Between 1620 and 1630 there were isolated settlers along the whole New England coast. White, a minister from Dorchester, England, founded a colony near Cape Ann, which removed to Salem in 1626. The Plymouth Company granted them a patent, which Endicott, in charge of more emigrants, brought over in 1628. It gave title to all land between the Merrimac and Charles Rivers, also to all within three miles beyond each.
These men formed the nucleus of the colony to which in 1629 Charles I. granted a royal charter, styling the proprietors "the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England." Boston was made the capital. Soon more emigrants came, and Charlestown was settled.
It was a momentous step when the government of this colony was transferred to New England. Winthrop was chosen Governor, others of the Company elected to minor offices, and they, with no fewer than one thousand new colonists, sailed for this side the Atlantic. In Massachusetts, therefore, a trading company did not beget, as elsewhere, but literally became a political state. Many of the Massachusetts men, in contrast with those of Plymouth, had enjoyed high consideration at home. Yet democracy prevailed here too. The Governor and his eighteen assistants were chosen by the freemen, and were both legislature and court. As population increased and scattered in towns, these chose deputies to represent them, and a lower house element was added to the General Court, though assistants and deputies did not sit separately till 1644.
See also: 1612, pilgrims


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