of distributing the charges of this incident, it was decided that the jurisdictions immediately concerned should meet the expense, and the general rule laid down that “till warr be begunn vpon some one of the Colonies by an Actuall Assault, no charge shalbe expected from the rest of the Jurisdicions." Plymouth Col. Rec., IX. 27. Such a resolution exerted a restraining influence upon each jurisdiction facing the question of war and its attendant expenses, and relieved a plantation, like Plymouth, from any share in the cost of local expeditions.