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company that the government and patent of the settlement should be transferred from London to Massachusetts. A new election of officers was held, and John Winthrop was chosen governor, and John Humfrey deputy governor, and sir Richard Saltonstall, Isaac Johnson, Thomas Dudley, and others, were the assistants. All these gentlemen agreed to embark with their families for New England, for the purpose of settling a colony, and to be ready the ensuing March.
Before the embarkation of the officers of the government, three ships sailed from the Isle of Wight, and arrived at Naumkeag, in June, with about two hundred men, women and children, and a supply of necessary articles, and also a number of head of cattle, horses, sheep and goats. At this time the place contained but seven houses, and the first adventurers numbered but one hundred.
Soon after this accession of people at Naumkeag, about one hundred removed to Mishawum, where they were permitted to settle by governor Endicott. A town was laid out into two acre lots, one for each inhabitant, and named Charlestown; a Mr. Smith went to Plymouth, where he was settled in the ministry.
Early in the spring of 1630, a considerable fleet was prepared in England to carry out a colony to New Eng. land under governor Winthrop. By the fifth of July twelve of the ships had arrived in Massachusetts bay, with the governor, deputy governor, and several gentlemen of the council, and about fifteen hundred settlers, of various occupations, some of whom were from the west of England, but the greater part from the vicinity of London. One of the ships had arrived at Nantasket about the thirtieth of May preceding, whence Mr. Warham and several others landed, and putting their effects on board a boat, proceeded up the harbor to Charlestown, thence they ascended Charles river and landed at the place where Watertown is now built, where they found that a large body of Indians were in the vicinity, which put the party on the alert. The next morning several Indians were seen at no great distance, one holding up a fish, signifying his desire to trade with the English; a man was sent forward who received the fish in exchange for a biscuit. After this introduction, a friendly intercourse continued, and an advantageous trade in fish was carried on sometime. The party remained a few days at the place, and then returned down the river and proceeded to Matapan, now Dorchester; here finding a neck of land convenient for enclosing the cattle they had brought from England, they fixed a settlement: this was the commencement of the town of Dorchester.
Governor Winthrop, with some of his principle men, having explored the bay, and viewed various points, landed at Charlestown and took quarters in the large house, which had been prepared the preceding year by the first adventurers; and the other people landed, erected cottages, booths and tents about the eminence, now called Bunker's hill. Unaccustomed to this mode of living, and oppressed by very hot weather, sickness prevailed, and proved mortal to many; this produced discouragement and a considerable number of people sailed for England in the returning ships; others left the place and went to the settlement at Piscataqua.
The adventurers at Charlestown now commenced the exploration of the adjacent country, for the purpose of finding eligible situations for plantations. Watertown was selected for one, and Mr. Saltonstall and Mr. Phillips, with a company of people removed to that place. Mr. Wm. Pynchon, with another company, sat down at Roxbury, and about this time, a few people fixed themselves at Medford. The peninsula, called by the natives Shawmut, and by the English Trimountain, the present site of Boston, seems not to have attracted the notice of the adventurers, and remained the solitary residence of a Mr. Blackstone, an Episcopalian minister, whose humble cottage was situated on Barton's point, where he had resided some time. The period of the arrival of this gentleman is not known. Cotton Mather says, “ There have at several times arrived in this country, more than a score of ministers, from other parts of the world. There were some Godly Episcopalians, among
whom has been commonly reckoned Mr. Blackstone. This man was indeed of a particular humour, and he would never join himself to any of our churches, giving this reason for it, ' I came from England because I did not like the Lords’ Bishops ; but I can't join with you, because I would not be under the Lords' Brethren."*
Governor Winthrop being informed by Mr. Blackstone, that there was an excellent spring of water at Shawmut, and invited by this gentleman to view the place, Mr. Johnson and others, crossed over, and were highly pleased with the situation. Huts were soon after erected for the reception of the people; and in the month of September, the governor and most of the assistants, removed their families to the peninsula ; but it appears, not with the determination of making it a permanent residence.
Thus commenced the settlement of the metropolis of Massachusetts, which now exhibits a population of upwards of forty three thousand. Less than two centuries ago, the peninsula, now covered by the city, was a dreary wild, the occasional resort of a few rude sons of the forest; now the abode of wealth, elegance, arts, science and mercantile enterprise; and blest with all that renders life respectable.t
Previously to the arrival of the governor and assistants from Charlestown, a court was held at that place, on board of the ship Arabella, at which provision was made for maintaining the ministers of the gospel; and houses were ordered to be built for their accommodation, at the public charge; the price of labor fixed for mechanics, and other business transacted. At another court held at the same place, Trimountain was named Boston.
The first general court of Massachusetts, was held in Boston, October nineteenth, at which many of the planters attended. At this court it was resolved that the freemen should choose the assistants, and the assistants the governor and deputy governor, from among themselves; who with the assistants, were to have the power of making laws, and electing officers to execute them. At a court in November, a man was whipped for shooting a fowl on the Sabbath; and one of the assistants for whipping two persons, without the presence of another assistant, (the law requiring two) was fined five pounds.
Magnalia, Book 3. + Chickatawbut at this time, was the principal sachem of the country, whose seat was at Neponset; and he seems to have been peaceably disposed towards the settlers, as no opposition was made to the planting of his lands.
The governor and assistants, and other leading men, having resolved to select a position for a fortified town, the adjacent country was explored for that purpose, and a site at length found to their acceptance, on the north side of Charles river, below Watertown, about three miles westerly of Charlestown. The place was laid out into streets, intersecting at right angles--the frame of a house set up for the governor, another for the deputy governor, and the whole of the officers of government, were to remove to the place, in the Spring of 1631, which was named New Town, the same plat on which Cambridge is now built. The project of fortifying the place and fixing it for the seat of government, was afterwards given up, and the frame of the governor's house was removed to Boston, which now became his permanent residence.
In the course of this year, a number of people who had recently arrived from England, settled at the New Town; two hundred emigrants were soon after added to the place, and settlements began to spread in various directions. Saugus, (now Lynn) was planted about this time.
On the eighteenth of May, 1631, the first court of elections, was held at Boston ; John Winthrop was again chosen governor, and Thomas Dudley deputy governor. It was then ordered, that a court should be held at least once in every year. And “ that the body of the commons might be preserved of good and honest men, it was also ordered, • that for the time to come, no man be admitted to the freedom of the body politic, but such as are members of some of the churches within its limits;' and subsequently it was resolved, that none but such should share in the administration of civil government, or have a voice in any election.” Remarking upon this extraordinary aberration from their former principles, Dr. Ramsay says, “ No better apology can be made for this inconsistent conduct, than, that the true grounds of liberty of conscience were then neither understood nor practised, by any sect of christians; nor can any more satisfactory account of so open a derilection of former principles be offered, than that human nature is the same in all bodies of men; and that those who are in, and those who are
out of power, insensibly exchange opinions with cach other, on a change of their respective situations."'*
In July this year, a public tax was granted, for clearing a creek, and opening a passage from Charles river to the New Town, (Cambridge). The following sums apportioned on the several towns, will shew their relative importance at that time.
5 00 Wessagusset,
3 00 Saugus, (Lynn,) 1 00 Salem,
3 00 Nantasket, 0 10 Dorchester,
4 10 Watertown,
5 00 Charlestown, 4 10 Meadford is not included in the list, probably the settlers at that place at this time were few.
At a subsequent court, it was ordered that corn should pass for the payment of all debts, at the usual rate at which it was sold, unless money or beaver was named. Corn at this time was ten shillings “ a strike” and beaver six shillings the pound ; a milch cow was valued from twenty five to thirty pounds.t
About this time the eastern Indians, called the Tarratines, began to exhibit a spirit of hostility towards the English and soon committed depredations. Lieutenant Walker, commanding a guard at Saugus, being at an advanced post in the night, received two arrows in his clothes, shot by lurking Indians belonging to this nation; and in August the same year, one hundred Tarratines arrived at Aggawam, (Ipswich,) in thirty canoes, and landing in the night, assaulted the wigwam of the Sagamore of that place, killed seven men and wounced two chiefs; they then rifled the place and carried off the fishing nets, and a quantity of provisions. The Narragansets also began depredations at the Plymouth trading house at Sowam, now Bristol, in Rhode Island, and about the same time, a shallop belonging to Dorchester, was attacked and the crew murdered by the Tarratines.
These depredations in different quarters, indicating a combined effort against the English, they immediately adopted measures for defence; guards were employed at the various settlements; the people were ordered to attend
* American Revolution, Vol. i. † Holmes' Antals, Vol. i. p. 263.