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somewhat ungracious. We have dropped this hint merely to deprecate a too common perversion and confusion of facts, when the Puritan fathers of Massachusetts are not only judged by a standard of which they never dreamed, but are made answerable for the errors of their posterity. We would remind some rather careless readers and more ready contemners of their history, that one generation had passed away in Massachusetts before a Quaker was hung on Boston Common. We very much question whether Winthrop, or Cotton, or Saltonstall, or Higginson, or Johnson, or Shepard, would have been a party to that scene. Yet it should also be stated, for the sake of the actual executioners, that no one was ever put to death even by them for being a Quaker, but for committing under that name outrages, indecencies, and provocations utterly inconsistent with the peace of any society, and punished at this day in prisons and madhouses. There are two sides to every story, and the judge in a civilized tribunal never dismisses a jury to make up their verdict till both parties have pleaded, and their testimony and pleas have been candidly reviewed. Let the authentic records now placed by Mr. Young within the reach of our schools and families be taken as the free-spoken witnesses for our fathers. Let the ages which have passed, the prosperity which smiles over their resting-places, and the fruits from the seeds of their planting, test the sincerity and the worth of their design ; their descendants may then be qualified to judge them. The bell, book, and candle, which are ominous symbols in the Roman Church, have another meaning among the Puritans.
These Chronicles of the Massachusetts fathers put into the hands of their descendants the means of answering three of the most aggravated and oft-repeated censures upon them. With a brief reference to each of them we shall conclude these remarks.
The first charge against the colonists of Massachusetts, covering, indeed, nearly all the colonists of North America, is that of injustice practised toward the native Indian tribes. In the romances and poems, and in some of the veritable histories most in circulation, this charge is brought against our fathers, that they seized upon the Indian's lands, or made at best but a Jew's bargain with him, and punished his untaught, savage instincts by the total extinction of his race. It is far from our purpose to array all the facts which bear upon this
charge. We turn only to the precious Chronicles before us, and find abundant evidence of the most honorable and Christian endeavours on the part of the colonists to treat the Indians in all respects as children of the same God as themselves. We omit, for want of space, the first beautiful and touching mention of them in Governor Cradock's letter to Captain Endicott, and turn to the first general instructions sent to him by authority of the whole court.
" And above all, we pray you be careful that there be none in our precincts permitted to do any injury, in the least kind, to the heathen people ; and if any offend in that way, let them receive due correction. And we hold it fitting you publish a proclama. tion to that effect, by leaving it fixed under the Company's seal in some eminent place, for all to take notice at such time as both the heathen themselves, as well as our people, may take notice of it. And for the avoiding of the hurt that may follow through our much familiarity with the Indians, we conceive it fit that they be not permitted to come to your plantation, but at certain times and places to be appointed them. If any of the savages pretend right of inheritance to all or any part of the lands granted in our patent, we pray you endeavour to purchase their title, that we may avoid the least scruple of intrusion.” — p. 159.
In the second general letter of instructions sent by the court to Endicott, this injunction is twice repeated in the most express terms, and with an evident desire for Christian justice. Again, in the “General Considerations for planting New England," with answers to objections, we find a full explanation and defence of the conduct of the colonists towards the Indians.
The explicit and reiterated commands of the court were obeyed most scrupulously by the authorities and the people here. The property and rights of the Indians were respected; they were honorably dealt by; and it is certain, that, if some parcels of land were held by the whites without a purchase, other portions were paid for more than once. The first President Adams asserted, that, in all his practice at the bar, he never knew a contested title to lands, but what was traced up to the Indian title." Our old records are filled with Indian deeds, and a fair equivalent was paid for them. We find in Dudley's Letter to the Countess of Lincoln, that Sagamore John and one of his subjects required satisfaction for the burning of two of their empty
wigwams, one of which was accidentally set on fire by a servant of Sir Richard Saltonstall, who had sought shelter in it. The court ordered full payment for both. Our records likewise abound in restitutive acts like this. The truth is, there were but very few Indians about the Bay, and the lands here were of little value to them, while their own claim was doubtful. No charge of injustice, we are satisfied, can be brought against the settlers on this score. We shall not meddle with their open wars..
A second matter of censure found against our fathers is drawn from the story of Roger Williams, as it has been of late frequently told. Of course, the volume before us contains no narrative of his controversy with Massachusetts, but it does contain nearly all the papers necessary for deciding the merits of that controversy. Roger Williams, a pure-minded, high-souled, and earnest man, came hither, not as one of the company, nor by their invitation, but as a refugee for conscience, and to exercise a mission of love. After some lesser troubles at Plymouth and Salem, he involved himself in a strife, on three important points, with the government. He objected to the validity of the charter, to the freeman's oath, and to the power of the magistrate in matters of religion. Now, by questioning the charter, either as given by the monarch, or as ratified in fact by rights purchased of the Indians, he struck at the very root of all government, and brought the colony into peril of anarchy, while he opposed the universally recognized and only possible rule of international relations, which allowed discovery to be the first, and purchase a second, condition for the possession of a savage region. By contesting the freeman's oath, he claimed that the private property and the institutions established by the Massachusetts Company should lie at the mercy of any one who chose to come hither and refuse to comply with the terms on which a freeman's or voter's privilege might be enjoyed. By resisting the civil support of religion and the compulsory maintenance of ministers, he attempted to break the contracts under which the mutually pledged ministers and people had sought these regions. The Chronicles will abundantly illustrate these three points of controversy. We may question the wisdom of our ancestors in either matter, but there can scarce be a question whether they were right or wrong in holding to their own.
We would not detract one whit from the high eneoniums which have been layished upon the founder of Rhode Island; but we are concerned that his seditious and contentious spirit in matters of civil and mercantile contracts should not be represented as a protest of conscience against a band of persecutors. Had he been allowed perfect freedom, not only of judgment, but of conduct, according to his views on the three points just adverted to, there could have been no government in this colony, save such as might be set up from time to time by the will of a majority independently of their interest in the stock and expense of the enterprise. The patent obtained by the colonists gave them only a prior right over other foreigners, and they confirmed it here by actual purchase from the Indians. When Roger Williams was opposing the support of the ministry by taxation, he was asked, “ What! is not the laborer worthy of his hire ?" He replied, “ Yes ! from those that hire him." This reply has been quoted and commended as very apt and decisive on his side. But to us it seems evasive and not pertinent, for the simple reason, that the colonists had hired the ministers by stipulated contracts, and all who joined the colony, whether as servants or masters, became parties to its agreements. The trials of Roger Williams in his isolation and his wilderness journey have been treated with some little help of romance. But after all, how much did he suffer of actual privation, anxiety, or risk, more than others of the adventurers ?
The last of the three most common imputations cast upon the fathers of Massachusetts is the general charge of what is called cant. They are often described, according to the sense in which Dryden uses the word cant, and according to its most general use, as making "a whining pretension to goodness,” — as wearing sanctimonious visages, talking after a godly strain, measuring the worth of prayers by their length, and devouring widows' houses with craving appetites, while they forsook no sin of heart or life. Their detractors, indeed, have endeavoured to fix the meaning of the word cant as expressive of Puritan language and deportment. Now we should be willing to subject these their authentic writings to the severest scrutiny of the most zealous hater of cant in all its significations, and wait for any specimen which can be produced from them. The large mass of all the records from their pens in the State archives, in public cabinets, and in church registers, have passed under our eyes; and if they have one striking characteristic common to them all, it consists in this, – that they are perfectly free from cant. Considering how much these men endured for their religion, that religion was to them their only bond of union, and that its services and interests were their all-absorbing concerns, we stand amazed at the entire freedom of their records from all obtrusive and offensive suggestions of their piety. Let their memorials be contrasted with certain newspapers, missionary reports, and statements of philanthropic operations and benevolent gifts of the present time, and we will leave all candid persons to judge whether there was more of cant in the piety, self-devotion, and trials of our fathers, than there is in the sentimental and coxcomb-like pretensions of boasted good deeds in this age of rioting plenty. There is undoubtedly such a thing as cant, but it is a self-detecting, selfexposing folly. It does not show itself in the records of the Puritans, - we do not believe that it constituted their piety.
We close with a renewed expression of our obligations to Mr. Young for all his labors in deciphering, collating, and illustrating the Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers. They had a full reward in their own day, because it was a reward of the kind which they desired, and with which they were satisfied. We love to pay them the only tribute in our power, — that of renewed epitaphs.
Art. X. - CRITICAL NOTICES. # nl,
1. — Arithmetic, in two Parts : Part I. Advanced Lessons in
Mental Arithmetic ; Part II. Rules and Examples for
Bixby. 1846. 12mo. pp. 212. To the late Warren Colburn belongs the high credit of first introducing into our schools, through his admirable First Lessons, the regular study of mental arithmetic. Of this excellent little manual, the author of the book before us justly observes, that so completely has it performed the work within its prescribed