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of plenty and pleasure, in the family of a noble earl, into a wilderness of wants; and though celebrated for her many virtues, yet was not able to encounter the adversity she was surrounded with ; and, in about a month after her arrival, she ended her days in Salem, where she first landed." Mr. Johnson, her husband, overcome with grief, survived her but a short time. Before December, 200 other persons perished. The cold was intense, and being straightened for provisions, the settlers were obliged to subsist on clams, muscles, nuts, acorns, etc.
In 1635, 3,000 new settlers came over, among whom were Hugh Peters and Sir Henry Vane, two persons who afterward acted conspicuous parts in the history of England. Sir Henry Vane, then a young man, having gained the affections of the people by his integrity and pious zeal, was, the next year, appointed governor. About this period, Mrs. Ann Hutchinson, a woman distinguished for her eloquence, instituted weekly meetings, for her sex, in which she commented on the sermons of the preceding Sunday, and advanced certain mystical and extravagant doctrines. Gov. Vane, with Mr. Cotton and Wheelright, two distinguished ministers, with many of the people, became converts; but Lieut. Gov. Winthrop, and a majority of the churches, deemed them heretical and seditious. Great excitement was produced, until at length Mrs. Hutchinson, and some of her adherents, were banished from the colony in 1637.
In 1637, Massachusetts, Plymouth and Connecticut agreed to unite their forces against the Pequots, one of the most haughty and war-like tribes in New England. It ended in the total defeat and ruin of the hostile tribe. The success of the English, in this first and short war with the natives, gave the neighboring Indian tribes, such an exalted idea of their powers, that, for nearly 40 years, they were neither attacked por molested. În 1643, four of the New England colonies, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Plymouth, and New Haven, formed themselves into a league or confederacy, offensive and defensive, by the name of “ The United Colonies of New England." By the articles of this league, each colony was to appoint two commissioners, who were to assemble by rotation, in the several colonies, with power to enact ordinances of general concern; and, in case of invasion, each colony was bound upon application of three magistrates of the invaded colony, to furnish a stipulated proportion of men and money. In 1641, the settlements in New Hampshire were incorporated with Massachusetts, and in 1652, the inhabitants of the province of Maine, were, at their own request, taken under her protection.
In the year 1656, began what is generally called the persecution of the Quakers. The first who openly professed their principles in the colony, were Mary Fisher and Ann Austin, who came from Barbadoes, in July of this year. In a few weeks after, nine others arrived in a ship from London. Being called before the court, they gave such rude and contemptuous answers, that they were committed to prison. As their principles were considered, by the colonists, as destructive to their civil as well as religious polity, the court passed the sentence of banishment upon them all. Afterward other severe laws were enacted, and, finally, in Oct. 1658, a law was passed by a majority of one vote, that all Quakers who should return into their jurisdiction after being banished, should suffer death. Under this law four persons were executed.
The year 1675 is rendered memorable for the commencement of an Indian war, called “King Philip's War,” the most general and destructive ever sus
tained by the infant colonies. Philip resided at Mount Hope, R. I., and for a long time previous to the breaking out of the war, was jealous of the whites. His object seems to have been to unite the Indian tribes to make a combined effort to exterminate the colonies.
The first attack of the Indians, was at Swanzey, June 24th, where they killed eight persons when returning from public worship. At the close of the month, Brookfield was burnt, except one house, which was defended until relief came to the inmates. Deerfield was also burnt, and Northfield abandoned to the savages. On the 18th of September, Capt. Beers and 80 men, while guarding some carts conveying corn from Deerfield to Hadley, were surprised, and almost every man slain. After this, Springfield was partly destroyed, and Hadley assaulted. The Narragansetts having rendered secret aid to the hostile Indians, it was determined to reduce them by a winter expedition. For this purpose about 1,000 men, under Gov. Winslow, marched late in December, wading in deep snow, and attacked their stronghold, situated in a swamp in Rhode Island. The victory over the Indians was complete; 700 of their fighting men perished in the action, and about 300 more died of their wounds. Their wigwams were burnt and their country ravaged.
From this blow, called the Swamp Fight, the Indians never recovered. They were not yet, however, effectually subdued. During the winter, the savages continued murdering and burning. The towns of Lancaster, Medfield, Weymouth, Groton, Springfield, Northampton, Sudbury, and Marlborough, in Massachusetts, and of Warwick and Providence, in Rhode Island, were assaulted, and some of them partly, and others wholly, destroyed. On the 12th of August, 1676, the finishing blow was given to the Indian power, by the death of King Philip, who was killed by a friendly Indian, in the vicinity of Mount Hope. In this distressing war, the English lost 600 men, the flower of their strength; 12 or 13 towns were destroyed, and 600 dwelling houses consumed.
In Dec., 1686, Sir Edmund Andross arrived with a commission from King James for the government of the New England colonies, with the exception of Connecticut. His kind professions for a while encouraged the hopes of the people. But he soon threw off the mask, and did many arbitrary acts, whereby the people were oppressed, and himself and followers were enriched. The weight of his despotism fell with the greatest severity on Massachusetts and Plymouth. In the beginning of 1689, a rumor reached Boston that William, Prince of Orange, had invaded England with the intention of dethroning the king. Animated with a hope of deliverance, the people rushed to arms, took possession of the fort, seized Andross, Randalph, the licenser of the press, and other obnoxious characters, and placed them in confinement. William and Mary being firmly seated on the throne, Andross and his associates were ordered home from trial. A new charter was received in 1692, by Massachusetts, which added to her territory, Plymouth, Maine and Nova Scotia.
At this period, the French in Canada and Nova Scotia instigated the northern and eastern Indians to commence hostilities against the English settlements. Dover and Salmon Falls, in New Hampshire, Casco, in Maine, and Schenectady, in New York, were attacked by different parties of French and Indians, and shocking barbarities committed. Regarding Canada as the principal source of their troubles, New England and New York formed the bold project of reducing it by force of arms. For this pụrpose, they raised an army, under Gen. Winthrop, which was sent against Montreal
, and equipped a fleet, which, commanded by Sir Wm. Phipps, was destined to attack Quebec. The season was so far advanced when the feet arrived at Quebec, Oct. 5, 1690, the French so superior in number, the weather
so tempestuous, and the sickness so great among the soldiers, that the expedition was abandoned. Success had been so confidently expected, that no adequate provision was made for the payment of the troops. There was danger of a mutiny. In this extremity, the government of Massachusetts issued bills of credit, as a substitute for money; and these were the first ever issued in the American colonies.
In 1692, a great excitement was again revived in New England, on account of the supposed prevalence of witchcraft
. It commenced at this time in Danvers, then a part of Salem. Near the close of February, several children in this place began to act in a peculiar and unaccountable manner. Their strange conduct continuing for several days, their friends betook themselves to fasting and prayer. During religious exercises, the children were generally decent and still; but after service was ended, they renewed their former unaccountable conduct. This was deemed sufficient evidence that they were laboring under the "influence of an evil hand, or witchcraft.” After a few days, these children began to accuse several persons in the vicinity of bewitching them. Unfortunately they were credited, and these suspected persons were seized and imprisoned. From this time, this contagion spread rapidly over the neighboring country, and soon appeared in various parts of Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk. Persons at Andover, Ipswich, Gloucester, Boston, and other places, were accused by their neighbors and others. For a time, those who were accused were persons of the lower classes. But at length, some of the first people in rank and character were accused of the crime of witchcraft. The evil had now become awfully alarming. Before the close of September, nineteen persons were executed; and one (Giles Corey), was pressed to death for refusing to put himself on a trial by jury; all these persons died professing their innocence of the crime laid to their charge. At length the magistrates became convinced that their proceedings had been rash and indefensible. cial court was held on the subject, and fifty who were brought to trial were acquitted, excepting three, who were reprieved by the governor. These events were followed by a general release of all who were imprisoned. At this period the belief of the actual existence of witchcraft prevailed in the most enlightened parts of Europe. The learned Baxter pronounced the disbeliever in witchcraft an “obdurate Sadducee.”'
After a short peace, the French and Indian war was renewed. In 1704, Deerfield, on the Connecticut River, was surprised, about 40 persons were killed, and more than 100 made prisoners, among whom was Mr. Williams, the minister, and his family. In 1710, New England, assisted by the mother country, succeeded in reducing Port Royal, in Nova Scotia. Encouraged by this success, Admiral Walker, with a fleet of fifteen ships-of-war, and an army of veteran troops, sailed to make an attack on Quebec. The weather proving tempestuous, many of his vessels were wrecked on the rocks, and upward of a thousand men perished. This caused the abandonment of the expedition. In 1713, peace was made between France and Great Britain at Utrecht. In 1745, war having again taken place with France, Massachusetts planned a daring and successful enterprise for the reduction of Louisburg. For 14 nights in succession, the New England troops, sinking to their knees in mud, drew their cannons and mortars through a swamp two miles in length. On the 16th of June, the garrison was compelled to surrender.
The war at this period was brought to a close by the peace of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, by which all prisoners on each side were to be given up without ransom, and all the conquests made to be mutually restored. In 1754, war again took place between Great Britain and France. Great exertions were made in the colonies for the reduction of the French power in America. Four expeditions were planned ; one against Nova Scotia, the second against the French on the Ohio, a third against Crown Point, and a fourth against Niagara.
The expedition against Nova Scotia, consisting of three thousand men,
chiefly from Massachusetts, was led by Gen. Monckton and Gen. Winslow. With these troops they sailed from Boston on the 1st of June, 1755, and arrived at Chignecto, in the Bay of Fundy. Being joined by 300 regular troops, they proceeded against Fort Beau Sejour, which surrendered after a seige of four days. Other forts were taken, and Nova Scotia was entirely subdued. In order that the French should not derive assistance from this territory, the inhabitants, to the number of 7,000, were taken from the country, and dispersed among the English colonies : 1,000 of these prescribed Acadians were transported to Massachusetts, where many of them embarked for France. To prevent the re-settlement of those who escaped, their houses were destroyed and the country laid waste.
The war continued with varied success, till the conquest of Quebec by the army under Gen. Wolfe, in Sept., 1759, and the final reduction of Canada in 1760. This event caused great and universal joy in the colonies, and public thanksgivings were generally appointed. A definitive treaty, the preliminaries of which had been settled the year before, was signed at Paris in 1763, by which all Nova Scotia, Canada, the Ísle of Cape Breton, and all other islands in the Gulf and River St. Lawrence, were ceded to the British crown.
After the peace of 1763, the British parliament formed a plan for raising a rev. enue by taxing the colonies. For this purpose, an act was passed for laying a duty on all paper, vellum, or parchment used in America, and declaring all writings on unstamped materials to be null and void. This act, called the Stamp Act, received the royal assent, March 22, 1765. When the news of this act reached the colonies, the people everywhere manifested alarm, and a determination to resist its execution. The assembly of Virginia first declared its opposition to the act by a number of spirited resolves; but Massachusetts took the lead in this important crisis, and maintained it in every stage of the subsequent revolution. In Boston, the populace, in some instances, demolished the houses of the friends of the British measures, and in various ways manifested the public indignation. To render the opposition complete, the merchants associated, and agreed to a resolution not to import any more goods from Great Britain until the stamp law should be repealed. To give efficacy to the opposition to this act, Massachusetts proposed a meeting of deputies from the several colonies, to be held at New York in Oct., 1765. Deputies from nine of the colonies met, agreed on a declaration of rights and grievances, sent a petition to the king, and a memorial to both houses of par. liament. This spirited opposition, seconded by the eloquence of Mr. Pitt and other friends of America, produced a repeal of the stamp act on the 18th of March, 1766.
The British ministry still persisting in their design of raising a revenue from America, passed an act, in 1767, for laying duties on glass, painters' colors, paper and tea imported into America. These duties were small, but the colonists objected to the principle, rather than against the amount of the tax. By their petitions and remonstrances, the abolition of all the duties was procured, except that of three pence on every pound of tea. In order to sustain the authority of parliament, four regiments were sent over and stationed in Boston ; and to punish the refractory province of Massachusetts, especially the inhabitants of Boston, the government and public offices were removed to Salem. In May, 1774, Gen. Gage arrived, with the commission of governor of Massachusetts and commander-in-chief of the British forces. The assembly organized themselves into a provincial congress, took measures for defense, and collected military stores at Concord and Worcester. The province being declared to be in a state of rebellion, measures were taken to obtain obedience by force of arms.
The great drama of the revolution opened in Massachusetts, at Lexington, Con. cord and Bunker's Hill, and for about a year she sustained the first shock of the struggle. On July 2, 1775, Gen. Washington arrived at Cambridge, and took the command of the American army encamped at that place. He introduced military order, and, with about 20,000 men, besieged the town of Boston. Batteries were erected on Dorchester Hights, which greatly annoyed the shipping in the harbor, and preparations were made for a general assault. On the 17th of May, 1776, the British troops evacuated Boston, and, embarking on board of their vessels, sailed for New York. After this time, the soil of Massachusetts, excepting some islands, remained free from actual invasion.
In the year 1780, a constitution for the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts went into operation; it was formed by a convention of delegates appointed by the people for that purpose. John Hancock was elected the first governor, and held the office by annual election till 1785. The year 1786 is rendered memorable for Shay's Rebellion. This insurrection was caused chiefly by the oppressive debts contracted during the revolutionary war by individuals and corporations throughout the state, and by the state itself. After the insurgents had held conventions, interrupted the proceedings of the courts of justice in several counties, and collected a considerable armed force, and thus greatly alarmed the government and agitated the community, they were entirely put down and dispersed by the state troops under the command of Gen. Shepherd and Gen. Lincoln.
The federal constitution of the United States was adopted by the convention of Massachusetts in 1788, by a vote of 187 to 168, and the state was a firm supporter of the administration of Washington, the first president. The embargo laid upon American vessels in 1808, and other commercial restrictions, together with the war with Great Britain in 1812, bore with severity upon the extensive commercial interests of Massachusetts. Maine was a part of the state till 1820, and during the war of 1812, a portion of its territory was in the hands of the enemy. The war, and the acts of the national government, during its continuance, were unpopular with the majority of the citizens of the state.
Massachusetts has ever been one of the most distinguished members of the American Confederacy. The spirit of her institutions has been transfused into many of her sister states, and she may justly claim an elevated rank among the members of this Union. During the great struggle of the revolution, Massachusetts stood foremost; the powerful and efficient efforts of her patriots and statesmen, stand recorded on the pages of American history; and the moldering bones of her sons, whitening the battle fields of the revolution, show her devotion to the cause of civil liberty.
MASSACHUSETTS is situated between 41° 23' and 42° 52' N. Lat., and between 69° 50' and 73° 30' W. Long. It is very irregular in shape, the S. E. portion projecting into the ocean. Its greatest length from E. to W. is about 145 miles, and in the longitude of Boston it is about 90 miles broad, but in the central and western portion, it is not more than 48 miles. It includes an area of about 7,800 square miles, or 4,992,000 acres, of which 2,133,436 are improved. It is bounded N. by New Hampshire and Vermont; E. by the Atlantic Ocean; S. by Rhode Island and Connecticut, and W. by New York. Population in 1790, 378,717; in 1850, 994,149, and in 1860, 1,231,497.
The surface of the state is generally uneven, and in some parts it is rugged and mountainous. The middle, eastern, and north-eastern portions are hilly and broken, and the south-eastern level and sandy. The western portion, though mountainous, does not attain a very great elevation above the sea. Through Berkshire county pass two mountain ranges, the Tahkannic on the western border, and the Green Mountain range separating the valleys of the Connecticut and Housa