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PART III.—CHAPTER I.
The New England Colony and Government-Founding
of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies.
da was to se prompted pense of establie
It was the distinctive purpose of establishing an independent state that prompted the Massachusetts colonization. It was to set up a “commonwealth without a king and a church without a bishop” as wrote the old chronicalists. But the development of Nature will have course, in spite of men's minds to the contrary and their adverse enactments. As Momsen discovered of this law among the ancients, that even in democracy "It has at its core a monarchical principle in which the idea of a periclean commonwealth floats ever before the minds of its best citizens."
Now the reason for the attempt to set up a community. "without a king and without a bishop' is traced to the preceding religious controversy in England. The king was included with the bishop, solely because the king for the time became a religious partizan and countenanced the bigotry of church ordinances. The ruler of a state must be superior to creeds and churches.
It was in 1604 when England began to turn bigot. The Bishop of London in that year procured the ratification of a "Book of Canons” of 141 articles, non-conformation to which was punishable with outlawry, excommunication and imprisonment.
At this time, Holland was more liberal than England; so a congregation of people from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, and Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, under leadership of Rev. Richard Clifton, Prof. John Robinson and William Brewster, Esq., after many risks and persecutions, succeeded in escaping to Leyden, in Holland, in the year 1608. Here it may be added that the rigors of the doctrine of these “puritan” people were if anything severer than the papal and semi-papal from which they fled; for those who did not believe were no less heretics than they themselves were to the Church of Rome. These Puritans who escaped from the persecution of the Church of England differed only in the elective principle of the office of the church which they adopted. They proscribed the grand music of the masters and reprobated the aesthetic ornamentation and development of life as superfluous. They rejected symbolism as a specie of idolatry. They proscribed in witchcraft and burned witches with the same fury and abhorence as the Catholics burned heretics. They gave the individual the privilege of self-representation before God and repudiated the demands of the confessional. During their residence in Holland, they enjoyed the esteem of the Dutch magistrates by their orderly conduct and attention to industry, many among them laboring as spinners and craftsmen. Yet although enjoying "complete freedom of conscience” in Holland, they reverted often to their original plan of “founding a state without a king, and a church without a bishop.” Thus urged by the stimulus of this ambition, they resolved to go to America. Learning of their intent, the Dutch government offered them lands in their American possessions, but they refused, preferring an independent state.
Now.as all the land in America was holden by European powers, they were obliged to obtain a charter for colonization from some one of them. They chose England, because England was their home, the provisions of an English charter would be as liberal as any and they were better acquainted with English institutions and law than with those of other states. By the provisions of this charter, which they obtained, they were obliged to take oath of allegiance to the sovereign, making the king, at least in name, the chief authority of their proposed state, being thankful to be well rid of the bishop.
In the cabin of their little ship, the “Mayflower," they outlined the measure of their own government, thus :“November 11th, 1620, this day before we come to harbor. . . it was thought good that there should be an association and agreement, that we should combine together in one body and submit to such government and governors as we shall by common consent agree to choose.” (Palfrey, Hist. of New Eng., Vol. I., p. 227.)
In 1627, Isaac de Rasiere, a prominent officer and merchant of New Netherland (New York) wrote a description of the condition in New England :-“The governor has his council, which is chosen every year by election by the entire community, or by prolongation of term. In the inheritance they place all the children in one degree, only the eldest son has an acknowledgement for his seniority.”
Soon after the news of their establishment was arrived in England, there came out a great multitude to keep company with their primitive state, among whom were some liberals and others more conventional. This new company obtained an extensive grant of land from the Crown, which grant was denominated “Massachusetts Bay.” This was obtained by Sir John Rowell, kt., Sir John Young, kt., Thomas Southcote, John Humphrey, John Endicott, and Simon Whitcomb, gentlemen ; but there were with them a great many preachers, and the religious, or church, idea was the dominant one. May 18th, 1631, the General Court at Boston declared :“To the end the body of the commons be preserved of honest and good men, ordered and agreed, that, for the time to come no man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body politic but such as be members of some of the churches within the same (Palfrey, I., p. 345).” That is, no member of the Church of England, no Catholic, no Quaker, no free-thinker could be a citizen of the new commonwealth. Moreover, a little later, such people when found coming to the colony, were banished with penalties against their returning. This induced a struggle of the non-bigoted.
The beginning of the fling of defiance against this theological tyranny was made by men of rank, birth and education. These demanded the magistracy. There was a provision that "the magistrates should be men of quality.” After this there were three classes, mutually opposed :-1, the magistrates; 2, the clergy; 3, the citizen-electors. The magistrates, originally appointed in England, were confined thenceforward to men of rank in the colony. (Palfrey, I., p. 384.)
In 1637, by desire of this genealogical element of rank, since property was evenly divided among the children and was not a factor in the reckoning, it was decid
admitted to of the congulonial military Cup
ed :-“That the General Court be holden in May next (1637) for the election of magistrates, and so from time to time as occasion shall require, shall elect a certain number of magistrates for the term of their lives, as a standing council, not to be removed but on due conviction of crime," etc. The governor was president of this council. Winthrop, Endicott and Dudley were the first life-counsellors. (Palfrey I., p. 441.) About this time others were admitted to vote for the choice of military officers who were not of the congregational church, provided they were in some of the colonial military organizations. Thus early a distinction began to grow up among military men, proclaiming them to be of a different mind from those of the civil community. Before this, in 1634, under the governorship of John Endicott, who was thus false to his oath of allegiance, the red cross was cut out of the white flag of England in the colony and the pine tree was substituted as the ensign of New England. A short time after this, a ship of the king sailed into port. There was no Royal Ensign at the fort to salute. A sailor having declared the inhabitants to be rebels and traitors was imprisoned by order of the governor. The captain of the ship demanded an English flag to salute. Not one could be found in the colony. The captain agreed to loan one for temporary use at the fort. The governor's council permitted it, without taking formal action to restore the colors, after the loan had been returned-so far had they embarked with their idea of an independent state.
No sooner was the colony in a prosperous condition than colonists, some Presbyterian, some Huguenot, the former from the British Isles, the latter from France and Holland, came, attracted by this condition. With them came gradually the infiltration of loftier standards and nobler thoughts, borne from the aristocratic principality of La Rochelle that had withstood the assaults of the Catholic power in France and had made a treaty with the Protestant monarchy of England under Queen Elizabeth; that had already plotted with the great Coligny to erect the structure of a Roman commonwealth on the Carolinian shore, after the pattern of the palatine burghs of the south of Europe.
Now this idea of a Roman commonwealth, or empire, in America, borne across the sea from the south of France, legitimated in continuing the empire in America first instituted by Charles V. in the 16th century, although blotted out by Catholic intrigue, had much to do in shaping after-politics in America.
The palatine burghs of the Roman Empire in France had been Marseilles, Narbonne, Toulouse and Bessières. Those regions of France in which they were most dominant were Aquitaine and Provence. It was in the palatine burghs of these provinces that freedom of thought ventured first in Europe, in the 12th and 13th centuries, to stand erect in the glorious magnificence of its genius. In the crucible of its liberality it united the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, which the Arabian doctors brought across the Pyrenees from the Moorish Kingdoms of Granada and Cordova, then in effulgent growth in the Spanish Peninsula. With them was carried the precepts of Mehomet to be united with those of Christ, producing a species of deism whose liberality was above all creeds. This preserved carefully all the ornate surroundings of the ancient cult; addressed in artistic verse of high-flown poetry the myths of the Ancient World and adored Art and Knowledge as the visible manifestations of Divine Genius. This rennaissance in the South of France was the brightest and most splendid of Europe. From the warm glow of its light and life, it cast a flash that fell as a menace on the dark and gloomy church of the popes. The sound of its joys of Earth's blessing awakened the wrath of the Catholic heirarchy that was striving to repress the same to its own behests. The sight of the prosperity of the teeming cities of Narbonne, Bessières and Toulouse, rich with the products of the most intelligent and best trained industry of Europe, aroused the cupidity and envy of the Catholic Christians and gave a stimulus to the Pope to pronounce an anathema against this and to preach that Albegensian Crusade which brought the savage allies of the Papacy from every country in Europe in a flood of hatred, lust and extermination. That civilization was swept away. The King of Aragon, who was of this proscription, was slain in battle, helping bravely his friends of France. The scattered