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There is, however, satisfactory evidence, in her subsequent life, of her virtues as a wife and a mother. We cannot doubt, that she was of a kindred spirit with her husband, whose fortunes, both adverse and prosperous, she shared for half a century.

specting the family of Mrs. Williams. Her name, by some strange mistake, is stated, in the records of the church at Providence, to have been Elizabeth, instead of Mary, her real name. These records led Mr. Benedict, in his valuable History, (vol. i. p. 476) into the

On his authority, one of the descendants of Roger Williams, now living, named a child Elizabeth, in honor, as she meant it, of her venerable maternal ancestor.

same error.


Historical Sketch-View of the condition of the country at the time

of Mr. Williams' arrival.

The first settlement, by Europeans, in North America, was made in 1585, when Sir Walter Raleigh sent a fleet of seven ships from England to Virginia. One hundred and seven persons were landed on the island of Roanoke, near the mouth of Albemarle Sound, in the present State of North Carolina. But discouraged by the want of provisions, and probably by other causes, all the colonists returned to England the next year. Another, and more successful, attempt was made twenty years afterwards, under the authority of a patent from King James, who granted all the territory in North America, comprehended between the 34th and 45th degrees of latitude, to be equally divided between two companies, called, respectively, the London and the Plymouth.

In 1607, three ships, with one hundred emigrants, formed a settlement on the James River, in Virginia, and called the spot Jamestown, in honor of the King.

In the same year, a small colony made a settlement at the mouth of the Kennebec River, in the present State of Maine ; but the loss of their stores by fire, and the severity of the winter, induced them all to abandon the undertaking the next year, and return to England.

In 1610, a settlement was commenced at Newfoundland, and in 1614, the Dutch built a fort on the island of Manhattan, where the city of New York now stands, and held the country many years, under a grant from the States' General, by the name of the New Netherlands.*

In 1620, the ever memorable landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth took place. The colonists were a company of Puritans, who left England so early as 1608, with their pastor, the Rev. John Robinson, and settled at Leyden, in Holland. The merciless oppression which they endured in England impelled them thus to abandon their native


Holmes' Am. Annals, vol. i. p. 146.

land. They enjoyed protection and prosperity in Holland, but they were not satisfied with their condition and prospects in that country, which a foreign language and lax morals rendered an undesirable home for them and their children. They accordingly resolved to emigrate to America. They sailed from Plymouth (England) in September, 1620, and on the 11th of December they landed at the spot to which they gave the name of Plymouth.

The settlement of Massachusetts Bay occurred a few years after. This great enterprise was conducted under the direction of the Plymouth Company, who obtained a new patent from King James, by which a number of the highest nobility and gentry of England, their associates and successors, were constituted “the Council established at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering and governing of New England, in America." By this patent, the whole territory between the 40th and the 48th degrees of north latitude, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, was granted to the company.* In 1627–8, the Company sold to several gentlemen, among whom were John Endicott and John Humfrey, all that part of New-England which lies between three miles north of Merrimac River and three miles south of Charles River, across the whole breadth of the continent. In June, 1628, Mr. Endicott sailed from England, for Naumkeag, since called Salem, where a small company of emigrants had fixed their residence a short time before. Mr. Endicott's first letter from America is dated September 13, 1628, and his arrival is considered as the date of the first permanent settlement of Massachusetts Proper.

* This extensive grant included a considerable part of the British colonies in North America, the whole of the New England States, and of New York; about half of Pennsylvania; two thirds of New Jersey and Ohio; a half of Indiana and Illinois; the whole of Michigan, Huron, and the whole of the territory of the United States westward of them, and on both sides of the Rocky Mountains; and from a point considerably within the Mexican dominions, on the Pacific Ocean, nearly up to Nootka Sound. This enormous grant shows how imperfectly the geography of the country was known, by James and his counsellors. The Council soon found their undertak. ing an unprofitable speculation, and surrendered their patent to the Crown. See Hon. E. Everett's Anniversary Address at Charlestown, June 23, 1930, pp. 13, 31.

The patent from the Council of Plymouth gave a good right to the soil, (says Hutchinson, vol. i. pp. 16, 17) but no powers


A royal charter was necessary. This passed the seals March 4, 1628–9. It confirmed the patent of the Council of Plymouth, and created the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay, in NewEngland, a body politic and corporate. By this charter, the Company were empowered to elect, annually, forever, out of the freemen of said Company, a Governor, a Deputy Governor, and eighteen assistants, and to make laws not repugnant to the laws of England.

As the state of things in the parent country daily became more distressing to the friends of religion and liberty, an emigration, unparalleled for its extent, and for the character of the emigrants, was projected. A considerable number of persons of great respectability, of good fortune, and of consideration in society, among whom were Winthrop, Dudley, Johnson, and Saltonstall, resolved to remove, with their families and property, to Massachusetts, on condition that the charter of the colony and the seat of its government should be transferred to America. This important proposition was acceded to, and on the 28th of April, 1630, Winthrop, who had been elected Governor, and his associates, sailed from Yarmouth,* in a fleet, which, with the vessels that preceded and followed them the same season, amounted in the whole to seventeen sail,+ with above fifteen hundred passengers. The Arbella, with Governor Winthrop on board, arrived at Salem on the 12th of June, and the other vessels arrived soon after. The colonists there had lost eighty of their number by death the winter previous. Their provisions were nearly consumed, and they were in a distressing situation. The arrival of the new emigrants occasioned great joy to the sufferers, and revived their hopes.

It was early determined that Salem was not the proper position for the capital. The Governor, and the principal part of the emigrants, left Salem soon after their arrival, and resided awhile at Charlestown. Here sickness pre

* Winthrop's Journal, vol. i. p. 5. | Everett's Address, p. 27.

Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 24.

vailed among them, and a considerable number died.* They were distressed by the want of fresh water. Many of them accordingly abandoned Charlestown, and settled at Watertown and Dorchester, while a still larger number removed, in September, to the other side of the river, and laid the foundation of Boston. The peninsula was then inhabited by only one white man, the Rev. William Blackstone. It was called by the Indians Shawmut, and by the neighboring settlers, Trimountain, the former name signifying the abundance and sweetness of its waters, the latter the peculiar character of its hills. It was called Boston by a vote of the Court, September 7, in well deserved honor of the Rev. John Cotton, who had been a minister of Boston, in England, and whose arrival in America was earnestly expected.

The sufferings of the first inhabitants of the metropolis were very great. Sickness swept many of them into the grave. The weather during the winter was extremely severe, and provisions were so scarce, that the inhabitants were in imminent peril of starvation.Ş At this critical

* It is stated, that not less than two hundred persons died, from the time the company sailed from England, in April, up to the December following. Everett's Address, p. 50.

+ This gentleman came from England. He claimed the whole peninsula of Boston, because he was the first white man who slept there. He hospitably invited Gov. Winthrop and his friends to remove thither, on account of a fine spring of water there. He soon left Boston, alleging that he left England because he did not like the Lords Bishops, but he could not join with the colonists, because he did not like the Lords Brethren. His rights as the first occupant were acknowledged, and thirty pounds were paid to him in 1634. He removed to a spot in the present town of Cumberland, (R. I.) about six miles from Providence, and the river which flows near now bears his name. He lived to an old age, and occasionally preached at Providence and other places. Tradition says, that he sometimes secured the attention of his hearers by a skilful distribution of apples. His Orchard flourished long after his death, and some of the trees are, it is said, yet standing, # President Quincy's His. Dis. Sept. 17, 1830, p. 19.

profitable to the men of this generation to read the following account, given by Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 27.

“ The weather held tolerable until the 24th of December, but the cold then came on with violence. Such a Christmas eve they had never seen before. From that time to the 10th of February their chief care was to keep themselves warm, and as comfortable, in

$ It may

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