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, 27 January, 1916, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Frederick Jackson Turner, LL.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and, after slight correction, approved.
The Corresponding Secretary reported that letters had been received from Mr. Alfred Johnson and Mr. George Parker Winship, accepting Resident Membership.
Mr. Lawrence Shaw Mayo of Newton was elected a Resident Member.
On behalf of Mr. Lindsay Swift, the following paper was read:
It is the general practice of libraries to permit any serious-minded person to see any printed book, however valuable, which he may wish to consult. Whether he may be allowed to turn over the pages of a Shakespeare folio, or the crumbling leaves of an early colonial newspaper, is a matter within the discretion of some responsible official; but he will in all probability be allowed a reasonable use of the work for which he asks.
The case of manuscripts, however, is not the same as that of printed books, and custom differs widely in the various institutions. Some are generous to a degree, and some are narrow and disposed to put difficult barriers between their manuscripts and archives and scholars who wish to use them. There seems to be a sort of vague feeling that a book has gone through the pangs of physical birth and therefore has a certain entitlement to existence and recognition, no matter how good or bad it may be, or how soon after birth it ceases to have the breath of life. Mortal or immortal, it was begotten and born, and is of record. Not so, however, with manuscripts. A certain cryptic essence seems to inhere in them, to the minds at least of some librarians and custodians of literary and historical treasures, if treasures they be. Never having been fathered and mothered by author and printing-press in lawful wedlock such possessions do not seem to have a very real existence, and may be said to dwell in a sort of limbo, as do the souls of unborn children. Whatever may be the cause, manuscript material appears in the minds of its custodians to stand as something apart and not easily available.
Is there any safe and sensible rule which all custodians might wisely follow in deciding when to permit the use of this material? A manuscript is always rare, and in this country generally unique. It is perishable, and somewhat injured by every exposure to air or human touch. The custodian has, I think, come to regard his unprinted collections with unnecessary devotion. All manuscripts are not valuable, though they be old and unique. It is not, I submit, an interesting or vital document which avouches that on July 22, 1662, one John Roby sold to Thomas Pettengill a pig for so many shillings and pence. I should not have the courage to destroy such a document myself, but I could stand by and see it perish without a pang. But if this old voucher happened to state that the pig was bewitched or otherwise under Satanic power, then we have something of interest on which the Kittredges and Matthewses of all time may delightedly feast.
An easily working rule would seem to be to permit no one, without the soundest of reasons, to ransack any collection of manuscripts. He should have a definite search in view or should be requested to cite particular letters or portions which he needs to see. But he should not be turned loose like a cow in a pasture. It may be entertaining for the cow, but hard for the pasture, especially when the pasture is held in trust for posterity, as are all such possessions as books and manuscripts.
The late Mellen Chamberlain used to say that he had no objection to permitting the use of his own valuable collection to any one who would fairly state just what was wanted, but that he did not propose that anybody should “bag the whole game.” I see no good reason for permitting a wholesale use of rich material to students and candidates for ordinary degrees. Much harm has already been done by inflaming the minds of youth with an unholy rage for “original sources.” A boy of thirteen once asked me to supply him with inedited matter on the Rye House Plot. No, it is fair to both sides to send the casual and accidental searcher to the best printed material, unless he can name a particular letter or letters. There he has a fair claim, especially in a public institution.
There ought, so it seems to me, after these exceptions are admitted, to be a reasonably generous attitude on the part of custodians toward all discreet and earnest seekers after manuscript material. There is, after all, no particular mystery about manuscripts. Many of them are practically worthless, from any point of view, historical or antiquarian, though I most profoundly hope that no reading committee in my day will ever be called upon to decide what it considers valuable and what worthless. There is enough settlement work going on in our libraries already without attacking manuscripts and archives in a socially helpful spirit. But I would have no mysterious gloom guarding the approach to those treasures, which for the most part remain in manuscript because the world has not needed them in book form badly enough to warrant the risk of printing them.
A spirit of generosity then, with a due seasoning of reserve and caution, will safely care for the problem. The fetich that there is any peculiar merit in a manuscript in and per se may safely be relegated to the bibliothecal cemetery, where some day I trust will rest the bones of the various mediocre tendencies that somewhat infest the libraries of our day.
I was largely moved to communicate these disjointed remarks by the recent experience of a friend who in the course of preparing a work of great historical value had occasion to ask permission to copy a few letters in the possession of a university which I am happy to say is not in or near Boston. There was no opposition to granting his reasonable request until a member of the faculty, on the committee to decide such matters, objected on the ground that these letters were valuable property of the university, and the request was refused.
Such narrowness and discourtesy usually get their “come-uppance,” and never could have existed unless an absurd and exaggerated appraisement of manuscripts as some sacrosanct and mystic possession had found lodgment in rather small heads.
Over-estimation of the relative worth of manuscripts is after all my text, but my sermon has already been preached.
Mr. Albert Matthews made the following remarks:
A contemporary account of the third celebration at Plymouth of Forefathers’ Day on December 23, 1771, stated that “The Old Colony song with a number of others was sung, after which the company withdrew.” Exactly what “the Old Colony song” was I had been unable a year ago to ascertain, but suggested that possibly it was “Our Forefather’s Song,” which I had found in print in 1791, in 1838, and in 1846.209 At that time my earliest allusion to it was in the Massachusetts Magazine for January, 1791, where we read:
To the Editors of the Massachusetts Magazine.
The following song is upwards of one hundred and sixty years old. The British are passionately attached to the remains of their ancient poetry. I wish to encourage a similar spirit in America.
Yours, J. F.210
New England’s annoyances you that would know them,
Pray ponder these verses which briefly doth shew them.
Our Forefather’s SONG.
Composed about the year 1630.
THE place where we live is a wilderness wood,
Where grass is much wanting that’s fruitful and good:
The song consists of six stanzas, each containing eight lines except the sixth, which has four lines only. Then follows this explanation:
* The above, was taken memoriter, from the lips of an old Lady, at the advanced period of 92. There is visibly a break in the sense, commencing at the 5th line of the 5th verse: We conceive that four lines have been lost; and are also of opinion that the four last lines of the 5th verse, and all of the 6th belong together. Perhaps some poetical antiquarian may favour us with a correcter edition.211
The song was next printed, so far as I have noted, in 1838 in the Massachusetts Historical Collections, where it is introduced by the following statement:
OUR FOREFATHER’S SONG.
[Composed about the year 1630, author unknown; taken memoriter, in 1785, from the lips of an old Lady, at the advanced period of 96. There is visibly a break in the sense, commencing at the 5th line of the 5th verse: and, through the failure of memory, four lines have been lost at the latter part of the 5th stanza.]212
The song is then reprinted exactly as it appeared in the Massachusetts Magazine, except that the fifth stanza consists of four lines and the sixth of eight lines. It was again printed in 1846, when, “In order to adapt it to music, a very few verbal alterations have been made, without, however, impairing its sense or force. . . . It was published originally in stanzas of eight lines, which have been separated into those of four lines, for the greater convenience of singing.” It appears under the following caption:
OUR FOREFATHERS’ SONG.
the hardships and fare of the first planters in new england.
Repeated by an old lady, aged 94 years, in 1767.
In the same volume is printed a letter written by Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse to Ephraim Spooner. This, dated Cambridge, December 15, 1817, reads as follows:
I here send you a curiosity, which I hope and believe will gratify your friends and townsmen at their approaching Anniversary of the landing of our Forefathers. It is a poetical description of the hard fare of our Progenitors soon after they landed on your renowned shore. Who the author was I know not; nor do I when it was written; neither have I been informed who the old lady was who repeated these verses in 1767, when 94 years of age. To me it is probable that they were taken down from her mouth, like the ancient poems of Ossian, in Scotland. This paper was given me by the late Madame Bowdoin, the worthy wife of my excellent and intimate friend Gov. Bowdoin.213 I send them to you as a pleasant relic, not merely because I regard you as the Father of the town where you reside, but as a mark of that respectful and steady friendship, so long existing between you and your kinsman.214
The old lady, it will be observed, was stated in 1791 to have been ninety-two, in 1838 to have been ninety-six in the year 1785, and by Waterhouse in 1817 to have been ninety-four in the year 1767. It does not appear what Waterhouse’s authority was for saying that the old lady repeated the verses in 1767. Recently in glancing through the Massachusetts Spy, I found the song in the issue of February 3, 1774; and, as it is short, as there has been so much uncertainty about it, and as that was perhaps its first appearance in print, it is here reproduced in full:
For the MASSACHUSETTS SPY.
Please to give the following lines a place in Poets Corner, and you will oblige one who wishes we had no greater annoyances at this day. It is an old ballad composed and sung by some of the first settlers of New-England, called New-England’s annoyances, recollected and repeated lately, by an old lady of 92 years of age; it may serve to show, not the elegance of the Poet, but some of the hardships, fare and patience of the first settlers of this country.
NEW-England’s annoyances you that would know them
Pray ponder these verses which briefly do show them;
The place where we live is a wilderness wood,
Where grass is much wanting that’s fruitful and good:
Our mountains and hills and valleys below
Being commonly cover’d with ice and with snow,
And when the north-wester with violence blows
Then every man pulls his cap over his nose;
But if any are so hardy and will it withstand,
He forfeits a finger, a foot or a hand.
And make the ground ready to plant and to sow;
Our corn being planted and seed being sown,
The worms destroy much before it is grown;
And when it is growing, some spoil there is made,
By birds and by squirrels that pluck up the blade,
Even when it is grown to full corn in the ear,
It is often destroyed by racoons and deer.
And now our garments begin to grow thin,
And wool is much wanted to card and to spin;
If we can get a garment to cover without,
Our other in-garments are clout upon clout;
Our cloaths we brought with us are often much torn,
They need to be clouted before they are worn;
But clouting our garments they hinder us nothing,
Clouts double are warmer than single whole cloathing.
If flesh meat215 be wanting to fill up our dish,
We have carrets and pumkins and turnips and fish;
And when we have a mind for a delicate dish,
We repair to the clam-bank and there we catch fish.
Instead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies.
Our pumkins and parsnips are common supplies;
We have pumkin at morning, and pumkin at noon,
If it was not for pumkins we should be undoon.
If barley be wanting to make into malt,
We must be contented, and think it no fault,
For we can make liquor to sweeten our lips,
Of pumkins and parsnips and walnut-tree chips.
Now while some are going let others be coming,
For while liquor is boiling it must have a scumming,
But we will not blame them, for birds of a feather,
By seeking their fellows are flocking together.
But you who the LORD intends hither to bring,
Forsake not the honey for fear of the sting,
But bring both a quiet and contented mind
And all needful blessings you surely will find.216
The history of North American expansion might almost be written in terms of the fur trade. Europeans were early attracted to the North American coast by the hope of reaping profits from this trade, and after the beginning of settlement revenue from it was the principal means of sustenance to the early English, French, and Dutch colonies. As European settlement advanced across the continent, everywhere it was preceded by the fur trader, who by the very law of his being operated upon the frontier. Many a nameless trader, intent only upon his trade and caring nothing for the name of discoverer, has been the first white man to set foot upon lands credit for the discovery of which has gone to others. Indeed the fur trader did not care to advertise his discoveries, for the advance of settlement thrust back the Indian, destroyed the forest and the game, and drove the trader ever farther and farther into the continent. Before him was the wilderness; behind him, over paths he himself had made, poured in an ever advancing tide of settlement. Even to-day the Hudson Bay Company’s posts in northern Canada are the outposts of civilization on that last remnant of the American fur-trading frontier. Thus the fur trader has blazed the way across the continent.
The fur trade was not only important from an economic point of view; it was also one of the prime factors in colonial politics and diplomacy. First of his race, the trader encountered hitherto unknown Indian tribes, taught them the use of the white man’s gun and the white man’s liquor, and brought them within the scope of the white man’s policy. He became the colonial agent of his government, its diplomatic representative carving out new spheres of influence. On the frontier he met rivals of other white races and engaged with them in a struggle for supremacy the echoes of which could be heard in many a European capital. Considerations based upon the fur trade dictated the Indian and foreign policy of all the fur-trading colonies. The efforts of the northern colonies, especially New York, to control the policy of the Iroquois and to secure access to the western fur trade go far toward explaining the century-long struggle with New France. The fur trade was the life-blood of Canada; to divert it to Albany and to transfer the allegiance of the Indian tribes of the west from the French to the English would mean the ruin of that colony. Hence what began as a somewhat petty rivalry between the traders of Albany and Montreal for the western fur trade developed into a struggle for the hinterland and the mastery of the continent.
Importance and Early Development of the New England Fur Trade
New England was no exception to this general American law. From the days of the first Europeans who frequented its coast, furs together with fish formed the principal attraction. Doubtless the early French and Basque fishermen bartered for furs with the New England Indians. Gosnold, Pring, and Weymouth all traded with the Indians, and Pring was aware that already the French were drawing immense quantities of furs from the region north of New England.217 It was the profit to be derived from the fisheries and fur trade which attracted Captain John Smith to the New England coast,218 and the fur trade was one of the principal sources of revenue to the Plymouth colony.219 The Massachusetts Bay Company was also interested in the fur trade and in 1629 declared it a monopoly of the Company, voting to devote the proceeds to the erection of forts and churches.220 Thomas Lechford, writing in 1640, speaks of the fur trade as one of the chief industries of Massachusetts.221 As in other parts of the country, the fur trader prepared the way for settlement.222 This was notably true of the first great American westward movement, that to the Connecticut valley. Knowledge of that region was undoubtedly derived from the enterprises of the Plymouth traders upon that river and from the overland journey of John Oldham in 1633.223 Springfield was originally settled to secure the trade of that same river.224 The fur trade was also a fruitful source of rivalry with the Dutch and French. Says Lechford, “Northward from the Bay, or Northeast, Iyeth the French plantation, who take up bever there . . . and south of New-England the Dutch take up the bever.”225 The first friction between New England and her neighbors grew out of the trading ventures of Plymouth upon the Kennebec and the Connecticut.
Important as was the fur trade in the early days of settlement, that importance was not enduring, primarily because New England was disadvantageously situated for carrying on the trade. The native supply of furs was not great, and New England was cut off from direct access to the principal sources of supply to the westward. The greatest fur-producing region south of the Hudson Bay country was the region about the Great Lakes. That territory was tapped by the St. Lawrence and Hudson-Mohawk river systems, both in the hands of rival nations whose settlements antedated the first permanent settlement in New England. Moreover, New England was cut off from this trade not only by rivals but also by the facts of her geography. Rivers were the highways of commerce, and the rivers of New England flow north and south, not east and west as the Council for New England seems to have supposed when it granted to the Massachusetts Bay Company its sea-to-sea charter for the region between the Charles and the Merrimac. To overcome this handicap and to secure direct access to the western sources of supply New England traders were led into enterprises which, although known for the most part in their main outlines, have hitherto been treated separately and with little recognition of their significance.
At first this handicap was not perceived and attention was directed to exploiting the resources of New England. The Pilgrim Fathers, coming with quite other objects in view than the fur trade, soon made the trade their mainstay. They were not, however, without competitors. In the region about Massachusetts Bay were several unattached traders, the most successful of whom was Thomas Morton of Merrymount. Morton hints that the breaking up of his settlement was caused less by abhorrence of his scandalous manner of life than by jealousy of his success as a trader. In all probability the real reasons were hostility to his methods of trade, which were considered unfair, and fear of the consequences of his sale of arms to the Indians.226 The Indian was not only an untutored savage whose ignorance of the real value of things might be traded upon, but a potential foe who must not be exploited to the point of danger.
Not content with such trade as the surrounding country afforded, some of the leading men of Plymouth began to look abroad. In 1625 Window and others took a boat-load of corn to the Kennebec and returned with 700 pounds of beaver. From that beginning the Pilgrims developed an extensive trade on the Kennebec and Penobscot which seriously encroached upon the French monopoly of the trade of that region. The success of these enterprises in Maine was due in large part to the use of wampum, which the traders of Plymouth learned from the Dutch. Gratitude for this favor, however, did not prevent them from extending their operations to the Connecticut also and challenging the Dutch control of trade upon that river.227 These trading ventures of the Plymouth colony mark the beginning of the history of New England’s foreign relations and were a prime cause of friction with the neighboring French and Dutch colonies. As always the fur trade proved a source of strife. Collisions resulted, and so convinced did the settlers of New England become of the undesirability of their neighbors that in 1634 or 1635 Edward Winslow, at that time in England as agent for Massachusetts and Plymouth, petitioned the Council for a free commission for “displacing” the French and Dutch.228
Rivalry with the French: the Laconia Company, 1629
Meantime an attempt had been made on the part of certain men interested in the colonization of New England to secure control of one of the main arteries of the fur trade. In 1628, England and France being at war, a company was formed to get possession of the St. Lawrence, and prominent among its members were Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason. This Canada Company undertook the conquest of Canada as a private venture under letters of marque from Charles I, and in 1629 sent out a fleet under the command of the Kirkes, which captured Quebec.229 For a brief period the fur trade of the St. Lawrence was in English hands, but Charles thought more of getting his French queen’s dowry than of retaining half a continent, and Canada was restored to France. Thus, as Parkman says, for a sum equal to about $240,000, Charles entailed on England and her colonies a century of bloody wars.230
Even before the restoration of Canada Gorges and Mason had taken steps to tap the trade of the interior by a new route. They were less influential in the Canada Company than the Kirkes and Sir William Alexander and could hope only for a share of its profits. Moreover they were joint proprietors, under grant from the Council for New England, of a princely territory between the Merrimac and Kennebec rivers, the resources of which they had as yet done little to develop. It would be much more profitable for them if they could discover a practicable route through their New England grant from the coast to the fur-producing region of the interior.
Knowledge of the interior and of the source of the supplies of peltry which found their way down the rivers to the coast was at best hazy, but there had existed, at least from the days of Captain John Smith, a tradition to the effect that most of the furs came from certain great lakes, out of which the New England rivers were supposed to flow.231 Persuaded of the truth of this tradition and identifying these mythical lakes with Lake Champlain, or the Lake of the Iroquois as it was then called, Gorges and Mason secured on November 17, 1629, eleven days after the return of the Kirkes from the conquest of Canada, a grant of all the region bordering upon the waters “commonly called or known by the Name of the River and Lake or Rivers and Lakes of the Irroquois,” to be known as the Province of Laconia. For the further development of the trade of Laconia the Council for New England granted the patentees a right of way up the rivers supposed to afford access to the region and 1000 acres of land on the seacoast for use as a harbor.232
The terms of the grant and the subsequent operations of the Company show plainly that this was an attempt to open a direct trade between the interior and the New England coast, in this case by ascending the Piscataqua river. Unfortunately the facts of New England’s geography stood in the way of success. In 1630 the Company sent out Captain Walter Neale as the first governor of Laconia with instructions to find a route to the Lake of the Iroquois. At least one such attempt was made, and Mason urged another, which was projected, but apparently never carried out.233 A few years later Morton of Merrymount, who since his expulsion from New England had attached himself to Gorges and Mason and other enemies of New England, interested George Cleaves in the possibilities of the Lake Champlain country and persuaded him to take out a commission to search for the lake. Morton also devoted a chapter of his New English Canaan to the attractions of that region;234 but nothing further was done, so far as we have record, by these English promoters of New England colonial enterprises and their agents. Subsequent attempts to develop a western fur trade had their origin among the actual settlers.
Rivalry with the Dutch: Attempts on the Delaware, 1640–1654
The activities of the Canada and Laconia companies were at the expense of the French; practically all the later attempts of the sort were at the expense of the Dutch. New Netherland lay at the very doors of New England, whose traders had long known about the Dutch trade on the Hudson and coveted it for themselves. Morton estimated the annual value of the Dutch beaver trade at £20,000. “And, therefore,” he remarks, “it would be adjudged an irreparable oversight to protract time, and suffer the Dutch, (who are but intruders upon his Majesties most hopefull Country of New England,) to possesse themselves of that so plesant and commodious Country of Erocoise before us.”235 Similarly an anonymous writer declared about 1635 that the Dutch were “a great hindrance to the English Colonies in their trade of Beaver, ffor that one River whereon they are setled yeilds as much (if not more) beaver then all the rest of New England planted by the English, and may be esteemed yearelie about tenn thousand pounds waight of beaver.”236 The appetite of New England for Dutch furs was further whetted by the clandestine trade, which, despite the attempts of the Dutch West India Company to prohibit it, was carried on between New Netherland and New England.237 A more direct access to the sources of Dutch supply was highly desirable.
The attempt of Plymouth to establish a trade upon the Connecticut has already been mentioned. Plymouth realized that her encroachment upon the Dutch monopoly of the trade of that river might lead to serious trouble and sought the co-operation of Massachusetts. The leaders of the Bay colony alleged various reasons for not participating in the enterprise, but their real reason seems to have been the hope that the fur-producing country which the Connecticut was supposed to tap — that same mythical Great Lake country which formed so important a part of the New England tradition of the geography of the interior — was also accessible from the headwaters of the Merrimac. If that were so, Massachusetts could divert the trade to Boston and would not have to share it with Plymouth.238
Despite Bradford’s naïve protestation that “they did the Dutch no wrong, for they took not a foote of any land they bought, but went to the place above them,” the Dutch were highly incensed at this encroachment, and actual bloodshed was narrowly averted. But the question of control of the Connecticut fur trade soon became an academic one for both the Dutch and Plymouth, for the migration of Hooker, Haynes, and their companions changed the lower Connecticut valley from a fur-trading frontier to an agricultural community. If the settlers of Connecticut had cherished the hope of engaging in a profitable fur trade, their hopes also were disappointed, for the establishment of Springfield the same year (1636) cut off the trade from above and gave Pynchon almost a monopoly of the trade of the river.239 This movement, however, preceded by fur-trading operations, and in the case of Springfield caused by them, must be regarded as the first encroachment of the English upon the Dutch fur trade and the first of a series of clashes with the Dutch which were to end in their expulsion from the North American seaboard. Rivalry over the fur trade must be reckoned as the earliest in time, and one of the most important, of the causes contributing to that end.
The establishment of the colony of New Haven in 1638 marks a further stage in New England rivalry with the Dutch for the fur trade of the interior. Almost from the first the new colony took a more aggressive attitude toward its western neighbors than its sister colonies, partly because it speedily became a commercial rival of the Dutch, partly because of vexing boundary disputes. One of the first causes of friction was the attempt of New Haven merchants to secure access to the fur trade of the interior by the Delaware river route. The trade of that river was at this time shared by the Dutch and Swedes, each too weak to drive out the other, and united only in their determination to exclude the English. It appears to have been George Lamberton, a New Haven merchant, who, sailing along the coast on a trading venture to Virginia in the winter of 1638–39, discovered that there was a profitable fur trade on the Delaware.240 This discovery resulted in the establishment at New Haven of a Delaware Company to exploit the trade of that region. Among the members of the Company were Lamberton, Governor Eaton, the Rev. John Davenport, and other leading men of New Haven. Indeed so closely was the Company identified with the colony that it assumes almost the aspect of a corporate enterprise.
In the spring of 1641 the Company sent Lamberton and Captain Nathaniel Turner to the Delaware to purchase land of the Indians and otherwise prepare the way for settlement, for, if the primary motive of the Company was the fur trade, a strong secondary motive was the desire to secure an outlet for the growing population of the colony. Regardless of the rights of the Dutch and Swedes, two large tracts of land were purchased in southern New Jersey and another tract on the future site of Philadelphia. The colony of New Haven extended its jurisdiction over this territory and lent the Company its full support. A settlement was made the same year at Varkens Kill (Salem, New Jersey), but as it was below the Dutch and Swedish posts and therefore unfavorably situated for the fur trade, a trading post was erected the next year near the mouth of the Schuylkill and above the rival posts.
So seriously did this new post interfere with trade that the Dutch, probably with the aid of the Swedes, destroyed the fort and took away the settlers to Manhattan. The settlement at Varkens Kill was not disturbed, but it amounted to little. Some of the settlers perished of disease, some straggled back to New Haven, and a few stayed on, submitting themselves to Swedish rule.241 So complete was the failure of this first English attempt to gain possession of the Delaware route to the interior, and so heavily did the losses of the Company bear upon the colony of New Haven, that murmurs were heard against the promoters. Davenport was accused of trying to conceal his share in the enterprise, and one Luke Atkinson was fined for saying that “Mr. Davenport’s name had bin very pretious, but now it was darkned.” The failure of the enterprise and the consequent recognition of the necessity for support from the other New England colonies probably had a good deal of influence in persuading New Haven to join the New England Confederation.242
Not only was the fur trade important in the history of American expansion; it was also an influential factor in the various attempts at colonial union. It was no accident that control of the fur trade was one of the subjects discussed at the Albany Congress in 1754. The only thing, down to the time of the outbreak of the struggle with Great Britain, which could induce the several colonies to lay aside their jealousies even temporarily was the occasional necessity for union against their Indian and foreign enemies. To control the fur trade, friendship with the Indian was necessary, but that control and that friendship could only be secured as the result of a successful struggle with foreign rivals. Here again the smaller world of New England was no exception to the rule. Perhaps the leading motive for the formation of the New England Confederation in 1643 was the fear of trouble with the Indians and the neighboring Dutch and French colonies, and the further realization that in the event of such trouble little help could be expected from the mother country, then on the eve of civil war. It is abundantly clear, from the above recital of events, that hostile collision had resulted in the past from rivalry over the fur trade and was likely to do so again. Thus, in a double sense the fur trade was a cause of the formation of the New England Confederation. On the one hand the necessity of a united effort to push the trade in the face of French and Dutch rivalry was recognized; on the other, the dangerous consequences which might ensue if any one colony attempted to push the trade alone.243
This becomes increasingly evident when we consider some of the early deliberations of the Confederation. In 1644 the United Commissioners proposed the formation of a joint stock company to carry on the Indian trade.244 The scheme was approved by Massachusetts and Connecticut, the colonies which at that time had the least interest in the fur trade, but was rejected by Plymouth. No record of any action by New Haven appears upon the pages of the published records of the colony.245 But although this attempt at joint prosecution of the trade fell through, the Confederation did give its moral support to New Haven in its efforts to secure a foothold upon the Delaware.
The negotiations between the Dutch and Swedes on the one hand and the Confederation on the other may be followed in the Acts of the Commissioners of the Confederation.246 They are chiefly interesting as showing how this attempt to get a share of the western fur trade brought the Confederation to the verge of war with the Dutch. For a time after 1643 New Haven seems to have been too exhausted by her previous failure to renew the enterprise, and when in 1649 the New Haven Commissioners again brought the matter to the attention of the United Commissioners that body showed its lack of interest by refusing to encourage another attempt at settlement.247 The necessary encouragement was supplied by the Treaty of Hartford in 1650, which was a sincere attempt, at least on the part of the Dutch, to adjust all matters in dispute between them and the New England colonies. The arbitrators chosen on that occasion were unable to arrive at a definite agreement concerning the rights of the respective parties upon the Delaware, but recommended that both, according to the status quo prius, be free to “Improve theire Just enterests at Delaware for planting or Trading as they shall see Cause; onely . . . that all ꝑseedings there as in other places may bee Carried on in love and peace tell the Right may bee further Considered and Justly Issued either in Europe or heere by the two States of England and Holland.”248
Despite this agreement, when a ship-load of fifty settlers for the Delaware set out the following spring from New Haven, Stuyvesant protested vigorously and by threats forced them to turn back. Incidentally it appears that this attempt at settlement was due quite as much to a desire on the part of some to escape from narrowing quarters as to a purpose to carry out the original plans of the Company. The petition of the aggrieved would-be settlers speaks of their being “streitened in the Respectiue plantations,” and lays stress upon the fact that there was no other opportunity within the limits of New England for expansion, saying that the Delaware was a “place fitt for the enlargment of the English Collonies at present and hopfull for posteritie.”249 The ever expanding population of the English colonies made them less successful in the fur trade than the French and Dutch, who with a smaller and less rapidly increasing population, were not so much troubled by the problem of reconciling the rival interests of the fur trader and the settler.
The patience of New Haven was completely exhausted by this new interference with her plans, and for once the Confederation, though still cautiously, prepared to support her. Eaton wrote to Edward Winslow, who was at this time looking after New England interests in London, and the United Commissioners followed his letter with another, asking him to sound Parliament and the Council of State upon their attitude toward the Delaware question, and to find out “how any engagement by the Collonies against the Duch vpon the formencioned occasion willbee Resented by the Parliament.”250 The question of war against the Dutch was, therefore, being discussed and doubtless New Haven was urging drastic action. The Commissioners were not prepared to go that far, but did agree that if the petitioners, with the approval of New Haven, would send within a year 100 or 150 well-armed men with a good vessel and plenty of ammunition to the Delaware, and if while behaving peaceably they were opposed by the Dutch or Swedes, the Confederation would support them by sending soldiers, provided the Company pay the charges of the expedition. They further sent a letter of protest to Stuyvesant charging him with being “the sole auther and cause of all such inconveniencies and Mischeifes as may follow thereupon.”251 The Company could not meet these many conditions and no further action was taken at this time.
A year and a half later, in the spring of 1653, all New England was stirred by reports that the Dutch were uniting the Indians in a great conspiracy to attack the English. These reports gave New Haven and Connecticut another opportunity to urge upon the Confederation a declaration of war against the Dutch. The time was further opportune because England and Holland were then at war. The Commissioners of the Confederation met in extraordinary session; all the old questions in dispute with the Dutch were once more discussed; the two western colonies urged war. Prominent in the list of fifteen grievances against the Dutch was the treatment of New Haven traders and settlers on the Delaware. The attitude of Plymouth and Massachusetts toward this particular class of grievances is instructive alike of the weakness of the Confederation and of its unwillingness to push matters to an open rupture with the Dutch. The Plymouth Commissioners protested that five or six of the grievances had to do with events which had occurred before the formation of the Confederation; while the Massachusetts elders, in their statement of the case which did so much to influence that colony to decide against war with the Dutch, gave it as their opinion that many of the grievances alleged by the two western colonies were awaiting diplomatic adjustment and therefore were not clear ground for war. The Delaware question would certainly fall within that category.252
How New Haven, blocked in her efforts to drag the Confederation into war with the Dutch, appealed to Cromwell, how Cromwell sent a fleet to capture New Amsterdam, and how the news of peace in Europe put an end to the undertaking, are matters which cannot be considered here. At the 1654 meeting of the Commissioners Eaton again pressed the Delaware business and there was talk of a large migration from New Haven to the Delaware, but the Dutch conquest of New Sweden, the death of Governor Eaton, and other events put a quietus upon the ambitions of New Haven to find an outlet for her surplus population and to break down the Dutch control of the western fur trade by establishing a colony upon the Delaware.253 Among the causes which brought the Confederation to the verge of war with the Dutch these ambitions had a foremost, although not a unique, place. But had New England, as New Haven so earnestly desired, made war upon New Netherland, it might truly have been said that no cause of friction was more fundamental than the successful Dutch opposition to the attempts of the English to wrest from them the control of the fur trade of the interior.
The other attempts, which we have to consider, to oust the French and Dutch from their privileged position in the fur trade had their origin in Massachusetts. That colony in its earlier days had not paid great attention to the fur trade. The resources of the immediate hinterland were steadily exploited, but until 1644 Massachusetts did not look abroad. Already she had developed that interest in the fisheries and in commerce which was to determine the whole course of her colonial history. The fur trade, however, was a profitable form of investment which could not help making its appeal to her enterprising merchants, and the activity of the New Haven Delaware Company, together with the proposition of the United Commissioners to establish a joint stock company to carry on that trade, seems to have turned their attention in that direction.
Perhaps even more influential in reviving interest in that trade was the persistence of the tradition of the Great Lake to the westward. The truth of that tradition seemed confirmed when in 1642 Darby Field, an adventurous Irishman, explored the White Mountains and returned with the report that from their summits “he saw some great waters in parts to the westward, which he judged to be the great lake which Canada river comes out of.”254 Two years later Massachusetts established a Delaware Company of her own. “Divers of the merchants of Boston,” says Winthrop, “being desirous to discover the great lake, supposing it to lie in the north-west part of our patent, and finding that the great trade of beaver, which came to all the eastern and southern parts, came from thence, petitioned the court to be a company for that design, and to have the trade which they should discover, to themselves for twenty-one years.”255 Though the General Court was loath to establish a monopoly, it yielded on perceiving that the adventurers would not proceed otherwise, and on March 7, 1644, voted that Valentine Hill, Captain Robert Sedgwick, William Tyng, Francis Norton, Thomas Clarke, Joshua Hewes, and William Aspinwall be “established a free company of adventurers” with power to admit new members and a monopoly for twenty-one years of “whatsoever trade they shall discover in those parts wthin three yeares.”256 These men were among the most prominent in the colony.257
That same spring (1644), armed with letters to the Dutch and Swedish governors, the Company sent a pinnace to the Delaware commanded by William Aspinwall, “a good artist,” says Winthrop, “and one who had been in those parts.”258 A copy of Winthrop’s letter of introduction, written in Latin, has recently been found in the Royal Archives at Stockholm.259 The purpose of the expedition according to this letter was to explore the western parts of the colony, and the plan was for Aspinwall and his men to sail up the river as far as possible in the pinnace and then continue their explorations in boats or canoes, doubtless with the hope of finding that the Delaware issued from the mythical Great Lake supposed to lie in the western part of the Massachusetts patent. The cost of the expedition was to be met by trading with the Indians.
Neither the Dutch nor the Swedes could afford to let the English cut off their trade by getting above them on the river, but Governor Printz of New Sweden, alarmed by the persistent attempts of the New Englanders to get a foothold upon the river, was anxious to avoid trouble. When Aspinwall’s pinnace appeared in the Delaware, she was stopped by a shot from the Swedish fort, but Printz agreed to let her pass on up the river if Aspinwall would promise not to trade with the Indians. Privately, however, he sent word to the Dutch fort above, urging them to refuse the English passage, and before Aspinwall had left the Swedish fort the Dutch factor, acting under orders from Governor Kieft, sent a message to the effect that under no circumstances would the English be permitted to ascend the river. Thus Aspinwall had to return to Boston with neither profit from the fur trade nor an increased knowledge of the western parts of the colony to show for his voyage. Indeed the Swedes had added insult to injury by compelling him, before his departure, to pay forty shillings for the shot which had been fired from the Swedish fort to halt his ship.260
The following winter certain merchants of Boston, probably the same Company, sent out a bark with seven men to trade on the Delaware. By spring they had accumulated 500 skins, trading on the Maryland side out of reach of the Dutch or Swedes. But the party was betrayed by their Indian interpreter to some Indians who rifled the bark, killed four men, and made off with the interpreter and a boy. Governor Printz, eager to ingratiate himself with the English, secured the persons of the interpreter and the boy and sent both to Boston, where his kindness was much appreciated.261 With this incident the attempts of the merchants of the Bay colony to gain access to the western fur trade by the Delaware route ended, although, as we have seen elsewhere, the New Haven Delaware Company was more persistent.
Rivalry with the Dutch: Attempts on the Hudson, 1645–1675
All attempts to penetrate the interior by the Delaware route having failed, the merchants of Massachusetts turned their attention to the direct overland route westward. The history of these efforts, which continued intermittently down to the time of King Philip’s War, begins with the establishment in 1645 of a second free company of adventurers. The members of this Company, Richard Saltonstall, Simon Bradstreet, Samuel Symonds, Richard Dummer, William Hubbard (father of the historian), William Hathorne, and William Paine, were even more distinguished than the members of the Delaware Company, as any one familiar with the early history of Massachusetts will recognize. Representing to the General Court that they had “thoughts of a discovery of the great lakes and other lakes that lye up in the countrye,” and of erecting a trading house, these men petitioned to be made a Company of Adventurers, with a monopoly for twenty years of all the trade they might discover within three years, and with the further right to regulate the trade and punish interlopers. They also requested letters of recommendation to the French and others, and “the use of a caravan to be advanced any way up in the country, as far as they shall see meete.” They promised to resign their monopoly if the joint stock company proposed by the United Commissioners were formed, and further agreed to erect no trading house within fifty miles of any English plantation. On these conditions, and with the proviso that this Company should not interfere with the Delaware Company, their petition was granted.262
We have no record of anything accomplished, or even undertaken by this Company, but fourteen years later, in 1659, two of its members, Hathorne and Paine, joined with Thomas Clarke and Francis Norton of the Delaware Company of 1644, Captain Thomas Savage, William Browne, Captain John Pynchon, George Corwin, John Richards, Thomas Lake, and Walter Price to form a new company to develop the western fur trade. These men were, for the most part, influential merchants of Salem and Boston. Pynchon, as the most prominent man in western Massachusetts, was fittingly included in the enterprise. In the early proceedings of the Company Hathorne played a leading part, and he must be regarded as the chief promoter of the undertaking. His activity, taken in connection with the interest of William Paine263 and later of his son John, makes it seem probable that this 1659 Company was only a reorganization of the Company of 1645, or possibly an amalgamation of the interests of the two western companies of 1644–1645.
The establishment of this Company coincided with a renewed interest in the fur trade in Massachusetts. In 1657 the General Court declared that “the trade of furrs wth the Indians in this jurisdicc̄on doth properly belong to the com̄onwealth,” and appointed a committee to regulate the trade.264 The report of this committee, made in October, 1658, is of great value for the light it throws upon the condition of the fur trade in Massachusetts at that time. The committee farmed out the trade of the different localities where it was carried on to certain men or groups of men for sums varying from £2 to £25. The most valuable trade at this time was that of the Merrimac, for which certain men paid £25. Pynchon farmed the Springfield trade for £20.265 The other five places where there was an appreciable trade were Concord, Sudbury, Nashaway (Lancaster) and Groton, Whipsufferadge (Marlborough), and Cambridge. At this same session the Court agreed to respect Temple’s monopoly of the fur trade of Nova Scotia and Acadia.266
The real object of the Company of 1659 was concealed under the form of a grant to it by the General Court of a plantation ten miles square to be located 40 or 50 miles west of Springfield and about two-thirds of the way to “Fort Awrania.”267 This was in May. In August Hathorne and Pynchon appeared at Fort Orange to make a friendly arrangement with the Dutch, stating that it was their purpose to make a settlement about fifty miles east of the Hudson, providing that region did not lie within Dutch jurisdiction, and expressing a desire to supply Fort Orange with cattle. The local court had no power to act and referred them to Director-General Stuyvesant and the Council at New Amsterdam. Whether Hathorne and Pynchon went to Stuyvesant we do not know; probably they did not, for we hear nothing about any negotiations with him. Stuyvesant, however, heard of their proposal and was greatly alarmed, suspecting, as he said, that this was only another attempt on the part of the New Englanders “to get into our beaver-trade with their wampum and divert the trade.” Such was also the opinion of the West India Company, which instructed Stuyvesant by all means to prevent the English settlement lest their experience on the Connecticut be repeated on the Hudson.268
Having failed to secure their object by friendly negotiation and having succeeded only in arousing the opposition of the Dutch, the Company was forced into the open, and not only brought the matter to the attention of the Confederation but also appealed to the General Court for enlarged powers and official backing. The letter sent to Stuyvesant on behalf of the Company by the United Commissioners was still vague as to the purposes of the Company. It recited that the Massachusetts patent extended to the South or West Sea, that that colony had made a grant of certain lands near Fort Orange, and that it now desired free passage up the Hudson to the proposed settlement. It said furthermore that the Treaty of Hartford did not prejudice the claims of Massachusetts, because that treaty had only settled the boundary between the Dutch and New Haven and Connecticut. Stuyvesant replied cautiously to what he rightly termed a “dark request,” but did make clear that he considered the lands in question to lie within the territory of New Netherland, and that he believed the Treaty of Hartford to have settled the boundary question as far as all New England was concerned.269
Meantime the General Court of Massachusetts had voted “that a present claime be made of our just rights upon Hudsons River,” and commissioned Hathorne and John Richards to be the bearers of a letter to Stuyvesant, written in the name of both the General Court and the Company, asking free passage up the Hudson. At the same time the Court granted the Company a monopoly of the trade within fifteen miles of that river for twelve years and liberty to trade in commodities such as the Dutch usually sold.270 The real object of the Company, so carefully concealed hitherto, though shrewdly suspected by the Dutch, at last was openly avowed, — it was to share in the western fur trade and break the Dutch monopoly. The hard-headed merchants of Boston and Salem had no intention of establishing a settlement in an inaccessible spot half way between Springfield and Albany just to furnish Fort Orange with cattle.
The letter sent by the General Court offers a full explanation of the reasons why Massachusetts was led thus to assert her rights upon the Hudson. First among them is that “being now increased and wanting convenient places to settle our people, wee conceiue no reason can be imagined why we should not improue and make use of our just rights in all the lands granted us, especially those upon Hudsons riuer not being actually possessed by your nation, which is the onely thing that at present we intend.” With some reluctance it is admitted that the establishment of settlement on the Hudson might damage “the trade & profitt” of the Dutch, but the insulting suggestion is made, in the worst vein of Puritan religious casuistry, that for the Dutch to object on that score would be “so unbecom̄ing the professours of Christianity that those that doe but pretend to com̄on justice & honesty could never alleadge it seriously without blushing.”271
Thus in mid-seventeenth-century Massachusetts the desire for new lands for an expanding population, the quest for a more lucrative fur trade, and possibly an element of land speculation, were all forces operating to bring about a westward movement. It will be recalled that prominent among the reasons for the great migration to Connecticut was that “all towns in the bay began to be much straitened by their own nearness to one another, and their cattle being so much increased.”272 Among the forces giving an impetus to English expansion in America, land has undoubtedly played a more prominent part than the fur trade. In French Canada the contrary was true. In this particular case it seems probable that Massachusetts, like the representatives of the Company, was guilty of a subterfuge, and that desire to share in the Dutch fur trade rather than to make good her claims to territory on the Hudson or to establish a settlement so distant from the centre of population and authority around Massachusetts Bay, was the real reason for this enterprise.
It is interesting to speculate as to what might have been the result had not the Restoration in England suddenly placed Massachusetts in so critical a position that it was no longer possible to push an undertaking which would mean serious trouble with the Dutch. In the opinion of some there was serious danger of war in 1660. Stuyvesant’s reply to the letter of the General Court was a flat refusal to permit passage up the Hudson to the contemplated settlement.273 He could not decide otherwise. According to the report of John Davenport, who talked with Hathorne and Richards at New Haven on their way home from New Amsterdam, the Dutch traders threatened to cut off Stuyvesant’s head if he granted the request.274 “I perceive,” adds Davenport, “if that buisines proceedes, as Major Hawtherne thincks it will, all the Colonies are likely to be ingaged in a warr with the Dutch.” If the Restoration had not occurred at this time it is quite possible that the New England colonies, by their own unaided efforts, might have anticipated the conquest of 1664. In the crisis of 1653–1654 it had been the opposition of Massachusetts which frustrated the vehement desire of New Haven and Connecticut to rid themselves of Dutch rivalry. Now, with Massachusetts in sympathy with the other colonies, a united New England might have succeeded, and the whole history of New York and New England have been changed. The imagination kindles at the thought of the possible effect of a union of New York and New England upon the struggle with New France. With those two acting in harmony it may well be that the English colonies would have been spared the bloody “half century of conflict.”
Although Massachusetts could not, after the Restoration, press the matter against the determined opposition of the Dutch, the Company of 1659 did not, like the earlier Massachusetts companies, give up immediately. In October, 1660, the General Court empowered the Company to conduct through the colony a sufficient number of men to plant and possess the land and settle a trade with the natives, but stipulated that it must, within two years, erect a house upon its grant and settle there at least ten men.275 In 1662 the Company secured a further extension of two years’ time for making a settlement.276 Thereafter it disappears from view for ten years.
In the last two attempts by Massachusetts merchants to gain access to the western fur trade a new element appears, which makes them closely analogous to the New Haven Delaware Company. In both cases the colony is seen working with its merchants, supporting their schemes, and willing if need be to back them against the Dutch even to the point of war. In both cases the merchants were working to build up a profitable fur trade, the colony to secure an extension of territory and an outlet for surplus population. The two purposes were immediately, but not ultimately, compatible. In the case of Massachusetts the merchants realized by 1660 that their best chance to compete successfully with the Dutch for the western fur trade was to get a foothold upon the Hudson, and their purpose seemed legitimate and commanded the support of the colony because by the terms of her sea-to-sea charter Massachusetts had claims to the upper Hudson.
It is true there was in that charter a clause reserving the rights of other Christian princes and states, but the Dutch were persistently regarded both by the settlers of New England and by the English government as having encroached upon territory which, by virtue of the grant by James I to the London and Plymouth companies, rightfully belonged to the English.277 It is also true that a provisional settlement of the boundaries had been made at Hartford in 1650. Massachusetts, however, took the ground that in that treaty she was only acting the part of arbitrator, and that in any case the Treaty of Hartford had fixed the boundary only for a distance of twenty miles from the sea. Stuyvesant was on solid ground in maintaining that the Dutch had had possession of the territory in dispute long before the granting of the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and his contention that at the time of the Treaty of Hartford Massachusetts had put forward no claims to territory beyond the twenty-mile limit seems to be borne out by the clause of that treaty which provided that beyond that limit the boundary should be adjusted between the Dutch and New Haven.278 But whatever the truth of the matter may have been, Massachusetts had an arguable claim and 1659 was a good time to press it, for England could not interfere and the Dutch were not only inferior in strength to the English but conscious of their weakness and constantly in fear that the English would attempt to dispossess them.279
By 1672, when the third and last attempt of Massachusetts merchants to tap the Hudson River fur trade was made, conditions had changed. The Hudson valley was now in English hands, and what in 1660 had been an international affair sinks to the level of a colonial boundary dispute. The genesis of this last attempt is quite as obscure as that of the others. The leading figure in it is John Paine, son of that William Paine who had been a member of the companies of 1645 and 1659. For this reason it is likely that there was some sort of connection between this enterprise and those which had preceded it, although the exact nature of that connection is not clear. John Paine was probably consciously reviving an undertaking in which his father had been interested and which he regarded as part of his inheritance.280
In March, 1672, the Governor and Council of Massachusetts wrote to Governor Lovelace of New York laying claim to the country to the northward of the territory of the Duke of York. A new reason for this step was now advanced, namely, that the lands near the Hudson must be settled lest the French secure them and so endanger the safety of both Massachusetts and New York. The letter expressed the fear that Lovelace might not relish this proposal, but requested him to allow the bearer, John Paine, to explore the country for a place of settlement and to permit the use of the Hudson River for the transportation of goods and settlers. The address which Paine made to Lovelace does not increase our knowledge of the objects of the enterprise. “Now the mattathusetts true jntents herein,” Paine assured Lovelace, “Js the jmprouemt of ther owne Rights Only, the jncreas off Plantations, and his majest Subjects, and ther defense against the jnvations or jntrutions of a fforain Nation and no unkeind or Pollitick deuise to Expand ther Line Or Possessions vppon anie part of his Highnes ye Dukes Just Rights.” It will be noted that nothing is said about the fur trade in the course of this correspondence.281
Lovelace received Paine in friendly fashion and allowed him to prosecute his discoveries along the east bank of the Hudson and up the Hoosac River.282 His reply to Massachusetts was phrased in courteous but diplomatic language. While maintaining somewhat sarcastically that Massachusetts might better have revealed her design at the time of the late Commission (in 1664) which was instructed to settle boundary disputes, and assuring that colony that the present strict union of the crowns of England and France made uneasiness about French designs unnecessary, he informed them that he had permitted Paine to make explorations and had sent word of the plans of Massachusetts to his master, whose instruction he must await before giving a definite reply.283
Again the real purpose of the design comes out in the proceedings at Boston, and once more it appears that Massachusetts was guilty of concealing important considerations in her correspondence with the neighboring colony. After his return Paine petitioned the General Court for a grant of a tract of ten square miles and a free trade with the Indians for twenty-one years in such things as were allowed to be traded at Albany. Paine states in his petition that he was entrusted with the mission to New York by the Court of Assistants, and that the land he had discovered, though not very valuable for husbandry, might, if settled, be of value in keeping the New England Indians loyal and in winning over the Mohawks.284 We may conclude from this that the government of Massachusetts was pushing the affair with a view to a more effective control of Indian politics. The growing restlessness of the New England tribes and the increasing tendency of the Five Nations to push their enterprises to the eastward would make some such move seem imperative. It was becoming increasingly evident that the Five Nations controlled the Indian situation, and only by opening a trade with them could Massachusetts win their friendship and secure a share in influencing their policy. To attempt to use the Five Nations against hostile New England tribes was the policy of Massachusetts from King Philip’s War to Lieutenant-Governor Dummer’s War, an attempt which always failed because of the opposition of the Albany traders and the refusal of the government of New York to surrender its complete control over negotiations with that confederacy.285 If we are justified in seeing in this enterprise in 1672 the germ of that later policy, we must credit the government of Massachusetts with great foresight in realizing thus early that a successful handling of Indian politics in New England depended upon friendship with the Five Nations and ability to exercise a certain amount of control over their policy.
Again it would be interesting to speculate upon the results of success in such an enterprise. Would King Philip’s War ever have occurred, or, if it had, would it have been as destructive as it was? Might not Massachusetts have been able, with the aid of the Five Nations, to break earlier the resistance of the Indians of Maine and so expand into that region? Would an alliance between Massachusetts and the Five Nations have neutralized the Dutch Albany influence over them and made impossible the neutrality which after 1702 existed between Albany and Canada, a neutrality which was so fatal to the safety of the frontier towns of western Massachusetts? We cannot say. The enterprise had almost no chance of success and like former ones had to be abandoned. What does appear is that Indian politics and the fur trade were the moving impulses in the enterprise rather than desire for new lands or defence against the French, the reasons alleged in the negotiations with Lovelace. Paine’s report that the lands he had discovered were of little value for husbandry is significant of this. But to have put such reasons to the fore would have meant undoubted failure. The enterprise of 1672 differs from the others only in being based more upon considerations of public policy, although the General Court was encouraging private enterprise to undertake the work.
Paine’s petition was granted by the General Court. He and such as might join with him were given a tract of ten square miles on or near the Hudson and free trade with the natives for twenty-one years.286 The next spring, upon petition by Paine, Governor Leverett and John Pynchon were given power to regulate the affairs of the projected plantation, which “because a hill of a vast extent impedes the passag to that place” was to be twenty miles from the place originally intended, in a locality which could be reached by an overland passage.287 Apparently the idea of using the Hudson as a right of way to the new settlement had been abandoned. In the autumn of that year the Court empowered Paine to run the southern line of the colony to the Hudson, and from a letter which he wrote to Governor Leverett in the spring of 1674 we learn that he actually intended to do so.288 Here, however, record of Paine and his schemes deserts us. The failure of the plan to establish a settlement and trading post on the Hudson or in western Massachusetts can be readily accounted for by the Dutch occupation of New York in 1673–74 and the outbreak of King Philip’s War which soon followed. That war not only devastated Massachusetts, but strained friendly relations with New York to such an extent that any encroachment upon territory claimed by that province would have been very impolitic.
Here the history of the attempts of Massachusetts merchants to prosecute western enterprises might well be brought to a close were it not for the interesting, but puzzling and highly improbable, story which Dr. Daniel Coxe many years later reported that he heard from Joseph Dudley. It was to the effect that at some date not named a party of men started from western New York, descended the Ohio, and went up the Yellow River so far that they reached certain Spanish plantations with which they traded. On their return they reported their travels to the magistrates of Boston.289 No record of such a journey has ever been found, and there is a general disposition to doubt if it was ever made.290 The connection of the story with Boston warrants a reference to it in this account of the early relations of Massachusetts to the West. The writer would suggest that if such a trip was ever made it was made by New York traders and reported to Andros when he was Governor of the Territory and Dominion of New England with headquarters at Boston. The connection of Dudley with that government would explain how he came to know of it. Up to the present time, however, no evidence has been unearthed to corroborate Coxe’s story, and until such evidence is found it must remain in the class of tales which are interesting if true.
A single thread binds together all these enterprises: the effort of Massachusetts traders, handicapped by their situation, to secure direct access to the valuable fur trade which formed the basis of the prosperity of Albany and Canada. Access by overland routes was scarcely feasible, and all attempts to secure free navigation of the Hudson were blocked by the very natural opposition of the traders of New York and Albany. Moreover, the extension of the jurisdiction of Massachusetts to the Hudson meant a boundary dispute, first with the Dutch, and then with the scarcely more friendly colony of New York. Failure was all but inevitable, but the attempts are highly interesting as showing that under favorable circumstances the energies of Massachusetts might have been directed as much westward as seaward, and that we might have had in New England the development of just such a hunting, fur-trading frontier as was to be found later in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas.291
John Paine’s Journal, 1672292
Jno Paines Diernaƚƚ of a short discouerye vp Albonj for a Plantation
After 8 dayes passage In Noyce Eijsons Sloop from N York wee Arriued at Albonije being ye 29th of Maij. 72. the 30th daij haueing by the assistance of Capt Silvestr Salsburije Govr of ye sd Place procured Garret tunison Cornelius Steuerson & Indian musquoij for Pilates, with Horses, provitions, and other necessaryes, wee Set forwards on or Jornj that night to mr Richd van Ranslers Bowrije about 3 miles frō Albonj; where wee quartred & ffound ye Keindnes of ye house ye .31. day erly in ye morne wee Sett forwards to mr Gosons Bowre about 4 miles fardrther vppon his keind Invitation to a cup of strong bere wee made a little Stay thens Rod to ye half moon thre miles fardr, where the grass Invited vs for or horses accom̄odation to draw bitt about half an houre, thens jornyd .6. miles furdr vp sd Riuor to affordable place of ye same, ther baited & refresht or Selues and horses from eleven of the day til one, then passed the Riuor to ye Easterne Side, and set or Corse east till ye bettor pt of or afternoons Jornj was past, through a troblesom wood & thiket, cheiflye of Pines then bore Northerlye, mett with bettor Lands & woods not So troblesom for vnder wood, ye afternoon well spent wee mett with a Small Riuor wher wee Catched yonge wild duks, & In a Short Trauil After wee mett with ye Riuor Hosick wch wee Set or corse for by Direction of or Indian Pilate and ther at nigh an howre before Son sett wee dismounted, and vnder a green tree vppon the Lovely banck of the pleasant Little Riuor Hosick wee took vp or lodgeinge wher proffered to or vew a faire Rich flatt Landes wch the Riuor Hosick, & ye other Small Riuor, Runes through; & at times Overflowes. & Adjoyneing ther to wee discoverd Plaine Lands partly also cleer of wood or trees, & partly. of bareing Pine trees &c, ye flatt & Plaine Landse, wee Esteem at about fiue hundred Acors; about half thereof verij good & cleer for the Plough, the rest much of it cleer but not durable for corne. yes Landse Invironed with hills, and high Lands, Partly pine Lands & Partly Oke, & Swamps, with two or thre Small peces of medo Landse, which wee haueinge thus far discovered to or incoridgemt that night & the next morne, wee Sett or corse vppon the North side of hosik & ffolowed it vppon a westerly corse untill wee found wher it emptyed it self into Albonije Riuor, which alittle aboue it trends north east thereabouts to which wee jornijed from or Lodginge at Hosick Riuor bank in nerest foure houres; then vnbitted to refresh or horses, put on ye Kittle with or provitions, & went to ffishing & wth Succes. between one & two In ye afternoon perceiueing a promiseing fall with a faire prospect on ye westerne Side of albonj wee Attempted to ford ye Riuor, mett with an vneuen bottom, & aboue ye half way over adeep chanil between ye Rocks, over which with Some difficulty & Small Losse wee past two of our horsees takeing a fall vppon ye Ragged Rocks, wher the water preserved them from much brooseinge, although threatned to cariy them, downe the fall but beijond or expectation wee recouerd them with ther Skines & Shinēs somthinge broken. then Rod vp the Riuor about a mile and half, found nothing inviteing but a deep almost still Riuor; wch by Relation of or Indian continued nigh thre score miles vp. Where vppon wee returned and traviled hard downe the Riuor, had Reasonable Rideing & came that night within ten miles of ye half moon, & alittle short of a fordable place of Albonj Riuer wee took vp or Lodgeing for that night concludeing the first daij of June: the 2d of June finding no place so accomodable to our horsees, nor delightfƚƚ to ourselues, wee forded the Riuor ouer to ye East Side and took our corse North East & Easterlye found good Rideinge & vppon a leisurelye wallke Sometimes pickinge of Strauberries & Our horsees feeding ffell vppon the Southeast Corner of ye Plaine adjoyneing to ye fflatt Landes of the Little Riuor, and hosick Riuor; which wee bent our Corse vnto, & Is before described. and ther at or former Lodgeing vppon the pleasant Bankes of hosick, past awaye the Remainder of the daye butt (Intending Erly the next morne to make furdr discoverije vp Hosick Riuor to the falles thereof) wee that daij towards evening two of vs Rod ouer Hosick, & vpp the Riuor aboue half a mile wee assendeed a hill, and by our vew of the wildernes vp the Riuor, apprehended our Indian Pilate had giuen vs a true Relation of wt wee Shoold finde (vid) That the ffalles were a half dayes Jornȳ vp the Riuor, and no valuable Landes between wt wee had discovered and the ffales, whereuppon Wee Returned to our companje att Our Lodgeinge and vppon Consultation that night altred or Course Intended & Resolved In the morne to take vp the other Small Riuor wch accordingly wee did. yt bareinge away to ye Southeast within about:2: miles and ahalf wee discovered a fall of about twentij foot perpendiculor, and a little aboue that another about:12. foot perpndiculor which haueing vewed, wee assended a great hill aboue them, and findeing acontinuation of mountinos Lands that gaue no incoridgemt wee desended that hill againe and forded the Riuor aboue the Second ffalles. & ther took a Southerlij Course ouer great and wearisom hills of Pine, and Okeing Landes, ffortifid with vnderwood, Brambles, & Ruff shrubey Okes, So unkeind to vss, that theij woold hardly afford vs the Light of the Sonne, nor suffer vs to grope a passage through ther Territorie without Inforceing from vs the acknowledgemt off our Raggse & our blood allso to wittnes ther Cruil vsage, which wearye of, wee held it not Reasonable longer to dispute with them, but altered or Corse to ye westward of the South for the Riuor Albanije, wherabt wee frendly lee [?] pasd bye our Smal enimies & Imputeing it to yr crooked natures met with Somthinge a more generos Soyle that admitted vs to pass vppon easyer tearmes, and offered Some Refreshment which (about thre aclok in the afternoon June the Second) wee Imbrasced. and after a Short respit trougeed on to the Riuer which wee mett with alittle aboue ye half moon, and ther forded over. which though late in the afternoon our horsees more Reviued with the Pleasantnes of the waij, that shoold conclude ther jornye then with ye ffeed yt ther were Reffresht with Strove which shoold outgo the other, vntil they brought vs to our journyes end at Albonj Late that night, wher wee were againe Keindly Reseived by the Gover to home wee offerd this acct of or discouerye to our present Sattisfaction.
the first day Jornij May. 30th
the second day Jornȳ may ye 31th
the third days Jornj June ye first
3d days Jornj June ye 1st
4th dajes Jornj June the 2d–
the fifth days Jornj June ye 3d
[m]arked a tree & Sewed Pears by ye Riuors Bank–killed thre otters
Kiled two widgins & a Pattredge
Gabet Tunison × his mark
John Paine’s Petition, 1672293
To the Honrbe Genƚƚ Court Assembld at Boston —
The humble Adress of Jno Paine
Whereas the sd Paine hath formrly been forward and Actiue with his Estate in Promoteing the most Publiq Desighnes in Genƚƚ which haue been Sett vppon for ye improueing of P[ ] and indeauoringe ye benifitt of the Collonie and hath paid [ ] of his Estate to Publiqȝ charges nere about fiftij pounds a yeer for many yeers together, and hath now in Prossecutı͞o of the trust Reposeed in him, by the Honrbe Court of Assistance with Some charges, made discouerie of Such a Tract of Land which though invalluable for a Towneship for husbandrie yett for ye Accom̄odacions and Conveniancies of ye Cituacion a Place which hee humbly Conceiues, may be improued to ye great benefitt of this Collonie, As a meanes to Establish the Indians firme In ther adherence to this Govrmt & in Peace one with another It lyinge between thes indians our ffrien[ds] and ye mohokes ther Enimyes, whome allso wee maij [ ] gain And as it will bee a defence against forain Intrusones, And an Accomodacion to ye Settleing other Plantacions off ffar greatr Vallew for husbandrije and maij afford incoridgemt to ye vndertakers.
The sd Paine hereuppon humblely offers to this honrbe Genƚƚ Court If in ther great wisdom theij shall Judge fitt to favor him with that Preuiledge and trust. that he will Produce persons Qualifyed to ye honrd Courts acceptance. Who with the said Paine Shall indeauor the Settlemt of a Plantacion as abouesd In as Short time as may bee, without anie Charge to ye Collonie.
The honorble Genƚƚ Court Grantinge to sd Paine & home hee shall make choyce of, being Persons Qualifyd to ye honrd Courts Acceptance, for yr great Expence & Charge they must be att by Reason of the distance and difficultyes hereof, The abouesd Tract of Land with the Adjacent wildernes Land to the Contents of ten miles Square, as sd Paine and Compa Shall finde it most Accom̄odabl together with the Preuiledge of ye Trade with ye Natiues in these westerne parts of this Collonie, without Prohibition of anie Sort of goods things or wteuor is necessarie & allowd to be traded at Albanie The Land as an Inheritance foreuor. The trade free 21 yeers
& yor Petionr Shall Praij
Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis communicated a Memoir of Abner Cheney Goodell, which Mr. Davis had been requested to prepare for publication in the Transactions of the Society.
by ANDREW McFARLAND DAVIS
The skeleton of events which must furnish the frame for a memoir of Abner Cheney Goodell, or Abner Cheney Goodell, Junior, as he often signed his name, seems at first sight so free from adventure or exciting incidents as to make it seem incredible that with such means at hand, the bearer of the name should have been able to inscribe on the portals of fame a record which will compel recognition by all future students of Massachusetts history. Nearly all of Goodell’s life was passed in Salem, and while he held at the hands of his fellow citizens various official positions which testified to the popular appreciation of his character and capacity, it was not to this local reputation that he will owe his recognition in the future, but to the patient, persistent, accurate, and learned work which he bestowed on the publication of the Province Laws.
In the performance of this work he not only sought to bring forth a complete record of the laws themselves, but also to lay before the student, through copious annotations, copies of the General Court records, bearing on the subject under consideration; reproductions of papers taken from the archives illustrative of the causes for legislation; transcripts from papers filed in the Superior Court of Judicature of the Province, and in the Rolls Office in London, and of such other material, especially if the same were inconspicuous or not easy of access, as would help form an idea of the social and political conditions affected by the legislation to which these notes were appended.
It is then as a helper, one who lifts the veil from a historical period, which has not been adequately brought to light, that he will appeal through his work to those who may hereafter be tempted to explore the paths of our provincial history.
To us who knew him personally, who watched him as he ransacked the archives in search of contributory material; who noted the patient industry with which he pursued the clues suggested by the research upon which he was engaged; who saw him as he laboriously eliminated errors from the printers’ proofs submitted to him, until at last even his critical taste was satisfied, was also given the privilege of that individual touch with the man, which made so grateful to the visitor the cheery, affectionate greeting of this unobtrusive, erudite student.
The curious combination of an almost boyish look with the conspicuous signs of culture and study depicted upon his ruddy countenance, his bright hazel eye now sparkling with pleasure as he solved some hidden point in the work on which he was engaged, and anon flashing with quick impatience if he conceived that some person had wilfully interposed obstacles to the progress of the publication in which he was interested, all bring before us a picturesque personality utterly unlike what the dry-as-dust character of his work would naturally suggest.
Mr. Goodell’s life was practically spent in Essex County. He was born, it is true, in Cambridgeport, on the first day of October, 1831, but when he was a child of six years of age, his father moved to Salem, and thenceforward claimed Salem as his home. There Goodell received his education in the public schools, graduating from the High School at the head of a class in which he had as classmates the brothers William G. and Joseph H. Choate. The conspicuous careers of these classmates furnish an opportunity to measure the intellectual endowment of one who could surpass them in a boyhood competition.
After two years spent in his father’s machine shop, Goodell entered the law office of an uncle at Ipswich, and finally finished his study of the law in Salem in the office of Northend and Choate, being admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1852. It will be seen that at graduation from the Salem High School his career apparently parted from that of his friends and classmates, the Choates. They pursued their education by going to Harvard, while Goodell, though busily occupied in mechanical work, did not abandon his education at this point, but in private carried on certain of his studies. It is not to be supposed that this individual pursuit of learning was for him the full equivalent of a college course, but knowing the man as we do, it may at least be said that the gain that he derived from it was fully equivalent to the benefits acquired by many students from their collegiate career. The same year that he was admitted to the bar, the two Choates graduated at Harvard, the one the first scholar in the class, the other the fourth. What a triumph it would have been for the Salem High School, if the boy who had led those two scholars in that school, had carried the contest on to Harvard!
Mr. Goodell entered practice at Lynn, where he is said to have established a good business during the five years that he remained there. He was, however, diverted from active practice by the appointment in 1856 as Register of the Court of Insolvency in Essex County, a court then newly established. To this office he was elected the next year, and after the consolidation of the Insolvency and Probate Courts in 1858, he was elected Register of the joint courts consecutively for twenty years. He served the City of Salem as alderman in 1865, having been elected to that position by a unanimous vote. He was actuated in seeking this office by a desire to aid in the establishment of a water system for the city.
In 1865 he was appointed one of a commission to prepare for publication a complete copy of the statutes and laws of the Province and State of Massachusetts Bay from the time of the Province charter to the adoption of the Constitution, including all sessions acts, private and public, general and special, temporary and perpetual, passed from time to time by the General Court, all incorporations of towns and parishes, and all other legislative acts of historical importance, appearing on the records of the General Court, with suitable marginal references to the statutes and decisions of the Province and Commonwealth, the orders of the king in council, and such other authorities as in the opinion of the commissioners might enhance the value and usefulness of the work, and to append to the same a complete index.
The commission appointed under this resolve, consisted of John H. Clifford, Ellis Ames, and Abner C. Goodell. The transcript copies of laws, records, and references prepared by them is now on deposit in the archives.
In 1867, the printing of one volume of the Laws was authorized, and Mr. Ames and Mr. Goodell were appointed a commission to supervise its progress. This step marks an epoch in the life of Goodell, for although he did not at once take on his shoulders the burdens of editorship, nor assume responsibility for procuring annually the legislation needed for the continuance of the work, still his interest was stimulated by the problems submitted to the commission, among which was the method of annotation to be adopted in the forthcoming volumes. Marginal references as suggested in the original resolve, were seen from the beginning to be inadequate, and with the acquiescence of the Governor of the State, the system of annotation was adopted which was made use of in all volumes of the series until 1896.
When this publication began, Goodell was still Register of Probate and Insolvency in Essex County, and in addition had in 1865 become President of the Salem and South Danvers Street Railway Company. This latter position he filled for nineteen years, and by judicious management converted a practically bankrupt road into a flourishing company of great earning capacity.
Beginning with 1879, Goodell is said to have made the editorship of the Province Laws his chief work. Up to that time he had received no salary for his services, and thereafter what he did receive was meagre and inadequate. He served not for the salary but from pure delight in the work itself.
The third volume of the series was issued in 1878, coincident with the close of his career in the Registry. His connection with the presidency of the Street Railway was terminated in 1884, and with the exception that he served as president of the New England Historic Genealogical Society from January, 1887, to June, 1892, he seems to have subordinated all other occupations to the work of preparing copy for the forthcoming volumes of the Province Laws and ransacking the records both in this country and in England for material in illustration of this legislation, and to the supervision of the publication of such material. The commission which had the work in charge was reorganized in 1890, and the oversight of the work was in 1896 put in the hands of the Governor and Council.
Up to the time that this latter action was taken, Mr. Goodell had remained in active association with the work, and during the last seventeen years his whole thought had been to place this edition of the Province Laws at the head of all similar publications, for the value of the illustrative material which it should contain. To effect this purpose all of his energies and activities were put forth, and during the latter part of the time he had no local or personal occupation which interfered with his movements.
The progress of the publication of the Province Laws had not been uniformly rapid during this long period of thirty years which measured his connection with the work. The State had not at its command buildings enough to house the various commissions that were created from time to time, and the orderly arrangement of the papers under consideration was interfered with no less than thirteen times by changes of the editorial staff from room to room, made at different intervals. Moreover, as time went on, opposition to the publication itself arose, based in the minds of some upon doubts as to the practical value of the work, while others insisted that undue time was being wasted in seeking for and perfecting the material used in the annotations. In fact, through this opposition there were delays in the passage of the necessary appropriations, and the continuity of the work at such times was maintained solely by the temporary assumption on the part of Mr. Goodell of responsibility for payment of clerical services.
He himself estimated that the various interruptions to the work on the Province Laws actually reduced the time given him to the preparation of those volumes to which his name is attached to less than nineteen years of actual work. However that may be, as time went on dissatisfaction with the slow progress of the work increased, criticism of the great expense of the publication accumulated, and opposition to its continuance had to be overcome each year when the necessary appropriations were sought for from the legislature.
In spite of the hostility to the copious system of annotation adopted by Mr. Goodell, appropriations were secured from year to year, adequate to carry on the work, until 1896, when the control of the publication was placed in the hands of the Governor and Council, and the amount left at the disposal of the Treasurer for application to this work was not large enough to meet the clerical services of the office force.
Up to this time the story of the vicissitudes of the Province Law publications contained the essentials for a life of Goodell, that is to say, for that portion of his life in which his mind was concentrated upon congenial work. He was responsible for the character of that work. His energy kept it in motion. His erudition made it of value. His phenomenal capacity gave it reputation. His hope for fame rested upon it.
His unyielding firmness on the question of completeness and accuracy had, it is true, alienated some friends who wished to see more rapid progress, but there were few who were prepared for the action of the Governor and Council, shortly after they took control, in revolutionizing the character of the work by ordering only marginal annotations thereafter, their order going even to the extent of requiring the destruction of the plates for forthcoming volumes which had already been cast, and substituting for notes simple references. This step was swiftly followed by the removal of Mr. Goodell from office in a manner which was intentionally discourteous. The causes for the irritation which led up to this discourtesy are to be found in the fact that the lodging of the control of the editorship of the Province Laws in the hands of the Governor and Council was in itself hostile to Mr. Goodell and a blow at his methods. Furthermore, the situation had been aggravated by certain correspondence between Mr. Goodell and the Governor and Council.
The sixth volume of the Province Laws had been reserved for the Private Acts. It was partly in type at this time, and of the one hundred and two Acts within its covers twenty-seven had been annotated and the notes thereto set up and stereotyped. In all probability Mr. Goodell cared more for the opportunity to collate authorities and expand information upon the subjects of some of the chapters in this volume than upon those contained in any other volume in the series. The evident interest with which in the fifth volume he had followed up the question of nominal adhesion to a consecutive legal form of government, through conventions, elections, and Congresses, at the time of the conversion of the government from Province to State, may perhaps cause this statement to be challenged, but a glance at the marginal references in the sixth volume will show the subjects that he wished particularly to develop. Students will especially regret that the notes to Chapter Sixteen on witchcraft were never elaborated.
Mr. Goodell’s separation from his editorial work was done in such a harsh and arbitrary manner that it did not seem possible that a chance should ever be offered him to renew his labors in that position. As a matter of fact, however, such an opportunity was placed at his service. In 1898, Governor Wolcott took up the subject of the publication of the Province Laws and appointed a committee to recommend some method for doing this work. This committee reported that, if possible, the services of Mr. Goodell should be secured, and in due course of time the committee was authorized to employ him to carry on the publication. However grateful it might have been for him to be thus re-instated in his position, he refrained, perhaps wisely, from accepting the trust.
We have seen that Goodell was at one time the president of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. He was also a vice-president of the Essex Institute, a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, of the Old Colony Historical Society, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was honored with the degree of A.M. by Amherst College and was an honorary member of the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. He was a corresponding member of the New York, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island Historical Societies.
He was married in 1866 and his widow and two sons survive him. The house in which he lived in Salem, was known as “the old jail.” He had, however, eliminated whatever might have suggested the former occupancy, and had added a room for his library. This large apartment had a balcony running around the inside of the room to give access to the books in the upper part. The light was obtained from above, and here, surrounded by his books, in the full enjoyment of the companionship of a devoted wife, he passed the latter years of his life.
He was by temperament fond of polemical discussion and participated in the celebrated controversy in the Massachusetts Historical Society concerning town governments in New England, took a hand in the dispute in the same society concerning the propriety of honoring Crispus Attucks, and nearer home he raised his voice in the attempts in the Essex Institute to determine whether the little building restored and protected by that society was in reality entitled to be called a church.
Court proceedings in provincial days and especially the subtleties of special pleading had a fascination for him, and the mysteries of witchcraft led him to accumulate many books in his library on the subject. The results of his careful study of these volumes would have been preserved if he had been permitted to publish the notes to the sixteenth chapter of Volume VI of the Laws, on which he was undoubtedly at work at the time when the system of annotation was changed.
The Colonial Society must ever be grateful to him for the active assistance that he gave us during the early days of our existence.
On the 19th of July, 1914, in the eighty-third year of his age, Mr. Goodell, notwithstanding the tender cares with which he was surrounded, yielded to the infirmities of the flesh. With his death there passed from the rolls of Massachusetts the most accomplished student of the history of the provincial period of the life of the Commonwealth, living within its borders, perhaps the most thoroughly equipped man on the subject that ever lived.
In the pages of this brief sketch we have had a glimpse of Goodell as the brilliant school-boy; we have learned that he served the county or the city in which he lived for years with satisfaction to his constituents; we have seen him presented as the successful lawyer and the efficient executive of a street railway company; and through the hasty and imperfect account given herein of the publication of the Province Laws, we have seen him engaged in the work for which of all others he was the best fitted, and in the performance of which he himself took great satisfaction, while at the same time he surprised historical students by his industry and erudition.
It has been given to others better qualified to speak thereon, to present the picture of his happy home, to show him in his declining years surrounded with affectionate attention, welcoming visitors and making them at ease through his genial manners and brilliant conversational powers. The esteem in which he was held by his fellow citizens was summarized in the sketch of his life published by George G. Putnam in the Bulletin of the Essex Institute, to which I am indebted for the main facts of his career in Salem, in the following words: “Mr. Goodell was a warm friend, a polished and courtly gentleman, and a loyal, public spirited, progressive citizen.”