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PART ONE. FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN
COLONIAL CHARTERS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
At the outbreak of the Revolution there were two types of colonial establishment in British North America: the province and the corporate colony. Of the latter only Connecticut and Rhode Island survived the repeated attacks of the royal government. Both had received charters from King Charles Second, creating them corporations on the place. A happy combination of circumstances had secured legal recognition of the governmental organizations already existing. Both colonies, therefore, could continue their development as self-governing communities, with practically no interference from the Crown. Extracts from the Connecticut charter indicate the nature of the government. There were two kinds of provinces: the proprietary and the royal. The charter given to Lord Baltimore is an example of the proprietary grant. A royal province may be defined as one in which the King is his own proprietor, retaining both governmental and territorial powers. Maryland and Pennsylvania with Delaware were the only proprietary provinces left after the middle of the eighteenth century. New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Georgia had reverted to the Crown and become royal provinces.
1. The Charter of Connecticut - 1662.1 CHARLES THE SECOND, (&c.) Whereas, ... We have byn informed by the humble Petition of our Trusty and welbeloved John Winthrop, (and others) ... that the same Colony or the greatest parte thereof was purchased and obteyned for greate and valuable considerations, And some other parte thereof gained by Conquest and with much difficulty, and att the onely endeavours, expence and Charge of them and their Associates, and those under whome they Clayme, Subdued
i Connecticut Colonial Records, II, 3-11.
and twiproved, and thereby become a considerable enlargement and addition of our Dominions and interest there, - NOW KNOW YEA, that ... WEE HAVE thought fitt ... to Create and Make them a Body Pollitique and Corporate, with the powers and Priviledges herein after mentioned; And accordingly WEE .. by theis presents. . . . DOE Ordeine, Constitute and Declare That they, the said John Winthrop ... (and others] and all such others as now are or hereafter shall bee Admitted and made free of the Company and Society of our Collony of Conecticut in America, shall . . bee one Body Corporate and Pollitique in fact and name, by the Name of Governour and Company of the English Collony of Conecticut in New England in America; . . . AND further,
... DOE Declare and appoint, that for the better ordering and manageing of the affaires and businesse of the said Company and their Sucessors, there shall be one Governour, one Deputy Governour and Twelve Assistants, to bee from tyme to tyme Constituted, Elected and Chosen out of the Freemen of the said Company for the tyme being, in such manner and forme as hereafter in these presents is expressed; which said Officers shall apply themselves to take care for the best disposeing and Ordering of the Generall busines and affaires of and concerning the lands and hereditaments herein after mentioned to bee graunted, and the Plantation thereof and the Government of the People thereof. And ... WEE DOE ... Constitute and appoint the aforesaid John Winthrop to bee the first and present Governour of the said Company; And the said John Mason to bee the Deputy Governour; And the said Samuell Willis, (and others) ... to bee the Twelve present Assistants of the said Company; to contynue in the said severall Offices respectively untill the second Thursday which shall bee in the Moneth of October now next comeing. AND further, wee . . . DOE Ordaine and Graunt that the Governour of the said Company for the tyme being, or, in his absence by occasion of sicknes, or otherwise by his leave or permission, the Deputy Governour for the tyme being, shall and may from tyme to tyme upon all occasions give Order for