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These facts must be deemed a sufficient proof, that Mr. Gorton and his friends had a fair title to the lands, or, at least, that they must be acquitted of the charge of defrauding the inferior sachems. But Massachusetts was not destitute of the inclination, which all states have usually possessed, to extend her authority. The submission of these sachems gave her a plausible pretext; and her rulers again summoned Gorton and his friends to appear at Boston, informing them that they were within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. They again refused ; and an armed force of forty men was sent to Shawomet, who seized Mr. Gorton and ten of his friends, and carried them to Boston, where they were imprisoned. Their cattle were carried away with them, their property otherwise injured or seized, and their families left to the mercy of the Indians.

At Boston, they were tried for their lives, not for any specific civil crime, but on the general charge of being enemies to true religion, and to civil authority. They were saved from death, by a majority, it is said, of two votes only. They were, nevertheless, sentenced to a severe punishment. Mr. Gorton was ordered to be confined at Charlestown, and the others in different towns.

Each was compelled to wear an iron chain, fast bolted round the leg, and in this manner to labor. If they spoke to any person, except an officer of church or state, they were to suffer death. They were kept at labor during the winter, and were then banished from Massachusetts, and from the lands at Shawomet, on pain of death.

Mr. Gorton, and two of his friends, afterwards went to England, where they obtained an order from the Earl of Warwick and the other commissioners of the plantations, dated August 19, 1644, requiring Massachusetts not to molest the settlers at Shawomet. Massachusetts reluctantly complied, and Mr. Gorton and his followers occupied their lands in quiet. Mr. Gorton lived to a great age.

*“ Gorton," says Hutchinson, (vol. i. p. 117) "published an account of his sufferings. Mr. Winslow, the agent for Massachusetts, answered him. In 1665, he preferred his petition to the commissioners sent over by King Charles the Second, for recompense for the wrongs done him by Massachusetts, alleging, that besides his other sufferings, he and his friends had eighty head of cattle taken and sold. Massachusetts, in their answer,

chaige him with heretiof power.

We have stated these proceedings at considerable length, because they are connected with the history of Mr. Williams. They exhibit strongly the temper of those times. The conduct of Massachusetts none will now defend. It was a manifest usurpation, and a cruel abuse

It is a profitable example of the manifold evils of erecting the civil government into a court of inquisition. It was the alleged heresies and blasphemies of Mr. Gorton and his friends, against which the edge of this persecution was directed ; and these unhappy men narrowly escaped the fate which, a few years later, befel the Quakers. The rulers and clergy of Massachusetts, undoubtedly, thought that they were impelled by an honest zeal for the purity of religion and the glory of God. Their conduet proves, that a being so fallible as man, is unfit to be intrusted with power over the conscience.

It is difficult to ascertain the true character and real opinions of Mr. Gorton. If the statements of his opponents could be safely received, we should view him as a wild and turbulent fanatic. But we have seen much reason to distrust the representations, which writers of that age have furnished of Mr. Gorton, and others. He was, unquestionably, a bold, zealous, eloquent man, of considerable talents and learning, and easily exasperated, by opposition, to stubborn and contumacious resistance. He possessed the art of securing the firm attachment of his friends; a proof that he possessed some virtues, besides consistency of character. A competent authority, quoted in a preceding page, has testified to the general purity of his morals, and to the high estimation in which he was held

cal tenets, both in religion and civil government, and with an unjust possession of the Indian lands in the vicinity of the colonies, for the sake of disturbing their peace; and add, that the goods which they seized did not amount to the charge of their prosecution; but they do not sufficiently vindicate their seizing their persons or goods, without the limits of their jurisdiction, and conclude with hoping that his Majesty will excuse any circumstantial error in their proceedings.” In the appendix of Hutchinson's first volume, is a Defence by Gorton, dated Warwick, June 30, 1669, and addressed to Nathaniel Morton, in which the charges in the Memorial are discussed with an ability, which shows that Gorton could write, when he chose, clearly and forcibly.

by his fellow-citizens, as indicated by the fact, that, “from the first establishment of government, he was almost constantly in office.” As to his religious opinions, it is affirmed, by the same authority, that “ he spiritualized every thing, and one would almost have thought that he had taken the tour of Swedenborg."*

It is certain that Roger Williams disapproved Mr. Gorton's religious opinions, but did not consider them as dangerous, or as impairing his civil rights.

* Winthrop, vol. ii. p. 58, note.

† A gentleman of Providence, William R. Staples, Esq. has been engaged, for some time, in preparing a revised edition of Gorton's work, entitled “ Simplicity's Defence against Seven Headed Policy," with extensive notes and appendices. This book, it is hoped, will soon be published, and will furnish the means of forming a correct opinion concerning Gorton, and the transactions in which he was a party and a sufferer.

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CHAPTER XV.

Birth of Mr. Williams' second son-league of the colonies—war be.

tween the Narragansets and Mohegans—capture and death of Miantinomo—Mr. Williams embarks for England.

We have, in the account of Mr. Gorton, advanced beyond other events which claim a notice.

Mr. Williams' second son, Daniel, was born February 13, 1642.

The colonists were alarmed, in 1642, by reports of a meditated design, among the Indians, of a general war. The natives began to acquire the use of fire-arms, with which, together with ammunition, they were supplied by English and Dutch traders. Vigorous measures of defence were accordingly adopted in the colonies. Connecticut proposed to attack the Indians, but Massachusetts refused to join in the war, on the ground that there was not sufficient proof of hostile designs on the part of the Indians. She, nevertheless, disarmed the natives within her limits. Miantinomo came to Boston, and protested that he was innocent.

The year 1643 was made memorable in the history of New-England, by the union of the colonies. On the 19th of May, articles of confederation were signed, at Boston, by the Commissioners of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New-Haven and Plymouth, by which these four colonies formed a league, under the name of “the United Colonies of New-England." The preface to the articles explains the objects of the confederation :

“Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace; and whereas, by our settling, by the wise providence of God, we are further dispersed upon the sea-coasts and rivers than was at first intended, so that we cannot, according to our desire, with convenience communicate in one government and jurisdiction, and whereas we live encompassed with people of several nations and strange languages, which hereafter may prove injurious to us or our posterity; and forasmuch as the natives have formerly committed sundry insolences and outrages upon several plantations of the English, and have of late combined themselves against us; and seeing, by reason of the sad distractions in England, (which they have heard of) and by which they know we are hindered both from that humble way of seeking advice and reaping those comfortable fruits of protection, which, at other times, we might well expect; we, therefore, do conceive it our bounden duty, without delay, to enter into a present consociation among ourselves, for mutual help and strength in all future concernment, that, as in nation and religion, so in other respects, we be and continue one."*

By the articles, it was stipulated, that two commissioners from each of the colonies should be chosen, to meet annually, at Boston, Hartford, New-Haven and Plymouth, in successive years, and that this Congress should determine questions of peace or war, and consult for the general welfare of the colonies. This league continued till the year 1686. It had a beneficial effect, and was probably the germ from which sprung the confederation, and the subsequent union of the States, under our present happy government. Rhode Island was never allowed the honor of an admission into the New England confederacy. The want of a charter was, at first, the pretext; but when the charter was obtained, there was no more disposition than before to forgive this offending sister, and admit her to the privileges of the family compact. The second charter itself was offensive to the other colonies, for it recognised, as a fundamental principle, "a full liberty in religious concernments.” The exclusion of Rhode Island from the confederacy exposed her to many inconveniences and dangers. She was left without defence, except by her own citizens, and a law of the New-England Congress virtually forbad her to purchase arms and ammunition for her own protection. But the influence of Mr. Williams among the Indians preserved the colony from perils, to which the inexorable aversion of her sister colonies had abandoned her. It was happy for those colonies, that their conduct met

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