15 de marzo de 2009


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

1612, pilgrims

The Pilgrims who settled New England were Independents, peculiar in their ecclesiastical tenet that the single congregation of godly persons, however few or humble, regularly organized for Christ's work, is of right, by divine appointment, the highest ecclesiastical authority on earth. A church of this order existed in London by 1568; another, possibly more than one, the "Brownists," by 1580. Barrowe and Greenwood began a third in 1588, which, its founders being executed, went exiled to Amsterdam in 1593, subsequently uniting with the Presbyterians there. These churches, though independent, were not strictly democratic, like those next to be named.

Soon after 1600 John Smyth gathered a church at Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, England, which persecution likewise drove to Amsterdam.
Here Smyth seceded and founded a Baptist church, which, returning to London in 1611 or 1612, became the first church of its kind known to have existed in England. From Smyth's church at Gainsborough sprang one at Scrooby, in Nottinghamshire, and this, too, exiled like its parent, crossed to Holland, finding home in Leyden in 1607 and 1608. Of this church John Robinson was pastor, and from its bosom came the Plymouth Colony to New England.

1642, 1650

Yeardley was succeeded by Harvey, who rendered himself unpopular by defending in all land disputes the claims arising under royal grant against those based upon occupancy. Difficulties of this sort pervaded all colonial history.

In 1639 Wyatt held the office, succeeded in 1642 by Berkeley, during whose administration the colony attained its highest prosperity. Virginians now possessed constitutional rights and privileges in even a higher degree than Englishmen in the northern colonies. The colonists were most loyal to the king, and were let alone. They were also attached to the Church of England, ever manifesting toward those of a different faith the spirit of intolerance characteristic of the age.


During the civil war in England, Virginia, of course, sided with the king. When Cromwell had assumed the reins of government he sent an expedition to require the submission of the colony. An agreement was made by which the authority of Parliament was acknowledged, while the colony in return was left unmolested in the management of its own affairs.
See also: 1622-1625