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Hand-writing of the Pilgrims. Robinson's short Sword. Ancient chair.
the first Colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God, and of one another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil body Politic, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by Virtue hereof, to enact, constitute, and frame just and equal laws, ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Offices from Time to Time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General Good of the Colony; unto which we Promise all due Submission and Obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our Names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November, in the year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland the Eighteenth, and of Scotland the Fiftyfourth, Anno Domini, 1620.”
Another curious relic of the Pilgrims, preserved by Dr. Robbins, is a chopping-knife, made of the sword-blade that belonged to the Rev. Mr. Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrims, at Leyden. Mr. Robinson never came to New England, but remained at Leyden till his death in 1625. His widow and family came over, bringing his effects, among which was his short sword, an article then generally worn by civilians as well as military men. His three sons were desirous of possessing this relic. It being impossible for each to have it entire, it was cut into three pieces, and the sons, true to the impulses of New England thrift, each had his piece made into the useful implement here represented.
Another interesting relic is a chair which was an heir-loom in the family of one of the earlier settlers of New Haven. It is made wholly of turned wood (except the board bottom), fastened together by wooden pegs, and is similar, in appearance, to Governor Carver's chair, in the cabinet of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Its existence is traced back to the thirteenth century. The material is ash and its construction ingenious.
These were copied from Russell’s “Recollections of the Pilgrims.” He obtained them from old deeds and other documents. The writers were members of the first Plymouth Church, and some of them were passengers in the May Flower.
Putnam's Tavern Sign. Other interesting Relics. The Connecticut Charter. Ride to Wethersfield. Arrival at Boston.
The tavern sign of General Putnam, which hung before his door in Brooklyn, Connecticut, about the year 1768, is also preserved." It is made of yellow pine, painted alike on both sides. The device is a full-length portrait of Wolfe, dressed in scarlet uniform, and, as a work of art, possesses much merit. The portrait of the young hero is quite correct. The back- | ground is a faint miniature copy of West's picture of The Death of Wolfe, painted by that artist during the first years | of his residence in England. The sign-board is full of small punctures made by shot, the figure of Wolfe having been used as a target at some time.
A drum, used to call the people to worship; an ottoman, that belonged to Mrs. Washington; the vest, torn and bloodstained, worn by Ledyard when massacred at Groton, and the wooden case in which the celebrated charter of Connecticut was sent over and kept, are in the collection. The latter is about three and a half feet long and four inches wide and deep, lined with printed paper, apparently waste leaves of a history of the reign of Charles I. In the center is a circular projection for the great seal, which was attached. I saw the charter itself in the office of the Secretary of State. It is written upon fine vellum, and on one corner is a beautifully drawn portrait of Charles, executed in India ink.
The storm abating a little at about noon, I rode down to Wethersfield and sketched the Webb House, returning in time to make the drawing of the Charter Oak pictured on page 434, the rain pouring like a summer shower, and my umbrella, held by a young friend, scarcely protecting my paper from the deluge. Pocketing some of the acorns from the venerable tree, I hastened back to my lodgings, and at a little past five in the evening departed for Boston. I passed the night at Springfield, ninety-eight miles west of Boston, and reached the latter place at one o'clock the next day. The city was enveloped in a cold mist that hung upon the skirts of the receding storm; and, too ill to ramble for business or pleasure, even if fine weather had beckoned me out, I passed the afternoon and evening before a blazing fire at the Marlborough.
We are now upon the most interesting portion of the classic ground of the Revolution. Before noting my visit to places of interest in the vicinity, let us view the wide field of historic research here spread out, and study some of the causes which led to the wonderful efsect of dismembering a powerful empire, and founding a republic, more glorious, because more beneficent, than any that preceded it.
* The following letter, in which Putnam alludes to the fact that he had kept tavern, I copied from the original in his hand-writing, now in possession of the Connecticut Historical Society:
“Brooklyn, Feb'y 18, 1782. “GENTLEMEN–Being an Enemy to Idleness, Dissipation, and Intemperance, I would object against any measure that may be conducive thereto; and as the multiplying of public houses where the public good does not require it has a direct tendency to ruin the morals of the youth, and promote idleness and intemperance among all ranks of people, especially as the grand object of those candidates for license is money, and where that is the case, men are not apt to be over-tender of people's morals or purses. The authority of this town, I think, have run into a great error in approbating an additional number of public houses, especially in this parish. They have approbated two houses in the center, where there never was custom (I mean traveling custom) enough for one. The other custom (or domestic), I have been informed, has of late years increased, and the licensing of another house, I fear, would increase it more. As I kept a public house here myself a number of years before the war, I had an opportunity of knowing, and certainly do know, that the traveling custom is too trifling for a man to lay himself out so as to keep such a house as travelers have a right to expect; therefore I hope your honors will consult the good of this parish, so as only to license one of the two houses. I shall not undertake to say which ought to be licensed; your honors will act according to your best information. I am, with esteem, your honors' humble servant, “Israel PuTNAM. “To the Hon’ble County Court, to be held at Windham on the 19th inst.”
The May Flower. Rise of the Puritans. Bishops Hooper and Rogers. Henry VIII. Elizabeth. Puritan Boldness.
I have just mentioned the May Flower, and the solemn compact for the founding of a commonwealth, with a government deriving its powers from the consent of a majority of the governed, which was drawn up and signed in its cabin. That vessel was truly the cradle of American liberty, rocked by the icy billows of Massachusetts Bay. A glance at antece. dent events, in which were involved the causes that led to the emigration to America of that body of Puritans called THE PILGRIMs, is profitable in tracing the remote springs of our Revolutionary movements in New England, for they contain the germs of our institutions.
Just three hundred years ago, when the exiled Hooper was recalled, and appointed Bishop of Gloucester, the Puritans had their birth as a distinct and separate religious body. Henry VIII. quarreled with Pope Julius III. because he would not grant that licentious monarch a divorce from Catharine of Aragon, to allow him to marry the beautiful Anne Boleyn. Henry professed Protestantism, abolished the pope's authority in England, and assumed to be himself the head of the Church. He retained the title, “Defender of the Faith,” which the pope had previously bestowed upon him in gratitude for his championship of Rome, for he had even written a book against Luther. Thus, in seeking the gratification of his own unhallowed appetites, that monster in wickedness planted the seeds of the English Reformation. The accession of Edward VI., a son of Henry by Jane Seymour, one of his six wives, led the way to the firm establishment of Protestantism in England. The purity of life which the disciples of both Luther and Calvin exhibited won for them the esteem of the virtuous and good. Yet the followers of these two reformers differed materially in the matter of rituals, and somewhat in doctrine. Luther permitted the cross and taper, pictures and images, as things of indifference; Calvin demanded the purest spiritual worship. The reform having begun by decided opposition to the ceremonials as well as dogmas of the Papal Church, Calvin and his friends deemed it essential to the full completion of the work to make no concessions to papacy, even in non-essential matters. The austere principle was announced; and Puritanism, which then had birth, declared that not even a ceremony should be allowed, unless it was enjoined by the Word of God. Hooper, imbued with this spirit, refused for a time to be consecrated in the vestments required by law, a and the Reformed Church of England was shaken to its center by conflicting views respecting ceremonials. Churchmen, or the Protestants who adhered to much of the Romish ceremonials, and the Puritans (first so called in derision) became bitter opponents. During the reign of Mary, a violent and bigoted papist, both parties were involved in danger. The Puritans were placed in the greatest peril, because they were most opposed to papacy, and Hooper and Rogers, both Puritans, were the first martyrs of Protestant England.
Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Henry VIII., succeeded Mary, and, though she prosessed Protestantism, long endeavored to retain in the Church of England the magnificent rituals of the Romish Liturgy. She had in her private chapel images, the crucifix, and tapers; she offered prayers to the Virgin; insisted upon the celibacy of the clergy; invoked the aid of saints, but left the doctrine of the real presence in the Eucharist, which some had been burned for denying, and some for asserting, as a question of national indifference. With such views, Elizabeth regarded the Puritans with little favor, while they, having nothing to fear from earthly power, valuing, as they did, their lives as nothing in comparison with the maintenance of their principles, were bold in the annunciation of their views. They claimed the right to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences, and denied the prerogative of the sovereign to interfere in matters of religious faith and practice. They claimed the free exercise of private judgment in such matters; and the Puritan preachers also promulgated the doctrine of civil liberty, that the sovereign was amenable to the tribunal of public opinion, and ought to conform in practice to the expressed will of the majority of the people. By degrees their pulpits became the tribunes of the common people, and their discourses assumed a latitude in discussion and rebuke which alarmed the queen and the great body of Churchmen, who saw therein elements of revolution that might overturn the throne and bury the favored hierarchy in its ruins. On all occasions the Puritan ministers were the bold asserters of that freedom which the American Revolution established.
Position of Elizabeth. The Separatists. Persecutions. Puritans in Parliament. James I. Robinson.
Elizabeth had endeavored firmly to seat the national religion midway between the supremacy of Rome and the independence of Puritanism. She thus lost the confidence of both, and also soon learned herself to look upon both as enemies. Roman Catholic princes conspired against England, while Puritan divines were sapping the foundations of the royal prerogatives, and questioning the divine right of monarchs to govern. A convocation of the clergy was held; the “Thirty-nine Articles,” which constitute the rule of faith of the English Church, were formed, and other methods were adopted, to give stability to the hierarchy; but nearly nine years elapsed before Parliament confirmed the Articles by act, and then not without some limitations, which the Puritans regarded as concessions to them. Rigorous orders for conformity were now issued. The Puritans, thoroughly imbued with an independent spirit, assumed an air of defiance. Thirty London ministers refused subscription to the Articles, and some talked openly of secession. A separate congregation was at length actually formed. The government was alarmed, and several of the leading men and women were imprisoned for a year. Persecution begat zeal, and a party of Independents, or Separatists, appeared, under a zealous but shallow advocate named Brown. The great body of the Puritans desired reform, but were unwilling to leave the Church. The Independents denounced the Church as idolatrous, and false to Christianity and truth. Bitter enmity soon grew up between them, the Puritans reproaching the Separatists with unwise precipitancy, and they in return were censured for cowardice and want of faith. Persecution now began in earnest. A court of high commission was established, for the detection and punishment of Non-conformists. Its powers were almost as absolute as those of the Inquisition. Parliament, particularly the House of Commons, in which was the leaven of Puritanism, disapproved of the commission, and a feeling of general dissatisfaction prevailed. Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury, a man sincerely, but bigotedly, attached to the English Reformed Church, was at the head of the hierarchy, and assumed to control the entire body of the English Church. Conventicles were prohibited, yet, in a few years, it was asserted in Parliament that twenty thousand persons in England attended conventicles. Some were banished, others imprisoned, a few were hanged. The Separatists were nearly extinguished, while the more loyal branch of the Puritans still suf. fered contumely and persecution. Elizabeth died, and the Puritans hailed the accession of James of Scotland, where independence of thought and action had taken deepest root, as a favorable event. It was thought that his education, the restraints from profligacy which the public morals of Scotland imposed, and his apparently sincere attachment to Protestantism, would guaranty to them fair toleration, if not actual power. But they were in error. He was thirty-six years old when he ascended the throne, and, in the freedom of self-indulgence which his new position afforded, exulted in gluttony, idleness, and licentiousness. Incapable of being a statesman, he aimed to be thought a scholar, and wrote books which courtiers lauded greatly, while wise men smiled and pitied. Bacon pronounced him incomparable for learning among kings; and Sully of France, who knew his worth, esteemed him “the wisest fool in Europe.” A prof. ligate dissembler and imbecile coward, he was governed entirely by self-interest, vanity, and artful men. He loved flattery and personal ease, and he had no fixed principles of conduct or belief. Such was the man upon whom the Puritans, for a moment, relied for countenance; but he had scarcely reached London before his conduct blighted their hopes. “No bishop, no king,” was his favorite maxim ; and in 1604 he said of the Puritans, “I will make them conform, or I will harrie them out of the land, or else worse; only hang them, that's all.” During that year three hundred Puritan ministers were silenced, imprisoned, or exiled. Among the exiled ministers at this period was John Robinson. Eminent for piety and courage, his congregation was greatly attached to him, and they contrived to have secret meetings every Sunday. But the pressure of persecution finally determined them to seek an asylum in Holland, “where, they heard, was freedom of religion for all men.” Thither Mr. Robinson and his little flock, among whom was William Brewster (who afterward became a ruling elder in the Church), went into voluntary exile in 1608. They landed at Amster
Character of the Puritan Pilgrims. Preparations to sail for America. Departure from Delfthaven. The May Flower
dam, and then journeyed to Leyden, feeling that they were but Pilgrims, with no particu. lar abiding-place on earth. They were joined by others who fled from persecution in En. gland, and finally they established a prosperous church at Leyden. While the Pilgrim Puritans were increasing in strength in Holland, and winning golden opinions from the Dutch on account of their purity of life and lofty independence of thought, companies were forming for settling the newly-discovered portions of America, north of the mouth of the Delaware. Toward the Western World the eyes and hearts of the Pilgrims were turned, and John Carver and Robert Cushman repaired to England, to obtain the consent of the Virginia Company to make a distinct settlement in the northern part of their territory. Sandys, Southampton, and other liberal members of the House of Com. mons, prevailed upon the king to wink at their heresy. A patent was granted in 1619, and James promised, not to aid them, but to let them alone. This was all they required of his majesty. Now another difficulty was to be removed : capital was needed. Several Lon. don merchants advanced the necessary sums. The famous Captain John Smith offered his services, but his religious views did not suit them. His notions were too aristocratic, and he complained of their democracy—complained that they were determined “to be lords and kings of themselves.” They were, therefore, left “to make trial of their own follies.” In 1620 the PILGRIMs purchased two ships, the Speedwell, of sixty tons, and the May Flower, of one hundred and eighty tons; and as many of the congregation at Leyden as could be accommodated in them left Delfthaven for Southampton, England. There they were joined Augusts, by a few others, and, with a fair wind, sailed for America. But the captain of * the Speedwell and his company, becoming alarmed, and pretending that the ship was unseaworthy, put back to Plymouth, and the May Flower, bearing one hundred and september 6, one men, women, and children, the winnowed remnants of the passengers in the 1620. two vessels, again spread her sails to an eastern breeze. Their destination was the country near the Hudson, but adverse winds drove them upon the more northerly and barren coasts of Massachusetts Bay, after a boisterous voyage of sixty-three days. Land was espied on the 9th of November, and two days afterward the May Flower was safely moored in Cape Cod Bay. Before they landed, as we have already noticed, they formed themselves into a body politic by a solemn voluntary compact. “In the cabin of the May Flower humanity recovered its rights, and instituted government on the basis of ‘equal laws for the general good.” John Carver was chosen governor for the year. Democratic liberty and independent Christian worship were at once established in America." The ocean now lay between the PILGRIMs and the persecuting hierarchy, and the land of promise was before them. Yet perils greater than they had encountered hovered around that bleak shore, already white with the snow of early winter. But
“They sought not gold nor guilty ease
Upon this rock-bound shore—
They left such prizeless toys as these
They sought to breathe a freer air,
They welcomed pain and danger here,
Inspired with such feelings, the Pilgrims prepared to land. The shallop was unshipped, but it needed great repairs. More than a fortnight was employed by the carpenter in mak. ing it ready for sea. Standish, Bradford, and others, impatient of the delay, determined to go ashore and explore the country. They encountered many difficulties, and returned to the ship. When the shallop was ready, the most bold and enterprising set out upon a cruise along the shore, to find a suitable place at which to land the whole company. They explored every bay and inlet, and made some discoveries of buried Indian corn, deserted wig.
"Baem, Barlow, Hume, Hallam, Bancroft.