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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT.
BE it remembered, that on the fourteenth day of October, A. D. 1805,
in the thirtieth year of the Independence of the United States of America, ABIEL HOLMES, of said district, has deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit: "AMERICAN " ANNALS; or a Chronological HISTORY OF AMERICA from its discovery " in 1492 to 1806, in two volumes. By ABIEL HOLMES, D. D. A.A.S. S. H.S "Minister of the First Church in Cambridge. -Suum quæque in annum re" ferre. Tacit. Annal."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intitled, “ An "Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, “and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times there" in mentioned :" and also to an Act intitled, " An Act supplementary to an Act “intitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of
maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during "the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of « designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
N. GOODALE, Clerk of the District of
A true of
Attest, N. GOODALE, Clerk. }
THE Revolution in England forms an epoch New Charin American history. The effects of it were the ter of Mas most sensibly felt in the colony of Massachusetts. When the colonists resumed their charter in 1689, they earnestly solicited its reestablishment, with the addition of some necessary powers; but the king could not be prevailed on to consent to that measure, and a new charter was obtained. Sir William Phips May 14. arrived at Boston on the fourteenth of May, with Arrival of this charter, and a commission, constituting him Phips, as governor. He was soon after conducted from his governor. house to the town house by the regiment of Boston, the militia companies of Charlestown, the magistrates, ministers, and principal gentlemen of Boston and the adjacent towns. The charter was first published, and then the governor's commission. The venerable, old charter governor Bradstreet next resigned the chair. After the lieutenant governor's commission was published, the oaths were adminis- Governtered; and the new government thus became organized.
The province, designated by the new charter, Difference contained the whole of the old Massachusetts colo- between ny, to which were added the colony of Plymouth, and the old the province of Maine, the province of Nova Scotia, charter, and all the country between the province of Maine
1 The king complimented the New England agents for the first time with the nomination of their governor; and they agreed to nominate Sir William Phips. The commission constituted him captain general over the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island. In the last of these colonies the authority was attempted to be exercised; but without effect. Hutchinson.
the extent of the province;
1692. and Nova Scotia, as far northward as the river St. in regard to Lawrence, also Elizabeth islands, and the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Under the old charter, all the magistrates and officers of state were chosen annually by the general assembly. By the new charter, the appointment of the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary, and all the officers of the admiralty, was vested in the crown. Under the old charter, the governor had little more share in the the gover- administration than any one of the assistants. He had the power of calling the general court; but he could not adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve it. To such acts the vote of the major part of the whole court was necessary. The governor gave commissions to civil and military officers; but all such officers were elected by the court. Under the new charter, there was to be an annual meeting of the general court on the last Wednesday in May; but the governor might discretionally call an assembly at any other times, and adjourn, prorogue, and dissolve it at pleasure. No act of government was to be valid without his conscit. He had, with the consent of the council, the sole appointment of all military officers, and of all officers belonging to the courts of justice. Other civil officers were elected by the two houses; but the governor had a negative on the choice. No money could issue out of the assist the treasury, but by his warrant, with the advice and consent of the council. Under the old charter, the assistants or counsellors were elected by the votes of all the freemen in the colony; and were not only, with the governor, one of the two branches of the legislature, but the supreme executive court in all civil and criminal causes, excepting those cases where, by the laws, an appeal to the general court was allowed. The new charter provided, that, on the last Wednesday of May annually, twenty eight
counsellors should be newly chosen by the general 1692. court or assembly. The representatives, under the the repreold charter, were elected by freemen only. Under the new charter, every freeholder, of forty shillings sterling a year, was a voter, and every other inhabitant, who had forty pounds sterling personal estate. The new charter contained nothing of an ecclesiasti- the church. cal constitution. With the exception of Papists, liberty of conscience, which was not mentioned in the first charter, was by the second expressly granted to all.
Writs having been immediately issued on the gov- June 8. ernor's arrival, the general court met on the eighth First genof June. An act was then passed, declaring, that all the laws of the colony of Massachusetts bay and the colony of New Plymouth, not being repugnant to the laws of England, nor inconsistent with the charter, should be in force, in the respective colonies, until the tenth of November, 1692, excepting where other provision should be made by act of assembly."
A strange infatuation had already begun to pro- Witchcraft. duce misery in private families, and disorder throughout the community. The imputation of witchcraft was accompanied with a prevalent belief of its reality; and the lives of a considerable number of innocent people were sacrificed to blind zeal, and superstitious credulity. The mischief began at Salem in February; but it soon extended into various parts of the colony. The contagion however was principally within the county of Essex. Before the close of September, nineteen persons were executed, and one pressed to death, all of whom asserted their innocence. 3
"general court or assembly,"
2 Hutchinson, ii. 5-15. Adams N. Eng. 156, 157. The Charter of William and Mary is in the Appendix of Neal's Hist. of N. Eng. and in Minot's Continuation of Hutchinson.
3 Coll. Hist. Soc. v. 76. Hutchinson, ii. 59. Calef, Part v. Giles Co
I The construction, given to the terms was, that it included the whole three branches.
This part of the history of our country furnishes an affecting proof of the imbecillity of the human mind, and of the potent influence of the passions. The culture of sound philosophy, and the dissemination of useful knowledge, have a happy tendency to repress chimerical theories, with their delusive and miserable effects.' The era of English learning had scarcely commenced. Laws then existed in England against witches; and the authority of Sir Matthew Hale, who was revered in New England, not only for his knowledge in the law, but for his gravity and piety, had doubtless great influence. The trial of the witches in Suffolk in England was pub
ry, refusing to plead, had judgment of peine fort et dure for standing mute,
I "Our forefathers looked upon nature with more reverence and hor"ror, before the world was enlightened by learning and philosophy; and "loved to astonish themselves with the apprehensions of witchcraft, prodi"gies, charms and enchantments. There was not a village in England "that had not a ghost in it; the church yards were all haunted; every large common had a circle of fairies belonging to it ; and there was scarce