A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, 23 December, 1915, at three o’clock in the afternoon, Vice-President Andrew McFarland Davis in the chair.

    The Records of the Annual Meeting were read and approved.

    Mr. Alfred Johnson of Brookline, and Mr. George Parker Winship of Cambridge, were elected Resident Members.

    Announcement was made of the appointment of Messrs. Frederick Jackson Turner, Andrew McFarland Davis, and Samuel Eliot Morison as delegates from the Society to the Twelfth Annual Conference of Historical Societies to be held in Washington on the thirtieth instant in connection with the meeting of the American Historical Association.

    Mr. Albert Matthews exhibited a copy of the Solemn League and Covenant137 which, after a few changes, was adopted by the town of Westford on July 4, 1774, and which contains the signatures of 207 signers. Mr. Matthews spoke as follows:


    The Boston Port Bill received the Royal assent on March 31, 1774, and went into effect “from and after the First Day of June.”138 On June 2 the Boston Committee of Correspondence decided upon what soon became known as the Solemn League and Covenant,139 and on June 5 Joseph Warren reported it.140 On June 8 the Committee of Correspondence sent out the following letter:141


    THE evils which we have long foreseen are now come upon this town and province, the long meditated stroke is now given to the civil liberty of this country? How long we may be allowed the enjoyment of our religious liberty is a question of infinite moment. Religion can never be retained in it’s purity where tyranny has usurped the place of reason and justice. The bill for blocking up the harbour of Boston is replete with injustice and cruelty, thousands of innocent men, besides women and infants, are by it reduced to indegence and distress; and though we in this town more immediately feel this distress, yet our brethren in the other towns of this province, and all the other colonies, must see that we suffer in the common cause, and that they themselves must soon realize the sufferings under which we now labour, if no means are discovered for our relief. But if any should think that this town alone is to groan under the weight of arbitrary power, we are now furnished by our enemies with a still more glaring evidence of a fixed plan of the British administration to bring the whole continent into the most humiliating bondage. A bill has been brought into parliament apparently for the purpose of taking away our charter rights, wherein it is to be enacted that the counsellors shall be appointed by mandamus from the king, that our justices of the superior court, justices of our inferior courts, and justices of the peace, shall be all appointed by the governor alone, without the advice of the council, and all of them, excepting the justices of the superior court be removable by him at his pleasure, that our juries shall not be chosen by the freeholders, as they heretofore have been, but by the sheriff of the county, and that this sheriff shall not be appointed by the governor and council as heretofore, but by the governor alone, so that our lives and properties are to be decided upon by judges appointed by the governor alone, and by juries chosen by a sheriff who must be entirely under the influence of the governor as he is appointed by him, and is removable by him alone, whenever he shall discover a reluctance to conform to the will of the governor. Surely if we suffer these things we are the most abject slaves. If a favorite of a perverse governor should pretend a title to our lands, or any part of our property, we need not doubt but a very small degree of evidence in support of the claim, would be judged sufficient, especially as the bill makes provision, that upon the motion of either of the parties, it shall be lawful to try the cause in another county than that in which the action was brought, so that a man is to be carried into a distant part of the province, instead of having his cause tried in his own county, and to be tried by strangers with whom the good or bad characters of the parties or of the witnesses can have no weight, contrary to the very spirit of magna charta. Of what value are our lands or estates to us, if such an odious government should be established among us? Can we look with pleasure on the inheritance left by our ancestors, or on the fields cultivated by our industry? When we reflect that all our labours have made them only a more inviting prey to our enemies, will not the vine-yard of Naboth be ever in our minds? But lest any thing should be wanting to compleat our misery, another bill is also prepared, which enables the governor to save any person or persons, who, under the pretext of supporting or carrying into execution the late or other acts of the British parliament, shall murder and destroy the people of this country, from being tried in this province (even if they should be indicted by such grand jurors as shall be chosen by the sheriff of the county in the same manner that we have mentioned that petty jurors are to be returned) but the person indicted with such witnesses as he and the prosecutor (which will be the crown) shall judge proper, shall be sent to either of the other colonies, or even to Great Britain, to be tried for murdering the inhabitants of the Massachusetts-Bay. And provision is also made to prevent our meeting together in our corporate capacity as a town, unless it be once in the month of March for the election of the town officers, except the matter or business of the meeting is laid before the governor, and his leave in writing is obtained for a meeting of the town.

    There is but one way we can conceive of, to prevent what is to be deprecated by all good men, and ought by all possible means to be prevented, viz, The horrors that must follow an open rupture between Great Britain and her colonies; or on our part, a subjection to absolute slavery: And that is by affecting the trade and interest of Great Britain, so deeply as shall induce her to withdraw her oppressive hand. There can be no doubt of our succeeding to the utmost of our wishes if we universally come into a solemn league, not to import goods from Great Britain, and not to buy any goods that shall hereafter be imported from thence, until our grievances shall be redressed. To these, or even to the lease of these shameful impositions, we trust in God, our countrymen never will submit.

    We have received such assurances from our brethren in every part of the province of their readiness to adopt such measures as may be likely to save our country, that we have not the least doubt of an almost universal agreement for this purpose; in confidence of this, we have drawn up a form of a covenant to be subscribed by all adult persons of both sexes; which we have sent to every town in the province, and that we might not give our enemies time to counteract us, we have endeavoured that every town should be furnished with such a copy on or before the fourteenth day of this month, and we earnestly desire that you would use your utmost endeavours that the subscription paper may be filled up as soon as possible, that so they who are in expectation of overthrowing our liberties may be discouraged from prosecuting their wicked designs; as we look upon this the last and only method of preserving our land from slavery without drenching it in blood, may God prosper every undertaking which tends to the salvation of his people. We are, &c.

    Signed by order and in behalf of the Committee of Correspondence for Boston.

    William Cooper Clerk142

    BOSTON, June 8, 1774.


    For The Town-Clerk of Douglass —

    Of the Solemn League and Covenant itself, two printed forms exist. Uncertainty prevails as to which of these was the one sent out by the Boston Committee of Correspondence — a problem which will be discussed later. For purposes of comparison the two forms, respectively designated A and B, are here printed in parallel columns:143

    [A] [B]

    WE the Subscribers, inhabitants of the town of144 having taken into our serious consideration the precarious state of the liberties of North-America, and more especially the present distressed condition of this insulted province, embarrassed as it is by several acts of the British parliament, tending to the entire subversion of our natural and charter rights; among which is the act for blocking up the harbour of Boston: and being fully sensible of our indispensable duty to lay hold on every means in our power to preserve and recover the much injured constitution of our country; and conscious at the same time of no alternative between the horrors of slavery, or the carnage and desolation of a civil war, but a suspension of all commercial intercourse with the island of Great Britain: Do, in the presence of God,145 solemnly and in good faith,146 covenant and engage with each other, 1st, That from henceforth we will suspend all commercial intercourse with the said island of Great Britain, until the said act for blocking up the said harbour be repealed, and a full147 restoration of our charter rights be obtained. And,

    2dly, That there may be the less temptation to others to continue in the said, now dangerous commerce, we do in like manner solemnly covenant that we will not buy, purchase or consume, or suffer any person, by, for or under us to purchase or consume, in any manner whatever, any goods, wares, or merchandize which shall arrive in America from Great Britain aforesaid, from and after the last day of August next ensuing. And in order as much as in us lies to prevent our being interrupted and defeated in this only peaceable measure, entered into for the recovery and preservation of our rights, we agree to break off all trade, commerce and dealings whatever with all persons, who, prefering their own private interest to the salvation of their now perishing country, shall still continue to import goods from Great Britain, or shall purchase of those who do import.

    WE the Subscribers, inhabitants of the town of having taken into our serious consideration the precarious state of the liberties of North-America, and more especially the present distressed condition of this insulted province, embarrassed as it is by several acts of the British parliament, tending to the entire subversion of our natural and charter rights; among which is the act for blocking up the harbour of Boston: and being fully sensible of our indispensable duty to lay hold on every means in our power to preserve and recover the much injured constitution of our country; and conscious at the same time of no alternative between the horrors of slavery, or the carnage and desolation of a civil war, but a suspension of all commercial intercourse with the island of Great Britain, Do, in the presence of God, solemnly and in good faith, covenant and engage with each other, 1st, That from henceforth we will suspend all commercial intercourse with the island of Great Britain, until the said act for blocking up the said harbour be repealed, and a full restoration of our charter rights be obtained. And,

    2ly, That there may be the less temptation to others to continue in the said, now dangerous commerce, we do in like manner solemnly covenant that we will not buy, purchase or consume, or suffer any person, by, for or under us to purchase or consume, in any manner whatever, any goods, wares or merchandize which shall arrive in America from Great Britain aforesaid, from and after the last day of August next ensuing. And in order as much as in us lies to prevent our being interrupted and defeated in this only peaceable measure, entered into for the recovery and preservation of our rights, we agree to break off all trade, commerce and dealings whatever with all persons, who, perfering their own private interest to the salvation of their now perishing country, shall still continue to import goods from Great Britain, or shall purchase of those who do import, and never to renew any commerce or trade with them.

    And, Whereas the promoting of industry, œconomy, arts and manufactures among ourselves is of the last importance to the civil and religious welfare of a community; we engage,

    3ly, That from and after the first day of October next ensuing, we will, not by ourselves, or any for, by, or under us, purchase or use any goods, wares, manufactures or merchandize, whensoever or howsoever imported from Great Britain, until the harbour of Boston shall be opened, and our charter rights restored. And,

    Lastly, As a refusal to come into any agreement which promises the deliverance of our country from the calamities it now feels, and which, like a torrent are rushing upon it with increasing violence, must evidence a disposition enimical to, or criminally negligent of, the common safety: We agree, that after this covenant has been offered to any person, and they refuse to sign it, we will consider them in the same light as contumacious importers, and withdraw all commercial connexions with them forever, and publish their names to the world. Witness our hands, June, 1774,148

    3dly, That such persons may not have it in their power to impose upon us by any pretence whatever, we further agree to purchase no article of merchandize from them, or any of them, who shall not have signed this, or a similar covenant, or will not produce an oath, certified by a magistrate to be by them taken to the following purpose: viz. I of in the county of do solemnly swear that the goods I have now on hand, and propose for sale, have not, to the best of my knowledge, been imported from Great Britain, into any port of America since the last day of August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy four, and that I will not, contrary to the spirit of an agreement entering into through this province import or purchase of any person so importing any goods as aforesaid, until the port or harbour of Boston, shall be opened, and we are fully149 restored to the free use of our constitutional and charter rights. And,

    Lastly, we agree, that after this, or a similar covenant has been offered to any person and they refuse to sign it, or produce the oath, abovesaid, we will consider them as contumacious importers, and withdraw all commercial connexions with them, so far as not to purchase of them, any article whatever,150 and publish their names to the world.

    Witness our hands, June,151 1774.

    The document sent to Westford, exhibited to-day, is form A. At a town meeting held July 4, it was —

    Voted unanimously to take under our consideration the Papers sent from Boston to our town in consequence of sd Boston Harbour being Blocked up. Voted unanimously that the covenant lastly sent to Westford (with some small alterations thereon) should be signed by our town.

    Voted that the Covenant signed by the inhabitants of Westford Relating to Boston affairs be kept or Left in the town Clerk’s hand During the town’s Pleasure, and also to Return the names of those who do not sine this paper.152

    The “some small alterations” made are indicated in the footnotes to form A. The document contains the following signatures, here, for convenience, arranged alphabetically:153

    John Abbot

    Benjamin Carver

    Amos Fletcher iur

    John Abbot Junr

    Jonathan Carver

    Asaph Fletcher, meds

    Samuel Adams jur

    Thomas Carver


    Thomas Adams

    Ephraim Chambers

    Benjamin Fletcher

    Oliver Barret

    Isaac Chandler

    Benjamin Fletcher Juner

    Nathaniel Barrett

    William Chandler

    David Fletcher

    John Barritt

    Joseph Comengs

    Gershom Fletcher

    Oliuer Bates

    Thomas Coming jur

    James Fletcher

    Benjamin Beels

    Isaac Comings

    John Fletcher

    John Bigelow

    Thos. Comings

    Jonathan Fletcher

    Silas Bigelow

    Thomes Comings

    Jonathan Fletcher Junor

    Asa Bixby

    Abel Corey

    Jonathan Fletcher the 3d

    David Bixby

    Ebenezer Cory

    Joshua Fletcher

    Jacob Bixby

    Ephraim Cuming

    Levi Fletcher

    Levi Bixby

    Ephraim Cuming

    Nehemiah Fletcher

    Calvin Blanchard

    Timothy Cunmings

    Pelat Fletcher

    James Blogget

    Daniel Dudley

    Samuel Fletcher

    Elazor Blood

    Benjamin Dutton

    Seth Fletcher

    Abel Boynton

    Benjamin Dutton junr

    Thos Fletcher

    Josiah Boynton

    David Dutton

    Timothy Fletcher

    Nathl Boynton

    Ephraim Dutton

    Timothy Fletcher jur

    Peter Brown

    Joseph Dutton

    Willard Fletcher

    Moses Burge

    Joseph Dutton Jur

    William Fletcher

    John Bushe

    Samll F[ ]155

    Benjamin Forster

    William Butterfeild

    Saml Farwell

    Elias Forster

    Samuel Butterfield

    Samuel Fasset

    Ebenezer Foster

    William Butterfield iuner

    Amos Fletcher

    Smith Foster

    Daniel Goodhue

    Moses Parker

    Jacob Robinson

    David Goodhue

    Moses Parker Junr

    John Robinson

    Nehemiah Green

    James Pollard

    Obadiah Rogers

    John Hadley Junr

    Ebenr Presctt

    Thomas Rogers

    Jonas Hadley

    John Prescott

    Francis Smith

    Jonathan Hadley

    Jonas Prescott

    Thomas Smith

    Willis Hall

    Jonas Prescott jur

    Jona Spauding

    Amo[s]156 Hardy

    Jonas Prescott third

    Andrew Spaulding

    Garshom Heald

    Joseph Prescott

    James Spaulding

    Thomas Heald

    Oliver Prescott

    Josiah Spaulding

    Amos Hildreth

    Timothy Prescott

    Phillip Spaulding

    Elijah Hildreth

    Charles Procter

    Silas Spaulding

    Ephm Hildreth jur

    Ezekiel Procter

    Solomon Spaulding

    Ephm Hildreth 3d

    James Procter

    Timothy Spaulding

    Hosea Hildreth

    John Procter

    Ephraim Spauling

    John Hildreth

    Leonard Procter

    William Sprat

    Jona Hildreth

    Nathan Proctor

    Levi Temple

    Timothy Hildreth

    Daniel Raymond

    John Underwood

    Will Hildreth

    Abijah Read

    Joseph Underwood

    Zechariah Hildreth

    Benjamin Read

    Timothy Underwood

    Zechariah Hildreth Juner

    Eleazar Read

    Jacob Wendl

    Nathaniel Holmes

    John Read

    Solomon Wheat

    John Hullany157

    Jos. Read

    Solomon Wheat Junr

    Jonath Keep

    Joshua Read

    Samuel White

    Abner Kent

    Lenard Read

    Daniel Whiting

    Abner Kent Jur

    Samson Read

    Daniell Whitney Jur

    David Keyes

    Samel Read

    Abner Wilkins

    Jonathan Keyes

    Saml Read Jur

    Ebenezer Willis

    Joseph Keyes

    Silas Read

    Amos Wright

    Daniel Keys

    Simeon Read

    Ebenezer Wright

    Francies Kidder

    Thomas Read

    Ephraim Wright

    Thomas Kidder

    Willard Read

    Henry Wright

    Richard Kneeland

    Willm Read

    John Wright

    Israil Kyes

    William Read Ju

    Joseph Wright

    Issachar Kyes

    Amos Ressell

    Joseph Wright Junr

    Samuel Kyes

    Abijah Richardson

    Pelatiah Wright

    Thomas Meeds

    Thos Richardson

    Samuel Wright

    Jonathan Minot

    Thomas Richardson Junr

    Simeon Wright

    William Nickols

    Henry Rickerson

    Stephen Wright

    John Nuttinggir

    Jacob Robbens

    Thomas Wright

    Benja Osgood

    Jaremiah Robbing

    Zaccheus Wright

    Amos Parker

    Zech Robins

    Asahel Wyman158

    Joshua Parker

    The form sent out by the Boston Committee of Correspondence was so drastic that repugnance to signing it was immediately displayed, not only by Loyalists but by many who were devoted to the patriot cause. Accordingly, on June 10 the Boston Committee of Correspondence issued the following letter:159

    Boston, June 10, 1774.


    WHEREAS several of our brethren, members of the committees of correspondence in the neighbouring towns, have since our letter of the 8th instant applied to us, to know whether it was expected that the form of the covenant which we inclosed in our letter should be literally adopted by the several towns: We have thought it necessary to inform our respectable fellow countrymen, that the committee, neither in this or any other matter mean to dictate to them, but are humbly of opinion, that if they keep to the spirit of that covenant, and solemnly engage not to purchase any goods which shall be imported from Great Britain after the time stipulated, and agree to suspend dealing with such persons as shall persist in counteracting the salutary design, by continuing to import or purchase British articles so imported, the end we proposed will be fully answered, and the salvation of North-America, under providence, thereby insured.

    We are,


    Your friends and fellow countrymen,

    Signed by order and in behalf of the committee of

    Correspondence for Boston.

    William Cooper Clerk.160

    A Committee of Correspondence, consisting of William Young, Timothy Bigelow, and John Smith, was appointed in Worcester on May 18, 1773;161 and on June 13, 1774, this committee sent out the following letter:162

    Worcester June 13th. 1774.


    MANY persons in this county conceiving that an agreement not to purchase the goods which are or shall be imported before the 31st. of August next can answer no valuable end, provided the goods which might be thereafter imported could certainly be avoided: And as the committee of Boston in their last letter have informed us that they do not mean to dictate to us, and are of opinion that if we keep to the spirit of the covenant communicated by them, by solemnly engaging not to purchase any goods which shall be imported from Great Britain after the time stipulated, and agree to suspend dealing with such persons as shall persist in counteracting the salutary design, by continuing to import or purchase British articles, the end we proposed will be fully answered.

    We are of opinion, that the enclosed covenant is by no means inconsistent with the spirit or intention of the form sent out by them: we therefore beg leave to present it to your consideration, and are with much esteem,


    Your friends and fellow-countrymen, by order of the committee

    Wm Young163 Chairman.

    The “enclosed Covenant” was evidently a printed one: but was it form A or form B? As already stated, uncertainty prevails on this point. Thus Force, after printing the two concluding paragraphs of the letter issued by the Boston Committee of Correspondence on June 8, proceeds to give the “form of a covenant sent to every town in Massachusetts.” Then follows form B.164 That is, Force assumes that form B was the form sent out by the Boston Committee of Correspondence. On the other hand, the Massachusetts Historical Society owns a copy of form A which, as our associate Mr. Tuttle informs me, has been in the possession of the Society for half a century or more, and which has written in ink (but in whose hand is unknown) the words: “C. Worcester Covenant.” Neither Force nor the writer of the manuscript note offers any proof in support of his contention.

    The problem may be considered from several points of view. (1) As the form sent out from Boston was frequently, if not generally, regarded as too drastic, it is reasonable to infer that the more drastic of the two forms was the one sent out from Boston, and of the two forms A and B, A is the more drastic. (2) Every town in Massachusetts received a copy of the Boston form. Westford is in Middlesex County and so presumably would have received only the Boston form. The document exhibited to-day is form A. (3) Every town in Worcester County received a copy of the Boston form and also a copy of the Worcester form. At the bottom of the broadside (form B) owned by the American Antiquarian Society is written, in the hand of Isaiah. Thomas, the words “This came from Sutton.” Since Sutton is in Worcester County, the Sutton document might conceivably be either the Boston form or the Worcester form; but as a matter of fact the Sutton document is form B, and so presumably is the Worcester form. (4) Five newspapers were published in Boston in 1774, but only two of these printed the Solemn League and Covenant. It first appeared in the Boston News Letter of June 23 (p. 2/1), where it is preceded by these words: “The Publishers of the Massachusetts Gazette are requested to insert the following Covenant, viz.” Then follows form A. It next appeared in the Boston Post Boy of June 27, preceded by this note: “The following is the Letter which accompanies the solemn League and Covenant how circulating through this Province” (p. 1/2). Then follows the letter of June 8 sent out by the Boston Committee of Correspondence, after which comes “The LEAGUE and COVENANT,” and this is form A. It is reasonable to assume that the only form printed in the Boston papers was the form sent out by the Boston Committee of Correspondence.

    (5) Thus far general probabilities only have been considered. Let us now turn to forms A and B themselves. The preamble and the first article are identical in the two forms, except that in the first article the word “said,” which in form A precedes “island,” is not in form B. The second article is identical in the two forms, except that the concluding words of form B — “and never to renew any commerce or trade with them” — are not in form A. In form B the third article has a brief preamble which is not in form A. The third and fourth articles differ in the two forms, the chief difference being that in form A the signers “further agree to purchase no article of merchandize from them [importers], or any of them, who shall not have signed this, or a similar covenant, or will not produce an oath, certified by a magistrate to be by them taken to the following purpose.” Form B contains nothing about an oath. As already said, repugnance to signing the form sent out by the Boston Committee of Correspondence was immediately displayed. At a town meeting held June 27 it was “Moved & seconded that the Com̄ittee of Correspondence be desired to lay the Letters they have wrote to the other Towns and Governments since the receipt of the Port Bill, — the question being put — Passed in the Affirmative;”165 and, the meeting having been adjourned to the Old South Meeting-house, —

    A Motion was made & passed, That all Letters received as well as the Answers returned, be laid before the Town and read —

    After the Town Clerk had accordingly read a Number of Letters, a Motion was made that the said Vote be so far Reconsidered, as that the Reading of all other Letters previous to the Covenant sent into the Country by the Com̄ittee of Correspondence, & the Letters accompanying the same, be suspended for the present, & that the Town proceed to the Reading of said Letter & Covenant, & any other Letters that may be particularly called for —

    The said Covenant & a Number of Letters having been read, a Motion was made, that some Censure be now passed By the Town on the Conduct of the Com̄ittee of Correspondence; and that said Committee be annihilated.166

    A discussion followed and the meeting was again adjourned to the 28th, when —

    The Motion for Censuring & Annihilating the Com̄ittee of Correspondence again Considered, & after long Debates the Question was accordingly put; which passed in the Negative by a great Majority —

    It was then moved, that the following Vote be passed, Vizt. “That the Town bear open Testimony that they are abundantly satisfied of the upright Intentions, and much approve the honest Zeal of the Com̄ittee of Correspondence & desire that they would persevere with their usual Activity & Firmness, continuing stedfast in the Way of well Doing — And the Question being put, passed in the Affirmative by a Vast Majority.167

    But this action in town meeting by no means intimidated those opposed to the Boston form of the Covenant. On June 28 John Rowe wrote: “The Debates very warm on both sides — I think are wrong. I mean the Committee [of Correspondence] are wrong in the matter. The Merchants have taken up against them, they have in my Opinion exceeded their Power & the Motion was put that they be dismissed.”168 On June 29 two protests were drawn up, one signed by one hundred and twenty-eight, the other signed by eight, among the latter John Andrews. On July 22 Andrews wrote:

    . . . have enclos’d you the Covenant, with many sensible remarks upon it, together with the two protests; ye latter of which (among ye number of ye respective signers, you’ll observe, I have the honor to be one) is humourously called the Little Pope; the declaration following it, (wherein our reasons for a dissent are given in a more explicit manner than in the protest) should be glad you’d attend to.169

    What Andrews sent his correspondent was no doubt a copy either of the Boston Evening Post of July 4, or of the Boston News Letter of July 7, in both of which were printed the two protests and what Andrews called “the declaration” following the protest signed by him. This declaration reads in part as follows:

    Messirs. Fleets,

    WHEREAS a certain Paper, under the Denomination of a Covenant, or a Non-Consumption Agreement, has been sent by the Committee of Correspondence of this Town to many Towns in the Province, and as the People may be led from that, to imagine that the same was laid before the Town and approved: — That the Public may have an Opportunity of forming a right Judgment of the Matter, I beg Leave to lay before them the following Facts and Observations. . . .

    Thirdly, they are not to purchase any Article of any one who has not signed this or a similar Covenant, or taken the Oath that the Goods he offers for Sale have not been imported from Great Britain since August 1774, and that he will not import or purchase of any Person importing, untill all our constitutional and Charter-Rights are restored.

    And lastly, That when this Covenant is offered to any Person and he refuses to sign, or take the Oath, he is to be considered as a contumacious Importer, and no Article whatsoever be purchased of him — and his Name to be published to the World.170

    This declaration is directed against the Boston form; that form contains an oath; there is an oath in form A but not in form B; therefore the Boston form must be form A; and hence the Worcester form must be form B. In spite of the numerous articles that appeared in the Boston newspapers in favor of or in opposition to the Solemn League and Covenant, I have noted only a single contemporary allusion in print to the fact that two forms were printed, and that one of these was known as the Worcester covenant. The Massachusetts Spy of June 30 contained this item:

    WHEREAS scruples have arisen in the minds of many well disposed persons, against signing either of the printed covenants; it is thought proper in order to remove said scruples to lay before the public the substance of what passed at Braintree.

    At a town-meeting at Braintree on Monday last, where they unanimously agreed upon a covenant for non-consumption, and which was reported to the town by their committee of fifteen, chosen for that purpose, and in which, they recommended a fast to be on the 14th July next; and agreed not to purchase any goods of any kind whatever, of any pedlars or hawkers, and to put the laws in execution against them as they might have opportunity; and at the end of the covenant they had a clause to this purpose, saving to themselves the right of altering the covenant in such manner as they might think proper, after the result of the expected congress may be made public: In other respects it was much like the Worcester covenant, only the non-signers were only to be considered as practical enemies to their country: The town directed the same committee to prepare a fair copy, and circulate the same to be signed as soon as may be, and which is now circulating (p. 3/1).171

    The words “practical enemies to their country” are clearly an allusion to “the disposition enimical to, or criminally negligent of, the common safety” — which latter words are found in form B but not in form A, thus confirming the conclusion reached above that form A was the Boston covenant and form B the Worcester covenant.

    That this conclusion is correct is placed beyond the possibility of a doubt by an unprinted document among the Pickering Papers, owned by the Massachusetts Historical Society. In June the Committee of Correspondence of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, sent out a printed letter relating to the Boston Port Bill, in which it is said that —

    It is our Duty to take into Consideration every probable method to save this Country from absolute Slavery; & as we at present apprehend that a Suspension of all Commercial Connexions with Great Brittain, may be effectual for this purpose and as the same Measures are adopted in our Sister Colonies, we recommend this as a likely means, under God, of recovering & securing to ourselves and Posterity our valuable Rights & Privileges & of preventing the horrors of civil War. . . .

    We therefore have drawn up & now inclosed a form of a COVENANT, to be subscribed by all adult Persons of both Sexes, which we have sent to all the Towns in this Province; we earnestly wish that you would use your utmost Endeavors that the Subscription paper may be filled up as soon as possible.172

    The covenant173 enclosed is substantially identical with form B, a few changes only being made. The adoption of this covenant was considered at a town meeting held in Falmouth (now Portland) on June 30, when it was voted that before taking action several towns in Massachusetts should be written to. Accordingly, the following letter was sent to Salem:

    Falmouth July 1st 1774.


    Yesterday we had a meeting of the Inhabitants of this Town, to take into consideration the present alarming state of our Public Affairs, and it being proposed, that the non-importation Agreement form’d at Worcester shou’d be adopted here, the Town after serious consideration & debate thereon, voted, “That we shou’d write to the Towns of Boston, Charlestown, Newbury-Port, Marblehead, Glocester and Salem to know their minds, relative to the non-importation Agreement, and make report at the adjournment viz the 21. July current” —

    They very generally approve of the Worcester Plan, but think they shou’d be too forward, if they shou’d adopt it, before they hear from the abovementioned places —

    Your information, therefore, respecting the general Sense of your Town, & whether they have come into such an Agreement or not, wou’d be highly acceptable to this Town, and very agreeable to — Gentlemen

    Your most obedient & very huml servt

    (In behalf of the Committee of Correspondence for Falmouth)

    SamL Freeman Clerk174

    To the Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Salem —


    To The Committee of Correspondence for the Town of Salem


    Comtee of Falmouth to Salem Comtee

    July 1, 1774

    Here, it will be observed, the covenant under consideration is alluded to as “the non-importation Agreement form’d at Worcester” — thus again confirming the conclusion reached above. The reply from Salem, as it is not without interest, is also given:

    Salem July 12 1774.


    I am directed by the Comtee of correspondence for this town to inform you that it is their opinion, & the opinion of the town in general as they apprehend, that it is expedient to suspend the measures for a cessation of commerce with Great Britain, till we know the result of the deliberations of the grand american congress. Because the time is near at hand; — because we do not find that any of the southern colonies nor Boston itself intend to pursue active measures till then; and because therefore if we should take any steps towards this cessation of commerce, it will probably be of little avail. Further it will doubtless be most effectual if the plan be uniform in all the colonies; but this can happen only by adopting that which the congress shall propose.

    I am, gentlemen (in behalf of the Comtee of Correspondence for Salem)

    your very humble servant

    Tim. Pickering Clerk175

    To the comtee of Correspondence for Falmouth

    It may be added, in conclusion, that there appears to be some misapprehension with respect to the Solemn League and Covenant. Thus Justin Winsor stated that “One of the results in Massachusetts because of these oppressive acts” — that is, the Boston Port Bill, etc. — “was a retaliatory ‘Solemn League and Covenant’ agreed upon in the provincial assembly, — a combination made more or less effectual by the active agency of Boston and Worcester in issuing broadsides against the use of imported British goods.”176 The document, however, did not emanate from the General Assembly, but was hatched in secret by the Boston Committee of Correspondence. Again, it is frequently asserted that the Solemn League and Covenant was widely signed. No doubt this is substantially true, though exactly how true only a careful examination of town records and histories would show, and to make such an examination would hardly be worth the labor involved since events followed one another with such rapidity that the Solemn League and Covenant was soon rendered of slight practical importance. A very hasty glance through various volumes shows that the Solemn League and Covenant is not mentioned in the town records of Amherst, Brookline, Dudley, Fitchburg, Manchester, and Plymouth; that, though adopted by other towns, it was apparently rarely adopted without modifications, either in the Boston form or in the Worcester form;177 and that, as already stated, it gave rise to many protests from patriots as well as from Loyalists.

    Mr. Horace E. Ware read the following —


    The term Indian summer has been learnedly discussed by Mr. Albert Matthews178 and by Professor George L. Kittredge.179 In these notes I present some instances of the use of the term in addition to those given in the two publications referred to.

    In the regulations of the British Board of Trade made January 12, 1899, under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, the term Indian summer is used to designate the fine season in the Indian seas between the limits of Suez and Singapore; and the initial letters I.S. are prescribed to indicate the maximum load line on the vessel showing the depth to which it can be loaded for voyages during the fine season between those limits. Certain provisions of those regulations will show how the term is applied and the connection in which it is used:

    3. Such maximum load lines shall be as follows, and the upper edge of such lines shall respectively indicate:

    For fresh water: The maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded in fresh water.

    For Indian summer: The maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded for voyages during the fine season in the Indian seas, between the limits of Suez and Singapore.

    For summer: The maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded for voyages (other than Indian summer voyages) from European and Mediterranean ports between the months of April and September, both inclusive, and as to voyages in other parts of the world (other than Indian summer voyages) the maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded during the corresponding or recognized summer months.

    For winter: The maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded for voyages (other than Indian summer voyages and summer voyages) from European and Mediterranean ports between the months of October and March, both inclusive, and as to voyages in other parts of the world the maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded during the corresponding or recognized winter months.

    For winter (North Atlantic): The maximum depth to which the vessel can be loaded for voyages to or from the Mediterranean or any European port, from or to ports in British North America or eastern ports in the United States, north of Cape Hatteras, between the months of October and March, both inclusive.

    Such maximum load lines shall be distinguished by initial letters conspicuously marked opposite such horizontal lines as aforesaid, such initial letters being as follows:

    • F.W. — Fresh water.
    • I.S. — Indian summer.
    • S. — Summer.
    • W. — Winter.
    • W.N.A. — Winter, North Atlantic.180

    C. Fitzhugh Talman, professor in charge of the Library of the Weather Bureau at Washington, has written an interesting note on the use of the term Indian summer in the regulations referred to. The following extract from Professor Talman’s note is in line with our consideration of the subject:

    The season of fine weather in the Indian seas (i.e., the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and adjacent waters) is the period from November to March, inclusive, when the northeast monsoon prevails, or more especially the months January — March, inclusive, when these seas are entirely free from tropical cyclones. Astronomically, this season is “winter” rather than “summer.” It is, however, the dry season, and it is not uncommon in tropical countries to identify the dry season with summer and the rainy season with winter. This custom is especially common in Spanish-speaking tropical countries, where the dry season is commonly called “verano” (summer) and the wet season “invierno” (winter), regardless of the ordinary calendar. However, the present writer is not familiar with this use of the terms “summer” and “winter” in literature relating to or emanating from India. Certainly the “winter” of guide book and travel literature concerning India is the cold season, i.e., January and February.

    We should be glad to obtain information as to the history of the term “Indian summer” as applied by British sailors to the season of fine weather in the Indian seas, and also as to the limits of the season thus designated. If the term was current in this sense as early as the eighteenth century, the fact may have some bearing upon the history of the term in its more familiar application to a spell of fine, tranquil weather in autumn, though this does not, at present, seem likely.181

    It is worthy of note that the phrase Indian summer both in the Board of Trade regulations and in its use with us designates a season when the sun is south of the equator. I have not had opportunity to investigate as to how the term Indian summer came to be used in these regulations. We all of course would be glad of information tending to solve this interesting question.

    In Philip Freneau’s October’s Address, one in the collection of his poems published in 1815, we have, perhaps, the first appearance of the term Indian summer in poetry. The poem opens with these two lines by way of prelude:

    October came the thirtieth day:

    And thus I heard October say;

    Then follow seven stanzas, all being within quotation marks except the last two lines of the last stanza. The first two stanzas run thus:

    “The lengthening nights and shortening days

    Have brought the year towards a close,

    The oak a leafless bough displays

    And all is hastening to repose;

    To make the most of what remains

    Is now to take the greater pains.

    “An orange hue the grove assumes,

    The indian-summer-days appear;

    When that deceitful summer comes

    Be sure to hail the winter near:

    If autumn wears a mourning coat

    Be sure, to keep the mind afloat.

    The last stanza is as follows:

    “The cottage warm and cheerful heart

    Will cheat the stormy winter night,

    Will bid the glooms of care depart

    And to December give delight” —

    Thus spoke October — rather gay,

    Then seized his staff, and walk’d away.182

    The two preliminary lines and these three stanzas give an idea of the scheme of the poem. The third line of the second stanza —

    When that deceitful summer comes

    lends countenance to Professor Kittredge’s theory that the term Indian summer has allusion to the proverbial deceitfulness, or perhaps rather, instability, of the Indian character.

    Philip Freneau was born January 2 (O. S.), 1752, in the City of New York. In 1762 the family established their home permanently on their estate Mount Pleasant, near Middletown Point, New Jersey, though Philip remained three years in New York at a boarding school. In November, 1768, he entered the Sophomore class at Princeton. Of this class President James Madison was also a member. Freneau received his degree in September, 1771, having written several poems during his course at college. After graduation he taught school awhile near Princess Anne, Maryland. During the period from 1784 to 1790 and during the three or four years ending with the year 1807, Freneau followed the sea in command of vessels. Many of his voyages were made irregularly along the coast between New York and Georgia, but some of them extended as far as Jamaica, Madeira, and the Azores. His experience must have qualified him to speak authoritatively on the weather — Indian summer and otherwise — of the eastern United States. His other work was practically all literary — writing and publishing his poems, of which some four collected editions appeared previous to that of 1815, editing newspapers and periodicals, and writing essays and miscellaneous articles.

    Freneau died on December 18, 1832. The last years of his life were passed quietly at Mount Pleasant, which recently has been rechristened Freneau.

    Mrs. Sigourney’s poem The Indian Summer may well claim our attention. So far as I know this poem was first published in 1849, though it may have been written several years before. As the poem, which is wholly in blank verse, is short, it is given entire:

    When was the red man’s summer?

    When the rose

    Hung its first banner out? When the gray rock,

    Or the brown heath, the radiant kalmia clothed?

    Or when the loiterer by the reedy brooks

    Started to see the proud lobelia glow

    Like living flame? When through the forest gleam’d

    The rhododendron? or the fragrant breath

    Of the magnolia swept deliciously

    O’er the half laden nerve?

    No. When the groves

    In fleeting colours wrote their own decay,

    And leaves fell eddying on the sharpen’d blast

    That sang their dirge; when o’er their rustling bed

    The red deer sprang, or fled the shrill-voiced quail,

    Heavy of wing and fearful; when, with heart

    Foreboding or depress’d, the white man mark’d

    The signs of coming winter: then began

    The Indian’s joyous season.* Then the haze,

    Soft and illusive as a fairy dream,

    Lapp’d all the landscape in its silvery fold.

    The quiet rivers, that were wont to hide

    ’Neath shelving banks, beheld their course betray’d

    By the white mist that o’er their foreheads crept,

    While wrapp’d in morning dreams, the sea and sky

    Slept ’neath one curtain, as if both were merged

    In the same element. Slowly the sun,

    And all reluctantly, the spell dissolved,

    And then it took upon its parting wing

    A rainbow glory.

    Gorgeous was the time,

    Yet brief as gorgeous. Beautiful to thee,

    Our brother hunter, but to us replete

    With musing thoughts in melancholy train.

    Our joys, alas! too oft were wo to thee.

    Yet ah, poor Indian! whom we fain would drive

    Both from our hearts, and from thy father’s lands,

    The perfect year doth bear thee on its crown,

    And when we would forget, repeat thy name.183

    * An aged chief said to our ancestors, “The white man’s summer is past and gone, but that of the Indian begins when the leaves fall.”184

    Mrs. Sigourney, whose maiden name was Lydia Huntley, was born at Norwich, Connecticut, in 1791; in 1819 she was married to Charles Sigourney of Hartford, in which city the remainder of her life was passed; and she died in 1865. Among her literary works were the poems Traits of the Aborigines of America (1822), and Pocahontas and other Poems (1841). Since she had given considerable thought to matters relating to the Indians,185 we may infer, I think, that from early life she had been familiar with the story or tradition of the aged chief as related in the footnote. Whether the aged chief or any other Indian ever said this or not, if the tradition was in vogue during the years when Indian summer was first appearing in print and also for several years before, that fact may help to throw light upon the origin of the term and upon its original meaning.

    Conditions of mistiness and smokiness in the atmosphere during Indian summer periods have been frequently noted. It is stated in divers publications that the Indian used to set fire to the underbrush and dry grass in the fall of the year. In connection with this practice, I desire to cite a sentence from Parkman, though the term Indian summer is not used. Speaking of the religion and superstitions of the Algonquins, he says: “There was a Summer-Maker and a Winter-Maker; and the Indians tried to keep the latter at bay by throwing firebrands into the air.”186 Is the suggestion worthy of consideration that by the burning of brush and leaves as well as by the throwing of firebrands, the Indians may have sought to move some supernatural being or influence to put off or to mitigate the cold spells of autumn? While the Indians may have had practical objects in view in setting the fires, that would not seem to preclude their also having purposes of a superstitious character.

    While the citations of the use of the term Indian summer which I have presented do not seem to solve the question of its origin, a discussion must always be interesting of those periods in the autumn when Nature bestows in large measure conditions so gratifying to sense and sentiment.

    In the discussion which followed the reading of this communication, Mr. Matthews said:

    In the paper to which Mr. Ware alludes, read before this Society fourteen years ago, the earliest instance of the term Indian summer cited was from the Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny while at Le Bœuf, near the present city of Erie, under date of October 13, 1794. It is now possible to quote an example earlier certainly by seven years, and possibly by sixteen years. In a letter dated “German-flats, 17 Janvier 1778,” Crevecœur gives a “Description d’une Chute de Neige, Dans le Pays de Mohawks, sous le rapport qui interèsse le Cultivateur Américain,” in which occurs the following passage:

    Les grandes pluies viennent enfin & remplissent les sources, les ruisseaux & les marais, pronostic infaillible; à cette chûte d’eau succède une forte gelée, qui nous amène le vent de nord-ouest; ce froid perçant jette un pont universel sur tous les endroits aquatiques, & prépare le terre à recevoir cette grande masse de neige qui doit bientôt suivre: les chemins auparavant impracticables, deviennent ouverts & faciles. Quelque-fois après cette pluie, il arrive un intervalle de calm & de chaleur, appelé l’Eté Sauvage; ce qui l’indique, c’est le tranquillité de l’atmosphère, & une apparence générale de fumée. — Les approches de l’hiver sont douteuses jusqu’à cette époque; il vient vers la moitié de Novembre, quoique souvent des neiges & des gelées passagères arrivent long-tems auparavant.187

    “Germanflats” is the present Herkimer, New York. The author was so careless about certain matters that we cannot be sure that his letters were actually written at the dates assigned, but the work from which the passage is cited was published in 1787.188

    Mr. Winslow Warren read the following paper:


    An eminent English writer began an address upon Edmund Burke with these words: “However innocent a man’s past life may be of any reference to this subject — the very many good things other men have said about it must seriously interfere with true liberty of treatment.” How vastly more must this be true of any attempt to consider the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth, for their pathetic and impressive story has been written and sung for nearly three centuries by the most eloquent orators and scholars and poets. I recall it now especially to emphasize certain differences between the Pilgrims and the Puritans and to show the greater breadth and liberality of the former.

    The view is by no means a new one and has occasioned much discussion here and in England, but it is, I believe, the solution of the marked difference in methods of administration, church policy, and general views, between the Massachusetts and the Plymouth colonies. Failure to appreciate this distinction has caused much confusion. By the term Pilgrims I refer only to the men of the Mayflower, and those, mostly their immediate friends or families, who joined them at Plymouth in ships coming over a few years after 1620.

    At the outset we must consider who these Pilgrims were, why they went to Holland, and why they left that place of apparent safety for the dangers and doubts of a settlement in America. The coloring and meaning of Pilgrim history is evidenced by the trials and experiences in the beginnings of the movement.

    The sources of our knowledge are few, and before all others must be placed Bradford’s History, a unique book, the history of the beginning of a great nation by one of the beginners. This remarkable book, admirable in style, deals with facts and persons with candor and judicial impartiality, and at times with a sense of humor. We have, besides, Winslow’s Good News from New England, Morton’s New England’s Memorial; Young’s Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, Baylies’s and Arber’s works; the profound researches of Henry M. Dexter and his son Morton Dexter, of Professor Franklin B. Dexter, and of Charles Deane; and the brilliant historical orations of Webster, Everett, Winthrop, Hoar, and others.

    With all these sources of information, our knowledge of the Pilgrims before 1620 is still very limited — the birthplace, residence, and occupation of many are yet unknown — the time, occasion, and manner of the connection of some with the enterprise is largely a matter of conjecture; but the firmly established fact is, that while a few were of gentle birth and education, most of them were plain, practical, hard-working, poor men, so undistinguished in their particular places of origin that they left no traces behind them.

    Upon the eve of their migration to America, some seem to have joined from a spirit of restlessness or adventure, and some inspired by the example of those at Leyden; but the body of them were bound together by sturdy and sincere convictions and the cohesive power of a struggle for free thought and independence. Their revolt was the result of a struggle that had been going on for years in England in some form, had given trouble to Henry VIII and Elizabeth and in some degree to their predecessors, and was extremely active in the reign of James I, — more especially in the counties of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and Yorkshire, and to some extent in Devon and Cornwall.

    As early as 1580 a radical separatist church had been gathered at Norwich in Nottinghamshire by one Robert Browne, and his people had been known as Brownists. They had excited violent opposition and dislike from their neighbors of the dominant faith. In 1582 Browne published a book called The Life and Manners of True Christians, prefixing a “Treatise of Reformation without Tarrying for Any,” and this book intensified the feeling of his opponents, though it seems to have increased his popularity among the lower classes. In 1592 the number of Brownists — undoubtedly including various shades of dissenters — was estimated at twenty thousand.

    Browne’s church was a very extreme one in its views, but its belief was similar to that of the Reformed churches of the continent, though more pronounced. It discarded absolutely the forms and discipline of the English Church, and also those of the Presbyterian, refused communion with other churches, regarded marriage as a civil contract, rejected written forms of prayer, ordained its own ministers and admitted its own members, and in fact claimed absolute independence of any other religious body. The brethren did not dwell together in unity, but were a dogmatic, quarrelsome lot, not only believing strange and new doctrines, but asserting them in season and out of season. They particularly loved to “prove their doctrine orthodox by apostolic blows and knocks.”

    Naturally enough the air of England soon became exceeding unwholesome for a man so scandalously iconoclastic as Browne, and he fled about the year 1581 to Middelburg, Holland, where for a few years he exhibited his unchristian graces, and subsequently recanted and accepted a benefice in the English Church, dying in England about 1633, leaving behind a precious legacy of quarrels and disputes.

    After Browne’s departure from England, one John Smith gathered together a church at Gainsborough, near Scrooby, as unlovely in character as Browne’s and with very similar views. He too migrated to Holland, about the year 1606, where we shall find him later. These men were sincere and courageous; but their zeal outran their discretion, and their temper partook of the sulphurous nature of their doctrines.

    Meanwhile, at Scrooby, in Nottinghamshire, one William Brewster, afterwards the Elder Brewster of the Plymouth Colony, was growing to manhood. Near by, at Austerfield, was the eminent Pilgrim, Governor William Bradford. In close vicinity to these were Richard Clifton, the gentle preacher, and his assistant, John Robinson, the noted Leyden pastor. These men were thoroughly educated and of standing in the community. They were wise counsellors and of considerable executive power, possessing great self-restraint and the mixture of caution and firmness fitting them for leadership in the impending contest. Around them grew up the Scrooby church. Very few of the men of Plymouth can be surely traced to this church, nor is it possible now to say how many of its members were afterwards in Holland. For some years this small congregation maintained its hold at Scrooby, independent in its character — Puritan as far as the Puritans went, but separating entirely from the Church of England and openly hostile, not only to its forms, but to many of its doctrines. History called them Brownists, but they had little in common with a man like Browne, — refused to follow his extreme views and rejected his name. They were endowed with a more tolerant temper and much greater liberality of thought. Their creed was Calvinistic as Browne’s had been, and they were quite as independent; but the position they assumed toward members of other churches was more friendly. They made no display of offensive doctrines, and though firmly rooted in separatist principles, they asked nothing but the liberty of worshipping according to the dictates of their own consciences.

    Robinson says that he “separated from no particular church, but from the corruption of all churches.”189 Bradford’s description of the Scrooby church was this:

    So many therfore of these proffessors as saw ye evill of these things, in thes parts, and whose hearts ye Lord had touched wth heavenly zeale for his trueth, they shooke of this yoake of antichristian bondage, and as ye Lord’s free people, joyned them selves (by a covenant of the Lord) into a church estate, in ye fellowship of ye gospell, to walke in all his wayes, made known, or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeaours, whatsoever it should cost them, the Lord assisting them. And that it cost them something this ensewing historic will declare.190

    This early declaration is in the spirit of much that followed: their theological horizon was not bounded by the present. They looked forward hopefully to what was yet “to be made known” and devoted themselves to the cause of spiritual freedom with a temper boding ill to a relentless theocratic rule. A little later, as they were on the point of leaving England, they described themselves as a “poor people of Lincolnshire, who, being enlightened by the word of God, and urged with the yoke of subscription, had been led to see further.”

    History tells us but little of their doings at Scrooby; we know that persecution increased, that Bradford and others were imprisoned, that every effort was made to suppress this small body of earnest men, that as early as 1592 some of them had sought without success for leave to quit the country, and that in spite of all they kept their faith. No roll of membership has been discovered, and with the exception of those I have named, no leading Pilgrim can positively be connected with Scrooby. Winslow, Standish, Allerton, Hopkins, Warren, Cushman, were certainly not there; probably John Carver, their first Governor, was not among them; but few as they were, they held in their keeping the destiny of a new continent.

    England was not yet ready; and the time came when either their belief or their native country must be given up. They resolved to seek asylum in Holland; but to get there was as dangerous as to remain in England. Their historian says that, “though they could not stay, yet were they not suffered to goe.”191 But go they would, in spite of the persecution and deceit of man and the rage of hostile elements.

    In the fall of 1607 they made arrangements with the captain of a Dutch ship to take them from Boston, not far from Scrooby. After they were on board he treacherously delivered them to the authorities, by whom they were imprisoned, cruelly robbed and abused, and finally sent back to their homes with the exception of seven — among whom was Brewster — who were bound over to the Assizes.

    In the spring of 1608 they again attempted to fly in a Dutch ship, from a place between Grimsby and Hull. Again they were betrayed, for the captain, after most of the men and household goods had got on board, was frightened by the appearance of troops or officers of the law, and set sail, leaving the women and children on shore. Bradford quaintly says, “Ye Dutch-man seeing yt, swore his countries oath, ‘sacremente,’ and having ye wind faire, waiged his Ancor, hoysed sayles, & away.”192 The ship encountered fearful storms, was driven four hundred miles out of her course to the coast of Norway, but in the end it reached Flushing, after a two weeks’ voyage, with its company nearly famished and suffering severely from cold and exposure. Those left behind were treated with great cruelty, but one by one got across to Holland, Brewster and Robinson being the last to leave.

    They were not without sympathizing friends in Old Boston, some of whom themselves afterwards migrated to America with the Puritans. From them they received much aid secretly, and even the magistrates became somewhat infected by the new doctrines. The government authorities were finally wearied by the coolness of the inhabitants and by the half-hearted aid rendered by the Boston officials. Bradford adds, with a sly satisfaction, after describing the predicament of the authorities:

    To send them [the Pilgrims] home againe was as difficult, for they aledged, as ye trueth was, they had no homes to goe to, for they had either sould, or otherwise disposed of their houses & livings. To be shorte, after they had been thus turmoyled a good while, and conveyed from one constable to another, they [the authorities] were glad to be ridd of them in ye end upon any termes; for all were wearied & tired with them. Though in ye mean time they (poore soules) indured miserie enough; and thus in ye end neccesitie forste a way for them.193

    After many vicissitudes and perils we find the Scrooby church transferred in 1608 to Amsterdam. The Dutch authorities, somewhat overawed by the English and Spaniards, and with their patience severely tried by previous immigrations of refugees from England and France of an intractable nature, were not over-anxious to have them; but to their everlasting credit, they gave them protection, or as the magistrates at Leyden said to them, upon application for leave to settle there: “The Court . . . declare that they refuse no honest persons free ingress to come and have their residence in this city, provided that such persons behave themselves, and submit to the laws and ordinances: and, therefore, the coming of the memorialists will be agreeable and welcome.”194 This was not an effusive hospitality, but it was kindly, and much better than they had left behind in England. There are times when shelter and protection and freedom of religious worship are of more importance to a people than ostentatious receptions or special favors. The Pilgrims sought from Holland no special recognition and had no reason from their importance or influence to expect it. To the Dutch they could have been nothing but a few obscure and plain emigrants, seeking safety and a right to worship in their own way. In their own estimation they were nothing more than that.

    It was a fortunate circumstance for America, and as remarkable as fortunate, that the little state of Holland existed at that time, the only civilized state where advanced thought could get a breathing-spell, prepare itself for the rough encounter with the wild men and wild nature of another continent, and acquire, withal, a little wider scope by contact with a free and progressive people.

    At Amsterdam was our old friend Smith, with his Brownist congregation, naturally enough, engaged in a violent quarrel with the other English church, of Francis Johnson and Henry Ainsworth. A most vigorous theological bombardment was going on and neither party was lacking in plainness of speech nor cordial hatred of the other.

    The Clifton and Robinson church kept aloof from these dissensions as far as possible and strove for a year to live in quiet at Amsterdam; but at last, fearful of the effect of the quarrels upon the younger members, they resolved to remove to Leyden, though Clifton, who was growing old and infirm, remained and died at Amsterdam in 1616. At that time the congregation did not exceed one hundred persons. Their departure was accelerated by Smith’s church as well as by his opponents, none of the master spirits of either church having any liking for the newcomers, and Smith himself denounced the Scrooby congregation as being “as very a harlot as either her mother the church of England or her grandmother the church of Rome.” This feeling seems to have continued, for as late as 1620 Robert Cushman, in a letter to the Leyden Pilgrims from England, says: “As for them of Amsterdam I had thought they would as soone have gone to Rome as with us; for our libertie is to them as ratts bane, and their riggour as bad to us as ye Spanish Inquision.”195

    Leyden was then a city of nearly 100,000 inhabitants and nearly at the height of its prosperity — “a fair & bewtifull city, and of a sweete situation.”196 It contained a renowned university and was a great centre of scholars and students. Its industries were largely silk weaving and manufacturing.

    The first consideration for the Pilgrims was how to keep the wolf from the door. They had to get a living in a strange country, “especially seeing that they were not acquainted with trade nor trafique but had been used to a plane countrye life and ye innocente trade of husbandry.” They had never been the possessors of over much of this world’s goods and had lost a greater part of their property in the struggle to get across to Holland. Some had brought their looms and became weavers; some became merchants, some hatters, some tailors; Bradford became a fustian maker. Brewster taught English and went into the printing business. Robinson preached and taught in the University. All found some useful occupation.

    While in Holland, Edward Winslow, then a young man and of superior education and attainments, joined their company, having fallen in with them while travelling on the Continent. Myles Standish, who had come out with the English army as a soldier to assist the Dutch, joined also. It does not appear that he was ever in full sympathy with their religious views, and he never became a member of their church, though the modern claim that he was a Roman Catholic utterly lacks proof and is in the highest degree improbable. Dr. Fuller, the surgeon in Plymouth, joined. Carver was there, and Cushman part of the time; also Isaac Allerton, Degory Priest (a curious name for that company), and William and Priscilla Mullins. Other well-known names in the Mayflower were not in Leyden, such as Christopher Martin, John Alden, Richard Warren, John Allerton, and Stephen Hopkins. Though the Leyden records of marriages and of citizenship show a large number of Pilgrim names, there is no complete list, and it is not probable that more than two-thirds of the Mayflower company were in Holland at all.

    Robinson’s congregation numbered at one time about three hundred communicants. They held their meetings, at first, near St. Peter’s Church, in the centre of Leyden, and afterwards in the house and grounds of Robinson near by, William Jepson, one of their number, having erected there twenty-one cabins for their shelter. After Robinson’s death, Jepson, in 1629, bought out the other’s interest. Historians for a long time maintained that the Dutch government assigned to them a church building; but it is now established that this claim is a mistaken one, growing out of an assignment of such building to another party of dissenters.

    Robinson, who was a graduate of Cambridge and an accomplished theologian, was eminent at Leyden as a scholar and writer. He was selected to conduct the debate upon the Calvinistic side in a famous discussion at the University between the Calvinists and Arminians. In the view of his friends, at least, his arguments completely demolished those of his opponents. It is remarkable, as showing how fair-minded a man he was, that when this contest was at its height Robinson was in the habit of attending Arminian churches that he might make himself familiar with their doctrines and preaching; and for this he was subjected to some criticism. A parallel will be found later in Plymouth, where members of the Pilgrim church attended Quaker meetings, by permission, until it was found that they were being affected by the Quaker doctrines. Probably Robinson’s views were insensibly modified by this habit of hearing Arminians, for he admitted himself that he became more tolerant and liberal during his stay in Holland. He received at communion members of other churches, even of the English Church, and used all his endeavors to create a kind feeling among the different sects.

    Though living quietly at Leyden, making no display and seeking no controversy, members of the church were somewhat perniciously active in writing and publishing. Much complaint was made in England of the pest of heretical books working over there from the Brownists in Holland. Brewster, in 1619, made himself especially obnoxious to the English by his writings, and they demanded his arrest. It is said that he fled to London, where, later, he was active in fitting out the Mayflower. There was, however, little danger of his surrender by the Dutch, for their well-known obstinacy of character asserted itself strongly upon any point affecting their rights as a sovereign state. The Dutch officer charged with his arrest got very drunk and seized the wrong man, one Thomas Brewer, an agent of Brewster’s in the printing business, and it was more than suspected that this was not wholly the officer’s fault, but the result of a collusion with higher powers.

    The amicable relations between the Dutch and the Pilgrims were very marked. The magistrates of Leyden, in 1619, having occasion to reprehend some French dissenters, said: “These English have lived amongst us for ten years, yet we have never had any suit or accusation against any of them; but your strifes and quarrels are continual.”

    The influence of Leyden, in its mode of thought, in its form of government, and in the peculiar characteristics of the city, had so much bearing upon the after course of the Pilgrims, that it is not out of place to pause a moment and look at the Leyden of to-day, containing as it does so much that existed in Pilgrim days. Nothing can recall the Pilgrims more vividly than this bit of antiquity, so wonderfully preserved for our inspection. The same churches and houses are yet there, moss-grown monuments; the same Stadt House, where the Pilgrims registered as citizens, with the old records and the old benches and chairs and tables. The worthy burgomasters of to-day go in and out with the same phlegmatic stolidity, little changed from those of the seventeenth century, though less picturesque in attire, and the Dutch matrons, as massive as the buildings, neat, healthy-looking, and good-natured, can hardly be distinguished from their ancestors of 1620. There is the University too, not the same building, but the veritable college where Robinson and Episcopius debated. One can walk up the Breesbraat, the main street on the banks of the Rapenburg Canal, over the bridge once pressed by Pilgrim feet, through the narrow side streets to the St. Peter’s Kirk, and there stand by the grave of the preacher of liberal thought, John Robinson — the wise, cautious, shrewd counsellor of the Pilgrims. The white kirk walls, bare and severely plain, the old pulpit and the high pews, suggest the rugged faith and the homely ways of that little band. Midst the knights and soldiers, the scholars and martyrs buried there, with sculptured tombs and busts and elaborate epitaphs, nothing appeals to an American with more force than the simple grave, with plain flagstone, designated as that of “John Robinson, English preacher.” Five hundred and thirteen years the building had stood midst the storms of war and pillage when Robinson was laid to rest, in 1625. Nearly three centuries have passed since, and the grave of this obscure man has become a shrine visited by countless travellers.

    Robinson’s house was close by the church, and has been replaced by a more modern structure; but the spot is pointed out, and on the walls of the present edifice is a slab erected through the efforts of Dr. Dexter and others, with this inscription: “On this spot lived, taught and died John Robinson, 1611–1625.” From thence can be seen the canal through whose winding course the Pilgrims took their way to embark at Delft Haven, the scenery practically unchanged and undisturbed. The Leyden of to-day is not the bustling city of 1620; but not even in this country is there a spot around which cluster more vivid associations of Pilgrim days.

    In 1619 the older members of the church became restless and doubtful as to a longer stay in Holland. Many reasons led them to desire a change. Some were getting old and feeble, and it was hard to earn a living in this strange land. Their children were learning the Dutch language, enlisting in the army, acquiring Dutch habits, and forgetting England. The Sabbath was not observed in Holland as they wished. A Spanish war threatened, when Holland might no longer be safe for them. They could not forget that they were Englishmen, and in spite of all they had suffered, they loved their native land and desired to worship under its protecting flag. They looked forward to founding a state in the new world, where the kingdom of God should be extended by Englishmen. These are, in substance, the reasons given by Bradford and Winslow, and it undoubtedly was to preserve the integrity of their church and protect the morals of their children that they ventured to migrate.

    We find the reasons for the migration restated in the Plymouth Laws of 1671, as follows:

    That whereas the great and known end of the first comers, in the year of our Lord, 1620. leaving their dear Native Country, and all that was dear to them there; transporting themselves over the vast Ocean into this remote waste Wilderness, and therein willingly conflicting with Dangers, Losses, Hardships and Distresses sore and not a few; WAS, that without offence, they under the protection of ther Native Prince, together with the enlargements of his Majesties Dominions, might with the liberty of a good Conscience, enjoy the pure Scriptural Worship of God, without the mixture of Humane Inventions and Impositions: And that their Children after them might walk in the Holy wayes of the Lord.197

    Having resolved to settle in America, a tedious correspondence was opened with King James’s ministers to procure a patent from the Crown. Their religious views were toned down in the representation, as far as they honestly could be: but the bigoted king refused assent, tacitly or otherwise, to any toleration of their views or any guarantee of freedom in religion. Finally hard terms for the venture were made with the Merchant Adventurers’ Company of Plymouth, and they determined to go under the Virginia Patent, which was supposed to extend as far as the Dutch settlements of New York, taking the risk of government interference with their religious freedom in the new country. The patent under which they sailed was from the Northern Virginia Company to John Peirce, February. 12, 1620. The Virginia Company having acquired further powers, it appears that this patent was cancelled, and a new one issued, June 1, 1621 (which is now on file in Plymouth); and this one apparently is that under which the settlement was made. In 1629 a further grant was made establishing the limits of the Old Colony.

    The arrangements completed, a large part of the Leyden congregation departed from Delft Haven, July, 1620, in the Speedwell, for England. This departure was a notable event, not only in itself, but in the spirit in which it was made. Bradford’s mention of it deserves a place upon any memorial to the Pilgrims at Delft Haven or elsewhere:

    So they lefte yt goodly & pleasante citie, which had been ther resting place near 12 years; but they knew they were pilgrimes, & looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to ye heavens, their dearest cuntrie, and quieted their spirits. . . . The next day, the wind being faire, they wente aborde and their freinds with them, where truly dolfull was ye sight of that sad and mournfull parting; to see what sighs and sobbs and praires did sound amongst them, what tears did gush from every eye, & pithy speeches peirst every harte; that sundry of ye Dutch strangers yt stood on ye key as spectators, could not refraine from tears.198

    But more remarkable than this was the famous sermon of John Robinson, preached at Leyden a few days before their departure, from the text, “and there at the river, by Ahava I proclaimed a Fast that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek a right way for us and for our children and for all our substance.” This sermon has been widely quoted, breathes a liberal spirit, is full of good advice, broad and admirably adapted to impress upon the departing Pilgrims the wisdom of charity in religious matters, and of holding themselves in readiness to accept whatever new light might be thrown upon the Bible and upon theological doctrines by the spirit of free inquiry. A liberal preacher of to-day, sending forth his congregation to pastures new, could hardly use more precious words than were there found, and the most advanced theology of our time is not as far ahead of the thought of the day as these utterances were of the usual stern theology of 1620. And that it was heeded is evident by the later history of the Plymouth settlement.

    One other bit of advice from Robinson, and we follow the Pilgrims to Plymouth. In July, 1620, he says in a letter to them: “Whereas you are become a body politik, using amongst your selves civill governmente, and are not furnished with any persons of spetiall eminencie above ye rest, to be chosen by you into office of government, let your wisdome & godlines appeare, not only in chusing shuch persons as doe entirely love and will promote ye com̄one good, but also in yeelding unto them all due honour & obedience in their lawfull administrations.”199

    The Speedwell and the Mayflower sailed for America. The Speedwell leaked, and both put back; the Speedwell and a part of the company were left behind, and the remainder started in the Mayflower upon their solitary voyage. Sickness, storm, and suffering accompanied them, and even after reaching Massachusetts Bay one of their number by carelessness nearly blew up the barque with gunpowder. At last they miraculously landed their band of one hundred and one passengers at Plymouth. On the Mayflower they adopted the famous compact,200 chose John Carver Governor, and the church to all intents and purposes then became a Pilgrim republic.

    The Leyden church remained under Robinson’s charge until his death in 1625, when he was succeeded in the pastorate by John Lathrop, who himself removed to Scituate in a few years. The Leyden church then became practically extinct, but in Plymouth continued nominally under Robinson’s charge, in expectation of his coming over. Elder Brewster chiefly attended to its ministrations, though not as pastor. After Robinson’s death, John Lyford was sent out by the Merchant Adventurers, but proved wholly unacceptable, and no pastor was settled until 1629, when Ralph Smith filled the place for a short time. He was followed by Roger Williams and John Raynor, and in 1669 by John Cotton. Under Cotton’s ministration we find, in 1676, the church records contain the following entry:

    After prayer for God’s direction and blessing in so solemn a matter, a church covenant was read and the church voted that it should be left upon record as that which they did own to be the substance of that covenant which their Fathers entered into at the first gathering of the church, which was in the words following: “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in obedience to his holy will and divine ordinances, we being, by the most wise and good Providence of God, brought together in this place, and desirous to unite ourselves into a congregation or church under the Lord Jesus Christ our head, that it may be in such sort as becometh all those whom he hath redeemed and sanctified to himself, we do hereby solemnly and religiously (as in his most holy presence) avouch the Lord Jehovah, the only true God, to be our God, and do promise and bind ourselves to walk in all our ways according to the rule of the Gospel, and in all sincere conformity to his holy ordinances, and in mutual love to aid watchfulness over one another, depending wholly and only upon the Lord our God to enable us by his grace hereunto.”

    There was probably a declaration of faith by communicants more doctrinal than this; but, if so, it applied to a more limited body. In 1800 a majority of the church and congregation united in settling as pastor the Rev. James Kendall, a Unitarian; and the first church of Plymouth, though remaining Unitarian, yet retains the same covenant without alteration. Whether this argues for the liberality of the Fathers or that of the children we need not determine.

    I have occupied myself thus far mainly with the story of the Pilgrims before reaching Plymouth, because it is a part of their history less known and studied, and because it was the key to their spirit and methods in Plymouth. I have also endeavored to let the Pilgrims tell their own tale in their own simple way, that the gradual effect of their trials and sufferings might appear in their own words and show how far their contact with this sturdy, independent people of Holland moulded their thoughts, and in some degree their later institutions. There were many things in their new colony which were not of English origin, and it is difficult to explain a sort of tolerant intolerance of thought they often displayed, mingled with some inconsistencies of action, except upon the theory that their narrow creed was broadened in its application to actual life by the catholic spirit they had witnessed and experienced in Holland.

    The most marked features of their policy after reaching Plymouth were a kindly application of rigid doctrines and a practical common sense in dealing with perplexing problems. If there was harshness, much of it was the result of the weakness of the settlement and a constant fear of disaster to their unstable government. We turn now to a brief consideration of the Pilgrim methods of administration.

    No better proof of the liberal tone of the Pilgrims, and the effect of Robinson’s teaching, could be asked than is furnished by the constant criticism of their views by the rigid authorities of the sister colony of Massachusetts. The contemptuous manner in which they were spoken of as “those Separatists of Plymouth” shows the bad doctrinal odor in which they stood with their Puritan neighbors. In England, among those who should have been their friends it was worse; and constant charges were made of their neglect of religious instruction and of their latitudinarianism, in order to bring them into disrepute with the government and the adventurers who had assisted in the original enterprise. Their reply to these slanderers was vigorous, without yielding the least in its breadth of view. “It is too great arrogancie,” they said, “for any man, or church to thinke ye he or they have so sounded ye word of God to ye bottome, as precislie to sett downe ye churches discipline, without error in substance or circumstance, as yt no other without blame may digress or differ in anything from ye same. And it is not difficulte to shew, yt the reformed churches differ in many circumstances amongest them selves.”201

    Their position receives as practical an illustration as can be found in the statement of their relations with Roger Williams. While it throws much light upon their own spirit, it casts a curious side light upon Williams himself, in view of the large claims history has made on his behalf. Williams was for some years pastor in Plymouth, but left that place and returned to Salem on account of differences with the Plymouth people. Bradford, while testifying to his sterling traits of character, described him as “a man Godly and zealous, having many precious parts but very unsettled in judgment.” John Quincy Adams’s later characterization of him as a “conscientiously contentious Christian” seems to have been substantially correct. While claiming to be tolerant of all beliefs, his appears to have been a verbal toleration only, for he bitterly inveighed against those who would not openly express their regret for past communion with the English Church. He refused to concur in or permit any present communion with other churches differing upon cardinal points, or with those whom he deemed unregenerate; and in civil matters he was bitterly hostile to the acknowledgment of fealty due to any sovereign. Upon the religious points the Pilgrims held broader principles, and in political matters, in view of the exceedingly delicate nature of their relations with the home government, and the alarming danger of armed interference with their peace and safety, it was natural that both Plymouth and Massachusetts should consider him a dangerous teacher.

    He certainly created the impression in Plymouth of being a narrow-minded extremist, adding to many infirmities of temper a practical illiberality destructive to harmony among the churches and to their theory of governmental obligations. Of his own accord he left Plymouth, to the mutual satisfaction of both parties; and after his banishment from Massachusetts, which was by no means owing entirely to religious differences, the Plymouth people exhibited toward him a most Christian spirit. Though urged by their imperious neighbors of Boston to take similar action as themselves, they were content with a friendly letter requesting him, in order to avoid trouble between the colonies, to settle outside of their bounds. Acting upon this, in a pleasant way, Williams removed to Providence, and continued for the rest of his life upon the most amicable terms with Plymouth. When a claim was made, after his removal to Rhode Island, that Providence was within the Plymouth bounds, Bradford and his council assured Williams that if it should be found to be so the liberty of conscience in his community should be subjected to no interference. Williams continued in Providence a somewhat inconsistent course, liberal in some things and extremely narrow in others; but the harmony with Plymouth remained undisturbed. When he sought “public religious discussion with their people,” Governor Prence, in declining, wrote: “But if you judge it advantageous to your Colony’s interest, and what you account the only way of worship among you, who can hinder you to maintain the discussion of these propositions in any of our towns, and at what time you please?”202

    This is not a solitary instance of their tolerant spirit. It can be found in their relations with the new churches growing up in the various towns, with Massachusetts — which at times treated them with a good deal of arrogance — and with individual members of the colony. Controversies they had, at various times. Individuals were excluded from the colony, but in no case does it appear that this was done for religious opinions, unless complicated by breach of the peace or what they considered dangerous political doctrines and acts.

    Nor is the Quaker controversy any real exception to this, — that was not in fact a Pilgrim matter, for no Quaker appeared in the colonies until 1656 or 1657, when most of the more distinguished Pilgrims were in their graves. Though we deplore the necessary harshness of the laws against Quakers, the action of Plymouth was mildness itself compared to Massachusetts. For only four years, until 1661, does there appear to have been any excitement about the matter; and during that time, while Quakers were punished and in a few instances banished, there were no executions, and efforts were constantly made in their behalf by prominent members of the colony. Indeed, for a while members were allowed to attend the Quaker meetings to learn their views and to influence them in the right course; but the practice was stopped on account of the conversion of those attending. In 1665 Quakers banished from Massachusetts were allowed to settle and live within the Plymouth bounds, without molestation, so long as they committed no breach of public order. Good government and preservation of peace had more to do with the action as to the Quakers than any question of doctrine, for the Quakers of those days in the New England colonies were indiscreet and troublesome fanatics, defying all prejudices and principles dear to the colony heart.

    If in the matter of belief the Pilgrims were lenient for the times, the same spirit appears in their proceedings relating to civil administration. A strict theocracy never existed in the Plymouth colony. The original compact, framed upon the Mayflower, was signed by all the adult males — forty-one in number — and made no distinction between those who were members of the church and those who were not.

    In constituting the whole body free citizens with equal powers, Plymouth first established the system of universal suffrage. The body so constituted made all laws for the colony until, in 1636, that power was also conferred upon the Governor and assistants; and as the colony increased in numbers, it admitted to citizenship such newcomers as it saw fit, the powers of the church being confined to the administering punishment by censure. It is commonly stated that the right of citizenship was confined to members of the church; but that can hardly be true in a strict sense, and was covered rather by the vague term of those “orthodox in the fundamentals of religion.” The elasticity of this term must have been great, as is shown by the legislation already referred to as to doctrinal belief, by the large number of voters existing at different periods compared to the actual population, and by the known cases of individuals who were freemen but openly out of sympathy with the church. It is important in this connection to note that the oaths required by law of freemen and office-holders contained no reference to church membership and only acknowledged allegiance to the government and the laws.

    The very statutes against the Quakers show that citizenship could not have been confined to church members, for otherwise such statutes as those of 1658 would have been meaningless:

    It is enacted . . . That noe Quaker Rantor or any such corupt person shalbee admited to bee a freeman of this Corporation. . . . that all such as are opposers of the good and whosome lawes of this Collonie or manifest opposers of the true worship of God or such as refuse to doe the Countrey seruice being called thervnto shall not bee admitted freemen of this Corporation. . . . that if any ꝑson or ꝑsons that are or shalbee freemen of this Corporation that are Quakers or such as are manifest Incurragers of them and soe Judged by the Court or such as shall contemptuously speake of the Court or of the lawes therof and such as are Judged by the Court grosly seandalouse as lyers drunkards Swearers &c shall lose theire freedome of this Corporation. . . . that all such as refuse to take the oath of fidelitie as quakers or such as are manifest encorragers of them shall haue noe voat in choise of publicke officers in the place wher they dwell or shalbee imployed in any place of trust while they continew such.203

    In 1665 the authorities, in replying to the proposition of the Royal Commissioners “That all men of competent estates and ciuell conversation, though of different judgments, may bee admited to bee freemen, and haue libertie to choose and bee chosen officers both ciuell and milletary,” wrote: “To the second wee alsoe consent, it haueing bine our constant practice to admitt men of competent estates and ciuell conversation, though of different judgments, yett being otherwise orthodox, to bee freemen, and to haue libertie to chose and bee chosen officers both ciuell and milletary.”204 And in 1686 the General Court recognized the situation by formally discontinuing church membership as a qualification for voting.

    Whatever restrictions existed were more for the purpose of keeping out dangerous and insubordinate persons, disturbers of the peace, and such as were known as Quakers or ranters, than for securing special privileges to church members; and, except for the reference to it in the law of 1686, it would be difficult to show any proper foundation for the theory that a limitation existed as a real disqualification. It is worthy of notice, in connection with this matter of citizenship, that in 1652 they adopted the system of voting by proxy, the workings of which would have proved dangerous if any particular stress had been laid upon church membership. Such an opportunity would have offered, to careless or unfriendly members of the church, an easy method of evading such restrictions.

    The contract with the Merchant Adventurers created a common stock of goods, and gave them rights to profits and lands as joint partners. This has given rise to the idea that the settlement was a communistic venture, but no such policy was ever contemplated by the Pilgrims. It was a common undertaking, and the terms were so hard that the Pilgrims obtained at first no individual ownership of lands and were obliged to subordinate private interests to the general good. To that end the gain was at first divided, and lots set apart for temporary use, and all profits and increase were to be turned into the general stock, to comply with the agreement. As early as 1623 this in a measure ceased, and each man worked for himself alone, land being assigned for a term of years. How far this common ownership applied to individual property is not clear, but apparently it related only to what was originally constituted common stock. Bradford, referring to the change of system in 1623, speaks thus of their previous experience, which he would hardly have done had they been working out a communistic theory: “The experience that was had in this com̄one course and condition, tried sundries years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceite of Platos & other ancients, applauded by some of later times; — that ye taking away of propertie, and bringing in com̄unitie into a comone wealth, would make them happy and florishing; as if they were wiser then God.”205

    In 1627, through the efforts of Standish and Isaac Allerton, the contract with the Merchants was terminated by the agreement to pay the latter a stipulated sum; and after that the lands were divided in fee. It should not be overlooked that none of these titles were taken from England, but that it was the Pilgrim boast that every foot of land they held was by purchase from the Indian owners by fair contract. Their Indian policy was humane and honorable, promotive of kind feeling between the races.

    In 1620 the first treaty was made with Massasoit; and that was scrupulously kept until King Philip’s War in 1675. The neighboring Indians visited them, stayed with them, and were visited in turn; and, largely through the remarkable influence of Bradford and Winslow, a most cordial feeling was established. Regulations were adopted, from time to time, as necessity required, to preserve peace with the Indians and maintain public order. Individual Indians and tribes were severely dealt with where bad faith and treachery appeared; but no deviation was made from their general policy of treating them with fairness and honor.

    Though no protection or recognition had been extended them by the home government, they pledged their fealty to the king; yet they went about the business of governing themselves in an independent way as if they were a free state. At first they enacted no system of laws, recognizing the laws of England, so far as suitable to their needs, with some features borrowed from Holland, and others were evolved from the teachings of the Bible. In 1623 they formally adopted trial by jury, and subsequently provided that if a jury was impannelled in a civil case, and the parties settled the case, they should pay the cost of the jury.

    In 1636 a code of laws was formally acted upon, starting out with this broad statement, substantially a declaration of independence: “That according to the & due priviledge of the subject aforesaid no imposicon law or ordnance be made or imposed vpon vs by ourselves [or others at] present or to come but such as shall be made [or] imposed by consent according to the free liberties [of the] State & Kingdome of Engl. & no otherwise.”206

    The most striking features of the laws of 1636 were the comparative mildness of punishments provided. At a time when innumerable offences were punished in other countries by death, they made but five capital crimes: treason and rebellion, wilful murder, witchcraft, wilful burning of ships and houses, and rape or the crimes against nature. Ten executions took place in the colony, one for the last-named offence, and nine for murder.

    In common with most people of those days, they sincerely believed in the reality of witchcraft; but, though they made it a capital crime, no such punishment was ever inflicted. To their credit the sad experience of Salem and Boston was not repeated in Plymouth. Two trials were had, one resulting in acquittal. The general policy was to discourage public complaints and to treat the whole matter as one in which imagination so discolored facts that it were better to insist upon the most stringent proof. The practical sense displayed in the earlier case probably arrested further trouble. A complaint of witchcraft having been made against a married woman, her hardheaded husband turned the tables by suing the complainant for slander and she was convicted and punished. After this the risk of prosecuting was too great to be hastily taken.

    The frequent statutes upon the subject of intoxicating liquors show how serious a trouble it was to them from the beginning. Nor did they succeed in better solving the difficult question than we of later days. In 1633 they punished householders for permitting others to get intoxicated upon their premises; in 1636 they prohibited victuallers from entertaining children or servants of neighboring houses; in 1638 they prohibited persons from dieting and haunting ale-houses in the towns in which they lived; in 1646 they prohibited persons drinking at victualling houses over an hour at a time, or sales to Indians, and provided for licensing; in 1659 they provided for warning persons in the habit of drinking or tippling at any house. In many subsequent laws they fixed the price and measure, and prohibited sales on Sunday or after midnight. In fact, the current of legislature went on parallel lines with our action since. In one respect they went further, requiring the names of such as were found to be common drunkards to be enrolled and recorded and set in public places. This curious definition of drunkenness found a place in their laws: “By drunkennesse is vnderstood a ꝑson that either lisps or faulters in his speech by reason of oūmuch drink, or that staggers in his going or that vomitts by reason of excessiue drinking, or cannot follow his calling.”207 With this continuous legislation it remains unfortunately true that their records are crowded with convictions for violation of those laws; and the history of the times is full of direful forebodings and warnings as to the prevailing sin of drunkenness.

    In respect to the celebration of marriage by civil officers, they seem to have borrowed the forms in use in Holland. The early adoption of laws for registration of wills and deeds appears to have come from the same source.

    In the earlier years of the settlement public schools were unknown; but there are constant references to family schools and to the employment of private teachers. In 1662 schools were made compulsory upon each municipality; and in 1670 a bounty was offered to any town keeping a free school. Under these provisions a free school was established in Plymouth, claimed to be the first free school in America.208 This had not been the system of England, and was probably the result of their Holland experiences.

    This hasty review of the most important institutions of the Pilgrims has in some measure shown their spirit and methods. The last of the Pilgrim signers of the compact on the Mayflower, John Alden, died in 1687, so that practically their influence extended nearly to the time of union with Massachusetts. Whatever differences appear between them and the other colonists were in the men themselves, the result of their experiences and of the influence upon their minds of the free state of Holland. She was their harbor of refuge for the twelve years and moulded them for the great work before them.

    Fortunate for the Pilgrims that this experience was theirs; fortunate that they had leaders who in themselves exemplified the moderation, firmness, courage, and foresight needed that the colony might be guided in the way pointed out by Robinson, to be ever ready to see and accept “more light.” The lives of four men illustrate the spirit and methods of Plymouth: Brewster, with his earnest faith, simplicity, and scholarship; Bradford, with his practical sense, wisdom, and ability as an administrator; Standish, with his fiery courage, constancy, and honor; and Winslow, with his business skill, his genial character, and his innate faculty for delicate negotiations. If ever the character of men was impressed upon a new state, theirs was upon Plymouth, and chiefly to them is the world indebted for whatever influence was exerted by that colony for the principles of freedom and for the right of men to worship in their own way, without interference by the state.

    In reference to Mr. Warren’s statement that the First Church in Plymouth is still using the original covenant of the Mayflower Pilgrims, Mr. Henry H. Edes called attention to the fact that the First Church in Boston, also Unitarian for a century, is still living under the covenant that was signed by Winthrop and the other founders of Boston in August, 1630.