Jedidiah Morse.

A compendious history of New-England : to which is added, a short abstract of the history of New-York, and New-Jersey : designed for the use of schools and private families online

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Third Edition, Enlarged and Improved.



■ May 1913

BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twelfth day of April, AD.
1S20, and in the forty fourth year of the independence of the United
States of America, Jedidiah Morse, of the said District, has de-
posited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims,
as sole proprietor, in the words following, to wit:

"A Compendious History of New England: to which is added, a
short abstract of the History of New-York and New -Jersey Designed
for the use of schools and private families. By Jedidiah oVIorse, l).D.
and Elijah Parish, D.D. Third edition, enlarged and improved."

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, enti-
tled, ''An act for the cncouiagement of learning, by securing the
copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of
such copies during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act
entitled, "an act supplementary to an act entitled, "an act for the
encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts
and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the
times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the
arts of designing, engraving, and etching. Historical and other prints."

Cleyk of the District of Massachusetts.


Every person should possess some knowledge of the his-
tory of his own country. It seems necessary to the exist-
ence of true and enlightened patriotism. Youth is the fit-
test season to acquire this knowledge. It is the season of
the most leisure; the memory is then less incumbered; this J
knowledge gratifies that curiosity, which is natural to the
human mind, and which is peculiarly strong in the early
period of life.

Among the first settlers of New-England were some of
the beat and \^isest men of the age; men remarkable for
their christian piety, patience, fortitude, and benevolent en-
terprize, deserving a rank among the worthies who have
founded empires, enlightened nations, and given glory to ^
the age and country in which they lived. Its history, in y^
consequence, has been more entirely preserved, and better^^
authenticated, from its first settlement, than that of any
other portion of the globe, of equal magnitude and import-
ance. No history is more replete with useful instruction
and entertainment. It furnishes many important lessons to
warriors, statesmen, and divines. It may be read and stud-
ied with much profit by our youth.

The abundant but scattered materials for the history of
this favoured portion of the W'Orld, it has been our aim to re-
duce to a form, order, and size, adapted to the use of the
higher classes in schools, and to families. We have en-
deavoured faithfully to bring into view the most operative
causes, near and more remote, which led to the settlement
of New-England, with the impelling motives of the imme-
diate agents in this bold enterprize, and to trace the steps
by which she has risen to her present distinguished rank
in the political, literary and commercial world. To render
the work interesting to youth, we have laboured to clothe
our ideas in plain, familiar language, and to blend enter- -
tainment with instruction.

The sources whence we have derived our information
have been very numerous, and the most authentic that our
country affords. Among them many occasional sermons,


miscellaneous publications, records and manuscripts, have
been faithfully consulted, and their essence condensed into
this little volume. In the use of these voluminous materials
we have not been hurried. A considerable part of the work
was complied ir. 1802, for the Supplement of Dobson's
edition of the Encyclopedia; and, by his permission, and
the advice of some juc'icious friends, has been revised, en-
larged, divided into chapters, and published in its present
form, for more general benefit.

To exteiid the usefulness of this work, an abstract of the
history of New York and New- Jersey has been added to this
edition, with a view to its introduction into the schools of
these respectable states; and that their pious and indigent
youth, of promising talents, might enjoy the benefit of a por-
tion of the avails of its sale, whatever this may be. One of
the authors, wliois sole proprietor of the work, having con-
secrated the net profits of all future editions of it to this

Conscious, that in compiling and publishing this little
volume, we have been prompted by an upright regard to
the best interests of our country, we commit it to the can-
dour and patronage of tiie public. We hope the youth of
the several states, a summary of whose history is here given,
will read with pleasure and improvement what we have
written for their particular use, with labour and delight;
that while reading, they will admire, then love, then imitate
the shining virtues of their pious forefathers, be emulous to
preserve pure their wise institutions, and, like them, receive
the applause and blessings of succeeding generations.


April, 1, 18^0.



Introduction ^^


The flight of the Puritans to Holland; their suffei-
ings during their residence there; their charac-
ter; their determination to remove, and their rea-
sons for removal 4S

CHAP. n.

Measures adopted for removing; their voyage; their
disappointment as to the place of their settlement,
through the treachery of the Dutch; the form of
government established; their landing at Cape Cod 55


Character of the first settlers; Discovery of New-
England; Its boundaries, extent and settlement;
Destructive wars and pestilence among the na-
tives; nature of the Indian title to their lands 63



Excursions for discovery; a child born; another
voyage lor discovcryj^ attacked by Indians; dis-
cover the place uhich they afterwards named
Plymouth; two men left; Capt. Slandish elected
commander in chitT; dreadful winter; mortality;
an Indian visits them; treaty with Massasoit 74


Increase of their number; sufferings; a massacre of
Virginians; duel; Squanto dies; lands purchased;
visit to IMassasoit, who is sick; patent obtained;
first cattle in New-England; death and character
of Mr. Robinson 83


A larger patent obtained; difficulties between the
company in England and the planters; persecu-
tion of the Puritans; sports on the Lord's day es-
tablished; Cromwell and others contemplate a re-
moval to America; Massachusetts purchased;
settled; charter obtained; its contents; first church
formed at Salem; addition of 1500 to the colony;
Indian conspiracy; scarcity; mortality; a num-
ber discouraged, return to England 93



Church gathered in Chariestown; first court held
there; Morton scnterxed for stealing an Indian
canoe; Boston, Watertown, and Roxbury settled;
description of the former; scarcity and its good
effects; arrival ofGov. Winthrop's family; account
of Newbury; union of the two colonies 106


Complaint against the colonists; character of Rev.
Mr. Higginson; Ipswich settled; further emigra-
tions; representative government; code of laws
enacted 115


Character of the first settlers; New-Hampshire and

Maine settled; Exeter planted 123


Settlement of Connecticut; character of Rev. INIr.

Davenport 134


Histor}' of Connecticut continued; character of Rev.

Mr. Thomas Hooker 147



Settlement of Rhode-Island; this colony refused ad-
mittance into the confederation; Narraganset In-
dians surrender their country to the king of Eng-
land; Roman Catholics; charter surrendered 158


War ^vith the Pcquot Indians 166


Earthquake; Uncas visits Gov. Winthrop; Hamp-
ton settled; Harvard College founded; Indian plot
at Kennebec; settlement of Rowley; character of
Kev. Ezekiel Rogers 175


Emigration ceased; settlement of Woburn; Consid-
eration of the colonies; Eastham settled; charac-
ter of Mr. Treat; Gov. Winthrop*s speech;
his character 184


Character of the natives who inhabited New-
England 19a


The society for propagating the gospel; the faithful
labours of the New-England ministers to instruct
the natives in the religion of Jesus Christ 198



Quakers persecuted; apology for our forefathers;

synod of 1662; character of Capt. Standish 205


Comet; Philip's war; life and character of Capt.

Church 232


Sufferings of the colonists; Synods of New-England 242


Loss of charter; state of New-England; Andros ar-
rives; tenor of his administration; William and
Mary proclaimed; Indian war; expedition against
Canada and Nova- Scotia; New charter 254


Witchcraft 261


French war; Complaint against Gov. Phips; his
character; Indian and French ravages; Yale col-
lege; Indian war; Peace; death of Queen Ann;
George I. crowned; Small pox; Earthquake;
Burnet governor; his death 27;e



Public ferment in Massachusetts; Dreadful mortal-
ity; line established between Massachusetts and
New-Hampshire; Shirley governor; Louisbourg
taken; French invasion; Congress at Albany;
Nova-Scotia taken; Braddock's defeat 275


Stamp act; Dartmouth college founded; Lexington
and Bunker-hill battles; Expedition to Canada;
Boston evacuated; Ticonderoga taken; descent
on Rhode- Island; Tryon's expedition to Connec-
ticut; American academy incorporated; New-
London burnt; Insurrection in Massachusetts;
Federal Constitution; Colleges in Vermont and
Maine 286


Population; Character; Amusements; Learning;

Religion 292



Discovery by the Dutch; Patent; Submission to the
English; Government resumed ')y the Dutch, who
erect a fort on Connecticut rivet; Their extrava-
gant claims; Surrender of the country to the Eng-


iish; Its seizure by the Dutch, who soon surren-
tiered it permanently to the English; Indians 297


Gov. Dongan recalled; Jacob Leister traitorously
assumes the government; The French instigate
the Indians to make war on the colonies; Dread-
ful massacre of the inhabitants of Schenectady;
Leister and his son condemned to die, as guilty of
treason; Commencement of dissenlions between
Episcopalians and Presbyterians; Indians cede a
large tract of land to the English; Abortive plans
for attacking Canada; Five sachems visit Eng-
land, and are introduced to Queen Ann; 5(00
Palatines from Germany, brought over by Gov.
Hunter; Troubles with the merchants respecting
the Indian trade; Project for a settlement of
Highlanders, fails; Cession of lands to New- York
by Massachusetts S02



The Dutch settled East- Jersey, and the Swedes and
Finns West Jersey; Grant of this territory by
Charles II. to the duke of York, and by him to
others; Lands purchased of the Indians; The
Dutch and Swedes inhabit the country together;
Indian murders, causes and effects of them; Char-
acter and customs of the Indians; The Dutch


conquered the country, but soon relinquished it;
New Patent Division into East and West Jersey;
Sold to Fenwick, who makes the first English
settlement in Jersey; New partition of the country;
GrdHt of West Jersey, and sale of East Jersey;
D fficuhies in managing the government; Surren-
dered to the crown 1702; Remained a royal gov-
ernment, till it became in 1776, an independent
state; The patriotism and sufferings of its inhab-
itants during the war; College and Theological
seminary at Princeton.


TO record the progress of human affairs, as
directed by the providence of God ; to exliibit the con-
nexion of events, showinj^ how an immense series is
produced, as cause and effect ; to display the character
of man and of God, is the interesting office of a histori-
an. The student in history, therefore, may learn the spon>^
taneous results of human passions ; the nature of the Divine
government in this small province of the universe ; — he
may perceive the wisdom and the righteousness of God, in
♦Rising individuals to power and fame, and bringmg them
down to captivity, dependence and ruin ; in his ele-
vating cities and empires to greatness and glory, to science
and religion — and in his overturning cities and empires, and
subjecting them to the dominion of ignorance and vice ;—
he may discover the power of God to be peculiarly man-
ifest in producing, from events trivial and common, those
consequences, which are immensely important, and vastly
distant in time and place. History, therefore, has always
been considered an efficacious method of instructing man-
kind. Good men in every age have employed it for this
invaluable purpose. It displays the felicities of goodness,
and the miseries of vice; unfolds events, which have ful-
filled prophecies that are past, and produces confidence
in those, which remain to be fulfilled. Examples of indi-
viduals, great and good ; of communities distinguished for
wisdom and integrity, powerfully excite tlie student to im- /
itate their rinues. /



The settlement of New-England by a colony of Christ-
ians, may be remotely ascribed to the Reformation of Lu-
ther in Germany ; or, to speak more exactly, to the rational
and evangelical instructions of Wickliffe in England.
While others were wrapt in papal darkness, he saw the
true light. He was one of those uncommon men, one of
an age, who appear in the world, as benefactors and in-
structors of the human race. He taught that the gospel of
Christ was a perfect rule of life and manners ; that St. Pe-
ter was not above the other apostles, nor the pontiff of Rome
superior to the bishops.

A hundred and thirty years before Luther, Wickliffe rose,
the morning star of the reformation. He was the first trans-
lator of the New-Testament into English, and wrote neq^Iy
two hundred volumes. These, with his bones, were bun^t
by order of the council of Constance, forty one years after
his death. He taught, for substance, the same doctrines
which Luther afterwards taught with so much greater suc-
cess ; the same doctrines which have since been professed
by the Puritans, and which now constitute the creed of the
great body of the New-England churches.

These new doctrinces of Wickliffe roused the resent-
ment of the papal chuich. Though for more than a thou-
sand years, christians had not armed t]ien)selv€s with
any weapons of force to punish their erring brethren ;
though their only means of restraining those wiio wandered
from the footsteps of the flock, had been prayers and tears,
admonitions and excommunications ; yet now, finding
these insufficient, the council of Lateran, A.D. 1215, inim-
itation of the pagan en^perors, and instigated by papal in-
fluence, gave orders that all heretics should be delivered
over to the civil magistrviic to be burned Then blazed the


first fire of persecution, kindled by professing christians; a
fire which has sometimes carried misery and ruin through
a whole nation ; a fire, whose embers are now hardly ex-
tinguished on the altars of the church.

But the conflagration did not reach England till about
two hundred years after its commencement ; till near the
close of the fourteenth century. In the reign of Richard
II. and of Henry IV. and Henry V. laws were enacted,
that heretics " might be burned to death before the peo-
ple." The consequences were terrible. If any of the
laity refused any profits, or any token of respect, which were
supposed to be due to tlie priests of Rome, they were im-
mediately suspected and accused o^ /leresy^ imprisoned, and
put to death. By a law of Henry V. not only the followers
of Wickliffe, but whoever else they were, " who should
read the scriptures in the mother tongue, should forfeit
land, cattle and goods, from their heirs forever, and so be
condemned for heretics to God, and most arrant traitors to
the land." To thiii iniquitous law hundreds fell victims-
In such a state of tliings, Henry VHI. ascended the throne
of England. This proud youD.'; n-i on arch, during the first
part of his reign, was a warm supporter of tlie papal power,
and put to totture and to death multitudes of the bold con-
fessors of the triuh.

The effects o the Reformation by Luther, were now felt
in England. The young king, possessing enough of scho-
lastic learning to make him vain, and of zeal against the
truth, to make him mad, engaged in a controversy with
Luther, and published a book against him, which, " though
it carried the king's name in the title," v/as actually written
by another hand. -' But whoever had the labor of the book,


the king had the thanks, and the reward."* The Pope
conferred on him for this act, the title of " Defender of the
Faithy** which he had the weakness to value as " the bright-
est iewel in his crown."t This event happened in the
year 1521.

A few years after this, an occurrence took place, which
proved nearly fatal to the cause of popery in England, and
in a wonderful manner favored the advancement of the
Reformation. The king, who had lived with his wife Kath-
arine nearly twenty years, became weary of her ; and being
as unprincipled as he was licentious, he pretended great
compunction of conscience, because he had lived with her
so long; she having been his brother's widow. The truth
was, he had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn. In the ardor
of this passion, he consulted with the universities of Europe ;
he applied to the pope for a divorce ; but the pope from
political motives, not yielding to his desires, Henry adopted
a short and violent course. He declared himself and his
kingdom independent of Rome, and himself ** sole and su-
preme head of the church of England. "| Under such ma-
lignant auspices the Reformation had its rise in the En-
glish nation. Though nothing could be more unscriptural
or absurd, than for a vicious layman to assume the uncon-
trouled authority of reforming heresies, of establishing doc-

* Fox's Martjrology.

f His Jester, vhom he kept at «ourt, seein° the Ling overjoyed,
asked the reason, and being told that it ^as occasioned by his new
title, he said, " My good Harry, let tliee and me defend each other,
and let the faith alone to defend itself."

\ This sacred title, the proud monarch, afterward, got annexed to
the crown, by an aet of parliament; and, ineredible as it m«r ep<»m.
it is retained (o this (ime. He\irm.


irines, discipline, and modes of worship for the church of
Christ ; yet these daring measures have been followed
with immense benefits to the cause of Christianity. So
marvellously does God cause " the wrath of man to praise
him.'* The wicked passions of Henry, though he meant not
so, occasioned a light, which still shines to cheer millions of
Christians scattered over the face of the earth ; but for a
season, it gleamed through much darkness. Henry himself
became a persecutor. His Roman Catholic subjects he
persecuted for their obedience to the Roman pontiff* The
followers of Wickliffe he persecuted, because they were
wiser and better than himself. The conceited tyrant felt
entirely competent to direct the faith and worship of all his
subjects. He was, in fact, the pope of England. One of
the many evils, which grew out of this unwarrantable and
wicked conduct of the king, was the prevalence of a variety
of conflicting opinionB. Soon it was an article of complaint
to the court, that a diversity of doctrines were delivered
from the pulpits. This was considered an insupportable
evil. As an effectual remedy the king order-ed all preach-
ing to be suspended throughout the kingdom, from the 12th
of July, 1536, to the 29th of September, that he might have
time to adjust a system of orthodoxy, to guide the clergy in
teaching their flocks.

In the summer of this year, (1536) the first reformed
convocation in England assembled, over which lord Crom-
well presided as the king's vicegerent in all spiritual mat-
ters.* To this assembly, by order of the king, he declared,
-= That it was his majesty's pleasure, that the rites and cer-
emonies of the Church should be reforined by the rules ©if

• Fuller's Church Historr.

xvm rxriiODUCTiON.

SCRIPTURE, and that nothing should be maintained, which
did not rest on that authority ; for it was absurd, since the
Scriptures were acknowledged to contain the laws of re|i|jf=.^
ion, that recourse should be had to glosses or the decrees '
of popes, rather than to them."* Happy lor the Churc^,.
for England and the world, had the king and the reformfe
adhered to the rules here prescribed. But the king did npt'v
stop here. He ordered his clergy to teach the people:.ttx ;.
believe not only the whole bible, but also the apostles, tlie .''•'•
Niceneand Athanasian creeds ; that baptism was necessar)r';:^;
to salvation ; that contrition, faith and reformation ivere-/-^
necehsary to eternal life ; that confession to a priest Waic->7w:
necessary, if one can be obtained ; and that his absolution}
is the same, as if it were spoken by God himself; that ;tli6. '-,
bread and wine of the sacrament are truly of the same l>i?dy,K
which was born of the virgin; that justification implies jg^v^
renovation of nature, Sec. The worship of images"%.f^^
prayers to the saints were required ; purg3tory he left 'J
doubtful. In this manner truth and error were miserably /
blended. Thus was the dawn of the reformation overcast-
with clouds of darkness. All the ptople were required by^
law, to swear that the king was supreme head of the churii^h^r;
©f England ; a number of papists were executed for re fus- .•.•-•
ing the oath. Among these were John Fisher, bishop of
Rochester, _and Sir T. Moore, then late lord chancellor ofv-
England. For a time t)iis struck the people with panic, bi^/^
did not long prevent insurrections in ditferent places. ^Irv:-
Lincolnshire, twenty thousand people rose, headed by ji"'
priest, and directed by a mouk.

In 1538, a brighter light beamed on the church. The
Vible was printed in English ; liberty was given to the people
• Ballet's Hist, of the Rcformatioa.


to read it , one copy was ordered to be placed iia every
church ; the clergy were required to preach the necessity
of faith and repentance, and against trusting in pilgrimages,
or the good works of other men ; images were taken down,
and praying to them was pronounced idolatry. These
measures were consoling to enlightened Christians; but
transubtantiation, the seven sacraments, purgatory, the
celibacy of the clergy, prayers for the dead, auricular con-
fession, were all retained ; yet here was the utmost point
of advance towards reformation, during the life of Henry.
His subsequent measures proved him to be a miserable
guide of the church. The next year, the law, called the
bloody statute^ was enacted. Its absurd title was " an
act for abolishing diversity of opinions,'* See. We may per-
tinently ask, why did he not first make a law, that all men
should possess the same capacity, have the same education,
the same temper, and be placed in the same circumstances ?
The absurdity and wickedness of this law was soon manifest
from its effects; five hundred persons were thrown into
prison. The year following, the temper of the king was
strikingly displayed ; Protestants and Papists were burning
at the same time. Among the victims were three Lutheran
clergymen. The Papists suffered for denying the king's
supremacy, and adhering to the church of Rome.

In L543, another law was made, which indicated the
marvellous sagacity of the rulers ! It was enacted, that all
matters of christian faith, rules and ceremonies, shall be
published by the king's advice, and shall be in every point
Relieved and obeyed. It was also enacted, that all book* cf
the Old and New Testament, being Tyndal's translation,
comprising any articles of faith, contrary to the doctrines
set forth by the king, shall be abolbhed. " No person shall


• AVe have i^o conclusive evidence, that any other than ex-