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CHAPTER II -THE-FIRST IMMIGRANTS
The English immigrants from the first included men like Captain John Smith, Governor William Bradford, and Governor John Winthrop, who had both a literary gift and a sense of the significance to posterity of what they were doing. The result is a great variety of statements of the steadfastness of the colonists and their hopes for developing a rich and fruitful land. Several later orators, such as Charles Sumner, Daniel Webster, and William H. Seward, made the early struggles and triumphs of the colonies a text for some notable and majestic appeals to American patriotism. The English colonists were not only striving to make a new home, they were also building up popular governments, in which they appealed to the principles of English liberty. They enlarged them by developing the liveliest and freest representative assemblies then known in the world. Patriotism was the commonplace of colonial life, a necessity for defense against the wild neighbors, and a means of preserving the freedom of the colonies from designs of paternal government which were formed in England. In this chapter such founders as Bradford, Winthrop, Roger Williams, and William Penn speak for themselves on the needs of their communities and the place of America in the affairs of the world at large.
Known as “A Puritan Poet” and also as a major in the English Parliamentary army.
To his friend Cap: Smith vpon his description
of New England.
SIR; your Relations I haue read: which shewe,
Ther's reason I should honour them and you; And if their meaning I haue vnderstood, I dare to censure, thus : Your Proiect's good; And may (if follow'd) doubtlesse quit the paine, With honour, pleasure, and a treeble gaine; Beside the benefit that shall arise To make more happie our Posterities.
For would we daigne to spare, though 'twere
no more Then what o're-filles, and surfets vs in store, To order Nature's fruitfulnesse a while In that rude Garden, you New England stile; With present good, ther's hope in after-daies Thence to repaire what Time and Pride decaies and by name, and so every man (none staggering at it) tooke the oathe of Supremacy, and then entred the Assembly. ...
These obstacles removed, the Speaker, who a long time had bene extreame sickly and therefore not able to passe through long harrangues, delivered in briefe to the whole assembly the occasions of their meeting. Which done, he read unto them the comission for establishing the Counsell of Estate and the general Assembly, wherein their duties were described to the life.
There remaining no farther scruple in the mindes of the Assembly, touching the said great Charter of lawes, orders and privileges, the Speaker putt the same to the question, and so it had both the general assent and the applause of the whole assembly, who, as they professed themselves in the first place most submissivily thankfull to almighty god, therefore so they commaunded the Speaker to returne (as nowe he doth) their due and humble thankes to the Treasurer, Counsell and company for so many priviledges and favours as well in their owne names as in the names of the whole Colony whom they represented,
This being dispatched we fell once more debating of suche instructions given by the Counsell in England to several Governors as might be converted into lawes, the last whereof was the Establishment of the price of Tobacco, namely, of the best at 30 d and the second at 18 d the pounde.
Against Idleness, Gaming, durunkenes & excesse in apparell the Assembly hath enacted as followeth :
First, in detestation of Idleness be it enacted, that if any men be founde to live as an Idler or renagate, though a freedman, it shalbe law full for that Incorporation or Plantation to wch he belongeth to appoint him a Mr to serve for wages, till he shewe apparent signes of amendment.
Against gaming at dice & Cardes be it ordained by this present assembly that the winner or winners shall lose all his or their winninges and both winners and loosers shall forfaicte ten shillings a man, one ten shillings whereof to go to the discoverer, and the rest to charitable & pious uses in the Incorporation where the faulte is comitted.
Against excesse in apparell that every man be cessed in the churche for all publique contributions, if he be unmarried according to his owne apparrell, if he be married according to his owne and his wives, or either of their apparrell. ...
Be it enacted by this present assembly that for laying a surer foundation of the conversion of the Indians to Christian Religion, eache towne,
A.P.S. Vol. I
citty, Borrough, and particular plantation do obtaine unto themselves by just means a certaine number of the natives' children to be educated by them in the true religion and civile course of life of wch children the most towardly boyes in witt & graces of nature to be brought up by them in the first elements of litterature, so to be fitted for the Colledge intended for them that from thence they may be sente to that worke of conversion.
Be it also enacted that all necessary tradesmen, or so many as need shall require, suche as are come over since the departure of Sir Thomas Dale, or that shall hereafter come, shall worke at their trades for any other man, each one being payde according to the quality of his trade and worke, to be estimated, if he shall not be contented, by the Governor and officers of the place where he worketh.
Be it further ordained by this General Assembly, and we doe by these presents enacte, that all contractes made in England between the owners of lande and their Tenants and Servants wch they shall sende hither, may be caused to be duely performed, and that the offenders be punished as the Governour and Counsell of Estate shall thinke just and convenient. ..
And that it shalbe the duty of the Govornor & Counsell of Estate most severely to punishe