Sunday, December 31, 2017

The 1637 Massachusetts Trial of Mother & Religious Troublemaker Anne Hutchinson 1591-1643

Anne Hutchinson was born in 1591, in England. She immigrated with her husband to the Massachusettes Bay Colony in 1634, and was banished from it in 1637. She and her husband had 10 children. She died from an Indian raid in 1643.
Anne Hutchinson challenged many beliefs of the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Shortly after her arrival in Massachusettes in 1634, she began to hold religious meetings in her home for a few women. Soon many people would come to her meetings, according to John Winthrop, she was soon leading meetings of "threescore or fourscore persons," including ministers and magistrates. She was a woman teaching men, which the Puritans believed was forbidden in the Bible.

Hutchinson believed, as did the Puritans, that human behavior could not help one achieve salvation. But she also believed that one's personal actions could be used to predict a person's eventual salvation. She taught that God's grace was implanted in every human soul. This, however, challenged the very basis for the Puritan colony, a society based upon the principle of moral striving. If Hutchinson was right, what was the purpose of the colony and its leaders?

Her beliefs nearly proposed that Christians do not have to follow laws, because they are filled with God's grace and, hence, cannot do any wrong. If this were true, there certainly would be no need for the moral striving and leadership of the Puritan church.  The Puritans put her on trial, where she declared that she received revelations directly from God. The tribunal declared she was a heretic and banished her from the colony in 1637.
She moved to Rhode Island, a destination for many religious dissenters. When her husband died in 1642, she moved to Long Island with her 10 children, where they were all were killed in an Indian attack.

The Trial of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson at the General Court of the Massachusettes Bay Colony in 1637.

The General Court, highest in authority in Massachusetts Bay Colony, consisted of the Governor as Chair of the Court, the Deputy Governor, 5 Assistants, and 5 Deputies. Several ministers were in attendance including Rev. John Cotton, Mrs. Hutchinson's minister, and the person who inspired her basic theological position.


Mr. [John] Winthrop, Governor: Mrs Hutchinson, you are called here as one of those that have troubled the peace of the commonwealth and the churches here; you are known to be a woman that hath had a great share in the promoting and divulging of those opinions that are the cause of this trouble, and to be nearly joined not only in affinity and affection with some of those the court had taken notice of and passed censure upon, but you have spoken divers things, as we have been informed, very prejudicial to the honour of the churches and ministers thereof, and you have maintained a meeting and an assembly in your house that hath been condemned by the general assembly as a thing not tolerable nor comely in the sight of God nor fitting for your sex, and notwithstanding that was cried down you have continued the same. Therefore we have thought good to send for you to understand how things are, that if you be in an erroneous way we may reduce you that so you may become a profitable member here among us. Otherwise if you be obstinate in your course that then the court may take such course that you may trouble us no further. Therefore I would intreat you to express whether you do assent and hold in practice to those opinions and factions that have been handled in court already, that is to say, whether you do not justify Mr. Wheelwright's sermon and the petition.

Mrs. Hutchinson: I am called here to answer before you but I hear no things laid to my charge.


Gov.: I have told you some already and more I can tell you.


Mrs. H.: Name one, Sir.


Gov.: Have I not named some already?


Mrs. H.: What have I said or done?


Gov.: Why for your doings, this you did harbor and countenance those that are parties in this faction that you have heard of.


Mrs. H.: That's matter of conscience, Sir.


Gov.: Your conscience you must keep, or it must be kept for you.


Mrs. H.: Must not I then entertain the saints because I must keep my conscience.


Gov.: Say that one brother should commit felony or treason and come to his brother's house, if he knows him guilty and conceals him he is guilty of the same. It is his conscience to entertain him, but if his conscience comes into act in giving countenance and entertainment to him that hath broken the law he is guilty too. So if you do countenance those that are transgressors of the law you are in the same fact.


Mrs. H.: What law do they transgress?


Gov.: The law of God and of the state.


Mrs. H.: In what particular?


Gov.: Why in this among the rest, whereas the Lord doth say honour thy father and thy mother.


Mrs. H.: Ey Sir in the Lord.


Gov.: This honour you have broke in giving countenance to them.


Mrs. H.: In entertaining those did I entertain them against any act (for there is the thing) or what God has appointed?


Gov.: You knew that Mr. Wheelwright did preach this sermon and those that countenance him in this do break a law.


Mrs. H.: What law have I broken?


Gov.: Why the fifth commandment.


Mrs. H.: I deny that for he [Mr. Wheelwright] saith in the Lord.


Gov.: You have joined with them in the faction.


Mrs. H.: In what faction have I joined with them?


Gov.: In presenting the petition.


Mrs. H.: Suppose I had set my hand to the petition. What then?


Gov.: You saw that case tried before.


Mrs. H.: But I had not my hand to [not signed] the petition.


Gov.: You have councelled them.


Mrs. H.: Wherein?Gov.: Why in entertaining them.


Mrs. H.: What breach of law is that, Sir?


Gov.: Why dishonouring the commonwealth.


Mrs. H.: But put the case, Sir, that I do fear the Lord and my parents. May not I entertain them that fear the Lord because my parents will not give me leave?


Gov.: If they be the fathers of the commonwealth, and they of another religion, if you entertain them then you dishonour your parents and are justly punishable.


Mrs. H.: If I entertain them, as they have dishonoured their parents I do.


Gov.: No but you by countenancing them above others put honor upon them.


Mrs. H.: I may put honor upon them as the children of God and as they do honor the Lord.


Gov.: We do not mean to discourse with those of your sex but only this: you so adhere unto them and do endeavor to set forward this faction and so you do dishonour us.


Mrs. H.: I do acknowledge no such thing. Neither do I think that I ever put any dishonour upon you.


Gov.: Why do you keep such a meeting at your house as you do every week upon a set day?


Mrs. H.: It is lawful for me to do so, as it is all your practices, and can you find a warrant for yourself and condemn me for the same thing? The ground of my taking it up was, when I first came to this land because I did not go to such meetings as those were, it was presently reported that I did not allow of such meetings but held them unlawful and therefore in that regard they said I was proud and did despise all ordinances. Upon that a friend came unto me and told me of it and I to prevent such aspersions took it up, but it was in practice before I came. Therefore I was not the first.


Gov.: ...By what warrant do you continue such a course?


Mrs. H.: I conceive there lies a clear rule in Titus that the elder women should instruct the younger and then I must have a time wherein I must do it.


Gov.: All this I grant you, I grant you a time for it, but what is this to the purpose that you Mrs. Hutchinson must call a company together from their callings to come to be taught of you?...


Mrs. H.: If you look upon the rule in Titus it is a rule to me. If you convince me that it is no rule I shall yield.


Gov.: You know that there is no rule that crosses another, but this rule crosses that in the Corinthians. But you must take it in this sense that elder women must instruct the younger about their business and to love their husbands and not to make them to clash....


Mrs. H.: Will it please you to answer me this and to give me a rule
for then I will willingly submit to any truth. If any come to my house to be instructed in the ways of God what rule have I to put them away?.... Do you think it not lawful for me to teach women and why do you call me to teach the court?


Gov.: We do not call you to teach the court but to lay open yourself....


Gov.: Your course is not to be suffered for. Besides that we find such a course as this to be greatly prejudicial to the state. Besides the occasion that it is to seduce many honest persons that are called to those meetings and your opinions and your opinions being known to be different from the word of God may seduce many simple souls that resort unto you. Besides that the occasion which hath come of late hath come from none but such as have frequented your meetings, so that now they are flown off from magistrates and ministers and since they have come to you. And besides that it will not well stand with the commonwealth that families should be neglected for so many neighbors and dames and so much time spent. We see no rule of God for this. We see not that any should have authority to set up any other exercises besides what authority hath already set up and so what hurt comes of this you will be guilty of and we for suffering you.


Mrs. H.: Sir, I do not believe that to be so.


Gov.: Well, we see how it is. We must therefore put it away from you or restrain you from maintaining this course.


Mrs H. If you have a rule for it from God's word you may.

Gov.: We are your judges, and not you ours and we must compel you to it.

Mrs. H.: If it please you by authority to put it down I will freely let you for I am subject to your authority....


Deputy Governor, Thomas Dudley: I would go a little higher with Mrs. Hutchinson. About three years ago we were all in peace. Mrs Hutchinson, from that time she came hath made a disturbance, and some that came over with her in the ship did inform me what she was as soon as she was landed. I being then in place dealt with the pastor and teacher of Boston and desired them to enquire of her, and then I was satisfied that she held nothing different from us. But within half a year after, she had vented divers of her strange opinions and had made parties in the country, and at length it comes that Mr. Cotton and Mr. Vane were of her judgment, but Mr. Cotton had cleared himself that he was not of that mind. But now it appears by this woman's meeting that Mrs. Hutchinson hath so forestalled the minds of many by their resort to her meeting that now she hath a potent party in the country. Now if all these things have endangered us as from that foundation and if she in particular hath disparaged all our ministers in the land that they have preached a covenant of works, and only Mr. Cotton a covenant of grace, why this is not to be suffered, and therefore being driven to the foundation and it being found that Mrs. Hutchinson is she that hath depraved all the ministers and hath been the cause of what is fallen out, why we must take away the foundation and the building will fall.


Mrs. H.: Did I ever say they preached a covenant of works then?Dep. Gov.: If they do not preach a covenant of grace clearly, then they preach a covenant of works.


Mrs. H.: No, Sir. One may preach a covenant of grace more clearly than another, so I said....


Dep. Gov.: When they do preach a covenant of works do they preach truth?


Mrs. H.: Yes, Sir. But when they preach a covenant of works for salvation, that is not truth.


Dep. Gov.: I do but ask you this: when the ministers do preach a covenant of works do they preach a way of salvation?


Mrs. H.: I did not come hither to answer questions of that sort.Dep. Gov.: Because you will deny the thing.


Mrs. H.: Ey, but that is to be proved first.


Dep. Gov.: I will make it plain that you did say that the ministers did preach a covenant of works.


Mrs. H.: I deny that.


Dep. Gov.: And that you said they were not able ministers of the New Testament, but Mr. Cotton only.


Mrs. H.: If ever I spake that I proved it by God's word.


Court: Very well, very well.


Mrs. H.: If one shall come unto me in private, and desire me seriously to tell them what I thought of such an one, I must either speak false or true in my answer.


Dep. Gov.: Likewise I will prove this that you said the gospel in the letter and words holds forth nothing but a covenant of works and that all that do not hold as you do are in a covenant of works.


Mrs. H.: I deny this for if I should so say I should speak against my own judgment....


Mr. Hugh Peters: That which concerns us to speak unto, as yet we are sparing in, unless the court command us to speak, then we shall answer to Mrs. Hutchinson notwithstanding our brethren are very unwilling to answer...


Mr Hugh Peters:.... [I asked her] What difference do you conceive to be between your teacher and us?... Briefly, she told me there was a wide and broad difference.... He preaches the covenant of grace and you the covenant of works, and that you are not able ministers of the New Testament and know no more than the apostles did before the resurrection of Christ. I did then put it to her, What do you conceive of such a brother? She answered he had not the seal of the spirit.


Mrs. H.: If our pastor would shew his writings you should see what I said, and that many things are not so as is reported.


Mr. Wilson:...what is written [here now] I will avouch.


Mr. Weld: [agrees that Peters related Hutchinson's words accurately]


Mr. Phillips: [agrees that Peters related Hutchinson's words accurately and added] Then I asked her of myself (being she spake rashly of them all) because she never heard me at all. She likewise said that we were not able ministers of the New Testament and her reason was because we were not sealed.


Mr. Simmes: Agrees that Peters related Hutchinson's words accurately


Mr. Shephard: Also to Same.


Mr. Eliot: [agrees that Peters related Hutchinson's words accurately]


Dep. Gov.: I called these witnesses and you deny them. You see they have proved this and you deny this, but it is clear. You say they preached a covenant of works and that they were not able ministers of the New Testament; now there are two other things that you did affirm which were that the scriptures in the letter of them held forth nothing but a covenant of works and likewise that those that were under a covenant of works cannot be saved.


Mrs. H.: Prove that I said so.


Gov.: Did you say so?


Mrs. H.: No, Sir, it is your conclusion.


Dep. Gov.: What do I do charging of you if you deny what is so fully proved?


Gov.: Here are six undeniable ministers who say it is true and yet you deny that you did say that they preach a covenant of works and that they were not able ministers of the gospel, and it appears plainly that you have spoken it, and whereas you say that it was drawn from you in a way of friendship, you did profess then that it was out of conscience that you spake....


Mrs. H.:....They thought that I did conceive there was a difference between them and Mr. Cotton.... I might say they might preach a covenant of works as did the apostles, but to preach a covenant of works and to be under a covenant of works is another business.


Dep. Gov.: There have been six witnesses to prove this and yet you deny it. [and then he mentions a seventh, Mr. Nathaniel Ward]


Mrs. H.: I acknowledge using the words of the apostle to the Corinthians unto him, [Mr. Ward] that they that were ministers of the letter and not the spirit did preach a covenant of works.


Gov.: Mrs. Hutchinson, the court you see hath laboured to bring you to acknowledge the error of your way that so you might be reduced, the time grows late, we shall therefore give you a little more time to consider of it and therefore desire that you attend the court again in the morning...


Gov.: We proceeded... as far as we could... There were divers things laid to her charge: her ordinary meetings about religious exercises, her speeches in derogation of the ministers among us, and the weakening of the hands and hearts of the people towards them. Here was sufficient proof made of that which she was accused of, in that point concerning the ministers and their ministry, as that they did preach a covenant of works when others did preach a covenant of grace, and that they were not able ministers of the New Testament, and that they had not the seal of the spirit, and this was spoken not as was pretended out of private conference, but out of conscience and warrant from scripture alleged the fear of man is a snare and seeing God had given her a calling to it she would freely speak. Some other speeches she used, as that the letter of the scripture held forth a covenant of works, and this is offered to be proved by probable grounds....

Controversy--should the witnesses should be recalled and made swear an oath, as Mrs. Hutchinson desired, is resolved against doing so
Gov.: I see no necessity of an oath in this thing seeing it is true and the substance of the matter confirmed by divers, yet that all may be satisfied, if the elders will take an oath they shall have it given them....

Mrs. H.: After that they have taken an oath I will make good what I say.


Gov.: Let us state the case, and then we may know what to do. That which is laid to Mrs. Hutchinson charge is that, that she hath traduced the magistrates and ministers of this jurisdiction, that she hath said the ministers preached a covenant of works and Mr. Cotton a covenant of grace, and that they were not able ministers of the gospel, and she excuses it that she made it a private conference and with a promise of secrecy, &c. Now this is charged upon her, and they therefore sent for her seeing she made it her table talk, and then she said the fear of man was a snare and therefore she would not be affeared of them....


Dep. Gov.: Let her witnesses be called.


Gov.: Who be they?


Mrs. H.: Mr. Leveret and our teacher and Mr. Coggeshall.


Gov.: Mr. Coggeshall was not present.


Mr. Coggeshall: Yes, but I was. Only I desired to be silent till I should be called.


Gov.: Will you, Mr. Coggeshall, say that she did not say so?


Mr. Coggeshall: Yes, I dare say that she did not say all that which they lay against her.


Mr. Peters: How dare you look into the court to say such a word?


Mr. Coggeshall: Mr. Peters takes upon him to forbid me. I shall be silent.


Mr. Stoughton [assistant of the Court]: Ey, but she intended this that they say.


Gov.: Well, Mr. Leveret, what were the words? I pray, speak.


Mr. Leveret: To my best remembrance when the elders did send for her, Mr. Peters did with much vehemency and intreaty urge her to tell what difference there was between Mr. Cotton and them, and upon his urging of her she said "The fear of man is a snare, but they that trust upon the Lord shall be safe." And being asked wherein the difference was, she answered that they did not preach a covenant of grace so clearly as Mr. Cotton did, and she gave this reason of it: because that as the apostles were for a time without the spirit so until they had received the witness of the spirit they could not preach a covenant of grace so clearly.

Gov.: Don't you remember that she said they were not able ministers of the New Testament?

Mrs. H.: Mr. Weld and I had an hour's discourse at the window and then I spake that, if I spake it....


Gov.: Mr Cotton, the court desires that you declare what you do remember of the conference which was at the time and is now in question.


Mr. Cotton: I did not think I should be called to bear witness in this cause and therefore did not labor to call to remembrance what was done; but the greatest passage that took impression upon me was to this purpose. The elders spake that they had heard that she had spoken some condemning words of their ministry, and among other things they did first pray her to answer wherein she thought their ministry did differ from mine. How the comparison sprang I am ignorant, but sorry I was that any comparison should be between me and my brethren and uncomfortable it was. She told them to this purpose that they did not hold forth a covenant of grace as I did. But wherein did we differ? Why she said that they did not hold forth the seal of the spirit as he doth. Where is the difference there? Say they, why saith she, speaking to one or other of them, I know not to whom. You preach of the seal of the spirit upon a work and he upon free grace without a work or without respect to a work; he preaches the seal of the spirit upon free grace and you upon a work. I told her I was very sorry that she put comparisons between my ministry and theirs, for she had said more than I could myself, and rather I had that she had put us in fellowship with them and not have made that discrepancy. She said, she found the difference....

This was the sum of the difference, nor did it seem to be so ill taken as it is and our brethren did say also that they would not so easily believe reports as they had done and withal mentioned that they would speak no more of it, some of them did; and afterwards some of them did say they were less satisfied than before. And I must say that I did not find her saying that they were under a covenant of works, nor that she said they did preach a covenant of works...

Mrs. H.: If you please to give me leave I shall give you the ground of what I know to be true. Being much troubled to see the falseness of the constitution of the Church of England, I had like to have turned Separatist. Whereupon I kept a day of solemn humiliation and pondering of the thing; this scripture was brought unto me--he that denies Jesus Christ to be come in the flesh is antichrist. This I considered of and in considering found that the papists did not deny him to be come in the flesh, nor we did not deny him--who then was antichrist? Was the Turk antichrist only? The Lord knows that I could not open scripture; he must by his prophetical office open it unto me. So after that being unsatisfied in the thing, the Lord was pleased to bring this scripture out of the Hebrews. he that denies the testament denies the testator, and in this did open unto me and give me to see that those which did not teach the new covenant had the spirit of antichrist, and upon this he did discover the ministry unto me; and ever since, I bless the Lord, he hath let me see which was the clear ministry and which the wrong. Since that time I confess I have been more choice and he hath left me to distinguish between the voice of my beloved and the voice of Moses, the voice of John the Baptist and the voice of antichrist, for all those voices are spoken of in scripture. Now if you do condemn me for speaking what in my conscience I know to be truth I must commit myself unto the Lord.


Mr. Nowel [assistant to the Court]: How do you know that was the spirit?


Mrs. H.: How did Abraham know that it was God that bid him offer his son, being a breach of the sixth commandment?


Dep. Gov.: By an immediate voice.


Mrs. H.: So to me by an immediate revelation.Dep. Gov.: How! an immediate revelation.


Mrs. H.: By the voice of his own spirit to my soul. I will give you another scripture, Jer[emiah] 46: 27-28--out of which the Lord showed me what he would do for me and the rest of his servants. But after he was pleased to reveal himself to me I did presently, like Abraham, run to Hagar. And after that he did let me see the atheism of my own heart, for which I begged of the Lord that it might not remain in my heart, and being thus, he did show me this (a twelvemonth after) which I told you of before....



Therefore, I desire you to look to it, for you see this scripture fulfilled this day and therefore I desire you as you tender the Lord and the church and commonwealth to consider and look what you do. You have power over my body but the Lord Jesus hath power over my body and soul; and assure yourselves thus much, you do as much as in you lies to put the Lord Jesus Christ from you, and if you go on in this course you begin, you will bring a curse upon you and your posterity, and the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.


Dep. Gov.: What is the scripture she brings?


Mr. Stoughton [assistant to the Court]: Behold I turn away from you.


Mrs. H.: But now having seen him which is invisible I fear not what man can do unto me.


Gov.: Daniel was delivered by miracle; do you think to be deliver'd so too?


Mrs. H.: I do here speak it before the court. I look that the Lord should deliver me by his providence.... [because God had said to her] though I should meet with affliction, yet I am the same God that delivered Daniel out of the lion's den, I will also deliver thee.


Mr. Harlakenden [assistant to the Court]: I may read scripture and the most glorious hypocrite may read them and yet go down to hell.


Mrs. H.: It may be so....


Gov.: I am persuaded that the revelation she brings forth is delusion.


[The trial text here reads:] All the court but some two or three ministers cry out, we all believe it--we all believe it.


[Mrs. Hutchinson was found guilty]


Gov.: The court hath already declared themselves satisfied concerning the things you hear, and concerning the troublesomeness of her spirit and the danger of her course amongst us, which is not to be suffered. Therefore if it be the mind of the court that Mrs. Hutchinson for these things that appear before us is unfit for our society, and if it be the mind of the court that she shall be banished out of our liberties and imprisoned till she be sent away, let them hold up their hands...


Gov.: Mrs. Hutchinson, the sentence of the court you hear is that you are banished from out of our jurisdiction as being a woman not fit for our society, and are to be imprisoned till the court shall send you away.


Mrs. H.: I desire to know wherefore I am banished?


Gov.: Say no more. The court knows wherefore and is satisfied.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Friday, December 29, 2017

1629 The Charter of Massachsetts Bay

The 1629 Charter Of Massachusetts Bay
Boston Harbor and adjacent settlements in 1667. Thought to be a specimen of the first engraving executed in America.

And further, That the said Governour and Companye, and their Successors, maie have forever one comon Seale, to be used in all Causes and Occasions of the said Company, and the same Seale may alter, chaunge, breake, and newe make, from tyme to tyme, at their pleasures. And our Will and Pleasure is, and Wee doe hereby for Us, our Heires and Successors, ordeyne and graunte, That from henceforth for ever, there shalbe one Governor, one Deputy Governor, and eighteene Assistants of the same Company, to be from tyme to tyme constituted, elected and chosen out of the Freemen of the saide Company, for the twyme being, in such Manner and Forme as hereafter in theis Presents is expressed, which said Officers shall applie themselves to take Care for the best disposeing and ordering of the generall buysines and Affaires of, for, and concerning the said Landes and Premisses hereby mentioned, to be graunted, and the Plantation thereof, and the Government of the People there. And for the better Execution of our Royall Pleasure and Graunte in this Behalf, Wee doe, by theis presents, for Us, our Heires and Successors, nominate, ordeyne, make, and constitute; our welbeloved the saide Mathewe Cradocke, to be the first and present Governor of the said Company, and the saide Thomas Goffe, to be Deputy Governor of the saide Company, and the saide Sir Richard Saltonstall, Isaack Johnson, Samuell Aldersey, John Ven, John Humfrey, John Endecott, Simon Whetcombe, Increase Noell, Richard Pery, Nathaniell Wright, Samuell Vassall, Theophilus Eaton, Thomas Adams, Thomas Hutchins, John Browne, George Foxcrofte, William Vassall, and William Pinchion, to be the present Assistants of the saide Company, to continue in the saide several Offices respectivelie for such tyme, and in such manner, as in and by theis Presents is hereafter declared and appointed.
And further, Wee will, and by theis Presents, for Us, our Heires and Successors, doe ordeyne and graunte, That the Governor of the saide Company for the tyme being, or in his Absence by Occasion of Sicknes or otherwise, the Deputie Governor for the tyme being, shall have Authoritie from tyme to tyme upon all Occasions, to give order for the assembling of the saide Company, and calling them together to consult and advise of the Bussinesses and Affaires of the saide Company, and that the said Governor, Deputie Governor, and Assistants of the saide Company, for the tyme being, shall or maie once every Moneth, or oftener at their Pleasures, assemble and houlde and keepe a Courte or Assemblie of themselves, for the better ordering and directing of their Affaires, and that any seaven or more persons of the Assistants, togither with the Governor, or Deputie Governor soe assembled, shalbe saide, taken, held, and reputed to be, and shalbe a full and sufficient Courte or Assemblie of the said Company, for the handling, ordering, and dispatching of all such Buysinesses and Occurrents as shall from tyme to tyme happen, touching or concerning the. said Company or Plantation; and that there shall or maie be held and kept by the Governor, or Deputie Governor of the said Company, and seaven or more of the said Assistants for the tyme being, upon every last Wednesday in Hillary, Easter, Trinity, and Michas Termes respectivelie forever, one greate generall and solemne assemblie, which foure generall assemblies shalbe stiled and called the foure greate and generall Courts of the saide Company.

In all and every, or any of which saide greate and generall Courts soe assembled, Wee doe for Us, our Heires and Successors, give and graunte to the said Governor and Company, and their Successors, That the Governor, or in his absence, the Deputie Governor of the saide Company for the tyme being, and such of the Assistants and Freeman of the saide Company as shalbe present, or the greater nomber of them so assembled, whereof the Governor or Deputie Governor and six of the Assistants at the least to be seaven, shall have full Power and authoritie to choose, nominate, and appointe, such and soe many others as they shall thinke fitt, and that shall be willing to accept the same, to be free of the said Company and Body, and them into the same to admitt; and to elect and constitute such officers as they shall thinke fill and requisite, for the ordering, mannaging, and dispatching of the Affaires of the saide Governor and Company, and their Successors; And to make Lawes and Ordinances for the Good and Welfare of the saide Company, and for the Government and ordering of the saide Landes and Plantation, and the People inhabiting and to inhabite the same, as to them from tyme to tyme shalbe thought meete, soe as such Lawes and Ordinances be not contrarie or repugnant to the Lawes and Statuts of this our Realme of England.

And, our Will and Pleasure is, and Wee doe hereby for Us, our Heires and Successors, establish and ordeyne, That yearely once in the yeare, for ever hereafter, namely, the last Wednesday in Easter Tearme, yearely, the Governor, Deputy-Governor, and Assistants of the saide Company and all other officers of the saide Company shalbe in the Generall Court or Assembly to be held for that Day or Tyme, newly chosen for the Yeare ensueing by such greater parte of the said Company, for the Tyme being, then and there present, as is aforesaide. And, if it shall happen the present governor, Deputy Governor, and assistants, by theis presents appointed, or such as shall hereafter be newly chosen into their Roomes, or any of them, or any other of the officers to be appointed for the said Company, to dye, or to be removed from his or their severall Offices or Places before the saide generall Day of Election (whome Wee doe hereby declare for any Misdemeanor or Defect to be removeable by the Governor, Deputie Governor, Assistants, and Company, or such greater Parte of them in any of the publique Courts to be assembled as is aforesaid) That then, and in every such Case, it shall and maie be lawfull, to and for the Governor, Deputie Governor, Assistants, and Company aforesaide, or such greater Parte of them soe to be assembled as is aforesaide, in any of their Assemblies, to proceade to a new Election of one or more others of their Company in the Roome or Place, Roomes or Places of such Officer or Officers soe dyeing or removed according to their Discretions, And, immediately upon and after such Election and Elections made of such Governor, Deputie Governor, Assistant or Assistants, or any other officer of the saide Company, in Manner and Forme aforesaid, the Authoritie, Office, and Power, before given to the former Governor, Deputie Governor, or other Officer and Officers soe removed, in whose Steade and Place newe shalbe soe chosen, shall as to him and them, and everie of them, cease and determine

Provided alsoe, and our Will and Pleasure is, That aswell such as are by theis Presents appointed to be the present Governor, Deputie Governor, and Assistants of the said Company, as those that shall succeed them, and all other Officers to be appointed and chosen as aforesaid, shall, before they undertake the Execution of their saide Offices and Places respectivelie, take their Corporal Oathes for the due and faithfull Performance of their Duties in their severall Offices and Places, before such Person or Persons as are by theis Presents hereunder appointed to take and receive the same. . . .

And, further our Will and Pleasure is, and Wee doe hereby for Us, our Heires and Successors, ordeyne and declare, and graunte to the saide Governor and Company and their Successors, That all and every the Subjects of Us, our Heires or Successors, which shall goe to and inhabite within the saide Landes and Premisses hereby mentioned to be graunted, and every of their Children which shall happen to be borne there, or on the Seas in goeing thither, or retorning from thence, shall have and enjoy all liberties and Immunities of free and naturall Subjects within any of the Domynions of Us, our Heires or Successors, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever, as if they and everie of them were borne within the Realme of England. And that the Governor and Deputie Governor of the said Company for the Tyme being, or either of them, and any two or more of such of the saide Assistants as shalbe thereunto appointed by the saide Governor and Company at any of their Courts or Assemblies to be held as aforesaide, shall and maie at all Tymes, and from tyme to tyme hereafter, have full Power and Authoritie to minister and give the Oathe and Oathes of Supremacie and Allegiance, or either of them, to all and everie Person and Persons, which shall at any Tyme or Tymes hereafter goe or passe to the Landes and Premisses hereby mentioned to be graunted to inhabite in the same.

And, Wee doe of our further Grace, certen Knowledg and meere Motion, give and graunte to the saide Governor and Company, and their Successors, That it shall and maie be lawfull, to and for the Governor or Deputie Governor, and such of the Assistants and Freemen of the said Company for the Tyme being as shalbe assembled in any of their generall Courts aforesaide, or in any other Courtes to be specially sumoned and assembled for that Purpose, or the greater Parte of them (whereof the Governor or Deputie Governor, and six of the Assistants to be alwaies seaven) from tyme to tyme, to make, ordeine, and establishe all Manner of wholesome and reasonable Orders, Lawes, Statutes, and Ordinances, Directions, and Instructions, not contrairie to the Lawes of this our Realme of England, aswell for setling of the Formes and Ceremonies of Government and Magistracy, fitt and necessary for the said Plantation, and the Inhabitants there, and for nameing and setting of all sorts of Officers, both superior and inferior, which they shall finde needefull for that Governement and Plantation, and the distinguishing and setting forth of the severall duties, Powers, and Lymytts of every such Office and Place, and the Formes of such Oathes warrantable by the Lawes and Statutes of this our Realme of England, as shalbe respectivelie ministred unto them for the Execution of the said severall Offices and Places; as also, for the disposing and ordering of the Elections of such of the said Officers as shalbe annuall, and of such others as shalbe to succeede in Case of Death or Removeall, and ministring the said Oathes to the newe elected Officers, and for Impositions of lawfull Fynes, Mulcts, Imprisonment, or other lawfull Correction, according to the Course of other Corporations in this our Realme of England, and for the directing, ruling, and disposeing of all other Matters and Thinges, whereby our said People, Inhabitants there, may be soe religiously, peaceablie, and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderlie Conversation, maie wynn and incite the Natives of Country, to the Knowledg and Obedience of the onlie true God and Savior of Mankinde, and the Christian Fayth, which in our Royall Intention, and the Adventurers free Profession, is the principall Ende of this Plantation.
Willing, commaunding, and requiring, and by theis Presents for Us, our Heires, and Successors, ordeyning and appointing, that all such Orders, Lawes, Statuts and Ordinances, Instructions and Directions, as shalbe soe made by the Governor, or Deputie Governor of the said Company, and such of the Assistants and Freemen as aforesaide, and published in Writing, under their common Seale, shalbe carefullie and dulie observed, kept, performed, and putt in Execution, according to the true Intent and Meaning of the same; and theis our Letters- patents, or the Duplicate or exemplification thereof, shalbe to all and everie such Officers, superior and inferior, from Tyme to Tyme, for the putting of the same Orders, Lawes, Statutes, and Ordinances, Instructions, and Directions, in due Execution against Us, our Heires and Successors, a sufficient Warrant and Discharge.

And Wee doe further, for Us, our Heires and Successors, give and graunt to the said Governor and Company, and their Successors by theis Presents, that all and everie such Chiefe Comaunders, Captaines, Governors, and other Officers and Ministers, as by the said Orders, Lawes, Statuts, Ordinances, Instructions, or Directions of the said Governor and Company for the Tyme being, shalbe from Tyme to Tyme hereafter imploied either in the Government of the saide Inhabitants and Plantation, or in the Waye by Sea thither, or from thence, according to the Natures and Lymitts of their Offices and Places respectively, shall from Tyme to Tyme hereafter for ever, within the Precincts and Partes of Newe England hereby mentioned to be graunted and confirmed, or in the Waie by Sea thither, or from thence, have full and Absolute Power and Authoritie to correct, punishe, pardon, governe, and rule all such the Subjects of Us, our Heires and Successors, as shall from Tyme to Tyme adventure themselves in any Voyadge thither or from thence, or that shall at any Tyme hereafter, inhabite within the Precincts and Partes of Newe England aforasaid, according to the Orders, Lawes, Ordinances, Instructions, and Directions aforesaid, not being repugnant to the Lawes and Statutes of our Realme of England as aforesaid. . . .

Thursday, December 28, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

1630 John Winthrop's City on a Hill Declaration

Excerpts from "A Model of Christian Charity" by John Winthrop 1630

It rests now to make some application of this discourse.…

1. For the persons. We are a company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, in which respect only though we were absent from each other many miles, and had our employments as far distant, yet we ought to account ourselves knit together by this bond of love, and live in the exercise of it, if we would have comfort of our being in Christ.…

2nly for the work we have in hand. It [our task] is by a mutual consent, through a special overvaluing providence and a more than an ordinary approbation of the Churches of Christ, to seek out a place of cohabitation… under a due form of Government both civil and ecclesiastical. In such cases as this, the care of the public must oversway all private respects, by which, not only conscience, but mere civil policy, does bind us. For it is a true rule that particular Estates cannot subsist in the ruin of the public.

3ly The end is to improve our lives to do more service to the Lord; the comfort and increase of the body of Christ, whereof we are members; that ourselves and posterity may be the better preserved from the common corruptions of this evil world, to serve the Lord and work out our Salvation under the power and purity of his holy ordinances.

4thly for the means whereby this must be effected. They are twofold, a conformity with the work and end we aim at. These we see are extraordinary, therefore we must not content ourselves with usual ordinary means. Whatsoever we did, or ought to have done, when we lived in England, the same must we do, and more also, where we go. That which the most in their churches maintain as truth in profession only, we must bring into familiar and constant practice; as in this duty of love, we must love brotherly without dissimulation, we must love one another with a pure heart fervently. We must bear one another’s burdens. We must not look only on our own things, but also on the things of our brethren. Neither must we think that the Lord will bear with such failings at our hands as he does from those among whom we have lived.…When God gives a special commission he looks to have it strictly observed in every article…

Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into Covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord has given us leave to draw our own articles.

…If the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then has he ratified this covenant and sealed our Commission, and will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dissembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us; be revenged of such a perjured people and make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make other’s conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.… The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as his own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of his wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with.

We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when he shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, "the Lord make it like that of New England." For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God.…

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Persecution in America - Puritans Banish & Execute Dissenters

Although they were victims of religious persecution in Europe, the Puritans supported the Old World theory that sanctioned it, the need for uniformity of religion in the state. Once in control in New England, they sought to break "the very neck of Schism and vile opinions."

The "business" of the first settlers, a Puritan minister recalled in 1681, "was not Toleration, but [they] were professed enemies of it."
Puritans expelled dissenters from their colonies, a fate that in 1636, befell Roger Williams and in 1638, Anne Hutchinson, America's first major female religious leader.

Expelled from Massachusetts in the dead of winter in 1636, former Puritan leader Roger Williams (1603-1683) issued an impassioned plea for freedom of conscience. He wrote, "God requireth not an uniformity of Religion to be inacted and inforced in any civill state; which inforced uniformity (sooner or later) is the greatest occasion of civill Warre, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of hypocrisy and destruction of millions of souls." Williams later founded Rhode Island on the principle of religious freedom. He welcomed people of every shade of religious belief, even some regarded as dangerously misguided, for nothing could change his view that "forced worship stinks in God's nostrils."

Those who defied the Puritans by persistently returning to their jurisdictions risked capital punishment, a penalty imposed on four Quakers between 1659 and 1661. Those killed included Mary Dyer.

Mary Dyer (d. 1660) first ran afoul of Massachusetts authorities for supporting theological dissenter Anne Hutchinson. As a result Dyer and her family were forced to move to Rhode Island in 1638. Converted to Quakerism in England in the 1650s, Dyer returned to New England and was three times arrested and banished from Massachusetts for spreading Quaker principles. Returning to Massachusetts a fourth time, she was hanged on June 1, 1660.

Reflecting on the 17C's intolerance, Thomas Jefferson was unwilling to concede to Virginians any moral superiority to the Puritans. Beginning in 1659 Virginia enacted anti-Quaker laws, including the death penalty for refractory Quakers. Jefferson surmised that "if no capital execution took place here, as did in New England, it was not owing to the moderation of the church, or the spirit of the legislature."

In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson reflected on the religious intolerance in 17C Virginia, specifically on the anti-Quaker laws passed by the Virginia Assembly from 1659 onward. Jefferson apparently believed that it was no more than an historical accident that Quakers had not been physically punished or even executed in Virginia as they had been in Massachusetts.

See The Library of Congress.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

New England Mothers & Children in 17C British American Colonies

The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) The Mason Children - David, Joanna, and Abigail c 1670

The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Margaret Gibbs of Boston c 1670

The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Henry Gibbs of Boston c 1670

The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Robert Gibbs c 1670


Portrait of Alice Mason, by an unknown artist, C. 1670.


Portrait of Mary Mason, by unknown artist, C. 1670.


The Freake Limner (American Colonial Era Painter, active 1670-c 1680) Mrs Elizabeth Freake and Baby Mary 1674. The Freake Limner (active 1670–1674) is known by 10 similar portraits in oil on canvas that were painted of merchants, public officials, ministers, & children in Boston between 1670 and 1674. 


1679 Mrs. Richard Patteshall (Martha Woody) and Child. Atr Thomas Smith, American, c 1650–1691 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While most attribute this painting to Thomas Smith, some suggest that the painter could be Augustine Clement (c 1600–1674) who trained in the Elizabethan style in England before sailing to New England.  However, there were about 14 artists working in Boston in the 17C, so attribution to Clement is speculative.

Friday, December 22, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

1643 The New England Confederation

The New England Confederation
The New England Confederation, was a political and military alliance of the English colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. Established May 29, 1643. Its primary purpose was to unite the Puritan colonies against the Native Americans.

ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION between the plantations under the government of the Massachusetts, the plantations under the government of New Plymouth, the plantations under the government of Connecticut, and the government of New Haven with the plantations in combination therewith:

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 in our settling (by a wise providence of God) we are further dispersed upon the seacoasts 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 those sad distractions in England which they have heard of, and by which they know we are hindered from that humble way of seeking advice, or 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 our future concernments.

That, as in nation and religion, so in other respects, we be and continue one according to the tenor and true meaning of the ensuing articles. Wherefore it is fully agreed and concluded by and between the parties of jurisdictions above named, and they jointly and severally do by these presents agree and conclude that they all be and henceforth be called by the name of the United Colonies of New England.

2.The said United Colonies, for themselves and their posterities, do jointly and severally hereby enter into a firm and perpetual league of friendship and amity for offense and defense, mutual advice and succor upon all just occasions, both for preserving and propogating the truth and liberties of the Gospel and for their own mutual safety and welfare.

3.It is further agreed that the plantations which at present are, or hereafter shall be, settled within the limits of the Massachusetts shall be forever under the Massachusetts, and shall have particular jurisdiction among themselves in all cases as an entire body; and that Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven shall each of them have like particular jurisdiction and government within their limits, and in reference to the plantations which already are settled, or shall hereafter be erected, or shall settle within their limits respectively; provided that no other jurisdiction shall hereafter be taken in as a distinct head or member of this confederation, nor shall any other plantation or jurisdiction in present being, and not already in combination or under the jurisdiction of any of these confederates, be received by any of them; nor shall any two of the confederates join in one jurisdiction without consent of the rest, which consent to be interpreted as is expresed in the 6th article ensuing.

4.It is by these confederates agreed that the charge of all just wars, whether offensive or defensive, upon what part or member of this confederation soever they fall, shall both in men and provisions and all other disbursements be borne by all the parts of this confederation in different proportions according to their different ability in manner following, namely, that the commissioners for each jurisdiction, from time to time as there shall be occasion, bring a true account and number of all the males in every plantation or any way belonging to or under their federal jurisdictions of what quality or condition soever they be from sixteen years old to threescore being inhabitants there. And that according to the different numbers which from time to time shall be found in each jurisdiction, upon a true and just account, the service of men and all charges of the war be borne by the poll; each jurisdiction or plantation being left to their own course and custom of rating themselves and people according to their different estates with due respects to their qualities and exemptions among themselves though the confederation take no notice of any such privilege; and that according to their different charge of each jurisdiction and plantation, the whole advantage of the war (if it please God to bless their endeavors), whether it be in lands, goods, or persons, shall be proportionately divided among the said confederates.

5.It is further agreed that, if any of these jurisdictions or any plantation under or in combination with them be invaded by any enemy whatsoever, upon notice and request of any three magistrates of that jurisdiction so invaded, the rest of the confederates, without any further meeting or expostulation, shall forthwith send aid to the confederate in danger but in different proportions; namely, the Massachusetts, 100 men sufficiently armed and provided for such a service and journey, and each of the rest, 45 so armed and provided, or any less number, if less be required according to this proportion. But in any such case of sending men for present aid, whether before or after such order or alteration, it is agreed that at the meeting of the commissioners for this confederation the cause of such war or invasion be duly considered; and if it appear that the fault lay in the parties so invaded that then that jurisdiction or plantation make just satisfaction, both to the invaders whom they have injured, and bear all the charges of the war themselves, without requiring any allowance from the rest of the confederates toward the same. And, further, that if any jurisdiction see any danger of any invasion approaching, and there be time for a meeting, that in such case three magistrates of that jurisdiction may summon a meeting at such convenient place as themselves shall think meet, to consider and provide against the threatened danger; provided when they are met they may remove to what place they please. Only while any of these four confederates have but three magistrates in their jurisdiction, their request or summons from any two of them shall be accounted of equal force with the three mentioned in both the clauses of this article, till there be an increase of magistrates there.

6.It is also agreed that for the managing and concluding of all affairs proper and concerning the whole confederation, two commissioners shall be chosen by and out of each of these four jurisdictions; namely, two for the Massachusetts, two for Plymouth, two for Connecticut, and two for New Haven, being all in church fellowship with us, which shall bring full power from their several General Courts respectively to hear, examine, weigh, and determine all affairs of our war or peace leagues, aids, charges, and numbers of men for war, division of spoils and whatsoever is gotten by conquest, receiving of more confederates for plantations into combination with any of the confederates, and all things of like nature, which are the proper concommitants or consequents of such a confederation for amity, offense, and defense, not inter-meddling with the government of any of the jurisdictions, which by the 3rd article is preserved entirely to themselves  It is further agreed that these eight commissioners shall meet once every year, besides extraordinary meetings (according to the 5th article), to consider, treat, and conclude of all affairs belonging to this confederation 

7.It is also agreed that the commissioners for this confederation hereafter at their meetings, whether ordinary or extraordinary, as they may have commission or opportunity, do endeavor to frame and establish agreements and orders in general cases of a civil nature, wherein all the plantations are interested, for preserving peace among themselves and preventing as much as may be all occasion of war or difference with others, as about the free and speedy passage of justice in every jurisdiction, to all the confederates equally as to their own, receiving those that remove from one plantation to another without due certificates; how all the jurisidictions may carry it toward the Indians, that they neither grow insolent nor be injured without due satisfaction, lest war break in upon the confederates through such miscarriage.

It is agreed that if any servant run away from his master into any other of these confederated jurisdictions, that in such case, upon the certificate of one magistrate in the jurisdiction out of which the said servant shall be delivered either to his master or any other that pursues and brings such certificate of proof. And that upon the escape of any prisoner whatsoever, or fugitive for any criminal cause, whether breaking prison, or getting away from the officer, or otherwise escaping, upon the certificate of two magistrates of the jurisdiction out of which the escape is made, that he was a prisoner, or such an offender at the time of the escape, the magistreates, or some of them of that jurisdiction where for the present the said prisoner or fugitive abides, shall forthwith grant such a warrant as the case will bear for the apprehending of any such person, and the delivery of him into the hands of the officer or other person who pursues him. And if there be help required for the safe returning of any such offender, then it shall be granted to him that craves the same, he paying the charges thereof.

8.And for that the justest wars may be of dangerous consequence, especially to the smaller plantations in these United Colonies, it is agreed that neither the Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, nor New Haven, nor any of the members of them, shall at any time hereafter begin, undertake, or engage themselves, or this confederation, or any part thereof in any war whatsoever (sudden exigents with the necessary consequents thereof excepted which are also to be moderated as much as the case will permit) without the consent and agreement of the forenamed eight commissioners, or at least six of them, as in the 6th article is provided; and that no charge be required of any of the confederates in case of a defensive war till the said commissioners have met and approved the justice of the war, and have agreed upon the sum of money to be levied, which sum is then to be paid by the several confederates in proportion according to the 4th article 

9.It is further agreed that if any of the confederates shall hereafter break any of these present articles, or be any other ways injurious to any one of the other jurisdictions, that both peace and this present confederation may be entirely preserved without violation.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

1629 A few problems in early New England

A Short and True Description of New England
by the Rev. Francis Higginson, written in 1629 

Printed for Michael Sparke, London, 1630.


Francis Higginson (1588-1630) was an early Puritan minister in Colonial New England, and the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts.

Thus of New England’s commodities, now I will tell you of some discommodities that are here to be found.

First: in the summer season for these three months June, July and August, we are troubled with little flies called mosquitos, being the same they are troubled with in Lincolnshire and the fens, and they are nothing but gnats, which except they be smoked out of their houses are troublesome in the night season.

Secondly: in the winter season for two months space the earth is commonly covered with snow, which is accompanied with sharp biting frosts, something more sharp than is in old England, and therefore we are forced to make great fires.

Thirdly: this country being very full of woods and wildernesses, doth also much abound with snakes and serpents of strange colors and huge greatness. Yea, there are some serpents called rattlesnakes, that have rattles in their tails that will not fly from a man as others will, but will fly upon him and sting him so mortally, that he will die within a quarter of an hour after, except the party stung have about him some of the root of an herb called snake weed to bite on, and then he shall receive no harm. But yet seldom falls it out that any hurt is done by these. About three years since an Indian was stung to death by one of them, but we heard of none since that time.
1603 German ed of Badli Angeli Abbatii's De Admirabili Viperae natura.  First published in 1589.  Dresden's Sächsische Landesbibliothek

Fourthly and lastly: here wants as yet the good company of honest Christians to bring with them horses, kine and sheep to make use of the fruitful land. Great pity it is to see so much good ground for corn and for grass as any is under the heavens, to lie altogether unoccupied, when so many honest men and their families in old England through the populousness thereof, do make very hard shift to live one by the other. Thus you know now what New England is, as also the commodities and discommodities thereof.

Monday, December 18, 2017

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677)

17C Woman by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born mostly English artist, 1607-1677). We have few depictions of women in the 17C British American colonies, but the portrait prints of women by Wenceslaus Hollar allow us to see the hairstyles & fashions being worn in other countries during the early years of the European colonization of North America.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

1629 The Countryside in New England

A Short and True Description of New England
by the Rev. Francis Higginson, written in 1629 
Printed for Michael Sparke, London, 1630.

Francis Higginson (1588-1630) was an early Puritan minister in Colonial New England, and the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts.

First therefore of the earth of New England and all the appurtenances thereof. It is a land of divers and sundry sorts all about Massachusetts Bay, and at Charles River is as fat black earth as can be seen anywhere; and in other places you have a clay soil; in others sandy, as it is all about our plantation at Salem, for so our town is now named (Psalms 76:2).
The form of the earth here in the superficies of it is neither too flat in the plains nor too high in hills, but partakes of both in mediocrity, and fit for pasture, or for plow or meadow ground, as men please to employ it. For all the country be as it were a thick wood in general, yet in divers places there is much ground cleared by the Indians, as especially about the plantation. I am told that about three miles from us a man may stand on a little hilly place and see divers thousands of acres of ground as good as need to be, and not a tree in the same.

It is thought here is good clay to make bricks and tiles and earthen pots as needs to be. At this instant we are setting up a brick-kiln to make bricks and tiles for the building of our houses.

For stone there is plenty of slates at the Isle of Slate in the bay of Massachusetts, and limestone, free-stone and smooth-stone and iron-stone and marble stone also in such a store, that we have great rocks of it, and a harbor hard by. Our plantation is from thence called Marble Harbor.

Of minerals there hath yet been but little trial made, yet we are not without great hope of being furnished in that soil.

The fertility of the soil is to be admired at, as appeareth in the abundance of grass that groweth everywhere, both very thick, very long, and very high in divers places. But it groweth very wildly with a great stalk and a broad and ranker blade, because it never had been eaten by cattle, nor mowed with a scythe, and seldom trampled on by foot. It is scarce to be believed how our kine and goats, horses and hogs do thrive and prosper here and like well of this country.